Skeleton Within

In order to better understand the skeletal system, for this project, I was to take a famous piece of artwork and draw the skeleton of the human figure. I chose Edgar Degas’ statue “Little Dancer of Fourteen Years.” I am fascinated by dancers’ figures and poses, so I chose a work with that ideal. I wanted to draw the statue at an angle where I could see the hands so I could practice the bones in them. For my work process, I broke this project down into three main parts. I first got down the basic form and added slight details to the girl and her clothes. After I was satisfied, I shaded the statue, trying to mimic the lights and darks in the picture. I’m not very confident with my shading skills, but I was very proud of how this project turned out. It leads me to believe that I am improving. After shading everything, I used white charcoal to draw the skeleton inside. I found this part slightly troubling since I haven’t practiced enough with drawing skeletons. For the parts where my shading was lighter, such as in the skirt and near the ribbon, I used black charcoal to outline and shade some parts of the skeleton to make its form more obvious. One of the problems I found with my final piece was that in some areas, such as near the chest, the white charcoal blends and it becomes difficult to distinguish where the bone outlines are. Perhaps I should have shaded the bones a little as well, similar to how I did with the pelvic and hip bones in the skirt. After drawing the bones inside, I did do a few touch-ups to certain areas since the white overlapped with the shading and hid some outlines. I mostly darkened the area around the shirt and the arms to redefine them. At first, I wasn’t sure how well my final project would turn out, but overall I feel that my final piece has the form and shading down well, and I am confident in my piece.

Works Cited

“The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer | Edgar Degas | 29.100.370 | Work of Art | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2017. <;.

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