I don’t like Burne Jones that much, but he was a superb draughtsman. His figure of Andromeda is outstanding, if questionable. Her choice is to be eaten by a dragon, or given as a sexual possession to the stranger who turned up to take that possession. I think her pose indicates her feelings about this Hobson’s choice, so maybe Burne Jones thought the same. Her hand positions seem to indicate that she knows what comes next.
I decided to make a straight, gridded-up copy of her in pencil, largely as a challenge to see if I could capture a coloured oil painting in monochrome graphite.
I was pleased with the way it was working out, so I bought myself some really soft pencils and finished her. I left out the chains, partly because they are really hard to draw, but largely because I hate the idea of chains and restraint. The rendering of her feet is astonishing, and I find feet really difficult to draw, so I worked hard to see how EBJ drew them. Cleaned up, she almost looks like an engraving.
I think this is complete. I started out on the wrong foot, using the wrong colour of paper. A lot of the paper colour shows through, because of the heavy ribbed texture. A warm colour would look OK. This dark blue grey just looks drab. I think I need to get some different pastel papers.
I have posted my acrylic copy of Klimt’s Eve before, but I realised that I had taken a series of poor quality phone-photos of the picture at several stages in its painting. It is interesting to see how it developed. Initially I thought it would not work, but after I painted the leopard skin she stands on (hardly an advert for the Garden of Eden, where all is peace, harmony and vegetarianism…) I suddenly thought “I can do this” and carried on. Her hands don’t work well, but then Klimt never finished them in the first place, so maybe he was having an off day too. (He clearly was, he died before he finally completed them). One of my favourite paintings of all.
I made this copy of Aubrey Beardsley’s Salome with the head of St John when I was not quite a student, in about 1969. It was done with a Rotring pen and copied from a postage stamp sized illustration in the Encyclopaedia Britannic, so I was, and still am, quite impressed with the result. It hung in my room as a student, and how it has survived until now I don’t know