How many bargues did you draw and how long it took
For those of you who drew or still draws bargues, I wanted to know how many bargues did you draw before you started feeling that you aren't getting much out of the practice relative to the time spent? Also how many bargues have you drawn so far?
Also I know that it can take hundreds of hours to get one bargue right, but with practice, one should get some kind of efficiency boost. So I was wondering if anyone remembered how long it took them to draw their first bargue and what was the average/best time per bargue once you got the hang of it?
Your answers will help me gauge my progress as well as show me what I need to shoot for, so even approximate numbers will help tremendously. Thanks.
As far as I am aware, most programs only have students do a small number of Bargues, but spend a long time on each. I'm sure the numbers vary a fair bit, but a lot of places you probably only do maybe 2 or 3.
That being said, it is important I think to remember that Bargue plates were originally copied without sight size and were not meant to take hundreds of hours each--it was possible that a student would copy many or all of the plates, which simply isn't possible anymore using the methods people use to copy them now.
"Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley
"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -- Bruce Lee
JeffX99: Can't think of anyone who went through modern atelier training without drawing a bargue. So I guess more artists than I can list. Which brings us back to my original question
This is true for academic, atelier training. I guess I should say it depends on your goals? I doubt any in my top 50-100 artists ever drew one. If your goal is to go the academic, atelier training route more power to you.
Edit: Not trying to give you a hard time btw...I just think it is a question worth really considering. If the artists that you admire and inspire you have spent a great deal of time and effort on Bargue drawings then by all means, follow that lead. Just make sure you're doing it for the right reasons, and not just because you've heard people say you should do Bargue drawings.
Last edited by JeffX99; April 27th, 2012 at 02:12 AM.
What would Caravaggio do?
I've done 4, spending over a month on each, and it's been extremely useful to me. I was literally a clueless beginner (well I still am, but somewhat less clueless) when I first started working on them. Everything in my sketchbook before the value studies have been the only stuff I had ever drawn up until my bargues, bar a terrible selfportrait I did before I started working on them.
It taught me how to take my time and observe and it taught me how far you can take something, even if you really have no idea what you're doing, with patience alone. Part of the reason I learned so much was probably because of how little I had drawn before them, but I don't regret doing them and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in academic drawing! Van Gogh did all of them multiple times I think.
Bargue drawings are just master copies. I don't understand this hostility towards them. People have been doing master studies since the Renaissance.
The Bargue plates are used because they are specifically suited for copying from. They have simplified light and shadow and some include intermediate block-in stages that show you how to simplify. They also nicely link to cast drawing. The sighting and measuring techniques can be applied to any master study. There have been drawing courses before Bargue's, that similarly consisted out of plates to be copied.
I think I did around 5 copies, but that includes the simple ones like the features. At first I was very slow. You can spend as long on them as you like. It's up to you to decide when the drawing is "done".
I knew someone that did over 50 Bargue drawings. He was only able to do so many because he didn't strive for complete accuracy, and I think neither did Van Gogh. The way they are being copied nowadays is taking it further than what they were likely intended for (too far perhaps). Although it's a good exercise to push yourself to the extent of your abilities. And I think you get more out of doing a few accurate copies, than 50 more or less inaccurate ones. Quality over quantity.
They don't have to be done 1:1, although it is the easiest to start with. I recommend doing a few using comparative measuring; blowing them up or scaling them down. You'll learn more that way. I believe the original Bargue book consisted of just the plates, with no instructions. Students at the Grand Central Academy use the drawings only for practicing their block-ins, which is what I've been doing as well.
Last edited by Norkagar; April 27th, 2012 at 09:45 AM.