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Thread: Realism vs construction(a guide to choosing the right art education)

  1. #301
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    about repin academy painting

    I will try to look up more examples from Repin Academy, but I understand Mydrako's question about the looseness.

    Actually, the paintings done by the restoration students are done in the glazing technique, so they are more like the Old Master technique, and some of the ones I saw could almost pass as forgeries.

    However, these are special excercises, where they either copy at the Hermitage or paint a still life, since it takes for ever. They don't do that much in terms of portraits or figures (at least I have not see those).

    Most Repin students work in the 19th century tradition of direct alla prima painting using the whole spectrum of colors just like Repin. By the way, Repin has a lot of very loose paintings, especially his studies for multi-figure compositions. He was very much influenced by Manet and French impressionists. He is probably the one who braught the Impressionism to Russia. If you see any of his paintings upclose, you will notice how loose they are, but they work as a unity from a distance (that's talent by the way, and not a matter of loose or tight). The same applies to many of Rembrandt's paintings. A painting can be very loose, but still read as a solid and unified piece from the distance.

    I have a few friends at the restoration department and I will ask them to email me some of their work. Can't promise anything, because most of them are shy.

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  3. #302
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    I am going to post something radical. Just a thought that comes into my mind. Are we holding the renaissance artists at a pedestal simply because we want to have masters to admire? Do we give them the title of masters because they are truly extraordinary or simply because they have been dead for hundred of years? Already, the passing of time have make people nowadays put people like sargent, repin in the same room as the renaissance masters ( I dont deny I hold sargent and repin in high regard )

    Or is it simply the lack of documentation of their painting method shroud them in such mystery that people feel they are unattainable? Do we admire their craft and techniques or their monumental quality to their work? Some people regard Rembrandt as the best artist ever, some people love Vermeer, some Velázquez. However, i am at times more moved by a repin painting than a titian painting, or a waterhouse painting than a vermeer painting.

    Many times people say copy the renaissance but their works they produce bare no resemblance to the renaissance works. So what exactly should we be learning from them? What did repin see in renaissance works that make him admire them so much and how does it translate into his work?

    Just some random thought of a very sleep dude... forgive me if I have offended anyone. I still love Michelangelo....

    Last edited by JS Neo; January 14th, 2010 at 09:55 AM.
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  5. #303
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    another thought

    On the issue of modesty.

    It jugged my memory reading an exhibit catalogue for one of these American "contemporary masters of realism" where the ciritic wrote that this person went further than Titian and Velasques in his treatment of the figure.

    And, anyone who knows this artist (a very good artist, no question) should not hold it against him, since he did not write it himself.

    The catalogue was very good, excellent quality photos, perfect package. But, these gallery people and their paid critics would not stop at anything just to sell, and I think that might be the reason for the generally low standards of art.

    I've seen some of it in Russia as well, not to the same extent though since they are not yet as commercially savvy.

    It's like a lot of things we have today even when you buy a newly constructed house or watch one of those popular movies with tonns of special effects, beautiful packaging by not mch substance for the mind or soul.

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  7. #304
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    answering mydrako

    [QUOTESo what exactly should we be learning from them? What did repin see in renaissance works that make him admire them so much and how does it translate into his work?

    Just some random thought of a very sleep dude... forgive me if I have offended anyone. I still love Michelangelo....[/QUOTE]

    Repin and the others saw perfection, total harmony, unity (yes, it might be just words, but I don't know how else to describe it).

    I heard a quote form Plato "God loves geometry". But it's not pure geometry, of course, it's geometry done by humans with feelings, usually very religious and spiritual.

    Of course, everything is a matter of taste and your own preference. Repin and Sargent are closer to us, than these guys in terms of subject matter and how they saw the world in general.

    And many people consider late Renaissance much weaker than early Renaissance and generally weeaker than the Greeks or the art of Byzantia. I personally somewhat fit into that category myself.

    When we are learning the craft, it is easier for us to look at Mogilevtsev's book or a painting by Repin. Most of us (I am sure there are exceptions out there) just lack the sophistication of the earlier artists, and we need things to be explained to us in layman's terms, step by step. I call it "Ikea furniture method". This is exactly how Mogilevtsev presented his book to his students (we are all primitive, and here is a primitive book for you). Nobody was offended though, we all loved the book and used it extensively.

