When it comes to explaining how to do shadows, everyone speaks about stumping; however, I often hear people criticizing stumping as well…
So here’s my question: I’d like to know whether stumping is a good technique and, if not, why it isn’t, and what method should be used in its place?
That’s a never-ending debate! Stumping has its followers and its detractors – among which I count myself
I respect everyone’s choice, but let me give you my opinion about the subject.
When I started drawing portraits (I was probably around 16), I used to stump like all beginners do because I had the impression that it would improve my work by hiding my pencil strokes…
Later, I was lucky enough to follow a training course at the Beaux-Arts in Paris (a renowned art school), and my teachers taught me the art of drawing with strokes that doesn’t dull or tarnish the whole picture the way stumping might. Drawing with strokes is a lot more time-consuming than working with stumping. Indeed, you have to hatch with light strokes, over and over again, because it’s the amount of hatchings that creates the intensity of the shade, and not the pressure which you exert while making them.
The best is for you to get an idea for yourself. And, furthermore, the great masters of the Past are there to teach us through the works of art that they’ve left behind. Among these master pieces, look for one in which the painter used stumping and let me know if you find one, because I’d be curious to see what it’s like!
I’m not in favor of stumping either. You can immediately spot a painting done with stumping, and I don’t think it looks natural. It gives the impression that the drawing is dirty. I don’t know how to express it, but a stumped portrait just looks wrong, and lacks character. It’s really hard to reproduce the expression of a face through stumping.
Obviously, this is only my opinion; everyone is free to work however he or she wishes to, and I respect that.
Messages : 2,927
Inscription : 12/7/09
City : Melun, France
May 1, 2011 11:45 AM
I am not sure if you talk to stump with the fingers, for example, to draw the shadows, if this is the case, I would say to you that the correct approach is that with which you feel good to reach of making the same. There is no A good method, but there are a hundreds ways. It depends also the paper you use.
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Messages : 435
Inscription : 6/16/11
City : La Chapelle-La-Reine, France
October 28, 2011 12:18 PM
I totally agree with Webster ! When I studied at the Atelier de Sèvres in Paris (preparatory class fine arts), teachers explained that the stump was killing the drawing ! It is more preferable for a person to learn to work without drawing stumps. Then, if that person wants to test stump, why not ?
"Le plus grand danger qui nous guette n'est pas de viser un but trop élevé et de le manquer, mais plutôt de choisir une cible trop modeste et de l'atteindre". [Michel-Ange]