Master Drawing Mondays: Week 1

Let’s begin with Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Used with Creative Commons
© The Trustees of the British Museum

The British Museum has a lovely collection of drawings by Ingres. He is one of my favorite draughtsman and I just love this study of a nude female figure dancing, for the painting ‘The Golden Age’ (L’Age d’Or), drawn in 1839-1862 using graphite. The paper is hard to replicate, but I love Canson’s toned paper for this sort of thing. In fact, Canson named this line of paper after Ingres!

If you like to keep your drawings in a notebook, no special paper is needed for Master Drawing Mondays. The key principle here is to spend time looking closely and studying the quality of line of an old Master Drawing. Click the image for a high resolution facsimile to draw from.

*This image is provided through the British Museum through Creative Commons for non-commercial purposes. #MasterDrawing Mondays is free and open to anyone. All of the links on this page are to outside sources. I do not receive compensation for any sales of books or art supplies.

What did Ingres teach you this week?



A figurative sculptor for over 20 years, Sarah tells monumental stories in clay, bronze, and stone.


  1. Rob B on January 2, 2023 at 10:16 pm

    A very interesting and entertaining experience. I felt I learned from looking at the lines and the shading of another artist and then having to do it myself. I noticed that some of the lines and shading were minimalistic and what wasn’t there was just as import as what was there.

  2. Cyndi Gonzalez on January 16, 2023 at 8:04 pm

    I learned that the weight of a line makes a difference about the depth and shading is more difficult than I would think when there isn’t very much of it. Also that I could spend hours drawing. It was much easier for me to draw from this example than from life.

    • Sarah on January 16, 2023 at 8:10 pm

      Cyndi, yes! What a great observation! I think that some of the master drawings aren’t masterful because they get the proportions right but because they make good decision with the weight of the line. I find this to be the most challenging aspect of drawing and sometimes my drawings come out to be too flat and blah because I get caught up in proportion and anatomy and not enough in the quality of line. I love that you are participating in this drawing exercise.

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