04 October, 2009

Words on Drawing

Duc d'Orleans, 1894, Ingres.


"The drawing is three fourths and a half of what constitutes painting." Ingres

"Matisse makes a drawing, then he makes a copy of it. He recopies it five times, ten times, always clarifying the line. He's convinced that the last, the most stripped down, is the best, the purest, the definitive one; and in fact, most of the time, it was the first. In drawing, nothing is better than the first attempt." Picasso

10 comments:

Parapluie said...

Perhaps there are two schools of painters. The painters who define their subject and volumes with drawing and the others are colorists who define their volumes with color. The drawing school depend a great deal on value changes from light to dark. They color in their drawings with imagined surface colors. The subjects in their paintings are subject to a flaw - they can appear to be pasted onto a set. The colorist on the other hand is sensitive to the interrelationships of the environment and the volumes - the way it interacts with the volumes.
I don't know if it is a new school to be a colorist. Ceazanne lived so long ago and I think there were artists before him who were painterly but my memory on that is vague.
What I like about you work is that it is well done. Colorist and painterly and emotional.

Casey Klahn said...

I see a different split between the attitudes brought to drawing, versus painting. But, I will say that painting proceeds from drawing.
Colorists have indeed been around for many, many years. But, I feel that there is a colorism for today, and that it didn't pas away with Matisse and Cezanne.
Thanks for the compliments, Diane.
Anyone interested should follow Diane's profile back to her blog and see what she's doing with salmon skull bones - very cool.

Joan DaGradi said...

Casey, something I discovered this morning relates to the previous comments. I've always been intrigued about the differences between the Florentine and the Venetian schools of painting. Simply put, the Florentines believed that drawing was everything. The Venetians, without discounting drawing, felt that color was most important. Degas was enthralled first by the Florentines and then by the Venetians and planned his own work as a synthesis of the two viewpoints. This, to me, explains his abundant use of drawings as the basis for his paintings and his free and experimental work with color. BTW, great to see you post on drawing.

Casey Klahn said...

What is great is having your readership, Joan.

Your comments on the Renaissance artists reminds me that drawing - painting is a continuum.

Is color what makes a painting? I think you'd agree with me that it isn't the basis of painting, but a big element. I think of the comparisons between colors, and also of edges and other formal elements as fundamental to painting.

Casey Klahn said...

Degas (your hero and mine, too) surprises me with his fantastic and bold use of color. He really epitomizes what you are talking about. Has anyone surpassed Degas? He is a "Renaissance man" In my opinion.

Joan DaGradi said...

Casey, Degas' bold use of color is a thing of beauty, indeed.
Years ago, several friends and I went to the Louvre. Amid very stiff competition, the unanimous vote for the best painting went to the Degas pastel of a woman drying herself. It was so full of life.
His strength, I think, was in his absolute mastery of drawing and his ability to synthesize.

Degas was known to remark that to be a great painter, one should learn to draw like Holbein. He also suggested that the perfect school would have the model on the 3rd floor and the easels on the first so that artists would strengthen their visual memory.
While we worry with edges and color and copying exactly what we see, I think we miss some important ingredient in the great Master's work.
I don't think that they were copying, once they passed the plaster cast class.

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks for these thoughts, Joan. I pay very close attention to your views, since I admire you much.

My favorite Degas is the Green Singer. But, I also have in mind his drawings of Manet for other favorites.

I think there is a "life handling" of images and subjects, too. Long memory, if you will. The challenge is not being stale, nor trite. And, getting it right without being slavish.

Degas' drawings have an innate accuracy, with the spark of life.

Joan DaGradi said...

Casey, you are very kind.

You nailed it with:
'I think there is a "life handling" of images and subjects, too. Long memory, if you will. The challenge is not being stale, nor trite. And, getting it right without being slavish.'

I heard a world class drummer today, Rak Al Lam Bob Moses give a talk and demo. Many things that he said about music are equally applicable to painting. One that caught my ear was his advice that to stay with an idea [or a musical phrase] and really work it would be more fruitful than jumping around from subject to subject.
Isn't that exactly what Degas did?
I too adore the Green Singer and the drawings of Manet. The Cafe Singer knocks me out as does Women at the Cafe.
This may turn into a post on my blog- so much more to say....

Casey Klahn said...

If you post on Degas and drawing, I will link to it. I look forward to that.

Casey Klahn said...

If you post on Degas and drawing, I will link to it. I look forward to that.

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