Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cloistered with Van Gogh

This is the Cloister of the Church of San Francesco here in Castiglion Fiorentino. Rebuilt at the beginning of 1600, it has a Tuscan-style double loggia in a rectangular plan. I began this time with a pencil sketch which I inked over using a fountain pen with Pelikan Brilliant Brown Ink. It was a relief to discover that even Vincent liked to give himself a pencil outline as a guide. I tried to replicated many of Van Gogh's marks and the little bird in the sky is a tribute to him. I'm rather pleased with this one!

I can't go on aping Vincent forever but what I can take away from this project is the realisation that there is more than one way to make a mark. I hope that in future the marks I make will give my sketches a great deal more energy.

Since the pencil sketch took so long (I find arches really difficult) I scanned it and printed a copy to practise my marks on rather than risk spoiling the drawing. I am now going to use the scan to play around with this image with some watercolour pencils. Since I originally posted this I have replaced the scanned image of the drawing with a photograph, which shows the true colour.

See the link in the previous post for more about the Fine Line Artists Van Gogh Project.


Stacy said...

Robyn, I really like your last two Van Gogh sketches. Your marks are great. I like how they give both energy and form to the drawing. I can defintiely feel Van Gogh's influence.

Casey Klahn said...

Miei Complimenti.
I am struggling with more complex compositions, as VG did attempt so many of them. You have certainly achieved a nice one here. I all too often revert to detail area studies.
I have been searching for an efficient way to save some drawn templates for practice and repefrgipeuntition. In fact, it is what was on my mind when my head hit the pillow late last night.
Perhaps the scanner is it.
I just read that VG made himself a draughtsman's grid, which apparently was a frame with grid which he posted (via easel?) in front of his subject. This is responsible for his early improvements in drafting quality.

MrsSnowy said...

Thanks Stacy - lovely to see you here. This Fine Line Artist VVG Project is so stimulating. For me their choices of John Singer Sargent and Vincent Van Gogh have been perfect. I'm learning so much.

MrsSnowy said...

Casey, thank you. I realise this is a bit tighter than it should be. I thought I got a bit more Vincent in the marks on the vaulted ceiling under the arches.

I'm thrilled with my discovery that I can scan early sketches and then play around with them. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. I did buy a little Viewfinder a while back. It has a small grid on a sheet of plastic. I find it useful to place the major lines in the right position. The rest I measure by sight. The above was sketched from a photo on my laptop screen. Those arches will be an even bigger challenge en plein air.

ksklein said...

love the first one. great color!

MrsSnowy said...

ksklein - Thank you for visiting and commenting. Now I've fond your blog I'll stay tuned for more of your lovely, striking work.

Katherine said...

Robyn - you're really setting quite a pace here. I'm off to go and try a large landscape drawing!

I'm creating a new section in my blogroll for the Van Gogh project people - and you're included naturally.

MrsSnowy said...

Katherine - So much to learn, so little time! I can't get enough of VVG. Thank you for including me. I'm looking forward to your landscape.

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