Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lessons from Luca

Luca Cambiaso - one of the great master draftsmen of the ancient world. He's one of the artists Hale goes to frequently, and it's easy to see why - his sense of design is impeccable. Like Durer often did (and most of the other masters of the ancient world as well) he conceived the figure as a series of boxes and threw light onto them in order to keep his lighting plan ordered and clear. Not only that, but his use of wash continues into the background, creating one simple well-designed composition (very much as Frazetta does). 

Tonight I busted out a speedball pen and did a bunch of similar little sketches on a sheet of paper that I then washed over with charcoal wash. Very crude in comparison with a master like Cambiaso, but starting to look pretty cool. According to Hale (and I for one believe him) this is how the masters became masters - they'd fill sheet after sheet with drawing like this - posing the figure and lighting it, learning where the plane breaks of the body are over and over. After a few thousand of these they were starting to get pretty good. 

I dug out a book called 18th century Italian drawings in the Met.. and pored over hundreds of pages of amazing stuff like this, and several of them were done with three distinc tones of wash - something I'd like to try. One day I need to bring my scanner in here and hook it up - see if it works with this computer, If it does then I can upload some of my actual drawings on paper. 

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