WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Subjects > Figure, The
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-06-2004, 06:46 PM
ArtistOz's Avatar
ArtistOz ArtistOz is offline
A Local Legend
Australia
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,565
 
Hails from Australia
Critique of sight size method

You know I like expressive line but recently I have been looking into academic methods of drawing. I came across Richard's post and I found it sums up my feelings about the academic method. I have his permission to post his comments from the thread in the Classical forum, 'Textbook of Ateliers? Is this it?' http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=226851 post # 14.
I thought it might be of interest to us in the figure forum.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard1
The atelier system relies on the sight size method of producing a recognizable image. It requires the percieved size of the model to be the same height and width as the size of the drawing or painting that you are making and proportions are transferred from the model's image to the drawing directly with rulers, plumbbobs or other straight edged tools. The student then breaks the image down to the largest straight lines that can be made as a means of simplifying the model's image for the first, initial outline. This is then corrected and improved upon as the drawing progresses with all parts of the drawing being worked on equally so that no part is left far behind the others. (Just imagine how a sculptor would rough cut a statue out of stone and refine it as time went on.)

This system can produce very accurate images that anyone can learn with proficiency, given enough time, and is good as a beginning method of training the eye for shape as it is foolproof for getting the image down. It is also easier to see where your drawing is off, when the model image and the drawing are of the same size. I use it occaisionally, sans plumbbobs or rulers, to check proportion and many established artists in history have used it to one degree or another. I suspect that its origins may go back to the renaissance, perhaps, but examination of rennaissance figure drawings don't suggest its common use that I am aware of. Their figures drawings are not as precise, more "expressive" and are more unified in the line flow, both within the figure and within the painting.

While sight size can be a useful tool for any artist, beginning or otherwise,the problem with it for many is that while it is mechanically accurate, it is not always as successful at increasing the line flow or rhythms within the figures or throughout the composition. The connected flow of line (real or implied) is one of the means that renaissance painters used to naturally move the eye about the painting and to create the necessary unity. Without it, you sometimes get paintings that are simply a collection of individual, unrelated objects that are put into the picture and not a simple, unified mass(es) that is designed as one from the start. Look at renaissance figure drawings and at 19th or 20th century atelier figure drawings and you will see a difference. They can both be beautiful as studies or finished paintings but for many, there is a difference in the "life" and the beauty of composition between the two.

The other difficulty is that it is more difficult to use in many plein air or outdoor drawing or painting situations as it requires more time and you must be more particular about where you stand to produce the same sized images, ie model and drawing. This is usually not possible in the field (city or country) and in many real life situations where you have to draw something in motion or where space is limited. The renaissance painters seemed to rely on their knowledge of anatomy and drawing to produce a greater prortion of their figure drawings and were not dependent so much on painting or drawing from life to the extent that the 19th century academic painters appeared to be.

Learn all that you can of sight size and use it proficiently. But remember, that there are other tools in the artist's toolbox that can be brought to bear on any artistic endeavor and each can have a different effect on your final product.
__________________
Bill,
"Classically speaking, the nude does not refer to a person. Its not a portrait its a design." Kenneth Clark
http://www.flickr.com/photos/artistoz/
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-06-2004, 06:49 PM
James or Jimmy Jim James or Jimmy Jim is offline
A WC! Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 10,696
 
Hails from Canada
Re: Critique of sight size method

Bill, it is interesting and it works, but I don't know if I could handle it. I'm a middle of the road kind of guy.
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-06-2004, 06:58 PM
DanaT's Avatar
DanaT DanaT is offline
A Local Legend
New York, USA
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 9,393
 
Hails from United States
Re: Critique of sight size method

What, you, Jimmy, middle of the road?

I agree Bill. Actually a couple of my teachers that do sight size say that its almost impossible to get the right circumstances to sight size from the model in the normal open studio environment. You have to be really close to the model and the model has got to be really good and get to almost the exact same pose every time.

Some sight sizing techniques are good to use however, just not all by themselves.
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-06-2004, 07:19 PM
James or Jimmy Jim James or Jimmy Jim is offline
A WC! Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 10,696
 
Hails from Canada
Re: Critique of sight size method

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaT
What, you, Jimmy, middle of the road?

I agree Bill. Actually a couple of my teachers that do sight size say that its almost impossible to get the right circumstances to sight size from the model in the normal open studio environment. You have to be really close to the model and the model has got to be really good and get to almost the exact same pose every time.

Some sight sizing techniques are good to use however, just not all by themselves.

Ha! I'm a firm believer in measuring, but this stuff scares me.

At the other extreme, I try to ignore life drawing teachers that have silly "modern" methods of teaching. My current teacher can't draw ... or teach. Nice place though.

I had great art teachers in high school (I had a flashback ), yet at art school (foundation year) my figure drawing instructor was an abstract expressionist painter, who didn't care what we did. Didn't teach anything either.
Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-06-2004, 08:12 PM
DanaT's Avatar
DanaT DanaT is offline
A Local Legend
New York, USA
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 9,393
 
Hails from United States
Re: Critique of sight size method

Quote:
Originally Posted by James (or Jimmy Jim)
I had great art teachers in high school (I had a flashback ), yet at art school (foundation year) my figure drawing instructor was an abstract expressionist painter, who didn't care what we did. Didn't teach anything either.

