Thursday, May 14, 2020

A Tip for Sketching Kids

How do you draw kids without them being self conscious?

Adolph Menzel "would go out in wind and weather but one day when there was too heavy a downpour, he came into the music room where my two little sisters were playing Haydn’s ‘Serenade’ together on the piano."

Adolph von Menzel (1815 - 1905) 
Therese and Grete Herrmann at the Piano, 1872
Pencil on paper, 24.5 × 33.6 cm

"'Children,' he called out, 'I want to draw the candelabra, play something for me while I’m drawing’, and thus he could capture the undisturbed image of their playing in all its naturalness and sketch the picturesque, unique likeness of them with which he later delighted [their] parents." Quote from Art Dealer Stephen Ongpin


Jeff said...

Every time that I look at your book about him or at one of his wonderful pictures done only with a pencil and a stump it reminds me (yet again) that the key to any kind of painting is to draw, draw, draw.

Susan Krzywicki said...

What a clever idea!

broker12 said...

Around 10 years ago, I used to go to the library in our small town and do free 5-10 minute sketches of children who gathered there after school. Middle school was a block down the street, and the library had a bank of computers the kids would use.

Me and my sketching got to be known, and often there would be several kids waiting for me. For a short time, one boy showed up every day and would often ask if he could sit for another sketch. This went of for a few days. Finally, I asked him, in a kidding sort of way, if he was selling his sketches out on the street for candy money. No, he said with a serious look in his eyes, I'm giving them to my girlfriends.

Stephen and Nyree said...

I am amazed at how you see all the sketch lines around the piano, chair, dresses, even the hands, but not the faces. He must have erased those lines as the faces are the focal point of the sketch. Either that or he didn't need them!?! There is such power in simple line drawings like these.

Anni Matsick said...

Thank you for sharing this charming drawing and the accompanying story--delightful!

Stephen and Nyree said...

That's a great story!

My Pen Name said...

@Jeff. Well said! Reminds me of a similar Durer story (I hope I have this right!) - when an artist asked for his 'secret' tools he used to paint fur - He grabbed an old brush from the artists kit and proceeded to paint fur.