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.


  1. Hi Nancy, the eye socket is done very well as the focal point. I have not heard of Bargue Plates.

  2. Thank you Susan. I guess because I'm interested in learning to draw in a classical method I assume others know all about these same things and I'm the last to know them... Shame on me. There is a lot of information out there about his classical drawing courses. . I'm not sure what I want to do with what I learn, but I do want to focus a little more on drawing and not just scribble something like I've been known to do. Thanks again for your comment :-)