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Katie - Half-Proof White Face on Black Paper Shape Exercise

Katie - Half-Proof White Face on Black Paper Shape Exercise

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  • White Pastel on Black Canson Paper
  • 14 x 11 inches
  • Available, unframed

Katie - Half Proof Portrait

© 2008-2010 Kelly Borsheim

    I never can answer the question "How long did it take you to do this?" But I suppose I can say that technically speaking (if you do not count years of training and drawing), this next work took me two years - to the date even.
    On December 1, 2008, I did some "negative shape" drawing exercises from a model named Katie in Florence, Italy. Now, once the drawing is done, you may not be able to tell that I created it by drawing only the dark shapes, relating each non-touching dark shape to the next dark shape. But this is a very powerful exercise that helps me refine my observation and recording of shapes.

Katie Half-Proof Negative Shape exercises Artist Training Woman Portrait white pastel on black paper

Original sketch 1 December 2008; Pastel art finished on 1 Dec 2010


    I usually create these studies with pencil on drawing paper. In the image above, you can see that I did another drawing on the same sheet of paper, but in a different direction since the other drawing was of the entire figure and I needed the length of the paper. I do not always use my sketches to create derivative works, but sometimes I just enjoy the shapes or the lighting or the gesture and cannot get the images out of my mind. Such was the case Katie's face.

    For a couple of years now I have been experimenting with pastels on black paper. And so it seemed natural for me to transfer my pencil drawing onto black paper and fill in the Notan (white and black tones only) design with whites. Wow, what a change of effect!

    ~ Kelly Borsheim

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