How persisting with Charles Bargue has freed me to explore

Charles Bargue Plates 1.17 and 1.18 are on deck today. 

I’m grateful for the discipline and freedom gained from continuing the Charles Bargue Drawing Course plates. 

How have I obtained freedom?

After a long break from Charles Bargue, I contemplated not resuming them.  Each plate, at this point, demands an hour, or more, of attention.  I anticipate that will increase with the complexity of the plates to come.  

My studio work is decidedly biased towards abstraction in this season of my practice. However, I love drawing, which I believe consists of one-half discipline and the other half mystery. Done often and long enough, any person can become very skilled at rendering an accurate drawing. For me, the mystery is the x-factor–that crucial spark that each individual contributes to their work.

My journey into abstraction should enhance the mystery of my work. However, the discipline—the hard-won ability of drawing the human form—I don’t want to lose that. I want to combine abstraction with drawing mastery.

Copying two Charles Bargue plates monthly will help maintain, and increase my drawing capability. The discipline of Charles Bargue frees me to spend the remainder of my studio time exploring abstraction to my heart’s delight.

There is another tool that enhances my creativity. I call it the most important tool in my studio. It’s probably not what you think. Read about it in a recent post, titled, The Most Valuable Tool in my Studio. 

What you think about my thoughts about my studio treasure? What is yours?  Share yours in the comments below

The Charles Bargue and Jean Leon Gerome Drawing Course Book, edited by Gerald M. Ackerman is a worthy art book purchase. You can purchase your own copy by clicking the link. You can also download plates from Internet Archive. I’d urge you to consider helping them out monetarily. They do a great job and deserve support.

In the video, posted below, I reveal one of my favourite reference books, Anatomy For The Artist, by Sarah Simblett and photography by John Davis. I’ve had it for over 20 years and still frequently use it. You can get your own copy by clicking the link. I am not an affiliate of any books seller or Internet Archive.

This month’s video looks at Plates 1.17 and 1.18 The first one is a man’s arm extended horizontally. The other is a man’s arm in a vertical position. I invite you to watch the video below or click the link above.

Why don’t you join me in drawing plates 1.17 and 1.18?  Simply get reasonable paper (I use an A3 sized drawing journal with slight tooth, acid-free) and a simple set of graphite pencils including 2H, 1H, HB, 1B and 2B.  I sometimes use 4B for deepest values.  However, care is needed to avoid the graphite sheen.

I recommend creating your copy to be the same size as the drawing on the printed plate. I use edges of the margins to help with accuracy.

Notice: A hacker posted bad stuff on my personal Facebook account and I was banned for 30 days from Facebook  and Instagram on 1 July 2022 even though I had two-factor authentication.  I’ve made the decision to discontinue the Charles Bargue Drawing Group on that platform.  I’m researching ways to reprise the group on other platforms or perhaps on my website. I regret any difficulty this may cause.

MENTORING RESEARCH: With over 30 years of creating art successfully, I’d love to learn about your art practice.

To share your art journey with me, please contact me by clicking here to set up a time to talk.  I’ve found that artists enjoy talking about what they’re doing, so I’ve allowed up to an hour. However, it can take as little as 20-30 minutes. I prefer to talk via Zoom.

Plate 1.17
Charles Bargue Plate 1.17
plate 1.18
Charles Bargue Plate 1.18
charles barque book 2 2
A beautiful book to own
Anatomy for the artist
Anatomy for the Artist-a favourite reference book
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