Graphite Critique: "Treasa" and "Gianni"

by Melissa Bateman, 2008, graphite, 20 x 18.

Both of these portraits are beautiful, and my first thought was that I wished I had drawn them. In Treasa the artist has used some objects in the background to give the viewer additional information about the subject, and the interesting markings on the left side of the portrait balance the background.

by Melissa Bateman, 2008, graphite, 19 x 14.

Gianni exudes personality and feeling and is very imposing. I have a few minor comments about this portrait. There seem to be some marks on the model’s cheek that read as beard hair, which I find distracting. Also, the triangular shape of the front of the shirt is a bit too even; the edges of the shape near the model’s left shoulder could be softer, which would help the shirt recede into space.

About the Critic
Joyce Washor
graduated from Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and also studied at the Woodstock School of Art, in Woodstock, New York. The author of Big Art, Small Canvas (North Light Books, Cincinnati, Ohio), Washor teaches at the Scottsdale Artists' School, in Arizona, and at the Woodstock School of Art. She is represented by Horizon Fine Art, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; The Crane Collection, in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts; and The Lawrence Gallery, in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, visit and

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About BrianRiley

Brian Riley is the managing editor for the American Artist family of titles (American Artist, Watercolor, Drawing & Workshop) and has been part of the AA team since 2003. He first became interested in art as a child, specifically drawing, but drifted away from the visual arts as he grew older, gravitating towards writing while in college. His position at AA has offered him the opportunity to reinvigorate his early passion and continue his education.