He's So Sketchy

22 Apr 2012

But in the very best way! When I was trolling for artists who draw like they paint and vice versa, Giovanni Boldini immediately came to mind. His mark making is a tour de force, no matter if he is working in oils, pastels, or when charcoal painting.

Spanish Dancer at the Moulin Rouge by Giovanni Boldini, oil on canvas, 49 x 40, 1905.
Spanish Dancer at the Moulin Rouge by Giovanni Boldini,
oil on canvas, 49 x 40, 1905. All works by Giovanni Boldini.

Boldini has an undeniable aptitude for charcoal drawing because of the variety of his strokes and the physicality of his gesture. He really acts on the surface of his drawings and pencil sketches. Even a simple charcoal portrait or chalk drawing, when looked at through an abstract lens, becomes a maze of lines and movement.

These same characteristics in Boldini's approach to charcoal really stand out in his painting methods as well. His stroke is always in keeping with the direction or motion he is trying to convey, and usually that turns out to be a lot of motion indeed! In fact, Boldini was known as the "master of swish" because of the extensive amount of visual movement he worked into his paintings and drawings.

Girl in a Black Hat by Giovanni Boldini, pastel, 1890. La Lettura by Giovanni Boldini, chalk on paper, 1931.
Girl in a Black Hat, pastel, 1890. La Lettura, chalk on paper, 1931.

Most of all, I am intrigued by how "full" Boldini makes his paintings and drawings feel with lines, curves, and hatch marks alone. He can take the simplest building block of art and evolves it into something with so much force and depth, even when his compositions are fairly sparse. In fact, when I look at his work it is usually the strokes all around the figures that I tend to give my attention. They are just so free but give a sense of atmosphere and spatiality to the works.

Portrait of the Marquise by Giovanni Boldini, oil on canvas, 1914.
Portrait of the Marquise, oil on canvas, 1914.

Even a single charcoal drawing lesson could be your much needed outlet to explore expressiveness and gesture—aspects of art that we all try to incorporate in our artistic repertoires. If you want to see what charcoal painting can offer you, Dynamic Charcoal Drawing Lessons could be just the guide you are looking for. And right now the Artist Daily Store is having their April Sale, which means you can get all the resources you want at a great deal. Enjoy!

P.S. Are you a fan of Boldini? Are there other artists you can name who draw and paint with the same style and power? Leave a comment and let me know.


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Comments

ngsh14 wrote
on 23 Apr 2012 5:47 AM

nice works

laurafan wrote
on 23 Apr 2012 9:24 PM

I love Giovanni Boldini. He is one of my favorite artists. If you have the chance, visit the museum dedicated to him in Ferrara, his hometown in Italy.