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. Click on the image below to open a light box, then zoom in to view the details.
“I learned this method of drawing from the sculptress Susan Smyly as taught to her by Sandy Concannon, her teacher at The Memphis Academy of Art.” -Nina
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.