I took the schematic off the board and taped it to a window, drawing against the glass, so I could see the drawing through the back. Taking my 2B pencil, I rubbed it over the lines, leaving a lot of graphite so it will transfer to the good paper.
Carefully align the bristol smooth paper on the board and lay the schematic over it, graphite side down. Tape it at the top like a hinge, so you can lift the schematic and check your transfer progress. Gently begin tracing over the lines, check to be sure you’re pressing hard enough to transfer the lines but soft enough that you aren’t denting the smooth sheet. When the schematic has been completely transferred to the smooth sheet, remove the top sheet. Voila, it’s time to start the drawing!
I’ve already begun massing in the shadow blocks again.
Here’s an example of this laborious process. Taking a 2B pencil, build up to the median value of the shadows. Then use a 2H to smooth it and a kneaded eraser to fix dark spots and edges. The block in the upper right was the third one I did, the ear is the ninth one. Still a long way to go until I can render them smoothly, but at least I’m seeing some progress. I included the incomplete brow shadow to show what it looks like after an initial pass with the 2B.
I found a video tutorial for Bargue Plate 49 on the Academy of Realist Art (Toronto)’s site: https://realistartonline.com/courses/drawing-the-bargue/ So I decided to jump ahead to this plate to learn their method for rendering the plates.
I have a scan of the plate that I cut in half, printed on letter-sized paper, and then enlarged on a copier to 11×17. It’s not the best source, I would love to be working off proper full-sized prints. But, it’s close to original size and lends itself to being copied on a standard 18×24 sheet of paper (in this case, I cut the sheet in half and trimmed it).
First we have the completed construct, following the articulation provided on the first half of plate 49. The construct is just a general measured drawing of the basic shapes. Here you can see how I’ve set them up on my drawing board.
Next I refined the construct into the articulation. Still staying with straight, measured lines, I add more information to the drawing. Once I completed the articulation, I massed in the shadow value shapes with an even tone. By the end of this stage, I’d estimate I’m just over 20 hours in.
Next I will transfer this drawing from bristol sketch paper over to bristol smooth paper, which is lovely for smooth values. The method is the same as when I transfer a drawing to canvas for portraiture: rubbing the back with charcoal and lightly going over the shapes so they mark the paper underneath.
This one took a while. Not only are these plates challenging to learn, working with graphite on newsprint was a bad idea. Eh, I try things, sometimes they don’t work out. It was good practice due to the struggle for shading, though! Here’s the completed drawing:
And the work in progress shots, if you’re interested in the process.
Had a plein air drawing lesson with my painting instructor today in Little Falls. Got a late start due to rain, had about an hour before the actors had to hit the stage for some Shakespeare. Love the scene they fell into.
For Mother’s Day, I drew a couple cards using sketchbook paper. Loved the idea, hated the flimsy “cards”. So I decided to try my hand at making a printed card from a drawing. I think it turned out pretty well!
I finally set aside some time this afternoon to begin learning mat cutting. Since I’ve done a lot of stuff in my little sketchbook, I figure I’d start there. Definitely have to start getting in the habit of drawing in borders before I compose, and size that border a bit shorter so it more uniformly fits the standard frame size.
It was a nice learning session with some great cello music setting the mood. Made a few mistakes, learned things. I’m quite excited that I’ve taken my first step toward being able to make my own work presentable!