Steve copy

Steve Opet




I draw in black and white with ballpoint pen. I like contrast, line and form and put a spot of color to spice things up and tease the viewer’s eye.

For subject matter, I draw people using old photographs as reference. I search for photographs of children, their pets and men and women at work and at play – conventional subjects drawn in an unconventional way.

My family albums are my primary source as well as magazines and books. I find a picture that evokes some kind of emotion in me when I see it, and when I get that “I want to draw this” feeling, I go to work. The photographs I use reflect everyday life in America, something most viewers can identify with and have feelings for.

In fact, the inspiration for my art is usually an old family photograph stored in a shoebox. For me, those images represent typical family life in America. When I connect with one of those images, I internalize the subtle feelings it evokes then give it new life on a larger scale using a unique style.

I work in mixed media-pen and ink, pencil, charcoal, watercolors, and occasionally airbrush. Although my drawings are predominantly black and white, one or two colors usually appear somewhere in each work. I enjoy the fine line work that I use in shading. Even though I consider myself a ‘realist’, I sometimes get abstract when rendering folds and various textures. I’m sometimes surprised at the shapes and images I see within my main image when I sit back after completing a piece. I also slightly “distort” the faces of my subjects…that’s been my style since I can remember. My people are all slightly quirky – exaggerated facial features, gangly legs and knobby knees, and grown-up heads on children’s’ bodies. Sometimes they look out at the viewer with a curious, intense gaze, making one wonder what they were thinking when the original photograph was taken.