Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sculpture and Coins

 If you love bas relief, there is no better way to improve your skills than by studying ancient coins.
Hemidrachm, 400-350 BC
Drawing studies from ancient Greek coins by Patrick Gracewood ©2011

Bonhams International Auctioneers and Appraisers is having an auction of coins and medals Dec 16
and and auction of the Meyer and Ebe Collection of Ancient Greek Coins on January 6, 2012.
Check out some of the beauties from the ancient coins. They are amazing.

I made these drawings to study the forms in these tiny masterpieces to better understand the sequence of cuts necessary to achieve the raised portions of the relief. Remember that all these are stamped from a die... so to create the positive sections the artist had to carve the image in the negative and backwards.

Our modern coins are so ugly compared to these. Do you have a favorite coin?


Theresa Cheek said...

Although not ancient, I love the old 500 lira Italian coin with its two different metals and design, but the british pound stands out as well...there is nothing like the feel of the edges with the grooves and symbols and the weight of british currency makes it stand easily apart from most other systems.

Jennifer Tetlow said...

What beautiful drawings, and I love the old coins, especially the one with barley and grasshopper - what an exciting post! Thanks.

Patrick Gracewood said...

Theresa, Would you share those coins with us on ART"S the Answer? I don't know them....and a story or two about one of your trips to Europe? please?

Patrick Gracewood said...

Jennifer, the animals on the old coins are so well understood, from cattle to lions, grasshoppers to roosters, crabs to dolphins. They were a vital part of life. It's up to us to make sure that the natural world doesn't disappear completely from urban awareness.
I foresee coins with pigeons, sparrows, crows, and some emblems of city currency.