I am restarting my assignment in earnest, because I was experimenting with different media to see which best suited the assignment in my first thread.

I will be using graphite on hot press watercolour paper from here on out, and will be attempting to stick as closely to the parameters given by Jason.
Paper size: postcard (I know Jason said playing card, but there’s no way I can do any meaningful shading in such a small size on trad media for now)
Time: 1h

I came up with this workflow to make the most of the 1h:
– 10 min for blocking in of shapes and overall proportions
– 20 min for detailed linework and establishing shadow shapes
– 10 min for block shading of up to three tones
– 20 min to refine shading in areas of EMPHASIS

Also, I have decided to use this assignment as a way to explore the masters through the ages: from pre-Renaissance (International Gothic) to Neoclassicism/Romanticism. I’d like to use this opportunity to study art history as well, having no grounding in art before this.

Ok, on to the masters of old:

Ernsthoft - Composition 1.1 - Exploring the Masters through the ages
I chose to start with Giotto – the man who overshadowed his teacher Cimabue, and started Florence on a path towards perspective and anatomy – basically realistic portrayals of people and things in a 3d space, as opposed to the stylized flat paintings.
I chose this detail of his frescoes because of the very clear emphasis on the spinner against a dark, simplified background. Also, lots of repetition in lines from the pillars and window, interrupted by an almost-right angle by a long crease in her dress.

To be honest, I hate drawing repeated shapes, so I had to flog myself through the linework part of the picture. So difficult to get the lines aligned and in shading, I wasn’t entirely successful in getting a clean border. I ran out of time to block in my shading because I got distracted by the emphasis of the picture.

Ernsthoft - Composition 1.1 - Exploring the Masters through the ages
I continued with Mantegna because of his very interesting experiments with perspective. He comes closer still to the anatomical constructs to be seen in the approaching Renaissance in Italy, although they are relatively stony-looking, due to his sculptural background.
This picture is a very unusual, dramatic perspective in portraying the dead body. Furthermore, he has shrunk the feet, perhaps not to take away from the emphasis on the torso and the folds of cloth in the groin. There is also a wonderful rhythm in the line down from the thorax between the legs to the bottom of the picture, and the tightly drawn folds in the sheet across the groin and legs.

Personally, I had difficulty blocking-in the large shapes because of the way the picture toyed with perspective. Furthermore, the shading is more subtle, so I got it wrong in quite a few places in the cloth. Hopefully I will improve in blocking in of shapes so refining shadow shapes, especially in complicated areas of drapery, will be easier. I would also like to explore the use of charcoal pencil for darker tones. Ah, so many things to do in 1h. I think that putting time pressure on myself has made me improve on observational drawing.