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Artist Showcase: Darrel Tank

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The path of every artist is just about as varied and unique as the artists themselves. Ask anyone and they’ll most likely tell you that their journey didn’t happen overnight, it was a combination of events, influences, and struggles over time that molded them into the artists they have become, or are becoming.

Darrel Tank will tell you that he can’t remember a time when drawing wasn’t a part of his life, but he readily admits that it was the influence of those around him that allowed him to unpack his passion for art. Some of his earliest and fondest memories are of sitting at the kitchen table drawing with his mother and just enjoying the good company. Or the hours spent wandering around the publishing house where his father was the head photographer, just asking questions of the designers and illustrators and gaining valuable insight that would fuel his love of art in the years to come.

Over the years, Darrel has never lost his passion for drawing. As a young boy he was constantly drawing pictures to share with his friends and family. As he entered high school, he began to experiment more, and at the age of 16, began developing his tapered stroke and what would become the 5-Pencil Method he’s become so well known for today.

At 17 years old, he came down with what doctors believed to be Rheumatic fever and spent two weeks in the hospital and the subsequent three months at home in bed. It was during this time that he really began to explore his abilities and expand his skills. 

Throughout his late teens and 20s, Darrel continued to draw whenever he had the chance. He had to take on “day jobs” to support his passion, but dreamed of one day being able to make art his profession. This opportunity came in the 1970’s when he made the transition to full-time artist and illustrator, a time period in which he drew some of his most well-known and beloved portraits.

Darrel’s journey continues as he takes on new projects, like Darrel Tank’s Art Studio and continues to grow the 5-Pencil Method brand. He is passionate about sharing his experience and skill with anyone willing to listen, and enjoys nothing more than seeing budding artists of all ages discover the joys of drawing.

If you would like to see more of Darrel’s work, check out his profile at www.5pmc.com

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