Zona MACO Art Fair in Mexico City

The next exhibition of my work is coming up soon! Several new drawings of mine will be on display in Dillon Gallery’s booth at Zona MACO 2015. They will be located at F202 in the General Section. The booth will also feature work by artists Cristina de Middel, Eske Kath, Nacho Rodriguez Bach, Oswaldo Vigas, and Santiago Ydañez. You can check out a preview of the booth on Artsy.

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New Work Added to Site

New small drawings have been uploaded to my site today. Check out the Small Drawings page to see 16 new pieces. Yeah, it’s a lot all at once; I’d been putting off the scanning process for awhile.

A few of the new pieces are currently at the frame shop getting ready for shipment to Mexico for the Zona Maco art fair Feb 4-8. This will be the first time my work is exhibited in Mexico. Wish I could travel down there with my work, but alas, I am stuck here in New York.

Echo | 4.25x6 | Graphite and ink on paper | 2014

Echo | 4.25×6 | Graphite and ink on paper | 2014

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Wrapping up 2014

This morning I realized it’s been quite some time since I’ve updated this blog. Oops! Perhaps more regular posts would be a good resolution for the New Year.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the new small drawings I’ve been working on:

An array of new small drawings, ready to head to the framer

An array of new small drawings, ready to head to the framer

Most of them are between 4 and 6 inches on either side. Once I get them all scanned, they’ll be uploaded to the Small Works section of my site so you can see them better.

All those small drawings were fun, but they got me in the mood for something big. I started a large 70×108 inch drawing a couple days ago. There is something wonderful about creating a drawing one’s own size.

Large Work In Progress

Large drawing underway in my studio

You can see the faint preliminary line drawing all done in graphite. I’ve begun blocking in the initial charcoal layer on the left. Because I’m right-handed, I usually work left to right at this stage in order to reduce accidental smudging.

Detail of Large Work in Progress

Detail of large drawing in progress.

And finally, I’m now on Twitter! Welcome me to the 21st century and follow me @LeahYerpe.

Best wishes to you all for a happy and healthy New Year.



Discussion Leave a comment Category New Work, Work in Progress

Video of Gallery Talk at Purdue

Back in September I gave a casual gallery talk about my work at Purdue University. The wonderful Kathy Evans filmed the event and has uploaded her video to YouTube (thanks Kathy!):

I have yet to watch it; listening to recordings of myself make me cringe a little, so you’ll have to let me know what you think!

Discussion Leave a comment Category Exhibitions, Q&A

Caeneus Details

Caeneus| 38x50 | Graphite and ink on paper | 2014

Caeneus| 38×50 | Graphite and ink on paper | 2014

I finished this drawing little over a month ago and thought I’d show you some close-up shots of the drawing’s details.

caeneus detail 5

Detail of Caeneus

Detail of blue jeans and shirt fabric

Detail of blue jeans and shirt fabric

Close-up of face

Close-up of face



Fabric, belt, and foot

Fabric, belt, and foot

Discussion Leave a comment Category New Work

Another Small Drawing in Progress

Small Drawing in Progress

Here is another in-progress shot of one of my small drawings.  The piece is 4×5 inches, graphite and ink on paper.  I’ve been focusing on small work lately, and have really enjoyed creating these little gems.

I draw the deepest shadows with ink, and use graphite for the rest of the drawing. In the background you can see my favorite mechanical pencil and a fine-point pigment ink pen. The pen has a tiny .2mm tip. The pencil contains .5mm lead. For drawing extremely fine details, I will carefully sharpen this lead even finer with an x-acto knife.


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Photos From Constellations


Here are some installation shots of Constellations in Purdue University’s Ringel Gallery.

View immediately inside the gallery doors.

View immediately inside the gallery doors.

Thanks to Purdue University for hosting this beautiful show and inviting me out to speak.  The reception was lovely.  I was too busy to get any photos from the reception, but my gallery talk was filmed, so I will provide a link once that video is up online.


Drawings ‘Arcas’ and ‘Aquila’


‘Aquila.’ ‘Auriga,’ and ‘Salacia’

Drawings 'Ceyx' and 'Daphne's Roots'

Drawings ‘Ceyx’ and ‘Daphne’s Roots’

'Salt' and 'Phoenicis'

‘Salt’ and ‘Phoenicis’

'Callisto,' 'Columba,' and 'Zips'

‘Callisto,’ ‘Columba,’ and ‘Zips’

Discussion 1 Comment Category Exhibitions

New Small Drawing In Progress

Small Work in Progress

5×5 inches, graphite and ink on paper

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Constellations Opens Today

Hello all,

Today is the opening of my solo exhibition Constellations, on view at Ringel Gallery on campus of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.  The gallery is open Monday – Saturday, 10am to 5pm, with extended hours on Thursday to 8pm.

I am giving a gallery talk on Thurs, Sept 11 at 5:30pm, which will be followed by a reception at 7pm.  Both events are free and open to the public.  For those who cannot attend, I’ll post some photos of the show after I return from my trip to Indiana.

Callisto | 38x50 | Graphite and ink on paper | 2013

Callisto, 38×50, Graphite and ink on paper. One of my pieces on view.

Discussion 1 Comment Category Exhibitions


I recently received a question asking how I achieve very smooth blending in my charcoal drawings without leaving lines.  I’d say 90% of it is experience and practice, and the other 10% is using the right tools.

Detail of 'Grus'

Detail of ‘Grus’

I don’t approach drawing as if I am capturing a series of outlines.  Rather, I am drawing light and shadow.  Instead of lines, I draw gradients that create shadows and highlights.  This means I almost never draw directly on the paper with a piece of charcoal.  If I don’t make lines on my paper in the first place, I’ll never have to worry about blending out those lines together later on.  A line is drawn only if I want that line to appear in the finished piece.

Drawing tools on my worktable

Drawing tools on my worktable

These are some of my most useful tools for blending and shading charcoal.  Next to my charcoal holder we have some pieces of chamois, small foam sponges, and a few tortillons.  These are the tools I use most often.  The secrets of my success!  I use these for application as much as I do for blending.

Which tool I chose depends on the texture and level of darkness I want to achieve.  A soft, clean sponge or cotton cloth is good for the very lightest areas.  The softer the material the better.  Overtime these clothes and sponges will accumulate charcoal powder, and they will be more useful in slightly darker areas.  Because they tend to lift charcoal from the drawings surface, there is a limit to the shadows they can be used for.  For darker areas, a harder material like paper and chamois is better.  My fingertips are perfect for the very darkest blacks; they lift almost no charcoal off the paper, and the oil from my skin lends a bit of luster and depth to the charcoal, creating deeper, velvety blacks.

Powdered charcoal

I keep a dish of powdered charcoal on hand to dip my drawing tools in.

There are plenty of other objects that work well for blending, like brushes, old kneaded erasers, makeup applicators, corduroy, and newsprint.  Experimentation is the best way to learn what suits your personal style and technique.

If you have any questions about my work or process, ask away!  Leave a comment below or send an email to info@leahyerpe.com.

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