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  1. #271
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    more on construction

    Here are a few very quick sketches done by my teacher Samuel Kudish back in late 1940s. Dont judge them harshly, he was basically a kid, in his twenties. This was during the War, he got recruited into the army and he drew like crazy every waking moment. This was before he got into Mukhina.

    These are fellow soldiers, so I'd say these are 10-15 minutes sketches, at most.

    No construction lines here, no see through or anything like this.

    He was naturally talented (great sense of proportions, natural organic form and etc.).

    However, the way he teaches now his American students is a lot of spheres and cilindars, and their work does look mechanical. He always explains it by the lack of talent, saying that it's the only way to teach someone who does not see naturally.

    And, the more talented his students are, the less robotic their drawings look and vice versa.


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  4. #272
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas Heirwegh View Post
    It isnt necessary to use perspective lines for drawing a figure even though there is alot of perspective going on. Construction lines should be more in your head then on paper, it kills a drawing really.
    Then just do them with a very light line and erase this line later on.

    As for talent - nobody has ever had the talent to figure out perspective!!!

    Perspective is an area of math, not talent!!!!!

    If you have a major composition with many figures you would need a very good idea as to where are all those figures are located in 3d space - you can figure this out by constructing the figures in boxes - and all the lines of these boxes should then go to their individual vanishing points.

    I know that it's not possible to do this 100% accurate, I'm not saying that. I don't know how accurate the masters of the past did this. All I'm saying is that you have to study at least the basic rules of perspective in order to do it so that it looks good!
    And practice drawing those boxes again and again and again and again. This is what I consider to be the most fundamental part of the craft of classical drawing.
    Leonardo wrote this about perspective in his notebooks as well.

    Perspective is the key. Not talent.

    Talent, however, may be THE key to art, but certainly not to the craft. Just look at how they drew before the renaissance - that is what it looks like without perspective. The same goes for much eastern art.

    I'm not saying that it's bad art, all I'm saying is that western classical art builds on the discoveries made in the renaissance, namely mathematical perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas Heirwegh View Post
    I'm only going to ask, show me one drawing where you can see any analytical construction lines from old masters...? Dont show me any Durer stuff because thats hardly like anything we see today.
    The cross-hatch and surface analysis is part of the construction, these are ALL construction lines - very often the hatched lines follow perspective, as in the drawing of David by Raphael in drawing lessons from the great masters.
    Whenever you see a hatched line, you see a line of construction.
    Even if they don't follow perspective, they tone done a plane, or group muscles together, or have another function.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas Heirwegh View Post
    I agree they figured out the major forms first, I havent told you they didnt..
    Now theres where I have a problem, you call it the see through method. I called it just something obvious. Especially for someone like Michelangelo who was a sculptor, off course he could imagine seeing around his drawings. I imagine Rubens didnt had a problem with this either, if you are such a master of form then the see through method is just obvious. They drew a ribcage and tried out a few arm positions, whats there to speculate? Its not like they had some special see through method in order to pull this off right.
    That IS the see-through method. It's not special, it's kinda obvious if you are messing with perspective. It works just like a computer wireframe.
    The problem is that to 99% of all people it's not very obvious.

    The "see-through" method is just like building a sculpture in 3d space, but on a flat piece of paper.
    The advantages are in the understanding of overlapping forms, learning to use the outline to help the communication etc. Making it stronger by using planes etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas Heirwegh View Post
    I dont see how this has anything to do with what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about the values, I'm talking about the drawing. Vilppu cant pull of those lines, there is little life in the lines of Vilppu when compared to Kurkov's. The reason I think is because Vilppu has to many analytical steps and thinks to much about basic shapes. The way Vilppu works is in a serie of steps, he first lays out an abstract gesture line/shape, he then thinks about basic shapes like cilinders and boxes to figure out the perspective and then he will put on the muscles. While someone like Kurkov or ANY older master just skips those steps and directly draws the muscles en true shapes of the model. I think the less steps involved in getting a drawing on paper the better and the more of a direct connection you have with the model. To many steps will disconnect you more from the model and the drawing will feel less alive.
    Again I'm not talking about values, just talking about getting in those lines, the structure that holds everything together.
    This also depends if it's a life drawing or imaginative drawing. If from imagination you would probably need to consider the perspective and anatomical construction - especially if you want to draw at crazy angles, distortions etc. Many people have a good feeling about perspective, but only from the same angle. Having a system that allows you to construct the figure from ANY angle is just great. Also consider the pull of muscles in certain positions - this must be studied analytically.

    Yes I agree about the linear quality - I see the same "russian quality" in works from Boris students. I think it has something to do with time - if you have a lot of time in the pose you can work more subtle in the beginning, use looser lines, and then only strengthen a few of these. Or only strengthen a line specific places etc.
    In short, use much much more refinement.

