Here are examples of cast drawings by freshman students at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. They study the academic method of drawing. This is a method that developed in the High Renaissance and can be traced back to Leonardo. The name comes from the art academies of the 16th and 17th centuries that established it. We are lucky to have the world renowned Ingbretson Studio closeby in Manchester, New Hampshire. During the spring semester, students spent each Saturday at the studio. This is a large sacrifice of time as they received no concessions in regard to their other studies. The results are excellent, I think you'll agree.
The method involves setting the easel up next to the cast and then retreating several feet so that that both drawing and cast can be seen in the same angle of vision. This allows for a systematic build up of the image. The artist looks at the two, decides what aspect he needs to draw and then moves forward and draws from memory. He then retreats back to the marked position to compare his work with the cast again. Through this steady motion, moving forwards and backwards, the picture is created.
The introduction to this method is through cast drawing because the plaster cast has no colour, and is stationary. This means that the student can learn to see in tonal shapes. The introduction of colour comes once modelling in tone has been mastered.
You can learn the academic method at Thomas More College this summer from Henry Wingate, who studied for 5 years at the Ingbretson Studio before going on to be an internationally known portrait artist. Henry is going to be teaching at the Way of Beauty Atelier from June 27th - July 9th. For more details follow link here.