For many art viewers and collectors line drawings are an acquired taste, something akin to savoring 90% extra dark chocolate. I love line drawing because it ties to the most rudimentary form of expression. I still remember finding 'chalk' rocks as a kid, and then 'scratch' drawing all over the street and sidewalk until either the rock or I wore out. These days I mostly draw with charcoal (though the idea of a rock still appeals to me). I like the ease of getting a fat and thin line in a single stroke and the nuances of saturation when varying pressure. 

If you have little experience with line art, a good place to wet your appetite is by watching youtube videos of Chinese brush artists. Perhaps think of the difference between the images in Gallery 1 and those in Gallery 2 as the difference between savoring a novel and meditating on a poem. If you wish to delve into a deeper discussion of these worlds, a classic book was written on the subject by Harold Speed titled 'The Practice and Science of Drawing'.




Honestae  22" x 30" charcoal on paper


Demure, unobtrusive, with a dash of wild side just over the left shoulder.


Afternoon tea  30" x 22" charcoal on paper


The three women in this picture represent transformation. A lady sips a cup of tea while contemplating a letter she has just read. This has taken her to another place and time. 



Camille Claudel  22" x 30" charcoal on paper


Camille Claudel, out of deep respect for your work and your struggle with life, in some way I hope my drawing honors you.


Sara 22" x 30" charcoal on paper


If someone gave you 100 independent lines to use any way you wished, could you draw something of significance? What if they only gave you 50 lines? Or 30? At least for me, the difficulty grows as the number shrinks. This is one of my all time favorite drawings. After creating over 100 versions, almost all of them failing miserably, I find this one very satisfying.



Adoration (after de Ribera)  30" x 22" charcoal on paper


I was captivated by the mother's piercing gaze from Jusepe de Ribera's painting 'The Holy Family with Saints Anne and Catherine from Alexandria'. She seems caught in another time, perhaps pondering what has been prophesied over her child. I tried to capture the same feeling using only lines.



Mr. Speed 22" x 30" charcoal on paper


My wife says this looks like me, except this drawing has a more worthy nose and a strong, chiseled chin. Oh well ... at least at one point years ago, I had similar glasses ...






Eve  30" x 22" charcoal on paper


When you least expect it, a confrontion in an art gallery. Whoever said a museum was a safe haven?






Forgiven  30" x 22" charcoal on paper


He who is without sin cast the first stone.






Dorothy  30" x 22" charcoal on paper


The imbalance of this face presents a tension I've always liked.






Sun  30" x 22" charcoal on paper


A concept I played with for quite a while, complete with "sun dogs" for those who grew up in the northland.






Fashionista  30" x 22" charcoal on paper


I think  this image says it  all. One of my favorite line drawings. I wouldn't change a thing.






Paul and Hazel  30" x 22" charcoal on paper


My Grandpa and Grandma Volenec. She collected anything related to chickens. He was never too far from his pipe and tobacco (usually carried in his vest pocket).






Totems  30" x 22" charcoal on paper


Designer dress meets historical artifacts.






Venus  30" x 22" charcoal on paper


Titian and Matisse share the same stage, or at least a piece of paper.






The Rock  30" x 22" charcoal on paper


The drawing came out of nowhere, I especially liked the chin.






Alex  30" x 22" charcoal on paper


I tried to describe a thoughtful elderly man. Created with only a handful of quick lines, each mark becomes significant.




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© Dan Volenec