    But this is also a question about how seriously they take realism at the Repin. Lines are usually a practical or artistical consideration, haven't got much to do with realism!


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas Heirwegh View Post
    Analytical drawing isnt THE craft of drawing, its a very small and sometimes unnecesary part of it.
    Perspective is the foundation of classical western art. Study of anatomy probably comes second.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas Heirwegh View Post
    There is nothing wrong with Vilppu's system, its his system. It works for what it needs to do, training animators.
    If you want to compare it to old masters then it has alot of flaws imo. The drawing he does isnt as elegant or has the feeling of life like old masters. His values are far from what the great draftsman do. He doesnt look at the body as a WHOLE.
    I suggest you read this, here you can see a comparison between vilppu and other guys like sargent etc...

    http://buttermilkskies.blogspot.com/...spiration.html

    I like Vilppu for what he does, but its completely different then the old times. I think he does a pretty good job at imitating the style of the old masters but if you look at drawings every day you start seeing the big difference imo.
    Like I said, the Vilppu system is just fundamentals, however advanced they may seem.
    If you don't need them, then that's GREAT!!! You should be very happy!!!

    I will check out that link, thanks.
    If you got more links like that please post!
    Last edited by hummel1dane; January 13th, 2010 at 12:22 PM.

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  6. #273
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    Leonardo's conceptual studies

    This is one of his anatomical studies. Its done from life, but is 100% conceptual, all forms being constructed and tone rendered from imagined light-source.

    He uses the renaissance system of outlining forms, to distinguise them from other forms. It is this structural system that Vilppu uses, that Robert Beverly Hale writes about, and that Boris taught.

    Since this is a pen drawing it is likely that he did not draw transparent - but he could have if he had wanted to, sometimes the renaissance masters used a silverpoint, which I think is something like a very vague pencil, to try lines before using a non erasable pen.

    If you look at a dead body without skin I can assure you that you do not see these lines - you have to create them. This is what construction is.
    We create the perspective, the tones, the outlines, the forms, everything.

    It is this very complex logical communication of form on top of form on top of form that one cannot get to through talent alone.

    In this drawing the communication is excellent - because the conceptual system is at use! Copying from reality and you'll have a mess!

    This is what I call the craft of classical drawing - the communication of form.

    The reason to use transparent lines is just that it's a hundred times easier, especially with the invention of the pencil.

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  8. #274
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    Raphael studies

    Transparency in Raphael...

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  10. #275
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    promised step by step drawing

    Professor Mogilevtsev's book is called "Basics of Drawing" and is intended for prep course and beginner students, not advanced Repin students, even though everyone makes the same mistakes.

    These are the stages, I skipped quite a few, it's totally self-explanatory in my opinion.

    This book also has the same thing for a portrait.

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  12. #276
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    just wanted to comment on Mogilevtsev's demo

    This aint' Raphael, of course. And Mogilevtsev himself would not draw in the same manner, since he is a professional.

    But, he took his time and actually drew himself from this model and also created all these separate construction and anatomical drawings.

    As you can see he uses them next to each stage.

    The book is also full of great classical examples of whole figures and each part that are in similar poses and lighting, tonns of photos from the Hermitage including the Greek sculptures.

    As you can see the steps are like this,

    1. small compositional sketch in a sketch book
    2. Outline of extremities.
    3. Sketch
    4. Working the sketch (proportions, movement, tonal relationships along the border of light and shade).
    5. Symmetry and lining up the important points.
    6. Working on the details in terms of importance.

    a. torso
    b.head
    c. hands and pelvis (since in this case they connect)
    d. kneew
    e. feet

    This order is not set in stone, but it made sense. Also, the very important last stage is called "generalization", where you push back some of the details and pull forward the others.

    Probably, if he drew his own piece, this would have been much more elaborated, and the drawing would have been more atmospheric.

    One thing he alwasy stressed is the level of finish for the details. Like if one knee is more finished, the other should never be as finished, same for feet, arms and etc.

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  14. #277
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    THANK YOU!!! Now that's more like it! That's a guy I would like to study with!! How much does that book cost? And they ship to italy?
    There is a russian at my academy who could probably help me order if necessary.

    Please give me a link or something!

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  16. #278
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    ordering Mogilevtsevs' book

    The book was self-published by Mogilevtsev, very few copies, 500, I believe, all were sold to the academy students. They were available two years ago at the House of Books (your Russian friend from Petersburg should know that store), but I doubt they have any copies left.


    Quote Originally Posted by hummel1dane View Post
    THANK YOU!!! Now that's more like it! That's a guy I would like to study with!! How much does that book cost? And they ship to italy?
    There is a russian at my academy who could probably help me order if necessary.

    Please give me a link or something!

