In the drawing classes over the past few years we have completed drawings of quite a few famous musicians.
There is great appeal in any of these subjects: a musical instrument, the hands holding the musical instrument, the expression of the musician, the background, the paraphernalia that surrounds musicians and clothing and folds in material.
Within this study we have all the above ingredients. We worked from a photograph of a painting by Francois Morellon de la Cave painted in 1723: it has been oft disputed if this is the famous composer or not. However, for our purposes it is a perfect example of the exact ingredients required for a painting of a musician.
Start with the overall shape of the face, draw a line down the middle of the face shape and a line across the middle. Then start drawing in the features, eyes on the horizontal line you have drawn across the middle of the shape. The wig is a large shape on the head, do not make this too small. Mark in the folds on the material and then work on the shape of the violin. When drawing hands start the shape with a mitten shape, do not try and start drawing individual digits, it is far more productive to get the overall shape of the hand correct and then start making the fingers from that shape.
I researched on line some sheet music for The Four Seasons so the music I have drawn on is Spring so I was adding some of my own ingredients too.
I would advise to use multi media for this drawing. For the wig I used soluble pen, and then slightly wet the paper so the colour blends and moves slightly. For the face, hands and chest area, I used watercolours, mixing my own skin tone from a mix of Flesh Tint and then used that base colour to add other colours for certain areas e.g. for the darker area under the chin I added blue to the base mix.
I used some acrylic for the background and mixed a very dark purple using Viridian Green and Primary Red – this was painted in last.
I used permanent pens for the musical notes. For the strings on the violin I used a Charcoal White Pencil.
Ensure you leave an area of white on the eye for the light source. The wonderful rich red colours – I use a lot of reds and mix them together. The amount of red colours you can make are really quite endless. Then for the dark folds I added a Cobalt Blue to some of the different reds.
This drawing cum painting takes some time to complete: as it is half term this week it is the ideal opportunity to complete this type of project.