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For the next two weekends, artist Shannon Casey will be cranking out Charcoal Portraits at breakneck speed, just in time for the gift-giving season. As long as you sit still, she'll only take 30 minutes to draw your mug onto a 12-by-16-inch canvas. "Sometimes it's shorter once I get going," says Casey. "There are some people that will take a little longer, if they're fair-skinned with real light eyelashes. It takes me longer to capture them perfectly." (Calling from her cell phone?) Between her studios in her Hudson home and at the Peninsula Art Academy, the Portrait Society of America member (says she?) prefers her "quick-sketch" method. "In a half-hour, you can get a lot of the energy and expression that you wouldn't get if you spent hours laboring over it," says Casey, who's been working with black, brown, and red charcoal tips for eight years. "I like that kind of spontaneity." That's why she couldn't resist the three-year-old boy she drew last month. Like any toddler, the kid fidgeted while Casey finished his portrait. "He was singing to me while I was drawing him," says Casey. "I started with him sitting in a chair. But by the end of the session, we were both on the floor. Somehow, I captured him." Casey draws from 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Saturday, December 29, at Peninsula Art Gallery, 1600 West Mill Street in Peninsula. Fee is $25. Call 330-657-2248.
Fridays, Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. Starts: Dec. 15. Continues through Dec. 29, 2007

Speaking of Highlights

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