Drawing practices – Nefertiti

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Long time no university studies, but now drawing course started, yay!

We started with still-life from some materials everyone brought and with the addition of few plaster models. In groups of four we set the materials on desk and started drawing around the table our own settings.

My group got plaster model of Nefertiti’s bust. It was interesting to read some facts afterwards of Nefertiti. Also a coincident on the theme came up when I was drawing a second piece at home, I put TV on in the background and there was a documentary coming on Egypt and they were inspecting some hieroglyphs regarding Akhenaten and Nefertiti!

But back to the practices for now. So, at university I started off with charcoal. Huge struggle, I did not feel comfortable at all but I still wanted to push through. We also used litoposter paper which I do not really like either. Not that I do not like charcoal, but prefer instead pencils than the brittle stick. We were allowed to use graphite pencils or pastels as well, so I decided to make then later another drawing in graphite pencils on drawing paper. We will be likely using mainly ink for coming pieces in later lessons, so I wanted to use pencils now.

In the first charcoal stick and pastel drawing on litoposter I drew of our still life setting, with the Nefertiti bust, one shot glass, a ceramic cube and children’s wooden toy blocks on a dark fabric. Regarding composition, I should have moved the glass in my version slightly to the left as now it was a bit too disturbingly near the neck line. I added some warm and cool grey pastels (cretacolor hard pastels) into the drawing in the end.

Finished charcoal still life with white plaster Nefertiti bust:

Charcoal and hard pastels on litoposter paper

Before starting the graphite drawing I read a bit of Nefertiti, ”The Beautiful Woman has Come”. She was a beautiful Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) and they were known for a religious revolution as they worshiped only one god, Aten (or the sun disc). I wanted to incorporate the sun disc into the drawing and also pyramids, triangle shapes since we were practicing shapes and shading. In class we had a white plaster bust of Nefertiti but the actual bust is a painted stucco-coated limestone bust that was (believed to be) crafted by Thutmose in 1345 B.C. and it currently resides in the Neues Museum in Berlin Germany. (there is some interesting history of that also)

So, the next graphite drawing I made on Strathmore Bristol smooth surface paper with just pencils. I drew again the Nefertiti bust and then other imaginary stuff. I drew it with photo reference at home.

I used different graphite pencils from 2H to 7B and paper stumps (stomps) and finger (even though a bit no no due to oils in skin) to blend. Blending was actually one random discussion in the lessons, that blending is a trick, a shortcut, but anyway that still end result should be what matters. I’d say blending is just as good a technique as anything else and just one way to use tools to achieve a wanted end result. So, I blended as I always do. I blend and draw back and forth and of course also do some clean up with koh-i-noor hardtmuth erasers. Since the plaster model is not shiny and white, I did not bring back any strong highlights and kept it quite light in general.

Graphite pencils on Strathmore Bristol smooth surface paper

5 comments on “Drawing practices – Nefertiti”

      1. I had a similar experience recently while doing graphite drawings of tree. I was listening to “Through the Trees” — beautiful music — and the mailman arrived with information from the Arbor Day Foundation. I took that as a sign, made a donation, and we’re getting 10 free trees! LOL. Gotta love coincidences. Happy “art-ing”!

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