The Porcupine Skull drawing featured in the drawing gallery is an example of pencil on gesso technique. Nina completed a number of pencil on gesso drawings in the early 1970s.
Nina Explains the Process
First you prepare a small gesso panel, sanded very smooth — no bubbles. With the object to be drawn in front of you and your gesso panel taped to a drawing board, you begin, using a 9H drawing pencil, a pink pearl eraser sharpened with a razor, and a playing card. The picture is slowly developed with straight lines and straight erasures. The eraser is used as a drawing tool, not as a tool to erase. All pencil lines and eraser lines are done against the card. Very slowly a very luminous image is developed, somewhat like a silverpoint drawing.
Click on the image below to view a very high resolution image of this drawing (file size: 1 MB). Use your browser’s zoom feature to view details at the highest resolution.