Pictured here are examples of Advanced Bargue drawings that my "classical realist" students use for practice and enrichment of their advanced drawing skills. The value of doing these drawings (of which there are about 50-60 in the full set), is that students learn many things simultaneously:
- Blocking in major dark and light areas (light separation)
- 3 value massing (i.e. simplifying forms to 3 values in order to quickly establish a composition and 3 dimensionality)
- Creating effective/meaningful light transitions
- Review of anatomic structure and measurements on the human form
- Understanding classical beauty and composition
if you have ever considered doing a series of Bargue drawings for practice, it is valuable to start with the simplified forms of the basic drawings first. The result is that your later drawings build faster and require less concern about calibrating the different values along the form. But, most importantly, think about the way the greek and roman figures in these original statues are positioned. Copying them can help you learn about classical gesture and composition
If you're wondering: "Should you draw from life or do these Bargue drawings (and cast drawings) first?"
My opinion is: "Both!"
You don't want to get tied up or limited to only one genre of drawing. Instead, practice your series of Bargue drawings when you can't work from life and then work from life every time you find an opportunity. The two experiences will complement each other.