Heya, in 2006 I started out at Angel Academy of Art in Florence. This thread documents what I'm up to and how the programme is going. There's also the occasional "how to" or step-by-step pics and please feel free to ask any kind of question and share your comments and crits!
The projects every student has to do, are the following:
Bargue Drawing - Level 1 (here)
Bargue Drawing - Level 2 (here)
Bargue Drawing - Level 3 (here)
Bargue Drawing - Level 4 (here)
Bargue Line Drawing - Level 1 (here)
Bargue Line Drawing - Level 2 (here)
Make Bargue-Style Line Drawing from Master painting (here)
Charcoal Cast Drawing - Level 1 (here)
Charcoal Cast Drawing - Level 2 (here)
Charcoal Cast Drawing - Level 3 (optional, white chalk on toned paper) (here)
Oil Cast Painting Level 1 - Grisaille (here)
Oil Cast Painting Level 2 - Full Palette (here)
Oil Cast Painting Level 3 - Full Palette (here)
Oil Still Life Level 1 (here)
Oil Still Life Level 2 (here)
Oil Still Life Level 3 (here)
Oil Still Life Level 4 (here)
UPDATE: I GRADUATED IN DECEMBER 2009!!! Filled with gratitude... I am not the same person.
I could probably write a small book about how the last 4 years have changed my life... If there is enough interest I could write a summary? Let me know!
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start of original thread:
Bargue Drawing - Level 1
I had a hard time figuring out how perfect it has to be, how to get the smooth shading and the halftones, how dark/light I should go, and how to use the sawin thread to measure correctly..
It was a great great experience to see whole new universes emerge, when looking really closely and filling up those little dots with graphite, the grain of the paper becoming little mountains and valleys :]
It was fun! On to the next one! I'll try to be more accurate now from the beginning on, I spent a lot of time fixing mistakes..
Took me about 36 hours all in all.
Hope you enjoy!
Last edited by dorian; January 31st, 2013 at 05:44 AM. Reason: new work added
I've noticed that my eye is getting better at seeing my own mistakes.
Great job Dorian! Good luck with the rest of your projects and I hope u continue to work hard on them.
 DRAW EVERYDAY >
lookin goooooood man! 36 hours is pretty amazingly fast. . .hehe wish my first one was like that. Anyway yeah very much looking forward to seeing more of your work as you progress through the program. One quick question about the curriculum, though - at this atelier (Pantura in the US) we do three graphite bargues, a charcoal, and then a minimum of 6-7 cast drawings before painting is begun. So it looks like you have more of an emphasis on bargues, and a faster progression after them into grisaille?
thanks for sharing
looking good man. great stuff on the reflected light in the shadowed areas. i can't wait to get to Firenze in October. How are you finding things? Found a good place to live?
i presume you're life drawing too, right? share some of those too, i'm sure i'm not the only one who'd love to see 'em.
wohoo, so many comments, thank you folks!
patdzon: thanks! nope, no charcoal yet, the bargues are all done in pencil. its about A4. *goes to mesure* exactly 24.7cm (hmm don't have an inches calculator, sorry). yeah, correcting mistakes takes a LOT of time.. I was quite a bit ahead of a girl in our class because she did the measuring really precise. she cought me when I was fixing all the stuff that was off and we finished together same bargue too, funny thing. but her shading is... unbelievable. I couldn't get it that smooth. will try on the next, its plate 1.60, I'm being very careful about the measuring now, want to get as much as possible correct right from the start
otherside: mine too! I think it's already starting to pay off!
jkior: hm yeah, 4 bargues, then two charcoal casts, then the grisaille. takes most students one or two years though, the instructors are really picky. (and that's good I think. it definitely shows in the final results)
madplanet: yes, florence is grrreat! beautiful place! thanks, I will try hard
fishw: found a nice place, yup! my lifedrawings suck.. and we're only doing gestures so far, no articulation, no shading/rendering at all. YET. the gestures take us three sittings at the moment, 1.5 hours.. lol.. we soohook
anyway. you asked for them, wouldn't have shown any :
(its half a day life drawing each day, which means 3 hours)
and from the BEAUTIFUL flayed figure cast:
Last edited by dorian; June 30th, 2009 at 06:48 AM.
Great work dorian,
I'm coming to study at Angel in September of this year, I can't wait! Looking at your work makes me wish i was already there.
Keep up with the long tedious hours and keep producing beautiful drawings,
Becky: heya, thanks! cool, I really like some of your stuff, lookin forward to meeting you! thanks for the kind words
E.M.GIST: thanks. yup, that's right ;]
some colored pencil from the open friday night short poses
feels good not having to measure and being super-exact, very relaxing!
