Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Grey Lady

Here is a drawing I did for a bit of fun. I took it from a photograph sent to me by a good friend who saw this street performer at the Edinburgh Festival. The performer was dressed all in grey, including grey make-up on her face, and it was that monochrome appearance that appealed to me from a drawing point of view. The shape of this lady was entirely defined by shadows, highlights and textures.

We are not certain, but we believe the street performer was portraying "The Grey Lady" who haunts the family chapel at Glamis Castle. She is said to be the spirit of Lady Janet Douglas who was burned at the stake as a witch on Castle Hill, Edinburgh in 1537. She was accused of plotting to poison the King but the charges were likely fabricated for political reasons. Allegedly, the ghost has been seen quite recently by a number of witnesses.

I'm not entirely convinced by this as the period dress doesn't really suggest 16th century to me, but since it's only a bit of fun, it's as good an explanation as any other.


29 comments:

  1. Excellent drawing John, folds in her dress, the hat, and her features let this one stand out.
    I'm thinking how would this be in a monochromatic palette in watercolour.
    As for the story... I am always intrigued by ghost stories and such.
    Thanks for sharing that ..BJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm also fascinated by spirits BJ .... usually an 18-year old Malt. ;) Thank you for your lovely comment.

      Delete
  2. Great work, John! I also look for shadows in a subject for a watercolour.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is such a good drawing John. Love how you have achieved the folds in the material, wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Ann, I really enjoyed drawing that dress.

      Delete
  4. ...either way, you did a marvellous drawing, the fabric of the dress seems so soft and real, fabulous .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Jane, I really appreciate that. ;)

      Delete
  5. Wow! Beautiful drawing, John. She takes my breath away!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you like it Pat. Thank you very much.

      Delete
  6. Well whatever the story - it's a fantastic drawing! You are a master with your pencil! I also know someone who says they have seen the Grey Lady. Hmm... I'm on the fence! :0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sandra, that means a lot. I'm not sure how I'd feel if I saw the Grey Lady for real. Probably worse than I did when I saw those sheep coming. lol.

      Delete
  7. Beautifully drawn, John, right down to the hat, the reflections in the orb (crystal ball perhaps?) and the expression on her face.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I can tell from the photo it looks like a silver orb, but I don't get it's significance. Thank you for the nice comment Michael.

      Delete
  8. Beautiful work...I love your shading strokes - so professional!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm slowly catching up, John - we passed through Peterborough, with it's cathedral with its antisymmetric spires, and thought of you.


    Fantastic drawing from the top hat (great shading) via the smile of mystery right through to the clever folds in the material. You are a master of graphite, John.

    Great post, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a very nice comment John, thank you very much, I really appreciate it.

      The wonderful Peterborough Cathedral with it's unique three-arched West Front and it's uncompleted fourth tower. Do I sense another masterpiece in the offing? ;-)

      Delete
    2. Just seen what spell-checker made out of my 'asymmetric' (chuckle).

      Peterborough Cathedral is on the list ... but at least 212 months away!

      Delete
  10. I don't want to be repetitious but your work with folds is outstanding! Wonderful work!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Hilda. When it comes to nice comments like that, you can be as repetitious as you want. ;-)

      Delete
  11. Hi John,
    Oh yes, I do agree with Hilda, repetitious or not your work is truly outstanding. Great work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Joan. I didn't expect to hear from you as you're on a break ... what a lovely surprise.

      Delete
  12. Oh beautiful work John! :) I love the way you captured her gesture. And the story is fascinating too, theres something about a good old fashioned haunting that is a little romantic I think. Unless it's too creepy, then it's not romantic anymore. He he. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crystal, I find anything to do with ghosts, creepy!! Thank you for your lovely comment.

      Delete
  13. What an interesting subject the Grey Lady is. I love a story behind the art. Fantastic drawing John!

    Sue

    ReplyDelete