Charcoal Pencil Portrait Artist
      ... What Art Means to Me

It's me, Doug Boomhower. I wasn't always a charcoal pencil portrait artist, although I started drawing at the age of three or four - I can't remember exactly when.

Young Doug Boomhower, charcoal pencil portrait artist

Like most kids, I drew cartoons, animals, trees, flowers, houses, birds, and more birds.  I just drew ... a lot.

At night when I was supposed to be sleeping, I would listen until the teacher that my parents rented a room to, came home each evening.

I purposely left my drawings on the stairs and listened for her comments as she passed by. How else can you get objective criticism at the age of four?  Parents are biased and will always tell you the drawings are good, even if they are not.  Thanks to some very positive, objective reviews, I continued to draw.

When I was eight years old (until about age 11), I took private oil painting lessons, but I didn't have the patience to wait for the paint to dry. I wanted more immediate gratification.

So! I went back to basics...back to pencil and paperback to black and white...

Oh, and around age 13, I started playing in a rock band, which lead to studies in jazz and jazz musicians, the subjects of most of my work.

Now, skip ahead a few years... 


I became both a professional pencil portrait artist, and musician. My life in music accounts for my interest in doing
portraits of musicians.   As a musician I gained insights into the world of music, which proved helpful in the convincing creation of musician portraits.

I chose to do large charcoal drawings of my heroes from the "Jazz" era of the 1940's and 1950's.

Of course, my interest in art extends to all areas of portraiture.


Pencil Portrait Artist At Work


As you see here, I'm swimming in a sea of 
black and white sketches.

As a charcoal pencil portrait artist, I've always found drawing faces to be the most challenging, and since age four, I've drawn a "few". 


I've displayed my artwork at jazz festivals in the United States and Canada.

New Orleans was particularly great because our booth was very near the Gospel tent...entertainment day and night. The young visitors thought these were "cool drawings", an appropriate comment considering they were drawings of cool jazz musicians.

In Monterey, California, my wife was thrilled to see Clint Eastwood and Dave Grusin on stage in a live forum, answering questions about jazz music in the movies.

New Orleans Jazz Festival


Charcoal Pencil Portrait Artist at work? 

Here I am, sitting at my art booth.

I'll admit I'm not working very hard, but the Neville Brothers were performing in the gospel tent and everyone disappeared from the exhibit area! 



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As a charcoal pencil portrait artist, if you asked about my philosophy of art and drawing, I would say:

Draw honestly, and strive for power, clarity and emotion.



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Doug Boomhower 



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