Plugging away

Well, I'm doing a Bargue drawing a day - trying to train my eye - I'll give it four months to a year as a daily discipline (if it seems to start paying off). I set up the Bargue plate (A3 photocopy) on my (big) drawing board - with a sheet of smooth paper next to it. My first problem is I'm not sure how many reference axes and points to use - I think I'll stick to 1 central vertical axis and four points (top, bottom and left and right limits of the model) - but this seems to conflict somewhat with Bargue's constructs - it seems to me? The finished drawings take between 1 to 3 hours (I try do be as accurate as possible, but don't want to bog down in spending huge amounts of time on them - and they look pretty nice! - but the 'shading' in the originals is something to behold. I 'eyeball' to get my my line and then check with dividers (I erase it if it's incorrect). I'll see if this trains my eye - it sure teaches you patience - and that with care you can do some good stuff....


  1. More time spent is not necessarily productive if it is the wrong discipline.

    I learned more and trained my eye faster by drawing figurative gestures ... a 45-60 seconds timed gesture as a discipline. The goal was through practice to nail the full figure in 60 seconds or less ... a feat my instructor could do with the greatest of ease ... 99% of the time!

    When I saw him do this, my jaw dropped ... I was convinced I should take his class until I could do that myself.

    In class he insisted that the gesture had to be convincing drawn with as few lines as possible in less than 60 seconds... that for a successful gesture the figure had to be in proportion, in balance, with the right movement.

    As a result of this discipline in his class, my drawing speed is now three times faster; my accuracy in proportions is getting nailed about 80% of the time; my ability to show correctly the motion and balance or figure's weight (what the model is doing) is convincing ... and I'm finding I look at the model more as I draw because I have to .... an important habit to acquire.

    Dead-end rending could just kill the beauty of your lines and reduce the artistic quality of your drawings ... if you obsess over merely coping and rendering ... the usual atelier methods ... your drawings could suffer artistically speaking.

    I studied under this master figurative instructor for the past year and half (taking the same class over and over five times every quarter ... and I'm taking it again in January).

    The first 30 minutes (sometimes longer) of each class is a one minute gesture drill ... (eats up tons of newsprint) then later a 5 minute drill. This forced me to simplify and develop a brevity of line for it is impossible to draw everything in 60 seconds ... but leave something to the imagination.

    When I finally could draw the figure in 45 seconds ... and it was convincing ... I realized how important this discipline was to the development of my drawings and painting skills generally ... and how aesthetically improved my drawings were becoming. I've had awesome results.

  2. Yeah, thanks - that's interesting input, Patti. My plan is to do a certain number of copies (pPlus, I am doing some other types of drawing), then see what I feel like doing after that (arounf Feb/March, probably) - It's exciting because I can feel that new concepts and avenues are opening up... love it