Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Drawing from the Masters #6

This is my next installment in the Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters series.

Hale's chapter five is entitled "Position, Thrust, or Direction." He defines these terms and discusses the different uses of thrust and movement in drawing. This chapter is filled with tremendous drawings by famous men, each handling the concepts in their own way. Many of the drawings have examples of the artist figuring out the best way to place limbs or draperies.

I was quite taken with this drawing of Botticelli (go look at it, that's why I didn't include an image today). After reading Hale, here's what I see:

  • Botticelli has conceived simple masses for each of the parts of the body.

  • He's given general lighting characteristics to show the forms of those masses.

  • He then went over the body with drapery to reinforce more of the form.

  • The drapery also gives excitement or a bit of "dance" to the drawing - emphasizing what he wants to capture.

  • He does this without the aid of a model.

  • He does all of this consistently - to masterful effect.

Seeing drawings like those in this book, reading Hale talk about hard work, knowledge and perseverance, well, it all just makes me think da Vinci's thoughts after him...namely, that the best artist is the scientist who fully knows and understands all the parts and whole of his subject and that I want to be that scientist/artist.

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