You're making some serious progress. I really like your drawings a lot. One thing that kinda bothers me on the drawing of the girl is the hairline. It looks as if the hair is coming out of the forehead, instead of being on top of it.It's as if the hair doesn't have any volume, but just flat on the head. I hope you understand what i mean.
Looks like your off to a great start, one of Hans former pupils is now my teacher, and I'm learning a ton. And you are studying in Stockholm, which is to me one of the most amazing cities in the world.
I think sight-size is a solid tool for learning, but I'm not sure I'd want to use it as a working method later on, comparative measurement is a lot more flexible, especially for subject matter, like people, that have a tendency to move and fidget.
I'm just a student myself, so I can't really comment on Hans feelings about sight-size as a teaching tool, but with regards to the origins of sight-size:
I know Hans argues that simply placing the canvas next to the model is not sight-size, and it makes sense to make that argument if you intend to infer that sight-size was invented by Paxton, as a very notable 19th century artist is known to have painted many portraits in this manner.
From John Collier's "The Art of Portrait Painting" (1905), speaking about Sargent's methods:
I'd think that Sargent would have also taken advantage of the situation and transferred measurements & angles, but using a brush handle instead of thread. Darren Rousar's website has more historical information on sight-size, including additional discussion of the essay Hans mentions in his writings, and the notion that sight-size is not just mechanical reproduction: http://www.sightsize.com/misconceptions.html
hi. I am completely self taught, i have had no help from anyone, in any way with my art,and i work in multiple medias, and i would like to say, for me, i work intuitively when i am working from life ,(not that there is any other way) without any measurement, purely eye to model, brain to hand , sorry for butting in, but had to say. Rob.
Just Do It
With the Bargues and their safe two dimensions gone, starting the drawing was much harder. Just measuring out the top and bottom didn't work, I had to estimate these marks and try to check them with shaky hands at arms length, several steps away from the paper. The accuracy of measuring and checking the Bargues is no-where to be found here. I have to just see if it's right. So, what I had to do, then, was to Just Do It. Just start the drawing, and fix your mistakes later. This is really true to any kind of drawing where you actually can erase. If you don't know how to start, just start, and see what happens. Sounds obvious, but in the heat of battle, you can become scared.
Shadows Can Be Flat, Lights Need To Be Round
Look at the GIF animation, before I put any information within the shadow shapes, but after I've started modeling the lights. Still looks pretty good, eh? That's because when I squint at the original cast, and/or try NOT to look into the shadows, but at the whole thing, all that information is secondary anyway. The lights tell me all I need about the form. In fact, when looking into the shadows, I could see much more reflected light and shapes than what I've drawn. But if had I drawn all that, the drawing would become overmodeled. Everything would have been as important. Right now, the information within the shadows aren't the important part of this drawing it's the relation between the large masses of light and dark, and the information in the light.
Go Dark. Seriously.
Go dark, go dark. Sometimes it seemed like that was the only thing the teachers were able to say. Go dark. But dammit they are right. It might feel counter intuitive to, when drawing the light part of a white cast, be covering the paper in charcoal. But that's what needed in order for the really light parts to shine. And, when the background is as dark as it is, even the darkest halftones will read as white. And the further away the form is from the light source, the darker it will get. That's why the left (our left) wing of the nostril is much darker than the right. When looking at the whole cast, they both read as 'in the light' right? So they should be the same value, right? Check this out, and compare the real values of the nostrils: Attachment 602277
Earendil, getting it dark isn't really that hard, you just need to press really hard. Getting it dark and even, that's another story. Bit still, it's really not hard, just requires patience. But the darker you go, the more likely your stick of charcoal is just going to pick up the charcoal already on the paper. This can be frustrating. Again, the key word is patience.
Superb stuff I gotta say. Mu interest in Atelier Stockholm grew, for sure, even though the thought of being stuck with Stockholmare kinda scares me! Any ways.. Seems not to pricey either, 70k per year? That's cheaper than a lot of other schools I'm interested in (Florence Academy Of Art..). Is the whole course one year only?
"Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
Omen, sorry, I've already finished that drawing.. But I see your points, and will think of them in the future! I hope I worked more on the forehead before finishing the drawing, I can't remember... You'll see when I post an image of it. For now, here are some other figure drawings, three or six hours each. Also, some WIP pics of my second cast, the life mask of Beethoven...
