Bargue Drawing (Old Middle-Class Thread)
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Thread: Bargue Drawing (Old Middle-Class Thread)

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    Bargue Drawing (Old Middle-Class Thread)

    Okay guys...here is a short demo on how to do a Bargue Drawing...I will relay the info as it was relayed to me...I will break it down into steps.

    Materials Needed: 2H pencil (trust me you will need it this light...you will do a LOT of correcting)...kneaded eraser...staedtler plastic eraser...thread...drawing paper...drawing board...ruler.



    1.) Find a good drawing...one that is simple and one that you can print out fairly large...like the one I have shown below. Now the drawing needs to be really really clean...like the one below...the goal here is ultimate precision and ultimate perfection. You will spend weeks on this trust me.

    2.) Print out the drawing (make sure the print out is of exceptional quality so you can see all the details exactly as they are) ...then tape the print out to your drawing board...make sure to tape it down good so it won't move. Then put your paper right up against it to the right or the left (If you are lefthanded) and tape your paper there as well.

    3.) Next is a very important step...take a piece of black thread and place it like a plumb line over the printed out drawing...you should place it vertically not horizontally. Be really particular about this...measure the distance to the thread from the top leftmost part of the paper...and make sure at the bottom leftmost part of the paper the thread is the same distance...this will ensure that it is going STRAIGHT down. Make sure to tape the thread down on both sides as you go because you don't want the plumb line to move at all once you place it there. Next...measure the same way with your drawing paper only this time don't use a thread...actually draw a plumb line very very lightly with pencil down the paper...make sure it is perfectly straight down...just as your thread is. (Look at my drawing so far to see what I mean)

    4.)Now you can start the drawing...start by taking another piece of thread to use as your measuring tool (use the ruler for all the thread laying measurements...etc...but use the thread when you are drawing it trains your eye better...using a ruler while you are doing the drawing will hurt you in the end...only use it if you are totally stuck or if you really need to check your measurement). Ok so once you have your piece of thread...lay it horizontally on the paper and find the top most part of the drawing...measure horizontally over and mark the same spot on your drawing paper...do the same for the bottom most point of the drawing and then do that eventually for the whole drawing...

    5.) The object is PERFECTION...you do the whole drawing in this way but I will emphasize that it needs to be PERFECT...every angle perfectly right...every line exactly the same...when the shading sets in it has to be the exact value...EXACT...feel free to post in the middle class and I will help critique as best I can to point out the flaws.

    Now here is my drawing so far...I will post the finished version as soon as I can!



    Last edited by Form; December 13th, 2003 at 03:01 AM.
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    Glad you guys are interested in doing it! It is very very helpful...especially for those starting out. Just make sure not to press too hard and post it up here next to the original so we can all help critique...I've been working on mine at the studio for about 9-10 days or so and I am about a week away from being finished...a week or so...so it takes a lot of work and a LOT of correction...but it really trains your eye to draw from life and it also really really teaches you to control your lines...I can't wait to see your drawings...I will do what I can to help you along in the process...be ready to keep correcting till your brain splits....it has to be PERFECT!

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    Shehaub - Great drawings! Yeah this is definitely really really hard. I really like the first one..excellent work!

    Cashmere - That is a great bargue drawing!!! Definitely use that one. If it's big enough to be able to use...definitely use that one it is great!


    Ok everybody here is a little more explanation of what I meant concerning the bargue drawings...



    Ok the important things you want to keep in mind are that you ONLY want to use a ruler to check your own measurements...use a ruler to check and see if your measurements with the thread are correct...they will be incorrect alot don't worry about it.


    Also leave more space between your own drawing and the real drawing...you don't want them running into each other like the set of durer drawings I have above...leave enough space for the whole thing to fit on both sides.
    As you can see there is a plumb line down the center of each drawing...the one on the left will be a taped down piece of thread...and the one on the right (your drawing) will be a line that you draw.

    You use your thread to measure various distances...you use your thread to measure how far the end of the nose is from the plumb line to the left...etc...you also make sure that the chins are at the same place horizontally...etc.... Take a look at this example and imagine the colored lines to be a thread and that is exactly what you do. One more tip when you measure with the thread wrap it around your fingers first so that it is nice and tight...you don't want the distance changing when you go from the real drawing to yours....be very careful and very exact when doing that...I can't wait to see your drawings!

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    Post it up Cashmere...chances are you aren't done the outline hehe...I just finished my first one today...I will post tomorrow!...it took me 3 weeks. Actually if you want send me a high rez version by email (with the original as a reference) or post it up here if you feel comfortable. I am so happy to see that you are doing this...it will help beyond what you even think!



    For everyone that is looking for a bargue drawing here is one that I think would be really good...remember when shading in values that on your bargue drawings go for perceived value don't go for the exact type of stroke that the original artist made...for instance...don't be real sketchy like in this sargent if you use it...but make the values consistent.

    http://www.artrenewal.org/images/art..._Aphrodite.jpg
    (Copy and paste the link.)

    This drawing will print out very large so you can set it up on your drawingboard easily like mine was set up...try it out guys let's see some bargues! After you do 3 bargue drawings I will teach everyone how to do cast drawings step by step!

