Crit Quad #4: Hiratsuka Niki

Ballerina No. 4

Hiratsuka Niki
“Ballerina No. 4”, conte crayon on paper

“Inspired by Edgar Degas’ work, I chose to explore the theme of the “backstage ballerina” in this piece. The dancer is depicted in the midst of a warm up stretch. Wholly unaware of being viewed, and engrossed in an inner world, the subject unintentionally reveals components of her private self. In not attempting to showcase her beauty she embodies more of herself within this intimate moment of self-contemplation. This paradoxically brings to light a form of beauty which cannot be witnessed onstage.”


Casey Roonan, Teaching Assistant
Casey Roonan, Illustrator & Cartoonist
“This is a very elegant piece in a few ways.”
Mentioned: John Singer Sargent, Wally Wood, Bernie Wrightson, Edgar Degas


Annie Irwin, Teaching Assistant
Annie Irwin, Weaver, Textile Artist, Painter
“The way the conte crayon is applied to the surface has different weights to it, you’ve managed to accomplish a range of value.”
Mentioned: Seurat


Alex Rowe, Teaching Assistant
Alex Rowe, Book Illustrator
“In just a few simple marks you’ve captured the darkest shadow, the light, the reflected light, the light hitting right on the forearm, that is absolutely beautiful.”
Mentioned:  Coles Phillips


Clara Lieu, Visual Artist & Adjunct Professor at RISD
Clara Lieu, Fine Artist & Adjunct Professor at RISD
“What I don’t see in the drawing is your opinion. What is your view of ballet?  How do you see ballet?”
Mentioned: Misty Copeland, A Life in Motion


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3 thoughts on “Crit Quad #4: Hiratsuka Niki

  1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words and constructive feedback. I’ve never had my work critiqued before so I was a bit apprehensive but you were all so well-meaning and gave me such good advice that I not only feel relieved but extremely grateful! I will keep coming back to the things you said to remember the many ways in which I can continue to expand and grow as an artist.

    • Great! We are glad to hear that the critique was useful to you! Yes, it’s totally natural to feel apprehensive when getting a critique, I have totally been there before myself. We think you have so many things going for you, and that you’re going to do well! You are obviously very dedicated, and I am confident that you will continue to progress. Thanks for participating!

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