View Full Version : Bouguereau Boogie - June-July 2010

06-02-2010, 09:38 PM
Where is Bouguereau? I'm not quite sure but he was quite evident in the 1880's.

So this is a two month get together on one wonderful artist. The goal here is simple - to become familiar with this guy.....imitate, exaggerate, distort if you like...use various mediums.....discuss........sketch......

Here are two links...one to wikipedia background info


one to a website with his art work


I'm looking forward to spending time with this consumate artist. A true classical

06-02-2010, 11:47 PM
At long last, he's here! Thank you, Robin. Finally, there's a reason for me to paint naked people again. Thanks for the two month time span, not that it would deter us from posting even way after! Now, let me go and borrow some Bouguereau books first.

06-02-2010, 11:48 PM
Oops, double post.

Just read his brief biography. Wow, he painted 826 paintings. His paintings really look photo realistic.

06-03-2010, 02:09 AM
Oh Wow! I am just so excited - can't wait to begin.:clap:

06-03-2010, 01:15 PM
Very nice to revisit B. As you say...a true classical/academic artist!!

06-04-2010, 07:43 AM
so I think what I'll be doing is a 5, 10 & 20 minute sketch of one and then using that study - doing a screen print reduction image. A rather an unclassical approach to the classical - but FUN!!!

Have you learned to spell his name without looking yet???

06-06-2010, 10:06 AM
Have you learned to spell his name without looking yet???

It's a difficult one, isn't it? I always have to double check! :lol:

So many beautiful paintings to choose from...

I think I will try some sketching first to help me decide on which to actually try and paint.

So far, I'm looking at The Girl Holding Lemons and Childhood Idyll. Doubt if my painting skills can do them justice, but I will enjoy the challenge. :thumbsup:

06-08-2010, 08:00 PM
Well, there you have it: I have gone and turned his masterpiece "The bather" into a bit of dodgy post-impression. My apologies to Mr. Bouguereau, who surely must be spinning in his grave, but strictly realistic drawing is not my strong point... ;-)


Mechanical HB pencil on a smallish scrap of paper, about A5 sized and I didn't even use all of it either. But larger drawings than that are not my strong point either!

06-08-2010, 11:40 PM
Good proportions and expression, Brian. I chose a piece too but I think I'll follow your lead and do it in pencil or charcoal for a change.

06-09-2010, 02:41 PM
Brian - I think this a a great study - it has alot of strength, clean lines, nice form and she looks healthy , by that I mean there isn't a seductive quality - just ....well,.... she looks like a nun with the head gear........(I'm just being silly ....... love it...

06-09-2010, 10:10 PM
Brian - I think this a a great study - it has alot of strength, clean lines, nice form and she looks healthy , by that I mean there isn't a seductive quality - just ....well,.... she looks like a nun with the head gear........(I'm just being silly ....... love it...

It's funny you should say that, because I remember that the first time I saw the original, my first thought was that it WAS a nun wearing nothing but her head gear. :lol:

The female nudes of those French academics often manage to look sort of chaste and sensual at the same time. Perhaps that is part of their allure.

Glad you liked my lines, because I have kind of given up on realistic drawing, so I am now focusing mainly on line...

06-11-2010, 01:12 AM
oh, you probably just "think" you are giving up - you are just giving it a rest - :angel:

Sometimes I look at all the really accomplished folk who post and get feeling down but hey, it's not about competition....it's about fellowship, right. And good artist's are not snobby....they're human too.....Don't let'em get to ya Flash. ease up and relax

06-11-2010, 09:48 PM
oh, you probably just "think" you are giving up - you are just giving it a rest - :angel:

Sometimes I look at all the really accomplished folk who post and get feeling down but hey, it's not about competition....it's about fellowship, right. And good artist's are not snobby....they're human too.....Don't let'em get to ya Flash. ease up and relax

Now don't you start - I have found giving up on realism to be wonderfully liberating. ;-)

06-12-2010, 02:36 AM
Hi Brian

Lovely drawing - I really like lines too.:thumbsup:

Here's my attempt at The Girl Holding Lemons. Just graphite in my A4 sketchbook.


06-13-2010, 12:32 PM
Inky, that is a good rendition. You did her hair well. Wow, 10 fingers. How could you stand it.

