Page 1 of 17 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 251

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,028
    Thanks
    1,349
    Thanked 1,950 Times in 776 Posts

    Advanced Composition Discussion

    I’ve started this thread in order to continue a discussion that myself and Kev Ferrara were having over on the ALCHEMY still life thread in the ‘It’s finally finished’ section.
    It concerns the idea of what takes place in our imagination when we describe space into the flat surface of the picture plane. The activity can be thought of as a ‘modelling’ of forms whereby things are built up out of a formless matter that is ‘put there’ into the empty space of the picture plane, gradually filling it up. This I refer to as ‘Modelling conception’.
    However there is another imaginative fantasy involving the way the business of making an image is practiced in the mind of the artist. This is where the forms are felt to be ‘uncovered’ or ‘carved’ as if they were forms waiting to be released from the cube of white in a way analogous to the carver wresting the forms hidden in the block of stone. This I refer to as a ‘Carving conception’.

    Below is the discussion so far between myself and Kev. I hope others will join in as it is a little understood principle since most analysis of pictures is thought of from a ‘modelling’ viewpoint which is inadequate to explain what is happening in works that have been produced with a ‘carving’ proclivity.

    Chris Bennett:

    I think what everyone has been saying here is essentially right. But something else occurred to me:
    When looking at composition we can think of it as falling into what can be imagined as 'modelling conception' on one hand and 'carving conception' in the other. Modelling conception is an additive, building up of forms. Carving conception is an 'uncovering', a taking away to reveal the forms.
    Problems arrive when a modelling conception is used to try and produce a composition that would be the natural outcome of carving.
    Below are some extremely 'static' compositions but are alive and 'hum' with presence because they are conceived by a carving state of mind.
    .
    Attachment 290140

    Attachment 290141

    Attachment 290142

    Attachment 290145








    Kev Farrara replies:


    Chris... I'm not quite sure what you mean be carving versus adding...

    but rather than looking at anything too specifically, I think the graphics and vectors in two of these compositions do all the required explaining about what is causing their compositional dynamism.
    Attached Images

    Attachment 290147
    Attachment 290148




    Chris Bennett replies:

    Kev, there are carving and modeling elements in all paintings but it is a question of degree. For instance Piero Della Francesca, Bruegel, Morandi, Cezanne and Picasso were mainly 'carvers'. Van Eyck, Rubens, Rembrandt, Constable, Matisse were more 'modelers'. Of the 'illustrators' Frazetta and Rockwell are modelers, John Jude Palencar and Mark English are carvers with Jeff Jones being somewhere in the middle of the two.
    The vector analysis you made of the Morandi and the Cardin explains what is happening with the modeling component in these works, but in my view this is not their main method of realisation. They are essentially 'carving' paintings. To take a musical analogy; what you are pointing out is the melody (which is there, but not the thing that is taking the real strain of what these paintings are about) whereas these are 'harmonic' paintings - they are read 'all at once' more than experienced as a series of movements around the surface. The forms are rather to be explained as a series of pressures both of colour, tone and volume that steady each other, scratch each other's back if you will. The eye is invited to take in everything together and enjoy a stable solution of balance, involving a measured scanning movement, whereas in the modeling conception the eye is encouraged to move about and derive satisfaction from an eventful journey.
    Colour can be though of in the same way: Modeling colour is a tug of war whereas carving colour stresses their ultimate union in white.


    Kev Ferrara replies:

    Chris... we may be hijacking the thread but this is a very interesting topic to me so...

    I guess I have trouble grasping what you mean by "carving". I think I would say the distinction you are drawing is between "shapes and area" (eastern) versus "form and vector" (western).

    But, from my perspective shapes often have a vector components, and have edges that are vectors, or arms that are vectors... and shapes also comprise forms, so to me, an artist such as Jones or N.C. Wyeth is simply falling in the very middle of the circle with its compass points at vector, area, shape, and form.

    There are many Frazetta and Rockwell pieces that also fall in the middle (usually the best ones), though almost no Ruebens, who was a true "modeller". Meanwhile Diebekorn is all shape and area.

    The still life with water glass and kettle can also be analyzed in terms of shape and area.... as all good compositions should be able to. That is, a good composition should work as shapes and areas, but also as vectors and forms, simultaneously. In this case, though, the simplicity of the shape/area analysis seemed so calm, whereas the vector analysis was so obviously dynamic, that I thought I could better judge the cause of its dynamism by way of vectors.

