Uncovering Ancient “First Drafts” on Greek Ceramics

The complex and finely painted images on ancient Greek ceramics might appear to us as being effortlessly made, but even the most skilled Athenian vase painters didn’t just wing it. Underneath the brush strokes are traces of preparatory drawings made by the artisans as they planned out the images they would paint onto the unfired pots. The fine markings were made with a variety of pointed tools, the preliminary markings range from tiny thin lines, to ovals mapping out the placement of heads and hands, to extensive sketches of whole scenes. Researchers have been focusing on the production practices of Athenian craftspeople making red-figure ceramics, the pottery that depicts red figures agains

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