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, Grid, Ghosting, Gauging, Geometrics, and the Gestalt. These are essential elements of a holistic architectonic approach to drawing in the true classical manner of the great masters
• 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 or cross section 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.
• GRID: This is the process of finding centers and creating Barque and Sinister diagonals to help keep the drawing dynamic. We live in a world that is largely dominated by the vertical and horizontal, we need the presence of diagonals to help get past our natural propensity to straighten things up.
• GHOSTING: Once we have established our conceptual staging or notional space we move on to getting a general feel for how our 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 or sanquine and then dusting it back leaving a ‘ghost’ ot faint silhouette. We should walk around the model during this stage to get an idea ‘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.
• GAUGING: The measurement of geometric solids or stereometry is the key to mass conception of forms in space. A point does not exist except as the end of a line, a line doesn’t exist except as the edge of a plane, a plane doesn’t exist except as the skin of a form.
Forms in nature are the mass conceptions of the artist. That is where the draughtsman looks for the underlying geometry (mass conception) of the object he is going to translate onto a flat surface.
• GEOMETRY: We have established that in the Renaissance tradition everything begins with the mass conception of the form units that form the subterranean geometry of our subject. These form units are all generated by the cuboid.
• GESTALT: Gestalt – is the German word for FIGURE/form or shape – the forms that concern us are the geometric solid the cuboid which is the genesis of all other form units or mass conceptions. Using the underlying forms to construct a more volumetric representation.
Learn to see the whole and not the parts – You will never learn to see until you look past the parts/details.
For the draughtsman the whole is not only more significant than the sum of its parts; it is also different than the sum of its parts as well as better than some of its parts. It also does not need all of the parts to make a whole.
It is quite the opposite; we create the whole by deciding which parts are needed and which parts are not. We also decide where the parts we keep relate to the other parts. Finding the space or ground is the first consideration in grasping the Gestalt or whole …. we have six lines to be aware of before we make our first mark. The top, bottom, and sides of our surface. We also have the have diagonals from corner to corner… we can go further and include the center lines which puts us to eight giving us four quadrants from which to choose. We can go even further and divide the space into thirds. We should be able to visualize every working space in this manner. To visualize the whole you first have to understand the space you are going to put it work in. The Gestalt or whole has little or nothing to do with outline…it is about grasping all the spacial aspects of form.
First, you decide on the space then you decide on the placement of the visual elements. Once the first mark is made the most critical decision in the success or failure of the work has already been made, the most crucial aspect of the creative process and one many don’t consider at all.
“Before you make a line you must have a clear conception of what you want to draw. In your mind it is necessary to have an idea of what the figure is doing. Study the model from different angles. Sense the nature and condition of the action, or inaction. This conception is the real beginning of your drawing.” – George Brandt Bridgman –