IOANA: Portraits of (Romanian) People in Oil Pastel, Ink Wash, and Watercolor IOANA: Commissioned Plate Designs IOANA: Portraits of People in Ink Wash, Brush, Plastic Pencil IOANA: Sketches - Alvar Aalto’s Otaniemi University Auditorium, Finland and Entrance to Oginoshima Village, Japan IOANA: Self-Portraits in Water-soluble Colored Pencil, and Ink and Watercolor IOANA: Covered Passageway in Kyoto, Japan, and Church in Kremlin, Russia IOANA: Commissioned Interior Perspective Drawing in Watercolor and Gouache IOANA: Pastel of Detail from Picasso’s, Portrait of Sebastia Juñer Vidal at LACMA, a Hand in Watercolor, a Sketch of the Belltower of a Church in Western Denmark IOANA: Sketches - Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Battlo, Barcelona and Napoleon’s Tomb, Paris IOANA: Sketches - Berne, Switzerland IOANA: Sketches - Kyoto, Japan IOANA: Sketches - Kanazawa, Japan

real drawings, by hand

This page is a collection of “realistic” sketches, drawings, and paintings “done by hand.” Most of them are based on real life, though a few portraits are based on photographs and one on another painting.

Sketching is essential to learning in greater detail about the “thing” you are looking at: be it people, nature, or cities. One should never use an eraser. The process should be fluid, rather than regressive.

In order to be able to draw, one needs to focus on the subject, in a very “plastic” way. The eyes analyze, while the mind asks questions: about the details, textures, colors, shadows; about what holds the “thing” together; about how it stands up; about how it is assembled; about how it is used; about how it fits into its larger context.

When you take a picture, you are just quickly framing an observation into a balanced composition (if even that). While you draw, your mind is actively engaged in trying to understand the subject.

The sketching of people necessitates a certain level of psychological involvement. It is, in part, self-reflective. Drawing people is possibly the most difficult of all, because a face has expression, and personality, both of which are hard to capture.

Sketching while traveling is the best way - aside from hanging out with locals and conducting a bit of historical research - to educate yourself about a place. The sketches featured here are from extensive travels through most of Europe and Japan.

Regarding the commissioned works (the plate designs and the interior perspective), one can say that they were born out a desire, on the side of the client, for something warmer than a computer rendering could offer. For the purpose of illustrating architecture and interior spaces, the most important aspect to establish is the quality of the light: the direction, the source, the color. Materials and geometries only come to life through light.

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“Brutus” Greeting Card

The watercolor plate designs and the interior watercolor perspective were private commissions.

Ioana Urma

*(I still sketch... these ones are just older.)