Eye Candy for Today: Watteau chalk studies

Two Studies of the Head and Shoulders of a Little Girl, Antoine Watteau, trois crayon drawing, black, red and white chalk on buff paper
Two Studies of the Head and Shoulders of a Little Girl, Antoine Watteau

Black, red and white chalk on buff paper, roughy 7 x 10 inches (19 x 25 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum. Use the Zoom feature or download link.

Watteau was noted for his “trois crayon” drawings, in which black, red and white chalks are used on toned paper, usually buff or cream, to great effect in quickly rendering figures or faces.

Here, he has succinctly captured the likeness of his subject with gestural lines, a bit of hatching for shading and some quickly noted white highlights. For all of their simplicity, the drawings have a remarkable presence.

One Reply to “Eye Candy for Today: Watteau chalk studies”

  1. From Materials.net I copied the following interesting info on chalks (Dry Media)
    Dry Media: Brown, Yellow, Blue Chalk, etc.
    Ochres, yellows, browns and other natural colored chalks were available by the sixteenth century. Early in the century Milanese artists like Bernardo Luini, following Leonardo’s example, were using them for flesh tones and for details. Jacopo Bassano and Federico Barocci of Urbino developed a sophisticated technique of combining them, blurring the contours by rubbing the chalk with the finger or a leather stump. By the eighteenth century French artists had formalized the medium for highly finished portraits which duplicated in their own way the effect of finished oils. At the same time manufacturers began to produce artificial chalks, which superseded natural chalks within a generation or two.
    Thank you.

Comments are closed.