Thursday, October 6, 2016

'Fundamentals of Drawing' Now in English

The 2007 Russian drawing textbook Fundamentals of Drawing is now available in an English-language print edition.

I first reported on the book when I encountered it as a Russian-language text.

The book is by the Russian master Vladimir Mogilevtsev. He is the head of the Drawing Department of the Russian Academy of Arts (aka Repin Art Institute) in St. Petersburg. The book has been a bestseller in Russia and beyond.

It's one of the best ways for those of us outside Russia to understand how drawing is taught in the Academy there.

Mr. Mogilevtsev combines accurate observational drawing with a sensitive appreciation of old master sculptures, paintings, and drawings. The book provides plenty of relevant examples by masters of the past.

He documents the production of two drawings: a female portrait and a male standing nude. Along with each step is an explanation of the thought process that helps lead to success, along with warnings about common mistakes. For example: "Common mistake: A knee of the supporting leg is accentuated instead of the protruding knee. As a result, the supporting leg appears bent at the knee."

I am impressed with the way Mr. Mogilevtsev emphasizes the importance of identifying a personal response before commencing with a drawing. He says: "A work of art creates its own emotional environment, and little by little, unobtrusively, it exerts its influence on a viewer."

The book is large format, hard-cover, and beautifully printed. It is a welcome addition to the methods taught in the Charles Bargue Drawing Course, which is used as a text in many American and European ateliers.
Fundamentals of Drawing (English Edition)
Previously: Russian Academic Books on Drawing and Painting


Shane White said...

Any timeline on the other books to be translated?


Janet Oliver said...

Thanks for this post. Just ordered the book and can't wait for it to arrive.

Unknown said...

This is funny, because right now I just finished an evening drawing class with Sergey Churbirko. Russian academic drawing is very interesting.

Wm said...

For more Russian anatomical wisdom, I recommend checking out Alexandr Ryzhkin. There are a bunch of his anatomical lectures and demos available, such as this this one — — which has him drawing a few feet, and then going around to correct students' work! Watching the corrections is great. There's another such video for the hand, and a few quite longer general anatomy talks.

It is all in rather rapid Russian, but watching him at work is pretty explanatory.

seadit said...

Cheers. I've been waiting for the English translation and there was only 1 available. BOOM!