    Last edited by emily g; January 22nd, 2007 at 01:06 AM.
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    Something I would just like to add to help with this is a mirror. Its very hard to explain how to use the mirror to compare your drawing to the Bargue, but I will give it a stab.

    Hold a small mirror (we use locker mirrors in class) up to one eye and aim it at the bargue so that you see it with your periphial vision. Look at your drawing. Move the mirror back and forth as if it is hinged to your nose/forehead and see if you can "move the bargue" next to your own drawing. In the case of the back drawing MCM is doing, it would appear that the left shoulder of the drawing is touching the left shoulder of the Bargue. The mirror reverses the image you are pointing it at so that the two come together like this: >< I encourage you to play with this a little. The mirror is used for a lot more than just bargues and IF you get it, and understand how to use it, it can really be a great tool to figure out what is wrong. For some reason the eye seems to compare them much better back to back, so to speak than it does trying to bring an angle over.


    The other thing we do in class is a lot easier to understand. Unveiling. Take a piece of paper that is large enough to cover both drawings side by side and little by little bring it down to show just a little bit of the drawing at a time. Compare and fix. Repeat. If you are getting toward the bottom and your eye just isnt catching the mistakes, take another paper and block out the top, or turn the whole drawing board upsidedown and start from the drawings bottom.

    I T/A at the museaum and a lot of folks there believe I am telling them to cheat, but the one of the real points of doing the bargue drawings is to begin to train the eye to see what is really there and not what is believed to be there. If using a mirror or a large piece of paper is what it takes to convince your brain that its putting too much into what you see, then use it.

    Other tips:
    Draw lightly at first until you are sure that the line you have drawn is correct. You will be erasing a lot. Thats expected.

    Before you begin shading, locate your lightest light area and your darkest dark. Get those at least set in your mind, if not on your paper. That way, as you shade, you can compare and figure out just how far you have to go down (dark) or come up (light)

    Shadows have their own distinct shapes. Some have more crisp edges. Try to think of the shadow areas as flat shapes at first and then go in and darken the areas to push down the deepest darks.

    It took me several weeks each to finish both of my bargue drawings. I was fortunate enough to have an instructor behind my back watching and guiding me through it.

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    excellent excellent advice!! Everything shehaub typed is exactly right...thanks shehaub!

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    Here is my finished drawing...it definitely isn't perfect but I will do better next time...there are some measuring errors in this that I didn't catch till the very end..Hans won't be so lenient next time hehe.






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    MindCandyMan, that is a great work!!
    Bargue drawing is REALLY difficult to do...but I can see that yours is perfect!
    How many hours a day did you spend working on it?

    Ok, this is my work in progress:
    I hope to stay alive after 3 Bargue drawings

    Original and my outline (the line is very soft)
    Definitely I'm using the eraser more than the pencil...


    Shehaub, thanks for the advice !


    "Mistakes are the portals of Discovery" (James Joyce)
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    Just came back to check on this thread. Cashmere, hows that bargue comming along? Would love to see it side by side if possible. Your outline looks ok alone, but hard to compare accuracy all alone. The one suggestion I do have is to keep that pencil as sharp as possible.

    MCM - Beautiful work! Your handling of the pencil really stands out in those tones. I wish I could see this in real life. Graphite is truly its best as an "eyes on" experience, much like oil paintings. Is your measuring error on the base? Just guessing. I don't ask so much to crit as I do to fine tune my own skills.

    We have that Bargue at school. Not sure if I am going to do that one next, or one of the babies. I could really benefit from a back study. There are two baby heads that would work for Christmas gifts for relatives. Bonus! I am required to do 3 to complete the bargue studies portion of my course.

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    Cashmere - Yeah where's your bargue drawing!!!!! I wanna see it!

    Shehaub - Thanks for the comments. One of the errors is in the base definitely...it's actually that right buttcheek and down into the base...that corner is off by about 1.5 millimeters...annoying...but it was too much to go back and change. That's very perceptive of you I'm impressed! I can't wait to see your bargue!



    I forgot to post the progress on my second bargue! Here it is:



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    Shehaub, I keep the pencil as sharp as possible but my question is: can I do a really black tone using only a 2H pencil?

    MindCandyMan, check the chin, it has a strange angle.
    I noticed that you start drawing the middle tones and then the dark areas. Is that the right way to work? For instance: in my bargue, can I put some dark areas at the top of the body and then to finish the rest?

    Signature, I become mad drawing and erasing, specially erasing...and measuring and drawing... and erasing... But after this, I see the objects around me in another way... they look more definite.
    Your bargue (as mine) need of more measurements. You choose an hard copy! eheh

    Work in progress:


    click image for large version

    Last edited by Cashmere; November 1st, 2003 at 05:59 PM.

    "Mistakes are the portals of Discovery" (James Joyce)
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    We use hb's at the atelier. A true 2H is really not going to give you the dark that you are going to want to get with this bargue in particular, IMHO. HB's are not that hard to locate. You usually don't even have to go to an art supply store. I bought my last one at Walmart. Papermate American. Cheap as can be! It says 2 on it, but there is a small HB on it that shows the actual hardness. I have just switched to a mechanical with HB lead. Will let you know how that works out.

