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The black swan (fashion illustration of the day- watercolour painting)

Hello, how has life been treating you? Today I'm back with another illustrated outfit, but this time something a bit different. A while back, I illustrated a ballerina outfit because I like ballet. Today I'm sharing both the sketch and the painting of it with you. Do you like ballet? What is your favourite one? I'm not sure I have a favourite one, maybe Bayaderka ( La Bayadere) ? Have you seen that one? I also really like The Swam Lake .Who doesn't, right? It is a true classic. 

#svetlanazakharova #modaodaradosti #ballerina

#olovka #blackswan

Who is your favourite black swan? My all time favourite swan is Maya Plisetskaya (1925- 2015). The way Maya's arms moved was pure magic. I spent a lot of time trying to study her arm technique because I was very curious about how she did it but alas I found no answers. All I can say is that nobody quite achieved those bird like movements like Maya did. Maybe it was truly magic!

If I could design a black swan costume, I would probably add a bit of dark blue to it. Why not? I think that dark blue would add a bit of drama to it. Well, you can pretty much see (in this illustration of mine that is) exactly what I had in mind. A classical tulle skirt but with a top made of dark blue and black feathers. I think that would look rather dramatic. I think I used a photograph of Svetlana Zaharova  as a reference for this illustrated ballerina, but I changed the costume (because as I explained, I think it would look really nice if the top was made of feather).

Now, that I think about the reference, it must have been Svetlana, who else has the hands that are quite so long? Svetlana is a very accomplished dancer, so she is a good choice for a reference. I didn't really try to achieve a resemblance here because it was a quick sketch and painting, but I might try it in the future. My list of 'paintings to do' just keeps growing! From other present day ballerinas I really like Michaela DePrince who currently dances with the Dutch national ballet assemble. Her jumps are just insane. I'd like to paint her as well. Wouldn't it be nice if a day could last for 48 hours?

The black swan (fashion illustration of the day- watercolour painting)

I heard it said that dancers are the most underappreciated and underpaid artist and I would tend to agree. People rarely see the work that goes into dance as an art form. If you think about it, dancers are like actors, but they act with their entire bodies. Every movement, every twist, every facial expression,  it all has a meaning within a certain choreography and it all has to be perfectly coordinated. It takes just as much talent and hard work to become an accomplished  classical dancer as it takes to become an accomplished classical singer or musician.

The black swan (fashion illustration of the day- watercolour painting)

Thank you for stopping by. Have a lovely weekend! 


  1. Lovely sketch! :) I've never been to the ballet but I do admire dancers _ I have no sense of rhythm so people who appear to move so effortlessly fascinate me. I know it takes a lot of hard work, but I think you start with a natural ability to begin with.

    Hope that you are having a wonderful weekend! We're going to have a quiet one here after a similarly quiet week, as we've been a bit under the weather.

    Away From The Blue Blog

  2. what a beautiful idea of you Ivana!!! i like it how you paint this pretty ballerina. specially that one on pointe! your paintings show me such a lot of elegance and balance.

    "Do you like ballet?" - oh yes, i do! in my younger years i was a ballet dancer too. i´m doing this not on pro status, but just for "hobby". and this was such a nice time.

    "What is your favourite one?" - i dont have a favorite one. i think a ballet deserve all the respect to the dancers. they does such a nice "job". whatever i see on the ballet side i love all of it - specially a look behind the scenes. i love to look in the rehearsal of ballet dancers.

    "I also really like The Swam Lake .Who doesn't, right? It is a true classic." - of course, this is surely the most famous one.

    thanks for these wonderful ballet post!!!


    1. yes, I remember that you did ballet- I think I would sign up for classes if there were any available here but unfortunately there aren't.

    2. i´m feeling with you...;-( i hate this to hear my dear.


  3. I didn't like that Black swan movie at all, but I do love ballet. I wish I had studied it when I was little, cause it is one of those art forms you can really express yourself.
    The painting is marvelous, I love the beautiful long legs and hands, kind of resembling delicate tree branches.

    1. I have a few issues with the movie as well. It is not a movie about ballet at all, it is a horror/thriller movie. I would be fine with it if they didn't advertised it as a movie about ballet, which it is not. They portrayed ballerinas as crazy anorexics and they lied about the fact that Natalie danced herself, failing to acknowledge the American ballerina who actually did the dancing.

  4. Great post dear!! These are some good favourites !!

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  5. Such an interesting post Ivana, I must confess I don't know a lot about ballet so your introduction accompanied by your art made me googled a little more. Haven't seen a ballet presentation since I was a child but I years ago I watched a documentary (after seeing The Black Swan) realizing that ballet dancers and the ballet world is such a complex world and a life of full dedication!



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All your comments mean a lot to me, even the criticism. Naravno da mi puno znači što ste uzeli vrijeme da nešto napišete, pa makar to bila i kritika. Per me le vostre parole sono sempre preziose anche quando si tratta di critiche.

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