The Book, graphite and charcoal drawing

Happy New Years!  It’s amazing how fast time goes by ~ before you know we are right at it again.  It’s that time of year when I concentrate on drawings, both graphite and charcoal, as a way to get back to fundamentals.  For graphite it’s more for focus/perspective and details, and with charcoal well I’m able to get a little more loose with my strokes.  But with both mediums for me it’s all about the contrasts of lights/darks – I love this.

Hope you don’t mind, but we’ll be without color for a while.  Here is my latest ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

The Book, Strathmore Bristol Vellum (8×8) – both graphite and charcoal.  I wanted the main focal point to come forward a bit, so the book and fabric was done with graphite (reflective qualities) and the background to stay back there was done with charcoal (a flat, but decorative appearance).  This was a great still life for working the light and fabric.

The BookBest wishes for a wonderful 2016!


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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73 Responses to The Book, graphite and charcoal drawing

  1. Absolutely exquisite! 🙂

  2. Paris says:

    Hope you’re having a wonderful New Year Miss Mary, catching up on your beautiful work 😘

  3. Love how the high lights really stand out especially on the table covering!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Elizabeth – there were quite a few layers of graphite put down and then a constant taking it away, eventually it developed to this soft sheen.

  4. jvandervlugt says:

    Mary, I’m catching up on my blog reading. I LOVE the book. My mom has books that look exactly like your drawing. 😊

    • Mary says:

      Thanks very much Joanne – great to see you! There is something nostalgic about old books, don’t you think? Thank you that’s a real compliment and is really appreciated.

  5. Jet Eliot says:

    A really amazing work of art, Mary. Your b&w skills are awesome! 🙂

  6. poppytump says:

    Hello Mary ! This looks fabuous from my quick peek but as it’s late now for my lensed eyes I’m coming back for a REALLY good peruse tomorrow x

    • Mary says:

      Hi Poppy, thanks so much – love reading your response to this piece. So funny about your eyes, I totally understand. Thank you and I’m glad you enjoyed the drawing!

      • poppytump says:

        That looks straight out of a theatrical set up Mary ! Lots of gravitas and feeling in the sombre mood of it all . Seen with untired eyes this evening 🙂

  7. Wonderful drama for such a still object, you are very gifted with that charcoal and graphite 😊

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much for your generous comment – it was an awesome piece to work on. I do like exploring the limits of what charcoal and graphite can do together – sometimes it’s not always pretty, but I still like the experiment. Thanks again!

  8. John says:

    Wow you have lotsa comments!! Great work there, so much detail. ❤️

  9. dsaquarelles says:

    When the values are good, the drawing is very excellent! You have done the magic with the black and white!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Dsaquarelles for your lovely thoughts on this drawing – I truly loved working both mediums on this piece. Happy New Year and I can’t wait to see your magnificent paintings during 2016.

  10. Resa says:

    This is a fabulous piece! There is something easy.. as you say basics … about the black & white & forward of the graphite & depth of the charcoal. Yet, here is nothing easy about achieving it. I have tried using the medium for my fashion renditions, without a success, yet. It seems I can only control my HB graphite pencil!

    • Mary says:

      Hello my friend – most enthusiastic among us!! Thank you so much and loved reading your reaction to the piece. Ha, I can’t imagine anything being out of reach for you, graphite being one of them – oh most talented one! Have a wonderful New Year and best wishes for a fantastically creative 2016!!

  11. Amy says:

    Beautifully done, Mary! The large version looks really cool. Thank you so much for introducing graphite to us. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Amy for such a beautiful comment. Glad you enjoyed the drawing, it was a lot of fun to do. Have a wonderful and creative year with your lens, can’t wait to see your shots!

  12. Good morning and happy new year to you Mary. You have started it well. This is a beautiful piece…possibly one of my favourites. Thank you so much and here’s to much creativity in the year to come. Janet:)

    • Mary says:

      So great to hear from you Janet! Happy New Year and thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments on this new drawing. Can’t wait to see more of your incredible watercolor creations during 2016 and best wishes on what I think will be a fantastic book!

  13. Gallivanta says:

    A good subject for the New Year, Mary. 2016, a big book waiting to be opened. 🙂

  14. Happy New Year Mary! One of my favorite things…. books. Wonderful drawing, and it conjures up thoughts of a new story for me for the new year. Thanks for sharing this!~Rita

    • Mary says:

      Hi Rita, thanks very much – ah yes I can’t wait to see what story unfolds for you this year. Happy New Years and all the best for some wonderfully creative paintings throughout 2016!

  15. That book is just begging to be taken off the shelf and flicked through! I’m in a black and white place these days too. Looking forward to your upcoming work, Mary and Happy New Year to you too!