    The way that MindCandyMan is working is exactly how I was instructed to do these. Get your basic shadow shapes put in. Squint down and locate your distinct shadow shapes. After you have your big shapes put in, you can push a little deeper and make the cast shadows nice and dark.

    As you are shading, there are some tricks I want to pass on. You can use a kneaded ereaser as a hatching tool to bring up the values of a particular area. You can also glaze. Glazing is really just using a uniform pressure in multiple directions to get a uniform tone.

    From what I see, you have a great start going on. Try to think in terms of "I know this area is at least this dark" and then work darker as you need to. Compare values as you work. Is the upper neck and chest area as light as that light on the right hip? Is the shadow in that armpit area on the right as dark as the shadow area on that right leg? Those kinds of comparing keep your values in check. They also get you to start really seeing what you are looking at. The first real dark I would put in would be what I decided was my absolute darkest. That is almost always going to be a cast shadow. Once you have your lightest light and your darkest dark, the rest is all going to be in between.

    Signature, are you working on this with the image printed out and directly beside your drawing? I am horrible about having to see them side by side in order to really see where it might need help. With that disclaimer, I am going to take a stab at this and just tell you that you might want to double check the angles or width of the nose area on the right side. There is something about that area that I cannot exactly pinpoint. The next thing that I noticed is that perhaps the ear on your drawing is not in the same place as the ear on the original? I think yours might be a little low. Is the distance between the lower lip and the end of the crease in his neck on your drawing the same as the distance in the image? Again, this is just guesswork. I really like that you have your general shadow shapes in before you actually started shading. That is going to save a lot of time and frustration in the long run. There are some really nice shadow shapes to work with on the image you have chosen.

    Its pretty exciting to see so many people tackle this challenge. MCM are you in an atelier program? Or are you just taking on this challenge for the sake of learning?

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    Signature, if you don't make a mistake, your kind of missing the whole point of doing this excercise, so maybe you are more on track than you are giving yourself credit. By correcting the mistakes you make, you are training your eyes to really see. Please continue to work on this.

    When measuring angles, the easiest way to do this is to start at the top and measure from your vertical plumbline. Then measure from the horizontal line. Make a dot. Do the same for the end of the line you want to make. Now you have a dot for the start and end of your line. Draw.. tada! The dot to dot method also works on tough curves that you might struggle with.

    If it were me, I would toss a temporary horizontal line right under the edge of those glasses. Draw it right across both images in one nonstop, but very light line. Then I would use that to measure all my vertical distances. (From the line to the bottom edge of the eye, the eye lid, the chin, the top of the lip the bottom of the nose, the wrinkle in the neck tope edge of the ear, bottom edge of the ear etc.) Your plumbline is in a great place, but you could also put another vertical line using the dot to dot method above on the left edge of his face to help see and measure those leftmost angles. Look at the negative space on that side. You might want to do that on the right hand side as well. Remember there is no such thing as cheating on these things unless you actually trace it. Three little lines to measure from might really help to correct a lot.

    Above all, do not let yourself get discouraged. I am not convinced that this should end up in the sketchbook thread. Finding where you went wrong in this one drawing could be the breakthrough you need to stop bad habits. Are you habitually too wide/narrow/short/long? It really shows when doing these bargues and it is so easily corrected when you force yourself to see those distances and angles for what they really are. Please continue. The struggle IS the assignment. Your are doing a lot better than you are giving yourself credit. I have seen many starts that looked much worse than this. I believe my name was on one of them.

    When I did my first bargue, nearly everything I tried to draw was too wide. I had no idea how often I tended to make everything so much wider than they really were. To some extent, I still do that but I have learned that about myself and I am able to keep that in check much better today than in Feb when I first tried a bargue drawing. That discovery has made a world of difference on todays life drawings! Its not something that someone can tell you because its retraining the eye to see and only you can do that.

    I hope this helps and I will be checking to see how its going for you. Get that battery charged!

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    I thought it is a good idea to stop because erasing doesn't work here any more.
    I'm still looking at the image and trying to figure out what went wrong.

    Right now I'm thinking that it's not only the outline of the face ...
    that just the bottom left outline part is wrong.

    I think the features are scaled wrong ... and that is the biggest problem.
    That part is somehow stretched vertically ... a lot!

    Thanks for your long reply. It helped with my motivation!

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    signature - Use a ruler if you have to...not only measure from the plumb line to the outer edge but also from one side to the other...you would think they would meet up if you have both sides "right" but often times they don't...that's what happened on my first bargue drawing. Doing these drawings teaches you a really valuable lesson as well...not to be precious about your drawing...if it's wrong...erase that portion and correct it but be careful and analyze while you do that because sometimes only a subtle change will be needed...sometimes an overhaul is needed...don't rush to the overhaul though...analyze it and see what needs to be done. What is happening to you is what EXACTLY happened to me my first 3 weeks at the studio...since I pushed through that first stage I understand things a lot more keep it up!


    Cashmere - Sorry it's so late I have been wanting to respond about your bargue. I will make it a lesson for everyone considering I made all the exact same mistakes.



