Art by Pencil

The art of pencil and charcoal drawing is something which we do not see a lot of nowadays but there was a time when it was very popular and even main stream.  Prior to photography becoming a viable art form one would have to hire an artist to produce a portrait of ones self.  I have a few portraits done in pencil/charcoal and we begin this chapter with an artist’t self-portrait.

James Paterson self-portrait Edinburgh, 1906

James Paterson
Edinburgh, 1906

#JamesPaterson (1854 – 1932), was a Scottish landscape and portrait painter associated with The Glasgow Boys movement of artists.  He is best known for his landscape paintings of Dumfriesshire, where he lived, at Moniaive.  Paterson spent more than 22 years in the area painting the Nithsdale and Ayrshire hills, the Solway Firth and the local river and burns, capturing the elusive colours and light inherent in the Scottish countryside.  After settling in Edinburgh in 1906, James Paterson drew several accomplished portrait sketches of high-profile contemporaries.  This self-portrait drawing is a good example of his characteristic style as a draughtsman.  He uses hatching to model the face and give it depth.  Paterson strongly believed in the ‘intimate study of nature’s varied features’ and in giving a real rather than an idealised representation of it.  Paterson once declared that: ‘In comparison with drawing, as a means of penetrating and recording for oneself impressions … photography is of far inferior value.’

Portrait of a Lady unknown artist 1916

Portrait of a Lady
unknown artist 1916

This wonderful portrait of a young lady was done in 1916.  It is initialled and dated on the reverse.  Sublime skills give this portrait a photographic appearance.  This drawing has very few lines but instead uses shading in its’ production.  A wonderful soft mellow touch with absolutely superb work around the eyes.  And to finish a portrait of a more mature lady by an unknown hand.

Lady's Portrait unknown artist and date

Lady’s Portrait
unknown artist and date

I hope you enjoy an art form which is not seen as often as was.

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