Imaginary Paint: The Cabin

Nicole Van Fleet Kingery

It’s 2020! The start of a new year and a new decade. My New Years resolution, once again, is to break out of my comfort zone and try new things. This week: charcoal! During the break, my family stayed at a cabin in the snow. Whenever I wasn’t drinking hot chocolate, playing games with family, or failing at cross country skiing, I sat myself down on a couch in the middle of the room and worked on drawing a picture with charcoal pencils I received for Christmas. 

There was some difficulty I encountered while drawing over such a long period of time. In the corner of the room, the bookshelf was full of games and they kept on getting switched around so I just drew a few boxes and called it a day. There were also people who kept on hanging up their jackets on the coat hangers and left their bags at the bottom of the steps so I edited everything that moved around from day to day. If I could add anything to the drawing, I would have liked to include one of the jackets hanging on the coat hangers because I think that would have made a nice addition.

I really enjoyed using charcoal and it’s a nice switch up from all the painting I’ve been doing recently. In the past, I used to shy away from drawing in charcoal because I didn’t like the smudginess of chalk pastels and charcoal is just like a version of that but without the colors. I thought my drawings would look messy and it would be hard to fix mistakes, but after we did figure drawing last year in my art class, I learned how easy charcoal is to erase and rework.

After returning to San Francisco I drew an additional two charcoal drawings based on pictures I took while walking around in the snow. One of them is a picture of the last sunset of 2019 and the other is a picture of my brother blowing bubbles. Out of the three drawings I made I think the sunset was my favorite, even though it took the least amount of time. I was able to amp up the contrast a lot more than I did in the cabin drawing. As for the drawing of my brother, I think the proportions are a bit off. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to improve when it comes to drawing people which is part of the reason I chose to draw this picture. My drawing of the cabin was my first fully realized drawings I’ve made with charcoal and I think it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Last Sunset of 2019
Brother Blows Bubbles