In Which I Argue for Bargue

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Yesterday I came across some info on a school in Florence for realist painters, and one of the first things their students do is follow a series of lessons devised by Charles Bargue, a 19th-century French artist. The idea is to copy the drawings exactly, using a piece of string to plot key landmarks, and letting your eyeballs do the rest. With enough practice, apparently, you can ditch the string, and apply your newly honed spatial abilities to draw more accurately from life. Here’s a copy of the lessons in PDF format if you’re interested.

Well, it’s the moment of truth. I’m green, and Bargue is pink.


Aaand, just like in tee-ball, I get the participation trophy. Sure, it seems pretty close, but the parts where I strayed definitely coincide with the parts I drew without consulting the string. I’ll keep plugging away.


Speaking of Which


I decided this weekend that I’d like to progress a little faster, and the only way to do that is to spend more time drawing and learning. I looked at all my distractingly cool gadgets and realized, hey, I can use technology to get me motivated instead. So, starting tomorrow, my computer will roust me out of bed at 7am, my iPhone will harass me to get in the shower, and then I’ll dive into 2-3 hours of drawing before work. I’ll come up with my assignments no later than the night before, so I have something definitive to accomplish. Tomorrow it’s more Bargue–I’ll probably start over on the foot and hopefully do well enough to move on to the shading.

After work, I’ll spend at least an hour reading offline; I have a lot of art-related books that I’ve failed to dive into.

I think it’s a pretty realistic and modest plan; certainly there have already been plenty of days where I spent 4 hours, or more, drawing. But more often than not, I’m sitting in front of Google and free-associating my way through the Internet.

Not that I expect anyone to keep me in line, but because I like to motivate myself with accountability, I’ll also be using Twitter a lot more, to post updates about what I’m doing art-wise.

That’s about it! Wish me luck.

One comment

  1. willysusie

    Impressive second job you have 🙂 Glad you are enjoying it.