Mystic, charcoal

A certain mystery starting to show itself about this young woman as the drawing came into being .  .  . I wondered what she was staring at or thinking – whatever it was she seemed satisfied.

Mystic, a charcoal drawing (7×5) was to be a quick piece to practice eyes, lips and mouth that I worked on in December, 2014.  It became apparent that someone special revealed herself.  Material used was Strathmore paper using vine charcoal, compressed and a kneaded eraser.  Once the drawing was done, I signed it and sprayed the piece with a fixative to seal the charcoal.

I was going to post the drawing earlier, but today as I looked at her I decided to revisit her one last time, and something exciting started to happen.  A little magic came about when I swept several strokes of white and cream soft pastel down the surface of the drawing to give a bit of mystery to this young lady.  And, Mystic was born.

Please click onto the image to see a larger image.



About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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70 Responses to Mystic, charcoal

  1. Yes, the revisit did indeed imbue her with a mysterious quality!

  2. I love your art Mary, you like black and white just like me! 🙂

  3. And a mystical drawing it is, indeed! Lovely. Enjoyed reading about your process and the materials used.

  4. Aquileana says:

    Awesome Mary! I love it… Best wishes, Aquileana 😀

  5. ladyfi says:

    Very mystical indeed. And lovely!

  6. What a beauty! The work as much as the person.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much for your generous comment! Always a real pleasure to see you online ~ hope the computer problems are starting to straighten out for you.

      • It is indeed, thank you! I’m just dividing our short days in to writing, painting, editing my photos, classifying my paintings so as to “thicken” my portfolio of them & my photography on Instagram so, some days I am quite drained without really understanding why 🙂
        If you feel like giving it a glance it’s LIFE_PAINTINGS
        Have a lovely warm & cozy week!

  7. Painting for Joy says:

    Oh very cool Mary. Looks like she’s wearing a veil! The intensity in her emotion makes me wonder what she’s thinking. One of your very best pieces yet! Most excellent illustration!

  8. Her eyes and facial expression convey that she is in possession of mystical powers and those strokes of white you suddenly decided upon happen to be the perfect layer for this beautiful, magical portrait! I wonder if she worked her magic on you before you worked your magic on her! Superbly executed!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Eva – your feedback is fun! Really enjoyed your thoughts on this piece, it was a great practice sketch for many reasons – I suspect you’re right Mystic was working her magic. A few breakthroughs for me on this portrait, thanks again ~ Happy Wednesday Eva!

  9. Leya says:

    My first thought was that she is a native American. Knowing all about Nature and healing. Exquisite.

  10. The process that lies behind human creativity is so intriguing…

  11. aFrankAngle says:

    The mysterious mystic behind the scenes.

  12. I of July says:

    what fascinates me most is how art reveals that which is beyond the intellect… I’m glad you revisited her… otherwise how else would you have known she had more to express… she must be pleased you’ve done her justice now… a complete and good piece… love it 🙂

  13. Painting for Joy says:

    Isn’t it wonderful when the magic happens? For some reason the image isn’t there. Could be my horrible Internet. We don’t get good connections when there’s bad weather as we’re on a satellite. I’ll have to check back later to see if the image shows up.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Rhonda – try to go back in now, it was there when I checked. I haven’t had anyone mention that the image didn’t show when they opened the Reader. Although on a couple of other blogs images were missing – wonder if something is up with WP.

      • Painting for Joy says:

        I think it is a WP thing. Last week all images were missing from my blog, the Reader and everyone’s blogs for about twenty minutes. Maybe they’re working on things.

  14. This is really quite striking Mary! I do like the finishing strokes to give it that mystic look…very nicely done.

  15. elisa ruland says:

    It’s difficult to explain the impact your drawing had on me at first glance in my reader. Your Mystic is very powerful. A beautiful piece of work, Mary.

  16. Susan Feniak says:

    mystical and magical!!

