Dolly Parton Minimal Pencil Portrait
I don't think I've spoken about this before, but I tend to immerse myself in the pursuit of getting to know my subject while I'm drawing their portrait. And yes, i will project like hell and make up my own stories when I'm commissioned to draw people I know little to nothing about.
Well, that was never going to be the case with Dolly Parton. The woman is a mythological creature and I swam in a sea of Dolly songs, Dolly quotes and Dolly pictures. My children now have 'Jolene' on vinyl and will play it until – actually, nobody ever gets bored.
Amidst that sea of Dolly-ness, the one thing that made an impression deeper even than the songs will always be *that* Barbara Walters interview. It's on YouTube, and it's a relentless, cringeworthy barrage of attempts from the interviewer to debase and belittle another woman. Attempts only, because Dolly is badass throughout, and not a smidge of negativity sticks to her. She gets called a hillbilly, a bimbo, totally unthinkable and innumerable insults. She takes them all and spins them into prized assets – which of course they are.
Please watch this, and try not to fall in love with her.
I'll leave you with my finished portrait of her. I hope you can see her through my eyes: a woman wise far beyond her years, kind, self-assured, looking out to the world and only allowing its light to touch her.