Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sketching, day four: Bouguereau

Today's sketch is from William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905.). His work troubles me in a way I can't quite define. I think a part of it is that I don't understand the expression on many of the faces--they repel me somehow, and I don't know what the artist meant and I don't know what the subject meant. But there is no doubt that his art is exquisitely accomplished and I can learn a lot from it.

I found the image in Pinterest, but it dead-ended there. I don't where it is originally from.

I am going to keep posting sketches of figures for thirty days (though not thirty days in a row.) Then I should probably do some sketches of figures in a composition--which is not as interesting to me but probably more needful.


  1. In the original the face is almost that of a woman but I think this is a child? In your drawing you have sweetened the face so she does seem more a child. Once years ago there was a little girl in a restaurant. Her face was so mature and finished that it iwas difficult for me to feel the way towards her that I normally feel with children which is that I often have more in common with them than I do with adults. This is a new artist for me. I want to look at some more of his work.

  2. Yes, it is a child. I think the mature (?) expressions of his children is something I don't like. They give me a sad feeling that they are being exploited somehow. They seem full of care or too knowing--not lighthearted, not innocent. But I don't think he meant them to be like that, exactly. They just seem so to me. That's interesting that you feel more in common with children than adults. I suppose I feel that way in some things, and I probably spend a lot of time with adults who are like me. Maybe we have an artist's tendency to live in the present, very connected to certain concrete things but in an unconventional, dreamy way?