Sketchbook Studies
2019, colored pencil, 5 x 7" each
 














These sketchbook pages follow a set of experiments in simplification. The first drawing is a self-portrait completed with colored pencil. Taking lessons from my previous work Lyudinovo, I used a vibrant combination of color to capture the variation of light and shadow flowing on different levels of skin. Cool shades of blue, purple, and green are used to build up shadows. Warm tones are applied to areas around highlights to illuminate the face and body. Living Room is an abstracted rendition of an environment I engage with daily. This work takes elements from Self Portrait, such as the wide color profile and stroke details, and adopts them in looser and more expressive way. Certain objects are flattened into the background to guide the viewer’s focus towards the couch. The vertically interspersed specks move the eye down the page, along the protruding surface of the couch and back down off the page. The final sketch, Garden, uses elements from the preceding work to build a playful world of color and shapes but at a further level of abstraction. As I sat outside drawing the plants in my mother’s garden, I could not keep myself from inscribing and looking for patterns among the seemingly random arrangement of foliage. This drawing employs “rules” such as select color variation, leaf shape, distance between individual leaves, and pattern making.

© 2021 ——— ALENA TITOVA