The long limbs of classical dancers turned rogue

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Musical, The long limbs of a classical dancer turned rogue, Pencil, 600 x 800mm

The long limbs of classical dancers turned rogue is part of the body of work For the love of drawing, a series on lifedrawing in pencil.

The pencil drawings are all between A3 and A2 in size and completed in certainly no more than 10 minutes per sketch.

Leonardo Da Vinci on figurative drawing – the good painter has to paint two principal things, that is to say, man and the intention of his mind. The first is easy, and the second difficult because that latter has to be represented through gestures and movements of the limbs. That figure is most praiseworthy which best expresses through its actions the passion of its mind. The movement which is depicted must be appropriate to the mental state of the figure.


Drawing to me is the purest form of art.

Proportion is key to figurative drawing. To an extent it doesn’t matter what mark you make as long as it is in the right place.

Though every mark has to be fully considered from beginning to end. It may start sharp and thin and might end soft and broad all within one stroke – so within one mark the pressure of the pencil on the paper changes but also its angle.

Not everything is drawn, which creates not only a nice overall design, it also simulates locally light striking on, for instance, an arm or a leg, but by omitting something, the drawing too appeals to the viewer’s imagination.

See more work as part of For the love of drawing in:

For the love of drawing

The long limbs of classical dancers turned rogue

Burlesque at its best

When you are a man

Paddy joins in

The tales of sisters, friends and lovers

These drawings speak of decisions – decisions towards the elements of art (such as line, shape, texture) and decisions toward the principles of art (such us balance, rhythm, movement). When I draw from life decisions are made quickly and done mostly intuitively; yet this only now works because of practice, reflection and analysis.