Monday, April 9, 2007

Ingres for April

It appears that the Fineline Artists are all too busy this month to do a little extra study (good on them, I hope to one day achieve such an artistic state!) So, I'm on my own this month. I checked back on my list of goals for the year...and I had listed doing a monthly study on Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867).

Briefly, he was a painter that met with some success in his lifetime. Today he is known for his pencil portrait drawings. To this day, they are amazing. He clearly had a handle on achieving a likeness. As a comparision, his style was more delicate than Sargent's swift hand. I will tell you more about him later on in the month.

He interests me for two reasons. First, I was just astounded with his skill and draftsmanship and felt I could learn alot. The image above is a copy I did of one of his works in Dec. 2006. Looking back at my copy now, I feel like it could be greatly improved on. To begin with, it's all in midtone values and totally lacks "punch". So one goal this month is to see if I can get closer to his expert draftsmanship but also gain "punch".

The second reason that he interests me is because he did so many pencil portraits and earned a living by them for a while. (While I am not in need a earning an entire living, I would certainly love to do pencil portraits for money.) Interestingly enough, he actually said that he despised doing them and considered himself a painter. A story goes that when people would knock on his door and ask if the man who does the pencil portraits was in he would respond that "no, a painter lives here." So there is both a personal interest and actually general interest in how his world viewed drawing vs painting and how today's art world views the two.

So, this month I look to gain some technical skills and do some art history type investigations. (Tomorrow I will include links to some of the sites that I've been looking at - but you could google him and find the same links yourself! :-)

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