Monday, May 1, 2017

A nice gesture

Long time no blog. Now that I can import pictures from an android phone I can post again. I apologize because their quality isn't as nice as my iPad can do but there it is...
 The other night the Russian National Ballet performed Swan Lake at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. My my wife has seen live ballet many times. This was my first experience. Of course cameras and phones weren't allowed but a sketchbook, pen and book light were just fine. 

 Thought I would get my "Degas" on and...Wow! I have more respect than ever for the guy. 
The performance was moving on more than one level: The poses are wonderful but they last a moment and rarely repeat (Jessica Kirby makes the point he drew at a ballet studio, where moves and poses are repeated in practice. Still, I'm impressed with old Edgar).
 So...the most I could do was a series of gesture drawings, but it taught me a few things. Like there's no hope in looking at the dancer's contours. I had to unfocus slightly and burn a whole shape into memory, then put that down. 
 Sketching their gestures isn't the same as drawing everyday motions - like people walking or working.The energy seemed to be in assuming a pose then translating it into another, then another and so on. So what I was getting, really, were the momentary culminations. Trying anyway...a few pages are below. I want to attempt other things like this. Maybe ball games? 


  1. Bravo! These are fantastic and good for you for even attempting this. You really captured the movement in these gesture drawings. I think I'd like to try this but maybe for a production of On Golden Pond or something. You know, where they don't move around so much and call each other old poops.

  2. Sort of wished I had a sketchbook with pale blue paper and a brush pen with opaque white and another in a dark flesh tone. I could have knocked in the shapes quickly while getting a sense of the stage lighting. More I think about ball games the more interesting it seems, especially the lighting at night games.

  3. Yay! You're back online! Love these. You really captured the grace of the dance as well as the movement. I'm sitting here anticipating leaving for the Iowa Pastel Society workshop soon. A little apprehensive as the only time I have really touched pastels in the last year was the one day workshop a few weeks ago. There is just not enough time to do all the things I want with art materials! Baseball figures at night would be an interesting challenge. Good practice for those night challenges at Paint Outs. Welcome back online!

  4. Great gesture drawings. So natural and balanced. I would be up for ball games. When you talk about night games I think I may attend the night performances of the Rodeo this year.