Thursday’s Drawing, Classic #1

For many who are not familiar with my Thursday drawings .  .  .  after a subject is selected I draw for 1/2 hour each week over a period of a dozen weeks or so to complete the subject that was picked out.  The process is mainly to keep up my drawing skills, but also to discipline myself to focus on details and draw what I see, not what I think is there.  The drawings are done by hand w/o the use of a grid.

For my next drawing I selected a ballerina that I fell in love with.  I definitely need practice with figures and portraits, so this particular piece will give me both.  One decision that was made was whether to draw on white paper w/graphite or black paper w/white chalk since the background is going to be dark stage curtain folds.  I decided it would have a better appearance with graphite throughout the piece, so white Strathmore drawing paper was selected.  Edges (hard and soft) will play an important part in helping to define the focal point.

Here is the first workout #1 of “Classic” – hope you will enjoy the process on this piece.  LOL, I know some of the proportions are out of whack – oh may they are, which is okay, they’ll be adjusted as time goes on because I need to get her to “grace” the page.  Thanks for looking in  .  .  .

Classic, #1

Classic, #1


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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29 Responses to Thursday’s Drawing, Classic #1

  1. poppytump says:

    Lovely beginnings Mary !

  2. almost eight p.m., and i’m in a hotel in the port city of manta.. i’ve a few hours to catch up, but first – oh my, i am very tardy with the timeout for art!

    this is going to be a stunner! it will make a great pastel as well! z

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Z, always so gracious and generous with your comments – despite what your days are like with the rains and no power. Thanks for your encouragement, I think I’m going to need it on this piece!

      • no way! you’re going to go into that finely-tuned state of attention and the drawing will evolve in your own unique and sensitive way!

        • Mary says:

          Couldn’t sleep last night fretting about the background, don’t like the technique that I’ve used. So I started it over today, better early in the process rather after many hours – I fell better and the piece will reflect it as well. Thanks Lisa for always being “present.”

  3. The process. Oh, this will be fun to watch, Mary! I love her arms. Fingertips. The pointed toes. Beautiful. I now feel like dancing! What a gift. ~Theadora

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Theadora for your lovely comment. You won’t believe this, but last evening I decided to start over because of my progress on the background I don’t feel is up to my standards. Ah, now you dancing in the streets of Paris – why does that not surprise me (I do remember the mannequin story!)!

  4. nutsfortreasure says:

    I love how you work so long since I have really drawn so I have been avoiding it at all cost though what I could do with a little sketch 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Eunice – this figure is going to take some time, half the battle will be getting the proportions correct and then it’s just a matter of slowly building the subject. Check out EvaMarks – her comments below she’s a shoe and fashion designer, she has encouraged me to do 100 sketches in a day really for the practice of getting comfortable with certain subjects. I think you’d enjoy her blog and words of encouragement. Hope we see lots more of your sketches and paintings!

  5. Looking forward to the progression!

  6. Gallivanta says:

    Shades of Degas emerging…… 🙂

  7. Cannot wait to follow your progress as you work on this new project. Proportions out of whack? I wouldn’t know… Remember, I love visual arts, but when I have a pencil in my hand I write. Lovely start with this ballerina.

    • Mary says:

      So funny, I did a little quick measuring last night – oh boy do I have my work cut out for me. Thanks for checking in Evelyne!

  8. Looking forward to see the process of completing your ballerina Mary! She looks very graceful, delicate and light. I can hardly wait to see how you going to process and what technique will you use to make her dress! Maybe you don’t know but I’m not only a shoe designer and illustrator, I also draw fashion. It would mean a lot to me if you could take a peak at my fashion illustrations on my” marksfashionbyevamarks” page and also on my face book page” Eva Marks Illustrations.” where I combined the two and tell me what you think! You can access both pages from my shoe site on WordPress. Until next time wish you happy drawing and a wonderful weekend! Eva:)

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eva, thank you so much for your generous comments. My head has been spinning on how I’m going to approach this drawing from lights-to-darks and textures of smooth-to-rough for the drapes, skin and fabrics – I’m excited to get started. I’m going to head on over and check out your fashions, if they are anything like your shoe designs I’ll definitely enjoy the stop. I don’t have an account on facebook, but can still see your work if it’s open to public viewing. Hope you have a great weekend and so appreciate your feedback on my work.

