Rubens copy

2/12/2010 12:17:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 14 Comments »
Recently I went nuts and bought a bunch of new books.  True, most of them weren't expensive, but still, in the last week or so, I bought 9 new books, and they do add up.  Anyhow, one of the new ones is called Rubens Drawings, published by Dover.  It has 44 plates of drawings by Peter Paul Rubens.  So, in my on going desire to improve my drawing (starting with the most important aspect of drawing which I think is Seeing), I've begun another copy of a master's drawing.  This one is entitled "Portrait of a Child" done around 1619.  The original was done with red, white and black chalk and pen and ink.  I'm planning on doing the whole thing in pencil.  I have charcoals and conte crayons, but for the sake of tidiness, I'm going to stick with pencil.  So, here they are - my beginning and my reference photo.  As you can see, I'm having great difficulty with the eyes.  Also, the angle of the head is wrong.  I'll post my progress as I go along.






This is a picture of the second spread in my RR book.  This was done by my friend Teresa Stebbins, a wonderful artist and maker of books.  The photo doesn't do it justice.

14 comments:

Janet Ghio said...

Looks like a good start on your copy and these journal pages are beautiful!

Melissa and Emmitt said...

hi nancy!
oh your new books sound wonderful!
i love your drawing and cannot wait to see it as it progresses.
have a wonderful day!
:) melissa

noisynora said...

Hi Nancy,
You did just fine for a first try at copying this sketch, really! You might try what I tell the kids I teach drawing and painting to, which is to get the motion of the line, the shape of it in your hand by using the thing you are copying and lightly, or without even touching at all, mimicking or tracing the line a few times before you put the line on your paper. I find with the 7th and 8th graders I teach that having them do this preliminary step of getting the feel for the shape of the lines really helps them to get the right shape when they get to putting lines on their own paper. And if they still don't get it looking just like it I tell them not to sweat it, it's fun to practice anyway! :)

Good work, and I look forward to seeing more!

raena said...

Fabulous start! Maybe if your turn the original to match the angle of the head you drew, it would be easier to draw the eyes? It's just an idea. I was thinking maybe the eyes were giving you fits because you were maybe doing them at the angle of the original. Anyway, eyes give me fits regardless! Your books sound wonderful!

bendelachanal said...

very good start,
Raena has a good point, the angles are different so you are copying and changing all angles, very hard.
Sometimes I try the upside down technique to look at them and see better what went wrong.

Janene said...

You've got a nice start, I especially like the sweet lips--well done!

phthaloblu said...

The three quarter view for the face is the hardest to do. Bendelachanal has the right idea. Turn it upside down and turn into just lines and values instead of face. You'll be surprised how it turns out. It's a great start. It's just that you picked a very difficult subject.

freebird said...

This one looks very difficult to me. For me to get the angle right I'd be drawing rings around the head (virtual rings maybe) at the eye level and the chin and forehead levels. All the rings should match and then draw rings around yours and see the difference. I think you did a terrific job on the mouth.

PAMO said...

A fantastic start Nancy! I completely agree that the more you "see" the better you draw. I admire your persistence!! For getting those tough angles- if I take a pencil to gauge the slant on the original, and then take that same angle back to my drawing- it helps. You are doing far better than I could here though!! Good work!

Phyllis said...

Everyone has given such great ideas about getting the head angle. It seems so simple, but I've had a lot of trouble with it too. I'm also (and forever) messing up the chin/mouth area which you have done such a good job on. Look forward to seeing more.

Ann said...

You do pick the challenging ones! I think you have a great start and already lots of good advice here. I look forward to seeing this one progress!

kazumiwannabe said...

I think you've got the expression right already, and the mouth and nose are perfect! Interesting ideas all around in the comments : )!

Linda B. said...

I am just starting to draw, and I want to say you are so BRAVE to try such difficult pieces and to post them. YAY YOU! I love reading all the suggestions, will use them myself.
Linda B.

Dan Kent said...

You have chosen a very difficult drawing to try - so don't be hard on yourself. We have so much to learn!