Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A Look at Ingres' Drawings

From Art Renewal.org

Yesterday, we looked at some of the work of the Fauves- the "wild beasts," as they were called.

Today, I thought it would be great to look at some drawings that show control and ingenuity- the work of Jean Dominique Ingres.
clipped from www.artrenewal.org
Jean Auguste Dominique
French Neoclassical painter, engraver, draftsman, printmaker & violinist

born 29 August 1780 - died 14 January 1867
Born in: Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénées, France).
Died in: Paris (Département de Ville de Paris, Ile-de-France, France).
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I studied Ingres when I was in college, and at the time, didn't fully appreciate the beauty of his drawings. One of my drawing professors was fairly obsessed with the work of Ingres, and I grew tired of trying to "draw like Ingres" every day (ha! as if I could...) At any rate, I did come away from those life drawing sessions with an appreciation of how to integrate good linework with a sense of form.

I think what I love about Ingres' drawings the most is the finished/unfinished quality they have. His drawings were primarily done as studies for his larger paintings, but personally, I enjoy looking at the drawings more than I do the paintings, because of the quality of the line, and how he was able to integrate the areas of the finished and unfinished so that the drawing looks complete.

Portrait of Madame d’Haussonville
ca. 1842–1845, graphite, 9 3⁄16 x 7¾. Collection the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

At this point, Ingres had settled on the composition and squared the sketch for transfer.
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I thought that today, in our sketchbooks, it would be great to draw something that is both finished and unfinished. Try to work on the drawing as a whole, so that it looks purposeful that you left parts unfinished.

Pay attention to the thinness and thickness of your pencil line. Lighten up the pressure to almost nothing as you render an edge where the light is hitting the subject. Make your line heavy and dark as it goes into the shadow. Look carefully at some of the examples of Ingres' drawings, and see if your drawing is helped by following some of the way he worked.

I have uploaded one of my own drawings as well, below. Give it a try!

1 comment:

Anne said...

Hi Lori,
I followed the link from your reply in my blog. Thanks for visiting. I really like your blog. It's very informative and your drawings and paintings are beautiful. I love this little dancer! I remember the photograph from the WDE. I too really like Ingres. I have one of those Dover Press books of his drawings.