Master Drawing Mondays: Week 11

A Kneeling Man Holding a Staff by Jacopo Tintoretto

Jacopo Tintoretto A Kneeling Man Holding a Staff [recto], mid 1550s, National gallery of Art, Washington, DC

I love the movement and freshness of Tintoretto’s drawings. I was not overly familiar with this Venetian master until 2018, when I saw a big exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. I went several times to learn more about his life and work. The exhibit opened with an early self portrait. The image depicted an ambitious young man, filled with self-assurance and not yet beaten down by the challenges of life as an artist. It was a beautiful journey through this man’s life. The final image was a moving self-portrait of a very different man.

Jacopo Tintoretto, Self-Portrait, c. 1588, oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris Départment des Peintures

Here was someone I could relate to, especially having recently recovered from cancer treatment. This portrait was more gentle, worn down, wiser.

Later that year, I would travel to Venice and stay in Tintoretto’s old parish. There is a monastery at The Madonna dell’Orto that hosts guests and which was Tintoretto’s favourite church. It was not far from his home. In face, he and his family were all buried in the church. Tintoretto created many works at Madonna dell’Orto that we were able to enjoy.

In this drawing, Tintoretto drew with charcoal heightened with white on blue laid paper. To capture Tintoretto’s energy, see if you can draw this one several times very quickly. The Strathmore toned paper or the Canson Ingres paper would be perfect for this drawing. However, 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.

Wait… I missed what all of this is about!

The challenge of Master Drawing Mondays is to set aside time to copy a drawing. You can either choose from a book, or I will provide a weekly prompt from a museum collection. If you are on social media, use the hashtag #MasterDrawingMonday and tag me on Instagram @SarahHI. Let’s see how many out-of-practice artists we can encourage to take up a regular practice of copying the old masters!

Share your drawings on social media, or hang it on your mom’s fridge!


#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.


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

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