No Frankenstein Boots Needed

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Brock helping me copy the Charles Bargue sketch.

Today we started at 10:30.  Ryan had me working on copying a Charles Bargue sketch.  Only he had me do it in a  painstakingly perfect way.  I don’t mean perfect where all your lines meet up in the right place and the proportions are just right (BTW this is not completely true for my drawing).  I mean perfect to a 1/64th of an inch.  I think I am gong to need stronger glasses if I am going to stay here much longer!  I get it though.  These kinds of standards bring your work up to an entirely different level.  It really teaches you how to draw accurately.  There are so many rules about copying.  Perfect, perfect and perfect are the first three.  Compare every angle with ones parallel below above etc….  The values must be true to the Charles Bargue drawing also.  Everything must be mechanically perfect.


Charles Bargue Plate

To me this is not interpreting what I see, but rather acting as a Xerox machine.  I do, however, understand that you need to be able to work at this level to then be able to bring your own style to a painting.  I would love to be able to draw like Ryan so I am sticking with it.

drawing easels

3PM rolls around and here comes our figure drawing class.  Ryan walked the 4′ from his easel to mine to see how I was doing.  He said my canvas was too wet and then wiped my entire painting off!  Seriously!!!   🙁   He promised it would be easier starting over with a less wet canvas.  Ryan was right; it was easier.  Later in the day when he came to check on me again, he sat down in a chair and said, “What do you want from art?”  Sort of a broad statement, I thought.  I hemmed and hawed before saying,  “I want to become a really good painter.”  He said, “Like who?  Give me an example of an artist whose skill level you would like to attain.”  My reply–I really just want to be Shelli Alford and not a Rembrant or a Sargent.   Again he pushed me to answer the question and I say I would like to be better than Rembrant.  Haha I think he was a little surprised!

Shelli Alford is an artist and author, who enjoys learning from master oil painters from around the world and reviewing their classes, workshops and demonstrations.

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