    Does my understanding dovetail with what you mean?
    Attached Images
    Attachment 290151
    Last edited by Chris Bennett; February 1st, 2008 at 11:43 AM.
    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/

  2. The Following 13 Users Say Thank You to Chris Bennett For This Useful Post:

    + Show/Hide list of the thanked


  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    159
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    So, from what I gather from this conversation, the carving technique has more to do with negative space drawing (something I could never do correctly unless I'm having an "artistic" day).
    And the modeling technique is the opposite...that is building forms by "feeling them out"

    Is that right?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,028
    Thanks
    1,349
    Thanked 1,950 Times in 776 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jt4470 View Post
    So, from what I gather from this conversation, the carving technique has more to do with negative space drawing (something I could never do correctly unless I'm having an "artistic" day).
    And the modeling technique is the opposite...that is building forms by "feeling them out"

    Is that right?
    Yes, you are certainly on the right track except that negative space drawing is a by-product of the approach rather than its cause. What I talked about in the post above replying to Kev regarding the respect for the surface as the main principle behind the carving conception related to painting, applies to this.
    If you are thinking of maintaining the sense of the surface when painting or drawing, then any 'holes' appearing will be anathema to you. The holes in the space created by a modelling conception are to do with an almost exclusive regard for the form one is making and leaving the other areas as a 'non event'. If you are trying to maintain the integrity of the surface then you will have automatic regard for all the surface and the 'negative shapes' will not be experienced as such at all. Everything will have equal favour even though there will be a hierarchy of forms.
    Attachment 290735

    Attachment 290744
    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Chris Bennett For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    1,016
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 75 Times in 44 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    This thread interests me, though I haven't been able o read through it properly yet (lot's of pages, lot's of knowledge, lot's of text...)

    I have to interrupt for a second and ask who the author of this painting is. Any idea? Posted on the first page, and just beatiful
    .
    Currently doing my internship at Muskedunder Interactive
    portfolio - deviantart

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,028
    Thanks
    1,349
    Thanked 1,950 Times in 776 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by MorteM View Post
    This thread interests me, though I haven't been able o read through it properly yet (lot's of pages, lot's of knowledge, lot's of text...)

    I have to interrupt for a second and ask who the author of this painting is. Any idea? Posted on the first page, and just beatiful
    It is by a wonderful artist called Alex Kanevsky. His website is here
    http://www.somepaintings.net/Alex.html
    Prepare to be amazed and bent in half by what you will see here - it may fuck you up for a couple of months before you finish assimilating what he has done......
    Last edited by Chris Bennett; March 5th, 2008 at 09:15 PM.
    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Chris Bennett For This Useful Post:


  9. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    125
    Thanks
    64
    Thanked 71 Times in 33 Posts
    love your analitical eyes man,thank you...how about these....

  10. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,907
    Thanks
    816
    Thanked 2,279 Times in 625 Posts
    kev in regards to your analysis of the Uglow image you questioned the purpose of the component field's design, and stated that there was no real directionality to it. however seeing your vector shape breakdown (post 10) of the figure it seems hard for me personally to remove the vectors from the planning of the component field (post 11).

    such breakdowns shouldnt be analyzed independant of each other. to paraphrase gestalt's theory of unified design which i'm sure is old news to all of us "the sum of a composition is greater than any individual part"

    it almost seems to me that there is a directionality to the rhythmic structure of the component field. if the viewers eyes gets thrown off the windmill, so to speak it will likely be into the more vast area of the painting which the viewer has not yet 'explored'. the vertical tree serves to prevent the eye from roaming off of the picture plane. it is when the viewer reaches this point that i feel the underlying shapes of the background help to drive the viewer back to the complexity of the figure.

    so basically i'm proposing that the component field is a horizontal segway to transit the attention where the artist intends. it has a directionality in a pervese sublte way of trying to be unnoticed.

    anyway i hope that wasn't read with eyes rolling and saying "yes grief thanks for pointing out the bluntly obvious, go shut up". chris and kev good conversation, its given me a few new methods to approach the interest of pictoral 'flatness' that i've been seeking.

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,008
    Thanks
    175
    Thanked 700 Times in 293 Posts
    Chris-I still don't understand what you mean by the "carving conception" in the context of composition. Can you try another way of explaining it? I'm getting stuck on the words so far.

    I can understand what carving would mean in the context of building up form (clay vs. marble), but not in the context of composition.

