Here is our lady again. Tonight I want to point out a very simple thing. Look at the way Ingres conceived of the head as an ovoid or egg shape. This is constructive rather than strictly visual draftsmanship. He initially laid an oval on his paper to represent the shape of the head.
When I was a kid, I had a series of books by Arthur Zaidenburg that explained how to draw cats or horses using various ovals that were joined together by lines.While that seems pretty basic it is one of several approaches to building a drawing. There is another way, purely observational, that uses no preset armature but instead the copying of the shapes in the flat by observation. My training under Ives Gammell was more like the latter. I have over the years moved towards a more constructed type of drawing.
Then he wrapped the features around the head and not onto it. I have drawn some construction lines on the head below to show you what I mean.
The hair is laid unto the surface of that egg too, like ribbons. It sits on and defines the form of the upper part of the egg shape. The use of the hair and the way the eyes are wrapped around the head on lines that describe it's form, explains the volume of the head. Because the volume of the head is described by these lines, Ingres can dispense with most of his modeling, his line has done the work already.
Last night I talked about how we expressed the values of forms by varying the lines about them, tonight I am showing how he describes the forms by lines that plot their circumferences. Both of these are ways to make the drawing work nearly by line alone.
I have heard devotees of impressionist and mass drawing say "there are no lines in nature" and strictly speaking they may be right. But Ingres made his art from line and used some subtleties of that line to make that happen. These are abstract and elegant solutions. You cannot observe art into a drawing. Art is the result of decisions made by an artist, to make the image look a certain way. These nuances of line and the solutions he imposes on the drawing to get form and imply value are artful. When we look at the drawings we are pleased in a way that a matter of fact strictly observed (or shudder) copied from a photo image cannot approach. By forcing his drawing into the realm of line he has made something beautiful. That is not to say that there are not beautiful mass drawings, but the clarity and reduction of the Ingres is special.
Below I have shown the same method operating on the head of the boy in the same drawing.