Saturday, February 20, 2021

    I am feeling quite organized which is a nice feeling since it is not always the case. In my last post I talked about the use of charcoal or pencil with sanguine chalk. Today I will go through some Master drawings showing variations on the use of this technique

Here is a drawing by Francois Boucher- an artist of the Rococo period who is more well-known for his nudes. Boucher used this technique to enhance the three dimensiality of the face. If you notice most of the face is the paper color, the darkest part is charcoal and he has used the sanguine chalk to enhance the roundedness of the cheek, the lip color and some highlights in the hair. The lightest light he used white chalk. this technique when used in portraiture or the figure can show a lot of sensitivity and emotion.

On the other hand sanguine chalk can be used with great effect by itself. Note this use of the chalk in Jean-Louis Fragonard"s rendering of a landscape. Sanguine chalk, as you can see here, can offer the artist greater nuances than the pencil depending on the pressure. Some of this may be due to its color which, in my view is more pleasing than just black on white but the pencil has a tendency of being more linear and it takes a bit of concentration and thought about how hard or soft ones marks need to be. Sanguine chalk, on the other hand is much easier to create a soft effect though as you can see from this drawing it can also be precise,

Peter Paul Rubens also used this technique to great effect. It is also a way of portraying flesh without using a lot of color especially if you were doing studies for a bigger painting. Rubens frequently did drawings and even small paintings in preparation for his larger pieces.

Finally Hubert Robert, a painter of the landscape who depicted architecture, and ruins of old civilizations in his paintings. He used the sanguine chalk exclusively in his predatory drawings. Note the nuances in the darks as well as the lights.

I hope these examples may make you want to try this yourself if have not already done so. It is a lot of fun to use.

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