Adam Riches’ Frenetic Portraits of Brooding Anonymous Figures

Adam Riches is an emerging British painter and draughtsman. Primarily monochromatic, his characteristically stylized portraits and figurative works are sensitive responses to the human condition, ranging from furious expressive moments to poignant, melancholy reflections. The monochrome illustrations emerge out of blank backgrounds, with broad, gestural lines skittering and looping across the paper. Mostly, those are anonymous figures, but sometimes you will recognize familiar faces too, like Charles Darvin, Marilyn Monroe or Amy Winehouse. See more of the artist’s scribbled portraits as well as his work in charcoal on Instagram and Facebook and you can find his artwork available for purchase through Nadia Arnold Ltd.

Adam Riches uses pen and ink to create frenetic portraits of brooding anonymous figures.


Often, pen drawings fall into two stylistic categories.


Contour drawings that capture the outlines and edges of their subject.

And super-smooth ones that seem to defy the fine point of the pen with layered hatch marks.


In forging his own style, Riches uses highly varied density in his mark-making to create volume and suggest shadows, while also utilizing each line as a distinctive shape.

“The drawings are quite intuitive and are done spontaneously. They reveal themselves as I’m making them.”


Riches will be showing his work at PULSE Art Fair in Miami Beach in December, 2019.

via [colossal]