Assignment Two

Reflections on Submitted Work

It’s been a hard few months completing this second series of exercises. I am very much better at what I am doing but I perceive myself as being slow at drawing, maybe because I put in a lot of detail.

I can see from other students equivalent work that I have to gain a lot more expression and it would appear that in itself speeds up the process.

However I have learned a huge amount in the past six months and these things will happen in time. I am very pleased with my progress and the before/after comparison is rewarding and encouraging.

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills


The move onto coloured media brought new tools into play and I have practiced them well and I think most of my work with these items reflects this.


I still haven’t developed the technique that I would wish and I would like to see development in that respect.

I am concerned that I should learn how to reproduce form accurately first and I still struggle with that a little, particularly drawing objects with no means of reference, i.e. from mind.

Observational Skills

Still improving. Drawing has taught me to examine objects/scenes in finer detail and differentiate between colour/tones/reflections/shadows. A good life skill.

Visual Awareness (looking at life as a painting or drawing)

More often I look at an object/view and analyse how I would draw it. Problem solving.

Also I consider how other artists, from those I have studied on the course, would have reproduced it.

Design and Compositional Skills

I have read a lot about composition and I think I know what it takes to design and compose a good basic picture.

Quality of Outcome


My work has improved since the first series of exercises.

I still make errors but they are diminishing in size and number and I can generally figure out how I could have done better.

Application of Knowledge

There has been more drawing application in Assignment Two thereby extending the use of the various media.

I have learned what these media are individually best at achieving which will give me the confidence to use them more freely.

Presentation of Work in a Coherent Manner

The format in which I present my work, i.e. in a loose leaf binder, seems to me to be neat and logical and makes the exercises readily accessible.

Discernment (keen insight and judgement).

I am acquiring the knowledge of what it takes to effect good work but I am not at the stage where I can necessarily put this knowledge into practice. However it will happen.

Conceptualisation of Thoughts (Thinking with the concepts of pictures and ideas)

I still find drawing what is in my mind, if it is anything other than basic, quite difficult. Whilst I can generally come up with a finished representation it takes a lot of trialling and search lines to get there.

Communication of Ideas

I have little experience of drawing what I see in my mind for others to analyse. No doubt I will be able to do this in time.

I can now understand why artists often cannot progress with, say, a painting and have to leave it until inspiration appears!

Demonstration of Creativity


I have probably answered above. I have in my work produced textures and patterns that I think are original and I am experimenting with these as that is probably how style evolves.

Development of a Personal Voice

At the moment my “voice” is one of trying to reproduce the subject as accurately as possible in form and detail. I think it important for me to establish and consolidate this base. However I wouldn’t like to be stuck there.

I have been given good guidance for such by my tutor but so far there’s not much expressive development on my part.

However I do have a concern that some/much of the modern style of drawing is never going to be my own style, though that’s a matter of taste/preference.



Hard work. Stretching myself. Learning a new skill.

I am told practice makes perfect and I have often spent appreciable time working on practice paper before I have undertaken the exercise drawing.

As I become more confident hopefully this time will diminish and I can put pencil straight to exercise paper more readily.


I enjoy the Research Points and I have learned the different styles of these artists which is important

I have acquired all the recommended course books and gradually I am working my way through them.

Critical Thinking (Reasonable, reflective thinking that is aimed at deciding what to believe or what to do)

My learning log plus this text is an honest collation of my personal thoughts on my progress and designs.

My tutor’s guidance will hopefully steer me as to what I want to achieve as well as what is necessary for the course.

Whilst the Module Book is very good a considerable amount of research needs to be done by myself as a beginner in order to acquire the skills the course requires.

I have confidence in the course meaning that I am sure I will develop, complete the course, qualify and become a competent artist.

However starting the course at sixty seven without any ability or previous art training is probably a problem and makes for a slow start but I can see as my confidence grows that the ball will soon start to roll.




Project – Drawing Animals
Research Point

Look at the skeletal structure of the cat, dog or horse. Research the anatomical drawings of George Stubbs (1724-1806) and consider how these inform Stubb’s finished pieces?


