Purity – Charcoal drawing (sleeping child)

September 11, 2009

I have had many of Dions fans send me messages asking me what medium and technique does he use, and how does he get such fine detail? He generally uses finely sharpened charcoal pencils, varying from soft to medium and hard. For more tips and help on charcoal, I highly recommend The Extraordinary Pencil by Marsha Robinett.

This work Dion did in 1992, it’s one of the first works I laid my eyes on when we met, I think it was love at first site ;-)

Sleeping-Child - Charcoal Drawing


Oil Portrait – Dion Raath

August 31, 2009

When Dion and I were dating for a while, we played around with a Minolta camera, having fun with working with the shadows and sitting in a spotlight.  Dion decided to paint an oil portrait from one of the best photo’s of us together and this now proudly hangs on my wall.

Oil Portrait


Charcoal drawing of a very interesting shop owner – George

August 18, 2009

I promised to upload a drawing that Dion did of an adult man to see the contrast of the innocense of a child versus the wisdom of life in an adult male. There is a lot going on behind those eyes.  What kind of a life has George had? Easy, difficult, sad, happy? Mixtures of all?  When Dion approached George with the intention of wanting to draw his beautiful daughter, he opted to rather have a portrait of himself. This has fascinated me for years. Why did he want one of himself, and not his daughter? Selfish? Pompous? I like to think that perhaps he wanted to leave a legacy for his daughter.. knowing that she would appreciate a portrait of her daddy to keep with her forever, than a mirror image of herself…

The portrait of a man


Commissioned Charcoal Drawing of a Child

August 13, 2009

There is something really special about children, especially their young eyes.  An innocent light behind the eyes, full of joy, expection, hope and excitement.  In my next post, I’ll put up a portrait that Dion did of an adult man.  Look carefully at the difference. In this first portrait that Dion did of Kent, he captures the lightness & joy of childhood innocence.  Watch the difference behind the eyes of the adult, wisdom, life challenges, trials, times of joy & laughter, sadness and tears.  Will be posting the adult portrait soon, please come back to see, or click on the RSS feed to keep up to date with new entries.

Charcoal Portrait of a Child


Watercolor and Acrylic mix of a Horn-bill Artwork

August 4, 2009

Although Dion specializes in Charcoal, he has had days of having fun experimenting with color, and breaking the rules by mixing mediums. With this Horn-bill, Dion played around with the colors, making the piece bright and colorful!  Also, while he uses watercolor, he enjoys making the paint thick so as to actually not have the effect of watery, thus, although defeating the object of watery watercolors, he has created a stunning effect here!

Hornbill - a wild colorful work of art in Watercolor and Acrylics


Powerful, Dominant…Wounded Tiger – Charcoal Drawing

July 28, 2009

Not long after the Monte Casino (South Africa – Johannesburg) opened, we had Dion’s work exhibited in one of the galleries there. One Saturday evening we got a call from the gallery to tell us our Tiger had been shot. Literally. There was a hold-up and bullets fired, and the Tiger was hit by a random bullet. (Thankfully no one was hurt)
The bullet hole sits neatly in the Tiger’s neck as if shot by a hunter.
Life in the Urban Jungle they say.

Wounded Tiger

Wounded Tiger


Zimbabwe Stone Sculpture – Charcoal Drawing

July 16, 2009

Dion says: “I love the form, shape and simplicity of the work. How light plays off on the shapes. The black stone compliments the light and visa versa.
What I love about the zimbabweian people that create such stunning work is that they are very simple people who live day to day.”

Charcoal Drawing - Zimbabwe Stone Sculpture

Charcoal Drawing - Zimbabwe Stone Sculpture

I watched Dion create this one. Was very interesting for me as it’s the first time he has tackled a subject matter like this.

The paper he used was also different, had a slight rough texture which gives it the rough edge to it.  This was also the first time he tried out a Carbon Pencil recommended by Marsha Robinett and he enjoyed the crisp and control that he had on the line of the pencil without the shine that a graphite pencil gives.

Would love to hear what you think? Please feel free to leave a comment :-)


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