This blog is a place for me to collate and record my progress as I get back into drawing and painting after a few years of absence. I’ll post work from my life drawing and portraiture evening classes, as well as work I’ve done independently in my spare time. It’s essentially to be a sketching diary: I want to get into the habit critiquing my work and recording my thoughts, so that I can move forward with greater clarity of purpose. The aim is to try and find the bad in every drawing or painting, so that next time, I can try to avoid making the same mistakes. In this way, I plan to use the blog to better organise my thoughts as to what I hope to achieve in the course of my technical development. I might also post images of, or links to, other peoples’ work that I’d like to learn from, or which I just think are jaw-breakingly awesome.

Speaking of which, look at this charcoal sketch (Baroness de Meyer) by John Singer Sargent. This is the work of a master draughtsman, whose skills have been honed by many years of careful study. I love how the swirling energy of the hat and body is carried into face through the slight twist in her expression. To me, it looks almost as if the charcoal is being blown in a vortex, and has just coalesced into an image for a brief moment in time, about to be torn apart again by the wind. Sargent’s seemingly effortless brilliance, so apparent in his painted works, was actually the result of many, many hours of laborious preparation and ruthless self-critique. If he wasn’t entirely happy with something, he wiped it back and started again. The title of this blog is a reference to a lady whom Sargent painted for three weeks, before, in what was to be the final sitting, he decided that the hand was poorly painted, and so scraped the entire image back, and started again. He then finished the painting in three sittings.

4 Responses to “About”

  1. I’ve not painted or drawn from life in a long time, and you really make me wish I have. I envy your devotion.

    • Thanks! Although my dedication is nothing to write home about, truth be told. I always feel as if I’m not doing enough work.

  2. Nice work

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