Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: Carlo Ferrario pencil drawing

A Natural Stone Arch Beside the Sea, Carlo Ferrario pencil drawing

A Natural Stone Arch Beside the Sea, details, Carlo Ferrario pencil drawing

A Natural Stone Arch Beside the Sea, Carlo Ferrario

Pencil on paper; roughly 8 x 12 inches (21 x 31 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum, NY.

19th century artist Carlo Ferrario is known for his drawings for the designs of operatic stage sets. This drawing is a natural scene, possibly from life, and was meant to be part of a set of 27 drawings.

I love his confident delineation of the rocky shapes, his alternately bold and sensitive pencil marks and his wonderful control of value.


7 responses to “Eye Candy for Today: Carlo Ferrario pencil drawing”

  1. this is awesome! great job!

  2. Yes, lovely work. Always a fine line between putting in what was there, and leaving out anything unnecessary.
    Having admired ‘rocks in art’ for years, two weeks ago I finally actually saw REAL rocks for the first time, in the south of Harris (Outer Hebrides, Scotland) , and now I really GET it!
    Here in New Zealand, with a new, mostly volcanic landscape, there’s a paucity of hard rocks that would support an arch like this.

    1. I didn’t realize New Zealand was mostly volcanic. Interesting to think how the geology of their area affects artists.

  3. A pencil painting if I ever saw one!


  4. Pencil graphite is composed of the same substance as diamonds – carbon. In graphite, the atoms are arranged in sheet-like layers, with weak attraction between the sheets. Because these layers are not tightly bonded, the graphite is easily manipulated, which allows the graphite in a pencil to roll onto paper easily. Carbon atoms in diamonds, in contrast, are arranged in very strong three-dimensional bonds, making diamonds the hardest substance on earth. And thanks to its atomic structure, a pencil line drawn on a piece of paper can conduct electricity – which a diamond can’t.

    1. Thanks, AElle. Here is my 2006 article on graphite and pencils.

  5. Thanks, Charley.

    Excerpt from the book Graphite: Its Properties, Occurrence, Refining and Uses

    The word graphite appears to have been first used by the well known mineralogist A. G. (Abraham Gottlob) Werner (1750 – 1817) and it has been generally accepted since that time.