    However, if you copy a portrait by Titian, you would see how much more sophisticated and complete he is compared to any 19th century painter. But, until you start painting yourself, it's virtually impossible to realize. The same goes for Greek sculpture as opposed to a 19th century sculpture. How come all the casts we copy at these schools are by the Greeks?

    When he was in school himself, Repin would put a few pencil strokes every night before going to bed on his Hercules drawing (or one of these Greek busts, may be not Hercules), that's what I heard.

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  9. #305
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    I think I will have to spent the next many posts posting all the drawings I have from the renaissance masters.

    I don't really believe in talent myself. I agree with Jonas, that we need to find the methods that the old artists used and then just work hard.
    As for the renaissance masters, Boris wasn't on the same level, but he must have made some important discoveries, for the drawings of his students have many renaissance qualities that, in comparison, american trained artists such as Bridgeman or Vilppu lack.

    Please take a look at this drawing.



    I would like people just to be honest and tell me what they think?

    As for the construction I can say that it's done with invented light - something that they don't teach at the Repin(am I right Lena?)
    Then right away you are FORCED to construct. And you will be using basic shapes, but you are free in your construction of these shapes - you are the master.

    The reason for using boxes and cylinders is not just a consideration of perspective, it also has something to do with the renderering. You can render smooth, or more planar.

    The point of a drawing such as this is to give the illusion of 3 dimensions on a flat piece of paper. No realism!
    Then what is being trained is the visual communication of form in space, freedom and experimentation is a necessary part of learning that.
    The final stages of a training in this Boris system would be to do Michelangelo or Leonardo copies, to figure out why these masters did what they did.

    The approach to the master copy is also very analytical. The goal isn't a 100% identical copy, but to learn what went through the head of this master artist, how he solved the light, the composition, the construction, etc.

    So in this system being analytical actually equals freedom.

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    "beating the dead horse"

    To Hummel1dane.

    First of all, I don't think this drawing of a horse was done by Boris Kazakov. I suspect it's by a student of his. Am I right?

    As an excercise, it's a good drawing, nothing wrong with it. I suspect it is done by a student of Kazakov because it lacks sensitivity and unity that a professional would have, which Boris Kazakov definitely was. It is a bit more like a medical illustration not artistic anatomy. But, as students we always do that, because we treat things separately, and that's OK.

    Hopefully, when this person works from life he'd memorize this anatomy and construction and will draw with more sensitivity.

    I think a better way to study these things is to sculpt the actual ecorche. I am pretty sure this drawing is done from a cast which is widely available in Russia.

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    Lena - yes you have sharp eye, forgot to wrote it was a drawing done by a student of his. But this is very technical knowledge that is required to get to this state - something that talent can not give alone.
    That was my point.

    Do you know of people in Russia who can draw like this and who teaches? Are there any Repin professors specialized in renaissance drawing?

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    answering hummel1dane

    The only person who teaches this kind of drawing is Zaitsev. I know you did not like his students' work, but he has a variety of students, and I did not think Zaitsev's students were any worse than Kazakov's students.

    Zaitsev is just as good of a teacher as Kazakov. He teaches privately in his studio and it's always full. Being a Mukhina professor, he mostly helps high schools seniors to prepare for Mukhina entrance exams.

    I chose Zaitsev over Kazakov for our New York students after asking all my Mukhina friends and their opinions. I also spoke with Kazakov over the phone and he was drunk, so he could not answer any of my questions like tuition and etc. But, in Russia, that's not exactly a sin, everyone drinks, so I did not hold it against him, I just could not work out the details with him.

    There is another Mukhina teacher, Alexander Lavrentiev, who is also excellent and was very highly recommended. So, if you ever want to meet with any of those guys, I can definitely put you in touch. They are all quite old, in their late seventies I believe.

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    Michelangelo's drawing school

    Ah yes, I know Boris had a drinking problem. From what I've heard he couldn't teach a thing when he was drunk.
    I've been told that his teaching standards were higher in the past, many years before his death.

