Artwalk 2016 Location: What's on 2nd, 2323 2nd Avenue N
Bryan Crowson is a freelance portrait artist in Birmingham, Alabama. He tends to create art with a geeky, nerdy or humorous twist. He does portrait commissions and creates whimsical art to present and sell as prints at sci-fi conventions, comic shop events and fine art festivals and events. He is a regular at the monthly Birmingham Art Crawl, and was voted to be featured artist for the March crawl. His work was profiled by Arts Bham magazine at: http://www.artsbham.com/have-the-luck-o-the-crawl/
You might have also seen his work at Kingdom Comics in Vestavia Hills, Alabama; The Geek Gathering in Sheffield, Alabama; The Alabama Phoenix Festival; and the 2015 Memphis Comic Expo. He illustrated a children's book called Petunia Luckens and the Perfectly Pleasant Day, available on Amazon.
“I find great joy and fulfillment in making people happy with my work,” Crowson writes. “Seeing people smile at one of my whimsical pieces as they approach my table at the art events, and making my portrait clients happy are both deeply satisfying. Art allows me to express my ideas about what is good and decent and important in life, and I want to use my work to make the world a more beautiful place.”
Crowson considered studying art at Auburn University in the early 1980s, but instead went into journalism. He worked 27 years at The Birmingham News as a reporter and copy desk chief until he was laid off in a major downsizing in September 2012. He decided to pick up where he left off with art, and in February 2013, he rebooted his life as a freelance portrait artist.
Process: Crowson mainly works in pencil and Prismacolor pencils. He starts with a pencil drawing. On some pieces, he scans the pencil and digitally enhances the contrast to create a monochrome “underpainting.” He prints the ink underpainting and adds color by hand with Prismacolor pencils. Sometimes, he works with graphite pencil alone, and sometimes adds Prismacolors directly to the pencil drawing with no underpainting step.
See Bryan Crowson’s online galleries at: