Portrait Artist Forum    

Go Back   Portrait Artist Forum > Exercises and Challenges


Reply
 
Topic Tools Display Modes
Old 05-13-2007, 11:35 PM   #1
William Whitaker William Whitaker is offline
BOARD ADVISOR
SOG Member
FT Professional
 
William Whitaker's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2001
Location: Provo, UT
Posts: 397
Intense training




In February, as my studio was completing, Emily came to study with me. She graduated with a BFA a few years ago and is working as a professional designer and illustrator in Salt Lake City. She is with me to study fine art and portraiture.

There is a new generation of young talent, all over the world, who are willing to tackle real old time art training, the kind that was perfected 200 years ago, and then later dropped and almost lost.

Emily started with the most basic of basic training, copying visual training drawings prepared in the 19th century by Charles Bargue. Each drawing must be perfect and the purpose of the exercise is to teach one to see with supreme accuracy.
Attached Images
     
__________________
www.WilliamWhitaker.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2007, 11:36 PM   #2
William Whitaker William Whitaker is offline
BOARD ADVISOR
SOG Member
FT Professional
 
William Whitaker's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2001
Location: Provo, UT
Posts: 397
She works on her drawings three days a week in my studio. She spent a month on this first one, in pencil.
Attached Images
   
__________________
www.WilliamWhitaker.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2007, 11:38 PM   #3
William Whitaker William Whitaker is offline
BOARD ADVISOR
SOG Member
FT Professional
 
William Whitaker's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2001
Location: Provo, UT
Posts: 397
Emily is very talented, but the work she is doing now is forcing her to exceed her native abilities. This very basic work is nevertheless incredibly difficult
Attached Images
       
__________________
www.WilliamWhitaker.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2007, 11:40 PM   #4
William Whitaker William Whitaker is offline
BOARD ADVISOR
SOG Member
FT Professional
 
William Whitaker's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2001
Location: Provo, UT
Posts: 397
I moved her on to a Fechin copy so she could get inside his technique and absorb his sensitivity. No sense merely being accurate, one needs style and grace and understanding of line and search for magic.

Her patience and grit is amazing. She even replicated the paper quality of the original with her charcoal line. She also was able to finish this one faster than the first two.
Attached Images
     
__________________
www.WilliamWhitaker.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2007, 11:42 PM   #5
William Whitaker William Whitaker is offline
BOARD ADVISOR
SOG Member
FT Professional
 
William Whitaker's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2001
Location: Provo, UT
Posts: 397
She then tackled a second Fechin. I suggested graphite pencil, but she decided to use charcoal pencil again. This time I wanted her to incorporate some of Fechin
Attached Images
       
__________________
www.WilliamWhitaker.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2007, 11:45 PM   #6
William Whitaker William Whitaker is offline
BOARD ADVISOR
SOG Member
FT Professional
 
William Whitaker's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2001
Location: Provo, UT
Posts: 397
On May 2nd Stacy joined us. She is working on her first Bargue drawing. As of Thursday, her line drawing was just about complete when I took this photo. Friday she worked another five hours adjusting some contours to perfection before beginning to lay in tone toward the end of the day. She was still working in the studio at 7:00 p.m.

She is a lefty, so the easels are set up facing each other.
Attached Images
     
__________________
www.WilliamWhitaker.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2007, 11:46 PM   #7
William Whitaker William Whitaker is offline
BOARD ADVISOR
SOG Member
FT Professional
 
William Whitaker's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2001
Location: Provo, UT
Posts: 397
Emily has been working on this Dean Cornwell copy lately. This is how it looked Thursday. She finished it Friday and I hope to photograph the result tomorrow. She is getting faster and faster. Her next project will be a copy of her own choosing and in a style of her own. I
Attached Images
   
__________________
www.WilliamWhitaker.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2007, 01:42 PM   #8
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
Juried Member
 
Linda Brandon's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2001
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,734
What wonderful images and what excellent drawings! I'm sure there are many who are reading this wistfully - to draw alongside other artists helps to stave off the feeling of fruitless and lonely labor. I wish these dedicated and talented young artists a long lifetime of productive work and much success.

