Art: Bargue Drawings
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Thread: Bargue Drawings

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    Bargue Drawings

    I was wondering if the Bargue drawing could be done while sitting down? I heard that they had to be placed in front of the person an easel that is upright. The easel cannot be titled as this will allow for distortions. Do they necessarily have to be done this way? If they are tilted at a 45 degree angle, can the artist still benefit from thier valuable lessons?

    I'm sorry, but I have one more question. Can one still learn to be a successful artist without the book? An accomplished painter? The reason I ask is that I cannot find the book anywhere for purchase. They are all sold out.

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    Bargues.

    Can you read French? They are still available in French, which I had to get. http://www.amazon.fr/Charles-Bargue-...0100469&sr=8-1

    You can sit down. Even if you get the book in French it would be usefull. Here is a thread on another forum discussing it with the fabulous Emily G. http://forum.portraitartist.com/show...age=1&pp=10Get it with this Juliette Aristides book http://www.booksamillion.com/ncom/bo...6573&ad=FGLBKS You can also get it on Amazon.

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    I think there are a lot of successful painters who never did a Bargue plate. Probably because they weren't available at the time. If I understand the purpose of the Bargue course it's to train you to see a subject in abstract shapes. And increase the difficulty as you progress through the levels. (I'm probably wrong and I'm sure someone will correct me.) So, try making master copies of other works, I'm using plates I made from John Vanderpoel's book, The Human Figure. I was very tempted to get the book from France too, just couldn't afford it right now.

    If you are interested in learning the technique used at ateliers check out this dvd. It's pretty pricey but very good. Note, it shows comparative measurement instead of sight size in it's demonstration. There are a lot of sight size tutorials online.

    Good luck!

    Roger

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    Sitting down is no problem for Bargue copies, although I'd say you'll want to keep your drawing board tilted at least 30-45 degrees. If its at a 90' angle to you (as it would be if you were sitting at the kitchen table and your drawing laying flat) then perspective distortion tends to creep into your work.

    The "Drawing Course" book suggests working sight-size, which would be done standing, with the drawing surface vertical. However the purpose of copying a Bargue plate this way has more to do with training the novice how to work sight-size, as working from the 'flat' provides a nice training ground for the sight-size method before moving to 3d objects. Of course, in the context of the academic tradition described in "Drawing Course", the Bargue plates were a precursor to drawing from the cast, so a solid understanding of the sight-size method was expected before progressing to cast drawing.

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    I think sight-size can be done whether your sitting or standing, because the goal is to make sure that your drawing/painting is the same size as your subject when seen from a distance. The book suggests a "method" for it.

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    If you can stand comfortably for an extended period of time, I would not recommend sitting down to produce a 'sight-size' drawing.

    You raise an interesting question though... for a student in a wheelchair, or otherwise unable to stand for an extended period of time, I don't see why you couldn't work sight-size sitting down. Once the measurement is made, you would need to approach the drawing surface and make your mark, but as long as you have a chair with rollers, and a hard surface to roll on, that wouldn't seem to be that much of an obstacle. The same rules would still apply, in that you would need to always be square to your drawing, sit in the exact same spot, and in this case, sit up straight.

    In the context of the 'Drawing Course' book, the 'sight-size' method is more then just the fact that the drawing and subject will be the same size from the vantage point. It is an exacting system of measurement that provides a framework for overcoming the difficulties of complex subject matter. There are a number of modern ateliers and academies that teach essentially the same 'sight-size' method as presented in 'Drawing Course'.

    Last edited by thinairart; June 19th, 2007 at 01:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by reidaj View Post
    If you can stand comfortably for an extended period of time, I would not recommend sitting down to produce a 'sight-size' drawing.