The Skeleton of a Horse

George Stubbs was born in Liverpool, the son of a prosperous tanner. As a lad he drew leftover animal bones and progressed to briefly being apprenticed to a painter. However he is generally recognised as being a self taught artist.

Stubbs went on to study anatomy at York Hospital  where he assisted the hospital and the students by providing anatomical drawings and engravings and it is understood he also taught students there. Apparently Stubbs had a gory reputation for dissecting cadavers.

From then on Stubbs ‘s talents were well recognised and he undertook many commissions on painting for owners’ horses

Furthering his interest in anatomy he moved to a farmhouse in Horkstow, Lincolnshire where for eighteen months he dissected the anatomy of horses and in 1766 produced his first treatise – The Anatomy of a Horse.

His labours are best described in the following extract from A Memoir of George Stubbs by Ozias Humphry –

“The first subject which was procured was a horse which was bled to death by the jugular vein – after which the arteries and veins were injected – Then a bar of iron was suspended from the ceiling of the room, by a teagle of iron to which iron hooks were fixed – runder this bar a plank was swung at 16 inches wide for the horse feet to rest upon – and the horse was suspended to the bar of iron by the above mentioned hooks which was fastened into the opposite side of the horse that was intended to be designed, by passing the hooks through the ribs and fastening them under the back bone – and by these means the horse was fixed in the attitude which these prints represent and continued hanging in the posture six or seven weeks, or as long as they were fit for use.

His drawings of a skeleton were previously made – and then the operations upon this fixed subject were thus begun.

He first began by dissecting and designing the muscles of the abdomen – proceeding through five different layers of muscles till he came to the peritoneum and the pleura, through which appeared the lungs and the intestines – after which the bowels were taken out, and cast away.

Then he proceeded to dissect the head, by first stripping off the skin and after having cleared and prepared the muscles, et cetera, for the drawing, he made careful designs of them and wrote the explanation which usually employed him a whole day.

Then he took off another lay of muscles which he prepared, designed, and described, in the same manner as is represented in the book – and so he proceeded until he came to the skeleton  It must be noted that by means of the injection [of wax or tallow] the muscles, the blood vessels, and the nerves, retained their form to the last without undergoing any change of position.

In this manner he advanced his work by stripping off skin and clearing and preparing as much of the subject as he concluded would employ a whole day to prepare design and describe, as above related, till the whole subject was completed.”

Below are extracts from Anatomy of the Horse  –


Finished study for ‘The First Anatomical Table of the Muscles of the Horse’, 1756-1758


Finished study for ‘The Second Anatomical Table of the Muscles of the Horse’, 1756-1758


Finished study for ‘The Third Anatomical Table of the Muscles of the Horse’, 1756-1758


Finished study for ‘The Fourth Anatomical Table of the Muscles of the Horse’, 1756-1758


Finished study for ‘The Fifth Anatomical Table of the Muscles of the Horse’, 1756-1758

PL001092  PL001087

Stubbs was now a successful physiologist and painter but he followed but he furthered his research with dissection and anatomical drawings of other animals, even a tiger.

At the age of seventy he published he published a further work – A Comparative Anatomical Exposition of the Human Body with that of a Tiger and a Common Fowl.

So how did Stubbs apply his knowledge of the inside of say, a horse, to the painting of the live animal? How did he depict the outer layer of the horse, the skin, from what lay beneath?

Insofar that many other painters, particularly before Stubbs’ anatomical works, have satisfactorily painted the lumps and bumps of a horse without studying the internal, what made Stubbs great?
Well, he was probably the first painter that produces a “portrait” of the horse and notably to the satisfaction of the many wealthy owners of successful racehorses who were beating a path to his door. So he was the best of the day and his paintings were preserved.

If one looks at three of his most appreciated paintings, Whistlejacket, Tristram Shandy and Molly Longlegs, you do see rippling muscle, prominent bone and distended vein so Stubbs was a master of accuracy He used shadow and shine to display the relief of the body and he conveys the magnificence and personality of the beast.




Furthermore Stubbs leaves a legacy of reference for forthcoming artists (and the veterinarians of the time), of a scientific work.


