Jug at the Window, graphite drawing

This was a fun still life, a basic scene that offered a few challenges to keep me interested from a stone shelf, brick wall, a sturdy/thick jug, to a covered window – everything I could have wanted for a drawing ~

Jug at the Window, a graphite drawing (12×9) was done on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper using pretty much every value range in my General’s supply of graphite pencils.  Many layers were put down, blended and layered again until the subjects were covered adequately in the correct tones.  A variety of erasers were used depending on what I was removing and the effect I was looking for:  kneaded, Tombow, or a Staedtler Mars plastic eraser.  Each had a special purpose in removing the graphite from highlights, to the suns rays, etc.  I even used Frisket on certain aspects of the curtains – the results exactly what I had hoped for.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend ~ click onto the image for a larger view.

Jug at the Window



About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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119 Responses to Jug at the Window, graphite drawing

  1. thefeatheredsleep says:

    Oooh love this!

  2. Paul Beech says:

    Mary, I love this one with its wonderful period feel. The textures tingle in my fingertips, and I wonder at the world beyond those lace curtains – maybe Argenteuil, France, on a sunny day in 1883: Monet’s poppy field?

    Take care,


    • Mary says:

      Hi Paul, loved reading your reaction to this drawing – your imagination for beyond had me right there imagining Monet’s field. Thank you for always being so generous and thoughtful in your comments, appreciated more than you know. Thank you again – glad you enjoyed this piece.

  3. Jane Lurie says:

    Your drawing looks like a black and white photograph, Mary. This really appeals to me– beautiful!

  4. Arts & Rhymes says:

    Wow, just wonderful!

  5. Jet Eliot says:

    A stunning drawing, Mary. Interesting how some art work is perfected by erasers….

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Jet, the special erasers I use are the most interesting tool in helping to create the look I’m after. It’s like a painters knife that is used to scratch away paint from the canvas ~ only I erase away graphite.

  6. Heartafire says:

    So beautiful. Mary. Just when I think I have found my favorite you astound me such life like beauty ! Great job !

  7. You are so talented 🙂 I love this

  8. nutsfortreasure says:

    Mary this is stunning!

  9. poppytump says:

    A lovely *homely jug Mary … what do I mean by that I wonder even as I’ve written that down … I just know it’s the kind of jug that filled with fresh flowers makes a room ….
    Altogether a lovely still life vignette Mary … shades and tones for bouncing light are wonderful .. and the lace .. well I just don’t know how you do it 🙂

    • Mary says:

      I understand and thank you so much Poppy. So funny, I was actually thinking of putting some flowers in the jug, but as I was working the piece I kind of liked the sun hitting the jug and letting it be the star. We were on the same wave length here. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the drawing – it was a great piece to sink my teeth into. I learned a lot with this one. Thank you, your artistic eye and comments mean a lot ~

  10. Beautiiful….. the contrast in textures is just lovely. ~Rita

  11. I ilke all of your works, hmm most of them 🙂 but this is so special, so full of a timeless feeling that I have no words to explain how much I like it.

  12. Fabio says:

    Incredibly beautiful, Mary! A work of patience, skills, art, everything! Mary at her best! And this work is not an easy one! Bravo, my friend! 🙂

  13. Lovely shadings and tones ~ great shapes and composition. Enjoyed looking at this very much!!

  14. Carol King says:

    Hi Mary, I’ve just gone though a number of posts. Your work with pencil is superb. This one is gorgeous. I love the pitcher, stone, brick and curtain. So many different textures in one piece, my eyes are filled with beauty.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks very much Carol and appreciate the time you’ve spent exploring my work, means a lot. I usually work with graphite this time of year, just becomes a nice reprieve from paints.

  15. Mona says:

    Wow! the textures and softness. Stunning!

  16. I really love this – I enjoy still life and it really works in black and white and all the shades between!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Rebecca – glad you enjoyed the piece. I agree B&W holds a lot of appeal and it’s been a great switch from color – I’ve been exploring how far I can take graphite and charcoal.

