I was able to go to a dress rehearsal this evening of the California Ballet’s The Nutcracker, along with other artists from my sketching class. We had first row seats and were able to sketch and paint throughout the full ballet. I painted in gouache, with some pastel pencil.
Before the start, I fretted because it was clear that I would not be able to see the dancers’ feet from my seat. However, the performers were so athletic that their feet stayed in view as the dancers leaped across the stage throughout much of the performance.
It was dark, and the action was rapid, so I just painted broad strokes, hoping to capture the grace and power of the dancers. I worked as fast as I could and came away with 16 pages for the evening. Here are some of the sketches I liked best: