Monday, November 28, 2011

Master Drawing Exhibition at the Morgan Library

I recently had the pleasure of seeing an amazing master drawing exhibition at the Morgan Library in New York. For many years the Morgan has been one of my favorite NYC haunts. Over the years it has been renovated and expanded, but it still has a feeling of intimacy. The exhibition is "David, Delacroix, and Revolutionary France, Drawings from the Louvre" and can be viewed at the Morgan through December 31, 2011.

This exhibition features the works of many talented french artists, but for me the main attraction was the drawings by romanticist Theordore Gericault. Gericault is perhaps best know for his masterpiece the "Raft of the Medusa" and the beautiful but, macabre studies he did for this painting, many of them featuring lifeless limbs and heads arranged as still life.

There are six drawings by Gericault in this exhibition. A very beautiful and especially moving one is called "The Artist's Left Hand". Gericault painted it while on his death bed.

Gericault hand

"The Artist's Left Hand" watercolor with black and red chalk, Theordore Gericault, 1824.

The following drawing by Gericault, "Scene of Combat" shows off his brilliant use of chiaroscuro and romanticist sensibility.


"Scene of Combat", black chalk and gray wash, heightened with gouache on brown paper, Theordore Gericault, 1818.

Gericault was interested in depicting all animals - their motion and expression. While he is known for his masterful drawings and paintings of horses, this sketchbook sheet depicting a cat is beautifully observed!


"Studies of Cats", black chalk, Theordore Gericault, 1818.

There are of course many amazing drawings in this exhibition. Some of those by Eugene Delacroix with their frentic line have an especially modern feeling.


"War on a Chariot Pulled by Two Horses", pen and brown ink, Eugene Delacroix, 1833.

There are several luminous classical figure studies by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon who was known for his black and white chalk drawings on toned paper.


"Standing Female Nude Resting Her Arms on a Branch", black and white chalk on blue paper,Pierre-Paul Prud'hon.

The extraordinary draftsman Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres is presented in the exhibition by this animated study for the painting "The Turkish Bath". The exhibition is worth seeing if only to enjoy the facile and sensitive way Ingres draws the hands.


"Studies for the Turkish Bath", graphite on cream paper,Ingres.

I highly recommend this exhibition, I promise you won't be disappointed in this spectacular display of french drawings. I also recommend the exhibition catalog, "David, Dealcroix and Revolutionary France" by Louis-Antoine Prat and Jennifer Tonkovich.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Three Colored Crayon Technique with Robert Liberace Part II

After experimenting with the three colored crayon technique using the Verithin pencils and the prepared Twinrocker paper, Rob introduced another way of working with three colored crayons. This technique is bolder and more painterly and starts by establishing a charcoal drawing and adding hints of red (terra cotta) and finally white highlights.

For this technique he suggested using a neutral beige or gray Canson Mi-Teintes drawing paper and preparing it by layering terra cotta conte or chalk. This establishes a ground that can be rubbed into the paper and later on erased out for highlights and lighter tones. As the drawing takes shape details can be added using charcoal pencils and red pastel pencils. Brushes can be used to blend and finally highlights are added using white chalk.


Demo drawing by Robert Liberace using three colored crayon technique.


Highlights and details added to finished drawing.


Detail of the finished drawing

<no subject>

Detail of one of my three colored crayon drawings.

<no subject>

Finished study using three colored crayon technique. Drawing by Marie Dauenheimer.

Three Colored Crayon Technique Workshop with Robert Liberace, Studio Incamminati, Philadelphia, PA PART 1

This past weekend I spent three days at the Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia attending a workshop with Robert Liberace on the three colored crayon technique. The three colors are back, white and red (terra cotta).

This technique has been used for centuries by artists such as Hans Holbein, Peter Paul Rubens and Antoine Watteau. Below are some examples of how they used this technique.


"Young woman Looking Down" by Peter Paul Rubens, 1628.


"Sir Thomas Elyot" by Hans Holbein, 1527.

In class Rob demonstrated two techniques for using the three crayons. I will review the first technique today and the second technique tomorrow.


Three crayon technique drawing by Robert Liberace.

The first technique utilizes hard colored pencils (Prismacolor "Verithins" work well)
in black, white and terra cotta on a text weight hand made paper (Twinrocker is ideal). The paper is prepared with a light watercolor wash in yellow ochre and sealed with a coat of amber shellac (with denatured alcohol mixed in). This hardens the paper and gives it a tooth so you can layer the pencil.

Liberace 1

First stage of Rob's demo, with figure blocked in using terra cotta Verithin pencils.

