Friday, December 3, 2010

Negative Drawing

sketch of a sculpture;  white prismacolor pencil on black paper

In the sculpture galleries at the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk,  I came across a drawing station that had a supply of black paper on a clip boards, a box full of white prismacolor pencils and an open invitation to draw the the sculptures.  I couldn't resist it. So here is my rendition of Little Peasant or First Grief   a sculpture by Erastus Dow Palmer (1817-1904). I loved the beautiful girl and the haunting expression on her face.  I was curious as to why the sculpture was titled First Grief and research revealed that : This statue, also known as Little Peasant, depicts an incident in the life of one of the sculptor's daughters, who had avidly followed the hatching and rearing of a nest of birds, only to be overcome with grief when the fledglings departed. Palmer, who was self-taught, was among the first American sculptors to break with the prevailing neoclassical style and adopt a more naturalistic approach.  Here is an article on the Erastus Dow Palmer that appeared in New York Times in 1896 when he was seventy nine years old. 

It was pretty challenging to draw with white pencil on black paper and I had to make a conscious effort to reverse the normal way of drawing, remembering to draw the light and highlights and leave the shadow areas black :) I enjoyed the impromptu exercise very much and  hope to go back and sketch more of the sculptures.

23 comments:

Katherine Thomas said...

What a creative way to help yourself focus on contrast between lights and darks! I admire your inventiveness! Good job!

meera said...

Thank you Katherine :) I found out accidentally how hard it is render the lights and darks as you draw white on black!

B said...

The stack of golden chairs, a golden leaf and now this ...what a treat u have been dishing up Meera..one better than the other

Hope u had a wonderful thanksgving

meera said...

Thank you B! I really appreciate your comment!!!

Thaikaden said...

As always, this is also nice.

meera said...

Thank you very much @Thaikaden :)

Fernando Santos (Chana) said...

Belo desenho...Espectacular....
Cumprimentos

meera said...

Fernando, Obrigado :)

RODISI said...

Muy buenas obras en tu blog... Te sigo... un cordial saludo, Rodisi

meera said...

Rodisi, muchas gracias :) I really appreciate your comments.

Kathy Staicer said...

Wonderful sketch and great experience. You make me want to go and sculpt the statues.

Crystal Cook said...

That is just fantastic meera. :) I love her pensive expression, and the story behind the title is just perfect! I bet that was challenging, I'm going to have to try that.

meera said...

Thank you Kathy, the sculptures are indeed beautiful at the Chrysler museum! You should go there!

Crystal, Thanks! Nothing like shaking things up with the way we draw once in a while ;)

padmaja said...

It is quite challenging to do in white against the dark.. this looks very three dimensional Meera, nice attempt!

meera said...

Thanks Padmaja, It was interesting how I kept wanting to 'shade' and had to consciously stop myself from putting white strokes in the shadow part!

jyothisethu said...

wonderful idea...
innovative...
first i thought it is a sculpture...

congratulations...

meera said...

Thank you for your kind comments, Jyothisethu!

Prabha N. said...

Wow! Love the strokes!

meera said...

Thanks Prabha - I am also happy with results of an unexpected session of sketching!

Life Ramblings said...

love the sketch and the facial expression. i enjoy your previous posts as well. have a good day.

meera said...

Thank you very much @life Ramblings. I am grateful for your support :)

nikhilkardale said...

That looks quite stunning actually!

meera said...

Thanks Nikhil :) I really fell in love with the sculpture and enjoyed the unexpected challenge!

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