10.4.08

Sketch of Our Lady


This head sketch I did some time ago, last year before Christmas I think. I originally wanted to make the image a painting but I felt my initial sketches were too modern (contemporary) The old images of Our Lady that I have seen since I was a child have left an impression on me I suppose. Nothing I draw seems to meet my expectation of what Mary looked like. From what I hear, this has been an issue with artist for centuries

10 comments:

Thom said...

Thanks for posting your portraits, Anthony. They are excellent.

To me, this Mary looks a bit too athletic. Her shoulders are broad and her neck appears muscular. I'm wondering if she's wearing running shoes too. :) Maybe that's why she looks too contemporary? Just an idea.

Anthony VanArsdale said...

good idea!... this is something I didn't think about... she did travel a long way to Elizabeth's house, but it might be best to tone it down :)

thanks for the critique!

Theodore said...

nicely rendered... I see what you mean though. Perhaps the problem is that the modern idea of beauty is more "cute" than beautiful... snub nose, pouty lips...?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above commenters. While the drawing is certainly beautifully rendered, she doesn't look Jewish nor remotely Marian. I have encountered the same problem attempting to portray Mary; one desires to make her "look" beautiful in order to honor her, and so we tend to use Western ideals of contemporary attractiveness to do so, while not being at all faithful to what we DO know about her.

There are only two images of Mary that seem to me to be most authentically "Marian", if you will. They are Our Lady of Guadalupe and the icon of Our Lady of Vladimir. In both she is deeply private, recollected in profound intimacy, a picture of utter simplicity and mystery. Maybe I can't draw her that way satisfactorally because I can't go there yet myself. I don't know, but it sure is humbling.

-rebecca

Anonymous said...

P.S. I don't mean to sound so discouraging about trying to draw the Blessed Mother. It may be humbling to not be able to make your brain-arm-hand-pencil connection work well enough to say with certitude, "Wow - now that's the Blessed Mother for sure!", but it does become a spritual exercise to try, and I can attest to growing interiorly while bumbling my own sorry way through it.

-rebecca again

Bernardo said...

I think this is a stunning sketch, but like others I agree that she looks a little too much like a supermodel. Other have mentioned the nose and lips, and I concur, especially about the lips, but I was thinking the eyebrows and eyelashes might also be a problem. The eyebrows look like they were carefully plucked, and the eyelashes look curled. Actually, I don't think the lashes are as much of a problem, but you could definitely work on the eyebrows a bit.

Still, please know that I find this picture perfectly stunning. Are you familiar with Dappled Things magazine? Perhaps you should consider submitting some of your work. The url is www.dappledthings.org.

Anthony VanArsdale said...

thank you everyone for the comments... they are all very helpful... it is something too that needs to be approached with prayer and study

Our Lady of Guadalupe is my favorite image and more recently I've tried to center my drawings around it... I'm increasingly growing more fond of icons, learning not only their message but experiencing how they speak to the soul. (especially Our Lady of Guadalupe since it is of heavenly origin)

She must have inner beauty and not that which passes with fads and trends... good direction! I'll work at it

Oh! and Bernardo, I'll check out that site

thanks again for helping this simple artist

Eric Orchard said...

This is absolutely stunning, Anthony.

Paul Nichols said...

I'd agree that the picture is very very good. And that it's almost too "modern" looking.

But I'll bet that within ourselves, there's something in our soul that "knows" that whatever we put on paper can't match her reality.

Which, I suppose, is why I've never even attempted it. I could never do her enough justice!

Herreid said...

I'm jealous of your skills...