Friday, October 8, 2010

Finding Shapes - Part 1

Comparing and using internal shapes is a key factor in the drawing process at GCA. We are introduced to the idea of finding and using shapes via the Bargue drawing course. This drawing course included a series of cast sculpture block-ins created by Charles Bargue, a relatively unknown but incredibly talented 19th century French academic artist. By copying Bargue's drawings, we learn to understand proportion through shape and comparative measurement. This will allow us to move on towards more complex tasks with an understanding of the drawing process.

To aid us in objectively comparing shapes, we like to imagine each shape as either an animal, or an inanimate object. It requires a dose of imagination, but once a shape is identified as an object or animal, it becomes much easier to understand the shape's intricacies. It's easier to say (and understand visually), "the dolphin's head is too big," rather than, "these three lines need to be compressed to varying degrees."

For an example, here is a Bargue plate that I am currently copying.

Now here is the shape I have chosen for this example.

Stumped? How about a mean shark!

Not feeling it? How about we turn our heads 90 degrees clockwise and check out the bird...

And just for good measure, take a look at this snail (back to the original position).

Note: Do not actually draw extra lines on the Bargue to help the animal visually appear; instead, try to maintain that image inside your head. 
Also note: Choose only one animal/object per shape. It would be confusing to continually change the animal/object you see in the shape.


Ariel said...

Great post Connor!
I always found this method quit interesting (a little hard to apply for me, but I guess is practice :)

Xin Ran Liu said...

Thanks for the post, Connor :)

Connor de Jong said...

Ariel: Thank you! This method can be tricky at first, but with practice it can soon become second nature. I have found that using shapes is now one of my most useful tools.

Xin: Thank you for taking a look, Xin :).

Anonymous said...

nice post! I have a fellow student at my teacher's studio who is reallly good at identifying shapes as different objects. We joke about how home simpson's profile is often found on a bargue or cast, but in all seriousness it's a very helpful method of seeing shapes easier. nice post!

Anonymous said...

very helpful, thanks.
GCA should put out a book or video!

Anonymous said...

This was a helpful post, but I couldn't help laughing by the end! Thanks :D