Ballet Dancer

By Marc Alexander from his ‘Touch’ exhibition. ‘Ballet Dancer’, Pencil on 300g Archival Paper, 14cm by 10cm, (2013).


Ballet Dancer

The art of classical ballet insists on attention to detail is; every gesture, angle and shape have purpose and precedent, which means dancers must also be technicians in the art of precision.
The hands of the dancer are no exception because the hands (just like the feet) are responsible for finishing the line of the body, they are incredibly influential in creating the ideal shape that dancers aspire to. The fingers are not merely pinched together keeping the thumbs studiously glued to the fingers to avoid them sticking out in every which way, which looks awkward and is undesirable as it prevents any fluidity in the hands.
The importance of allowing the hands to ‘breathe’ through movements can not be overstated. The cushioning of space between the fingers and the thumb that allows for natural articulation. So the ballet dancer will need to focus on keeping a pocket of air (approximately 3 – 4cm) room between the thumb and fingers and allow the movement of the port de bras to continue down the arm and escape out the fingertips.


Touch Series

After a long season of producing portraits in oils, I returned for a while to the humble pencil. The ‘Touch’ exhibition, which opened at the Studio Gallery Kalk Bay on Friday June 14th 2013 and ran until July 3rd, was the result of that experience – a true celebration of the beauty and expressiveness of the human hand.

Several months before this show, a group of us artists got together in the studio to work on life drawings, and for me, hands are one of the most difficult parts of the human body to draw, so I decided to master this challenge by producing one hundred detailed drawings. Friends, family and even casual acquaintances, modeled their hands for me and in each drawing I tried to capture the unique character of each individual.

A great deal could be learned about a person just by observing their hands. For example, the slight hand gestures of a person in love, or the anxious mannerisms of the addicted smoker clutching his last cigarette, or the telltale scars and callouses which belong to a hard working laborer. The hands are young and old, lined and smooth and endlessly expressive and tell a hundred stories which are all captured in my hyper-realistic style.


Archival Prints

Many of Marc’s artworks are available as fine art digital prints. Professionally photographed and printed on large format inkjet printers, these prints are limited edition numbered bottom left and signed bottom right. The paper used is 320g Hahnemuhle archival watercolour paper or Van Gogh cotton canvas. The process employs fade resistant, archival inks, which boast a 100+ year fade-proof guarantee.

These prints are also available in varying sizes. The paper prints are sold plastic wrapped on an acid-free foamcore backing board. The prints on canvas can be provided stretched or rolled in a core for easy transporting. The canvas print is treated with a high quality scratch resistant matt art-sealant. Directly behind the stretched canvas print is a fixed board which gives the frame rigidity, prevents warping and ensures the frame hangs flush against the wall. Large frames are cross braced to further prevent warping.



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