Bob Baker, “Figure Sketch in the Manner of Michelangelo”; “Head Sketch in the Manner of Rubens”

2 Apr

FullSizeRender (6)Bob Baker, Figure Sketch in the Manner of Michelangelo (2017)

The last couple weeks I’ve been studying Reginald Marsh’s excellent book, Anatomy for Artists (American Artists Group, 1945).  Marsh, who was an avid student of the Renaissance masters, helps you learn the old methods by guiding you through figure sketches by the likes of Michelangelo, Titian, Rubens, and Raphael.  Marsh shows you the original and then provides his own quick “starter” sketch as an aid.  You build on the Marsh sketch and eventually try to approach the masterwork.

I’m just getting started but it really seems to work.  Each of these two sketches took under an hour.  I’m no Michelangelo, but this is a great learning experience.  The Rubens sketch, interestingly, is based on an ancient Roman coin — Rome was already deemed ancient when Rubens was painting!

FullSizeRender (5)Bob Baker, Head Sketch in the Manner of Rubens (2017)

Reginald Marsh, as some of you know, is a favorite of mine.  He was simultaneously a student of the Renaissance and a dedicated modern immersed in the grittier side of daily life in New York.  His figures are larger than life in the manner of Michelangelo and his compositions are modern-day frescoes.  His favorite medium, egg tempera, is straight out of the Renaissance.  Marsh:

marsh-wonderland-circus-sideshow-coney-island-1930Reginald Marsh, Wonderland Circus, Sideshow Coney Island (1930)

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