Text – Paul Bonaventura, John Lienhard, Wikipedia

Images – Royal Academy.

Project – Drawing Animals
Research Point – Leonardo Da Vinci/Albrecht Durer
Look at how Renaissance masters such as Leonardo and Durer depicted animals. Make notes and try and find some images to include in your learning log.
Leonardo Da Vinci was born in Vinci near Florence, Italy and lived from 1452 to 1519. He had an interest in animals in his youth and kept collections of insects and small animals. This interest developed into a need to research their form and anatomy.

It is considered that Leonardo did not dissect animals to the extent that he dissected human beings which is maybe evidenced by the facts that he was a vegetarian, unusual in those days, he had a respect and fondness for animals and there are few sketches of animal anatomy rendered by him and it is thought that any animal dissection Leonardo undertook was to make comparison with human anatomy.

Leonardo was interested in the movement of animals, ie. how they worked and in particular, flight, He drew animals in interesting positions and often depicting movement. His drawings often give the animal a personality.

leonardo-da-vinci-horse-4rider-on-rearing-horse1[1]  ROC399225

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He probably drew more horses than other animals and the drawings are typical . Note the movement stages of the legs of the rearing horses and the vitality of the drawings.

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Dogs were another Leonardo favourite. In the drawings above (excluding the cat!) the dogs are realistic with the muscles well depicted and the fur well drawn.

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Birds were popular with Leonardo and particularly with reference to how they flew as this became a passion for Leonardo with his “invention” of flying machines. In these drawings the animals are drawn in fine detail bearing in mind that in Leonardo’s time drawing implements were mostly silverpoint or similar, or pen and ink so mistakes were not readily correctable.

ROC408310This drawing of cats in may different poses and often interacting with each other is remarkable for detail, particulalry, that Leonardo has given many of the ats an expression that fits the stance. The drawings are not just about anatomy as Leonardo had added shade and shadows with many different light sources.

JEP99710Observe the scaliness of the dragon and the mane of the lion in this mythical pen and ink drawing.

Albrecht Durer was born in Nuremburg, Germany and lived between 1471 and 1528. He showed a talent for drawing from an early age.

Like Leonardo, Durer produced many more drawings than paintings though on more varied themes including portraits and landscapes.

Primarily Durer was an engraver so his drawings often formed the preliminary work to a carving or etching. However in common with Leonardo he had an intellectual curiosity  and he wrote many manuscripts and books.

He was a master of detail and with regard to animals he was interested in portraying their form accurately and studied their anatomy though not as far as dissecting them.

XJF437437   BMC474473

FTB165446Not quite as action laden as Leonardo’s horses but accurate in form and detail.

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Durer was an expert at portraying fur and feathers and in the cow picture he has given the animal depth by fine use of shading. Similar to Leonardo, Durer gives his animal personality.


Durer drew the rhinoceros without ever seeing one and his drawing was based on someone else’s sketch so there is some artistic license. But even so there is great form and detail in the portrayal and the rhinoceros’s expression seems to be how Durer would have expected it to be when you have a body like that depicted.

Leonardo and Durer were the first to study the form of animals in detail and reproduce them realistically on paper. The fact that so many of their works survived is remarkable but more notable is the precision of their work particularly bearing in mind the limitations of their drawing instruments as the graphite pencil was not produced until after their llives.


Text – Wikipedia, British Museum

Images – Wikimedia, Wikipaintings

Project – Drawing Fruit and Vegetables in Colour


Research Point – Ben Nicholson

Find out about Ben Nicholson? Why does he simplify still life forms and negative space and superimpose them on Cornish landscapes?

Ben Nicholson was born in Denham, Buckinghamshire in 1894 with established painters for parents and a member of an artistic dynasty. He could hardly fail!

He briefly attended the Slade School of Fine Art in 1910/11 but is generally considered to be self-taught.

His early paintings were soft and luminous still lifes and landscapes in a traditional manner with some influence from his father’s style, the well respected painter, Sir William Nicholson

He travelled extensively in Europe between 1911 and 1914 and in 1917 he visited America and sketched architecture and landscapes. In Pasadena he saw his first Cubist painting, a work by Picasso, and deemed it to be a life changing event. However when he returned to England he still painted conventional still lifes and landscapes though some of the styles of recent masters and also contemporaries crept into his paintings.

