Drawing like Michelangelo

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I keep working from studies of Michelangelo or other ancient artists like Coypel to study the ancient drawing techniques . 
These studies were carried out with colored pencils on fine grain textured paper. The paper is tainted with a dry powder made with red or blue chalk , then I draw with colored pencils with a range from ocher to black.
I draw the lights with an eraser. Even with the naked eye, this way to create the lights looks very much like white chalk.
As I explain in many of my posts, the artists of the Renaissance first drew with colored pencils before moving to the red chalk and then to the graphite lead sticks. Colored pencil is a noble media, as far as may be red chalk or graphite lead sticks and I hope that the exposed studies here will convince you of this:

After study of Michelangelo for the crucifixion of Hamam
pencils - 2015-01-23
After study of Michelangelo for an ignudo
et photos de modèles masculins - crayons de couleur - 2015-02-03
Adaptation of arms and legs from Michelangelo studies
pencils - 2015-01-29
After study of Antoine Coypel (left study is for the arm and the legs of this one)
- pencils - 2015-01-15

As I explain in my fisrts post ""How to draw like Michelangelo"" , the style of Michelangelo is characterized by:
  • lean and muscular model thus, with very visible muscle shapes
  • Treatment with sharp contrasts and accents on the contours suited to his models (that's why Leonardo da Vinci told to Michelangelo that his nude drawings look like nut bags)
  • The search for an embellishment, manifested in the posture of the models that are in complex positions with many twists and in the way the lines are exaggerated (curves and angles). Michelangelo as such is one of the initiators of the Mannerist current but remains moderated compared to Pontormo or Barocci.

We can, to summarize, oppose the style of Michelangelo characterized by that Vasari named "terribilità ", meaning by that the greatness of his mind, the harshness of his manners and his style difficult to understand 1 to the "grazia" (grace) and the "maniera dolce" (gentle, elegant style) by Raphael.

Notes :
1 - Michel-Ange, Le dessin et l'idée, Encyclopaedia Universalis - Martine Vasselin, ancienne élève de l'École normale supérieure de Sèvres, maître de conférences en histoire de l'art des Temps modernes à l'université de Provence.