Rather than focusing on “fixing” problems with one of my own drawings using Harry Carmean’s life drawings as a resource base as I had done in the last post, for this discussion I will focus on a major etching by Karel Dujardin (1622–78), The Battlefield (shown below). As before, I will again reference principles that I see in Carmean’s drawings—viz. sequence, line phrasing, weighing a line, exotopic tone and diversity (these will be explained shortly)—and once more I will employ digitally manipulation to illustrate my explanations.
Karel [also Carel] Dujardin (1622–78)
The Battlefield [La champ de bataille], 1652
Etching and drypoint on fine laid paper
State II (of II)
(sheet) 16.2 x 19.3 cm
Bartsch 1.28 (181); Hollstein 28.ii
(see also descriptions of this print at
and Harvard Art Museums http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/art/275948
[viewed 26 June 2014])
Although not documented in literature, note that the drawing of the horse shown on the left in The Battlefield is very similar to Dirk van der Stoop’s (c. 1615–86) drawing of a horse portrayed in his etching, Horse Led by Boy, executed a year earlier (see http://mobius.wellesley.edu/browser.php?m=objects&kv=15225&i=21375 [viewed 26 June 2014]). Interestingly, this etching by Stoop was later used by Necéphore Niépce in 1825 for one of the first heliographic prints (see de Font-Réaulx, Dominique 2012, Painting and Photography 1839–1914, Flammarion, Paris, p. 34).
Condition: Marvellous impression in excellent condition but cut on, or within, the platemark. There are conservator hinges attached verso from previous mounting.
Although I have proposed that the sequencing of the marks on the lit leg helps to express the horse’s movement, I also wish to propose that the seemingly irregular arrangement of contour marks on the shadow leg connotes the horse’s unease with its surroundings even if no obvious movement is actually represented. This suggestion of unease arises from the conundrum concerning the whereabouts of the viewer's eye-level in terms of the curvature of the lines rendering the shadow leg. By this I mean that artists usually represent contour marks at eye-level with a horizontal line while marks below eye-level are rendered with an increasingly more circular curvature the further they are away from eye level; a principle that also applies to marks above eye-level. Dujardin was fully aware of this principle as demonstrated in his rendering of the tree at the far-left in Dujardin’s Shepherdess Speaking to Her Dog (shown below). For this reason I see the irregular arrangement of marks in the leg as intentional and, from my viewpoint, the arrangement is an analogue for the horse's state of unease.
Karel Dujardin (1622–78)
Shepherdess Speaking to Her Dog [La Bergère Parlant à son chien], 1653
Etching on laid paper
(plate) 18.4 x 21.9 cm
Bartsch 31 (183); Hollstein 32
(See description at The British Museum: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3068933&partId=1&people=126491&peoA=126491-2-60&page=1 [viewed 3 July 2014])
This print has been sold
Before leaving the principle of line phrasing I also wish to revisit the principle of weighting a line, as discussed in the earlier post, Drawing Corners
(http://www.printsandprinciples.com/2012/09/pymble-orley-swanevelt-drawing-corners.html). The idea of weighting a mark can be very helpful for expressing a subject's weight in the sense of gravity acting on the figure as a mass. Essentially, weighting a mark involves an artist in accentuating the point of contact that a subject makes with the ground plane by making all lines darker and thicker towards the point of contact. Usually artists use this weighting principle as an added subtlety to line phrasing, in that, changes to the shape and tone within a stroke can address simultaneously the subject’s surface tensions and weight. For example, in Carmean's Study after Tintoretto (shown below), use of this principle is demonstrated by the darkening of the rapidly laid contour marks describing the figure's bent leg as the freely looped marks arc towards the ground (see the first detail below). Even the upper body has the same treatment in the sense that there is a transitional change in the strength of the lines down the back towards the figure's hips (see the second detail below).
Again, Dujardin's nude figure is not an ideal exemplar of the use of the principle of weighting a line. Accordingly, I have made an attempt to demonstrate the potential of employing this principle with the digital modifications to the same detail extracted from Dujardin's etching as explored with the last principle.