The Renaissance drawings that inspire me to copy are more a motif of observation. Like when I used to watch and rather observe the clouds in my childhood. Their capricious, vaporous and changing construction does not detract from their attraction and suggestion. To the mastery of execution in Renaissance drawings we must add their material history, the technique, the support, and the correlate of the subject of the specific drawing. All this contained in a surface of a few square centimetres shows a very rich universe.
My admiration for and identification with the great masters of the Renaissance is a consequence of feeding on their sap, of following their aesthetic proposals, and thus learning in real practice from the sketches and drawings of the masters. Because these Renaissance drawings, apparently more humble than their finished works and the final art, are the essence, the matter and mother base of the art of the great masters of the Renaissance.
The models from which I draw my inspiration are very subtle drawings. The originals were made with techniques that require a certain virtuosity. Black stone, dry point, silver point, etc. I have reproduced them by combining them mostly with graphite and oil. And on highly polished surfaces, such as ceramic tiles, resulting in a clean and clear result.
The choice of support for the copies is due to their appearance. For, in contrast to the irregular and random motif of the backgrounds offered by this support, the line of the Renaissance drawing appears clear and coherent.
Recycling tiles and stoneware
This is why, in order to make use of the remains of tiles and stoneware, the models I was inspired by invited me to make use of these specific supports.
In some cases they are similar to the appearance of vellum material on which it was drawn or similar to the surface of the boards prepared for it. In any case, I look for the aspect to have a reference or relationship with the particular Renaissance drawing. For example, because it is a sketch for a marble sculpture, as in the case of Michelangelo’s Night, or because it is a sketch related to a fresco painting.
This is also why they lend themselves to the challenge and skill of drawing freehand, without tracings or stencils. This challenge helps to identify with the original authors, to empathise with their creative thinking. Their sensitivity and love for their work is also evident to those of us who follow them, learning from the actual practice of their sketches and drawings.
More on sketches….