Monday, January 07, 2008

Venus Darling

My first attempt at cast drawing using several atelier methods and sighting methods that I have been reading about. I particularly like the methods suggested by a few of the books I've begun reading in the past month: Classical Drawing Atelier by Juliette Aristides, The Art of Teaching Art by Deborah Rockman and Cast Drawing using the Sight-Size Approach by Darren Rousar. I'm using a modified cast drawing method with regard to these sources. Instead of using vine charcoal (preferred) I'm using 4B lead pencil to do the sketch and then soft graphite to do the shading, the choice for graphite partially made as I am dust averse in my own home. When at the studio, all bets are off, dust will fly! Also, I decided to forgo the sight-size exercise right now as I need a proper height for my Venus cast as this process necessitates a studio set-up and it is significantly slower than the quick sketch I was looking to start with.. However, I did find the Plumb Line (a piece of string or cute pink ribbon with a bolt attached to it to weigh it down and giving a true straight line) to be universally helpful - I will be using plumb lines in addition to sighting sticks (basically a knitting needle used to measure angles and relative size of different components of your drawing) and mahl sticks in my charcoal drawings in the near future. The plumb line is used in classical cast drawing to create a center line which you can measure off of, it creates a useful position to sight heights and widths of heads, chins, eye placement etc, and also it creates a bolt straight line to sight angles (like the angle of the chin). I find this method infinitely teachable, even as my super-quick sketch suggests absolutely no mastery of this new method for me!

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