Pastel on board
24" x 16"
Watching the sky, as the sun rises in the morning, creates such a peace within; it is a time filled with quiet and hope. This favorite time of the day is the inspiration for my pastel painting White Lace.
For my model, I was fortunate to have a lovely, classically trained ballerina pose for me. She wore this beautiful and intricate white lace dress which inspired choosing a morning landscape that would echo nature's lace, for the background. My hope is that the final result of the painting creates a calming, quiet moment full of hope for the viewer.
White Lace, can be viewed at OA Gallery in downtown Kirkwood, Missouri.
To start, I loosely block in the shapes with pencil and powdered graphite.
Here is a step-by step demo showing how I develop a portrait graphite/charcoal drawing.
Here, I start to develop the face of the portrait, working toward getting the likeness.
Once I feel comfortable with the face, I move down to the hand, arms and shoulders toning in form and capturing the shadow play of lights and darks from the sunlit window. I am using graphite pencils as well as powdered graphite.
Here the fabric layers of tulle of the ballerina's dress are developed.
For the contrasting darks in the eyes and hair, I am using charcoal pencil.
At this stage I am refining and tweaking everything making fine adjustments. To help with the highlights of the skirt I sharpen up the edges of the fabric with an eraser.
Here is the finished drawing!
Learning about women artists has always been an inspiration for me. A few years ago, I was fortunate to see an exquisite exhibit, at the St. Louis Art Museum, of Artemisia Gentileschi's extraordinary paintings along side those of her father's paintings. It was an astounding and impressive exhibit.
During her lifetime, Artemisia was able to succeed in a male-dominated world, receiving commissions and patronage from Kings and Dukes of the time. Today, Artemisia Gentileschi remains an inspiration, not only for her powerful artwork, but for her ability to overcome the limits and prejudices of her time.
July 8, 1593, Artemisia Gentileschi was born in Rome Italy. She was an Italian Baroque painter, today considered one of the most famous and skilled painters of her time.
Artemisia was centuries ahead of her time. She was among the first women artists to achieve success in the 17th century. She brought to her work a unique perspective that both celebrated and humanized strong women characters. Above is Artemisia's self portrait.