Eye Candy for Today: Anders Zorn etched portrait of Augustus Saint Gaudens

Augustus Saint Gaudens II (Saint Gaudens and his Model), Anders Zorn, etching

Augustus Saint Gaudens II (Saint Gaudens and his Model), Anders Zorn, etching (details)
Augustus Saint Gaudens II (Saint Gaudens and his Model), Anders Zorn

Etching and drypoint, roughly 5 x 8 inches (14 x 20 cm); in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; downloadable large image on Wikimedia Commons

Zorn is one of my favorite etchers (after only Rembrandt and Whistler), and his mastery shows here in his portrait of his friend, Irish/American sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens.

In a tour-de-force of etching chiaroscuro, Saint Gaudens’ face is revealed in half light, and the figure of his model emerges gradually from the background darkness. Zorn’s seemingly casual lines sweep across the figures in sections that vary in direction and textural effect.

Zorn has not used aquatint here, the gray tones appear to be achieved by the way the print was inked and wiped.

For more, see my post on Anders Zorn’s etchings.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Jacob de Gheyn pen drawing

Chestnut Tree with some trees around it, Jacob de Gheyn, ink and chalk drawing

Chestnut Tree with some trees around it, Jacob de Gheyn, ink and chalk drawing (details)

Chestnut Tree with some trees around it, Jacob de Gheyn (II)

Ink and chalk drawing, roughly 15 x 10 inches (36 x 25 cm), in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, which has a zoomable version on the website. You can download high-res images if you get a free Rijksstudio account.

Dutch painter and printmaker jacob de Gheyn II, who was active in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, had a wonderful drawing style, both bold and subtle at the same time.

I had the pleasure of seeing this drawing in person some years ago (at the Morgan Library, I think) and I was really taken with the way De Gheyn used his pen lines both to create texture and to define the volume of the tree. I love the contrast between the areas of trough bark and the smooth section on the trunk and under the branch that faces us.

The figure (presumably that of another artist sketching) is almost incidental, but still holds visual interest, particularly in the folds of the coat.

 
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Paulo J. Mendes

Paulo J. Mendes, urban sketching

Paulo J. Mendes, urban sketching

Paulo J. Mendes is an avid urban sketcher based in Matosinhos, Portugal.

His blog and Instagram feed have a subheading of “Stealing landscapes with a sketchbook”. I’m not sure if that’s intentional or an algorithmic translation for something more like “capturing landscapes”. (The original Portuguese reads: “A roubar paisagens com um caderno”.) [Addendum: a Portugese speaking reader has informed me that “Stealing landscapes with a sketchbook” is, in fact the title.]

He is also a member of Urban Sketchers, and was a correspondent for the 2018 symposium, USk Porto.

Mendes sketches in pen and watercolor, with a confidently loose line that rests on a foundation on solid draftsmanship, and a deft touch with watercolor.

He takes on a variety of subjects, and renders his view as he sees it — complete with grafitti on walls.

I enjoy his expressions of sunlight and shadow, and his seemingly casual depictions of complex architectural elements.

 
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John Donohue’s “All the Restaurants in New York”

John Donohue's All the Restaurants in New York, pen and ink sketches

John Donohue's All the Restaurants in New York, pen and ink sketches

Since 2017, New York based artist and writer John Donohue has been pursuing his — admittedly unlikely — quest to draw all of the restaurants in New York City (estimated to number around 24,000, not counting ongoing closings and openings).

He takes this on by sketching on location in pen and ink, without preliminary pencil drawings. He then adds touches of a single color to the drawings. His drawing style is casual and sketch-like, with an almost cartoony feeling at times — unsurprising as Donohue has contributed cartoons to The New Yorker.

There are plans in the works for three books of drawings of restaurants in New York, London and Paris. In the meanwhile, Donohue has prints available.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Samuel Prout pencil drawing

The Castle at Heidelberg, Samuel Prout pencil drawing

The Castle at Heidelberg, Samuel Prout pencil drawing (details)

The Castle at Heidelberg, Samuel Prout

Pencil on paper, roughly 11 x 16″ (28 x 43 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum.

19th century artist Samuel Prout give us one of those wonderful drawings that is simultaneously loose and precise, and shows us something of the process of its creation in the more lightly rendered left side of the castle’s facade.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Constable graphite drawing

View of Cat Hanger, John Constable landscape pencil drawing

View of Cat Hanger, John Constable landscape pencil drawing

View of Cat Hanger, John Constable

Graphite on paper, roughly 8 x 14″ (20 x35 cm), in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum.

Drawn on two sheets of a sketchbook, this scene is of a farm on an estate in West Sussex, England. Constable’s nuanced command of tones and delicate indications of clouds and textures makes the drawing feel remarkably complete.

 
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