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Same as the other day with the “Maria” drawing. Colored pencil on black construction paper. So essentially working the light areas more than the shadows. This time I wanted more blending and refinement in the skin. Impossible to get natural skin tones with the black paper showing through, though. I fought green ghoulishness to the end. Still need to work the skin tones on the hand (unfinished as of this scan) on which “Sophia” is resting her chin and to smooth out the background a bit.

This color-on-black technique works well for sad, spooky, or pensive. Possibly spiritual. Not a good way to depict smiley faces. 😉

This is one of the rare drawings that looks better live than onscreen.


  1. Pat
    Pat March 14, 2017 7:17 am

    This is a good job, Claire (in my non-artistic opinion). The face has a “pinkish” glow somehow that looks like face coloring. Whatever you did to remove any greenish aspect was the right thing to do.

    (Do you write down what you’re doing, this mixed with that, or in what proportion, so you’ll remember what to do next time?)

    Colors-on-white, or colors-on-black changes the perspective so much; I’d like to see these women painted “normally” too, to compare with these colors-on-black.

  2. ellendra
    ellendra March 14, 2017 8:53 am

    My first impression was that this was a photograph that had been altered to look like a drawing. Nice work!

    And the hand looks like she’s wearing gloves.

    I could picture smiley faces drawn using this technique. Imagine a mother rocking her baby with moonlight shining through the window.

  3. MJR
    MJR March 14, 2017 9:30 am

    When looking at this I see a wistful figure longing for what could have been. This work evokes a sense of sadness for the subject. Claire This is some of the best work I have ever seen you post.

    One thing you should do ASAP is copy protect your artwork so it can’t simply be downloaded, printed and framed from your blog.

    These pieces are good enough to sell on line if not as individual works then as signed numbered prints. Another option would be to acquire a limited number of T-shirts and tote bags in various colors/sizes, make iron-on transfers from your printer and put them on the T-Shirts, Tote Bags, etc. then sell those on line. Remember you have a good enough blog base of readers to get things going plus there are sites like Etsy.

  4. Claire
    Claire March 14, 2017 11:17 am

    You know, I don’t post these drawings/paintings to get praised. Or even to get critiqued — though both are welcome.

    I post them to remind myself that I can do a piece of good, bad, or mediocre art and expose it to other human beings without collapsing into a puddle of insecurities. But it’s certainly a great thing to get not only positive comments, not only helpful comments, but thoughtful, intelligent comments.

    I should expect no less from the Living Freedom Commentariat, but it’s still a fine thing.

    MJR — Well said about Sophia’ longing. It going to be a while for all the rest of that. I’m not even going to think about thinking about “getting commercial” until at least summer.

    Ellendra — Gloves. That’s a thought. (Save me some work.) And moonlight streaming through a window … oooh. That would be a hard one. But definitely interesting.

    Pat — I don’t write anything down, though you’re correct that it would help my progress. It might also inhibit me, but it would certainly keep me from repeating the same mistakes.

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