Learning to render using charcoal. Sadly I cannot afford artistic training ever (10 000 K per year?!) and need to learn without life contact with a master. But, thanks to Dorian and Ilyas for their help!
I did not use toned paper. Paper were toned using watercolor washes.
Still self-taught, need good critique.
Regards from Jöllenbeck,
Last edited by Talwacht; April 21st, 2010 at 09:53 AM.
Congrats on such a great Bargue considering you've had no training!
I can't say I've ever seen that plate, so a side by side comparison to your drawing and the original would help us judge your accuracy. As for the shading, I think you have a good range of values, but they're not fully shaded. This may be the paper grain, but if you're using charcoal, go in with a stump and flatten your values. This will help significantly in creating depth. "Active lights passive shadows" is the key. Hope this helps.
Remember that doing Bargue plates needs to be done PERFECTLY - so comparing your drawing with the reference I can see some things that are off.
If you have a software like Photoshop you can superimpose the reference over your drawing and set the top layer to a lower opacity. Then you will see where you are off.
The paper seems not to be the right choice since it is really grainy. I also had some troubles to find the right paper (especially for charcoal). A regular printer paper and pencil should suit well for Bargues. If you plan to do cast drawing then you would need better paper.
I tried to measure as much by eye as I could, using mirror for help, and a plumb line. I wont use technical tricks (digicam + gfx-software overlay, prism in like laterna-obscura) to push up the end drawing beyond my eyes capability, rather I will finish it as good as I can and start a new one.
On this Bargue, I used exact on-paper-distance measurements to get the very first (4 to 5) measurement points of the BlockIn, those are still very difficult to get for me. After that I did not use the on-paper measurement to get new points.
Working on it since decembre last year, I am somewhat fatigued of this one and like to start a new one, this Bargue is already prepared with shellack, it wont change any more.
I like to follow hints people give me in this threat on a new Bargue.
I like your studio setup, its interesting to find a way to get good cast shadings and good light during drawing. Its rather annoying if ones own shadow disturbs ones charcoal picture because one avoids too much light which might change the cast shadings.
It would be nice if one can achieve any shadings together with good lit drawing canvas.
Grüße aus dem Jöllenbeck,
Leonard / Talwacht.
I am sorry, but I simply do not understand what you mean with
"Active lights passive shadows" is the key
Could you explain it, please?
Active means for me there is something moving, but there is nothing moving on paper, maybe whole drawing is passive and only draftsman is active. If you change light on object, lights and shades change at the same moments, why should be any of them passive? Or, both are passive and only light source is active.
I miss the base idea behind, it rather confuses me, because active/passive could be interpreted in many different ways which interfere. It would be kind if you say (or show) something about it.
I am impressed by your drawings, I believe in your craft.
Last edited by Talwacht; April 22nd, 2010 at 06:05 AM.
Thanks for the new upload Talwacht. Very good likeness man - the angle of the chin/jaw could be adjusted (there's more of a downward slant in the Bargue than in your drawing) but don't worry on perfecting this one! It's a pretty good level of accuracy as it is, and pushing it further on such paper would be mind numbing. Start a new fresh one, using comparative measuring on a larger sheet to give yourself a comfortable size to work on polishing off to higher standards.
"Active lights, passive shadows" is a term my teacher uses sometimes (which I've also heard Jacob collins uses) to describe how to approach modeling the lights and darks. It means the lights should be clearer and abundant, and the forms in the dark should be subtle, flat, and dark. When you have a lot of value modulations happening in the darks (trying to capture reflective light) you lose some of the illusion of form. SIMPLIFY, simplify, simplify. That is the key mantra. Keeping your darks simplified and dark, (that's what is meant by passive) you will ease the shading process and create much more believable form. Because of the paper grain, your darks have lots of the paper tone 'dots' in them. Seeing all of this busy 'noise' makes it hard to judge what's going on and breaks the illusion. That's why I suggested going back in with a stump - flattening your darks and eliminating that 'noise' will help make your shading stronger. I hope this helps! Awesome work dude. Keep em coming.