Portrait Artist Forum

Portrait Artist Forum (http://portraitartistforum.com/index.php)
-   Methods of Seeing (http://portraitartistforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=73)
-   -   Line First (http://portraitartistforum.com/showthread.php?t=5805)

Lon Haverly 05-07-2005 12:06 AM

Line First
This is really very basic stuff. Here it is.

I have defined my drawing method as Line First. It is a very fundamental sketch method of drawing, used in pencil sketching. It is not photographic. The thought is, if you learn to make a good line, you will make a good drawing. Each line has a dynamic: length, angle, value, etc. These all make up the dynamic of a line. Lines have rhythm. They are construct lines, or they are part of a mass.

The chiseled point method gives you a wider variety of expression than if you only use a very fine point, or no particular point at all. It gives you the most control of the point of the pencil.

This method of drawing also helps you to achieve a sketch is a shorter period of time, as the lead will make a wider swath, and serve to give more expression to the artist. It is a very expeditious way to learn to draw. It helps the artist to dispatch a form in a very methodical way. It helps the artist to find expression. It is the opposite of photographic drawing, which gets into a bottomless pit of detail. Not that that is bad. It is just not the only way.

I do not enjoy doing photographic reproductions in graphite, or any other medium, for that matter. Perhaps I am just too ADS for that. This method was taught to me as a child, without any definition or explaining. I was just told to do it this way. I am so glad that it was drilled into me as a child, as I now find great satisfaction in being able to get a likeness in ten or fifteen minutes without hurrying.

It is indeed a way of seeing. I often hear it said, "we need to learn to see in order to learn to draw." Well, I say, we need to learn to draw in order to learn to see.

I see a whole lot of photo realistic drawing these days. Most serious art students think that that is the only way to learn. Well, I hope to inspire people to learn the art of sketching in the chiseled point "Line First" method. It is fun, expeditious, entertaining and will allow the student to grow in his seeing ability much faster than if they spend long days and weeks on a single project.

Lon Haverly 05-10-2005 04:29 PM

I will reply to myself.
Line execution is everything to me. It is how I matriculate through a portrait. Each line builds to the next line, and the dynamics of each line are final once drawn.

One of my favorite artists is Paul Calle, who uses a slghtly different method than I, in that he uses a very hard lead, and a very narrow stroke. But his portraits and sdrawings are detailed masterpieces which leave every line in place. It is not photo realism, but is is certainly realism with great style, and a whole lot of Paul Calle in the drawing.

Talking about expression in portraiture, the more photo realistic your portrait is, the more it is like every other artist's portrait with less and less of you in it.

That does not take away from the amazement of seeing a photo-like reproduction. I respect the skill. However, that is not my goal in portrait drawing. My goal is to trick the viewer's mind, and cause it to step down from the high critique, and enjoy a likeness which does not demand photo realism, leaving something to the imagination. I believe that is entertaining and reflects more of me in the drawing.

Michele Rushworth 05-10-2005 04:55 PM

Hi Lon,

Can you show us some examples?

Lon Haverly 05-10-2005 07:57 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I will post one of Paul Calle's drawings tomorrow. But for now, here is one of today's sketches. Also, I will refer you to a prior post at the following link:


This is a six minute sketch. Not a great drawing, but a good likeness.

So what constitutes a likeness? Clearly, not only a photographic replica. I consider myself a realist. My portraits are considered good likenesses, even though they are impressionistic.

The problem comes in when beginners try to do a photographic portrait in graphite, but because they overwork it, or do not have it perfect, it falls short of perfection. Unfortunately, the viewer is going to be more critical of a photographic drawing. A simpler drawing might achieve a better likeness, not because it is so great, but because it tricks the mind into an easier mood, and it accepts the drawing because it (the mind) fills in the details which the artist intentionally left out.

In my case, I hope that the line quality will carry the drawing and make it pleasing.

This is one shot drawing. Each line is drawn once, and final. It is very systematic, and subconscious. It is the chiseled point method, which I was taught as a boy. I was told by the late Vitt Rogazki, famed Hollywood portrait artist trained in Italy, Paris and London that it is reminiscent of the method taught in the great art school of Florence.

I would like to see this method taught to beginning art students, as well as the tight style of photo realism. Much can be gained in the quick sketch.

Lon Haverly 05-10-2005 10:24 PM

Apology for repetitious post
I just noticed that I already posted here on the same subject. My apologies. I should have continued on the last post.

Jean Kelly 05-11-2005 12:40 AM

No apologies necessary as far as I'm concerned Lon. I love the freshness of your drawings and this is a good reminder to me to keep doing my quicky sketch work. I'm glad to see you back, missed you lately. :sunnysmil


Lon Haverly 05-11-2005 03:49 PM

Paul Kalle
1 Attachment(s)
Here is a drawing by Paul Kalle, renown artist for NASA, Ladies Home Journal, and much more.

Lon Haverly 05-11-2005 04:01 PM

1 Attachment(s)
another by Paul Kalle

Lon Haverly 05-11-2005 04:06 PM

Here is a six minute wonder
1 Attachment(s)
On typing paper from life.

Lon Haverly 05-12-2005 10:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I am convinced that this drawing was done with the same line first mindset as I have experienced. This artist is the favorite of so many, and was referred to by Karen Wells in an earlier thread by the same title in this seeing forum. Each line is final, each line is correct. No second chance.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:19 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.