      • First of all I must thank you for actually taking time so soon to look at my other site and for your generosity of lovely, thoughtful, kind comments and compliments! The process of creating art can be a bit overwhelming at times. In my case the concept is pretty simple but the execution of it is the part where I really need time to think in terms of composition, color, texture, technique in addition to movement, expression, proportions. Practice, practice that’s the key to perfect your craft. I remember from art school we had to provide sometimes 100 croquis in one day, or we studied the technique of applying shadow and light to still-life or had to master the art of interpreting fabric textures and on and on for what seemed to take forever. On the end all those years and hours of practice and study payed of, because today is like second nature to get it going on the paper or canvass. You have a wonderful gift and that is creating art, art with feeling. Every stroke of your brush or pencil or whatever medium you use is reflected on your canvass and that is beautiful and that is why I enjoy your soul-ful creations. Perfection is not important as long as is feeling-less, meaning-less or soul-less, as long as I get excited and feel an art work with my heart that is what speaks to me more than words! So you see Mary that’s why I’m looking forward to see your art, art is like my daily bread & water, I can’t live without it! Wish you a wonderful weekend!~Eva:)

        • Mary says:

          Hi Eva, so sorry that I haven’t responded earlier as our entire Verizon system went down loosing all our services (internet, phone and tv), they came out yesterday and replaced the whole system. What a great comment from you, you’ve given me a lot to consider about certain aspects of my art in a very constructive way. You’re right about how I feel about my work as I’m creating, there is normally a vision (I can see an image of what the painting composition and final outcome should look like) and then while creating a scene I feel it, especially when painting water scenes as I can feel the movement and energy of the sea. Being self-taught I’ve relied on books, video’s and practicing a subject to develop my skills and in some aspects I practiced a lot w/some subjects, but not all and a simple comment you made, “100 croquis in one day” has made me think that I must do more studies and sketches (in OPs) of subjects I want to master so they become 2nd nature and the process of creating a vision will become the focal point rather than the how to do xyz. Does that make sense to you? There are very specific subjects that come immediately to mind. In other words perhaps it’s getting back to basics and enjoy the ride, because the process will undoubtedly bring incredible learning – I like the idea that is springing up here and am going to add “croquis” time for specific subjects in a disciplined way. Thanks you’ve managed to move the needle – appreciate it very much!

          • Dear Mary,
            your work ethic is outstanding and your self taught long hours, days, month of developing your skills paid of big time! Learning and polishing skills is a lifetime job. There is always something where all of us can and must work constantly. If I miss couple of days I feel that my hand is not listening to me, even do my brain, imagination and my vision is there it’s not reflecting on my paper how I think it should and there when those 100 C/day are becoming an important factor.It’s like a muscle memory, but as in life if you don’t use it you lose it. Your forte subjects are landscapes and your next goal is to study and practice sketching the human body. It took me many years in school to achieve some decent level and the 100 C/day wasn’t the only factor. We studied separately the anatomy of the human body, bone and muscle structure, proportions, facial expressions, body movement, dynamics, nose, eyes, lips, hand, feet and on and on. Sometimes I got frustrated but on the end every single minute of it helped me to develop and master my craft on a level where I tough it is not to bad. Up till today I still need to practice, practice and again practice and that’s why I like what I do, because I like to challenge myself and polish my skills till they become like shining diamonds. IT makes sense what you say” I want to master so they become my 2nd nature and the process of creating a vision will become the focal point rather than the how to do xyz” exactly my point. Be patient with yourself, I used to ask my Mom and brother to stand for me as subjects for my 100 C, maybe you should try it too. I’m happy that you want to pursue the “croquis” way, you will love it. 2 min max for one C, try to get the movement and body position within a few lines, you will love it! It’s going to be like crazy ease on the end to put down a whole figure only with couple of strokes. Get out sit in a park with your sketch book and get those croquis going by watching people moving or standing or whatever they do, train your hand and muscles to move on your paper fast, don’t pay attention to details just get the essence of it! I’m getting exited for you, I can hardly wait to see the results of your journey. Let that needle which moved to make a beautiful embroidery on your canvass! Love Eva:)

            • Mary says:

              Such an amazing response Eva – don’t know how I merit it, but have taken it all in. As I continue to develop artistically I’ll definitely be sprinkling in aspects of your suggestions, tips and advice for refining and growing my skills as an artist. The three things I’ve gotten from your comment: practice and create at least once a day (use it or lose it theory), learn as much as you can about the subject your painting, and finally grow and expand my skills so that I can flourish as an artist. Your words here will impact many others, thank you Eva!

              • I’m so happy for you Mary, you’re so dedicated to your craft, your willingness and openness to grow, expand, explore and learn is outstanding! You’re a shining example to many aspiring artists who like to dedicate themselves and commit to creating art! You’re an inspiration for many out there and your standards are set firmly and I can see a great artist developing and reaching high!

              • Mary says:

                The problem and also joy with being a Gemini – everything interests me, from medium to techniques to subject. So I have to keep disciplined to make progress, but that’s a good thing and I enjoy the process along the way. Thank you for your generous comments and compliment, I really do appreciate it and does mean a lot. Have a wonderful day ~

  9. M-R says:

    Ve shell zee … [grin]

  10. Cheers to a new beginning, Mary! 🙂 xx

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