Friday, May 4, 2012

Lifeless Piece of Perfect Workmanship: Harold Speed 7

Bargue Drawing Course, my beginning

This post contains highlights from chapter 6, of Harold Speed's book on drawing. The chapter is called "The Academic and Conventional". You can find all posts from this series on my favorites page.

"academic drawing is all that can be really taught, and is as necessary to the painter as the practicing of exercises is to the musician, that his powers of observation and execution may be trained."
-- Harold Speed

In this chapter Speed argues that academic drawing (studying how to draw well) is necessary. He argues that academic studies train the eye to observe accurately and train the hand to reproduce appearance.

"But the vital matter of art is not in all this necessary training." -- Harold Speed

So when is a drawing good?

"The test is whether it has life and conveys genuine feeling." -- Speed

Why is not a drawing's accuracy a measure of goodness?

"It would seem that, after a certain point, the nearer your picture approaches the actual illusion of natural appearance, the further you are from the expression of life...The nearer you approach the actual in all its completeness, the more evident is the lack of that movement which always accompanies life."
-- Harold Speed

Finally, with those necessary exercises mentioned above in mind, I have begun working my way through the famous Bargue Drawing Course. You see my first drawings above.

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