Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Today in Euclid
I learned today the correct definition of a ratio. Book V, Definitions 1-4.
I'd been messing about with Golden Rectangles and Fibonacci spirals in my notebook, noting how close one can and cannot come with a pencil and a hand-held compass on paper, to the absolute values for these mathematical ideas. I don't know if this is very close, but I got it to three decimal places.
I also noticed that the drawing I've been working on, little tiny bit by little tiny bit, of the statue by Borromini of St. Andrew in the Lateran Basilica, is also based on the Golden Thingy. I took the postcard I've been working from and now that I know how to do it, measured out the square and the leftover bit, and voy-lah, it was a nearly perfect fit. 1:1.618.
I'm probably going to start seeing it all over the place now.
Here's some other stuff.
I'm trying to get the knack of charcoal (Pitt pastel) so I'm back to doing the flats. This is the head of St. Francis by Caravaggio. (The one on the left, I mean.)
You start with straight lines...
Then put in the first values evenly and lightly in blocks.
Then you start darkening up the darks, all the while adjusting the contours.
So far, I've mostly done this with very simplified lithographs of casts and statues. The Bargues. This painting is a heck of a lot more subtle in the changes from the highlights to the darkest darks. It's like a puzzle.
My dining room table is now almost entirely work-benchified. There is a two foot square bit at the end where we sometimes squeeze in a couple of plates or the tea tray.
I have been working a bit on value studies from simple objects. But only in pencil. I tried it in charcoal and it was just too much to think about all at once.
Carry on... carry on... don't give up...