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Studying Ingres...

Ingres poses a particular challenge. He is an exacting task master. Very little freedom is allowed while copying him - you either make an Ingres, or not at all. After some time this gets a tad boring. After all, I am not copying so as to get a "pixel-perfect" likeness, but to better learn his way of working, and also to better appreciate him. An Ingres is identified on such narrow criteria that one needs be really careful while studying him. Unlike, say, my other drawing favourite - Gauguin. You may go well off the designated Gauguin-parameters, experiment a lot, and it still looks Gauguinesque!

Even then, Ingres' long, twisted necks and extra lumber vertebrae are often dead give-aways. And the greatest benifit of studying an Ingres drawing is an increased awareness of the "line".



a) Oil sketch for "Roger freeing Angelica", 42 KB download

The reference for this oil sketch, a study on Ingres' study for the said painting was a 3" x 5" print. I expanded it to 21" x 14.5" (approx) to get a better idea of the subtle transitions involved.

Ingres is said to have abhorred "brush-marks", fanatically working for a "fini" and earnestly believing that brush-marks interrupt the communion of thought from the content to the viewer. Well, one could always argue that the artist himself(or herself) is an inherent part of the content, and the brush-marks are his identify. The impressionists did argue, going their seperate, happy-brushing ways. But that was them, and this is Ingres.

Nevertheless, if you enlarge my study, you will find definite brush-marks, something, I feel enhances the vibrancy of the work. Otherwise, the pose is so morose.

I have left the face unworked.

b) Study of a drawing
16 KB download

Lines, Oh those beautiful lines!


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