Tagged ballpoint pen drawing

Cristina Acosta Drawing Charcoal Mural on Paper

Drawing is the Foundation of My Art and My Bellwether

“Drawing is the foundation of painting,” goes the traditional spiel. I’ve always loved drawing and I am the type of artist that keeps the drawing part of a painting going for a long time, often drawing back into paintings as I go.

During the three decades I’ve been an artist, my style has varied, but every style is marked with drawing. Drawing is present in my current Woodland series: Incised marks run through the paint or on the layers of resin. My Paint Happy series is alternating layers of acrylic painting with gestural lines of hard pastel. The oil painted passages of my Madonna Retablos series are also incised with drawing.

Pen portrait of Tripp by Cristina Acosta
Pen portrait of Tripp by ©Cristina Acosta

Across the years and styles I’ve developed, drawing has been a consistent presence in my work. I used to draw constantly, carrying a little notebook everywhere I went. That habit has ebbed as I’ve focused on the craft of writing. So now the little notebook I still carry with me is crowded with notes and not much in the way of drawings.

When I first noticed the trend from graphic to words in my notebook I took note. The drawings became less and less and most of the lines I made twisted into the shapes of letters. It’s been like this for few years.

5 min Gesture Sketch Bellydancers by Cristina Acosta
5 min Gesture Sketch Bellydancers by Cristina Acosta©

Just this summer it started to shift back a little when I started focusing on painting again. Drawing as a process is my bellwether. It shows me my shifts in focus and interests often before those shifts have reached my conscious mind.


Drawing a Portrait with a Ballpoint Pen

Drawing weekly from life is my artistic touchstone. I love working in a peaceful room with other artists. Our figure drawing group, run by artist Dawn Emerson at C.O.C.C, is a happy one. Mostly it’s quiet, with Dawn’s eclectic music playing as background music. But sometimes there’s cheerful banter between artists and the model.

During each session we start out with 2 minute drawings and end up with poses that are about 30 minutes long at most.

Today I glanced to my right and noticed that the artist sitting next to me had a beautiful profile. So, while he concentrated on the model, I took a break from drawing the model and drew him. His name is Tripp. The drawing is ballpoint pen ink on paper.