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  • Writer's pictureKOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH

"Portraits are what I draw the most" • Aleksandar Ilić

Portraiture is among artists one of the most popular disciplines. Young talent, Aleksandar Ilić, fell for the creation of realistic portraits in 2009. Since then, he's been constantly drawing, gaining more and more experience in drawing and anatomy.

Currently, Aleksandar creates portraits of celebrities and ordinary people, which you wouldn't distinguish from photography. We are all the more pleased that he's satisfied to work with products from Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth.

Welcome Aleksandar! How long have you been creating portraits?

I officially started portraits in 2009 when I did my first drawing of my geography teacher. It was a very small size.

What about your beginnings in fine art in general? Did you start with portraits right away, or had you done something else before?

I have always drawn beautifully even when I went to school. But only after finishing high school did I dedicate myself to drawing more seriously. Portraits are what I draw the most. That's what I found myself in.

Have you ever tried to engage yourself in other subject matters than portraits?

Not at the moment because I think I do portraits the best. Maybe I could try, but I would probably go back to drawing portraits in the end.

It's pretty rare for an artist to know what theme they want to dedicate themself to from such an early age. Sometimes, you also draw with colored pencils, but still, you prefer black and white. Why?

I did a few color portraits but I prefer black and white. The photo is certainly in color, but when it is done with graphite pencils, then it gets a special beauty.

We completely agree with this! Besides elaborated pencil drawings, you also create paintings on textiles. How did this idea to begin painting on clothes cross your mind?

I started drawing on textiles quite by accident. I was preparing for a Serbian singer concert. I took a denim jacket and came up with the idea to draw something on my back. That's how it started. I don't paint that often, but it's always interesting when someone orders a picture on a denim jacket.

When we talk about painting on clothes, would you like to dedicate yourself more to creating clothes in the future, or has this idea little appeal to you?

Of course, I want to work more on the textile but I don't have much time.

And what about other art techniques? Besides the painting on textile mentioned above, have you tried, for example, oil painting or aquarelle?

I haven’t tried any of them because I’m not attracted to them. The only painting on denim that stands out a little and that's it.

So we guess that your favorite products from Koh-i-noor are graphite pencils. What else definitely should not be missing in your art equipment?

In addition to the graphite pencils I have been using for nine years, there is a kneadable eraser, paper stumps...

How much time do you spend on fine art?

It all depends on what the picture is like, how many people there are in the picture, what the format is... But mostly I can do one portrait in 16-60 hours.

Interesting! Do you remember a drawing that took the longest to complete?

I think I spent the most time drawing Bryan Cranston from the Breaking Bad series. It was made in A3 format.

Is it possible to order a drawing from you or purchase those already finished?

Of course, people from all over the world can order a drawing. All that matters to me is that the picture is of good quality. That's half the job. When the picture is bad, the drawing can't be that good.

Do you have any favorite artists?

One of my favorite artists is Silvie Mahdal. She is from the Czech Republic and draws phenomenally with a graphite pencil.

In conclusion, we would like to ask you, what are your plans for the future? Are you, for instance, planning any larger project or exhibition?

My plans are to switch to slightly larger formats than the A3 in the future. I want to make pictures with a lot of details. And I hope to hold my own exhibition someday.



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