Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Weekly Drawing - Sidewalk Ballerinas

Title: Sidewalk Ballerinas
Size(s): The above drawing is about 5 and 1/2 feet tall, and the drawing below is about 4 feet tall.
For this week I finally escaped to the great outdoors, where I sat on my driveway and drew some ballerinas. I hadn't realized quite how fun it was to draw ballerinas until doing this project. Between the elegant, curving lines, precise sense of balance, and delightfully poofy skirts, ballerinas make for wonderful drawing subjects.

I don't think I'd ever noticed the little "arm tutus" some ballerinas wear until I was looking for reference images today. I think they're rather fun. I've also learned the difference between classical and romantic tutus: classical are short and stiff, like a pancake around the waist; romantic tutus are longer and bell shaped. My ballerina at the top of the post is wearing a classical tutu, and the ballerina below is wearing a romantic tutu.

This week I also looked at some of the history of sidewalk chalk. It seems that using the road as a canvas began in 16th century Italy, when traveling street painters (called "madonnari") would use chalk to decorate the streets and earn a living. In the 1700's British "screevers" would draw illustrations in chalk, accompanied by poems, proverbs, or political commentary. So they pretty much acted as a newspaper. After the International Street Painting Festival began in 1972 in Italy, street painting really exploded. In 1980 Kurt Wenner revolutionized street art, introducing anamorphic art and ushering in the age of "3D" chalk drawings.

Whew! Okay, don't say I never taught you anything. :P

I'm pretty happy with how these drawings came out, over all. It's been awhile since I'd done chalk art, so it was fun to get back outside. 

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