La Tour's Mary Magdalene with a Night Light ~
A Study in Values
In my life drawing class I am really getting to understand and be able to draw the human body. I have usually avoided drawing people and faces because most of the time I try I have awful results or I become really frustrated. The instructor is also teaching about value and shading. Beings that I have taken several drawing classes, I am already comfortable with my shading skills. Our mid-term assignment was to choose an image in the chiaroscuro style and do a study of values by replicating the image.
Chiaroscuro, which is the use of extreme dark and light, started and was used quite a bit during the times when much of the art was religious in some way. Not all, but a lot of it. I was somewhat limited with the material that the Master's have left us. I wanted something simple and something that I could relate to.
I found Georges de la Tour's painting titled 'Mary Magdalene with a Night Light'.
If one did not know the title, one would have to look close to see the religious connection. It is a white cross sitting flat on the edge of the table. Other than that, the image could be viewed in as many ways as there are craters on the moon.
Here is my replication, at the beginning when I had the outline and started on the left side, and then the finished product.