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More Sketching at the Met

I live close to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and my membership card  is used almost as much as my Metrocard.  We visited the Raphael to Renoir Drawing exhibit again last Sunday with weekend guests and I sketched from another Guercino drawing.  I first learned about this 17th C. Italian artist at the Courtauld Gallery in London - and I'm thrilled to see two more of his beautiful portraits in person.  I don't know if I ever linked back to my first drawing "copying the Master."


I sketched this as part of a two-page journal spread celebrating the birth of our grandson Callum in London while his parents and siblings spent a year in the city.

Here is my second Guercino drawing from the exhibit at the Met.  I posted the first several weeks ago.



I covet the book of the exhibit - and wish that it were in soft cover.  I will probably not be able to resist it during one of my many trips to the Museum Store and can then draw with the Masters for many days after the exhibit closes. 

Yesterday I met several NY artists for a mini-Sketchcrawl at the Met.  We started in the Modern Art section on the mezzanine, and I experimented with my watercolor pencils by drawing the Chuck Close painting called Lucas.  I drew the entire painting with 10-12 Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils and then added water at home.  The Met permits pencil sketching only, although lots of pen sketching is done, and I assume there are other exceptions with special arrangements

Here it is as photographed in the Museum with natural light:



Here it is after adding water at home and a link to the original painting which is done as small squares of color.  If I sketched it again, I would increase the size of the forehead - I'm just glad to have "played" so intensely with my watercolor pencils in 30 minutes!



We moved to different sections of the Museum for two more 30 minute sketches and my favorite of those two locations was the Petrie Sculpture Court.  Here is my sketch of Sappho, done by Comte Prosper d'Epinay in 1895 - with the contrast increased in Photoshop - because the original colored pencil lines were not dark enough.


We then had a lovely leisurely lunch in the Petrie Cafe and shared our sketchbooks and experiences.  Our new group of women who want to sketch together is having fun and we hope that we can meet monthly for our own mini-sketchcrawls.  In two weeks I will sketch with several other group members who had other prior commitments yesterday.


Great sketches. I like the way you show shadow and depth. I have a lot to learn still. You are so lucky to be so close to a great museum. We don't have anything like that close by here. Probably the closest would be in San Francisco.

It sounds like such fun - I hope to join you one day! You're doing some really good sketching lately too.

Shirley, your sketches are m o r e than wonderful!!! The first and the last especially make me speechless! Such a delicacy and secureness of the line! I'm really impressed. Keep up the excellent work!

Your sketches are wonderful. My brother was a very talented self-taught artist and how I wish I had some of those genes, but alas not. Would you share the rouse mouse pattern?

Shirley, I saw your comment over at Anastasia Drawing and Dreaming and followed you here. What wonderful sketches! I especially like the ones of DC tho all of them please me. Your style is the kind I hope to have in my next lifetime. I hope the universe is listening to that. ;-)

I especially liked your work on the inner critic, as our Artist Way group has done a lot on that issue. Mine doesn't say much either but she is very skilled at giving me 'that look' - subtle, but so disappointed in what I've done. I mentally make her a cup of tea to enjoy while I play, and remind her I will get will have some 'productive' breaks as I play.

I remember when I took art classes, Chuck Close was one of the artists whose work we drew. I remember taking a big sheet of newsprint and measuring off little squares on it. Then we looked for a portrait or picture of some kind in a magazine that we wanted to paint. We then used ink pads and our thumbs to reproduce the portraits. I still have the one I drew. I need to take a picture of it and post it on my blog. Back then I didn't think too much of it, but now that I've had some time and space from it, it doesn't look too bad. I wouldn't mind creating some other art in the same way. It was a wonderful learning experience.

I love your sketches.

Remember when you didn't want to draw faces, Shirley. These are gorgeous figure drawings you are now posting. Brava!

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