    Ok everyone listen up...I am giving a critique to Cashmere...but this applies to everyone...even myself on my current bargue drawing...not only do the measurements have to be right but all the angles and all the shapes that the angles create...THE NEGATIVE SHAPES...everyone needs to pay attention to the negative shapes that the lines they lay down are creating. Cashmere I darkened the contrast on your pic so we could see the lines...glad you did them lightly...you will be erasing ...Check it out...what I did in photoshop was outline one side and then copy and paste to the other side the exact same line that I put down in photoshop to show the inconsistencies....all the angles need to be revisited and made correct all the while making sure they still measure correctly...this is how people can draw the figure well...they can do all this in their head and subconsciously after doing it so many times...don't be afraid to erase Cashmere...I almost wore my paper down on my first bargue...I had to use the razor to get rid of pencil ghosts in a lot of areas haha.

    Click HERE to see the partially corrected version. This is where the rubber meets the road boys...kick it into high gear Cashmere........ahhhhhhh....I can feel you getting better already....I can imagine you looking at this thread and starting to understand......I like that feeling :chug:


    Another thing that helps I think...is imagining the negative space shapes as animals or heads or something you can visualize...it helps keep it interesting too. Lemme know if that makes sense or not.

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    This is fantastic, MindCandyMan! Now I can see where I wrong and I'm very happy to see that top line is right!
    Ok, I'll try to fix any angle...or better I MUST to fix all the angles (Not "to try" but "to do" )
    This week I'll post an update.
    Imagining the negative shapes as objects is interesting... my drawing is becoming a forest full of lions, monkey heads..and 1 snail eheh. It's simple but it works.

    Shehaub, thanks for the advice, specially for this !! :

    When measuring angles, the easiest way to do this is to start at the top and measure from your vertical plumbline. Then measure from the horizontal line. Make a dot. Do the same for the end of the line you want to make. Now you have a dot for the start and end of your line. Draw.. tada! The dot to dot method also works on tough curves that you might struggle with.



    "Mistakes are the portals of Discovery" (James Joyce)
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    Also keep in mind Cashmere that the quality of the line has to be the same as well...if one line is a bit thicker...etc...that should be considered as well. I'm so glad you have such a good attitude about this...it teaches you so so much but so many people think it's a waste...IT ISN'T!!!...especially if you are just starting out. I can't wait to see the update! You will find you will grow tremendously as an artist through this process!

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    I'm working on the top left part of the drawing.
    I added the values because I'm too curious to see how it will be... :p



    mmm... now I note that the "head" is not the same... ok, it will must be perfect


    "Mistakes are the portals of Discovery" (James Joyce)
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    Good job Cashmere...yeah keep tweaking it...look at the negative shape to the left of the neck as well...that doesn't line up. Also see that line/hook type thing of shading that comes underneath the neck...yours looks different than the original. Don't go too far with the shading...sometimes it's hard to go back...what you have done looks fine for now though...you shouldn't have to change the shapes too much. Keep it up you are learning exactly what I am learning!!!

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    another question. where do i get the thread? O_O lol
    does it matter how thick or what colour

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    Nah the thread doesn't matter...black is the easiest to see against white paper though...just don't get white hehe. You can try downloading a picture from the internet and putting it on disk and getting it printed out at a local print shop type place like kinko's or something like that. Not sure what Canada has for those type of stores hehe.

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    Here it is. hours of work, erasing and erasing and linework ugh! It was frustrating at times but it was fun too.

    Only thing I can see now is minor touches and how the heck do I shade with a 2H pencil!!!

    hope you dont mind me doing same one cash!!

    one thing i found- this had too many details but shapes are shapes !!

    i would do a more simple drawing next, and my printer quality is not that great, but i got the most of it, just not some details..


    Last edited by endregan; November 15th, 2003 at 10:23 PM.
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    endregan - You can keep that 2h pencil handy for glazing over and getting the subtle halftones, but your going to have to knock it down a notch to an HB to get any real darks. I am not sure what kind of stores there are there, but I get mine from Walmart in the office supply area. They are pretty cheap and chances are, if you look around, you might even have one around the house. I steal mine from the school supplies for my kids.

    When I shade, its usually a lot of layers. I like to fill an area going in one direction first and then go over it in another direction. I repeat this process until it looks unified. Keep a really sharp point on your pencil at all times and make sure you are on the point as you do your hatching. This ensures that you don't get that "smudgy" look. (I am guilty of that error a lot. My instructor is always asking me when I sharpened my pencil last.)

    You have a great start on this. I am drawn to that bright spot to the right of his hip that looks like fingers. It could be just me, but the angle or shape on that looks just slightly off. The top of the neck has some bumpy areas that will need to be added, but the general shape looks correct. Double check the placement of bottom left corner of the base. It might be a little low. Having said this, I haven't measured this out in PS or anything to double check my own observations, it is just something that I am eyeballing. I could be wrong.

    Of all the bargue drawings I have seen, this and the one similar to this with the head seem to have the most complicated puzzle piece type shapes. You and Cashmere are pulling this off sooooooo nicely. Amazing work! I think its awesome the way you are both tackling this with such a vigor. Your energy is addicting!

