Illustrator Federica Del Proposto drew these character portraits in just ten minutes

It’s a nightmare that every artist dreads. One day you wake up and realize that your body can’t function like it used to and your ability to draw is affected. This is exactly what happened to Federica Del Proposto.

“During the summer of 2021, I injured my left arm while sleeping, causing a compression of the ulnar nerve which left me two fingers without any feeling,” she explains. That might not seem like a huge deal considering Federica is right-handed, but under her doctor’s orders, she was also advised to rest her right arm.

This meant that over the next two months, while recovering, Federica had to take a long break from daily work and drawing. She was only able to sketch for a maximum of half an hour, but she took advantage of that time by refining her already clean line art and producing a series of portraits created in just ten minutes.

The likes of Nick Cave, Sean Penn and David Bowie are just a few of the famous faces that feature in the Ten Minute Drawing series. And it’s a testament to Federica’s attention to detail and precise work that she’s able to capture their likenesses brilliantly and quickly.

“I paused my usual drawing techniques,” says Federica, whose usual approach is much more detailed, “and started a new series of portraits quickly drawn with a digital brush, in search of a faster way to express myself.”

With a background in architecture, Federica’s distinctive work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes and dozens of other publications. His interests in pop art, technical drawing, and storytelling all seem to come together in this series, as his portraits are bold, full of character, and skilfully drawn.

Fortunately, those ten-minute bursts of creativity didn’t slow his recovery. “I’m fully recovered and back to my regular line work in a few weeks,” she explains. Federica didn’t want to leave this new version of herself behind and she continued to draw her economical brush portraits over the next few months.

In fact, the Ten Minute Drawing series has proven so popular that it has now started generating its own commissions. Hope Federica doesn’t charge by the hour.

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