Fish Net Dance – charcoal

A quick and simple seascape drawing of a young boy casting a net for the daily catch – the peaceful idyllic scene was something that spoke to me.

Fish Net Dance, charcoal (8×5) was done on Strathmore Sketch paper using vine charcoal, a torilum, and an artist brush.  I’ve not had practice with drawing the figure form, so this was a perfect subject to work with in free-form.  The graceful and skilled nature shown of this young boy flinging out his net told me he’s done the task a thousand times.   I wanted the scene in its most simplest form, so a bridge and boat that were positioned at the horizon in a reference image used was purposefully left out.


Fish Net Dance, Original

Fish Net Dance, Original

Fish Net Dance, UPDATE

Fish Net Dance, UPDATE

The reference image was from Pravin Puthra, of pmp.


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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59 Responses to Fish Net Dance – charcoal

  1. Anonymous says:

    Fishnet Dance is lovely.

  2. kerlund74 says:

    Stunning, love these:)

  3. Gallivanta says:

    You have captured the dance beautifully.

  4. Heartafire says:

    beautifully delicate, and that’s not easy with charcoal! great work.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Holly – I’m finding that charcoal is an interesting medium. Messy and in some ways unpredictable, I like exploring it and now I think that I might start going after subjects that are going to force me to control for various textures.

  5. Exquisite, as always! I love how you interpret the world.

  6. So much fluidity here! VERY nice.

  7. Graceful, purposeful, beautiful. I love your ‘dance.’ 😉

  8. Love the motion and the gracefulness of the movement, it is indeed a dance! Love how you concentrated and positioned the action in the middle. Simple and elegant piece!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eva, thank you I really enjoyed your description – a simple is what I thought would help focus and convey the motion that the fisherman know only so well. Really appreciate your word, “elegant” because that’s what I thought as I imagined the strong, but quiet throw of the net. Thanks so much!

  9. You’re really good with charcoal, Mary. It’s a lovely, delicate piece filled with gracious movements.

  10. Painting for Joy says:

    Clearly your medium is charcoal. Love this one Mary. It’s superb!!!!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Rhonda, appreciate it. I have a long ways to go to feel comfortable drawing in charcoal – my goal was to draw more loosely and feel I’ve strayed a little from that so I’ll be going back to the drawing board.

  11. Intriguing! I sense the movement!

  12. Madhu says:

    Absolutely beautiful Mary! Fabulous rendering of movement and the transparent effect of the net.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Madhu, thank you so much for your beautiful feedback. The drawing looks much better in person, my photography skills are totally lacking – unlike the beautiful scenes you capture with your lens.

  13. Francesca says:

    So beautiful, Mary!

  14. Love it Mary. Great job on the impression of the net. It caught my attention right away.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Beth – my intention was to keep the net more on the minimalist side so that only an impression of movement was detected. Appreciate your feedback.

  15. elisa ruland says:

    I wonder if you are a dancer as well as an artist. Depicting movement comes so naturally to you. This is lovely.

    • Mary says:

      Ha so funny Elisa, I’m afraid a dancer I am not. But, sometimes when drawing or painting the movement of the subject I can very much feel and this piece was no different. Thank you for your lovely comment!

  16. Quick and simple the work may be, Miss Mary
    but the result is fine indeed.

    Big Hugs

    Uncle John

  17. That is lovely. And he is an Indian fisherman isn’t he?

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much. Yes you are spot-on! He is Indian ~ the place the shot was caught in is, Nagapattinam (nākappaṭṭinam, previously spelt Nagapatnam or Negapatam) a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the administrative headquarters of Nagapattinam District.

  18. So perfectly captured, Mary. Well done. 🙂

  19. Hi Mary, this looks great! It does not look simple, that’s for sure. I love how you handled the net. I can really feel the movement. I’m really enjoying your blog and all your art. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Janell! You made my day when you say that you can feel the movement – that’s what I was after, very cool. Thank you for your generous comments, they mean a lot!

  20. Gloria Ester says:

    Love it. Great work capturing this scene.

  21. You can feel the movement of this boy with his net and it is very effective Mary!

  22. Ah, beautiful movement, Mary! 🙂

  23. Mona says:

    Wonderful motion captured. I’m amazed at how much impact you get on such a small format.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Mona. This was a practice for me in working in a minimalist approach and keeping the focus on the net leaving the boys hand – sometimes the small size surface works well with managing the scene at least for me. Thanks for noticing. Have a great evening, I’ll bet your Tiger is looking great!

  24. Stefano says:

    Great work, Mary: I love the dynamism in the throwing of the net!

  25. niasunset says:

    Beautiful, so beautiful dear Mary, Thank you, love, nia

  26. Amy says:

    Beautiful movements, two people, boat, fishing net, and water! Incredible!

  27. Nice sense of movement here, and muscular energy. My old eyes couldn’t catch any grid on the net, but maybe that net was too finely woven to show net-work. I imagine drawing the net would be similar to drawing a clear glass of water, no?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Cynthia – thanks so much. You know for a second there I thought of using a few light touches for a touch of netting and then thought that maybe the lost/found shadows along the edges would give the impression. I’ll give it a go and if it comes out with just a hint of woven netting – will post it back up here and let you know. Thanks for the suggestion, perhaps I should have gone with my gut? Good example with the glass ~ yes, absolutely.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Cynthia. I went back into the drawing to work on the net to give the illusion of woven threads of the net, but unfortunately the results don’t show as well as I’d like – you can see small changes. My picture taking was not as crisp, but I think you get the idea. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Hope you are having a good evening and aren’t too snowed-in – you guys have really gotten your share of snow this season. Okay, tonight it’s Tuscan Soup for you w/lots of fresh vegetables- warm bread too.

  28. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Quick and simple, huh? You are talking from your own talents maybe, here…..something like this would NEVER happen. OMG. I love how you caught that net! Not many people can say they caught a net! 🙂

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