If you've always associated Sargent only with a masterly, vibrant painting style, think again.
Underlying Sargent's painting was a passion for drawing which began at the age of four and lasted almost until his death at 69.
This particular drawing was one of a series of sketches of Spanish dancers and musicians - including very detailed studies of heads and hands - done by Sargent in the late 1870's and early 1880's, after visiting North Africa and Spain.
In Spanish, the word 'jaleo' as well as referring to a folkloric dance known as 'el Jaleo de Jeréz', also means a ruckus or uproar and the energy of that is certainly contained in the lines of this sketch of Sargent's.
“He did every type of drawing, did them individually as works of art and as preparatory drawings for paintings...I think, for him, drawing was the basis of everything.”
The intensity and energy of his preparatory drawings eventually cumulated in Sargent painting 'El Jaleo'. Richard Ormond, Sargent’s grandnephew and one of the leeading authorities on the artist, describes this painting as,
"…a kind of big sketch with all of these little sketches worked out in it.”
Watch: To see el Jaleo de Jeréz in action
Take a class with Sargent on how to draw - with a brush!
“You must draw with your brush as readily, as unconsciously almost, as you draw with your pencil,”
So if you've been in need of inspiration to get out your pencil, this gesture drawing by John Singer Sargent is IT.
May I suggest a little Spanish music as accompaniment?
The work of the masters - both past and present - holds a host of clues for improving our own creative work.
One of my personal favourite modern masters is Chagall.
In my FREE eBook, Lessons From Chagall, I look at some of the lessons this seminal artist can still teach us.