For Degas, the most instinctive, immediate way to capture a subject was to draw it. Rather than aiming for a perfect ideal or contrived beauty, Degas regarded drawing as “a way of seeing form”: an naturally-evolving journey of exploration. Degas’ emphasis on drawing as being a process of revision and correction comes through noticeably in the instantaneous, experimental feel of his work. For Degas, a drawing could never really be complete: rather, he was constantly correcting things, repeating tracings, and adding to variations in line and tone.
This drawing pictures the elder of Degas’ two sisters. I particularly like the artist’s use of crisp lines and varying tone, which comes through particularly emphatically in the light patch and darker strands of the girl’s hair. In addition, the traditional portrait side-view, fine pencil detail and subtle shading-work gives the figure an almost sculptural quality. In my view, Degas manages to capture Therese de Gas’ adolescent identity strikingly effectively through the fixed, self-assured nature of her gaze. (http://drawingatduke.blogspot.nl/2016/03/the-drawings-of-degas-george-elliott.html)