    I would like to see more Zaitsev drawings if you have some that are more finished, very long poses done by his best students.
    What you showed are the early stages. If you could please also post from the other professor you mentioned.

    I won't go to Russia myself, judging from what you posted, I actually think the Drawing academy in Denmark has a higher standard than the Mukhina.
    The problem with the drawing academy is that it's only one semester, people can take it again, of course, but usually the longest a student stays is one year. Even so, I've seen some first semester students produce drawings I like better than what you've posted - that tells me a lot.

    I'm mostly just curious as to where this stuff is being taught, and what kind of standard those schools have.

    Do you know about Moscow? Do they have a renaissance aimed academy?

    These drawings here were all done by Michelangelo students way back. I would like you to explain why these are considered artistical anatomy, and why the horse posted earlier isn't?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hummel1dane View Post
    I think I will have to spent the next many posts posting all the drawings I have from the renaissance masters.

    I don't really believe in talent myself. I agree with Jonas, that we need to find the methods that the old artists used and then just work hard.
    As for the renaissance masters, Boris wasn't on the same level, but he must have made some important discoveries, for the drawings of his students have many renaissance qualities that, in comparison, american trained artists such as Bridgeman or Vilppu lack.

    Please take a look at this drawing.



    I would like people just to be honest and tell me what they think?

    As for the construction I can say that it's done with invented light - something that they don't teach at the Repin(am I right Lena?)
    Then right away you are FORCED to construct. And you will be using basic shapes, but you are free in your construction of these shapes - you are the master.

    The reason for using boxes and cylinders is not just a consideration of perspective, it also has something to do with the renderering. You can render smooth, or more planar.

    The point of a drawing such as this is to give the illusion of 3 dimensions on a flat piece of paper. No realism!
    Then what is being trained is the visual communication of form in space, freedom and experimentation is a necessary part of learning that.
    The final stages of a training in this Boris system would be to do Michelangelo or Leonardo copies, to figure out why these masters did what they did.

    The approach to the master copy is also very analytical. The goal isn't a 100% identical copy, but to learn what went through the head of this master artist, how he solved the light, the composition, the construction, etc.

    So in this system being analytical actually equals freedom.


    Discussing drawings or paintings by contemporary artists which I believe is the case in this instance is always tricky and easily comes off as disrespectful, especially when the artist isn't present to defend him-herself.

    For that reason I wanted to direct my comments to your statements made about it rather then the artwork itself.
    To my eye, and in my humble opinion this drawing or the other ones you posted from Boris Kazakov's students do not resemble renaissance qualities. Or Florentine school qualities for that matter. ( The term renaissance is also wildly used in this thread, mostly disregarding the differences between various schools, artists or the fact that it spanned nearly 3 centuries which accounts for an enormous amount of diversity in styles, methods and aesthetics ). At least not compared to drawings where the intent was to draw a horse or a human body or other organic living things.
    I also think the question of proper intent is key and may be the cause for confusion or things getting mixed up in this discussion.

    For example, if the intent of the artist in drawing the horse was to make a study of a stylized horse with a focus on particular symbolically defined structure and muscle groups then I think it's a good drawing.
    If on the other hand the intent was to make a study of an actual living horse or to study the actions of light, or to study how an artist as Michelangelo defined organic structure in his drawings by using this horse as an example then I think the artist has much to work on..

    When you say the drawing was constructed using an imaginary light source it's confusing as construction and the study of light are 2 different concepts to me. ( it would be similar to saying "as for the lighting, it was done using geometric construction" )

    Which brings me to the 3d aspect that you mentioned. To my eye, this drawing is rendered using a specific shading system that has no resemblance to the actions of light or how they appear to the eye. In that sense it doesn't appear to have believable volume to me.


    The reason for using boxes and cylinders is not just a consideration of perspective, it also has something to do with the renderering. You can render smooth, or more planar.
    Again, this is very confusing to me. Describing the interaction of light on form is different from the structural or anatomical understanding of form.

