Tuesday, November 24, 2009

White Madonna & Child Niche, Aix-en-Provence

photo © Mona Diane Conner 2008

I've made three drawings in my effort to start a new pastel of a beautiful white Madonna & Child niche statue that I photographed in Aix-en-Provence during my trip to France in 2008. It has taken three tries to decide what part of it I want to include for a large pastel painting. Sorry for an extraneous, uneven tone in my digital shots of my drawings, (strictly practical compositional sketches, rather than artworks themselves), but you can see how I started off wanting to show most of the niche structure at first, and then began to zero in more.

Since I also really like the idea of portraying part of the lamp, as in my photo, I am doing a fourth drawing for a miniature painting of this same scene (which will roll out on my miniature painting blog). My miniature version will include the lamp and give me an opportunity to show the entire structure of the niche that surrounds this statue. But for my pastel I want to dramatically zero in on the Madonna & Child itself, so the drawing at the top of the post shows you how it will be composed.

I had a search to locate a certain color of the pastel surface I wanted, only to get it home and discover that I got the color I want but the surface is defective. As a result, I may try doing this on a darker color than I would have liked just to get it started. With all this preliminary action going on, I'm asking Mary to please support my effort to paint the White Madonna & Child!

I was very charmed while in Aix-en-Provence to discover these niche statues of Mary and other saints which seem to adorn every building corner there, making it one reason that Aix-en-Provence was my favorite spot in Southern France. It's going to be a fun, too, painting more niches like the White Madonna & Child over a period of time.


Tatiana Myers said...

Great start, Mona! What size this painting is going to be ?...

Mona said...

Thanks Tatiana. Not sure on size yet; my drawing is composed at 19" x 25", but I'm off to the art store to replace the defective pastel board with some Wallis paper, which comes as large as 24" x 36".

artbyakiko said...

Beautiful sketches, Mona. Great idea to include the lamp in your miniature, because it really gives an idea how small the statue is.

DEB said...

This will be beautiful Mona! - No matter what size you make it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Dean Grey said...


I like the worm's-eye-view. This way we are looking up at them.

I agree about choosing the first pencil drawing for the pastel. To me, less is more and the top drawing is nicely cropped IMHO.

Hooray for great starts!


Bill's Blog said...

Hi Mona, Lovely to see the stages of your new pastel portrait. Really interesting. You mentioned scratchboard (as you know here in England we call it scraperboard) it seems that in England they only sell it in very small sizes. Do you know of a supplier in the USA that will ship larger (say about 12 by 15 inches minimum, overseas?
Love fom Bill

Mona said...

Akiko, Deb, and Dean, thanks. I've got a 24" x 36" piece of Wallis paper for this and will be posting on it, hopefully later today.

Hi Bill, thanks. I've never tried scratchboard, but will have a look and email you about it.