4 Proportions and procedure
6 Portrait gallery
GIOVANNI CIVARDI was born in Milan in 1947. While training to become a sculptor, portrait artist and illustrator at the Free Life-Study School of the Accademia di Brera, he also studied medicine and surgery. For over a decade, he worked as an illustrator, producing commissions for newspapers, magazines and book covers. During frequent trips to France and Denmark, Civardi put on one-man exhibitions of this work and pursued his interest in studying the relationship between medical anatomy and the human form as depicted by the artist. His experience gained from teaching anatomy, life drawing and portraiture in schools and institutions over many years has led to the publication of numerous books in which Civardi's experiences are brought into focus.
Artists have been using grids to aid perspective and proportion for centuries. The basic idea itself is as simple as it sounds. As ever Giovanni Civardi proceeds largely by example and with few or no words. Initial remarks cover features in proportion and are useful in themselves. The remainder of the book covers a series of worked examples that show you how to lay the basic shapes out on an 8x10 grid and then fill in size, shape, shadows and detail. Its devastatingly simple and disarmingly effective.* The Artist *
This new series from the prolific and always worthwhile Giovanni Civardi does what it says on the tin.
The use of grids vastly simplifies any composition that requires perspective or proportion and artists have been using them for centuries; it's what the camera obscura was for. Giovanni's method doesn't require any equipment and he demonstrates how to draw up an 11 x 8 rectangular grid that contains your subject: in this case, just the head and neck. There are initial notes on anatomy, features and proportions, the bulk of each volume then being occupied by a series of worked examples that progress from the initial outline on the grid to Giovanni's usual sensitive result.
With so many books to his credit, finding new approaches is getting tricky and there's inevitably a degree of repetition to the coverage. However, Giovanni is an artist of great skill and always worth a read. In this case, the simplicity he has introduced is, I think, a welcome novelty.* Artbookreview.net *
Giovanni Civardi has spent decades drawing, painting and teaching portraiture and has written numerous books on the subject. The lastest two provide a quick solution to students wanting to draw expressive portraits, using grids to capture their subjects accurately. Starting from a photograph, Giovanni clearly explains how to create a pencil sketch, using a grid to transfer one section at a time. With practice the student will be able to create detailed drawings from photgraphs and build the confidence to tackle subject from life.* The Leisure Painter *