Art 3 – Clothed Figure – Due 11/6


1. Look at the following description of Degas’ life and work:


2. Look at the visual sequence  of recreating a Degas drawing using pastel and abstracted shapes:


3. Here is a video segment on polishing a drawing of a clothed figure using a kneaded eraser and shapes to accent the form:

4. Comment on the three aspects of Degas’ work and life that interest you most and then search the collections from link below for seated clothed figure.  Find the clothed figure that interests you most and post a link to it and explain why you find it interesting and how you might use some of the style or techniques in your own work.

Google Art Project


4 responses »

  1. I thought it was interesting that Degas produced 1,500 compositions of ballet dancers. I also thought it was interesting that he used the medium in a wide variety of ways and did not get stuck using it a specific way. I loved his piece “Dancers in The Rehearsal Room with A Double Bass”; I found the overall composition, the way he moves the viewers eye through the painting, the way he portrays light and space, and the way he moves from the simplicity of an empty wall to the complexity of a group of dancers very interesting. I liked the following figural composition because of its freeness and energy. The artist did not focus on minuscule details but still portrayed a highly engaging picture that (because of the lack of detail) emits a sense of mystery that further entices the viewer. I also like the varied heaviness/thickness of the lines, which gives the composition increased vitality. In my own compositions, I would like to try the same loose/free/gestural stokes and the technique of varying the lines’ thickness.

  2. I’ve always absolutely loved Degas’ work. His figures have life and movement that’s exceptionally hard to capture. Some points that I found interesting were that he never referred to himself as an impressionist, how he dabbled in different mediums, though pastels were “his medium”, and how his pieces changed as he aged and became depressed.
    I really love his “Blue Dancers” and his portrayals of women bathing. From what I can see, his pieces that revolve around cooler colors and have more shadowing feel more alive to me. The tonality, of course, is also amazing. The SKETCHES of women bathing have so much movement and feel like they’re alive as well.

    These three pieces have a common ground that I’d really like to focus on: making the figure feel alive on the page. There’s a sense of movement and energy in each of these works that I absolutely love. Energy and movement are really what makes a portrait or figure for me.

  3. When Degas began loosing his eyesight, he turned towards sculpturing to satisfy his artistic needs. I admire that he didn’t let such a life altering change stop from continuing to create art. He didn’t stop, but simply switched techniques and mediums to something he could still do. I am also interested in his fixation on ballet dancers and their energetic movement. The way they move would be a great subject of study for someone interested in capturing the human form. Something not related to art but I found interesting is the fact that he fought in Paris’s army. I just thought all artists do is art. This really cool to read about.

    Seated Woman with a Parasol (study for La Grande Jatte): This is the seated clothed figure that I liked the most. I like its mix of simplicity and complexity. It’s not really gestural but it conveys the figure an her form without needing to include any detail. I don’t know whether this is allowable for the project, but I think it would be cool to try to emulate.

  4. It’s exciting to know that Degar only favored scenes with human in it, because, ME, TWO. Dega also favored to choose ballerinas as his subject matters, which is another thing we have in common (it’s super exciting). I think ballet dancers are arguably the most perfect models for human figure drawings because ballet make their gestures and muscles incredibly beautiful (his sculpture “little racer” would be a great example).
    Although he prefer people to call him “realist” instead of “impressionist”, I think both identities fit him because his figures usually have realistic gestures but impressional color&texture effect.
    This piece of figure interests me most because of the balance between the realistic and lose texture. The artist mainly focused on the lady’s chest and face but left other parts of her cloths&body in a rougher texture. It’s a nice way to deal with the textures and I think it would be very useful for my own piece.

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