David Swope

Studio Building
Studio Interior
Studio Location
Adrift. white charcoal on black paper.
Cinco Caballos
Cool for Cats
Wild Horses
Bring on the Dancing Horses
Artist's Statement

I began to draw at a young age and took classes in drawing and watercolor painting in college, but I am primarily self-taught. Even though my career led me away from painting, I continued to draw, mainly with charcoal. In the 1990’s, I discovered the technique of drawing with white charcoal on black paper. This has become my preferred medium and I now draw with white charcoal exclusively.

In using this technique, I am drawing light instead of shadows. I work in black and white and use simple techniques to create complex and detailed images. Charcoal on paper can produce many textures and layers to add depth to the pictures. Though they tend to be dark, they are hauntingly beautiful.


David Swope is a self-taught artist who was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He studied Biology in college and completed training as a physician, specializing in neurology at Loma Linda University in southern California. His time there resulted in a lasting influence of nature, and particularly the ocean, in his choice of subject material. He has now practiced academic neurology for 20 years but has continued to develop his art during his medical career. Since moving to New York City his principle medium has been white charcoal on black paper, or “light on darkness”. He has displayed his work in many shows in New York including the 2015 Art Expo.