    You raise an interesting question though... for a student in a wheelchair, or otherwise unable to stand for an extended period of time, I don't see why you couldn't work sight-size sitting down. Once the measurement is made, you would need to approach the drawing surface and make your mark, but as long as you have a chair with rollers, and a hard surface to roll on, that wouldn't seem to be that much of an obstacle. The same rules would still apply, in that you would need to always be square to your drawing, sit in the exact same spot, and in this case, sit up straight.

    In the context of the 'Drawing Course' book, the 'sight-size' method is more then just the fact that the drawing and subject will be the same size from the vantage point. It is an exacting system of measurement that provides a framework for overcoming the difficulties of complex subject matter. There are a number of modern ateliers and academies that teach essentially the same 'sight-size' method as presented in 'Drawing Course'.

    I work sight-size and I stand up because I do large figuratives. But I think that for the Bargues it might be easier to sit. Look at the tread I posted with Emily G. in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon Knettell View Post
    I work sight-size and I stand up because I do large figuratives. But I think that for the Bargues it might be easier to sit. Look at the tread I posted with Emily G. in it.
    Yeah. You gotta be careful though when your drawing up-close because that will cause distortions, that's why standing back to look at the drawing and subject is important. I guess if you're copying a drawing it's ok, but when it comes to a live figure, or still-life you will have to when you're working sight-size.

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    I still don't understand the part about needing to move back and take measurements. ???

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    As far as I understand, you are to move back a distance of 3-5 times the maximum dimension of your drawing. You use something to measure such as a piece of thread or a knitting needle, using your thumbnails to measure off distances at arms length. You then move up to your drawing point(the further distance being your station point) and place the mark. Rinse and repeat?

    Abstract=non-art
    There is no "soul" or "feeling" in art
    A machine can make as beautiful an image as any man.
    This is my opinion, go ahead and try and change it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterKiller_ View Post
    I still don't understand the part about needing to move back and take measurements. ???
    It's all about getting a view of the big picture. It allows you to view any mistakes/errors easily. It allows for easy comparison between your work and the subject especially since your work will end up the same size as the subject when seen from a distance.

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    Roger Adams: can u tell us more about the comparative measurement method !

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    Red face

    I started a seperate thread in the discussion area, but I also wanted to post this question in this topic. Does anyone have a Charles Bargue Drawing Course book in English that they would like to sell OR do they know of a place where I can get one? Both the Dahesh Museum and Budplant.com are sold out. :/ I appreciate any info/help. Thanks!!

    Lara ^_^

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    Quote Originally Posted by zou View Post
    Roger Adams: can u tell us more about the comparative measurement method !
    Sorry for the late replay Zou, I don't subscribe to threads anymore.

    I'm no master of it and will probably mess up describing it but Comparative Measurement is a method of making a unit, any measurement, and comparing it to all other measurements. This unit will never change and can be any size on your drawing surface as long as you don't deviate from it.

    In the dvd by the Academy of Realist Art, the instructor takes a knitting needle and investigates that the model could be divided into fourths. The heel to the knee was one quarter and was the measurement that all other measurements would be compared too. To start, he knows the model can be divided into fourths, he just draws a top mark on his paper and selects a good quarter mark measurement, anything he wants. Then multiplies that mark four times down his paper. Just by holding the knitting needle from the top mark and marking the same measurement four times. He now has the height.

    To find the width of the model, he goes back with the knitting needle and measures the largest width proportion of the model and compares it to the quarter mark he uses from the heel to the knee as his base unit. He finds it's a little shorter than the base unit. He goes back to the canvas and takes his self defined quarter mark and knocks off a little bit, takes that measurement and marks off the width.

    So, he's never measuring from his model and taking that needle and placing it on his canvas to get distances. He's using the needle to measure and compare to his main unit, then taking that knowledge and using his own unit on his canvas and measuring from that. I probably didn't do a very good job at explaining it but I'd really recommend the dvd if you are interested in this classical type of drawing. It goes over preparing your tools, to this measurement system, to value and rendering techniques.

    I hope that helps.

    roger

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