The most common question posed to me is, "Did you study for this, or is it a gift?" I answer, "Both." Everyone can be taught to draw, God gives you the desire to excel, and you pursue with all your heart and become an artist. I started learning to draw when I was 7 years old. My grandfather, Augustine Haugland, had an art school in the third floor of his Victorian home in Tacoma, Washington. I was allowed to participate in the classes, and occasionally pose. The first lesson I remember was on how to draw portraits.
Portraiture was presented in such a clear and methodical way that even a seven-year-old could comprehend it. I continued to attend his classes intermittently throughout my childhood in exchange for yard work. By the time I was ten, I was learning watercolor. At age twelve, I was learning oil painting. At 16, I sold my first oil portrait, and bought my first car. I often went to art shows with my grandfather and my uncle, Ren Haugland (a prominent artist in Seattle). Ren was an exceptional portrait artist and would draw there while my grandfather would exhibit his paintings. Ren would charge a few dollars for a ten minute sketch and gather a great crowd about him. My grandfather, however, sat passively by his paintings, and, although they were masterpieces, rarely made a sale. My young mind's eye easily calculated which was the most satisfying.
The local news channels often asked me to draw for high profile court cases. As years went by, my name was circulated among the major networks. Now, I am called by every major national network to draw for court cases, including CBS, ABC, CNN, ESPN and Fox. My courtroom drawings have also been published in Golf Magazine.
Pencil is perhaps more difficult in my opinion to master than charcoal or pastel. It is much less forgiving than the other media, and requires great discipline, control and style.
I use a one shot drawing style in pencil with the chisel point method. Each line is final; no erasing or "smudging." Charcoal is so free flowing and spontaneous, and utilizes the smear method for shading. It is done on coarse charcoal paper. It came so very naturally. Pastel added the challenge of the color dimension, which could only be added as the likeness became sub-conscious. I added pencil when I was asked to do all night graduation parties. The very quick, small sketch was needed.
In 2001 I relocated to Gateway Mall in Springfield, Oregon, where I draw full time, and do custom framing.
I published a TV series on Oregon Public Broadcasting called, "You Can Draw!" It is thirteen half hour episodes. I produced it myself. I filmed it in my home. All thirteen episodes are available on DVD.
I thank God for the ability to draw, and for the opportunity to do it for a living. I also thank my grandfather who kindly included me in his art school. I would be happy and privileged to do a drawing or painting for you also.
This was my studio at Valley River Center, Eugene, Oregon.
It would ultimately lead me to a full-time occupation of portrait drawing. For the first ten years, I drew primarily in charcoal every day, all day, as many as 40 portraits a day at the local mall. I drew some criticism from the local university, as one who was selling himself short. I, however, viewed it as an excellent hands-on education, and a chance to perfect the art I loved. It was what I did best. Someone told me once to try many things, but master one. I feel I have a mastery at portrait drawing.
I loved the purity of the simple sketch, the live model, and the discipline of mastering the eye. These skills are fundamental in perfecting any further art endeavor. My other media skills soared. I felt extremely fortunate to be able to do what I loved to do for a living. Then a recession hit our community, and I was forced to quit. I did not come back to drawing for five years. When I did, I could draw in pastel! It instantly became my primary medium.
This was my frame shop and gallery at Springfield Mall, Springfield, Oregon
This was my kioske at Fashion Show Mall, Las Vegas, Nevada