We started Bargue drawings and human figure drawing sessions this week. No evening classes. Here are images of a Bargue drawing and a figure drawing. A Bargue drawing is basically an exercise that involves copying from a 2-D original. A human figure drawing is basically an exercise that involves drawing a 3-D model from life (so, not entirely stationary.)
The thing which strikes me the most about my first week of class is the sheer quantity of time spent in front of the easel doing essentially the same thing over and over again. Making lines, checking the placement of the lines using a plumb line or skewer, moving the lines, checking them again, looking at the lines in different ways using a mirror or standing back, and on and on. In a certain sense, this work is engrossing. In another, it is terribly boring. The human figure is both a subject and a didactic tool. It is a complex form, and so, I think the idea is that if you can represent the figure, you can represent anything. The standing in one spot is boring. So is the medium – I’m not such a fan of pencil, really. It’s all very tedious. On the other hand, it is truly amazing how the relationship between the pattern of lines that make up one side of the human body (when visually simplified) and the pattern of lines on the other side is never the same from person to person, pose to pose, or viewing angle to viewing angle. And, getting those lines right and watching them click and give life to what were previously dead angles, that is nothing short of marvelous. As in, “marvel.” I marvel. And then there is no time.
So, what I take from this week is to commit to putting in the time necessary to mastering this process and also to enjoy it. To let myself marvel at the lines.