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Drawing by Linda Jakobsson

Drawing by Linda Jakobsson

My ballerina

Hi! I’ve been doing art for many years and am now a very busy tattoo artist. I do try to take all my extra time for art, but I feel like I need to take stuff to the next level.

Drawing by Linda Jakobsson

Charcoal and white pastel drawing on grey pastel card

Feedback from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

I really like your artwork. The figure has the correct anatomy and proportions and the tonal values are rendered well. Great job!

I guess it was your intent to make the surface of the floor diagonal to give more dynamism to this static composition.

If you want to hear what could be done differently to improve a piece of art, you may consider doing tonal values the following way. When drawing on a grey or toned background, use the color of that background to its full potential – leave mid-tones unrendered, so you don’t have to fill in every square inch of a drawing with charcoal. 

I might be wrong in assuming that you overworked the drawing with charcoal because of the quality of the photograph.

Also, when you draw in charcoal and white chalk, it is advisable to not mix them together, to avoid a “muddy” appearance.

Instead, you can use a grey background to separate lights from shadows.


For example, check how Rubens used charcoal and white chalk in his study of a model.

Rubens drawing

The toned background plays an important role. In no places is charcoal mixed with white. The work has an “airy” and “clean” feeling.

Your way of rendering does not affect the overall quality of your artwork; it is a great drawing. Next time, you may try using the Old Master’s approach when drawing in charcoal and white chalk and see what works best for you.

Once again, thank you for your wonderful drawing.

To your creative success,

Vladimir London
Drawing Academy tutor

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Categorized: Critique My Artworks

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Kirtis Schneider says:

    Well done. Your use of contrast is great here. It really sets the mood.
    The pastels create a softer feeling, akin to the ballerina.
    I do have a question on the highlight under the left foot; where does it come from? I know it defines the right leg, but I am not sure it needs to, considering the stark darks in the picture. It would be fine to leave the leg undefined, in the shadow. Just a thought. Excellent job, though!

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