Egyptian Woman With Earring – Master Copy

John Singer Sargent was born on this day, 12 January in 1856. While American, he was born in Florence, Italy. As a gifted artist, he studied and traveled widely. I have seen much of his work, but I didn’t really get to learn more about John Singer Sargent until I moved to New York City–I must have slept through that day when my art history teacher was talking about him.

John is probably most well known in the US for his Madam X painting at the MET. That’s a beautiful painting. I still remember encountering that painting for the first time.

If you happen to visit the Metropolitan Museum, though, I highly recommend seeking out to see John’s works there. There are many of his paintings there thanks to a number of folks that joined force to purchase John’s works. And, you can learn all about that if you are into American Art History and all.

Egyptian Woman With Earring - by John Singer Sargent
Pencil Master Study of Egyptian Woman With Earring by John Singer Sargent

Visiting the Metropolitan Museum can be exciting. Before the Pandemic, I would visit the Museum frequently. I went there so much that I even have my preferred route to the American Wing. I am not going to reveal my secret passage here, but you know the route if you have gone there with me–it’s the best route.

Once the museum opened again to the public, I have gone back to examine John’s works once again. This particular drawing is called “Egyptian Woman With Earring”. There are two paintings of the same woman. At the moment, they are hung next each other. I sat down right in front of them for about 30 minutes for this quick master copy. In honor of his birthday, I decided–remembered–to finish this little drawing that I have forgotten all about. Happy B-Day John!

My Favorite Painters

Anthony Van Dyke


The Other Drawings from 6 January 2021

Pencil on Paper, 11” x 8.5”

This is the other drawing from Wednesday, January 6, 2021. I never got around to share the first drawing because it had been interrupted by the US Capitol Riot–I posted my second drawing: a police officer in riot uniform.

Today, I found myself looking at this, thinking that I will always remember January 6th when I look at this particular drawing. I have been working to better capture values of what I see by making use of all the shades of gray at my disposal: 10B to 10H.

Oh, btw, I uploaded a video on Instagram, demonstrating how I use a lighter pencil to roughly shade a portion of this drawing. Shading with pencils can be a messy business, and there must be a better way.

Every so often, when I paint or draw, there are occasional A-ha moments. These moments come in small waves, in complete silence, but with unusual confidence, letting me know that I am progressing. And, I suppose that’s how Democracy is built on as well. 

Drawing Pencil Recommendation

  • Hi-uni Graphite Pencil Set, 22 Pieces – These are main Graphite Pencils. The Hi-Uni Graphite Pencil Set includes 22 different hardness grades, one each of 10H, 9H, 8H, 7H, 6H, 5H, 4H, 3H, 2H, H, F, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8B, 9B, and 10B, in a nice aluminum case.

The US Capitol Riot of 2021

A mob rushed the US Capitol yesterday. 5 people, including a US Capitol Police Officer, have died as a result of the mob that stormed the Capitol.

Mob (noun): A large, angry crowd, especially one that could easily become violent. – The Cambridge Dictionary

Mob (noun): a large and disorderly crowd of people – especially : one bent on riotous or destructive action – Merriam-Webster

And, what do you call it when a mob attack police officers in riot gear and march into the US Capitol?

The US Capitol Riot of 2021
Police officers dressed in riot gear secure The US Capitol

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Georgia on my mind

All the news about Georgia is interesting, but I find it amusing that whenever I hear the news about Georgia, I can almost hear the song, Georgia on my mind, by Ray Charles. Do you know it? If not, I embedded a version of the youtube video for your viewing and listening pleasure at the end of this article.

I have been experimenting with a number of sketches for my next project, and I have incorporated some ideas with this portrait, mixing some of my early year painting style with contemporary realism ideas. They don’t really go together just yet, but I will keep at it.

I have heard so much news about Georgia this week in the States because of Georgia’s Senate race. There has been much speculation about what could happen based on who wins the race. 

Between all the news about Georgia’s Senate race, I was drawing a portrait, which I appropriately named it: Georgia. It felt like the right name for today’s work after all the talk about what’s happening in Georgia.

26/100 Faces

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Materials Used:

  • Blackwing Pencils – Used by famous artists since first introduced. These pencils drive nicely.

Finally, here is Ray Charles, singing Georgia on my mind – Live 1976


100 Human Challenge (25/100) – A Boring Portrait

#100faces #100faceschallenge

A Boring Portrait

This is my first 2021 portrait–executed on 4 January 2021. This is the 25th of my #100humanchallenge I started at the end of 2020.

I began to draw this painting after spending an hour or so reading and listening to news. I wasn’t entirely sure how far I wanted to go with this drawing. After all, these portraits has been a side project, allowing myself to tune the way I see the world.

Meanwhile, according to news, the world is having a real tough time dealing with Covid-19:

  • In the States, there has been 352K of deaths from 20.8M cases.
  • More people are traveling, despite all the cautionary recommendation. I suppose that’s how us Americans have believed from the very beginning: give me freedom or give me death.

Of course, I am not here to judge what’s right or wrong, but merely recording what I am listening to.

Let me finish my thought on this pencil portrait…

So I have enjoyed using pencil to record what I see. My method of recording mostly has been quick, expressing what I see with line drawings without much shading. I was never a fan of sitting around and drawing for hours with pencils, but I have been pushing myself in the recent months–when I sit down to do these portraits for an hour or two, that’s definitely way beyond how much I am willing to invest on pencil works.

The same portrait at an earlier stage.

The portrait felt pretty boring to me, but every drawing or failed work could be a stepping stone to a masterpiece!

Materials used for this pencil portrait

Tombow Mono Professional Drawing Pencils – These are the ones that stay in my bag at almost all times. These are very reliable pencils for every day use.