Hans Holbein Copy

Hans Holbein Copy
Hans Holbein Copy
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Hans Holbein Copy

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One of my wise art teachers once said, “Drawing is seeing.  If you can’t draw that means you can’t see.”  Well, Hans Holbein most certainly could see!  This 16th century artist is considered one of the best draftsmen to ever have lived.  He traveled throughout Europe learning from the masters of the his time and developing a humanist style that quickly won him continental fame.

In today’s art-world personal expression is prized above all else.  Which can make Holbein's work seem a bit static and empty.  But when so much emphasis is placed on personal expression, mastery and subtlety suffer.  It is exactly his mastery and subtlety that places Holbein on a level reserved for only a few.

For this Granberg Weekly I copied one of Holbein’s famous drawings of the English politician John Poyntz (ca. 1485-1544).  It was originally done in black and colored chalks, pen and ink, and brush and ink.  Mine is done in graphite on  8.5 x 11 inch Canson paper.

Copying this drawing gave me the opportunity to experience and study the subtlety that Holbein was known for, and let me tell you, it was a challenge to imitate!  At first glance this drawing seems more like a dexterous outline of a face, but once I began copying it I began to see (and struggle with) the subtle expression of form expressed in the piece.  Throughout the drawing process I found myself getting more and more focused trying to see and then draw this beautiful piece of art.  It truly was an exercise in seeing.

And my conclusion...what a joy!  Enjoy the journey!

"Hans Holbein Copy" ~ 8.5 x 11 Inches ~ Graphite on Canson paper.