In 1921 during a visit to Paris with his new wife, painter  Winifred Roberts, he was impressed by the works of Cezanne and also Cubism and later incorporated abstraction into his still lifes.

In 1922 the Adelphi Gallery in London held his first solo exhibition which was mainly of still lifes and landscapes.


After later visits to Paris he started painting figurative and abstract works inspired by Post- Impressionism and also Cubism and in 1924 the Twenty One Gallery featured his first exhibition of abstracts. However it is known that he was not satisfied with his early abstract works as he considered they did not express ideas beyond their appearance.

In 1928 he first visited Cornwall and from a chance meeting became interested in the art of Alfred Wallis the untrained painter of St Ives and was the first purchaser of one of his paintings. Nicholson soon began incorporating primitivism into his own paintings

Nicholson met Barbara Hepworth in the late twenties, who encouraged him to produce linocuts and woodcuts, and with whom he  eventiually shared a studio in Hampstead. Hepworth became his second wife in 1934 and together they made many visits to Paris and met with George Braque, Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brancusi and later the Dutch painter Piet Modrian. Inspired by their works and particularly Picasso from then on Nicholson painted abstracts and also created white reliefs in wood.

Nicholson became the link between the rising international abstract movement and England and was at the centre of British Avant Garde. He is credited with blending the abstract styles that he saw in his travels abroad into his own original works.

Between 1935 and 1937 Nicolson produced his white reliefs, carved from boards, and for which he was to  be famous.

Of the simplicity and purity of these works Nicholson explained, “As I see it, painting and religious experience are the same thing, and what we are all searching for is the understanding and realisation of infinity – an ideal which is complete, with no beginning, no end and therefore giving to all things for all time.”

He became the editor of Circle, one of the founding documents of modern and constructive art, and he was also a member of the artist’s group Unit One which produced a Book of Statements by eleven influential painters, sculptors and designers.

In 1939 Nicholson and his family moved to St Ives  and was moved to change his style from the simple linear shapes to coloured abstract reliefs but also still lifes and local landscapes, often combined with Cubist images. The change was probably brought about by the need to make his work more accessible to the public and their pockets in the War years.

Nicholson was very active in the artist community in St Ives influencing many local artists and joined the St Ives Society of Artists and after a clash of beliefs he founded the breakaway group the Penwith Society of Arts in 1949.

He divorced Barbara Hepworth in 1951 and travelled extensively throughout Europe. He left Cornwall in 1957 to live in Switzerland and married a photographer, Felicitas Vogler. He then began painting coloured reliefs again and made many etchings..

Whilst Nicholson was successful in the UK he was not internationally recognised until he was in his late fifties when he began to exhibit extensively throughout Europe and America and win many awards. In 1965 he received the Order of Merit. The Sixties and seventies were probably his most remunerative period with many prints made of his works now mostly etchings and still lifes, figurative and abstract.

In 1971 he moved back to England living in Cambridge and then London where he died in 1982.

Ben Nicolson was a major contributor to Twentieth Century British modern art and was probably best known for his works “White Relief” which contained only right angles and circles. A representative sample of his typical works might be the following paintings.

DACS; (c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1914 – The Striped Jug. A well executed painting which demonstrates that Nicholson had classic artistic talent. Nicholson collected mugs, jugs and goblets an influence or interest maybe inherited from his father.

DACS; (c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1917 – Portrait of Edie (Nicholson’s stepmother). An accomplished classic portrait.

(c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1922 – Cold Fell. A strange contrast of tones and colours bearing in mind that many of Nicholson’s paintings were in neutral colours.

(c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1924 – Goblet and Two Pears. A rather simplistic painting, perhaps influenced by Cubism but an example of what was to come.


1924 – First Abstract Painting. Reflecting his experience of Cubism. Shallow space and overlapping planes coupled with clean lines and no ornamentation. Perhaps not his greatest work.

(c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1928 – Cumbrian Landscape. A rather primitive painting perhaps influenced by his recent meeting with Alfred Wallis.

