Friday, September 4, 2020

Walter Shirlaw's Studies

Walter Shirlaw (1838-1909) was a Scottish-born American, a painter, banknote engraver and teacher. 


His painting "Toning the Bell" (1874, Chicago Art Institute) shows the foreman striking the bell with a hammer, while the violinist plays a reference note. 

The faces, hands, and postures of the two main characters show that they have different personalities and that they come from different worlds.

This page of studies shows the construction of the violin, how the left hand needs to finger the strings, and a couple options for the bow hand. 

It looks like he contemplated having the foundry man rest his left hand on the bell, and then changed his mind and brought the hand back into the shadow in front of his stomach.

This appears to be another quick study to figure out the pose of the violinist. Studies like these are just a step in the process, but a very necessary step.
Walter Shirlaw on Wikipedia


Kalp said...

What are your thoughts on drawing 3-Dimension-ally and being able to draw through? Basically being able to construct form from imagination.

Sean said...

Maybe if the foundry man's hand was leaning on the bell it would have altered or dampened the true tone of the bell somehow? Shirlaw chose to paint it how it would actually be and not pose him for the sake of a more pleasing composition? Might be a stretch but it just occurred to me! This painting is stunning. Thanks for all the teaching. I learn a ton all the time.

Bevan said...

The little boy with his homemade violin and a fast of look in his eye is such a powerful image.

Unknown said...

The little ink study is lovely