Tag Archives: da Vinci

After da Vinci, with a cat

19 Feb

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Another of my practice pieces copying Renaissance drawings. This time a little sketch by da Vinci of a small child playing with a cat. The original is very rough and sketchy, very lively. I guess it had to be that way because a cat and small child are not going to stay still for more than a couple of seconds. In fact, the kitteh looks like it can’t wait to get away. He did quite a lot of these sketches; I wonder if the child escaped without scratches? It’s tempting when copying another artist to tidy up the drawing, to ‘complete’ it but I tried to remain as true to the original as possible, given that I’m using 21st century instead of 15th century materials.

Drawn onto my Samsung Galaxy Tablet using a free Markers app. The reference book is ‘Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance Drawings by Hugo Chapman and Marzia Faietti published by The British Museum.

Looking At Leonardo

9 Feb

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It’s been a busy weekend with our two 9 year old nephews staying over and a lengthy business meeting ths afternoon. Yes it’s a Sunday but I’m freelance so I don’t work regular hours. But I try to do a drawing a day for practice and discipline and I’ve been dipping into my Renaissance drawing book by Hugo Chapman and Marzia Faietti. I spent a few minutes with my Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size F and my A5 clothbound sketchbook working from this da Vinci sketch.

It’s interesting to draw from another artist because you can appreciate their technique. While I was sketching this, I realised how sparse the linework is; how much is filled in by the viewer. I also realised, although I’d looked at the original many times, that he drew the head slightly too large. I don’t know if that was deliberate or perhaps the model was like that. Apparently, film stars with slightly larger heads look better on the big screen than those with ‘normal’ heads.

A Renaissance Romp

14 May

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited onto an intensive course in Renaissance drawing, using materials and equipment typical of that era. I couldn’t say anything about it at the time, but now it’s all gone public. The drawings done by the group of artists and students are to be used in a new drama series, Da Vinci’s Demons, based on the life and times of Leonardo da Vinci.  It’s being made by the production company Starz in collaboration with BBC Worldwide. The company has bought an old factory near Swansea and are refurbishing it into a film studio, spending about £60million on it. It’s so exciting!!!!

Our tutors were very strict in keeping us to authentic Renaissance style because the drawings will apparently be used on set as part of da Vinci’s studio set-up. They’re all very tiny because paper was very expensive back then, so artists typically drew very small on tiny scraps of paper, cramming several drawings into the space and using both sides. It was too expensive and precious to waste.

We are hoping that we’ll be able to go to the film set when our drawings are up, to get a glimpse before they start filming in a few weeks. As yet, I have no idea which, if any, of my drawings will be used. The group produced several hundred over four days so the competition will be high. Fingers crossed 🙂

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