One of my teachers of classical academic drawing and painting, when the work on the production came to a standstill, came up, made a characteristic click with his fingers and said: “There is something missing. We have to make a ding-ding! ".
For us, students, it, at first, was ridiculous and amusing, but over time when academic still lifes were written and drawn already much and plaster heads it was studied too decently, it became clear that "ding-ding” is bright, strong accent. That is, it is a very strong contrast where it is needed and where it should be, for example, it can be a very light glare on the cheek or a characteristic, very sharp lighting, for example, such natural sunlight, when the bunnies run and the light streams quickly change, which envelop the entire production with separate rays, like spotlights. Or, on the contrary, in a sheet or canvas it is necessary to create a very dense, contrasting background, so that objects in it dissolve, and only then expose the brightest lights, so that they are contrasting with the shadow and look like parts of objects protruding from the darkness. That is, these are such convincing findings that only the artist sees.
This is what we now talk a lot with my students in the classes of drawing and painting, when writing academic still lifes or drawing plaster casts. It happens that the training figure is made quite well: well-built, worked out in detail, the proportions are correctly transferred, there is even some space in the figure, but something is missing. And in this case, just not enough of this "ding-ding”.
Once, we drew with Dima still life in modern drawing technique: there was no task to build objects correctly, to create academically competent work. The exercise was quite free, creative: it was necessary to convey the materiality and the tonal difference between objects, that is, it was necessary to immerse objects in the environment. And this environment did not appear. That is, there were objects, there was interaction between them, but, as if, they were in some vacuum-clear contours prevented to perceive the main thing. And there was no "ding-ding.”
To remedy the situation, we have combined the entire far plan with a single gray tint; we have given such a vertical movement of the strokes in the whole figure. Objects automatically began to sink into this gray, dark space, due to vertical flows, and we saw that the front illuminated parts of the objects seemed to come out of this dark cloud and immediately identified the brightest contrast. And this very contrasting, in our case-gray, place was metal fittings on the watch, which stood in the foreground and as soon as we chose this bright glare with an eraser, then materiality appeared: glass, metal, fabric. Appeared zest that we were looking for, the key to the seemingly boring staging. I no longer wanted to think about whether the objects were rebuilt correctly, whether they were so relative to each other, whether the tonal relations were correctly conveyed, looking at the drawing. It was just a feeling of admiring a captured specific highlight.
I believe that in our business: teaching fine arts, artistic practice (the very classes of drawing) without dzin-dzin in any way. As soon as the artist ceases to see something special, unique, bright, contrast, the author’s face is lost and, in general, the desire to do something. Therefore, let's look for unusual, interesting moments, very characteristic of a particular lighting or subject, learning the vision of the artist. It can be a clear, beautiful, carved silhouette, and, suddenly appearing from the sunshine, long beautiful shadows, and various forms, and a large unusual volume of the whole object, and even not characteristic reflections.
It is best to emphasize them in a picture or a picture. That is, to show exactly what impressed you, the artist, more and more than anything. Then the viewer will correctly understand what you wanted to portray and will be surprised at your ability to see the unusual in simple things. So I wish you to find "ding-ding” every day and not once, and not only in drawing classes.
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