Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On Drawing - Rubens

Click images for enlargments

Transcribed from sketchbook while doing research at the Art Gallery of Ontario:
There are a few drawings here. The Prints and Drawings section in exclusively etchings at the moment. An interesting exhibition on Lucian Freud and Rembrandt, but they are not drawings. There is a similarity in the product but the process differs.
As I wander around the rest of the gallery I have come across a few Lithographs and a few drawings. Most of the drawings appear to be prep work for later paintings. Right now I am sitting in front of Rubens' Massacre of the Innocents. It is on the end wall of a near empty room. I say near the empty because over my right shoulder, hanging in the corner are six drawings. They are done in brown ink with a pen. They are smaller than an A4 sheet of paper. The drawings are anatomical studies done by Rubens in preparation for the Massacre of the Innocents.

They are beautiful.

Peter Paul Rubens

Six Anatomical Studies
around 1600-1610
black chalk, pen and brown ink,
brown wash on paper

The line work is amazing. Combined with the wash produces an amazing effect.
Only through attempting to draw or reproduce the image in front of me did I really understand what went into the original. The time taken and the effort put forth.

The exactness with which the lines are drawn to highlight a section of a muscle.

Posting Delay

I apologise to anyone who is reading my blog, but as you may have noticed I have changed the layout. I changed it in hopes of being able to post images in a more coherent way. As a result I am trying to figure out a better way of posting images. (Other than the vertical layout it used to be). So bear with me as there are a few posts coming out). So bear with me as I figure this out, there are a few coming out in the next little while.

Thanks for your patience.

The 100 - 1-4

These are the beginnings of a new project I am doing simultaneously as drawing myself. I am collecting the 100 drawings that I feel are important, influential or just amazing and beautiful. In order they are David Hockney, Peter Paul Rubens, Herbert Railton and Richard Parkes Bonington.

Click the images to see larger versions.

Abstract - Attempt...again

Images were first made to conjure up the appearance of something that was absent. Gradually it became evident that an image could outlast what it represented; it then showed how something or somebody had once looked – and thus by implication how the subject had once been seen by other people.

John Berger

There is much that can be learned through the act of Drawing. It is a unique way to experience and investigate the world. It is not just seeing the world, it is about being in it. When you are confronted with an object, you are only seeing it. Seeing it in relation to yourself. If you try to draw that object you are interacting with it. You are experiencing it in relation to yourself as well as everything around it. In a line you gain a new understanding. When you try to find the curve or the connection between two points you are making a statement about what you see. It takes time to draw a line, it is a conscious effort, a deliberate intervention on the blank page and a record of how the object is seen by you. The drawing becomes a reference point for how you see yourself in the world. Though to begin to connect all those points together, we need to understand drawings.

When trying to understand drawings, there is a key aspect that needs to be addressed; Drawing as Language.

Through drawings we reveal the beauty and detail in everyday objects. They are a means of expression and through the aesthetics and lines of a drawing we begin to see a structure to that expression. We see the beginnings of the development of a language. That language is of great importance to Architecture. Architects trade in images, they are the language with which we communicate ideas and concepts. This communication can't happen verbally. It is a visual profession and therefore needs a visual language. It is important for people to be able to see and understand what is being “said” through these drawings and so an Architects needs to be able to “speak” the language. They need to spend time drawing and develop their own personal style; develop a Hand for Drawing. It is the same process as developing an Eye for Photography. After many hours of taking photographs you begin to instinctively know how to frame a certain scene or use the lighting to your advantage. It is the same for drawing. After many hours of drawing building, objects, people, etc, the drawer instinctively begins to understand how they relate to each other and can then more accurately conjure up the appearance of something that was absent. By developing a Hand they learn the letters, words and sentence structure that allows the language to be broadcast and understood.

This thesis documents the process of that investigation and follows the development of a Hand for Drawing.