  16. The values in this are fabulous, Mary. But there are two mysteries for me….the fact that the book is cracked open and what is hanging from it, a bookmark? a ripped page? a serpent? something in the background ?…..I must be a dunce but I figure this is not a surreal painting, and I have no explanation for it…..

    • Mary says:

      Hello my friend, so good to see you again in this great New Year! Thank you so much for your thoughts and feedback, love your reaction and I can only imagine how you must have looked and looked trying to figure this one out. It’s a type of weed/flower to give a bit of interest. I kept the sharpness off this aspect of the drawing to focus more on the book, but probably could have given it a little more definition to eliminate the confusion. Thank you for mentioning the values, I was hoping that they were treated right for the viewer – really appreciate it and also the time that you put into really looking at my work. Thank you Cynthia. I hope 2016 is a wonderful year for you ~ looking forward to your magnificent writings this year.

  17. Well done, Mary. I love the way the book draws the viewer in. Wishing you A New Year filled with wonders! ❤

    • Mary says:

      Hi Bette, thanks very much. I really enjoyed reading your reaction and feedback on this new piece. I hope you have a wonderful New Year and all the best in your writings!

  18. That’s a beautiful painting, Mary. May this year’s book welcome only good things in its pages! 😉

  19. Oh, I like The Book very much and the new direction your work seems to be taking. No color is good for me. All the best to you in 2016!

    • Mary says:

      You just made my day – thanks so much my friend. I’m glad you are enjoying this spurt of B&W drawings and subject matter. Have a wonderful new year and all the best!!

  20. This is such a fascinating image, Mary. I zoomed in as much as I could to look at the little critters hanging off the side of the book. Wonderfully imaginative and intriguing. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi Sylvia – so enjoyed reading your feedback! Those little critters are some sort of flower or weed, a little some thing different and enough so that it keeps you wondering. So glad you enjoyed it – looking forward to see your latest posts. Thanks so much and Happy New Years!

  21. Nicodemas says:

    What a great drawing.

  22. This is beautiful, Mary. You’re off to a great start this year!

  23. I love “The Book”, literally! The details on it just makes it so very real! Forgive me Mary, I do love how you treated the background and the foreground with the fabric and different mediums, the contrast&light is wonderfully done but the book got my total attentions, it is just beautifully executed and the star of this piece at least for me! What a start, hope enjoyed your holiday’s days with your loved ones and had a most wonderful time! Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year and may the 2016 be filled with happiness, joy, health, peace and laughter from one end to the other one for you and yours!
    Looking forward to see and enjoy your beautiful works of art throughout 2016! Cheers to that!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eva – wonderful to see you again. I hope you had a fabulous holiday season and can’t wait to see what this year holds for your art, fashions and photography – amazing to witness your creativity. Thank you so much for your generous and thoughtful response to this drawing it was an awesome piece to work on, I learned a lot and tried out some new techniques. You are right it was really all about the book and in this case those contrasts stole the show. Happy the start to a new year and looking forward to see how it unfolds – thanks again and can’t wait to see what you’ve been up too. Happy New Years!!

      • Thank you Mary, the holidays where lovely and quiet, now I looking forward just as you to see how this new one will shape up. Happy to see you back and start with a fabulous looking “Book” and all the others which plan to work on! Have a lovely Sunday evening and an even more lovely week!

  24. Happy new year, dear Mary 🙂

    A beautiful one as always…great way to start the year… 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks so much Maniparna, I appreciate your kind thoughts. Happy New Year to you and looking forward to reading your beautiful writing.

  25. restlessjo says:

    That is a fabulous piece of work! I had my nose right on the screen looking at the details. Going to be another good year for you, Mary 🙂

  26. exiledprospero says:

    Very different. I like it! And one of my favorite things–books.

    Happy New Year, Mary.

    • Mary says:

      Hello Prospero, so good to see you – Happy New Year to you too! Old books are such great subjects, aren’t they? Thank you and I’m glad you approve of the subject – ha! Perhaps the book is one that you’ve enjoyed recently?

  27. neihtn2012 says:

    Starting with this drawing, I hope you will let us see many more of your masterpieces in 2016!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Hien, thank you so much for your kind and generous comment (I don’t know about masterpieces), but I’m glad you are enjoying them as much as I do drawing the pieces. Happy New Years to you and looking forward to seeing your latest photographs!

  28. Fabio says:

    In black, white, and different grays, or in color, you express so well what you want to say. Bravo, Mary! PS: You hit the 2016 ground running! Lucky us! 🙂

  29. niasunset says:

    Happy New Year. Wonderful drawing, Thank you dear Mary, Love, nia

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Nia for your beautiful greeting. Happy New Year to you and looking forward to stopping by your blog to see your wonderful photography!

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