Friday, February 27, 2009
Drawing, the rhythmic line
Here is another Ingre portrait.This guy is so well characterized that I feel like he might be someone I might know. Maybe he is a wry and clever guest on some late night talk show. Could he be a senator?
Here again, the modeling in the lights has been kept to an absolute minimum. But I want to speak about another quality that a drawing can have. The lines in this picture have something going on besides describing the things they are delineating .They have rhythm. That is the flow or direction of one line is picked up and carried on in another . The lines doing this in this drawing are arched or C shaped, those on the front of the figure curving inwards , enclosing the front of the volumes portrayed. Those on the back of the figure face the other way enclosing the forms within them in the opposite direction. Refer back to blog entry dissecting a Metcalf 3 and you will notice Willard using the same arching and enclosing form implying lines, These lines have a lyrical and active motion swirling in a sort of loose S curve up to the head.The darks are placed as accents in and around this gentlemans' face, which also leads our eye.
All of that complex costume is subordinated to the head, and considering all the collars, capes, kerchiefs and cuffs on this cat that is a remarkable piece of understatement. In the work of a lesser artist the costume would be wearing the man. Here is a great example of subordinating an area which could easily be too assertive to the larger unit of the drawing.