This post is coming early, because Thursday is gonna be a busy one for me. So here goes!
I’m a little out of my element here, because I usually try to avoid drawing historical figures, especially those that are prominent to a particular faith. I feel this way because I want to portray people of historical significance accurately, and that’s not an easy thing when some figures have been idealized to look a certain way.
So when I was asked to draw the Virgin Mary, this was a dilemma I faced. Do I draw the idealized version of Mary, or do I take a more historical approach? I talked with the guy and he gave me the freedom to do what I think is best. That takes us back to one of my earliest blog posts–and my original sketch for the Virgin Mary who I drew as a traditional Hebrew Woman of that time, according to my understand after my research.
Now that I have time, I’m revisiting Mary, with the intent to finish this as an illustration, so I began by doing a figure study in the pose that I’ll be using. Just a heads up, I always draw figures in the nude before I clothe them. The reason I do this, and why most artists do this, is because it’s important to see the figure in order to accurately drape the clothes to the contours of the body. Just thought I’d add that tidbit so you guys know this is a standard practice for me.
Anywho! In doing this figure study, I also took the time to study women of Mary’s time, and their expected body types, and one point of reference I used were marble statues of women from ancient Rome and Greece. These woman were usually depicted as well rounded, and I thought it would make a good base for Mary’s body type.
Overall though, I’m trying to handle this drawing with care, out of respect for Mary’s historical significance. It may not be spot on, but, I’m trying my best with this one with the knowledge I have.
More updates on Mary soon! Till then, Enjoy!