Day 127: Friday, Sept. 2

Drawing Magazine, Artists Magazine.....they all run together in my mind but today's email from Artist Daily featured some of the most gorgeous drawings I've seen in a long time.  They were spotlighting Eileen Healy.

Frank by Eileen Healy, pastel drawing.

This is titled "Frank". Have you ever seen anything more gorgeous?

Erin by Eileen Healy, pastel drawing.

And then there's "Erin" in pastels, above.  Can you believe those highlights on the matching thought out ahead of time, such fabulous "lighting"...... 

In an interview Eileen said:
I never plan a pose before a session. Though this can add a sense of spontaneity, it can be a hindrance when working against the clock when you have to pay a model. As a result I make decisions quickly. A strong sense of composition seems to come naturally to me. I think this has helped drawings I've done in my sketchbooks. These are not plans for paintings as much as small-scale graphite works in their own right. When I get 'blocked' I look at these and they help me through and possibly influence a bigger work. Space plays a very important part in my compositions. I dislike cluttered or busy work and my portraits are very direct with very little or no background. I maximize the format often with the figure, focusing on interesting angles and foreshortening.

My work with color in pastel is something I've developed after struggling with the medium. When I first started, I only used two colors on tinted paper, gradually introducing more colors and trying out different colored paper. I mostly work on colored paper, as it's very effective when accentuating highlights. I have also done pastel on white, which I enjoy, but it is more difficult. Light influences color, which determines my color range. Also a model's own skin color, especially in the shadows, affects the work. Using a spotlight will create very rich colors in the shadowed areas, often with deep blues and purples. I use small square Conté crayons, not thick rounded ones as I find these hard to control and messy.

I try to never lean too hard on my pencil or chalk unless I know what I’m doing. I'm a line person so I rely heavily on this, varying the quality/thickness of line as I work. This is dictated by the light source and its influence on edges. I don't have a set process. Sometimes I work from the darkest parts to the lightest, leaving the highlights 'til last. There's always a good buzz from that. I encourage my students to do the same and to make compositional decisions before putting pencil to paper. Work lightly at first. Measure up. Use construction lines.

Here are two more of her lush drawings. Enjoy.

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