Good start to the new brague. Your progress in the atelier is just amazing. Your new life drawing is really good. You manage to capture the shape and contour so well. My only thought is that you might be able to push the values even darker.
I just finished one brague drawing myself. (the foot one. Forget the plate number) Going to upload to my sb in the coming week. Maybe you can give me some criticism Before i start on my next brague, I have some query. It is is quite impossible to do them all, so I would like to know if which plates are considered better to do?
Another query is about charcoal and the paper used. I read from various atelier thread that most of them use fabriano roma paper. It is not available in my country so I am wondering what kind of paper is it. Is it a textured or smooth paper and what is the weight. Do you know any substitute for it that is more commonly available. Lastly, I have been trying to master charcoal and read that charcoal is better on charcoal paper which is textured. I went and try but find myself unable to create subtle gradation or even tone. I am wonder if there is some technique to it or am i using a wrong type of paper?
Sorry for the long stream of questions.. Hope to see more stuff coming from you.
Last edited by JS Neo; March 16th, 2009 at 12:22 PM.
"Choose only one master.. Nature. " Rembrandt
"The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting." Van Gogh
Mydrako, first of all, the Beethoven mask I'm doing is not a Bargue copy, it's drawn from a cast. About which Bargues to draw, I don't really know if any are considered better than others, but of course it's a good idea to begin with simpler ones and progress to the more complicated ones. Pick the plates you find interesting, because a good copy takes a long time to finish, and so you'll be spending a lot of time with it.
About paper. At our school we use Canson Mi-teintes, which I find very good. Our teachers used roma paper when they were in school in Florence, but I've never tried it. I don't know what weight the Canson paper is, but it's not super thick. We use the back side, which is smoother. A smooth surface is good for fine detail and modeling. But as you said yourself, there certainly is a technique to it. Good materials make things easier, but they won't magically turn you into a master. That's where the Bargues come in, when you copy the way he did gradation and modeling, you learn how to use it yourself. And practice makes perfect!
I thank you for ur advise. I shall go try to find canson Mi-teintes paper and see what it feels like drawing on it. My judgment for value is kinda weak so gonna work hard on my bragues.
As you said, practice practice practice !
Will be lurking around ur thread, hope to see more great stuff from u soon.
"Choose only one master.. Nature. " Rembrandt
"The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting." Van Gogh
davidddddddd you're improving like crazy! i'm been looking into this school and i think i will apply.. anyways keep it up.. you need to update your sb aswell would like to see what your imaginative stuff looks like
I love looking at these atelier threads. Very inspiring.
I can see the improvement already. Keep working hard!
The finished long pose is nice. I think you really nailed the top half of her. There is some really nice subtle modeling of tones and the edges are well observed. The transition from the waist to the hips looks a little off. It may be she is just really really skinny, but something around there is not reading quite right. It seems to be a difficult angle. You have nicely described the tilt of the hips, maybe the confustion comes in more from the hip/butt to the upper leg. perhapse the upper leg is placed a bit high, making the butt to short. Anyways, I probably don't know what Im talking about.
Keep up the good work and I can't wait to see more.
Hey Serpian! This is an amazing thread, I just went through it from the beginning and I must say that I'm very impressed by your great improvement It's obvious that you put a lot of work and passion into it, which is paying off! Keep this up and you'll get far.
Also thought you might want to know, but I just applied for the summer workshop at the atelier! Hopefully I'll get a spot I chose the 'Figure drawing' and 'Russian style portrait drawing' workshops. I'd been pondering for a little while whether to go and then I found your thread and now I'm positive that this is a fantastic place to study. So thanks again for sharing!
You're just staying for a year, isn't that correct? So you'll finish this spring? Just checking, it'd be fun to have another CA member
It's impossible not to love the smooth, clean drawings you did for classical sculpture. I wish I knew how to do this but I assume it's taking a good amount of time to finish each study. Anyway, great works, hope to see more
wow! That beethoven is really coming along. Canson Mi Teintes is a great paper. I'm working on a cast drawing now, and I find that although it doesn't stick as well because of its surface, it is VERY forgiving. Also I believe Roma has discontinued its company so any Roma paper you have is all that is left in existence! (That is by far the best paper). I can't wait to see it finished! Great to see your progress here: it is very encouraging. Bellisima!
