Archive For: Figures

The Red Book

Pastel on paper

Reading The Red Book

I thought I’d share this pastel I painted a few months ago. Every now and then I get a surge of creative energy that simply must transpire into something – and fast. Unfortunately, these manic episodes tend to begin with a few glasses of wine and end in a fit of frustration that only an artist can understand.

Because, really, good art doesn’t just happen like that. At least, not for me anyway.

Discovering and accepting that truth was probably my greatest enlightenment as an artist, but I still have my moments. This picture was born out of one of my little bolts of creative lightening, and surprisingly, she survived. She took me all of two measly hours, and I was quite toasted.

She’s pretty cute though.

Thanks for taking a look!

Inspired by this beautiful photo by Kitty Gallannaugh…

 The Red Book

Ana Reclining

Pastel on paper

Ana reclining Lrg copy Ana Reclining
A lot of work and love went into this 18×24″ little lovely. The hand was the most challenging square few inches of this work.  I sketched that hand about ten times and reached such a level of frustration that I resolved to lay it down for the night and come back to it the next day. About ten minutes later I picked up my sketchbook and nailed it! Shows you what taking a short break can do for you. The relaxed drape of the hand gave me fits because no matter how I drew it, the fingers looked stiff. But I finally figured out the precise angle and shadowing to make it work. I took notes and transferred the new-found technique to the piece the next morning. Voila!

Here is the sketch where I finally figured it out. I’ll spare you the ugly rest.
Hand study Ana Reclining

And some detail shots…

Ana reclining Detail 2 copy Ana Reclining Ana reclining Detail 1 copy Ana Reclining



Charcoal on paper

Charcoal Figure Ginger Ginger

This adorable gal is a drawing study I did late one night when I first started drawing again, post-Vivian. She’s from a drawing instruction book, “The Mastery of Drawing,” that was published in 1950. My grandmother used it when she was studying figures and gave it to me when I was around ten years old. It’s full of beautiful, full-figured nudes, all looking like they stepped out of a mid-century pinup calendar.

I was just starting to work with charcoals, a medium that’s kind of a second language for me. The background was frustrating because I just couldn’t get it as dark as I wanted.

I normally don’t do smiling faces, and she’s definitely not my best work, technically, but her cute smirk and billowy hair make me happy, so I thought I’d share.

Here she is in progress…

1461538 694136070596416 860683314 n Ginger

Sitting Pretty

Charcoal on paper

Charcoal Figure Sitting Pretty Sitting Pretty

This loose little sketch of a random model I found online is one of my favorite charcoals. I had her framed in a simple black frame and black mat to accentuate the stark white against the charcoal. She’s just adorbs.