Category Archives: Drawing

Eye Candy for Today: William Trost Richards pencil landscape

Landscape pencil drawing, William Trost Richards
Landscape, William Trost Richards

Graphite on paper, roughly 9 x 6 inches (21 x 16 cm). In the collection of the National Gallery of Art, DC. There is both a zoomable and downloadable version available from their site.

This remarkable drawing from 1862 was likely a study for Richards’ 1863 painting, October.

Both were done while Richards was in a phase in his career when he was inspired by the extraordinarily detailed and true to nature work of the British Pre-Raphaeilte painters.

I find it interesting in particular to compare the October painting and this drawing to Sir John Everett Millais’ painting of Ophelia, and the mezzotint after that by James Stephenson.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Watteau trois crayon figure drawing

Seated Young Woman,  Jean-Antoine Watteau, Black, red and white chalk drawing on buff paper
Seated Young Woman, Jean-Antoine Watteau

Black, red and white chalk on buff paper. Roughly 10 x 7 inches (25 x 17 cm). In the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum, NY. Image can be zoomed or downloaded.

French Baroque painter Jean-Antoine Watteau was a wonderful and prolific draftsman and master of the “trois crayon” (three chalks) technique, in which three colors of chalk, black, red (sanguine) and white are used to draw the subject on a middle ground toned paper.

This is a remarkably effective technique for rendering the figure, allowing for a great range of value and almost naturalistic color with simple materials.

Here, Watteau has just used delicate traces of white as his highlights, allowing the tone of paper to carry most of the lighter values. The drawing is beautifully gestural and fluid, while retaining the solid geometry of the artist’s knowledge and observation of anatomy.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: J.C. Schotel chalk drawing

Seated Woman Watching a Cradle, J. C. (Johannes Christianus) Schotel, chalk drawing
Seated Woman Watching a Cradle, J. C. (Johannes Christianus) Schotel

Black chalk on paper, roughly 11 x 10 inches (27 x 25 cm); original is in the Morgan Library and Museum, NY.

There is a soft delicate feeling in both the rendering and quality of light in this drawing by the 19th century Dutch artist, who was known primarily for his marine paintings.

The seemingly casual lines used to create the tones of the folds produce a surprising degree of geometric strength. The woman’s hair is simply rendered but superbly naturalistic. The representation of the woven basket is likewise wonderfully economical but effective.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: John Hamilton Mortimer pen drawing

Reclining Female Figure in an Italian Landscape, John Hamilton Mortimer, pen and ink drawing
Reclining Female Figure in an Italian Landscape, John Hamilton Mortimer

Pen and black ink on cream paper; roughly 9 x 12 inches (22 x 32 cm).

Link is to original in the Yale Center For British Art, which has both zoomable and downloadable versions on the website. There is also a zoomable version on the Google Art Project and a downloadable file of that version on Wikimedia Commons. The latter two are somewhat larger, but my instinct is that the color of the ink and paper are truer on the Yale site.

This 18th century drawing classically posed figure has some of the feeling of Renaissance figures, particularly in the elegant pose of the hands. In areas where the ink is applied more fluidly and is semi-transparent, there is an additional feeling of delicacy and softness.

I find it interesting that Mortimer has augmented the hatching lines with small areas of stipple in the modeling of the face and hands.

 
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“Secret Life of Trees”, Dina Brodsky

Secret Life of Trees, Dina Brodsky
Dina Brodsky is a painter and miniaturist who I have featured previously on Lines and Colors.

In July of last year, she embarked on a project to draw 126 individual drawings of trees, each with its own distinct personality — tree portraits, if you will — starting with the drawing shown above, top, and ending just a day or so ago with #126, shown above, bottom.

The drawings are done primarily in ballpoint pen, an under-appreciated variation on pen and ink that has it own character, notably in allowing for a degree of softness not always evident in traditional pen drawing.

These are done on differing papers, some with noticeable texture, and are sometimes augmented with touches of gouache or watercolor.

Her range of subjects covers many varieties of trees, and their related root systems, each given a portrait-level definition of character by Brodsky’s keen attention to their variation in form and texture.

Brodsky expanded the scope of the project by reaching out to her circle of friends, family and acquaintances to provide input in the way of tree stories and photographs of particularly fascinating trees.

I was pleased to participate in a small way by providing photographs of a tree in my area that were used as reference for the drawings shown above, second and third from the bottom.

The series can be seen on Brodsky’s website, along with her statement about the project.

A large selection from the series will be on view and available as part of a solo show at the Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in NYC entitled “Secret Life of Trees”, that runs from September 8 to October 1, 2016. There are also two portfolios of the series on the gallery’s website, for available work and sold pieces.

The show is concurrent with a solo exhibition of works by her sister, artist Maya Brodsky, who I have featured in the post previous to this one.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Samuel Prout cityscape

View of Bamberg, from the Ludwigskanal, Samuel Prout, pencil on paper
View of Bamberg, from the Ludwigskanal, Samuel Prout

Pencil on paper, roughly 10×16 inches (26x40cm); original is in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum in NY.

Samuel Prout, a British artist active in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, was known for his watercolors and graphics of architectural scenes. Here, in a somewhat more casual approach, he gives us a view of the German city of Bamberg.

I love the loose, sketchy characteristics of his individual lines and hatching, reinforced by the geometric strength of his underlying solid draftsmanship.

 
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