Awesome thread! I was reading through it and got curious about where one might procure their own casts for drawing and how much they might cost...
That led me to www.statue.com and if you go under their "drawing casts" you can find some really reasonably priced casts (under $100). Make sure you're aware of the actual sizes of the reproductions though.
If you look around for fashion retail supply you can find some ghetto fabulous 1/2 busts on the cheap! $10 or so. They're glossy so you have to hit them with a coat of matte white spraypaint, but they'll do in a pinch. Probably more like a "level 1" type cast where you can find "level 2 and 3" detailed casts at statue.com.
I just wish people would make these things out of styrofoam so they wouldn't cost so much! A $10 bust of Diana? I wish.
Hope this helps anyone.. I'm looking into going to atelier for a year or two and always get excited to see people's progress!
Hey! Time for an update! First off, thanks to all of your kind comments!
sevarenge, yeah, I'm in Stockholm! I come from Finland, although I speak Swedish as my first language. You shouldn't get me started on this subject, as any of my classmates viewing this thread could attest to...
Dile_, I will update my sketchbook some day... I have two sketchbooks almost full with stuff from this year, none of it is uploaded or even photographed... Sometime when I have a lot of time on my hands! I'll let you know...
Ging, thanks for the critique! Yeah there is something weird with the torso/hip transition. I think the biggest reason is that that part changed a lot when she just moved a little. This is always the problem with trying to draw this accurately from life. You just have to stick to one position and always draw the model when she happens to be in it. But another reason is that she really had a pretty thin waist, and the pose was pretty extreme. If I were a fully fledged independent artist, I should of course have tried to 'improve on the original', because an artist should always try to make attractive drawings... Now, however, this was a school assignment, and all I could do was find a spot to stand and draw what I saw...
AsaB, that's great! I hope you have a great time and learn a lot. Unfortunately you're right, I'm going home at the end of this semester, so we wont have the opportunity to meet... This time at least!
archipelago, same goes for you, it'd have been fun to meet some CA folks, but I'm not going to be in Sweden in September... Thanks for the comment!
Gokce, the key is really patience and a critical eye. That's why experienced teachers are so good, because they can point out all your flaws so that the picture can become more and more perfect. Of course it's also important to start simple, but never lose your high ambitions...
Oruhito, I've never tried Roma paper! If they're discontinued, maybe I never will.. Anyway, thanks for the kind comment!
YuZa, right now I'm interested in working in illustration or concept art, although I really want to do a lot of things, try fine art painting (although I see illustration as just a part of fine art.. I find it crazy not to consider John Howe or Norman Rockwell or Frank Frazetta or Dan Dos Santos or Donata Giancola Paul Bonner fine artists...) Now... About that update!
My third long pose is finished! Here is the finished Peter, with some details. Also: the beginning of the next long pose... And guys, in a couple of days I'll update again... With Beethoven!
Serpian you are awesome for sharing not only your immaculate drawings with us but also insight into what life and studies are like in the atelier. This thread has me fired up! It's nearly 5 am and I haven't slept yet as a result!
I thought I might share that the Bargue Drawing Course book can be bought directly from the publisher for $95 USD at:
One person mentioned doing his Bargues using acetate to lay over his drawings to explicitly see the inaccuracies since he didn't have a teacher. I'm not sure if this is common to the Bargue course but it seems highly beneficial and objective.
If I've posted anything redundant please forgive me as I've only just recently signed up to this site. What an invaluable pleasure to be able to watch Serpian's progress! Thank you so much for sharing and keep up the good work!
dominator, thanks for your very kind words! I haven't heard about a lot of people drawing bargues on acetate, but I guess it helps spotting errors. As long as it doesn't become a shortcut it should work! I don't know what it's like drawing on acetate instead of paper though, in terms of modeling and values.
Sorry, I meant that he went to the printers to copy and enlarge the drawings from the book. While there, he got an additional copy printed out on an overlay sheet which he would then place over his final drawing to check for errors in line/shape.