This drawing of cat and birds is the only one on paper without gesso. I drew the images first leaving white paper for the light areas, but it looked too plain, so I smeared the charcoal on the paper and erased to get the lighter areas. I found the worked surface to be more satisfying. Color is hinted at here and there with colored pencil. This drawing is 20"X 26".
These two drawings are twins (what I call the pieces I do side-by-side at the same time) and you can see that in the common palette. Each has been added to since I took these photos, emphasizing the colors and value range. It often helps to photograph my work and put it on the computer to see what it needs. They are both 14"X 20". Not sure where that weird bird came from. She started as a path in front of the house and then emerged, carrying her pearl.
The next 4 drawings are 8"X 12". Like the two above, they were started on gessoed paper. I used different tints on each one; some grey, some warmer browns. They are primarily black and white charcoal with pastels and colored pencils used to add accents and details.
For this drawing of the 4 birds I cut out the bird shapes from label paper and stuck them on the surface, then covered the exposed areas with black charcoal. Peeling up the shapes left the color of the grey-tinted gesso underneath. The "wing" feathers are made with the side of an eraser. The shapes are enhanced with white charcoal and color is added with pastels and colored pencils. Do try this at home!