Getting the drawing right is currently all that matters to me

Line drawing of my muse, Hitomi Tanaka, in pencil on A3 paper

I think it is important to draw what is essential… but what is essential?

Choices… the choices we make.

At the moment I am investigating Bargue; Cave; Cecil; Gammell; and others. So much to look into, so little time!!

I ought really to be drawing from life, not photographs… interesting to read what Cecil says on the subject, i.e., how photographs tend to colour one’s way of seeing nature… but Cecil comes across as an idealist: we don’t live in an ideal world! In Tuscany, Florence, where his studio was,* the sun shines a great deal. For Cecil it would seem there is natural realism and photographic realism and the latter is an inferior sort. Yet, as Cave points out, the old masters used all sorts of tools and primitive technologies (compared to those available in our modern 20th-21st century world) to trace images.

In Ireland, here in Connaught, one dare not venture too far outdoors to paint, because the weather can change in the blink of an eye: and before you know it the rain is pouring down!

Notebooks and sketches…

And a camera is indispensable in such an environment.

*Correction: Cecil’s studio still is and he himself is very much alive and teaching his curious and anachronistic ‘sight-size’ method in Firenze.


  1. Lol ! I just checked and it seems Mr Cecil is very much alive and kicking! And he is still definitely NOT into working from photographs! Check out the short vid on this site:
    He seems to be of the opinion that photographs cannot capture the ‘soul’ (whatever that is, whatever his understanding of the term is,) of the sitter. Which raises the old subjective-objective argument. Can any painter capture the soul of the sitter or does he/she rather inject something of his/her own soul into the picture?
    So what is a soul anyway? A personality? A word for something that is apparently invisible? A word for that which is inexplicable? And that raises the old philosophical problem of free will vs determinism.
    For me there is no free will, all is determined, physical, mechanical, and all painting has to be in the final analysis self-portraiture/subjective, a portrait of the artist.
    If the sitter possesses the thing we refer to as a soul then that soul will be visibly displayed in his/her face and posture.
    The photographic image captures all that is visible, is more objective, more accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

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