3.5.4 Statues


I am at the start of Part 3 and jumping way ahead here by going directly to exercise 4: statues. The reason is that I will be out travelling again, and my absolute favourite statue is the one of at the entrance gate to my house.

It is a statue of Ganesh and his mouse that I commissioned from a local stonecarver. Ganesh is the elephant headed God, the remover of all obstacles. He is placed at almost every entrance here in Bali , and is called upon for new beginnings to remove all obstacles for new projects. So maybe it is the perfect start for this new chapter of the course that I find quite terrifying  🙂

After a few disproportioned trials in charcoal, I decide to use pencils (3B and 6B) instead for the drawing in A4, so I can use the eraser freely.


I spent FAR too much time on this drawing, and in the end it got too “stiff” again. But to be honest I am quite amazed at how precise and detailed it is, I didn’t really believe I could draw this. My viewpoint is in height with the feet, I am sitting on a stool in front. It is not possible to draw it from the sides, as there are flowerpots obstructing the view. Also, the statue is clearly carved to be looked at from the front.

This was the first time I spent hours sitting and looking at this Ganesha, and I was amazed at the beauty and detail of the work! Even the mouse has garlands of pearls cascading around it’s body. The little baskets in front are offerings, that my Balinese friends offer every day.

I decided to try a more scribbly free version in purple Uniball pen so I wouldn’t be able to use the eraser. This is slightly smaller than A5.


This scribbly version took far too long and in the end I crowded it with so much detail, it’s not scribbly at all, but almost as stiff as the pencil drawing. I needed to set a time limit!

Today there were flowers at Ganeshas feet instead of baskets of offerings. I am still constantly in awe at the care and love and beauty of this culture.

Another small trial, time limit 15 min:


Hm, not an improvement, the whole statue just went sagging..

I will try drawing the Ganesh in watercolours instead, to avoid too much detail. A4.


This version shows some of the character of the statue too, more dreamy and softer, that feels closer to the real statue than the detailed drawings. It feels like I am doing everything backwards here though. I start with the finished drawing and then work towards some rough sketches 🙂

I will get back to the statue exercise in due time, but for now my bags are packed, I leave for the airport soon, and I am happy Ganesh is in my sketchbook!

A whole chapter of exercises later.. and I am very grateful that this was was done long ago- because I really really should start on the assignment instead 🙂

So just a few very quick sketches from a statue that I like in Lisbon:


This is a statue honoring Franca Borges in Praca de Principe Real. The figure , representing “the Republic” in bronze is leaning against roughly cut stones , where there is a medallion with the profile of Franca Borges on the top stone. I like the mix of detailed bronze and roughly cut stones.





2 thoughts on “3.5.4 Statues

  1. I really like the pencil sketch – I don’t think it’s overworked as its the detail that makes it special. The colours in the watercolour sketch are lovely and it works for the exact opposite reason to the first one. We have Ganesh sat by the fireplace at home so this was great to see! Enjoy your travels – all the best Alastair

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