Monday, March 17, 2014

Bargue Plate 50

Marcus Brutus. I've been working on and off for two months on this plate, with a large portion of the time spent shading the dark side of the face, which has a surprising amount of subtle variation in it. Thanks to my new and incredible daylight simulation light, I've been able to better judge the values and consider this my best plate yet. There is a slight bulge in my sketchbook that throws the photo a bit off and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it. I'm entering crunch time with marking and preparing for the oral portion of my field exam, so I may not be able to post again until May.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bargue Plate 49

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

Bargue Plate 48

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

Bargue Plate 46

A young boy's head. This is another lost profile. It was very satisfying to study the skull, as most of the previous plates have had part of the skull lopped off.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bargue Plate 45

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

Bargue Plate 44

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

Bargue Plate 43

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

Bargue Plate 41

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

Bargue Plate 40

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

Bargue Plate 39

Head from the tomb figure of Anne of Brittany. It was refreshing to draw the face from a recumbent position. It was also a little creepy, knowing that the figure is of a dead person, but one could easily imagine that the head is lying in a sleeping posture.