Hello everyone! I am new to this forum and like it a lot. I was wondering about the Bargue plates-- how do you go about doing them? Could you approach these drawings using different techniques in lieu of the plumbline method? Could you utilize Loomis' ball and plane method and yield similar results? Sorry for having so many questions, but it would be grateful to have them answered because I cannot afford the Bargue book. Thanks in advance!
Bargue drawings are extreme measurement and value excercises. You should draw excactly what you see. The loomis method is more understanding the forms in perspective, so that wont go with the bargue plates.
The Loomis method of using a ball and plane has a very conceptual side to it. For example, the spaces between such features such as the distance between the hairline to browline, browline to base of nose and base of nose to chin are all equal. That is not always the case. The best way to use his approach is to use it as a reference to what you actually see.
Baretul is right in how to go about copying these Bargues. To add more to it, it is done by using "the block-in". You can see an example of that in some of Bargue's plates. It is basically simplifying the shape of the subject by using straight lines and angles.
Thought I'd add to this. When copying the plates, focus on the flat masses of light and dark at first, and add halftones and transitions later. Start off with a plate that has a more distinct shadow pattern. And like patdzon said, use one that has the schematic or (block-in stage) to guide you. Learn to stop seeing a face or a torso, and start seeing the abstract shapes within the pattern, focusing on the larger shapes and refining down to the smaller ones. You will become less reliant on measuring and shapes as you develop your eye.
Learn to squint a lot at your work to eliminate details and to see the simpler relationships. A black mirror is a great help too.
Thanks everyone and thanks Admin for the link. So the Bargue drawings start with a simplication of the shapes then from there refinement? Hope this make sense. I have seen similar threads in which some say the Bargue took them anywhere between twenty-thirty hours. Do they really take this long? There are also those who claim to have finished it in under 1 hour. Do they still benefit?
The length of time is determined by how far you want to take the refinement of the drawing. You're copying the plate to learn so take as much time as you can to really understand the subtlety of the line quality, values and form. Copying a Bargue plate in one hour is like skimming a carefully-written book; obviously your understanding will be more complete by putting in the hours. Sorry, but there are no sparknotes for draftsmanship
Last edited by darkwolfb87; March 12th, 2007 at 07:50 PM.
Thanks. Has anyone ever completed all seventy drawings? I have also heard that by doing these drawings, one does not develop his creativity and ends up rendering "stiff, accurate drawings. Is this true?
You will still be the same person with the same artistic/creative ambitions and dreams should you have them at all, when you are done doing the drawings. You will just be better equipped to bring those dreams to realisation on a piece of paper or a canvas.
Mannerism and abstraction is better left for the artist who is already a master of realism in my opinion. And anyone that says that you are going to do more harm than good by doing the copies is just being ridiculous. Leonardo himself even recomended the copying of drawings by a master or copying from statuary for practice, and until 100 years ago every artist did it.
It is a lot of work though, I'll admit. No one really seems too thrilled about spending over 100 hours on a copy. At the academy that is pretty much how long they take to do in graphite, 100-150 hrs or so. At least during my stay that's what they said.
Huh, I was recently thinking about trying these Bargue drawings, but I can't afford the book. I let my school order it (that was in October) and just a few weeks ago they told me that it came in November of last year and since then it's been lost.
I'm not an authority on anything really, but from what I've read and heard... yes, for the beginner it really helps. It helped me a great deal. I would highly advise drawing from life as well. This way you have the best of both worlds.