Visit ‘Featured Artist’ Diane Wright’s personal website at www.dianewrightfineart.com. She also frequently posts updates on her blogs: dwrightart.blogspot.com featuring works in progress and dwrightsketches.blogspot.com featuring sketches and drawing tips and techniques.
Diane Wright received her BFA degree with emphasis in Drawing and Printmaking and teaching certification from the University of Northern Iowa in 1981. After she graduated, her career path turned to computer technology and she currently works full-time as an IT Manager for Claim Technologies, Inc in Des Moines IA.
After 20 plus years of devoting her time to her family and career, Diane finally picked up her pencils again in 2002. In just these few short years, she has become an internationally known graphite landscape artist. She has written a book “Drawing Made Easy: Beautiful Landscapes” and has artwork featured in several other art instruction books.
With her teaching background, it comes natural for Diane to offer drawing tutorials on her website and blogs as well as teaching artists her unique pencil techniques. Diane’s tutorials have a PDF version at the bottom of the page on her site. Diane also offers specialized scanning and printing services to fellow graphite artists.
Our Interview with Diane
When did you realize that you wanted to become an artist?
I decided in 2nd grade that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. My favorite subject through out my school years was art and I was awarded a full-tuition art scholarship at UNI for my efforts. Of course, life sometimes has a way of delaying personal goals. But finally in 2002, I picked up my pencils and drawing has become an integral part of my life again. I am passionate about graphite as an art medium. It has an immediacy and timeless quality that no other medium can compare to. I see the world in shades of gray.
What is your favorite drawing?
That’s a tough one to answer. I treat every drawing as a stepping stone to the next one. In each one, I set out a challenge or technique that I want to explore and develop. Landscapes provide endless possibilities of composition, textures, contrasts, light, shadows, vistas, detail, realism to expressive pencil strokes….I could go on and on!
But to answer your question…my favorite drawing is “Honey Creek”. It’s a rendering of a peaceful, meandering creek running through a farm pasture. It holds many childhood memories for me, fishing and daydreaming “down by the creek” on our family farm.
Where do you do most of your drawings?
I would love to say that I draw on location or plein air, but since I work full-time, most of my drawing time is limited to evenings or weekends. I draw in the comfort of my home studio using numerous reference photos. I take most of my own photos but I’ve been able to render realistic landscapes from photos taken by others. I use photos from multiple angles and a bit of research to make sure I understand the terrain and “experience” the scene as though I’ve seen it in person. As I am drawing, I envision myself walking under that tree or hear the leaves rustling in the trees. I’ve visited locations from around the world through my pencil on paper.
Historically, you have done mechanical pencil drawings. Do you like the wood-cased Palomino pencils that you were recently given?
When you first contacted me about trying the Palominos, I really chuckled to myself. I’ve been using mechanical and clutch pencils exclusively since I started drawing again in 2002. I have a drawer full of every popular brand of wooden pencils that I’ve bought and didn’t liked. I didn’t think the Palominos would have a chance but I am so impressed by their high quality wood encasement and the smoothness of the Palomino graphite. The Palominos have converted me. All the things that I have disliked about wooden pencils are now non-existent with these. Sharpening is clean and precise with no breakage (using the Palomino-KUM® Long Point Pencil Sharpener). There is something so organic and natural about using wooden pencils. The line is so much more expressive. Mechanical pencils are well…mechanical. I’m excited about adding the Palominos to my arsenal of drawing tools and look forward to expanding my techniques with them.
Below is a drawing that was done using Palominos.
This is the newest creation testing out the Palomino Blackwing pencil.