Gestalt – The Art of the Start

G is the first letter in our acronym for the elements of disegno, it represents the starting point or staging of the drawing process.  The phases or stages of the disegno process involve;  Grounding, Ghosting, Gauging, Geometrics, and Gestalt. These are essential elements of a holistic approach to drawing in the classical manner.  

GROUNDING:  In the first sense, grounding is about the figure-ground relationship which we also refer to as staging.  This involves determining a preliminary notional conceptual space where the subject is going to reside.  The other aspect of the way we approach grounding it as a preparatory procedure to acclimate oneself to the creative process. This is done with much or the same focus as a dancer doing stretching exercises or a pianist practicing scales. The plastic arts require the same kinds of intellectual and physical grounding/focus as any other art form.

GHOSTING: Once we have established our conceptual staging we move on to getting a general feel for how out subject in going to occupy the stage. This is done by ghosting in the general mass of the model within the designated space. This is done with the side of a piece of dry media such as charcoal and then dusted back leaving a ‘ghost’ of a silhouette.  We should walk around the model during this stage to get an ideal ‘theatre in the round’ how the pose looks at various angles. It is only by doing this that we can get an accurate read on what the volumes are doing in space.

Botticelli - Birth of Venus

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