DACS; (c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1934 – Still Life Birdie. A pleasant still life painting with some of Nicholson’s usual objects and in Cubist style

(c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1935 – White Relief. Carved from a table leaf bought in Camden Market. The simple style is probably a reflection of Nicholson on the political and economic turmoil in which Europe was embroiled in that period.

DACS; (c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1936 – Second White Relief, Again the purity of the white  and the form typifies what Nicholson might have wished of the future..

(c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1939 – Painted Relief. A move from white to coloured reliefs often in different planes, the effect, I think, was to produce a floating central plane.

DACS; (c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1940/42 – Two Forms. In contrast to Mondian Nicholson’s shapes are contained within the canvas and appear a bit muddled, i.e. unstable. However his contrasts of colour may be more interesting.

Liz Taunt; (c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1943/45 – St Ives.  An experiment with planes and space. A view from his studio window.

(c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1947 – Mousehole.  A Cubist still life bringing together a naive  landscape and random abstract figures.

Ben Nicholson’s career output followed many twists and turns. His early works portray a competent, classic talent that could have garnered him a good living. However he moves on to other influences and creations and some not so remunerative at the time.

Did he emulate others or did he tread his own path? It is generally considered the latter. Whilst he was influenced by many, he developed his own style within those genres and that made him a British Great.


Text – Dominic Guerrini, Tate, Artcornwall.

Images – Tate, BBC – Your Paintings


Research Point

Drawings by Two Contrasting Artists

Find drawings by two artists who work in contrasting ways: from tight rigorous work to a more sketchy, expressive style.
J D Hillberry is a present day American artist who produces very detailed drawings which are almost photo-realistic.

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His rigorous attention to detail is obvious and is accomplished by incorporating a wide range of contrasting tones and precise textures in order to produce realism. He goes beyond the darkest tones that graphite pencil can produce by incorporating carbon pencils and also charcoal to create the blackest tones, often by layering the medium.

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He creates 3D effects by pitching the extremes of light and dark tones against each other.

The gradation of his shading is seamless and takes hours of precision mark making supplemented by using his eraser as a tool for lightening.

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Where appropriate he makes great use of tonal edges accentuated by contrast with the adjoining space rather than by defined lines.

Story%20Time%20W[1]   craig%20kline[1]It is his laborious attention to detail that gives his drawing life rather than a representation formed by linear marks. He has obviously studied hard the way that the effect of light and shadow contribute to the depiction of form.

Giacometti (1901-66) was better known for his skinny sculptures and his paintings rather than his drawings though it was drawing that formed the greater part of his early artistic output.

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His depiction of detail, say, in the triplet of heads drawing is made up by a greater intensity/density of his lines rather than drawing a shape of that detail. Shading is a multiplicity of lines.

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The “whirliness” of some of his lines certainly does not accurately portray the detail of the subject but still conveys the essence of what the subject is. It is as though the frenzied marks are more important to Giacometti than the accuracy of his drawing, i.e. his physical act of expression is more important than the image.

If I had made such a drawing I am sure the observers would be less than ecstatic!

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In the drawing xx many of his marks are contrary to the detail you would expect in a face or neck though the image conveys the information you would expect to see in a head and shoulders portrait.


The three “room” drawings portray a different style insofar that the majority of his lines are straight even though in places they are depicting curves.


I found no reference as to the amount of time it took Giacometti to complete his drawings. Were they very quick sketches or studied drawings. Are his many lines searching for the right one or is he adding lines for dramatic expression?


Project – Exploring Coloured Media

Research Point – Jean Ingres. A nineteenth century master of detailed drawing?
Jean Ingres was born in Montauban a small town in France in 1780. His father, a multifarious artist, encouraged Ingres to learn drawing and music and whilst his early education faltered due to the French Revolution in 1791 he enrolled at the Academie Royal de Peinture in Toulouse where he studied painting and the violin.

In 1797 Ingres went to Paris to study at the studio of Jacques Louis David, considered Europe’s leading painter at the time, He  followed his master’s neo-classical style and was inspired by the works of Raphael and was an impressive student. He stayed at the studio for about four years and during this time he was also admitted to the Ecole des Beaux Arts and following a tied second place in 1800 in 1801 he won the Grand Prix de Rome a grand achievement bearing in mind he was only twenty-one.

