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Mark's drawing method works!

I used Mark's drawing method to do a painting of a horse and it worked great!  Better than any other method I have tried to use.

I drew two reference lineson my reference photo, one vertical amd the other horizontal, and lined them up on a couple of outermost features.  In this case, the vertical line was at the front of the leading hoof, and the horizontal line was at the point where two hooves touched the ground.  I then used a proportional divider to measure and enlarge key points on the horses and then just connected the dots!

No calculations or inch measurements.  The proportional dividers work like a story stick does for cabinetmaking.

I can see that it would be a tad more difficult to take the measurements from a "live" subject than from a photo, but it is still orders of magnitude better than other techniques!

thank you Mark!


  • I <3 My Proportional Divider!
  • mstrick96

    It is easy to do proportional measurements in a live situation in two ways.

    Sitting comfortably in my arm chair, by holding up a tape measure and sighting the short side dimension of my drawing board it reads 58mm and the actual physical measurement is 580mm. I am sitting some 7 metres distant. So, I know that every sighting of every relative point on that plane will be 1/10th of the real dimension. By using an arithmetic multiple, say 2, I can then reproduce an accurate proportional drawing.
    If I wanted a half scale drawing I could use the 5 multiple, my reading of 58 mm becomes 290 mm, half the actual dimension. I have not seen any other artist use this technique. I call it proportional sighting.

    The second method, I have posted here before and it's an iPad app called Partometer.

    A live model is a beautiful thing in itself, but he/she won't sit still for three days while I take measurements. I now rely on head units or standard proportions of the body, neither of which helps with foreshortening or perspective.


  • Thanks, Denis!  I downloaded the Partometer app.  It's only $5 now.  

    Both are useful methods.  I'll have to give both a try!
  • Go to Youtube and search for "Bargue lesson".  As of today the DaVinci Initiative has 22 video lessons on copying Bargue plates, which is pretty similar to what I think Mark teaches.  Its more detailed though.
  • dencaldencal -
    edited May 2017

    Another useful device for sighting angles on live models/scenes, or for reading angles on photographs is
    a digital angle finder:

    Here showing a body and leg angle of 123.5 degrees. I must admit I use this device only to check when something looks wrong, when the drawing doesn't look like the model. Otherwise time constraints usually means eyeballing the angle. The device is very well made by CraftRight, in stainless steel with beautifully engraved imperial and metric graduations. Cost is about $30AU or €20.

    Alternately, a string centred on a circular, 360 plastic protractor, with the Zero at 12 o'clock, can be moved to read an angle on the live scene and thus reproduced on the drawing.

    Another live scene aid is snapping an iPad pic and using the CopyIt app grids to reproduce the drawing on a gridded canvas.  Lots of features and about $AU14 or €9. CopyIt - The Grid Drawing Method by Nigel Green


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