Sketching The Heads Of Olympus

I found myself chuckling at myself as I struggled to use pencil to draw this plaster head of what may or may not be one of the Greek gods of old.  Besides an uncertainty about the subject, the placard said that it was created in 50AD and was once part of a full statue.  I thought it nice and besides, there was a seat available.

I was chuckling because I couldn’t help but think of how people talk about moving from pencil to pen.  It’s said to be “scary” or “really hard.”  I’ve done almost all my sketching with fountain pens and I find sketching with pencil to be “really hard.”  I’m unsure of the marks I make with pencil and certainly skills like graded tones elude me.  But it sure is fun, as is every kind of sketching I’ve done.  Maybe I’m kidding myself but I think the more lines I put on paper the better I will get so that’s my goal.  As I make those marks, I just hope that some of them resemble what I’m trying to draw.  Occasionally they do.

Anyways, this drawing was done on Strathmore Series 300 vellum bristol paper.  I like it for this sort of drawing because it’s stiff enough to stand on its own and seems to like pencil.  I used Mars Lumograph pencils this time.

Asclepius???       50AD


Sketching Masters Of Olympus

maitres_olympeIt’s the end of April and our high temps are still in the mid to low 40s (F).  Couple that with spring rains and I haven’t had much opportunity to sketch outdoors.  So, when the new Masters of Olympus exhibition opened at the Musee de la Civilisation I saw it as an opportunity to sketch something new.  Museum sketching is a winter thing, even if winter is at the end of April.

This exhibition is a presentation of Greek and Roman gods, mostly in the form of statues, busts, and painted pottery.  The exhibition must have been laid out by a sketcher as there are lots of little nooks and crannies in which you can stick a stool to sketch and most of the statues are viewable from multiple points of view.  In fact, following the opening ceremony the news promo for the exhibit made a point of saying that people were there sketching.  I love my sketcher-friendly museum.

I decided to start this new exhibit by putting a toe in the water.  In fact, I drew the whole foot.  This foot came from what must have been a huge statue as this broken portion of the foot is at least three feet long.

big foot

Pilot Prera, Lex Gray ink – Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook