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Densely Layered Drawings by Thea Yabut

A photo of two drawings installed in an art galleryform of extension (installation view), chalk pastel, charcoal, pencil, pencil crayon, paper, wire, string, glue

Chinese Filipino Canadian artist Thea Yabut creates complex, images that serve to challenge the medium of drawing itself. Using a variety of innovative techniques, Thea creates densely layered drawings that have an almost collaged appearance.


An abstract drawing on a long piece of paperstriations over the lattice site, pencil crayon, graphite and chalk pastel on paper

I love the contrast in Thea’s works between the super-energetic movement of the line art and the subdued, neutral color schemes. Though she incorporates moments of color throughout, the drawings are primarily in the greyscale of graphite, charcoal and pencil. In many of her most recent works, Thea creates her drawings on long, oversized sheets of paper, leaving a generous amount of negative space around a cloud of overlapping textures and lines, like an oddly floating cloud of debris.


A gallery of artwork on Thea Yabut's portfolio website

A gallery of Thea's artwork on her website


Each of Thea’s works has a distinct sense of internal logic, and while the imagery throughout her portfolio is cohesive, each individual work has its own personality and set of rules. I’m impressed that none of these drawings seem overworked – even as abstracted and complex as they are, the artist seems to know exactly when her work is finished. 


A detail photo of an abstract drawing by Thea Yabutform of extension (detail), chalk pastel, charcoal, pencil, pencil crayon, paper, wire, string, glue

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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