Monday, November 30, 2015

:: Value Study ::

I find studying values fascinating and I loved working on this little all white pitcher.

I used Ivory Black and Titanium White oil paint.  I could have made my own black but decided since I had a tube of black I would just use it.

My support was a piece of 1/4" plywood that I found in the garage and had my husband cut it to 6" x 6".  I had primed it and had given it a base of some peachy color I had.  In this photo you can see all the plywood grooves thru the paint in the photo below ... that was fine with me, I wasn't trying to make a beautifully rendered piece of art, I was only attempting to get the values right.

Value Study, Martha's Pitcher,  6" x 6"  ©Nancy Van Blaricom

My prop was a simple but beautiful little pitcher my friend Martha gave me.  The above photo is where I've finally decided to call it quits.  I would paint on it one day thinking it was done then come back the next day only to realize that I wasn't happy with one particular area and fiddle with it more in an attempt to get my values right.  Then I repeat this process for a number of days. Now I realize I probably could have left it alone after that first pass and called it done. 
This is a close up of Martha's little pitcher.
Its aproximately 5" tall and  5" wide.
In the above photo you see the little pitcher sitting on a white piece of foam core inside a small cardboard box.  Looking at the pitcher like this I think I see the values very easily.

My set-up for my value study.  
I had a hard time finding a good way to photograph this set-up and to recreate the lighting I used for this study so I ended up moving my easel and turning on overhead lights for this photo, which is not the lighting I used.


Just about the time I was reworking my values for the 3rd time I was able to watch David Gray on Periscope while he was teaching a 4 day workshop in Langley, WA.  He has some great videos on  youtube you might enjoy watching.

Monday, November 02, 2015

:: My first Bargue Plate ::

 ~ My first Bargue Plate, but not my last ~

I had heard about the The Bargue-Gérôme Drawing Course book years ago but never felt I had the time or patience to try to copy a Bargue Plate. When I started working my way through Juliette Aristides Lessons in Classical Drawing, I realized I wanted to learn more, maybe the proper / Classical way to draw and not my hurry up and scribble it down method I've used for so many years..  

While my Bargue copy is far from good I do not feel it is a failure either.  
I have learned so much.   
  • I used one HB pencil and now wish I would have finished up with a softer pencil or maybe I should have started out with a good vine charcoal. 
  • I felt when I was drawing lines to envelope the face I was not pressing too hard but as I got further into my copy I could see I had pressed too hard, indenting the paper.
  • I didn't keep track of the hours I worked on this but I will next time.  Some people spend as little as 40 hours on a Bargue's Plate.  I rushed thru this and only worked on it about 10 -15 hours.  
  • I need to work on my shading skills. Next time I'll do some hatching ...
  • Plumb lines and measuring is very important. Measuring is my friend.
I did a little research and found a few places on-line where I could get some instruction and copies of Bargue Plates without having to purchase this very expensive book.  If you are interested in purchasing a reprint of the famous late nineteenth century drawing course you can purchase a copy of the book thru  Amazon

Here are just a few of the many web links I found that offer a copy of a Bargue Plate as well as information. 
The Home Based Atelier

Mandy Hallenius, This is where I got my plate and instruction.

Sight-Size ...  This is where I will be getting my next Bargue Plates and instruction.

I have read that Pablo Picasso copied the Bargue's Plates and Vincent Van Gogh copied all the plates once and completed part of them again at a later time. I'm thinking it must be pretty good stuff.