Back at the V&A Museum, once David was as complete as he was going to be, I moved on to a 15th Century Italian bust of a young aristocratic woman. She was demurely looking down, and very beautiful. It never ceases to amaze me how well sculpture can represent flesh – something so hard conveying the softness and curves of a real body. That’s incredible art.
Unfortunately, my sketch makes her look rather snooty and sneering, poor thing. That’s the trouble with going straight into ink, there’s no convincing way out once you get it wrong. Although you can attempt to correct your mistake, often it’s just irretrievable…sigh. Anyway, I though her hair was particularly attractive, reminding me of the styles you see on Roman statues, and at least my drawing of that was more convincing.
While in this gallery we met an artist who was drawing the whole sculpture gallery. I was staggered. He was making a great job of it too – he said that he was going to use his picture as a demonstration to his students of how to successfully pull off a wide angle of perspective. I’d have liked to have seen that lesson. Anyway, he was a very pleasant chap, and passed on a technique which he uses, which is to dip a bamboo kebab skewer into bark ink to draw. I think I’m going to be trying that out sometime; it made beautiful, variable ink lines, and the ink went much further than you would expect. Lovely.