Pink Torso Fragment Pastel/Charcoal Drawing

Pastel and Charcoal on Archival White
Drawing Paper, 18" x 24"

I have to admit it, I did not do this
drawing today. I did it a few months
ago. But I had to teach today, and I did
not have a chance to paint.

This was done from a black and white
photograph of a Greek fragment. It
was probably a Venus. But it certainly
was beautiful - and it was SO inspiring.
I love painting....but I have to say, this.
to me, is another form of painting.

I guess everyone acknowledges that pastel
is a form of painting. I teach this technique
at the Art League School in Alexandria, VA.
We use veils of color, starting out by drawing
into a layer of pastel color with the skinniest vine
charcoal until we get an image we like. Then,
we spray every layer except the last one, using
veils and veils of color. It is really fun, and can
produce ethereal or powerful results, depending
on the values and colors you use, and also depending
on what you do with your fixative.

I love this drawing.


Demo Pear over Charcoal Drawing on Rag Paper

Oil on Gessoed 100% Rag Paper, 6" x 8"

This is just a little sketch I did in class for
my students today. We were discussing
grisaille (black and white underpaintings)
only today, we were really just using a charcoal
drawing as our grisaille.

It's fun, because if you spray the drawing with
Krylon Crystal Clear Spray, and then with Damar
Retouch Varnish, you can paint over the charcoal
drawing, and it's almost like an underpainting. It is
fun to start out by glazing with a yellow, and then
painting into that with opaque colors. Of course, I
did this so fast, my students were more successful
on the whole. That is what I love about teaching.
Seeing people succeed, and helping them to do it.


Sunset and Tree

Oil on gessoed masonite, 4" x 4" $100.00 SOLD

This was the view out the window yesterday - that
blue was so deep - and I had to paint so fast to catch
the firey pinks and oranges before they were gone.
I have learned that it is best to glaze the sky over
a white background when you have a situation
like this, so it was so nice that I could just grab
this little gessoed Gessoboard panel. I like the con-
trast of the asphaltum-colored treetop just barely
catching the light - and I love ANY color that
has anything to do with Naples yellow, like the
bright pink on the right that seems to be shooting
out of the side of the picture. I was happy with this.
It's just a little sketch, but I find it peaceful.


Blue Stripes Pear

Gouache on 100% Rag watercolor paper, 6" x 8"

This pear was sitting in some extremely bright
sunlight. These strange diagonal stripes were being
cast by something nearby, and it was casting an interesting,
varied shadow itself. The shadows really were blue,
but in the interest of color harmony and fun I decided
to make the most out of the blue, because I just loved
the combination of the red and blue together.

Gouache is such a fun medium to work in. It is so
forgiving. You can work transparently or opaquely,
and there is no such thing as making a mistake! You
can just cover up whatever you don't like. I find making
gouache paintings particularly relaxing.


Head of Apollo - Oil Pastel Sgrafitto Drawing

Oil Pastel Sgrafitto Drawing on Rag Board
4" x 5"
This is an example of a wonderful technique
that is very ancient, very fun, and easy to learn.
It can also produce beautiful results. As a matter
of fact, you may have even done it in elementary
school when you took a piece of tag board and
covered it with lots of different colors of crayons,
covered all that with black crayon, and then scraped
through to reveal the colors underneath.

The first sgrafitto was done on simple pottery long ago -
scraping through one colored glaze to get to another
one. It was used beautifully on Greek vases. Breughel
used it in certain passages in his paintings to create
patterns in fabric. He would glaze a dark pink, for
instance, over a lighter color, and then use the end
of the handle of his brush to create a floral or other type
of pattern to mimic fabric.

I have experimented with every type of Crayola crayon
that has been made. My favorite were "Silver Swirls", because
they had colors that were like the patina on bronze statues:
lustrous bluish greens, teals, bronzes, russets reds and oranges.
I would lay these down thickly massed together in random
patterns and cover that thickly with a smooth layer of Caran d'Ache
Neo-Color Oil Pastels in Olive Green or Brown or Black. Then,
using any scraping tools (scraperboard tools are good for this)
you can draw and create the most beautiful pictures. My favorite
subject matter is ancient sculpture. My favorite tool is a cylinder
that has six equal-length wires coming out of it that enable me to
draw with curved cross-hatching easily and elaborately. It is really


Silver and Flower

Oil on Gessoed Masonite Panel, 4" x 4" $50.00 SOLD
I have had this silver cup for awhile, as you can see,
for it is quite tarnished. But I found that interesting
to paint. The camellia is another fake from my still
life cabinet at school. I just liked the way they looked together
on this silk shawl with a cut velvet edging. It's unusual,
but I love the color combinations. I was experimenting
with thick and thin paint in this piece. It is thinnest in
the cup, as I am sure you can see.