Liberace 2

Second stage as Rob builds up the form using the terra cotta color and adds black.


The final stage as form is built up using terra cotta and black and white highlights are added. Highlights can also be erased out used a typewriter eraser.

marie drawing

Three crayon drawing by Marie Dauenheimer.

Back to blogging

After a blogging hiatus I am now ready to return to the process. I am working on a posting now about a Three Colored Crayon Technique Workshop i attended this past week. Other postings in the pipeline include a review of an Italian Master Drawing exhibition at the national Gallery of Art and an amazing edition of Vesalius' Da Fabrica in my home library. Thanks for following!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Musee Fragonard, Alfort, Paris

In 2008 I attended the International Conference on Anatomical Models at the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden, The Netherlands and had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Christophe Degueurce speak about the newly renovated Musee Fragonard. As curator of the museum and a veterinary anatomist he walked us through the history of this amazing and unique collection. Since that day I have wanted to visit this  museum. I was especially fascinated by the ecorches prepared by Dr. Honore Fragonard (cousin of the 18th century Rococo painter Jean-Honore Fragonard, both born in 1732) that have lasted over 200 years.

Last week, while visiting Paris, I traveled to Alfort, in the suburbs of Paris, and found the Musee Fragonard on the campus of the National Veterinary School at Alfort, the most renown veterinary school in France. The museum has three sections, one devoted to comparative anatomy, another to skeletons and skeletal pathologies, and the third is the newly renovated room devoted to Fragonard's ecorches. Dr. Degueurce very graciously met my family and I in the museum and toured us through this fascinating collection.

The museum is in many ways a cabinet of curiosities from the Age of Enlightenment. I strongly recommend a visit this to this fascinating collection.


Comparative anatomy room featuring painted plaster model of superficial fascia of the horse. Model by Jacques-Nicolas Brunot, 1830.


Painted plaster models of pig forelimb.


Elephant skeletons.


More painted plaster anatomical models.


"Horseman" prepared by Dr. Honore Fragonard in 1794.


Dr. Degueurce with my daughter Lily and his new book "Fragonard Museum, The Ecorches".

Dr. Degueurce just published a book about the museum called "Fragonard Museum, The Ecorches". The english version was published by Blast Books and it wonderful! There is alot of good infomration in this book about the history of anatomy, veterinary medicine and of course Dr. Fragonard.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Claude Monet's home and gardens at Giverny, France

I have been to Giverny in the past., but never in the spring. We arrived by train at 9:30am on a glorious, sunny day. We were among the first to arrive in the gardens when it opened at 10:00am. The house, which is light pink with Kelly green trim was surrounded by bed of tulips, pansies, daffodils and hyacinth. There were spectacular lilacs, cherry and apple trees and of course lavender colored wisteria covering the Japanese bridge.

The color combinations were like paintings themselves. This garden was not designed as a formal French one but as if the flowers were brushstrokes.

Monet's home at Giverny, where he lived for 40 years.

Monet's home from the water garden.

Wisteria on the Japanese bridge.

The Japanese bridge in Monet 's water garden.

Beds of tulips in Monet's garden

All photos by Marie Dauenheimer.

I will be adding to this blog when I get home. I will also be discussing travel to Giverny and tips on sketching in the gardens.

Location:Rue Le Regrattier,Paris,France

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gardens in Paris

Since we arrived in Paris we have enjoyed the spectacular gardens, I don't usually post about gardens, but these French style gardens are works of art. On our first day in Paris we visited the Jardin Des Plantes. We were greeted by colorful beds of Icelandic poppies in yellow, oranges and reds.

Poppies at the Jardin des Plantes, Paris.

On Sunday we traveled to Versailles. The gardens were at the height of their beauty! Accompanied by the fountain displays and classical music - it was a dazzling site.

Beds of tulips at Versailles.

Yesterday while visiting the Musee Rodin, we were greeted by the scent of French lilacs. We were surrounded by them as we sketched in the sculpture garden.

French lilacs blooming at Musee Rodin.

View of Musee Rodin from the gardens.

Peonies blooming at Musee Rodin. All photos by Marie Dauenheimer

Yesterday afternoon we had the true pleasure of visiting the unique Musee Fragonard. We toured the collection with veterinary anatomist and curator Professor Chistophe Degueurce. I plan on blogging about the museum and Professor Degueurce's new book "Fragonard Museum, the Eroches, the Anatomical Masterworks of Honore Fragonard.