    Best regards,
    Tom

    www.tomvandewouwer.com

    "There is no such thing as 'accurate drawing'. There is beautiful
    drawing, and ugly, and nothing else." JAD Ingres, Ecrits sur l'art
    (1780-1865)"
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    Quote Originally Posted by hummel1dane View Post
    I would like to see more Zaitsev drawings if you have some that are more finished, very long poses done by his best students.
    What you showed are the early stages. If you could please also post from the other professor you mentioned.

    I won't go to Russia myself, judging from what you posted, I actually think the Drawing academy in Denmark has a higher standard than the Mukhina.
    The problem with the drawing academy is that it's only one semester, people can take it again, of course, but usually the longest a student stays is one year. Even so, I've seen some first semester students produce drawings I like better than what you've posted - that tells me a lot.

    Sorry, I don't have any photos from Zaitsev or the other professors at Mukhina. Joe Menna studied with Zaitsev, so you can judge by his drawings. Also, I don't know first hand about other schools in Moscow. But I believe Surikov Institute might have a website and there is Glazunov Academy website.


    These drawings here were all done by Michelangelo students way back. I would like you to explain why these are considered artistical anatomy, and why the horse posted earlier isn't?
    About the Michelangelos' students drawings, what can I say? I am not the ultimate judge here anyway, and like it was posted by ArtAddict, why criticize someone who can't defend himself (the student who drew the horse).
    What is artistic and what is not? Why is Rembrandt in a museum and why Bob Rembrandt (just made it up) is not in a museum?

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    Tom - I would like to debate this in more details, but as the strict construction/sculptural school of drawing that I in general refer to as the renaissance system, is very complicated, I can say that I do not have time to go further into details at the moment. It's also too complicated to discuss this with words, it should be shown visually.

    I will be making tutorials designed to teach this system in the future, to the best of my ability.

    The strength of it is that it's a principle based system dealing specificaly with the question as to how do we give the illusion of form in 3d space.
    This also deals with considerations of specific bad angles of viewing the life-model, that doesn't communiate a beautiful pose etc.
    It deals with overlapping of lines - to give the sense of one form being behind another.

    As for something having believable volume - in this system the point is to have depth in the drawing, realism isn't any consideration.
    As for depth, drawing from a higher angle would give a better perspective, then the hoofs wouldn't be on the same line, but on a tilted ground plane.
    Looking at it from a 3/4 view would be another way to get rid of the flat feeling.
    These are the considerations that are trained in this conceptual system.
    I would like to think that Boris gave the student this exercise to train in creating a 3d feeling, in such a flat view. That is by no means easy!

    Looking at Michelangelo's figure studies will give you a good idea as to how unrealistic this system can be.
    But if one wants to pursue more realism, such as Leonardo, it's just a matter of adding the study of light etc.
    Also I believe Leonardo was the first artist ever to consider the way color works in real life, how one colored object reflects colored light onto another object next to it.
    Early renaissance artists would just use color more or less the way they drew, following the sculptural structure of the form, not understanding realistic behaviour of light.
    At least that's what I've picked up from the book -
    The Science of Art: Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat
    http://www.amazon.com/Science-Art-Op.../dp/0300052413

    You wrote : "( it would be similar to saying "as for the lighting, it was done using geometric construction" )"

    Yes this is what I'm saying. Light is attached to form. Light is figured out by comparing the angle of the plane to the imagined lightsource. Then artists such as Michelangelo would take even further freedoms and introduce those lightsources practically everywhere.
    Also the secondary reflected light-source is important.

    You can check out the tutorials I'm working on, I haven't gone far, but it can give you an understanding of the basics of this system.
    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=178694

    As for criticizing this drawing - if I'm not mistaking there is a very famous black and white copy at the drawing academy that I've had my own drawings compared to on an almost daily basis. This was the same for all my class-mates.
    It deserves a bit of critique itself!

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    This thread is jumping around too much .... haa (i am to blame too for introducing random topics )

    Most Repin students work in the 19th century tradition of direct alla prima painting using the whole spectrum of colors just like Repin. By the way, Repin has a lot of very loose paintings, especially his studies for multi-figure compositions. He was very much influenced by Manet and French impressionists. He is probably the one who braught the Impressionism to Russia. If you see any of his paintings upclose, you will notice how loose they are, but they work as a unity from a distance (that's talent by the way, and not a matter of loose or tight). The same applies to many of Rembrandt's paintings. A painting can be very loose, but still read as a solid and unified piece from the distance.