I also welcome this thread in that it encourages people to learn academic drawing techniques on their own schedule and timeframe. I hope this thread will encourage artists to set up their own "home school" area to hone their drawing skills and sensitivity. There are books out there that set forth atelier methods and procedures, though a few years with Jacob Collins, Jeff Mims (or William Whitaker, or course) would be hard to beat.

By the way, the Bargue book is no longer in production; I talked to people at the Dahesh Museum about it this morning. However, one can still find many fine examples of master drawings to copy, in books and on the internet. Casts are also readily available online; I have a good one from Guist Gallery. (It was expensive, but after I draw it for a while I plan to either sell or donate it to an art school.)

If you can't get access to the bust of Brutus or drawings of Piazetta, the lowbrow types among us can always copy Spiderman action figures and Frank Frazetta.

Thanks again for this inspiring thread and some shots of your killer new studio, Bill!
__________________
www.LindaTraceyBrandon.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2007, 09:31 AM   #9
Steven Sweeney Steven Sweeney is offline
Juried Member
PT 5+ years
 
Steven Sweeney's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2001
Location: Stillwater, MN
Posts: 1,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Whitaker
Emily is very talented, but . . .

She has wonderful patience . . .

Her visual perception became very keen indeed.
These are all incisive clues to what is going on here, over and above the mere accounting for time spent on any given drawing. Even a very talented individual still needed to further train her eye and internalize that skill so that it became second nature, so that with each new start, the likelihood diminishes that significant errors in perception will be made. It's hard work. Some days it's exhausting.

It's the difference between just beating the odds at an archery range, waiting for the official score to see how you did, and knowing even before you release the arrow that it will hit center, a result that you can already "see" and that you have trained yourself to ensure through a correct attitude.

I was not untalented -- and perhaps that was itself an impediment, because I wasn't used to not "getting" something pretty quickly, and impatience and boredom and ego were serious threats -- but I was just playing the odds for nearly 1-1/2 years into this kind of training. A lot of drawings were good, some weren't, so what. It wasn't terribly satisfying, though -- often discouraging or humiliating, as my studio mates drew and painted their way toward remarkable images -- and during those 1-1/2 years when no real progress seemed to be made, I often despaired of ever "getting" this. And then "suddenly" -- that is, dozens of drawings and hundreds of hours later -- I began to see and to transcribe accurately what it was I saw. Progress was being made after all.

And not a moment too soon, because I was thinking a lot about getting into marine biology or interstellar physics or . . . anything that was easier than drawing well.

In some circles the advice is given: "Don't leave before the miracle happens!" The miracle in this work is the transformation of perception, and it will come in its own time, while we're working. For me, it took its own sweet time, thank you, but it was worth the wait.

You have to turn off the TV, though (a metaphor for all manner of distractions), if you want this.
__________________
Steven Sweeney
Paint4Real@comcast.net

"You must be present to win."
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2007, 03:48 PM   #10
William Whitaker William Whitaker is offline
BOARD ADVISOR
SOG Member
FT Professional
 
William Whitaker's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2001
Location: Provo, UT
Posts: 397
Steven,

You are right. It is exhausting. Yet I know of nothing else that allows an artist to progress faster. Those who haven
Attached Images
 
__________________
www.WilliamWhitaker.com
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing this Topic: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Topic Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Topics
Thread Topic Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Eye training - a series of cast drawings Paul Foxton Methods of Seeing 21 12-04-2006 09:19 PM
Studio flash and digital camera training William Whitaker Digital cameras 11 05-27-2005 07:51 PM
Trying to simplify my palette Minh Thong Paints, Mediums, Brushes & Grounds 18 12-20-2002 09:35 PM
Classical Drawing Mai Ly Techniques, Tips, and Tools 24 11-25-2002 04:42 PM

 

Make a Donation



Support the Forum by making a donation or ordering on Amazon through our search or book links..







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.