May 1, 2012

Braving the Cold

Braving the Cold
Pastel on paper • 22" x 17"
Currently unavailable
This is a pastel drawing I finished recently of my beautiful girlfriend, Miss Andrea Orr. It was refreshing to simply focus on drawing, values and edges without being concerned with color.

I wanted to make this drawing a study in textures. There are three contrasting textures in the piece: The hat, the skin and the scarf. I tried to apply the pastel in ways that would best represent each unique surface quality. I used a paper blending stump to render the smooth skin, applied the pastel roughly for the knitted scarf and crosshatched for the herringbone hat.

I tightly rendered the face and hands, then sharply transitioned to looser rendering for the peripheral elements. I originally planned that the jacket would add a fourth texture variation, but ultimately decided the strongest way to communicate the beautiful rhythm of her pose was to reduce the jacket to a few simple lines.

I was inspired by Susan Lyon's beautiful conté and pastel drawings and used some of the supplies she recommends (Prismacolor Nupastels and Canson Rives printmaking paper). The Nupastels adhere well to the Rives paper, but can be lifted easily (and fairly completely) with a kneaded eraser, providing maximum workability.