Middle-aged Marcus Vipinius Agrippa, a Roman administrator under Augustus, lighted from above. It was nice to work on this plate's simple lines and shadows. I initially made the chin shadows too deep and had to do some careful erasing. I've upgraded from my smartphone camera to a full-fledged camera and really got to learn about its features and to experiment with setting up the drawing so as not to get that slant on the taped-on original. The top of my sketchbook is more lighted than the bottom, which washes out the darks in the top of the photo, especially around Agrippa's eyes, and intensifies the darks in the bottom.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Phocion, Greek general and politician. I'm back to Bargue after a very long absence. I've spent the past 5 months studying for the PhD field exam, which mostly involved reading many books about and from the Victorian period of British literature. I've never studied so hard and so long for an exam, but I, thankfully, passed. I've also upgraded my drawing space with a new, sturdier H-frame easel (I had a shaky A-frame before), a proper stool (instead of a computer chair), and an easel lamp with a daylight simulation bulb. The ergonomics of the new setup are incredible! Thus far, back pain and eye strain have disappeared, so I'm very excited about resuming drawing. I did the bulk of Phocion back in July and finished it yesterday: the values and angles looked surprisingly different under the new light and I'm looking forward to starting a new plate in these new conditions.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Looking over the shoulder of the Capitoline Ariadne. I learned that this plate is an example of a lost profile. The temptation is to turn it into a profile by making the features more prominent. This is my most successful line drawing yet; after finishing the line drawing I applied the tracing paper and found only the back of the head was off by 1 or 2 mm. The weird hair was surprisingly easy to render given its intricacy.
Friday, June 14, 2013
The Psyche of Naples. Working on this plate was an unusual experience as I kept underestimating how long it would take to finish, probably because a large part of the plate is in shadow. At first, the shadows look simple, but closer inspections reveals variations in value. I went a little bug-eyed from staring intently at the plate, trying to judge where particular shadow patterns began and ended. Overall though, an enjoyable plate with a nice turn of the head.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
The Roman empress Faustina. I chose not to do the shadows as dark as the original, but did bring in a 6B for more darkness than a 4B provides. The trickiest part was the nose and forehead - I seem to want to lengthen noses out of proportion. I skipped plate 42, which had some ugly babies' heads.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
An androgynous statue of either Ariadne or Dionysus. My old camera broke down and I am now using my smartphone camera, so there is a slight distortion in perspective since I can't attach it to the tripod - will have to work on that. Otherwise, a swift plate. I'm becoming bolder with the hatching after I realized that I don't have to be too particular about the fineness of my strokes to get the smooth effect. I used one coat of 2H, one of 2B, and one of 4B.
Monday, May 6, 2013
I've been in a deep slump this year, hence the large gap since my last post. However, I'm back with renewed determination and summer plans for continuing with Bargue as well as starting to learn watercolour. This plate is of Julia Mammaea. Unfortunately, the contour of the face is off, probably a reflection of the stressed circumstances under which I've been very slowly chipping away at this plate, since before this plate I had been steadily improving. Resuming Bargue should go smoothly henceforth.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Monday, September 3, 2012
Profile of the Roman emperor Caracalla. This plate was more difficult than usual, mostly because of the hair and beard. I found myself often wishing Caracalla had shaved! I skipped plate 37 (a horse's head) because it was too ugly to spend hours staring at it intently.