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    I think im pretty much done.

    Suggestion for first timers - choose something more simple!

    I was off the slightest bit in some places and it put it off just enough that its not noticable when you first see it. i changed the torso 3 times and it was really hard..at first my version wider than it should of been.

    I know its not perfect but this was a great exercise to train my eye...





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    I would say you don't have to make it as dark as the printed out version but you definitely need to achieve the proper relationships between the values...for instance...the darkest darks need to be the darkest darks on yours. Also you need to revisit the shapes and do a lot of erasing. The big negative shapes on the whole left side do not match up with the original drawing. Just look back and forth quickly at the negative shapes and you will see them "shift" and get smaller. Also the torso on your drawing is significantly smaller than the original drawing...it does not have the same outward thrust to the right that the original has. A lot of the angles and line quality is different as well. It's virtually impossible to do a true bargue in a day. Perfection is what teaches you the lesson. You need to learn to slow down and perceive every angle and to acurately render each "shape" you see. Keep at it this is a great start.

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    Don't take it personally.
    He wrote
    You will spend weeks on this trust me
    If you work on the drawing for too long you don't see the errors you make properly.
    You have to take breaks and come back to the drawing.
    MindCandyMan pointed out what errors there are.
    The goal is perfection ... as he wrote.
    There's a lot of information in this thread.
    I'd read the advice Cashmere got again.

    I'd be interested in the originals of MindCandyMan's drawings too.
    They are great.

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    yeah I guess i got frustrated we all do that sometimes

    i will see what else i can add to it! ill try and see better...

    oh and jon i was wondering where i could get a more simple bargue to do that will allow me to start with simple shapes first....this one is a bit much to begin with

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    Endregan, I was tempted to tear my bargue, I wanted to finish it as soon as possible. I never worked on a drawing so long...but day after day it is become a challenge: me Vs me. Cash Vs Cash.
    Today I am maybe at 20% of work but I want to finish it. One week, one month, one year.. (no.., one year no :p) but I want to finish it. And it must be PERFECT!
    However,...(I don't know why), now I am glad when I find an error on my bargue..I don't know why. Maybe because now I reach to find errors while I'm drawing, maybe because now my target isn't finishing the drawing in an hour...
    I was tempted to tear my bargue!!!


    "Mistakes are the portals of Discovery" (James Joyce)
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    Don't take it personally.
    Absolutely right...nothing personal...just art. Ok just to go along with everyone...I just finished my 2nd bargue tonight...I officially HATE IT...but I have learned a whole lot through it. Seriously though...if you want to draw from the figure...etc...anything from life or not the kind of precision used on the bargue drawing is exactly the precision your brain has to get used to when drawing from life. When I first looked at these professionals I thought...wow they just draw so quickly and fluidly...and of course I would try and it was awful. What I realized (am realizing) is that they are way far beyond where I am now in terms of their brain. They have worked so hard on the fundamentals that it has become 2nd nature in their brain. Think of it this way...a guitarist has to learn his scales before he can play a solo...being emotional in a solo is the last step in the learning process...only when you can find the right notes (without thinking) can you be free to sing with your guitar. Same with art...these are our scales...we must practice them and get our foundation first. It sucks I know and it's crazy boring. Ok let's be honest...REALLY boring. But it's necessary so we can draw dragons...etc... later. Jack you are hitting a point where your skills are starting to develop more...I see more signs of growth now than I have ever seen before. My crit was to keep you going and help you ride this growth spurt as far as it will go. If you keep pushing through it Cashmere is right...you actually enjoy making it perfect...it gets fun...but sometimes...like me with mine now...it's getting boring...but it's just in time for me to start my third one hehe.

    I will definitely post some high res versions of my drawings...I just need to scan them in.

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    Yeah cashmere i was happy at times to catch my errors and fix it, but after this far there are some sublties i dont see or see but dont want to change because i would have to reconstruct the whole thing, but ill definitly give it another shot!

    MCM: thanks man i will try and finish this one to the best of my abilitiy. if you have any high res of the original pic that you started from id like to try that, or something more simpler in form. where do you get the drawings?

    also about my growth, i see i am beginning to see more, but i hit a point where i go to draw from my imagination and i dont have enough studies on the body to even begin to try and draw the body like i want to. should i just stay with the head and torso with arms, or should i try the whole thing ? ive also been drawing from life a lot and practicing hatching, its quite fun and being inspired from wes9000 sketches

    well off to my bargue

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    honestly endregan you or I really shouldn't be drawing from our imagination at all right...at least in a minimal way. This is my opinion and some may disagree but it's like a new student of guitar trying to write his own songs...they will come out contrived and lame. Don't worry about drawing from your head at this point...it's too much to expect. If we can't draw correctly from life when it is right in front of us...how can we do it from our head? Draw from life build up your skills of how to see...all the while learning anatomy...doing studies to help understand things...etc...


    but after this far there are some sublties i dont see or see but dont want to change because i would have to reconstruct the whole thing
    Exactly...that's the point of the bargue...you lay down some lines and then have to put them down all over again. Doing so teaches you to maintain proper proportional relationships. There comes a point in time where you will learn more actually by moving on but you are definitely not at that point yet. Keep reworking the drawing...patience

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    ehh...what exactly is a bargue drawing?

