Sketch for a drawing - I would appreciate your opinion and critique


  • Datura

    We are not told anything about this work. It appears to be about 8x10 inch, on canvas or rough drawing paper. The painting may have been done with dry brush oils or pastels. Looks like an initial charcoal sketch toned in with earth colors. Charcoal or ivory black is employed in the darkest shadows.

    The painting is of an elderly woman, dozing or contemplating, with elbows on a table and her right hand supporting her head. She is warmly dressed in a thickly woven dress. The woman is heavily set and seems to be suffering an arthritic condition that swells the knuckles of the hand.

    The light is coming from her low left side, the viewers right as she is face on to the artist. Her head is inclined to the right and slightly tilted forward. Her left hand is in hard edge focus and closest to the viewer. A small object or pair of objects lies between her left hand and the elbow of the arm supporting her head. The objects appear to be two orange segments, or a set of dentures, though this is a guess.

    The human figure forms a triangular composition. This is set against a wall background featuring strong shadow values behind the woman and a mottled texture on the remainder of the wall. The table forms the foreground of the work.

    The purpose of a sketch is to play with composition, shadow, value and tone to assess suitability for a future painting or drawing. In this sense the sketch is a success. However the narrative of the work is unclear. While a pleasant enough sketch l am left wondering about senility, poverty and infimity.

    In style the work is tonal earth colors with soft warm textures. The only discordant element is the black outline around the woman’s hair. 

    I like the the sketch and it has good potential to contribute to a fine drawing.


  • I really like this sketch. It makes you wonder whats going on with the she sad? Is she tired? sick? and whats with the beans or orange slices on the table... what could they mean. I like it
  • The drawing is itself great!
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