Location:Rue Le Regrattier,Paris,France

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gallery of Comparative Anatomy in Paris

Today I spent some time at the Gallery of Comparative Anatomy in Paris. This wonderful collection of skeletons is part of the Jardin des Plantes. This complex includes a natural history museum, zoo, botanic gardens, comparative anatomy and paleontology museum. This photo shows an image that has haunted me for years! The hall is filled with the most amazing collection of animal skeletons, sculptures and wet specimens. All are led by a beautiful human eroche.

Gallery of skeletons. photo by Marie Dauenheimer.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Whale skeletons. Photo by Marie Dauenheimer.

Location:Rue Le Regrattier,Paris,France

Gallery of Comparative Anatomy in Paris

Today I spent some time at the Gallery of Comparative Anatomy in Paris. This wonderful collection of skeletons is part of the Jardin des Plantes. This complex includes a natural history museum, zoo, botanic gardens, comparative anatomy and paleontology museum. This photo shows an image that has haunted me for years! The hall is filled with the most amazing collection of animal skeletons, sculptures and wet specimens. All are led by a beautiful human eroche.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Rue Le Regrattier,Paris,France

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Anatomy/Academy" exhibition at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

On Sunday I went to Philadelphia to see an exhibition called "Anatomy/Academy, Philadelphia Nexus of Art and Science". The exhibition was at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PaFa). PaFa is the first art school and museum in the US, founded in 1805 by several artists including Charles Willson Peale, and sculptor William Rush. Past students include luminaries such as Thomas Eakins (who was also an influential teacher), Mary Cassatt, Maxfield Parrish, Cecilia Beaux and John Sloan.


Interior view of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

The exhibition "Anatomy /Academy" includes an eclectic collection of works by many artists including Thomas Eakins. One of the exhibition highlights is Eakins' brilliant masterpiece the "Portrait of Dr. Samuel D. Gross" also know as the "Gross Clinic". Thomas Eakins dissection drawings of horses, cats, dogs and humans are including along with his notes such as one critiquing "Gray's Anatomy"'s depiction of the teres major muscle. A series of casts made from the cadaver of a young, muscular man who died suddenly are also on view.


"Portrait of Dr. Samuel D. Gross" by Thomas Eakins, 1875.

Among the highlights for me was a series of large painted wooden sculptures by William Rush created for the famous anatomist Dr. Caspar Wistar to use for teaching. My favorite was a enormous sphenoid bone that looks like a modern sculpture. The sphenoid bone, is a cranial bone shaped like a butterfly, and is among my favorite bones.

<no subject>

Sphenoid bone sculpture by William Rush, wood and paint, 1808.

There is a companion exhibition to "Anatomy/Academy" also at PaFa and it is called "Anatomy Now". This exhibition includes works by modern artists who include or react to anatomy in some way. Featured in this show were works by Phillip Pearlstein, Patricia Traub, Michael Grimaldi and Roberto Osti.


Roberto Osti's drawing from the "Anatomy Now" exhibit.

Both these exhibits close on April 17, 2011.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Open Life Drawing Sessions at the Art Institute of Washington

Open life drawings sessions at the Art Institute of Washington have started up again. On Thursday we had a wonderful model and a good group of artists, faculty and students drawing together. Here are a few pieces created during the session.


Charcoal study by Web Bryant.

<no subject>

Figure study by Kevynn Joseph.

<no subject>

Pencil sketch by Marie Dauenheimer.

The open sessions are every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6:00PM-9:00PM. Please email for more details.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Anatomy of the Torso" Workshop with Robert Liberace

Last week I took a three day workshop on the "Anatomy of the Torso" with Instructor Robert Liberace. This artistic anatomy course, held at the Art League in Alexandria, Virginia, seamlessly integrated musculoskeletal anatomy with drawing from the life model. Liberace started with a review of the importance of bony landmarks in figure drawing. He also established areas of origin and insertions for the first group of muscles we would review. The muscles were located on the model and we encouraged to draw the model with the muscles ghosted in.

Each day of the workshop involved a review of a new group of muscles, functional anatomy and the opportunity to do a sustained study from the life model. The poses the model took were dynamic and highlighted the musculature.


Demo drawing by Robert Liberace showing bony landmarks on torso.


Demo drawing by Robert Liberace showing location of clavicle, sternum, costal cartilages and ribs.


Demo drawing by Robert Liberace showing some superficial muscles of the torso including infraspinatus, teres major, external oblique and rectus abdominus.


One of my charcoal drawings highlighting muscles of the torso.


Another one of my charcoal studies highlighting muscles of the back.