Friday, 14 March 2008

I'm a hopeless consumer. A months or two ago I bought a box of 12 sketching pencils. I never use sketching pencils! But the box had been brought out as a homage to Arthur Rackham, and I happen to love Arthur Rackham... Ah me. - Anyway, I opened the box last Wednesday and thought I would give the pencils a try. They come in sanguine, sepia (light & dark), white and black, and there are two 'smooth' ones - never seen anything like that before, but I think they are primarily meant for soft shading. Just guessing. There's also a charcoal pencil and a pure graphite stick, one of those things that I used to know as a Progresso pencil. I rather like those, despite the fact that I have no idea of their specific use. Last but not least, there are three watersoluble pencils in HB, 4B and 8B. I was most curious about those, so I tried them out at once... :-)

This is what you get when you start drawing out of the blue. I guess that it has the charm of the spontaneous...? *g*

Another experiment: sketch pencils, watersoluble pencils and some Photoshop. My drawings from photos are always bad. Poor Caesar looks like a zombie, but this was fun to do...

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Caesar in Berlin

I spent three days in Berlin earlier this week, and have returned as a Berlin-enthusiast :D. What a wonderful city! I must go back sometime and visit all the sights and museums I didn't get to see during my short stay...

One of the visits I did make was to the Altes Museum. My specific purpose was to see the famous portrait bust of Nefertete, but I was delighted at all the other treasures on show as well - I never expected the collection to be as fine and wonderful as it turned out to be. The Egyptian collection is exquisite; the head of Nefertete (truly lovely, and touchingly so) is one among a number of Amarna-style pieces, and I am very fond of that period's art.

When I was at the museum, the Boxer of the Quirinal happened to be on display. It belongs to the Italian Terme Museum, and I had no idea it had been given on loan... Lucky me, I got to see it! I had learned about it in my Hellenistic Sculpture classes, but in real life the statue is so much more impressive than I could have guessed from photographs.

In the museum's last room I came across an acquaintance: good old Julius Caesar carved in grey stone. I took a photograph of him which I felt like sharing :-). It's a great portrait, I think, and I stared at it for a long while, reminding myself that I should do some more War in Gaul stuff soon...