Studio Mysteries

July 14, 2009

An Artist’s Working Day in the 21 Century

Filed under: Anatomy, Being a Professional Artist, Drawing — Anya Galkina - Studio Mysteries @ 12:41 am

I am sitting in a local Kinko’s, asking myself where I want to go today. Firenze? Paris? Warsaw? The Metropolitan? The Louvre? The Hermitage?

I am here to do homework. The homework entails an assignment where we take a masterwork portraying the human figure, and draw the skeleton hidden within that figure, on a sheet of tracing paper.

I lean back in my chair, close my eyes, and decide who I am going to learn from today. Will it be fiery Michelangelo, whose motor would not rest until he articulated every single muscle forming the surface of the figure, no matter how minor? Or will it be elegant Leonardo, with harmony permeating every stroke, every form, the details as beautiful as the whole? Or should I visit my other mentors, teachers, old friends, Rodin, Rembrandt, Rubens? Or am I ready to swallow the useful but unpleasant medicine of Ingres, to try and discern a skeleton under the chilly perfection of his smooth women?

How can anyone possibly make a choice like that, and how wonderful that I don’t have to. I stroll through WikiCommons, from era to era, from museum room to museum room, and visit them all – because museums never close in the age of the Internet, because the most brilliant and wise artists of humanity are just an arm’s reach away – because I can.


  1. Isn’t it great? I rely on the internet for image references for my illustrations. Currently looking at reptilian scales…a feast for the eyes.

    Today I’ve just been reading about Manet – there’s so much available and it’s refreshing to find someone who doesn’t just take it all for granted like my teenager does.

    The homework sounds like fun – now you’ll have to let us see the end product.

    Comment by InkSplodge! — July 14, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

    • And now I know why you are looking at reptiles on the glorious Intertubes! (I think there is a solid excuse to go to the zoo in there, too).

      Yeah, it’s so weird that the Internet has been around long enough that some people don’t remember a world without it…

      Comment by Anya Galkina - Studio Mysteries — July 16, 2009 @ 5:46 pm

      • Love your Avatar! Thanks for your funny comments on my latest post – you always make me laugh.

        Comment by InkSplodge! — July 16, 2009 @ 7:14 pm

  2. So? Did you end up drawing the skeleton within a figure? I wouldn’t know how to even begin doing that. Did I miss it somewhere in your blog? I will go back and look. In the meantime, I’m still amazed at all your fabulously beautiful drawings!

    Comment by Carol King — September 5, 2009 @ 2:51 am

    • Yeppers, drew it. It was very, very challenging and I had to have six million references to do it. I discovered that it got easier in subsequent assignments. It’s a really good exercise.

      Comment by Anya Galkina - Studio Mysteries — September 11, 2009 @ 6:44 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: