Charcoal cast drawing

academy cast zeichnung 01 - Charcoal cast drawing

Plaster cast drawing

The room is dark, the cast is illuminated. An exciting game of light and shadow is taking place on the white plaster cast…

Cast drawing is a new challenge and it will improve the skills and abilities of our students. They will learn to look differently at things and to measure proportions and shapes and to depict lights and shadows in order to draw an accurate realistic image of the cast. They´ll learn to draw from a three-dimensional (3D) subject, from nature and not anymore from a copy as they used to do before. This will prepare them for life drawing.

Cast drawing is a proven traditional teaching method used in all classical art academies

Cast drawing was very important in the European art academies of the 19th century. For this purpose were used special plaster sculptures, which were mostly casts of Greek and Roman sculptures. After learning the basic characteristics in the first level of our study – Bargue Drawings Copying Technique – we start learning how to draw real objects.  Again, this is the perfect transition from two-dimensional drawing to life drawing. The students start at first with simple casts, for example, of an ear, a nose, an eye, to later work with facial casts.

When cast drawing, students learn a measuring method called the “sight size” method. This means to represent the object 1 to 1 and, above all, to do it accurately so that all proportions are correct. The plaster casts are illuminated in such a way that we can see particular parts of the sculptures in the light and others in the shadows. Because of this, we can clearly observe the interaction of lights and shapes. This will help you learn how to change from one tone to the other in a drawing.

Drawing with charcoal, an intense 3D effect

When you draw a cast with charcoal you can reach a better 3D effect. The charcoal looks almost like black when shading an area as dark as possible. This results in a broader range of tonalities – that is, gray levels – which makes it even easier to work out the shape for the realistic representation.

Cast Drawing? Challenge accepted!

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