    I have a few friends at the restoration department and I will ask them to email me some of their work. Can't promise anything, because most of them are shy.
    It is true that Repin work is very loose on close examination and even rembrandt work is just a mess of thick paint on close up, but when viewed from far, they have great unity and clarity in terms of rendering, form suggestion. These are some of the things I find lacking in many of the loose painting I find nowadays. I would love to see those works from your friends from teh restoration department.

    I have a feeling I am not at a level of skill and ability to fully appreciate the renaissance artists. It seems that we always start our learning process from the recent artists that we admire, then as we progress, we move on to the artists that our heroes admire, and this goes on indefinitely, until we die i guess.... I think I have to see a renaissance painting in real life before I can appreciate it fully.

    Topic of painting
    While the others are debating on drawing, I am curious to know whats the way painting is being taught now in schools. Drawing seems to have fairly well defined system of teaching but I have never really heard much of system of teaching painting. As mentioned before, florence academy and their likes have their way of teaching painting which is to use charcoal as a teaching medium, and slowly let student move to monochromatic painting, then full color painting. Any information on how painting is taught in other schools? Why is it taught in that way?

    -JS Neo

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    "The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting." Van Gogh
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  27. #314
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mydrako View Post
    I have a feeling I am not at a level of skill and ability to fully appreciate the renaissance artists. It seems that we always start our learning process from the recent artists that we admire, then as we progress, we move on to the artists that our heroes admire, and this goes on indefinitely, until we die i guess.... I think I have to see a renaissance painting in real life before I can appreciate it fully.
    Come to Florence and I'll give you a museum tour!

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    Considering the Mukhina vs Repin debate, this drawing from that Repin professor's studio makes use of a lot the principles of visual communication that is the core of the Boris//Zaitsev/Mukhina system.
    In other words it's a very strong drawing, that has those "renaissance" qualities that I'm talking about - a very good visual communication of form.



    To me it seems that the confusion is between "principles" and "style"

    Looking at a Bouguereau painting, although it may not be in the exact style of the renaissance, I still see a lot of the same principles at work.
    Look at how he clearly seperates every element with natural outlining(every element brought together in a way that natural outlines are created).
    This is design and has nothing to do with realism what so ever.

    And then compare this work to the work of a contemporary realist artist.

    This is the dimension of technique that I call "the renaissance system". An analytical way of working in order to solve the problems of form in space presented on a flat surface. It has nothing to do with style.



    Last edited by hummel1dane; January 15th, 2010 at 05:58 AM.
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    I'll be here all night if I thank every single post, so I'll say a big thanks here to everyone posting in this debate . Learned a lot of things by reading through this thread.

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    alla prima painting at repin academy

    Mydrako,

    Here are a few stages of typical student painting at Repin Academy.

    Again, this is alla prima or direct painting. Like I mentioned before, restoration students also work in the old master technique, I've seen them do so, but I don't have any images of work in progress or finished work.

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    old master copies by Repin students

    here is a photo at the restoration department studio of the students' old master copies.

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    Last edited by lena murray; January 15th, 2010 at 01:39 PM. Reason: submit photo
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    more copies by restoration students repin academy

    Student copies done at the Hermitage and the Russian Museum.

    This is a tour we have of the Academy when we came with the American students in 2005. Ilya Mirochnik and James Sondow are on this picture, both now degree students at the Academy.

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  39. #320
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    Thank you so much Lena, this is very important info!

    I think I confused you in a previous post - I called the drawings done by Boris students stronger, or something similar - what I ment was, they are braught to a higher degree of finish compared to the Mukhina drawings you posted. Those Mukhina drawings are great! They are just not finished, somewhat half-way if I were the judge of it.
    That was what I meant.
    Maybe Zaitsev do only shorter studies and doesn't go into the details of the rendering/tonal system?
    The end goal is after all a Michelangelo type of rendering - or maybe Zaitsev has a different view on that?
    Artem, the main instructor of Viborg, does lean heavy on Michelangelo, no doubt about that.

