Friday, September 28, 2012


These unpublished student sketches by Robert Fawcett show that, even as a teenager, he was a precocious talent:

Ten minute sketch
Ten minute sketch

All his life, Fawcett continued to sketch from the model.  Based on what he had learned at the Slade School,  Fawcett believed his weekly drawing sessions would keep his eyes fresh. 

Fawcett's mature sketches show how his powers grew over the years:



Fawcett believed that his weekly life drawing sessions paid off when it came time to make preparatory sketches for illustrations.  It gave him the confidence to work from his imagination in situations where many of his peers would be dependent on reference photos.


Jesse Hamm said...

Marvelous! Thanks for sharing these, David.

Do you know whether Fawcett just had models visit his studio each week for these sessions? Or was he going to a studio somewhere?

Drew Alderfer said...

I love Fawcett so much... Thanks David.

Conor Hughes said...

These are really great life drawings, and that ink sketch is a blast!

Jesse Hamm said...

In the one with the picture frames, I love that the model's foot is poking into & behind one of the empty frames. Sometimes it's the little things...

अर्जुन said...


We all knew you were holding back!!

All of his foreshortened reclining figures are fantastic!!!

Wouldn't mind endless posts of his illustration prelims. It's the combination of Master & nature of the tools ~ the mans head, bearded 3/4 back view 004.jpg, Brangwynesque.

click to enlarge for, detail: "fawcett sketchbooks" doesn't work, one needs to open image in new window or tab and then change the url from s640 to s1600

how to climb said...

what an amazing stuff. you're a master artist dear. great blog. thanks.

David Apatoff said...

Jesse Hamm-- Fawcett had a model visit his studio for weekly life drawing sessions. That model stand that you see in the 7th image had a hinged top, and after the model left, Fawcett would lift the lid and stash any sketches he wanted to keep inside. When Fawcett died, his wife opened the lid and handed out hundreds of life drawings to his friends.

Drew-- a man after my own heart!

Conor Hughes-- Thanks, Fawcett's ink prelims are a whole different story. Unfortunately, for several years during his peak mature period, Fawcett did a lot of his sketches with a brand new technology-- felt tip markers which later faded.

David Apatoff said...

अर्जुन-- Yeah, I have a few more of these images stashed away for a rainy day. Glad you share my reaction to them. Thanks too for alerting me to the defective image .009. I will fix that.

Voz said...

It's always a treat seeing this stuff. The endless drawing practice is one of the things that always makes his finishes look so effortless.I recently came across another blog that printed a ton of RF's work from the late 30's:
Best, Mike

अर्जुन said...

D.A. said, "I have a few more of these images stashed away for a rainy day."
~ You have given me another reason to pray for rain!

voz ~ Thanks for the bump!

Benjamin Raucher said...

Photography was a great threat to the artists of the day. Impressionism took off strongly after photography for obvious reasons.


David Apatoff said...

Voz-- There's no truer or more knowledgeable Fawcett fan than you, Mike. I'm glad you came across these. Like you, I was amazed when I saw the stash of early Fawcett work that अर्जुन was able to unearth. I don't know how he did it, but his website is an amazing resource.