In 1806 he travelled to Rome where he studied, drew and painted but also spent time in Naples. When the prize money ran out he supplemented his income from State commissions with many graphite portraits of tourists and dignitaries. These drawings, although probably menial in Ingres’ mind, were much acclaimed as accurate likenesses and were held to be “skilful, concise masterpieces” and also “Ingres’s outstanding evocation of place, light, and character in these seemingly casual portrait drawings established him as one of the most revered draughtsmen in art history.“

Ingres left Rome in 1820 and went to Florence for four years returning to Paris in 1824. However he returned to Rome in 1834 as the Director of the Academie de France a Rome and then back to Paris in 1841. He had his own atelier through which many students passed he was recognised as a good teacher.

His output as a painter during these periods won him plaudits such as “one of the greatest painters in France” and he was awarded the Legion d’honneure in 1845 and a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1855.

Ingres was an active painter until his death from pneumonia in 1867. One of his most famous paintings was painted at the age of 82 – The Turkish Bath.


Despite some criticism of his early works, albeit fine paintings, during his lifetime Ingres created a considerable number of paintings in a Classical or Renaissance style. His range of subjects included portraits, sensual nudes, groups and landscapes and from his middle age was in good demand for commissions and able to command high prices.

His style was traditionalist but his painting talents were noted by “he was moved by the impulse to penetrate the secret of natural beauty and to reinterpret it through his own means”. He subscribed to clear and precise form, balanced compositions, and idealised beauty. He shared much of the same interest in exotic and erotic subject matter that had attracted the Romantics.

It was probable that Ingres was a perfectionist reflected by the time it took for him to complete a painting and it was usual for him to make many alterations to a piece.

However it was not just his paintings that Ingres was famous for. He was very much, and maybe mostly, admired for his detailed drawings of which many of his best came from his years in Rome.. His technique was to use finely pointed or chiselled graphite pencils on a smooth white paper usually woven. His portrait drawings would take about four hours and required little later retouching.

His style of drawing, contrary to his painting, was fresh to the age and the following quotes provide an educated view of his drawing talents –

“His drawings are distinguished by their careful containment of form, perfect lines, and subtle shadings,” says Phillip Wade, a painter and painting instructor at the Art School at the Austin Museum of Art, in Texas. “I’ve never seen anyone who could do outlines as well as he could.”

“Ingres was a miraculous technician,” adds Frank Wright, a painter and professor of art at The George Washington University and the Corcoran College of Art and Design, both in Washington, DC. “He was one of the most remarkably assured draftsmen who ever lived. When he put a line on, he did it with such certainty. How did he draw with such authority? It’s one of the things you can’t teach about Ingres, but you can be aware of.”

“Ingres draws with a more subtle and various line than any of his contemporaries,” wrote the late Agnes Mongan, who directed the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1969 through 1971 and was a pioneer in the study of drawings. “Shading is sometimes done with fine hatching; sometimes by smoothing with a stump, and there is an occasional discreet touch of wash. But these types of modeling are kept to a minimum. Line is supreme,” she wrote. “With a graphite line that is constantly and finely adjusted—now narrow, now thick, pressing firmly or more swiftly—he defines contours with a remarkable range of modulations. Form is described above all by such calibrations of contour as well as by direction of a line.”

“He was excellent at gesture, but contour held that musicality for him,” says Wright, who as a graduate student working under museum director Agnes Mongan researched and analyzed Ingres drawings in the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection at the Fogg Art Museum. “Of course, Ingres stacked the deck in his favor by deliberately using a frontal light. “If you have light coming from the side, it emphasizes the sculptural effect. But front lighting emphasizes the edges, the arabesque line that Raphael, who was Ingres’ god, involved himself so much with. Raphael did a lot with the curves of the form, the edges of the form. Raphael, Ingres, and others knew when to interrupt the line, to allow the light to come in, so the line is not continuous. They let it be broken to show the saturation of the form in light, or be bolder on the other side to show the form is turned away from the light.

