Advanced Drawing: Project #3

The third project for Advanced Drawing class started with three stories that we had to read. Each one was about something completely different. The first was about Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, the second about Thomas Kinkade, and the third about how food is perceived by the rich and poor.

I was so intrigued by the story about those who have Lesch-Nyhan syndrome that I chose it pretty quickly. Everyone else in the class chose it too except for one person (who chose the last one)! We were given large illustration boards and we were allowed to use any medium that we liked. I decided on using ballpoint pen, as it has been so long since I last used it. Before going forward into the project right away, I decided to do more research on the topic.

Lesch-Nyhan syndrome is a rare genetic condition that occurs only in males. It stems from a mutation in the HPRT gene on the X chromosome that causes a deficiency in the enzyme HGPRT (hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase). This deficiency causes a build-up of uric acid in all of the body's fluids, causing an array of medical problems because of it. The most obvious sign of someone with this syndrome is that, in addition to not having good muscle control, they display very strong compulsive self-mutilating behaviors. Unfortunately, those who have this syndrome don't typically live past their 20s, due to the medical complications as well as the possibility of severe self-mutilation. (If you want to know more about Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, check out this website.)

I decided to use the golden proportion ratio as my basis for the composition. Though, instead of using the exact measurement of 1.618, I did it slightly off to reflect the nature of the subject. I used a photo that I took of my fiance as a reference for the position of the hands and contortion of the face.

These mouths and eyes represent "the imp of the perverse".

The spiraling up of life, with the imp of the perverse being one with them from conception.

That hair easily took the longest to draw!


  1. This is really interesting. I love how the tweaked golden ratio really does feel balanced and yet off somehow. It's amazing that something drawn in regular ol' ballpoint pen can be so surreal and visceral!

    1. Thank you so much! I am glad that you enjoy it.


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