Last edited by dorian; June 30th, 2009 at 06:50 AM.
I like the last one. As for the previous drawings, there are still errors on these . Even though you're not going for dead accuracy, try your best to make it so. Use knowledge of the block-in, and always check the alignments.
looking forward for more!
Tully: yeah I'm really really enjoying it so far!
patdzon: thanks, yeah I'm just slowly starting to find the right balance between measuring with the knitting needle and eyeballing. also I feel my eye really gets better, and I try to train this by putting down the best guesses I can make before measuring with the needle. (before I used to make a sloppy "could be about there"-guess and then just measured to find the point. now I'm measuring to verify the guess.)
29th of January 2006 - 23rd of February 2006
done with my level 2 bargue!
I looove to spend the time getting the tones really smooth, to other people in my class this seems to merely be a "pain in the ass" :]
it's plate 60. going to level 3 as first one in my group!
about 100%, it's 25cm in height
aand a figure drawing for fishw
from a short-poses-friday-night
(I know proportions suck, but I kind of like the flow )
Last edited by dorian; June 30th, 2009 at 06:54 AM.
thank you, it's fun! (it really is it's as well time-consuming, but I really enjoy it)
we divide values in: light - halftones - shadow
light = paper showing
halftones = lighter tones of shadow
shadow = rather dark shadows
1. Shadow Shapes
First you lay down an even tone in areas of shadow, which means the rather
dark shadows such as in the center of the back and between and below his
bottomcheeks. (easy identifyable by squinting) preferably make the tone the
lightest value that is in the area, since you can easily get darker later -
making it lighter involves going back in with a kneaded eraser and then
probably with pencil again, because it's spotty and/or too light..
We use a 2B for this step.
2. Variations of the darks
get the darker darks in there, as well as lighter tones, which are probably
reflected lights. on the bargue you also want to get the same edge quality,
hard edges / soft edges / lost edges,
maybe using the stomp. if not, your pencil will do, 2B or HB
Now it's time to take care of the subtler changes of value. We start with a
small brush to bring some graphite in the halftone areas. The adjustments are
made with the pencil, maybe a 2H
An understanding of rendering basic elements like sphere/cube/cone/cylinder
will help a lot.
Hm ok, just realized that you just asked how to make it smooth... heh. hope
someone can make use of the above stuff..
the most important thing: sharp pencil.
it's just a physical issue, if your point is thicker than the grains of the paper,
it will move over the little valleys and holes, instead of travelling through
them, filling it all and thus creating a smooth tone.
You get it smooth by darkening areas that appear to be lighter than the
surrounding tone, and vice-versa: lightening areas that appear to be darker
than the surrounding tone. The first one using your pencil, the second one
using a kneaded eraser or rather hard brush.
In the end it is really just a matter of going in with a very sharp point and
filling little white dots in the grain with graphite, for it are these dots (as well
as the small lighter/darker areas) that make a tone look uneven.
you need some time, some patience and - to say it again - a sharp point.
Maybe a harder pencil, HB or 2H, depending on what value the tone is you're
working on, (soft = dark / hard = light) is more convenient, because a 2B or
softer gets blunt fairly quick and needs to be sharpened every other minute..
we use long points, first getting rid of quite a piece of the lead (2-3cm) using
an exacto knive and then sharpening on sandpaper, making a point that starts
tapering evenly from where the lead stops, ending in a sharp point.
beware: upon completion of this process you are in possession of a deadly weapon!
sidenotes on using the brush:
-brushes tend to make light areas darker and dark areas lighter
-don't brush the same area too long/often, it might damage the paper (especially
brushing-erasing-brushing gives a very unpleasant splotchy-ness that is hard to
get rid of. (still showing on the left side of my back.. I was experimenting.. )
hope that helps!
Last edited by dorian; June 30th, 2009 at 06:56 AM.
I love how you explained step 3. This is one of the most important factors in observing how light hits form. One must have a sense of what shape of form one is observing inorder to understand how light is distributed. I think it also helps to imagine that what they're copying is not flat, but rather a 3dimensional object.
And thanks for explaining how you do all that shading!
Whoa, thanks for the tutorial Dorian! It really helped me to understand some things about bargue and rendering in general.
The Bargues look kickass, i bet it's helluva sweet to study in a Atelier like Angel Academy of Art. Keep on rocking, subscribed
Tell us about how it is to study in Florence? good/ok/bad?
what about the workshops?
Dorian - your doing really great man!
I was gonna say those pencils sharpened like that look lethal! haha
I was looking into going to angel - do they teach any compositional stuff while you are there?