  12. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,028
    Thanks
    1,349
    Thanked 1,950 Times in 776 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by dose View Post
    Chris-I still don't understand what you mean by the "carving conception" in the context of composition. Can you try another way of explaining it? I'm getting stuck on the words so far.

    I can understand what carving would mean in the context of building up form (clay vs. marble), but not in the context of composition.
    Sorry dose, you were obviously posting while I was replying to Kev. The amazing thing is that I have answered your question in that post! In a profound sense there is no separation between composing and what you are doing at any time on the canvas in the 'carving' mode. Everything is in relation to the rectangle, or respect to the surface in its entirety. When working in the carving mode the work is at all times in balance, in harmony with itself and the material that is its mother. The Michelangelo I posted above demonstrates this pretty well, as does the following image:
    Attachment 291685
    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/

  13. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,008
    Thanks
    175
    Thanked 700 Times in 293 Posts
    OK, I get what you are talking about.

    My old teacher used to say quite frequently "Drawing is division."

    Nice discussion- it's made some fuzzy understanding from before much more clear. Thanks.

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,679
    Thanks
    699
    Thanked 596 Times in 283 Posts
    It's maybe based upon a fibronacci sequence?

  15. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    3,430
    Thanks
    643
    Thanked 1,484 Times in 719 Posts
    To my untrained eye, those last few look a lot like the examples in Loomis of what he calls "informal subdivision"

    Or do I just need sleep/education?

    btw I see the fib spiral Craig D alludes to.

    Good reading either way, do carry on and I'll read it in the morning with some strong coffee.

  16. The Following User Says Thank You to Flake For This Useful Post:


  17. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,679
    Thanks
    699
    Thanked 596 Times in 283 Posts
    I'm guessing you two aren't big proponents of Occam's razor?

  18. The Following User Says Thank You to Craig D For This Useful Post:


  19. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    1,187
    Thanks
    785
    Thanked 666 Times in 165 Posts
    very interresting discussion guys!

  20. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,028
    Thanks
    1,349
    Thanked 1,950 Times in 776 Posts
    I think that song analogy of yours Kev is very good. I've been wondering about it all day, trying to find a loophole but it stands up extremely well. Even the fact that a song you like on first hearing gets better the fifth or sixth time around. You end up hearing it all at once - the first couple of bars you connect and relate to all the parts to come, all the way through to the last couple of bars. An icecube floating on it's own melting, as I am fond of saying. It allows also for songs that are evocations rather than little stories or accounts of a yearning or its process.
    I like your breakdown of the Frazetta too.

    Thinking of the song as evocation: Maybe that's not a 'vector' as it would be with a narrative subject. A cloud perhaps, an 'area' or 'field'. (We are back to carving and modelling as applied to subject, in this case 'evocation' and 'narrative'. I'm sure you are pleased about that!)
    Waterhouse's Lady of Shalott is good example to use since everyone knows this painting:
    Attachment 293831

    When I first saw this as a very young lad I knew nothing of painting and not even of the existence of Tennyson or his poems. I did not know what the picture was 'about'. But it touched something in me straight away - it probably even made me into a painter for all I know. Yet I seemed to 'understand' what it was about - as if the painting was made just for me alone and had been waiting for me. Of course it was not, but such was my complete feeling of empathy that I can describe it in no other way. It had made concrete a state of mind. It had, by the miracle of marks on a canvas, somehow pinned down an etherial notion of something I could not put a name to but now had seen a picture of.
    Of course, knowing the story we can explain why all the various elements are there - the willows, the river the tapestry etc. But these things don't really enhance the thing at all for me. The picture always returns to the experience of this slightly strange young woman in a boat where something is amiss because the tapestry is drooping in the water.
    Yet it must be working so strongly because the plastic elements are working so beautifully together. Is it possible to take this apart and see how this is being achieved in terms of delivering this 'evocation'?
    I'm going to have a think about it and have a go at doing this.
    What do think Kev?
    Or anybody else - don't be shy!
    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/

Page 1 of 17 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Advanced help needed with composition.
    By Hexokinase in forum Art Critique Center
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: June 24th, 2007, 06:30 PM
  2. Advanced help needed with composition.
    By Hexokinase in forum Art Critique Center
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: June 19th, 2007, 04:55 PM

Members who have read this thread: 6

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Developed Actively by the makers of the Best Amazon Podcast