  17. Gallivanta says:

    Serene….and I would love to have a little peek out the window? 😉

  18. dorannrule says:

    This has the qualities of a Vermeer! Lovely.

  19. I don’t know what it is about jugs and vases, but I find them nearly impossible to draw. You’ve made it look so easy!

    • Mary says:

      You are so kind, actually I fret for a long time when I’m doing my initial drawing of jugs and vases – nearly impossible for me to get an accurate sketch of symmetry the first time out. Thank you, really the secret to this jug is it wasn’t factory made so it wasn’t as symmetrical so that allowed me some leeway in drawing it out.

  20. Cecilia says:

    What a beautiful drawing! Congratulations!

  21. Aquileana says:

    Beautiful, Mary… sending love… have a wonderful weekend. Aquileana ⭐ .-

  22. Another wonderful piece💕

  23. ladyfi says:

    Wonderful details and drawing.

  24. Leya says:

    Beautiful – textures and light. And the jug itself I could easily feel. I can fully understand you enjoyed doing this piece.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Ann-Christine for your comment on this drawing. Loved your reaction to the jug – it was a response I was hoping for, that connection means a lot as an artist. Thanks again – have a wonderful weekend.

  25. Resa says:

    It looks fabulous, Mary! I love that you erase your way to success! Have a great weekend!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Resa, for this look those erasers are my friends they create magic. Sometimes I cover the marks back up with graphite and start the process all over again, it’s a layering of sorts. Thank you so much, loved your feedback! Have a great weekend too ~

  26. Beautifully done… you have magic in your fingers… 🙂

  27. Clanmother says:

    What I especially like is the story that comes through – there is a promise of refreshing tranquility.

  28. This is a timeless time piece Mary! So many textures combined to perfection, not one single stroke is out of place, a total harmony achieved and reflecting back from this piece. Just beautiful details, you really worked your skills into every corner! The brick wall, beautiful execution, the window cover, amazing details on the fabric, that lace detail is so lovely, romantic and soft, the jug, the detail work on it and the light reflections superb, the wood window sill…everything is covered, this is a master piece in my books for the year 2016! LOVE it!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eva, you never fail to amaze me with your analysis and full interpretation through your artistic eyes of each piece I create. Your thoughts on this drawing as a whole and the individual elements were quite generous and I can’t thank you enough. I’m finding that with each piece I draw or paint, the techniques or information learned is automatically being carry forward to future projects. Lately in drawing, it’s been all about edging and contrasts but I’m beginning to include textures and fabrics – which should go well when I re-direct my attention to charcoal portraits/figure drawings a little later on. Thank you again and have a wonderful weekend.

  29. Amy says:

    Elegant is the word for this drawing, Mary. The composition is perfect and lighting from the window/curtain is so beautifully done!

  30. restlessjo says:

    I saw some jugs used rather nicely as lanterns yesterday, Mary. Would have taken a photo but they were awkwardly positioned. Happy weekend to you too! 🙂

  31. Painting for Joy says:

    So very awesome Mary!!! So dimensional and atmospheric. I love the balance of lights and darks and the old world feel of the lace curtains and the brick with the jug pulling it all together. Beautiful perfection!!!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Rhonda so much for your generous feedback and comments on the drawing, this was one of those that all the pieces seemed to work. I never know how some still life’s will respond to the pencil and in this case it was more a compliment. Thanks again and have a wonderful weekend.

  32. aFrankAngle says:

    Great job displaying the different lighting on the jug.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks so much Frank, glad you liked the piece. Yes, I was imagining the diffused warm sun coming through the curtain as it was hitting the jug – a great atmosphere to try and bring about with the pencil. Have a great weekend ~

  33. Hard and soft edges….hard and soft textures…a very sensual drawing!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Cynthia – yes, it does have that sensual feel. I wasn’t totally planning on as much softness that came into the piece, but once it started I kind of let the drawing have its way. I like how you described the drawing ~ have a warm weekend!!