    Don't just practice. Also Practice the right things, the right way.
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    In short it's an exact copy of a master's drawing...read through this thread and you will see.

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    How does that make this diffeent from the Master Study thread?

    Sorry if im being annoying, im just trying to figure this out. :p

    Don't just practice. Also Practice the right things, the right way.
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    endregan - It's already framed so it's kind of a hassle to get it out and scan it again...try this in the meantime though...it's a sargent drawing and it's really high res:

    http://www.artrenewal.org/images/art..._Aphrodite.jpg


    Copy and paste this link into your browser...delete the http:// and then press enter...that will print out beautiful and is a great one...plus it's cool to copy sargent



    pencil soldier - No worries it's not annoying I can definitely see how it seems the same thing. The difference is in the technique used. The term bargue comes from Charles Bargue...because he was the pioneer of this technique if I'm not mistaken. He created some drawings of sculpture that his students copied in this manner...thus a "Bargue" drawing. If you do an exact copy of a master's drawing I guess there isn't much difference except the technique employed to get the end result. Bargue drawings have a specific technique to train your eye to draw from life (and other positive byproducts come as well)...at any rate I hope that answers your question.



    2nd bargue done:




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    awesome one jon!!

    well i was wondering since on the first one you copied from a master, that you would have the master copy online or its available somewhere?

    the sargent one looks good too!

    i notice the paper you use is a lot rougher than what im using. im just using printer paper . so when i press too hard it really shows (and stays).

    they frame for free?! hehe

    also, you do this on a table am i right?

    btw hows the bakery going!

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    For those interested in such things...

    A book of the complete series of Bargue's original plates (plus additional drawings) is now available through the Dahesh Museum. For more info, check this out.

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    that's awesome elwell...thanks so much!


    endregan - I use a drawing board and tape them on there side by side. I am using the drawings that my teachers did...I am working from copies of their drawings. They did this at the florence academy of art but they don't have the originals...but using their drawings is the same thing. You wouldn't think it would be too fun to get up early and make bread but I really am enjoying it...it's a fun environment and everyone is relaxed there.



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    Sorry for the much delayed response...I didn't see my email reminder for this thread...sorry about that!

    bio - This is the atelier that I currently go to Pantura Studios ...the charcoal drawings you saw were most likely charcoal but the first steps at that atelier are copying another actual drawing with pencil (unless they've changed things.) Much similar to the one that you posted that you have done! A master is exactly what you said...also a master could be an extremely skilled artist still alive...masters tend to get their status after they are dead though hehe...ironically. Basically the reason they call them Bargue drawings is because of Charles Bargue who did a series of drawings that students used. Check it out here You can read all about the book of Bargue drawings that just came out...great stuff!

    Rash Overdrive - That is not a very unsuccessful bargue drawing...the fact that you can see that the arm is way off shows that it indeed was a success!!!! Definitely do another...this looks great for your first one. My first one had some pretty big problems hard to resolve as well. Keep it up...seeing is the main goal of a bargue...training your eye to see all the defects your drawing has...seeing the wrong things with your drawings and figuring out how to fix them is the success of a bargue...so well done!!

    winjer - That's awesome! Wow...wish I still lived in philly


    My third and final bargue drawing...I do a charcoal drawing copy and then on to casts...woohoo!!!





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    Originally posted by bio
    yes, that's one thing i can't figure out with these "classical" artworks. does the golden proportions reduce the penis to something really short? like the bargue i posted above, as well as Michaelangelo's David all have a really short penises.
    The models I draw from in any figure/life drawing session generally have larger ones. it's baffling and i have never been able to figure it out.... :confused:
    The reason is simple, the greeks thought that large penises were ugly, so they changed them.

    [Edit] I'm actually not sure on the bit about the greeks specifically, it could be true for other periods and peoples, I am sure about the reason however.

    Well I must admit I was skeptical after reading the first few posts to this thread, but now I have read the entire thing and intend to start my own Bargue drawing.

    Still a tad confused on something though: Do you ever move the thread on the original, or is it stationary; your only reference point?

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    glad to see you came around spork hehe...I know it sounds stupid...copying something exactly...it feels at first like there is no value to it...but trust me it teaches a whole lot...it teaches not only how to get the proper contour and how much that means to a drawing...but it also teaches how to shade and create smooth transitions...etc... You will be glad you did it!

    The only time I moved my thread on the original was when I was just about done and it was getting in the way of seeing the tones underneath. That should stay there for 95% of your drawing though. Have fun...can't wait to see it!

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    For our first Bargue drawing, the thread is stationary the whole time pretty much. But for the successive ones, we are not allowed to tape down the thread as a plumb line. We had to "memorize" the top and bottom points where the plumb line goes through and place the thread there everytime we need to make a measurement. This makes it even harder. The argument to do it this way is that when we move on to casts, we won't be able to tape down a plumb line...