Do they teach a constructional approach to figure drawing? or is it all academic like?
Do you get lectures on stuff in museums and things that are in florence?
Your dead lucky to be at Angel, i envy ya!
Good job on those bargues Dorian, looks like you have a great time in Florence. You got so good so fast, awesome.
one of the best bargues i've seen. well done. you'll go far at angel. careful with the thumb on that figure drawing. some variation in line weight would add so much to it too.
keep it up, you're doing great.
holy.. that's alotta' posts?!
patdzon: your welcome, sir! glad you agree!
Inkfish: thanks! glad it helped!
email@example.com funky nickname :] I like it very much. it depends on what you're after. check the florence thread for more infos on the schools!
the workshops: to be honest: they just are too fucking expensive.. I'm shure you'll get some good information there, but more so if you have already some experience with the topic and search to refine your knowledge/techniques. That's just my opinion, though, and I might be wrong. We have some people who decided to start the regular programme after having attended a workshop, so I guess they're not too bad. But still expensive. If you're short on money I'm shure there are more efficient ways to invest it in training. The teachers are all good, if you are interested in a special workshop I can maybe give you some more info about the teacher. I think pm would be best in this case. Hope that helps!
GNL: thank you! heh I bet they ARE lethal, if handeled correctly
compositional stuff: it's part of the graduate programme, but I'm shure we'll hear something about composition in some of the lectures, too. Just too crucial not to talk about. A LOT of theory stuff we get out of books, though. (those who read 'em, at least.. ) Mainly "the science and practice of drawing" by harold speed. solid.
constructional/academic: no constructional approaches at all, no drawing from imagination at all. you have to do that on your own, it's just not what the school is set out for, you learn to handle the materials and to train your eye to the utmost precision in proportions, values and color. (step by step)
museums: so far: no. but we check out all the museums on our own. you can also get a membership to the "amici degli uffici" (friends of the uffici gallery) for 25€ that will grant you free access to all the state-run museums in florence. which are about 16..
every second friday there is a lecture on a certain topic, given by the maestro (michael john angel aka teh santa clause nice guy!). alternating, every second thursday there is a movie. past lecture topics included: medieval art, greek art, classical 19th century painting. past movie topics included: the spartans, early greek art. then occasionally there are lectures on anatomy and perspective.
john o.: jooohn! thanks! hope I'll see you in brussels!
fishw: thank you! I'm still a beginner.. have to learn a lot about line weight and all that stuff, but man.. I'm enjoying it so much... I think I found a good place! finally! I'll probably scan my 3 weeks pose tomorrow, I'll also get it framed in about 2 weeks, which is kind of exciting, being a "framing virgin"
thank you for the crit and encouragement, very much appreciated!
I FINISHED TEH LEVEL 3 BARGUE!!
23rd of February - 29th of March 2006
more than 5 weeks instead the 3 each for level 1 & 2.. his crown... oh boy..
sometimes it was hard to concentrate, you get lost so easily when there's a certain amount of detail. but now it's done! on to the next one!
Last edited by dorian; June 30th, 2009 at 06:57 AM.
patzdon: I bet you could, but I'm sure it need's a lot more self-discipline when you do it on your own. Plus teacher critiques are really helpful, they point out most of the mistakes in areas where you just fealt that "something's off". Try!
I'll repost from sketchbook thread, sorry:
19th of March 2006
Our first 3 week pose is finished!! and with it the first term. damn?! already?? where did february go?!
I'm SO glad to be here. It's just beautiful to be able to spend a good amount of time on a drawing to do your best to do it really well. You can "dive" into the subtle value changes for a couple days, focus on delicate modelling of the lights, clean and rework outlines... wow. Right now I'm just grateful.
3 weeks (except wednesdays) 3 hours a day, pencil.
My first drawing to get a real frame, whee
...oh.. don't worry, he has in fact totally normal ears
Last edited by dorian; June 30th, 2009 at 06:57 AM.
I think... I should try at a Bargue drawing. I'll have to look into it. Yours is amazing, I applaud you with not going insane through those five weeks. So are there more levels, or does it stop at three?
Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow. That figure is astounding.
I can't wait to test drive one of these atelier things!
Exemplary work Dorian and wow, 3rd level Bargue in 5 weeks. I know it's tough but that's good time. You are making great headway. #4 and yer done. Better go sharpen your pencil. I hate it when the lead breaks off, don't you? Looking forward to seeing more!
"The progress of learning is from indefinite to definite, not from sensation to perception. We do not learn to have percepts but to differentiate them."
Mainloop- man i must be dyslexic.. cuz i thought you asked how many people are on lsd