Warning - do not start unless you have some time to spare, a comfy chair and refreshment to hand! :)
|The Elements of Drawing website|
Who is John Ruskin?
John Ruskin was an eminent Victorian whose range of interests was enormous. He was a prominent thinker and leading art critic of the era. He painted - mainly in watercolours - wrote a seminal book about drawing, promoted both Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites and engaged in a major argument and lawwith Whistler. He was also a philanthropist.
- Ruskin as writer and artist
- Ruskin at Oxford
- Ruskin’s Drawing School & teaching methods
- The Collections of Ruskin’s Drawing School
- Collection history
Ruskin established his Drawing School at Oxford in 1871. He intended it not for the training of artists, but of ordinary men and women, who, by following his course, ‘might see greater beauties than they had hitherto seen in nature and in art, and thereby gain more pleasure in life’. His method required the student to master the rudiments of technique – outline, shading, colour – through a carefully directed course of lessons in copying both works of art and natural specimens.The new website - The elements of drawing
The artworks which Ruskin assembled to teach his students are catalogued and kept in Oxford. However for the first time they have now been made available online - although it would appear not a lot of people are aware of them - hence this post.
The Elements of Drawing is a new website devoted to John Ruskin's Teaching Collection. It was published online this summer and is huge and complex. I've tried to tease just some of it out in this post - but there's more to find if you keep clicking on the links.
The website is a product of a collaboration between two organisations which form part of the University of Oxford
Ruskin's catalogues of images plus two specific collections of Ruskin's artwork
- John Ruskin's Oxford teaching collection - Ruskin divided his Teaching Collection of images into four main series: Standard, Reference, Educational and Rudimentary.
John Ruskin assembled 1470 diverse works of art for use in the Drawing School he founded at Oxford in 1871
|Highlights: 50 objects from the Ruskin Cabinet Series|
I wish you to learn to outline first; to colour next; and to shade last. Not but that you are partly to learn colour while you chiefly practise outline; and shade while you chiefly practise colour: but you must try to conquer the difficulties of the three processes in that orderLearn to draw
This is introduced by Stephen Farthing RA who was the Ruskin Master of Drawing at the University of Oxford from 1990 - 2000. He is now the Rootstein Hopkins Reseach Professor of Drawing at the University of the Arts, London.
The online resources explain the basic principles of drawing by using the collection of drawings compiled by Ruskin
- Lesson 1: tip of the pencil
- Lesson 2: the edge of the pencil
- Lesson 3: toned paper
- Lesson 4: drawing with a brush
- Lesson 5: measured drawing
- Lesson 6: with colour
- Lesson 7: field notes
- Lesson 8: creativity
- The resources and exercises are targeted at Art & Design GCSE and A level teachers and students.
- However they will help anybody who is serious about attempting to learn about and improve their drawing skills.
Go first to Nature........Omit nothing, select nothing, scorn nothingJohn Ruskin - advice to artists on the importance of nature and how to approach drawing Nature
- Nature -
- four videos
- Ruskin dialogues Inchbold high res
- Ruskin Inchbold discussion hi res
- Ruskin workshop bird exercise
- Ruskin workshop rock exercise
- plus images from the Ruskin teaching collection
- Nature exercise 1- Line
- Nature exercise 2- Tone
- Nature exercise 3 - Colour
- Architecture -
- video: Ruskin workshop architecture at OUMNH
- architecture images from the Ruskin Teaching collection
- Architecture - practical exercises
- Architecture - practical exercises 2 - these exercises were geared up to drawing the Oxford Museum of Natural History however they are equally applicable to alternative buildings. Ones of similar age and ornamentation might be more suitable.
- Architecture practical exercises 3 Again these exercise relate to the museum - but the examples are from Venice. Drawing a streetscape would achieve the same effect re perspective and aerial perspective
- Architecture practical exercises 4 This is about getting to grips with ornamentation and giving it proper volume
- Landscape - this section deals with imagination rather than observation
- video: Ruskin workshop Dialogues Turner Ehrenbreitstein (6.17mins)
- landscape images from Ruskin teaching collection
- Landscape: exercises 1 - mark-making this considers how a variety of mark-making might best describe a landscape and reflect the sense of space
- Landscape: exercises 2 - colour This examines how mood and atmosphere can be portrayed through the use of colour
Ruskin over painted with china white to suggest mist in the valleys.
- Narrative Ruskin's thoughts were typically geared towards the type of art of the time although it doesn't take a lot of imagination to see how this translates to modern artwork for narratives - graphical and otherwise
- video - Ruskin workshop Dialogue Holman Hunt Druids
- Narrative: practical exercises 1 - Illustration and text focusing on how to design a page which contains text which tells a story and an image which illustrates it
- Narrative: practical exercises 2 - Heroes and Legends - and how these can be portrayed
Incidentally I didn't find the search function very helpful. You may have more luck with it than I did.