    The most important part is to get the measurement and shapes right in the beginning. You can take big diagonal measurements to check your drawing. I.e., for the torso drawing, measure the distance between tip of right arm to the bottom of the left thigh. Once you get that all right, it's just rendering/modeling.

    Angel Academy is good... the teachers are really strict. There were students who took the whole trimester to finish one Bargue drawing!

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    that's really interesting about the thread thing jules...that would make it a whole lot harder!


    Everyone listen up...this is wise advice:

    The most important part is to get the measurement and shapes right in the beginning. You can take big diagonal measurements to check your drawing. I.e., for the torso drawing, measure the distance between tip of right arm to the bottom of the left thigh. Once you get that all right, it's just rendering/modeling.

    Thanks for jumping in this thread jules!

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    Well here is where I am after a whole day, I'm not too good at it yet, still getting the hang...



    [edit]This image host is awful so I just broke down and paid to get my images hosted elsewhere, no more red x's soon![/edit]

    Last edited by spork891; January 4th, 2004 at 02:22 PM.
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    Hi. I'm a new member that just found this thread from Wetcanvas. I just went to the Bargue exhibition today and bought the book. Lots of good stuff to work from.

    Right now I'm doing the first exercises of the individual features of the face so it will be awhile until I get to the fully rendered torsos but I thought it would be fun to watch you guys until I get there and be able to ask some questions.

    Two questions so far. Why aren't you using the horizontal line in the Bargue drawings? Where did you get the idea of a thread?

    For the eyes I'm basically following the instructions in the front of the book that says to place the high point, low point, farthermost left and farthermost right point and construct a square around it then place the horizontal and vertical axis and plot the points.

    How are you doing it differently?

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    DanaT - We are using those horizontal lines but when we are just about to finish the drawing we erase them so they don't show up anymore...but we use the plumb lines while plotting out the points. That's an interesting way to go about doing the bargue as well...constructing that square around it...I just measure from the plumb line outward. I also plotted the highest and lowest points as well. Our approaches seem very similar I would guess.

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    Hey MCM, i want to do a bargue drawing too. I already got the aphrodite study you suggested printed out, but i'm wondering about the horizontal line. Do you draw that onto both images? Do i erase the plumb lines before i start putting in the values? I'll just start now with only a vertical plumb line as you suggested first.

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    they aren't stupid questions at all...I never used a horizontal plumb line I just measure from the vertical line outward (horizontally) to get those points...that's the way that I have done it at least...at any rate...I would keep the plumb line in until the last possible moment that you can...if you need to judge a value in that areathen get rid of it but be careful you may need to refer to it later on. Have fun!

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    Thanks for clarifying these points MCM. I just think that figuring out stuff like that is part of the lesson. I'm really enjoying it, although it is really hard to do. I did contour studies for Nicolaides "The natural way to draw", those were mind numbing, but since that concentrating on the bargue is ok. I think that after doing a 5 hour contour study of my boring room (lots of straight lines), i can concentrate on anything when it comes to drawing.
    I have some fingerprints on my bargue that i have a hard time getting rid of, i think it's printer ink since i hadn't fixed the printout at first. How can i remove those? You said you used a razor, how does that work?

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    What I did with the razor was lay the blade flat on the paper and slowly take off small layer by small layer till it is gone...don't lose patience or you could make big rip in your paper.



    I think that after doing a 5 hour contour study of my boring room (lots of straight lines),

    yeesh...sounds really boring wow...you have some patience!

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    anyone know where I can find some of the nice Ref pics you haves used here. I have looked a little though don't know what exactly to search. I would like to try this as it seems like a great way to develope precision and control.


    Thanks

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    geronimo66:
    http://www.artrenewal.org/.../Sargent_Studies_of_Aphrodite.jpg
    This is the Aphrodite in high res.

    http://www.artrenewal.org/
    You can find many high resolution picture on this site, just browse for something you like Look under "Museum".

    MCM:
    It's not that bad really, it's split over a period of 5 exercises, so you don't do the 5 hours all at once

    I go really slow with my bargue, spending hours on just one line. I also don't get to work on it every day, i think i'll need months to finish it. Doesn't really matter though, it's good to know what to practice when i have the time.

    Last edited by John; January 29th, 2004 at 11:09 AM.
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    Some additional info about the Bargue copybook lithos that have been beautifully reprinted - (albeit, much smaller than the originals) - by the Dahesh Museum (www.daheshmuseum.org) Bargue. This is the site of the author of the book. http://www.geraldmackerman.com/ ). There are a few repros of some of the original Bargues to be found on that site. (A little less than a decade or so, I told a pal where he could find an incomplete set of the original set of large lithos - they were at a college somewhere in Ohio. He drove there and took some beautiful photos of many of them... and used to sell prints of the shots he took. One or two of his photos are better than a couple of the repros in the Dahesh reprint... but the Dahesh book has more repros - the complete set, and is very informative... and the pics are lovely. Should anyone live in Toronto, they'd do well to hook-up with this angelartacademy.com if their preference is to have fabulous instructors guide them through the Bargue drawings).

