Navigating The Drawing Process

Getting back to ‘R.U.D.I.M.E.N.T.S.,’ we have arrived at ‘N,’ which is a placeholder for ‘Navigation.’

The creative journey is never-ending; the goal is ‘Mastery’ which is elusive, undefinable, and rarely attained. The path is long and the trek takes time, but time flies when you are having a good time. 

‘Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.’

_Salvador Dali_

Salvador may seem an odd choice but it is a great quote. He was, despite his character, a skilled draughtsman trained in the traditions of the great masters.

One must know where they are and where they want to go to have even a remote chance of achieving Mastery.

To begin this life long adventure, one must have a meaningful map to keep from wandering in the wilderness of mindless mimesis, shape-aping, tonal-trancing, and never-ending rendering.

There is little virtue in becoming an anonymous member of the Bargue Brigade. The Bargue Course has been falsely positioned as essential part of the path to mastery; the opposite is true. If one stays the course with Bargue for too long it becomes the path to mediocrity.

The one is going to use plates one should use the Julien Plates which are a far superior learning tool for the draughtsman than the Bargue’s.

One has no reason to use plates at all if they have plasters at their disposal available. It is always better to work from the real object than from some engravers interpretation of it. There is a right way and a wrong way to approach ‘Realism.’ The first is via ‘Mimesis’ the second via ‘Construction.’

If one chooses ‘Mimesis‘ they will always be dependent on what nature puts before them. If one chooses ‘Construction’, they can deviate from the model to create their works. One needs first to realize that the term ‘Realism’ is a total misnomer. Nothing is ‘Real’ here, every depiction of the three-dimensional realm of nature on a two-dimensional flat surface is a form of ‘Abstraction.’  One either ‘Abstracts’ without deviation from nature or one uses their ‘Intellectual’ knowledge base to create something other than a reflection of nature. If better serves our understanding if we think in terms of ‘Reproductive Representation’ and ‘Constructive Representation.’ In a nutshell, one either ‘Copies’ nature or ‘Creates’ it.

The Bargue Atelier Brigade embarks on this journey via ‘Copying’, the Russian and Chinese Academies via ‘Construction.’ Regardless one learns far more far faster working from plasters rather than plates.

If one seeks the true path to mastery they should follow in the footsteps of the great masters.

We use to say men never stop for directions, and women stop at every corner, but the GPS has made that analogy obsolete.

One cannot program their GPS to achieve mastery. One can, however, program it to stop at essential points of interest.

As one prepares to map a ‘route’  from point to point B, it becomes evident that the quickest route is the ‘interstate.’ For the draughtsman, the interstate is a straight line going point-to-point. It is also invariably dull.

One should forgo the school house misconception of gesture and replace it with the concept of Gestalt. Each leg of the journey should convey the whole. In the beginning this Gestalt or whole does not have much interest. Beginning with the fastest means from point A to point B; this is your longest line your line of action your initial rhythm line. There is a great deal of difference between comprehension of the Gestalt and scribbling. The school-house abuse of what is commonly referred to as Gesture is mindless meandering and a waste of time. Mapping the Gestalt involves a point of origin and a predetermined destination. One has to know where they are and where they want to go.

We need to stop to refuel and to take care of bodily functions. If one is lucky enough to have a Buckys, this can add a little interest. For the Draughtsman these Rest-Stops are needed to re-fuel the brain.

We also need sustenance, and these choices become very important. You can stay on the route and grab some fast-food and proceed on, these are expected choices and really do not bring much to the table.

The next time you take this same trip you need to venture off the beaten path for a great slice of apple pie ale-mode or chicken-fried steak and mashers.  

If you want an exciting drawing, you go the extra mile for pie and chicken-fried.

In drawing the human form, one takes the journey through the figure multiple times, and each time should add to the visual experience.

One should never make the journey by merely repeating a previous one if you are following the same route and just making the lines darker you need to stop, take the dog for a walk and regroup.

The goal is not how fast we get there but to make it as exciting as possible along the way.

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