"(The)…graphite drawings such as "Clairton, From the Hill" are breathtakingly precise. McPherson's range of tone – articulating snow and steam, shadow and smoke, with equal dexterity and definition – comes from a mastery of technique, a respect for craftsmanship, and, mostly, an act of will. They are, upon close examination, unbelievably exquisite."
- From Mary Thomas' review, "Craig McPherson—Urban Realist",
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 6, 2008
Drawings play a large role in McPherson's work as preliminary schematics, as finished studies for mezzotints and paintings as well as stand-alone works.
"My preferred method is to do a schematic, as accurate as possible, with as much detail as time allows…pencil is used first, like a scalpel to dissect the subject…The next piece is often a tonal drawing with soft leads, which evolves very slowly, like shapes emerging from a fog. Mezzotint comes from this technique; it is deliberate and unforgiving."
- From interview with Sarah Hall, Frick Museum catalogue.
In the summer of 1979 McPherson fashioned a perspective device from a drawing...