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    Shucks, you're most welcome. Check out some of Bargues lovely paintings, also reproduced on Ackerman's site. There are many other books that, when used in concert with each other, can help with one's approach to the Bargues. Books such as, "The Practice and Science of Drawing", by Harold Speed. (He was a late 19th Century-early 20th Century artist/educator/author who teaches out of the academic tradition (out of which such artists like Bouguereau, Gerome and Bargue grew). His two books - one on drawing and composition, the other book on academic painting - continue to be reprinted to this day, and can be found on amazon.com. Current picturemaker/teacher, Anthony Ryder has a book titled, "The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing" that's also available from amazon. The begining stages that he makes mention of are especially important to focus on. We sometimes rush to finesse a drawing (whether in line or in tone) before we've attended to the broader aspects that are the foudation of the drawing. Ryder and Speed touch on these most important foundational stages. Check with Angel Art academy ( www.angelartacademy.com ) because their step-by-step life drawing video might be available for sale - though I can't say for sure. That would be an extremely useful tool to have in your kitbag. There was also another 19th century tome, titled, "Drawing in Charcoal and Crayon" available now only in photocopied form from www.street-level.net/booklist. There's also another book by a fine 19th century painter named, (oddly enough) Solomon J. Solomon. It's a book almost entirely on academic and old master painting methods... but the first couple of chapters touches on some important drawing info. The Solomon book is available at that street-level address too... as well as other books of use. "Drawing on the right side of the brain" also touches on some important things. "How to draw comics the Marvel Way" also will trigger some important things with which to grapple. There was a fine article on drawing from casts that had some beautiful drawings shown step-by-step in (I think) the Artists mag of some years ago. (I leant mine out and will have to retrive it... at which point, I'll be able to post the exact info). There are tons of books and instructional aids, but some will, of course, be far better than others... but if you scavenge, you can sometimes find that you can at least glean one or two good morsels of info from even the lame books - Overall, if this is the kind of path one is interested in pursuing, I'd suggest getting a good grounding in the academic method of studying drawing from casts and life drawings - (like the kind of info provide in both Angel Academies - the one in Toronto, and the one in Florence Italy... there are academies in the US too) - and then once that method forms the roots and trunk of the tree of your approach, then supplement that info with books, videos and whatever other tools cross your path.

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    ...oh, and IMPORTANTLY... study the heck out of the drawings of others that influence you the most... drawings from all eras, and all parts of the world. Pick from them, the things that you like, and that inspire your own vision. Treat the works of others like you would treat a banquet; choose from them, the things that fill your own plate. Tailor all info to suit your vision.

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  58. #56
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    everyones look so nice!

    been working on my next one:






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  59. #57
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    hey endregan this bargue is looking good but you are far from being done hehe...I am just gonna list out the things that I see at first glance...you need to look more in depth at everything yourself...the camera DEFINITELY distorts so take a look at it yourself in real life and see if what I am saying holds up:

    I will start from the top and work my way down:

    -The hairline on the original fans out a lot more on the left than your drawing does also the right side of the hair "fades" into white (the paper) and yours is just a line.

    -The jaw isn't constructed like it is on the original...the bottom left side of the jaw isn't right.

    -the arm on the right that is being raised up (her left arm) is a little bit smaller than the one on the original drawing...if you look back and forth very quickly (starting with the original drawing) you will see it "shift"

    -In general everything on your drawing from the bottom of the chin to the knees looks too low. What I mean by that is that it doesn't horizontally match up with the original drawing...look at the placement of the belly button and the breasts and you will see the horizontal difference.

    -The hips on your drawing are much smaller and don't have the angle of the original drawing...they either need to come out further on the right side or the left...measure and make sure. I suspect the torso probably needs to come out further to the right because the negative space between the breasts looks much smaller on your drawing and also that would help solve the small arm problem on that side. Take a look at the left side of the hips as well...where the hips start on the left they have a horizontal angle that juts out first and then the angle is started...yours are missing that "jut out".

    -The shape of the negative space between both ankles...(between the legs at the bottom...the negative shape that comes to a point facing upward) is not quite right. I think the plumb line may have been confusing for you in that area and the angle of the knee is a little off in that area.

    -The legs (just like the hips) are much smaller on your drawing than on the original ...could be a camera distort measure it to make sure.



    All these things could be affected by the camera...measure and make sure keep it up.

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  60. #58
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    Did a LOT of work on it, but still have a LOT to do haha




    From what I can see, the torso should come out more on the right side, and the plumb line is still throwing me off, but I should fix that leg/knee area

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  61. #59
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    Endregan: Nice work! But you're right in saying the torso should come out more on the right side. It looks as if she's kinda tensed up in your drawing. Pulled her shoulder in, kinda. I think the line that goes up to her right shoulder should slope more outwards.

    Otherwise, as I said, good work!

    keep posting.

    d-C

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  62. #60
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    Did a LOT of work on it, but still have a LOT to do haha

    From what I can see, the torso should come out more on the right side, and the plumb line is still throwing me off, but I should fix that leg/knee area

    These statements make me so happy dude...you are really learning to "see" and that is the goal with a bargue drawing (with the added benefit of learning from the original artist)...awesome man...keep plugging away...bargues are boring but what you are doing is at the root of all drawing from life...go go go!!!

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