“A Companion of Diana” Charcoal Sketch

| April 12, 2009

This piece was done from a photograph provided on the blog Different Strokes From Different Folks, where artists are encouraged to paint or draw their own interpretations. In Karin Jurick’s post, she reminds everyone to continually hone their drawing skills to become a better painter. Liking the complexity and intent of the challenge, I decided to make a charcoal sketch.

companion of diana charcoal sketch

“A Companion of Diana” Charcoal Sketch

Getting the proportions right seemed to be the best first step. I then worked each area of the sculpture focusing on shapes and values rather than what the shapes represented. The drawing is about 5 inches by 10 inches and it took the better part of three hours to complete. I am actually pretty happy with the result considering I have not touched a piece of charcoal for about 20 years.

Here is a little background on the sculpture from the National Gallery of Art web site. Click the link and you will see a picture of the original scuplture, which is on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

A Companion of Diana, 1724
marble – 1942.9.133
Jean-Louis Lemoyne (artist)
French, 1666 – 1755

The sculpture was one of a large group commissioned from several artists to represent the nymphs who attended the hunt-goddess Diana. Among the last of Louis XIV’s great sculptural projects, the assemblage was designed for the gardens at Marly, his retreat from the rigorous formality of Versailles and a favorite hunting ground.

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Category: Fine Art and Painting

Comments (12)

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  1. Tracy Brech says:

    Wow…very beautiful! I am very proud of you and love you so much. Thanks for being there for me this last year and always! Trace

  2. Liz Holm says:

    This is excellent. Hard to believe you’ve not used charcoal in so long–you’re very adept with the medium!

  3. landrewbrown says:

    Thanks for stopping by Liz and for the kind feedback. Since I am in the sketching mode, I am working on another but won’t finish tonight. So far, I have found the process of working with charcoal a good exercise in studying values and edges, which will certainly help with my painting. I hope to get the brushes wet a little later this week. I also plan to head over to your blog in a bit to see what you are up to as well!

  4. landrewbrown says:

    Thanks sis! You and the family are the ones to be proud of young lady!

  5. dominique says:

    great feel in your rendition for DSFDF especially in charcoal. Well done

  6. irit says:

    You did not touch charcoal for 20 years? You did a fantastic work.
    Simply beautiful.

  7. landrewbrown says:

    Thanks Dominique. Judging the feeling part is tough for me since I am so close to the work. I’m glad it communicated to you in that way and thanks for saying so!

  8. landrewbrown says:

    Thanks so much for the comment. The charcoal seemed very forgiving, allowing a nice balance of being able to work the darks and lights back and fourth. I find the interconnection between mediums fascinating. The process seemed a lot like working a painting with a fair bit of room to make quick subtle adjustments. I found it was a little tough not to get too heavy handed with the darks.

  9. landrewbrown says:

    Hi Lisa. Thanks for visiting. I too have not seen this version Diana first hand in the DC museum. Funny enough, I have seen another of the Diana sculptures at the Louvre in Paris. She was right in the middle of the first large room of sculptures we visited at the museum. Your trip to the Norton Gallery sounds good on a couple of fronts…great art and a warm climate! We had about six inches of snow this weekend here in Monument, Colorado.

  10. Lisa Michaels says:

    I popped in from the Different Strokes website. I am so enjoying your works! And thanks for the background info, too. I’ve been to the National Gallery of Art but I don’t specifically remember this sculpture. Last weekend I went to the Norton Gallery of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida. They had a special exhibit of Georgia O’Keefe and Amsel Adams. It was great to see their works and even more interesting to see them displayed together.

  11. Carol Nelson says:

    Nice job. Thanks for the background info on the statue. I’d like to see it in person since I feel I know the work very well now.

  12. landrewbrown says:

    Thanks Carol. I agree, studying the statue while sketching increases your appreciation of the art. I rarely spend three hours looking at a sculpture at the museum so it was nice to spend more time with it to get to know the finer parts of the work.