  34. jvandervlugt says:

    Graphite. Wow! I like the “old world” character of this. The wood window sill. Well, for me it’s wood. The cover for the window very very nice.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Joanne, you guessed the window sill right, it is wood! Thanks very much for your response to this drawing – it was fun and interesting to work on.

  35. Very pretty, Mary. I love the lace around the curtain.

  36. Very challenging indeed as there are too many different surfaces to draw and you’ve succeded in each one! Bravo, my dear friend. 🙂 Enjoy a beautiful weekend!

  37. I love the pure simplicity of this composition….another gem. Have a lovely weekend, filled with creativity. Janet. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Janet – really appreciate your generous feedback on this drawing. I’ve a few ideas in mind, going to be cold here so creating is just the thing to warm me up! Have a wonderful weekend.

      • There’s something about an old Dutch master in this recent composition….freezing here as well, and so plan to do the same, and then off to Bristol on Monday to give a talk. Enjoy:)

        • Mary says:

          Such a compliment Janet, thank you – Dutch Renaissance masters are some of my favorite artists and time period. Would love to hear one of your talks, I imagine it would not only be filled with your artistic insights and discussion of periods, styles and how to’s, but entertaining as well – yes I would be front and center.

  38. cmartzloff says:

    Beautiful. I am amazed with how well you are capturing texture. It’s just so lovely. What is a frisket?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Catherine, thank you so much for your thoughtful comments – you know I always appreciate it. Frisket is a sticky paper that you can place onto your drawing in an area that you don’t want to get dirty while working the other parts of the drawing – you can remove it easily and then work that final area you were protecting. In this case I used it to pull graphite off the paper (see the thin lines in the curtain – frisket was the perfect tool for that area). Thanks again!

  39. This is really gorgeous, Mary. The beautiful lace detail on the curtains, and the brickwork are amazing. I also love the sheen on the jug. Perfect in every way. Happy weekend to you. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Sylvia. Oh the lace detail, I could only get it to a certain point and knew I was going to loose the drawing if I tried to refine it any further. The bricks were fun to develop with a dirty tortilium and a dull pencil points, but the jug well it didn’t come into its own until the details were added and then it hit the “ah ha” moment. Thank you so much for your gracious feedback!!

  40. Antonia says:

    Gorgeous! It almost seems to tell a story…

  41. exiledprospero says:

    Nice elements. Wonderful textures.

  42. Mary, I don’t know how you do it. Honestly. You’re a magician with every medium you try! This is incredible work! Wow! I’ll tell you something, you inspire the heck outta me every time. I just think to myself “Maybe with enough daily practice, enough miles on the pen, pencil, etc., you may be able to create something like this one day.” Woo! If that thought isn’t enough to make me wanna fly around the room, I don’t know what is. *bowing* We are not worthy, my friend! Just tremendous work right here!

    • Mary says:

      Laura you are too much – thank you for your amazing feedback on this drawing. You are an incredible artist and your advice to yourself is the same as what I tell myself everyday – practice, practice and practice, and most of all learn from every stroke and mark – have a purpose. Just work it, right? Which is what you do every day, I’m grateful to have you as a blogging friend – thank you for being there. There is something very special about the support and encouragement we receive from around the world – so Miss Laura, back at you!

  43. debiriley says:

    Mary! wow! this is so wonderful, evocative and gorgeous! really transports me, to that place – and that time. Thats pretty amazing!! that, is what we all strive to do as artists 🙂 cheers! debi

    • Mary says:

      Wow Debi back at you! Thank you very much for your enthusiastic comments on this drawing – means a lot. It was a great still life to work on, lots of challenges and rewards for being patient. Thanks again Debi.

  44. Lovely composition, Miss Mary
    with real presence

    Big hugs

    uncle john

  45. I love the composition and complex detail in your piece, such a pleasure for the eye.

  46. Heartafire says:


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