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I see many people on here post there 'cast' studies, saying that these are the exercises that the expensive ateliers give their students to do.
What I would like to ask is what could someone like me do to replicate these exercises? Would I have to get my hands on one of these casts or can I do it another way, where casts are not even involved? I have no way to do life drawing either, I try to fix this by drawing from life out in public.
So, to break it down:
What type of casts are you told to observe and draw/paint?
What materials are you asked to use? (I see chalk, graphite, and oils I think)
What support do you use? (paper? canvas? canvas board?)
Could you please fill me in on other infi and answer questions that have not been asked.
This would be great if some who have studied this style to help little ol' me and others out.
And finally, what is the difference between observing and copying these cast objects to say a plant pot. What is the difference between them and a shed? What is the difference between them and a model dragon lit properly?
I'm not an art-student or any of that stuff... but get a lamp, something to study, hang it on the wall, put it on your desk, make sure the light describe the form of the object well and start drawing ?? Be REALLY careful with how you put your values down...
I think thats it ? Just be really careful and go a long slow + make sure its 99.99% + accurate
I don't see why it should be some sort of expensive-atelier secret ;D
Paint the model dragon a single colour, light it dramatically, paint it well.
If you have access to casts of beautiful sculpture you may as well use them, Harry Speed uses a lumpen Horse head cast in his excellent book*, the basic principles are the same I assume...?
*(cheap book btw, read it)
Last edited by Flake; August 6th, 2008 at 11:53 PM.
MindCandyMan used to have a very excellent post on the essential aspects of doing cast studies. There is also a notorious book out there with master drawings to work from.
From what I've gathered, it doesn't really matter what your cast is. When learning how to study light interaction with form though, it is best if you start with a cast made of one solid material with a pretty diffuse surface.
I believe most people start with graphite or it could be charcoal, not sure about that.
The most important aspect of the cast drawing exercises seems to be the attention to detail involved. I've seen people on here take up to 100+ hours on one drawing. So it's important that you have a consistent work environment to study your cast in. The idea of the study is to get everything EXACT, first your measurements, angles, and proportions and then putting the values into place.
Hi Dile_. Yeah that's what I figured too. I have to just try it out I guess
The dragon would be harder to paint than a cast. I might choose a simpler subject to start with Thanks for your time in providing a tip or two. I will check out the book.
Sounds like the whole process is about drawing a subject in a very strictly controlled environment. I have search for the person you have mentioned and these are my findings:
If anyone who does cast drawing has anything to add, please feel free to.
Yeah those are the threads I was thinking about! Its a shame the pictures for the tutorials are no longer up, but some of the instructions are still there.
The controlled environment is just to give you as much time as you can to learn drawing.. which you could describe as the accurate measurement of proportions and depiction of values. For example, if you are working on a painting and the proportions are off, thats a drawing problem. (not a painting problem)
That's why the academics suggest starting with learning drawing first before approaching painting with color. These barque and cast drawings are where you learn..
But, this all just what I gather from the community here.. maybe someone from the ateliers could chime in??
Plaster casts are good to learn drawing from, because they have a great surface color and texture that really makes it easy to understand lighting. If you practice on something else you have nearby, well it might be glossy and that throws off your traditional values and confuses things, or it might be very dark or in some other way dampens the light changes (as an example, black cloth might make it very hard to distinguish a range of values). Every surface type has it's own problems to solve, but plaster casts are very nuetral. In a pinch you can paint something else with a matte white paint and get decent results.
Many plaster casts are also anatomy lessons. A hand, ear, torso, bust, etc, and the classical ones will be better over all than some model that might not be accurrate, or has too many confusing details making it harder to understand. The plaster casts are often already somewhat simplified shapes, giving the artist a headstart and seeing those simplified forms. If you can't work from life, a sculpture is also nice because you can still move around the form to understand what you are seeing.
Medium doesn't really matter. If I had a suggestion to make it would be grey toned paper, charcoal or a soft pencil (like a 6b), and a white pencil, but that's only because it's what I learned on and it seemed like a good solution. I wouldn't worry much about the medium, only that you find it good to work with so you can concentrate on the form and not the materials so much.