  17. exiledprospero says:

    i like.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Prospero! Upon your encouragement I’m afraid I’ve caught the bug of drawing portraits and has taken me away from my paintings (even though I’ve a list of exciting projects waiting to be painted). But everywhere I turn there is another exciting character to be sketched . . . do you see what you have started?

      • exiledprospero says:

        Did I really do that (get you started, I mean)? If so, I ought to congratulate myself.

        I seem to remember asking you many summers ago to draw a rose. But it now appears that I have created a monster, as you are sketching all manner of roses, be it this mystifying mystic or the young girl in a kingdom by the sea (Annabel Lee, as Poe called her).

        • Mary says:

          ! If truth be known only this morning I was studying a rose to paint, but I’m not quite there – although Prospero I’m beginning to be able to visualize it so one day soon I’ll definitely have one on my easel. Have a lovely day ~

  18. The mystery is all hidden in her eyes, isn’t it! So well captured, Mary! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Ah Marina you are so right – the eyes have it and there is just a subtle upturn of her lips of satisfaction. Thank you and have a wonderful evening!

  19. Haunting. Mysterious. Beautiful, Mary! Your charcoal reminds me of Edward Steichen’s 1924 black and white portrait of Gloria Swanson. The photograph with the veil. Mystic charcoal: I love her expression. ~Theadora (Happy New Year!)

    • Mary says:

      Hello dear Theadora I hope you are well – it’s very good to see you. I went and looked up Steichen’s B&W photograph and it was incredible – those beautiful eyes. Thank you for your lovely feedback and comment. Happy New Year back to you and best wishes for a fantastic year.

  20. restlessjo says:

    Amazing the difference that it makes, Mary! She’s beautiful 🙂

  21. Soft edges of peace. Very beautiful Mary. 🙂

  22. With a few bold yet delicate strokes, you’ve given your subject what Shakespeare might have called “a local habitation and a name…” Great going, Mary!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Cynthia. You know for several weeks I would walk past her – she just wasn’t speaking to me, but I wasn’t confident in touching her. Then all of a sudden today, it struck me, without hesitation I pick up the white/cream soft pastel and did one swipe down and the bells/whistles went off. Thank you so much ~

  23. Mary, this is lovely. My first thought was “who is she?”

    • Mary says:

      Ah thanks Patsy, yes I wondered too. Actually because it was in the beginning a sketch for practicing I wasn’t thinking about the whole and what she would eventually look like – it wasn’t until I walked away that I saw this American Indian featured looking woman staring back at me. That did it and I went with what was emerging. I too wonder, who is she ~

  24. A.PROMPTreply says:

    I too am left wondering….I prefer to think she’s peering out her window watching the man she loves returning to her from afar! (hopeless romantic, I know). Excellent job though as usual. I’m so glad you’re doing so many portrait studies. You really do have a gift in these!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks A! I’m finding these portraits a lot of fun – they are different than my usual and the more I do, I’m hoping the looseness plays over into some of my painting. My goal is to do a portrait or two in oil pasels – that’s a ways off. Instead I’ll think of your comment and wonder where her man went (I like romance), it seems to me she sees him coming up the driveway.

      • A.PROMPTreply says:

        Yep….my thoughts exactly….up the driveway and yet,…..somehow I keep envisioning a sailor returning from the sea…..weird.

  25. This is fabulous. Your so talented. 🙂

  26. She appears to be gazing out a dirty window. It feels like a story. Well done Mary.

  27. kerlund74 says:

    Wow, it’s wonderful:)

  28. Mary, she is a gypsy, a seer. It came rushing to me when I saw her that she has no name, that she is beautiful and that she harbours many secrets. I am going to use her as the model for my main character in my wip (Crystal Ball Persuasion) – I may get hold of you later for permission to use this image. It is too early just yet. Very excited – can you tell? Wow.

    • Mary says:

      What a compliment! I’m flattered that Mystic had such an effect on you. She’s got mysteries about her alright – please contact me later when you know the direction you’re going. Thanks very much for asking and looking forward to what you do.

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