Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 1 - "Art Every Day Month" - A lesson in mark-making from Matisse

Over the long weekend, I was lucky enough to travel to Vienna for the first time. I knew it would be a beautifully elegant city and one renowed for its classical music culture, but I had no idea of the wealth of art there.

One of the art galleries we visited was the beautiful Albertina. There were so many great works there there including pieces by Dürer, Monet and Picasso, but one of my favourites was a simple lithograph by Matisse. I was really drawn by the simplicity of the piece.  There are just a few lines on the page, but they are incredibly effective at conveying a sense of the sitter, the Marquise de Pompadour. Elegant, yet with a certain melancholy. A great example of mark-making. I especially loved the way he did the lips, with one unbroken line.

They say you learn by copying, so I took out my sketchbook and a charcoal pencil and had a go at imitating Matisse's mark making.  Here's my version:

And here’s a copy of the Matisse original (definitely more elegant than my version, but then I figure he'd had a bit more practice than me...):


  1. Lovely - I think I will try this as well - I organize my posts according to the alphabet, as in A is for Abstract. You have inspired me to try M is for Matisse. You definitely captured the feel of the drawing.

  2. Thanks Tobi. That is really encouraging. I just had a look at your blog. Loved the blue painting. Absolutely beautiful. I've signed up to follow, so looking forward to "M" day!

  3. these really reminded me of Matisse's work, and I love your plan of Matisse on this day, Picasso the next :) Great plan