Dreaming Alice

In my studio, painting has taken over from drawing these days, but when my friend Suhita posted a graphite drawing on Instagram of some shoes she had sketched, I was reminded of how long it’s been since I drew in pencil.

There’s nothing like the feeling of a soft pencil on some good drawing paper. To draw Alice today, I used a water-soluble graphite pencil in a Koh-i-noor Bristol Smooth sketchbook. On paper with no texture like this one, the graphite glides over the surface, and allows you to build up smoother layers of dark than you can on a bumpy sheet. And what I enjoyed most during the sketching process was using my pencil to feel the volume of Alice’s head, torso and limbs — almost like carving with graphite lines.

17 Comments on “Dreaming Alice”

  1. Rita Clary says:

    As usual, Shari, your work and insights are appreciated and inspiring. I certainly hope that you are building your Alice portfolio for a future book. They are wonderful captures of her everyday life, and of yours for choosing her special moments and moods.


  2. Jeff Gold says:

    Beautiful sketch. The hatching and values give it a very animated feeling even though Alice is anything but! She’s a wonderful subject and you’ve captured her beautifully, again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Judy Sopher says:

    She looks so contented. I had the same reaction as Jeff-the hatching gives life to this drawing of a sleeping dog.

    Shari, I hadn’t finished the course on Light, Color and Shadow when you sent the evaluation e-mail. But I just did. I learned so much watching you mix paint and how you use the palette..
    And, of course, the color combinations were so helpful . It is fascinating how you use a large brush.

    Just started “Water.” So glad you are offering these classes.


  4. Stephanie Descoteaux says:

    All your drawings of Alice are so tender. I would love to see her in a children’s book.


  5. joantav says:

    Great, expressive sketch! I so rarely sketch anything in graphite. You make me think about trying it again.


  6. Ginny says:

    “And what I enjoyed most during the sketching process was using my pencil to feel the volume of Alice’s head, torso and limbs — almost like carving with graphite lines.”

    Yes, yes, yes! Exactly, building volume and carving with graphite shadow. It’s what I love about working in pencil. Thank you!


  7. Tracy says:

    Shari, are you familiar with Blackwing pencils? I’ve been doing a bit more graphite sketching lately partly because I’ve become a bit addicted to the Blackwings and need a good justification for my indulgence 🙂 I really enjoy how much of Alice’s personality you captured in the sketch.


  8. Peggy Cobey says:

    Beautiful sketch. It makes me want to pet her!


  9. I’m on a cross-country trip with my husband. We take 2 hour driving shifts. I created an art table top out of foam cor and am sketching and painting on it using my photos on the computer as reference. While sketching one of my “Life of the Magnolia” series, the soft, curving lines of the flower were like a prayer of beauty. I understood why Georgia O’Keefe loved the curves of nature so. (sorry for the long note).


  10. Wow thats one energetic dog, it looks like she leads a very active life. lol. I bet she is dreaming about running across a meadow.


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