About The Art





I’d like to start out by explaining the title “Thirds.”  First, and the most obvious, there are three leaves.  Second, the center of the large leaf is about one-third from the right.  Then if you draw a horizontal line one-third of the way up from the bottom it would be at the top of the single leaf and the bottom of the two leaves on the right.  Finally, the blank area that is in the upper left is one one-third of the entire size of the drawing.  All done as a study in composition. 
However, that isn’t all of what I wanted to achieve when I started this project.  I wanted to use a couple of different techniques other than just using a pencil and blending tools. 
The body of the leaves is a rubbing using shavings from a carbon sketch pencil.  The veins are indentations which show up white when the carbon is applied.  I used graphite pencils a couple of shades darker than the rubbing to give a 3D look (shadows) to the veins.  I also added some wrinkles and other shadows using the same graphite pencils.  The highlights of the body of the leaves are done using a kneaded eraser.  Finally, I used a charcoal pencil to give the outside of the leaves some shadow.
Paper:  Strathmore Bristol Board
Pencils: Staedtler graphite pencils, General carbon sketch pencil, General charcoal pencil


Chickadee (vertical):

Chickadee (vertical)


This is one of my more popular pieces.  I started this drawing because I felt I needed another chickadee to compliment the horizontal piece that I already had in print.  The first hurdle I had to overcome was getting a picture of a chickadee in the position I desired.  Although these tiny birds frequent my back yard, getting a photograph of one in the position I wanted proved impossible.   Nevertheless, I used what I had along with other photos I found for my references.  In other words this chickadee is a result of my imagination and a few reference photos. 
Upon starting this project, I had the body of the bird completed in no time and was very satisfied with the results.  However, the placement of the legs and the branch was giving me a little trouble.  After several initial tries, lightly drawn of course, I did not like anything I came up with.  Sometimes you just have to place the drawing across the room and look at it.  It is only then that I noticed the negative space design surrounding what I had done up to that point.  Expanding on this negative space design, and periodically looking at my work from a distance, I finished the drawing. 
Of the two chickadee drawings, this is my favorite.  I feel I did a much better job on this one as opposed to the horizontal chickadee drawing.  As usual, I am completely wrong when it comes to selling my artwork.  The popularity of the horizontal chickadee far exceeds this one. 

Completely done with graphite on Strathmore Bristol Board



Post it Note:

JD Hillberry Trompe L'eil Study


I thought I would talk about this piece first since it is the one I am asked about the most.  This style of art is called “Trompe L’oeil,” which means “to deceive the eye.”  People often ask why I have a post-it note mounted behind glass.  There is no tape. There is no post-it note.  This is a drawing.  I learned this technique while attending a workshop with JD Hillberry. That is also the reason that this drawing is in the sketchbook file.  I didn’t want to intrude (for lack of a better word) on a technique which he developed.  To me, the tape is one of his signature styles. This was also just a quick way to practice drawing the tape and not getting into too much detail of other items in the drawing.  I have a few of these drawings at my home and I hung one up at work.  This particular one I gave to a friend.  The date is his anniversary. 

The background is charcoal.  I used a carbon pencil on the tape and of course a marker for the date.  The Paper is a 140 lb. hot-press watercolor paper.