Cubistic portrait graphite pencil drawing of Myrna Loy

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Sans titre – 26-03-18 (sold)

Myrna Loy

Another graphite pencil drawing in the Sans Titre series. It was some time ago I drew Vivian Leigh in ‘Sans Titre – 05-01-18’ so it was about time. Seeing a photo of 1930s moviestar Myrna Loy reminded me of why I like this kind of photography so much. It oozes out the art deco era. It is the composition of course but also the lighting. In many ways this differs from a tonal point of view compared to contemporary photography a lot. Thinking of Art Deco’s men like Paul Poiret, all those fabrics come to mind with cubist and oriental inspired forms.


It reminds me of the efforts Johannes Itten made at the Bauhaus scene, trying to combine art with craftmanship such as designing textiles. One of his key teaching was searching for hamony in contrast between variation and repetition. One cannot exist without the other and is represented by the yin yang symbol. Myrna’s picture is a great example of controlled passion and passionate control over art. A fine woman that is shaped like a statue but still breathes vividness. What a contrast with today’s art scene. Besides all that, I liked Myrna’s overstretched fingers a lot!

Not Too Many Forms

Perhaps due to these fingers I decided to throw in not too much different forms in the negative space. All forms in the positive space like those fingers are commanding enough. They were also complex to draw. Therefor one single arch was enough, sprouting from her ulna upwars to the right. I kept the tonal gradient in de background though. It is a kind of hommage to that typical kind of photography used to portray moviestars like Myrna.

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Graphite pencil drawing (Pentel 0.5 mm, 3B) on Strathmore Bristol paper (21 x 29.7 x 0.1 cm) – A4 format)

Artist: Corné Akkers