Marie Antoinette Project


This is a painting in watercolour on 300gm Bockingford (560x380mm)

The project is described in the post.

In November 2014 I left a note on Meagan-Marie’s DA site saying the photo she had posted from a cosplay photo shoot on Marie Antoinette would make a great watercolour.  She sent a gracious response but it took over a year for me to get to it.  Maybe because it was quite a technical picture.

Here is my first sketch (late one night):


And here is the next sketch I did:


And another for practice:


Then I created a detailed drawing on a sheet of Bockingford:


here is the first wash:


Still looking good after a few more washes:

In fact I should have stopped about there and kept her hair a little more subdued.  But I ploughed on:


The lock of hair was too powerful so I added more colour in her dress:


What I am reading about what is important in drawing is starting make the kind of sense that only practice can elicit.

Betty Edwards makes a powerful point about how important drawing is in the way we see the world.  And that we can learn to draw.  Just as we learn to read.  I found a posting about how brains of people who never draw show under-developed areas.  Here is what Betty Edwards says is important:

  1. Perceive the edges:  Where does one thing stop and another begin?  You can decide which edges you want to lose and which to find at a later stage.
  2. Perceive the negative spaces between shapes.  My brother Tim who is a brilliant painter but does not have a website or anything (come on brother – it is 2016) says I need to practice drawing still-lifes with objects to practice getting the negative shapes.
  3. Perceive relationships and proportions.
  4. Perceive lights and shadow.
  5. I would add in here – Perceive the colours and design the colour strategy to fit what you want to say.
  6. Perceive the Gestalt, the Quidditas (from Thomas Aquinas).  See the whole.

I like these thoughts.  I am now going to sit on the deck under the Pin Oak in our garden and read about the passage of light through a painting (Alex Powers).   No first I plan to have a swim in our pool that still has big Carp in it from the floods (2 years ago!)

Then I want to do this again.

3 thoughts on “Marie Antoinette Project

  1. I love seeing your process and the drawings…..your thoughts and what you shared Betty Edward’s points. I don’t think I am familiar with her, I need to look her up. wonderful post and painting!

    • Hi Margaret
      thanks so much for your comment – Betty Edwards wrote a great book on how to learn to draw based on Left Brain/Right Brain thinking. It is still a great learning processes even though later research showed her theoretical underpinning to be faulty.

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