I have been working on this drawing for a long time and it has undergone many iterations. I see it as a learning piece. For one, I learned that you can really add layers to a pastel drawing and make a lot of changes. As an artist I really don’t mind building marks and rough surfaces, I actually respond to that and it is one of the things I seek, so the layers were interesting to work with.

This piece is close to my heart because it is Nicolas (my first born) when he was about four . A lot of the drawing was developed through memory since the only reference I had was an old flat photograph that was basically the silhouette of the figure.

I added the driftwood to break up the negative space and give it the sense of place. There are a couple of beaches we frequent in Georgia and South Carolina with lots of driftwood trees along the sand. I find this landscape mysterious and dramatic.

The addition of the beached sharks signify and encounter of an innocent child with the unknown. On thing this piece really made me realize is that I am feeling an urge to start painting again. Working with the  layering and color interaction really connected me with that process again.

In regards to the medium, pastel has always been one of my favorites. It can be manipulated more like a drawing or a painting and it demands the thought process from both.


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Idea development sketches for “Fort”

I have come to love the mysterious quality of the landscape around the area I live. This summer I started working on the South Land series, a body of work inspired by places I visit periodically in the Georgia and South Carolina low country. The natural resources here include marshes, beaches, swamps and woods. In this series, I am combining images from sketchbook drawings, and my photographs into narrative compositions.  Always an avid reader, I find inspiration in literature and I believe the juxtaposition of figure and landscape creates a sense of story worth exploring.


Adriana Burgos, thumbnail sketches for “Fort”, graphite on paper

Today I am sharing some thumbnail sketches and a preliminary sketch  for “Fort”. The thumbnails are about 3″ wide and were done with graphite in my sketchbook. The larger comp is roughly 15″ x 11″ done with sanguine pencil. Although the small graphite drawings were meant to be different ideas for a single piece, I intend to develop several finished drawings based on these. My main objectives here were to experiment with shapes in relation to the picture plane, placement of the elements, movement and depth. I was having fun with the effect of directional lines across the space. The orientation of the branches and tree trunks create a choreography of linear structure that I find striking.


Adriana Burgos 2016, “study for Fort”, sanguine on cream stonehenge paper,

The final pieces based on these studies will be large charcoal drawings. This is the ideal medium  to continue my experimentations with value to create a sense of atmosphere. I hope to be posting progress soon!