Melissa Cooke‘s (b. Oconomowoc, WI, 1982) drawings are made by dusting thin layers of graphite onto paper with a dry brush.  The softness of the graphite provides a smooth surface that can be augmented by erasing in details and textures.  

No pencils are used in the work, allowing the surface to glow without the shine of heavy pencil marks.  Illusion dissolves into brush work and the honesty of the material.

“In 2012, I moved to New York City from Wisconsin,” Cooke says regarding her inspiration behind the series. “Unaccustomed to city living, I am frequently overwhelmed. The bathtub has become a respite from this chaos, and a substitution for the calming comfort of Midwest lakes. Commotion is muffled underwater. Submerged, I am in the quiet, weightless in a space of reflection.”

Don’t miss more of Cooke’s drawings here: Melissa Cooke

Source: My Modern Met


  1. Amazing, don’t know how these artists do that! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gorgeous portraiture! Very unique and beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wow! I love this. I am a huge fan of using soft graphite dust on paper, and to see this is marvellous !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. what an absolutely amazing process. it’s hard to wrap my head around and is stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow…that is brilliant work. ☺


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