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  18. #279
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    That book looks amazing lena, as you said is pretty self-explanatory. Lots of good stuff.
    Thank you for sharing it and for keep on adding interesting stuff to this thread.

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  20. #280
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    You know that I'm crying now yes?

    Just kidding, I can live without I hope...

    You think he would mind if you scanned the pages and made it into a pdf. I could pay you a bit for the trouble. How many pages?

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  22. #281
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    scanning the book

    sorry, guys, won't do that (copy more pages)

    What I aleady did is not something Mogilevtsev would have liked.

    At some point he was working on an online English version, for which I am a translator. I have not seen it yet, but I will ask him when I have a chance.

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  24. #282
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    Lena Murray: Sorry to jump in here, but I wanted to say that Mogilevtsev book looks really nice! It looks very similar to the sort of training I received at the Barnstone Studios. Lena, I'm also wondering, seeing as how you're on the east coast, if you've ever visited or studied there?
    "Contrary to the belief of the layman, the essential of art is not to imitate nature, but under the guise of imitation to stir up excitement with pure plastic elements: measurements, directions, ornaments, lights, values, colors, substances, divided and organized according to the injunctions of natural laws. While so occupied, the artist never ceases to be subservient to nature, but instead of imitating the incidents in a paltry way, he imitates the laws."-Andre Lhote

    Web, FineArt, Sketchbook

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  26. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by lena murray View Post
    sorry, guys, won't do that (copy more pages)

    What I aleady did is not something Mogilevtsev would have liked.

    At some point he was working on an online English version, for which I am a translator. I have not seen it yet, but I will ask him when I have a chance.

    Actually Lena I found the step by step online, also the step by step from the head. They are small images but you can clearly see it.

    http://www.art-index.org/objects/wor...ivd7l9vsakp39y

    Is it this books you have?

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  28. #284
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    Lena - He should be happy though - if the book will be translated it needs some publicity!

    Jpacer - Listening to his philosophy I really really like it! I don't know much about his teachings, but at least the man is an inspiration in himself!

    Jonas - thanks so much for that link! I will get my russian friend to order the book. Can't wait for a translation.

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  30. #285
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    Quote Originally Posted by hummel1dane View Post
    Then just do them with a very light line and erase this line later on.

    As for talent - nobody has ever had the talent to figure out perspective!!!

    Perspective is an area of math, not talent!!!!!

    If you have a major composition with many figures you w..............

    I admire your enthusiasm

    Its very difficult for me to debate this because we are talking about different things I guess and your adding things wich has little to do with what we are talking about. Not sure why

    I understand how important perspective is, I studied it pretty intensively at one point. But I'm talking about the figure here, you dont need to plot out vanishing points for a figure. Your talking about complete scenes, I think i never mentioned you dont need perspective for environments or multiple figures...

    It is in my understanding that someone who wants to draw the figure already knows and draws perspective without much problem, its the first thing an artist should study. So then when you want to draw a ribcage you dont need to draw a box first, but you know how the perspective works in your mind.

    You underestimate what the human mind is capable of. Lena talks about how construction lines and al this abstract analytical geometry came around in the late 19th and 20th century. I think she is right, the old masters didnt used any of this. And imo thats also why it seems we have lost the skills of observing nature and just draw it like the old masters did. There is to much construction and analytical thought in the way to ever develop a skill like this. If a student gets exposed to methods like we see today then most will follow it blindely as the best way to get masterfull at drawing when it doesnt necessarely have to be this way. I think the secret of the old masters is a free mind and the simplicity in how they worked. We tend to look for methods or secrets that arent really there

    If you want to call crosshatching construction lines then we are talking about different things There are none whatsoever in the drawings of old masters, not one single construction line in the sense that we see today with Vilppu, Reilly, Loomis, etc..

    The drawings you posted are very nice and I'm familiar with them but they dont disprove anything of what I said.
    About the Raphael pictures where the arm suggest a cilinder. Thats very true but you can clearly see he wasnt thinking about just a cilinder. I know Vilppu talks about how michelangelo uses boxes and eggs to draw an arm. I dont think he did, I think he just drew the flexors of the wrist. If you think about basic forms all the time when drawing a figure you get a box like drawing, vilppu's drawings suggest more basic forms then real muscles to me. Thats being too analyticaly when drawing from the model imo.
    But then again, Vilppu isnt focussing on fine arts! He is focusing on animation so why should he draw like the old masters anyway..


    Its a good discussion but try to keep an open mind and dont state everything as facts when you are just guessing. This is all "in my opinion", I'm sure I will agree or disagree with alot of what I say here in years to come

    PS this thread is the best on ca

    Here are some more BEAUTIFULL russian drawings from the Repin academy.

    Attachment 878606

    Attachment 878608

    Attachment 878609

    Attachment 878611
    Last edited by Jonas Heirwegh; January 13th, 2010 at 06:11 PM.

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