March 21, 2010

So today I hit the National Gallery with a few of the guys from “Word Balloon”, a comic group in DC made up of a variety of comic fans, editorial cartoonists, and painters. We went down to see the exhibit “The Sacred Made Real” a collection of spanish paintings and sculptures from the 17th century, with a few by one of my favorite artists Diego Valzquez. On the lower level of the west building was “From Impressionism to Modernism: The Chester Dale Collection”. Although the first exhibit was a joy, there was one painting in the Chester Dale exhibit that pulled most of the group in, Portrait of Sonia by Henri Fantin-Latour from 1890. It’s a beautiful image and despite the low-key expression, the elegance of the subject is captured with a tenderness that implies a more personal association with the artist. Of course, I could just be reading more into it than there is, but that’s what I do with images from that era.

Anyway, once the group headed home, I decided to go back and get in at least one sketch. Somehow, if I make a trip to the gallery and don’t draw something, I feel like it was a missed opportunity. So an hour later here’s what I had. I never get the eyes right, but then part of that could be trying to get the subtle details with a charcoal pencil that has the tip of a drum stick. Oh well…

Those eyes! UGH!