Well at least he had an excuse. What I hate are the fabulous artists who can't teach. I'd like to just unscrew their head and have all their talent and knowledge come out but sadly they're duds for teachers.
Reply With Quote
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-06-2004, 08:23 PM
terryb31 terryb31 is offline
Senior Member
mandan north dakota
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 303
 
Hails from United States
Re: Critique of sight size method

jim
I think I had the same teacher in a college figure drawing course I took I feel that there is to much of that in the college or university studies the (let the student figure it out for themselves attitude) that is why my interest has turned toward the atelier and some of there methods
Reply With Quote
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-07-2004, 02:34 AM
eezacque's Avatar
eezacque eezacque is offline
Veteran Member
Toronto, Ontario
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 622
 
Hails from Canada
Re: Critique of sight size method

I have a ruler, more than one, an accurate clock, and other measuring tools, which I use every now and then. Not always, as it makes daily life a bit tiresome and for practical purposes it's ok to know that my coffee is an armlength away and it's about time to go to work.

It's the same with my art. I do use sight-sizing every now and then, when doing shortenings, odd-shaped models and whenever I don't believe my eyes. Not always, as it makes my art stiff and artificial.

A former teacher of mine urged me to "measure, measure" and "why don't you measure?", which lead to drawings that were both accurate and boring. Having worked through Nicolaides' 'The natural way to draw' I tend to stress gesture and dynamics, sometimes at the cost of accuracy. I hope to reintegrate uccuracin my routine. The truth must be somewhere. In the middle.
Reply With Quote
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-07-2004, 10:09 AM
Huwitt's Avatar
Huwitt Huwitt is offline
Senior Member
Flanders, Belgium
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 226
 
Hails from Belgium
Re: Critique of sight size method

This must be very sensitive to the distance between observer and canvas and impose strict conditions on the set up of model and canvas. E.g. a drawing with a height of 70 cm at arms length, also 70 cm, would require a model sitting at the stand, height 100 cm, to be only 30 cm behind the drawing plane.

The more common way of measuring with a stick and comparing relative proportions on the model with the relative proportions on the drawing may be more cumbersome, but is much more flexible.

Hugo
Reply With Quote
  #9   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-07-2004, 12:36 PM
terryb31 terryb31 is offline
Senior Member
mandan north dakota
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 303
 
Hails from United States
Re: Critique of sight size method

actually the farther you step back from your canvas to measure the larger the figure becomes on your canvas if you step back arms length the figure will be rather small but if you measure from a distance of 5 or 6 feet the image size grows to a larger canvas you visually mark your mesurment on the canvas then step forward and put your mark in that area
then step back check it correct if needed or take a new measurement its not as limiting as it is being made out to be but it is a strict form of working that is missing or lost in allot of todays works
Reply With Quote
  #10   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-07-2004, 12:54 PM
terryb31 terryb31 is offline
Senior Member
mandan north dakota
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 303
 
Hails from United States
Re: Critique of sight size method

http://www.cecilstudios.org/images/SightSize.pdf
a little history of the method and its evolution
Reply With Quote
  #11   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-07-2004, 01:16 PM
Huwitt's Avatar
Huwitt Huwitt is offline
Senior Member
Flanders, Belgium
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 226
 
Hails from Belgium
Re: Critique of sight size method

Thanks for the link Terry. I never heard of the method before, and I assumed the observer was always at drawing distance from the paper when taking measurements. Well it certainly looks interesting, and I will try it out some time to see how it goes.

Hugo
Reply With Quote
  #12   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-07-2004, 08:00 PM
ArtistOz's Avatar
ArtistOz ArtistOz is offline
A Local Legend
Australia
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,565
 
Hails from Australia
Re: Critique of sight size method

That's a good link Terryb31, thanks.

A variation on the sight-size method I used to teach in our painting classes was called Tonal Impressionism, by squinting with the eyes you put down basic values and keep refining the painting through values, no measuring at all.

What I understand with the sight-size method and other Academic strategies, the purpose was to achieve an accurate proportional rendering which often led to dull and unimaginative drawings of figures this is one of the reasons I was reluctant to look into these methods in the past.
__________________
Bill,
"Classically speaking, the nude does not refer to a person. Its not a portrait its a design." Kenneth Clark
http://www.flickr.com/photos/artistoz/
Reply With Quote
  #13   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-07-2004, 10:58 PM
terryb31 terryb31 is offline
Senior Member
mandan north dakota
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 303
 
Hails from United States
Re: Critique of sight size method

I am not sure where the dull unimaginative part fits in are you sure your not talking abstraction or modernism the atelier artist work I have seen is completely breathtaking nothing dull about it here is a link to the atelier in minn by clicking on an instructors name you can see a sample of there work
http://www.theatelier.org/index2.htm
Reply With Quote
  #14   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-07-2004, 11:11 PM
terryb31 terryb31 is offline
Senior Member
mandan north dakota
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 303
 
Hails from United States
Re: Critique of sight size method

sorry hope not to offened but I get a little carried away from time to time with my views of what is good art
Reply With Quote
  #15   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-08-2004, 12:18 AM
ArtistOz's Avatar
ArtistOz ArtistOz is offline
A Local Legend
Australia
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,565
 
Hails from Australia
Re: Critique of sight size method

Quote:
sorry hope not to offened but I get a little carried away from time to time with my views of what is good art

Terry at least you know what good art is most people don't. I also have views of what good art is and I don't mind offending people. lol
This is a link to what I think is a good figure drawer.
http://www.robertliberace.com/figure...uredrawing.htm
__________________
Bill,
"Classically speaking, the nude does not refer to a person. Its not a portrait its a design." Kenneth Clark
http://www.flickr.com/photos/artistoz/
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:56 AM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.