Early Drawings

Here are a couple of early drawings that I was able to dredge up from the archives. One is more than 20 years old!

Pointillism Cat - Age 14

Ink on paper 

Pointillism Cat was a drawing I was inspired to do after learning about pointillism in art class at school. I first lightly sketched the feline's contour and features with a pencil and then painstakingly used an ink pen to place individual dots. For the lighter value areas I used smaller lighter dots, and darker more condensed dots for the dark areas. I then waited for the ink to dry and erased the pencil markings. 

When I look at my old drawings I am reminded of the importance of finding time for consistent drawing work. The symmetry in the eyes of the bear (below) and cat were something that I did with ease at that time; now, however, achieving symmetry in my drawings is difficult for me after spending nearly 10 years away from drawing. During my childhood years I drew nearly every day. With all that practice drawing was something I did with ease. Oh, how I wish I kept it up in my adult life. 

Peace Bear  - 1998

Charcoal and Graphite on paper

After a long semester of organic chemistry, physics, vertebrate biology and other core coursework I was ready to unwind with a drawing on Christmas break.  I placed this present from my mother under the lamp on my desk, usually reserved for intensive academic work, and drew this bear from life.  Up until about age 22, I did not have any instruction in drawing, yet daily practice yielded good results. Draw, draw, draw!!!

Letting Go -1999

Graphite on Paper

This one I simply drew my hand and the memento from life. For the background I sanded the tip of my pencil to procure some powdered graphite. I then proceeded to dip a blending stump in the graphite and then stipple it on the surface of the paper to depict a foggy sky. I used a kneaded eraser to pull out some of the lighter spots in the mist.

Dragon - 2001  -   Graphite on Paper

An assignment for my Art Institute of Pittsburgh Composition Class

Reflections - 2001  -  Graphite on Paper

An assignment for my Art Institute of Pittsburgh Composition Class

One of the wonderful classes I attended at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh was a composition course. We drew 12 small thumbnail sketches of compositions from our imagination. Then, we chose the best 6 to develop more fully. From those 6 the instructor helped us select the strongest ideas to bring to a complete drawing. "Reflections" and "Dragon" are two of my original concepts that made it to the final stage. I hope to make "Reflections" into a painting someday.

Presently, I still do something similar when I am developing an idea for a painting. I construct several versions on a theme and select the one that has the strongest visual composition. I pay close attention to color, contrast, balance, and how the eye is led around the picture. I often spend more than a day rearranging my still life objects before I settle on the final configuration for the painting.