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"Black Jug" Session 1: Drawing

Study for "Black Jug" - work in progress
8 x 10 inches, graphite on mylar

The drawing for this painting is not complete, there is a second object in this composition I have not even begun to draw. But I wanted to post this because it's a good example of how I construct a symmetrical object. You can see I have drawn a center line, and how I have measured each significant point on the contour so I can plot each side symmetrically.

As I am working I often stand back to judge the progress of the drawing by asking myself 2 questions to check my proportions:

  • Is my drawing wider or taller than my subject?
  • Does my drawing have the same feeling and character as my subject?
I try to be as scrupulously honest as possible with my answers. I try to remain willing to change anything and everything to capture my subject more accurately. I never let "good enough" be a satisfactory answer. This is how I try to approach all my drawing and painting.

I found this gorgeous black jug in an antique/collectibles shop recently, and of course it reminded me instantly of a very famous painter of still lifes. So I will make no attempt to hide the fact that this piece is an homage to an artists who has inspired me a lot. Even though our approach and methods for painting are just about as far apart as is possible, the sense of calm, light, solidity, familiarity, and reverence he shows in his work has been a big influence on me.

I am also attempting something I rarely do, and that is to start two paintings at the same time - this one and the previous post, "Message in a Bottle". When I have tried this before, one painting gets neglected and languishes while I finish the other. I'm going to try to keep these going at the same pace and complete them at the same time. And I'll be documenting the whole process, so stay tuned.


I still have two more spots in my upcoming figure drawing class starting September 12.

Learn 19th century atelier methods for depicting accurate proportions, convincing light, and organic form through the careful study of a long pose.

6 Sundays, $480

Click here for more information and to register.

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Reader Comments (1)

Hi Sadie, i have been following your posts with fascination, often they inspire me to try what you are doing so thank you for that. you mentioned drawing lines and measuring: do you use a ruler or the end of your pencil extended in front of you?

August 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrahina q.h.
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