Master Drawing Mondays: Week 20

Study for “Apollo and Daphne”, by John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent Study for “Apollo and Daphne”, c. 1918

John Singer Sargent is one of America’s best portrait painters and figurative artists. I love the freshness of this drawing. It could have been a pose we recreated when I was learning to draw back in the 1990s.

One of the things I like best about Sargent is his mastery of line. He would draw things again and again to make the final work look so effortless. If you have the time, try to draw this one quickly and several times. Did the final one feel easier? Look more effortless? Let us know in the comments.

Materials and techniques: Sargent drew this with charcoal on a toned paper. A lightly toned paper by Strathmore 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!

Thank you @kipic.dusan

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.


  1. Dibujos Para Colorear WK on October 5, 2023 at 3:59 am

    Studying Sargent’s work is always a valuable learning experience! You’re absolutely right about his mastery of line – it’s incredible how he makes it look so effortless. I’ll definitely give this study a try and see if repeated attempts make it feel easier. Thanks for the tip!

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