Pierre Bonnard at the Legion of Honor

There’s a Pierre Bonnard exhibit showing at the Legion of Honor is San Francisco just now. I’m posting everything I sketched in the order I sketched in. You can see I start out kinda tentative. That never seems to change, so my solution is just to always make that first sketch. Then I’m past that.

These are two panels from Bonnard’s japonaise period, the one on the left full of life, with a woman and a dog. On the right,a much quieter composition with a cat.

Here are more sketches from the show. Bonnard pretty much breaks the rule of ‘using the full range of values’: so much of his work is pastel colored and very light in value. Sometimes with true whites, often not, and rarely do even his darks go beyond middle grey.bonnard_4

Well, there are exceptions, like the piece with the two brothers on the left, which had (for him) some pretty bold darks. But his self-portrait, on the right, was probably the quietest piece in the show.bonnard_3

And after that show: This is Jonathan Dimmock playing the seemingly bewildering pipe organ.
bonnard_2One last sketch before the museum shut for the day. I think I was in the gallery with Flemish artists, but I’m just guessing by the ruffled collar and cuffs in the painting on the wall. I love sketching that classic lean-back posture of the photographer: isn’t it funny, however far we are from our subject, we still hold that posture when we take photographs?

The sketchbook I’m using is new. It’s the Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook. And I’m using my greys and browns pencil collection that travels around in a tin Camlin compass box I love.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
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6 Responses to Pierre Bonnard at the Legion of Honor

  1. Your posts are always so inspiring, Suhita!


  2. Carmela Rizzuto says:

    Nice example of using a limited color palette for sketching on toned paper.


  3. miatagrrl says:

    Lovely sketches, even the one you see as tentative (my first sketch of the day always seems like the “throwaway pancake” to me — just a warm-up). Hey, is Burt’s Bees allowed for sketching in the museum? 😉

    – Tina


  4. Marlene Lee says:

    Fabulous sketches…and the museum let you sketch with ink? I had been in galleries or museums where you are not allow to use ink.


  5. debiriley says:

    love the gorgeous line work; great sketches 🙂


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