Bargue Drawing Tutorial: Plate Five, Stage Six, The Finished Drawing
This picture shows the tone block at the heel going in. It should be fairly clear here how I'm increasingly using construction lines to find the shape. These points being so close to the heel makes them much easier to find by relating them to the main points on the outline of the heel. I'm finding that the smaller the distance between the points, the easier it is to correct them by eye.
The problem of course is that if any of the points I've already placed are wrong, even by a fraction of an inch, those mistakes will be replicated in the following stages. I did some checking of the first few points with the plumb line directly on the surface of the drawing, for my own peace of mind as much as anything, but at this point it's been some time since I did that. I won't know until I've finished the drawing how close I've got to the original.
But throughout this drawing, I'm trying to bear in mind what the main point of this practice is. Firstly, it's eye training. So I'm trying as much as possible to keep to methods that emphasis judging by eye. I could do the entire drawing with careful measuring with the plumb line. But I think I'm stretching my ability to judge distances, shapes and angles more by doing as much as I can by eye, relating the points one to another.
I may end up with some mistakes this way, but I'm not interested in putting any of these drawing in my 'portfolio'. I'm not doing these drawings to show off, I'm doing them to train my eye. I've noticed that some people sign their Bargue copies. I've always found that a very odd thing to do. To me, this is basically someone else's drawing. It's Bargue's drawing. I haven't made any of the decisions that went into creating this drawing, I'm simply copying it. Signing it would be like trying to lay claim to something that wasn't mine. These drawings are exercises, pure and simple.
So here we are with the second schematic stage complete.
My version doesn't quite match up to Bargue's second schematic. I've been lead almost entirely by his, except around the toes. I approached these a little differently because, from my spot six or seven feet back from the easel, the outlines of the toes in shadow are impossible for me to see. So I've worked with what I could see and measure to, which was the shapes of the shadows themselves. When I come to add the outlines which I can't see from a distance, I can see no alternative to working much closer to the drawing. Although this will break the sight size rule, the meat of the drawing will be done by then, so I can't see a problem with doing that.
So far, I'm pretty happy with what I've got. The next step is to refine the outline until I get the outline of my foot as close as I possibly can to the original. I know that's going to stretch me, because that's where the accuracy really counts. Once that's done, I'll be filling in the tone blocks and finishing the drawing. The last task will be to trace the outline from original plate onto a sheet of clear acetate and lay it over my copy. That's the moment of truth, when I find how close I've really got, and how accurately I've judged the shapes. Going on previous experience, I expect to be unpleasantly surprised.
Although I did this Bargue copy some time ago now, I recently came across the finished drawing and realised I hadn't posted it here. Unfortunately it's too long ago now for me to be able to write up the last stages of the process in detail, I'll have to save that for the next plate I do. I should point out also that the drawing has been lying around for a while and has got a little smudged in places. But here, for now, is the finshed drawing: