After drawing Old Monk, and some encouragement from others, I decided to give more consideration to drawing more portraits, no so much standard straight-forward portraits, but ones drawn with a loose style showing the character of the person and loosely define clothing and backgrounds. At least this is my goal.
Charcoal and pencil portrait drawings by John Singer Sargent are incredible pieces of art, that are exactly the style I’ve been looking for to study and learn from. Mr. Sargent used edges like no other, loose and soft for the background and clothing, but conveying accurately the faces. His combination of light/darks and edges is for me exceptional. This is not to say that his oil portraits don’t compare, they are tremendous works, but I’m personally attracted to his portrait drawings and have decided to study them.
My first study is of Sargents’ charcoal drawing of Helen Sears, (1912). I was attracted to this drawing because of how effectively he used lighting and edges to illustrate the darkness of the scene with her bulky hat, heavy clothes and yet we still see someone who is feminine, but proper for the time period. This intrigued me because of how dark and unforgiving charcoal can be in drawings – his use of charcoal is exciting to me.
My drawing was done in free-hand using charcoal on Strathmore sketch paper (12×9) with a set time limit of one-hour.
This first study is for Prospero – thanks for the encouragement to draw more portraits!
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