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kevinl2046
12-07-2002, 11:50 PM
These were posted in the drawing/sketching forum:



Hi again,

Does anyone know ways that the old masters used to practice drawing?

Thanks

Kevin

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A pencil?

Sorry, don't mean to be snitty- I just don't know what you mean by your question. Are you asking what media they used, or what techniques, or if they used models or not...? And when you say "old masters"- who exactly do you mean? As far as I'm concerned, anybody before, say, 1900 qualifies- that's a darn lot of people, and lots and lots of different techniques, media etc.

I get the feeling from your questions that you're really keen to learn drawing like the "old masters" did, apprenticeship and all- that's really cool. Check out the Art History Forum, and the WC Museum, there's lots of good information there. There are also awesome art sites on the net with information like that, which a regular search engine should find quite readily.

One traditional way of learning to draw is to copy from the masters- just pick one, get a book of reproductions, and start drawing!

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Thanks

Haha, I asked because their drawings (e.g. ingres, degas, rubens, rembrandt, durer, not to mention the rennaissance artists...some guy named leonardo i think) show such a deep understanding and mastery of techniques and form and lighting and composition and everything else related to drawing. i don't know of any artist alive today who has achieved their mastery.

perhaps this is unreasonable and impossible, but *i want to learn to draw the way they did!* ...which means if I do find a master, I will have to surpass him/her someday.

I will definitely check out the A.H. forum and search the net for more info.

Thanks again!

Kevin

kevinl2046
12-07-2002, 11:53 PM
So basically I'm wondering first if it's possible nowadays to achieve their level of mastery, and second how did they train to gain such mastery?

Thanks

kevin

P.S. Could you recommend some resources on this topic?

El_Elegante
12-08-2002, 02:48 PM
practice practice practice. look at people like leonardo, and even more contemporary artists like picasso. They did thousands and thousands of studies. I have a book with several thousand works by picasso, that only covers a single decade of his career. I also have a 1000 page thick book on leonardo's sketches. If you sit down and work 8-15 hours a day on study and practice... you will be successful as an artist. the masters were also naturally gifted in some way. so I think there is a limit to what practice and study can do.

kevinl2046
12-08-2002, 06:52 PM
Is that how long many of them really practiced, especially Leonardo? 8-15 hours a day?

Kevin

hey man those 5 dollars are mine!

amo
12-09-2002, 02:36 PM
I don't think there are any records that tell exactly how long the Renaissance painters took every day to practice. But back in the Renaissance, work hours were really long (the 8-hr-workday is a late 20th-century invention), and what apprentices did was grunt work, for starters. I think painter's apprentices spent their workdays grinding paint, i.e. mixing it for the masters to use, for the first few years of their apprenticeships.
Van Gogh, in the late 19th century, certainly took all day, every day, for several years, to practice his drawing, before he ever picked up a paintbrush; that's known from his letters.

pastelist
12-27-2002, 02:07 PM
From the many books an artist has read. The old masters were not even allowed to draw models till they were trained to draw from casts. No drawing was ever good enough for their instructor,
so they continued to draw these casts, till hundreds of drawings were created. :clap:

silver_wolf_2002
01-05-2003, 03:29 PM
this is my first time in this forum. what an interesting discussion! what do you mean by a "cast"?

pastelist
01-05-2003, 05:01 PM
The cast was a model from which the artist would render from.
A sculpture so to speak. They were figures, vases or shapes.
Young artists or apprentices as they were known were unable to sketch or paint live models (especially women artists), they were forbidden till their instructor's thought they were ready. Women artists on the other hand were not allowed. It was prohibited, Mary Cassatt, Georgia O'Keeffe, just to name a few, were outraged that such a rule was in effect. Europe on the other hand was more accommodating to fellow women artists. They had to follow the curriculum, but were able to draw or paint a live model, once their instructors gave their approval. I believe both Mary Cassatt and Georgia O' Keeffe were both free-spirited, determined and had clear goals to becoming great artists.


:clap:

silver_wolf_2002
01-05-2003, 05:18 PM
thanks for clearing that up :)

pastelist
01-05-2003, 05:28 PM
Glad I was able to answer your question.:clap:

erik_satie_rolls
01-11-2003, 12:24 PM
You will never be able to draw like the old masters because, paradoxically, you know too much.

Maybe if you grew up on an island and had never seen a photograph. Maybe if you had never seen so many, many movies and images, so many pre-processed visual distractions. Maybe if you had never heard of photoshop, and overhead projectors, and graphite pencils that can be sharpened instantly.

That being said, you can always draw better than you are drawing now. And you can do things the old masters never dreamed of.

Find your passion. If its being an old master (and you should really think about that word 'old') then just copy their work (to learn the style), and draw constantly from life (to learn how to see).

Dont use photographs, they distort.

Good luck.

erik_satie_rollerblading

soap
01-15-2003, 10:24 AM
interesting thread, if anybody is still reading it anyway.

The 'old' masters, like the ones from the Renaissance and Baroque period sketched endlessly with pencil, graphite, ink, paints and something close to pastel crayons.

They studies from life it they could, but as was said earlier also from plaster casts. The ideal for them was to reach the level of the ancient artists, so they studied and sketched antique sculptures.

Can one still work in their manner? Why not? I don't see why the 'knowledge' of photos, computers etc would change that. The changes in fashion (what's 'in' and 'out') do make a difference. They had different opinions on 'beautiful', or 'ugly'.

Just study the 'old' style and precision, choose a subject and pick up a crayon! It is a great way of training your skills!

Good luck!
Soap

pastelist
01-15-2003, 12:24 PM
I totally agree with your reply. It should not depend where the tools of our trade are derived from. The imporant thing to keep in mind, is to remain busy. To improve our skills much like playing an instrument, we must practice, practice, practice. :clap:

soap
01-15-2003, 12:30 PM
Hi Pastelist,
Totally different subject, but I just checked out your website and I am 'hungry' to see more! I like your work, but could only see two paintings...............stick some more on there!

(well, if you can of course :rolleyes: )

Soap

G.L. Hoff
01-16-2003, 02:56 PM
The 'old' masters, like the ones from the Renaissance and Baroque period sketched endlessly with pencil, graphite, ink, paints and something close to pastel crayons.

Unitl around 1600, most used metalpoint (silver usually, but sometimes other metals) or charcoal or ink. It is true that later masters used graphite and other materials...

They studies from life it they could, but as was said earlier also from plaster casts. The ideal for them was to reach the level of the ancient artists, so they studied and sketched antique sculptures.

Yeah, and the apprentices often drew from casts or sculptures for years and years before they were allowed to pick up a paint brush. And of course they did the usual drugde work like grinding pigment, sizing and priming, cleaning, etc, etc.

Can one still work in their manner? Why not? I don't see why the 'knowledge' of photos, computers etc would change that. The changes in fashion (what's 'in' and 'out') do make a difference...Just study the 'old' style and precision, choose a subject and pick up a crayon! It is a great way of training your skills!

Couldn't agree more. There are tons of people working today whose drawing skills are the equal of the masters of drawing. The addition of modern imaging methods has certainly made it easier to draw well (a photo is by definition always still). And as to using photos, if you know how they distort, and why, you certainly can use them profitably, as illustrators have known for over 100 years.

pastelist
01-16-2003, 03:12 PM
Beautiful Reply. I enjoyed reading your response. :clap: