This week’s exercise, like the last, is based upon a plate from Adolphe Yvon’s drawing course.
You will notice that in this plate Yvon shows us a more volumetric way of perceiving and drawing the head. He still prefers to flatten the main curves, but not in a way which flattens the shape as a whole.
Your job is to find a different object from what you used last week. Despite the fact that the example above is a head, you should use something far simpler.
This week is almost all about analysis. When observing the object, rather than trying to perceive it in a two-dimensional, cookie-cutter way, try to view the object as something which has volume (which it does). When analyzing, try to ‘see around’ the object, but don’t actually rotate it during the observation period. Notice the cylinder in the upper-left example. See how he is trying to view the head in the same way.
Pay attention to the way the values describe the form and observe which are the darkest, middle and lightest.
When you attempt to draw the object from memory, follow the steps which you see in the example. Draw softly and begin with the large, simple shape. Then, carve down the big shape into smaller ones. Don’t forget to use value to represent form.
Strive for accuracy, not a caricature. If you succeed, memorize another view on the following day, and so on. If it’s a struggle, use the same orientation on each day until you nail it.
Once again, try to take a photograph of each position you memorized. These are, of course, not to be used during the exercises. They are simply a means to help you recall the source at a later date, when you go back over the exercises.
Darren R. Rousar studied privately with Richard Lack and attended Atelier LeSueur, both in Minnesota, as well as Studio Cecil-Graves in Florence, Italy. He was the assistant director and an instructor at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, after which he became vice president of The Minnesota River School of Fine Art in Burnsville. He has been a professional artist for more than 20 years, focusing mainly on Christian themes. Darren is currently an art teacher, technology coordinator/coach at Providence Academy in Plymouth, MN. He is the author of two books, Cast Drawing Using the Sight-Size Approach and Cast Painting Using the Sight-Size Approach and the producer of a companion DVD, Sight-Size and the Art of Seeing. Through his company, Velatura Press, he republished an expanded edition of E.G. Lutz's 1921 book, Drawing Made Easy.
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Needables from Amazon
Velazquez, Las Meninas, detail of self portrait (1656). The paintings in this post are, or have been said to be, self portraits. Above is a detail from his 1656 painting, Las Meninas. Below is a detail from The Surrender of Breda, 20 years earlier. Velazquez, Surrender of Breda, detail (1635). Are they the same person? [...]
Begin here and here if this is new to you. There are many ways to learn to draw, just as there are many ways to draw. The same can be said for learning to see. For the next month we are going to look at memory drawing through different ways of perceiving. These posts will [...]
Gilbert Stuart, Self Portrait, 1778 Gilbert Stuart was one of America’s great portrait painters. This self portrait was done while Stuart was in England, studying with another American ex-patriot painter, Benjamin West. Gilbert Stuart, Self Portrait (detail) In June of 1816, Matthew Jouett (an infantry Captain during the War of 1812) journeyed from his home [...]
This is our last week using abstract shapes. Although I know that they were difficult, I hope that you can see the benefit. If you can’t, don’t fret, eventually you will. I have not added helpers (plumb line or dots) on this image but, if you believe that you’ve failed after your first attempt, go [...]
On the right is Titian’s Adam and Eve (The Fall of Man), from 1550. On the left is Rubens’ copy, done when he was in Madrid between 1628/29. Awhile back I posted, Old Masters Copying Older Masters. This post is a continuation of that one. One of the fascinating aspects of visiting the Prado in [...]
Begin here and here if this is new to you. This is our third week of abstract shape exercises. If you have not attempted week sixteen and seventeen’s exercises, see here first and then follow those directions for week seventeen as well as this week. You’ll notice that I have added plumb and reference points [...]
Memory Drawing: Perceptual Training and Recall is now viewable through Amazon’s Look Inside the Book feature. See here. Amazon UK and EU availability should be coming soon. I’m not sure just yet about AU. I want to publicly thank three people who had a big impact on this project: Linda Crank (see here and here) [...]
Begin here if this is new to you. This is our second week of abstract shape exercises. If you have not attempted week sixteen’s exercise, see here first and then follow those directions for this week. If you have done last week’s exercise, and had difficulty, be sure to add a few reference points to [...]
My latest book, Memory Drawing: Perceptual Training and Recall is now available for order from Amazon, here. Once the “Look Inside the Book” feature is live I’ll add a new post. From the back cover: All drawing and painting from life is at some point done from memory, even if that memory is only seconds [...]
Books and DVD
Memory Drawing teaches you how to visually perceive and accurately recall those perceptions.
Sight-Size is a way of seeing and comparing nature to your artwork from a given distance. The books and DVD shown below explain it in detail.
Children and young adults can learn constructive drawing through Velatura Press' reprint of E.G. Lutz's 1921 classic, Drawing Made Easy.
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