Posts Tagged: decorative

At the Paris Exhibition, 1900

At the Paris Exhibition, 1900

At the Paris Exhibition, 1900 • 14.25″ x 17.25″

This is based on a photo from an exhibition at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1900. It was assembled by W.E.B. DuBois “with the goal of demonstrating the progress and commemorating the lives of African Americans at the turn of the century.” I found this while browsing the collection at the Library of Congress. Her expression and outfit really stood out to me. Unfortunately there’s no name attached to it, so I don’t know who she is. I named this so it could either be interpreted as her being in the exhibition, or attending the exhibition. Maybe she did both!

I have some lovely mid-toned paper made with coffee, which is an excellent base for two-toned charcoal drawings. I start with the light colors first so they’ll stay crisp and are less likely to get muddied by black charcoal smears. It’s easy to add black charcoal; it’s nearly impossible to add white charcoal after the fact.

In progress

In progress

Waiting & Watching

Waiting & Watching

Waiting & Watching • 11″ x 9″

This chunky wooden frame reminded me of the aesthetic of Bruegel’s earthy illustrations or Goya’s creatures. I felt a gargoyle would suit it, so I found this fellow for a start. I wanted to give it more of a body so after I drew the head I opted to draw its paws, clawed, to echo the fangs.

Once I started filling in more of the body, I thought it really needed something else to balance the picture. A bird! I found a reference photo with just the right expression: mostly clueless, but slightly wary. It was also a nice light touch against the darkness of the gargoyle.

I’ll leave it up to you as to which one is waiting and which one is watching.

Trilogy of Munchies

Breakfast Time!

Breakfast Time! • 8″ x 8″

Tea Time!

Tea Time! • 8″ x 8″

Snack Time!

Snack Time! • 8″ x 8″

I came across these frames and they reminded me of old-time kitchen appliances – well-worn, chipping a little, but perfectly functional. I decided they could use some tasty food to go along with them. These are ink & oil pastel illustrations. Enjoy!

Bathers I & II

Bathers I

Bathers I • 9.75” x 11.75”

Bathers II

Bathers II • 9.75” x 11.75”

I found a few frames with an art deco feel and decided to make a few illustrations to fit. The process on these was pretty simple: colored pencil outlines on watercolor paper, and the rest filled in with watercolors.

These reminded me of something you might find in a beach cottage, so I just went for the first thing that came to mind: turn-of-the-century bathers. I worked from the memory of Halloween costumes so the suits may not be entirely authentic. Cute though!