Wright believes Ingres had a wonderful feeling, a sensitivity toward people. Mongan notes, “He even captures their self-consciousness in posing.”

Ingres once said – “To really succeed in a portrait, first of all one has to be imbued with the face one wants to paint, to reflect on it for a long time, attentively, from all sides, and even to devote the first sitting to this”. Indeed, he had a way of capturing the core personality of a sitter. Ingres believed that his accuracy came from careful observation and to achieve this he would draw a sitter in the morning, enjoy a lunch with the sitter, presumably to capture a more relaxed person, and then complete the drawing in the afternoon.

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In addition to the above comments, my observations of his drawings reveal an apparent simplistic style where very little detail is given within the outline of the drawing. However the internal marks that he does make convey significant statements.

There is also an absence of the usual shadows to accent form which effect is presumably obtained by the use of direct, frontal lighting. However the outcome is to give a flat appearance to his subjects who were nearly always facing him. The artist’s view would therefore be that of the observer of the drawing. His drawings are not devoid of shadows though he is sparing in their use.

He appears to portray depth or solidity in the image by light shading and many of his edges are defined by shading, albeit with a solid finish, and not line He uses shading again to portray surface changes.

In portraits he features the head with his highest tonal values as to make it the most important element of the drawing.

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He was known for accurate anatomic drawing. Even when the model was clothed he would be aware of the physical being beneath the fabric and adjust the drawing to fit. To accentuate anatomical detail he would feature, say, a muscle by continuing the outline along the muscle before returning to the line of the body again.

His style, whilst superb, does appear a little dated by modern standards, perhaps a little harsh in places. Maybe if he had the range of graphite implements that are available nowadays his drawings might have been a little more subtle.

Does Ingres “exemplify mastery in detailed drawing”? His use of detail is not extreme but then in general it wasn’t in his day. There were no photo-realist draughtsmen then. His use of detail was understated and led the brain to believe there was more than meets the eye.
madame-johann-gotthard-reinhold-born-sophie-amalie-dorothea-wilhelmine-ritter-and-her-two.jpg!HalfHD[1]       study-for-princesse-albert-de-broglie-born-josephine-eleonore-marie-pauline-de-galard-de.jpg!HalfHD[1] study-of-hands-and-feet-for-the-golden-age[1]Quotes –

Images – Wikimedia.

Project – Exploring Coloured Media

Research Point – Kate Atkin. A modern master of detailed drawing?
There are a number of modern artists who produce detailed drawing work and a brief internet trawl reveals the following examples  by Paul Cadden, Jane Peart and J. D. Hillberry respectively –

Paul-Cadden-art8-550x831[1]       sheeponmoors   Onions%20and%20Garlic[1]

A couple of these artists’ examples might be described as photo-realistic which fits the “detailed” bill of the research point as the finished product requires delicate work and tremendous skill. Probably this effect is aided by the advances in drawing materials which have enabled artists to produce more fine and varied marks than before.

For my artist of detail I have chosen Kate Atkin of whom little early information is available other than she was born in 1981 near Salisbury and now lives and works in London. She has gained an MA in Photography and a BA in Fine Art and exhibits her multi-disciplinary artistic work internationally. Her website is at and there are many articles about her online.
29_45-head-2010[1]    28_study-the-body-2011[1]
My reason for this choice is that by varied use of detail she creates drawings that are abstract but could be real. She incorporates shapes and textures that one would find in nature and when combined result in an object that might exist but doesn’t.

Her application of fine detail is obvious but she uses extremes of tonal value from white paper to solid black to give form to the image. In fact in some drawings the amount of depth she has given to the image projects it off the paper.
28_study-stirling-2011[1]      28_study-the-body-ii-2011[1]
Blow up some of the pictures and it becomes apparent that much of her texture is created by fine shading rather than line. Probably an examination of the original drawing would reveal that even the finest shading has tonal variety.
31_30-maw-2008[1]  29_48-creep-2010[1]
I consider that whilst her work may not incorporate the finest detail her imaginative use of detail produces an image that is original and beats the traditional photo-realist.