I just make blobs of their finger and toes.:lol:

Here's one that I was testing my new watercolor pencils with. Needs a lot of getting used to. Really messed up on the cleavage on this one. Added some Daniel Smith watercolors.

It's really tiny.

2 x 3.5 inch


06-13-2010, 03:56 PM
I went back to rework my piece with more defining of the curves. Amazingly, I could erase dried watercolor from watercolor pencil and tube colors. A revelation for me today.


lovin art
06-14-2010, 12:20 AM
Hi Everyone can I just say what delightful art work you all have posted lovely drawings and watercolour:clap: , Thanks Robin for hosting, I just found this great thread and thought I would share too, as hes one of my fav and always will be, hope its ok for me to add this as Im doing a study of this one atm and I wanted to draw this first before I started,... its his portrait of Gabrielle Cot...:D


06-14-2010, 07:28 AM
well, i didn't quite understand what you meant by realisim....I understand that focusing intently on one type of art can give you burnout.....and I too love lines
Here are a few studies I did acouple of days ago. I realized that I am drawing too small. the one purple blobby one is not finished.
I've gotta go to work in a little bit and will return later this evening to comment on all the good work.
Have a good day, ya'll :D

06-14-2010, 10:56 AM
Brian, your version of The Bather sure looks realistic to me. Her body's perfect. Sketching her in a different style was very cool. That's a great pencil drawing and I like the way you shaded the background to make her even more pale. Wonderful drawing.

InkyEss, you did a great version of Girl with Lemons too. That's beautiful. I just saw it yesterday when I went looking for my reference and recognized her face right off, you really got the likeness. Gorgeous drawing. Her hands are lovely. One of the things I love about Bouguereau's paintings is the delicate hand gestures of these ladies, they're very period and classical.

Sandra (gakinme), I saw your nude in the All-Media Sketching Thread Part VII and loved her, in both versions. She seems a little more plump with the changes but very real.

Sandra (lovin art), your copy of the portrait of Gabrielle is fantastic. You really got her likeness too, her face is very distinctive and yours is so accurate. Beautiful hair texture. I like your soft shading and the contrast between hard lines and soft smudges, your style is completely different yet lovely in itself. This one's charming.

Robin, cool sketches of the little girl in pen. Thank you for hosting this and making it a two month event. I love Bouguereau and this may give me the time to study him in depth. I know I don't want to stop with just one, these paintings mean something personal and important to me.

I saw some Bouguereau paintings as a small child either in the Chicago Art Institute or some other museum, don't remember where since it was so long ago. But I was only in first grade or so, very small. They were overwhelming. They opened up a magical world of beauty to me full of satyrs and goddesses and nymphs, the stories I loved most came alive in them. Playboy magazine was forbidden and no one ever took their clothes off except to bathe alone, but classical painting and sculpture was free to go beyond those bounds if it was good enough.

Somehow there was a fantastic difference between these nudes and the modern magazines too -- that difference is their innocence and joy. They're not made up, they're not putting it on, they're not self conscious or naughty or aware of themselves as naughty. A lot of the modern nude photography I saw then and later shows women either being very onstage-seductive or bitter bad actresses, unless they're models in the photo reference books like my Eadweard Muybridge collection.

They are the Unforbidden and they still mean that to me, they come closer to how I feel about beauty and life than most modern beauties.

I planned to do this in pen and wash, but I scanned at the pen stage both to post her as a WIP and in order to give myself time to decide whether I really want to do the wash stage at all. Do you think this pen drawing stands alone? In colored pens? Or does it need the watercolor to unite the different colors of line work? Please let me know. I'm going to let her rest for a little while and work on something else.

She came out right at this stage, better than I hoped I could do. So now I'm a bit nervous about continuing, afraid I'll mess her up.

Le Crepuscule after Bouguereau
7" x 11"
Sakura Pigma Micron color pens, size 05
Canson All-Media book 90lb cold press watercolor paper.
Possibly a WIP, first intended as pen and wash.

Granola Girl
06-14-2010, 02:17 PM
I can't believe it's so tiny, Sandra. It gives the impression of being much bigger. Very dreamlike representation... I haven't seen the original yet... does it have a name? Never mind, I found her. So many to choose from.

Inky, those are some very challenging hands to tackle... nicely done.

Brian, I quite like your pencil sketch... you captured her curves very well.

