THE STORY​

The work of painter Gianluca Rotelli can be found in private collections throughout Italy and abroad. His paintings are executed directly from life, using the traditional techniques favoured by the great masters of the Italian Renaissance.

Gianluca Rotelli was born in Livorno, and graduated from the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Firenze in 1997.

In 2000, studying under the supervision of Daniel Graves at the Florence Academy of Art, he was awarded a scholarship in recognition of his artistic talents. During his three years of study, he learned in-depth the sight-size method and specialized in oil painting techniques. His charcoal drawings of classical statues on “carta Roma” paper can currently be seen at the exhibition gallery of the Florence Academy of Art.

In 2009, his  interest in the Russian drawing method led him to study with Russian Professor Vitalii Borovik, from the Repin State Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersburg.

 

METHOD OF DRAWING BY LEONARDO DA VINCI

 

Da Vinci on Proportion and the human body:

For the human body is so designed by nature that the face, from the chin to the top of the forehead and the lowest roots of the hair, is a tenth part of the whole height; the open hand from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger is just the same; the head from the chin to the crown is an eighth, and with the neck and shoulder from the top of the breast to the lowest roots of the hair is a sixth; from the middle of the breast to the summit of the crown is a fourth. If we take the height of the face itself, the distance from the bottom of the chin to the under side of the nostrils is one third of it; the nose from the under side of the nostrils to a line between the eyebrows is the same; from there to the lowest roots of the hair is also a third, comprising the forehead. The length of the foot is one sixth of the height of the body; of the forearm, one fourth; and the breadth of the breast is also one fourth. The other members, too, have their own symmetrical proportions, and it was by employing them that the famous painters and sculptors of antiquity attained to great and endless renown.

Then again, in the human body the central point is naturally the navel. For if a man be placed flat on his back, with his hands and feet extended, and a pair of compasses centred at his navel, the fingers and toes of his two hands and feet will touch the circumference of a circle described therefrom. And just as the human body yields a circular outline, so too a square figure may be found from it. For if we measure the distance from the soles of the feet to the top of the head, and then apply that measure to the outstretched arms, the breadth will be found to be the same as the height, as in the case of plane surfaces which are perfectly square.

 

 

 

THE SIGHT-SIZE METHOD

 

The sight-size method was very popular up until the end of the nineteenth century. This system has been seen to result in remarkably swift progress for students attempting to develop their drawing skill. Although the precise inventor of this drawing method is unknown, we do know that the French painters Gerome and Bargue collectively wrote and composed this unique book, Drawing Course, in 1868. Despite practically disappearing from circulation at the start of the twentieth century, fortunately, we can now buy or download PDFs of this book from the internet thanks to it being republished in the United States at the turn of the millennium. On its original publication,  it was immediately adopted by the French Academies at the end of the nineteenth century and became a true beacon for young students who had wanted to learn the fundamentals of drawing.  It also served as a guide for copying classical statues, the human figure  and finally portraits from life. It now has the mythical status of being a significant piece of art education history, but also of still being highly useful and resulting in students’ progress thanks to its unique method.