Rembrandt Van Rijn “Saskia Asleep”, The Pierpont Morgan Library, NY
What is a drawing study? A drawing study is a rough sketch drawn to gain information only. The above work by Rembrandt shows how a study can become a delightful piece of work in its own right.
In this work above, Rembrandt has used loose brushstrokes with washes added for tone. This piece shows mainly an “uncontrolled” style, however, there are small areas of control in the faces and hands of his subjects. The switch to the “controlled” hand gives a delightful balance to the carefree strokes elsewhere. Rembrandt usually used pen and ink/brush in his studies, ideal for showing the quality of line (changing thickness of line weight.) His rapid style lends much vitality to this work.
Beautiful soft tones surround the figures and you will see thick black accents under the head, arm and pillow to ground and give weight to the figures. Rembrandt was highly aware of light and shadow and in this sketchiest of works he shows the presence of same.
A calligraphy or “sumi” brush can attain different width of strokes like Rembrandt. Bear down for the thick strokes and use only the point for thinner lines.
Do you like Rembrandt’s style of drawing? Do you enjoy being influenced by the great masters? Does this influence help you to try new ways of drawing?