Drawing a Bernini

Lining the main isle of the amazing Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome are huge statutes of each of the Apostles. They tower over the viewer and were carved by my favorite sculptor, Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Recently I decided to do a drawing of the St. Peter statue from one of the shots I took on a visit to the basilica. Below is my drawing before much shading was added:

Unless you drive a cherry picker right up into the basilica and shoot from a raised position, you cannot get eve-level to the sculptures, which is probably good because it makes for a better composition from a lower vantage point anyway.

here is my final drawing:

"St. Peter", pencil on canson paper heightened with white.

Since I absolutely love that raised right hand, I emphasized that along with the head by placing the strongest contrasts of light and dark in those two areas. The one other area with a similar amount of detail is those keys he is holding. Those tell you that this is St. Peter. Without those keys, he could be any number of characters from classical antiquity.

For more of my pictures from the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, click here.

Happy Easter everyone!

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