Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Measure Twice, Cut Once

This drawing is a study of Waterhouse's Study of Lady Clare. There is a painting study done from this drawing. I learned a few things with this. But, first, a little admission, I'm finding the Waterhouse project very challenging. Waterhouse was meticulous and his work is very detailed. You can't just walk casually into trying to "copy" it. Sargent was loose in his drawings, they were proportioned and carefully thought out, but done in a fairly loose style. Waterhouse worked differently and I am finding it tough.

Anyway, things I learned about Waterhouse while studying this drawing:
  • On this drawing alone, he must have made thousands of small hatch marks. There are very few single lines indicating an edge.
  • He looked at surfaces in terms of planes. In other words, he "blocked" in planes or simplified surfaces into easier shapes. However...
  • He worked in above said fashion, but refined those easier shapes as he went.
  • Notice the shading on the shoulders and neck (yeah, go look at his drawing not mine). It isn't like he marked where the shadows would be and then darkened those areas. It's more like he was passing over the planes with his hatch marks and where two planes met he got two sets of lines and therefore a darkened area. That sort of working method led to his incredible level of detail.
And one more thing that I learned. Well, OK, I already knew this, but I was painfully reminded. Measure twice and cut once. I got so into the face, I just didn't bother with the shoulders too much on my initial layout. This is what happens when you do that:

Some things take more than learning and knowing, they take discipline.

No comments: