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Niccolò da Uzzano Portrait after Donatello Charcoal and Pastel on Grey Paper Portrait Art
Detail of Face subtle tones Niccolò da Uzzano Portrait after Donatello Charcoal and Pastel on Grey Paper Portrait Art
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Niccolò da Uzzano Portrait after Donatello

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  • Charcoal and Pastel on Gray Paper
  • 25 x 18 inches (64 x 46 cm)
  • Available

Niccolò da Uzzano, after Donatello

          Artist Kelly Borsheim created a charcoal and pastel Portrait of Niccolò da Uzzano (After Donatello).  Niccolò da Uzzano was a banker for the famous Medici family of Florence, Italy.  The original portrait in terra-cotta by Donatello is exhibited in the Bargello National Sculpture Museum in Florence.

 Original Sculpture Ceramic Portrait of Niccolò da Uzzano in the Bargello Museum in Florence Italy

Above is an image of the original artwork.  Looking at this image, one must wonder if the gesso (plaster cast) was made incorrectly.  The head appears to be bent back in a more expressive way in Donatello's sculpture.  This sculpture stands out in the fabulous collection of the Bargello National Sculpture Museum on Via Ghibellina in Florence and is one of Kelly's favorites.

           The sight-size method of drawing was used (more about that below).  This is my first drawing using white pastel on a grey paper (previous drawing were done with light paper using only charcoal to darken tones).

 

The Sight-Size Drawing Process

Portrait of Niccolò da Uzzano" (After Donatello) ~ Sight-Size Portrait Art


Sight Size Method of Drawing Niccolò da Uzzano, after Donatello Charcoal with Pastel Art Portrait
"Portrait of Niccolò da Uzzano" (After Donatello) - Sight-Size Portrait Art

 

     Some of the basic concepts of the sight-size method of drawing are described on the page exhibiting Kelly's Écorché ~ The Archer.  In this first image, you can see that the larger and more significant shapes of light and dark have been determined and the one averaged dark tone has been drawn onto the grey paper.  More dark will be added, as well as some dark areas being lightened.  But this is how it starts.

     In order to maximize the full tonal range possible in the media used, one must establish the darkest dark and the whitest white.  Here whites are added with Rembrandt-brand pastel.  Grey Italian paper that will be seen without pastel or charcoal in just the right tonal places.

 White Pastel added to gray paper to maximize tonal range in Portrait Drawing

     Although this setup may look simple, it takes a long time to secure the type of lighting desired.  The gesso (plaster cast) is almost solid white.  So there are quite a lot of possible lighting effects one can achieve.  That is also a reason that one does not change the setup at all once you get past a certain early stage of the shape drawing.  The lighting greatly determines the shapes of the light and the dark regions.

I love this drawing and it was a turning point for me, yet also felt as if I were coming home.  My first real art love was black and white photography.


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