Sunday, May 18, 2014

Yvon's Academic Drawing Manual [feedly]

Yvon's Academic Drawing Manual
// Gurney Journey

Many of you are familiar with the drawing course by Charles Bargue and Jean-Léon Gérôme. Painter and teacher Darren Rousar has procured another drawing manual from the period called "Methode de Dessin" by Adolphe Yvon.

This was the method used by John Singer Sargent when he studied in Paris. According to Rousar, copies of this manual are extremely rare, and he has generously offered to put his copy online for free, but first he's inviting French/English translators to help him render it into English.

Here's a preview of one of Yvon's plates. I'm just guessing from the plate, but it seems to be a slightly different process from Bargue. He still uses the straight lines, but rather than bounding the outside of the form in an envelope or polygonal shape, he seems to find the most general big line going through the contour. The vertical line appears to be a record of measurements and alignments, subdivided into smaller measurements, probably made with the plumb line.

Here's one of Bargue's plates for comparison, with the outside bounding envelope going from the forehead to the tip of the nose and the nose to the chin, with the plumb-line measurements marked on a line drawn inside the form.

Sargent said that the plumb line (basically a weight dangling at the end of a string) was essential:
"When drawing from the model, never be without the plumb line in the left hand. Everyone has a bias, either to the right hand or the left of the vertical. The use of the plumb line rectifies this error and develops a keen appreciation of the vertical."

If you'd like to participate in translating some of first pages (or just read them in French), here's a link to Darren Rousar's studio blog. 
Charles Bargue's method from Amazon

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