Friday, January 1, 2010

Apples and Bargue

Happy New Year!
I've gotten a little further along in my "apple" painting. The black iron tea kettle took a lot of concentration to get the form and the shape of the light while maintaining it's corrugated texture. I'm putting some detail of the hanging cloth in the background but I'm keeping it at block-in level, as I don't want any detail to jump forward.
My wife gave me the Bargue-Gerome drawing book for Christmas. The book itself is a work of art, really incredibly done. I've got quite a few cast drawings under my belt so I thought I would skip ahead to section 3. These are life drawings made by Bargue as demonstrations for students to copy. It's incredible how Bargues knowledge of anatomy and gesture informs these drawings without overwhelming them. You can easily find the position of the ribcage, pelvis, and clavicle in every drawing. They are made with sweeping, confident lines that also make clear what is meant by "inner curve".
Anyways, I've been copying them, one a day, giving myself a twenty minute time limit. My goal is to have the entire block-in complete. One of the things that my drawing instructor at GCA is hammering home is that figure drawing is not like still life drawing. The model is not still. You pretty much have to have your "drawing idea" and block-in done in that first pose before the model takes a break(usually about twenty minutes). I also have not been using sight-size, as the book recommends, or any measuring tools whatsoever. My goal is to train my eye to scan for comparative measurements. I start off marking the base line and top of my drawing, then a plumb line, and I stay within those parameters. So far my efforts have been a little clumsy but I do see improvement down the road.

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