If you’re new to all this, begin here first.

This week’s memory drawing exercise is a bit more advanced. You will notice that it is not a silhouette and that there are two images. If you have been consistently succeeding in accurately reproducing the previous exercises from memory, use the image on the right. If you’re not that accurate most of the time, try the image on the left and ignore the interior lines. Simply memorize the outline.

Regardless of which image you use, your resulting memory drawing should not be in values. Keep to simple lines for now, like the block-in on the left.

I am aware that some students are not trained to block-in with facets, but are taught to use curves. See my earlier post here for some info on that.

The image is an edited version of a lithographic plate, drawn by Bargue in the 1860s. Most know about his course via this book here. I have mixed feelings about teaching adults to learn to draw from the flat as opposed to the round however. Nonetheless, the Bargue plates make good subjects for memory drawings.

As before:

  1. Print out the image and using tracing paper, trace the guidelines and reference dots.
  2. Tape or tack the source up to a wall or to an easel.
  3. Stand or sit around three feet away from it when trying to memorize.
  4. Spend five minutes memorizing. On the first attempt do not analyze. Stare into the center of the shape while you try to take it in as a whole. You may then analyze on the second attempt if you like.
  5. Now and then, trace the image in the air with your finger.
  6. After the time is up, turn away from the source and try to draw it onto the tracing paper.
  7. When you have done your best, lay the drawing over the source to check for errors
  8. Don’t forget to mark your errors. Review them before the beginning of the next day’s session.