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Meet the artist

As the artist is writing this post I'm going to avoid referring to myself in the third person as that way madness lies - after years of writing bios for exhibitions and articles it becomes habit forming and next thing you know you're telling people at the bar 'Karen would like a pint of ale please' and then you get asked to leave.

It's generally easier to show people what I do as a visual artist rather than trying to explain it so here's a bit of video of me in action, using blending tools to add background trees in on the Scavengers illustration. I normally work in charcoal pencil and block to get the maximum contrast and fine detail but to give the impression of distance, a subtler approach is required. Here I am using the dust produced when sharpening the pencils and a rubber tipped blender to describe the far side of the lake.

I've been self employed for most of my working life, but my work as people recognise it now really started about 20 years ago when I first experimented with charcoal pencils in search of ever deeper shadows and greater impact. I fell in love with the medium as it allowed me to breathe more life into my monsters and I am still finding new ways to work with it. Charcoal is an interesting medium, I can't erase it entirely from a page like I can with graphite so once I put pencil to paper I'm committed. That can be slightly terrifying when beginning a new piece and I always start with the most important details so if anything does go wrong, I can start over. It's also given me confidence to just go for it and I now do less prep work beyond research, learning to take chances as I work and experiment with the final piece. You can of course see more of my work over at Drawing In Dark.


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