cubistic portrait graphite pencil drawing of Marlene Dietrich
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Sans titre – 10-05-14 (sold)

Cubistic Plains

A drawing of Marlene Dietrich in the ‘sans titre’ series done in cubistic plains. After my Audrey Hepburn (Sans Titre -09-05-14) graphite pencil drawing I thought I’d done another one. This time I dived back into a virutal pile of black and white photographs of the art deco era. Surely these photographers from the 1920s and 1930s knew to put a lot of drama in their work. Of course this is created by employment of a maximal tonal bandwidth. That is something I can relate to. In fact these pictures are the co-founders of my feel for tonality I think.


Cropping Her Head

As said before I love the tonality of such pictures enabling me to create a lot of depth, expression and character. The original reference picture also shows her hair, making up for half her portrait. That was too much for a A5-size piece of paper. The reason is that I would have to crop her face considerably smaller in order to depict her entire face. Such would have resulted in way too much negative space. Therefor I planned to have an equal division of light and dark plains. The fact that she keeps her head tilted adds to the flavor. I like the dynamics of it and also the triangular black negative space in the upper left corner.


Click here to read about the sale of this art work to a French collector through


Graphite pencil drawing (Pentel 0.5 mm, 3B) on Winsor & Newton paper (14.8 x 21 x 0.01 cm – A5 format)

Artist: Corné Akkers

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