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.


JAMES A. COOK said...

Another great post. You have shown me ways to see and observe that I didn't know before. Another principal for me to learn.
Would you say that drawing and form has a lot to do with suggestiblity?
I look for that bed bug everywhere.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am not sure what yiu are asking, can you rephrase that?....Stape

JAMES A. COOK said...

I am sorry, wrong choice of words I think. What I am trying to say is this: Does the use of rhythmic lines help us lead the eye to the point of intrest? The rhytmic lines on either side of the cape curve inward helping to keep my focus to the subject. The forearm as positioned and the rhythmic lines above the forearm and ontop of the head help lead my focus up to the face without wandering.
Is this correct in what I am saying or am I reading to much into the use of rhythmic lines.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The rhythmic lines in the figure in this case lead the eye to the head, however in another case their purpose may only be decorative, to add beauty............Stape

Thumper said...

how much would you say a sketching like this is worth? I've aquired 3 sketchings of his, they are numbered prints, and they were framed at least 40-50 years ago in Toronto Canada. I have the Countess, this one and one other, I believe is a sketching of a young Ingres?