Master Drawing Mondays: Week 13

None other than Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Seated, Holding His Hat, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Edgar Degas was my first art love. My first semester freshman year, I went on a road trip with a bunch of friends to Chicago to see the Degas exhibit. It was entitled Beyond Impressionism and I still have the poster from the museum. Degas’ skill in drawing left an impression (pun intended!) on me and I often reached for one of his drawings to copy.

I especially love this portrait of Édouard Manet. The quality of line is spectacular, as one would expect of Degas.

In this drawing, he used graphite with white chalk on a toned paper. 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. Click the image for a high resolution facsimile to draw from.

This particular drawing inspired a drawing that I did of a US Civil War soldier at rest, exhausted from an endless war.

Sarah Hempel Irani, Soldier at Rest, Charcoal on toned paper, Private Collection

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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