I elected to do it much smaller (5" x 5") and in a square format, not the one shown. By this stage (1889-1900) Degas was no longer concerned about detail but about blurred forms and texture rich in color. That huge dark "thing" chopping up a third of the painting bothers me...a lot. The book I have calls it a "compositional audacity," a vertical dark that chops up the dancers and is presumed to be a tree. My book also notes that at this age Degas was no longer attending live performances and was painting from memory.
preparation using pastels and pastel pencils
my version of "The Pink Dancers" after Degas
5 x 5 pastel on wallis paper
Copying is an age-old teaching technique (one must acknowledge the original artist) and is not as easy as it sounds. The beautiful affect of layering cool over warm has to be understood first to be able to be reproduced. Some of the prep techniques are not even visible but critical to the end result. And finally, this research assured me that if a huge technical error remains the critics can always refer to it as "compositional audacity."
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