Yikes, I missed a bunch more... didn't notice that there were more pages (oops). Lots of lovely posts!:clap:

lovin art
06-14-2010, 04:07 PM
Robin your Ink drawings are wonderful, very lively!! is that coloured pencil you have used in the second one, the bg is very interesting I like the texture....lovely work!!

Robert, Wow, love your pen drawing its very cool, she stands alone like this but also in saying that, I would love to see her in colour too, Im doing a small study of this in oils to look at skintones, she is beautiful,.... one of my favs of his...and thankyou for what you wrote Robert it was lovely to read, I was told by a friend on here, he said, apparently he would have all his models around him in his studio playing around him while he painted away, he must of been very focused to endure that....what a mavelous Artist he was.....

06-14-2010, 07:47 PM
Sandra, thank you! That is so cool! I didn't know he had his models all playing around him in his studio while he painted. That must have been incredible -- and very handy when he needed to check proportions or details.

Yes, I will definitely be doing her again and more of his nudes. I'll keep this version pen and ink but I'd also like to do the same one in watercolor pencils and maybe also in pen and wash. I can do multiple versions. This one struck me as so magical -- she's levitating over the water and her draperies are floating in the air too, caught in the moment of motion.

lovin art
06-14-2010, 08:34 PM
Robert , that would be grand if you do her in wcs please post it if you do we would love to see it!! ....if you love Evening Mood you will love his Dawn also, Im thinking they were ment to be a set they are really lovely together....did you know his wife painted wcs too, Im guessing you knew that....

He did paint alot of the floating females, he must have liked them that way.....the sheer beauty of the human form weightless I think...:D

06-14-2010, 10:54 PM
Sandra, you gave her a very soft look but very dignified features. I like your version better than the original already. If you don't mind me saying it, she has a very sturdy neck which makes her rather tomboyish. Is that the effect you are after? I could imagine her in modern clothes but not frilly clothes of that century. I personally don't like the back of the neck of the original Bouguereau piece. It makes the lady flabbier than necessary. But then, I am using my modern value of thin girls to judge this piece, or most classical works, for that matter, and so is overly biased. The classical ladies all are more shapely than most models of the present days. Nevertheless, your piece definitely has a lot more character than his already.

Robert, now I see what is the fascination of Bouguereau's work for you. Thanks for sharing it. Your piece should go into the American illustrators magazine. It's that good.

Esther, thank you for your comment. Looking forward to see your piece too.

Robin, three very distinctive piece. I'd like to see what you would be doing with the third one.

06-15-2010, 08:19 PM
Sandra and Sandra, thank you both! Yes, I'm going to have to check out his Dawn too. Sounds so beautiful. I love all of his mythological subjects and nudes, they epitomize so much of what leads me to figure drawing. Floating that way they seem so magical and dreamlike, something that sends my imagination spinning.

I hadn't heard of American Illustrators magazine before. Is it a how-to like Artists' Magazine or something for collectors? It sounds interesting. Though I don't know if I'd ever want to illustrate any other writer's stories, I always wanted to be able to do my own. I am getting close to the point where I might do them justice.

06-15-2010, 08:40 PM
Inky- good job on the lemons. it looks tricky drawing those hands.. you have done a lovely job. I like the texture of the hair too.

Sandra- thanks - Your nude has nice softness & depth of form . the gentle pastel pink and purple looks good against that background

Lovin art - thanks - wow, that is great.....really good eyes and mouth, got the subtile form on the neck nicely .... yep that is colored pencil - frottage using a plastic net garlic bulbs came in for the texture.

Robert - thanks lovely job, can tell you enjoyed doing this - I think some washes would soften the harshness of the lines and color would make it "read" easier.
I agree with your ideas on why Bouguereau is appealing. His nudes maintain a fresh purityJune - those two are sooo sweet...you got the gleem in their eyes !!
I'm gonna slip over and look at the photos if they're still posted.

Sandra - that is really nice - the background really does spice it up.

lovin art
06-15-2010, 09:16 PM
Thankyou Robin and Sandra (sounds wierd saying my name):lol: for your kind and wonderful comments on my study....:thumbsup:

Wow Robin that sounds interesting using the netting like that, now I see it very cool indeed...:thumbsup:

06-25-2010, 06:28 AM
Beautiful work posted here....have to get on the ball with the Bouguereau Boogie and get something done. Glad we have a whole other month to submit. :heart:

06-25-2010, 07:34 AM
I agree...really good work, everyone...!!