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    Great pictures Lena. The rembrandt master copy looks awesome!!

    The pictures of the painting stages are very informative. Techiques seems the same as any other direct painting techniques. The lighting i found seems abit flatter and muted in the works from repin. They seems to lack the rembrandtsque lighting i find in some of the older russian painting. Any idea why is that so?

    I have some questions:
    1)What is the painting classes like?
    2)when does the students start actually painting and what sort of classes they have?
    3)Do they have a freedom of choice as to what method to use?
    4)Do they teach other methods other than direct painting?

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  43. #322
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mydrako View Post
    Great pictures Lena. The rembrandt master copy looks awesome!!

    The pictures of the painting stages are very informative. Techiques seems the same as any other direct painting techniques. The lighting i found seems abit flatter and muted in the works from repin. They seems to lack the rembrandtsque lighting i find in some of the older russian painting. Any idea why is that so?

    I have some questions:
    1)What is the painting classes like?
    2)when does the students start actually painting and what sort of classes they have?
    3)Do they have a freedom of choice as to what method to use?
    4)Do they teach other methods other than direct painting?
    They use only natural light when they paint, and it is usually from above and from skylights. Rembrandt, I was told, painted with candles, and with much less direct light anyway.

    They are interested in color (slightest nuances of warms and cools, introduced by the impressionists). In some way it is a more realistic approach then the Old Masters, effects of atmosphere.

    They paint every day for 3 hours. They change their setups about once a month, from one model to another. Also, the upper level students usually have 3 setups going on at the same time, like three different models posing in the different corners of the studio, so the students can work at their own pace. Someone who might finish one setup would go to the next one and vice versa.

    As far as freedom of choice, no, there is not much freedom. The freedom concerns composition, canvas size, and that's probably that. Each professor has a certain style and you can always feel it in each studio, but in genera, all of Repin work looks very much the same, just like your Florence Academy or Angel, the difference in my opinion, it's just more competent.

    Like I said only the restoration students do Old Master copying and undrpainting technique, the rest is all alla prima.

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  45. #323
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    I see. The color subtleness in the painting you posted is quite amazing. What I am maybe bothered is maybe the level of finish. Comparing maybe the Bouguereau painting hummeldane posted, the level of color variation is also quite amazing, but the level of finish seems to be higher (in terms of tightness, not in term of artistic merit). Just a observation, it just seems artists nowadays is moving towards a loose finish and I am questioning the reason behind it. Is it a sense of bravado in the brushwork, possibly in admiration of artists like sargent and zorn? Or is there other reason behind this apparent popularity in loose painting and .

    Good information on the painting studio setup in repin. Does the student move to painting after a few years of drawing? Do they get to choose which master they want to study under? Do they immediately start with figure or do they start with still life to practice their paint handling skill first?

    They are interested in color (slightest nuances of warms and cools, introduced by the impressionists). In some way it is a more realistic approach then the Old Masters, effects of atmosphere.
    I see. It seems that the interest of the artist now is different from the artists back then maybe during Repin's era. Back then, they seems to be more interested in the narrative, the dramatic lighting. Personally, I am more interested in the narrative and play of light on the figures (maybe not as dark as rembrandt). Are there are any masters in Repin academy whose work is similar?

    -JS Neo

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  47. #324
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    Mydrako -

    (from www.artac.ru)
    "Ovcharenko Ilya Valerievich, born on December, 30th, 1975 in Saratov. In 1998 graduated from Saratov art school after A.P.Bogolyubov. From 2001to 2007 he was the student of St.-Petersburg State Academy of painting, sculpture and architecture after I.E.Repin in a monumental workshop under direction of professor A.A.Mylnikov. Since 2007 he is taken at the staff of the creative monumental workshop under direction of professor A.A.Mylnikov. Since 2008 - the teacher of St-Petersburg State Academy of painting, sculpture and architecture after I.E.Repin. A member of the Union of Artists of Russia."



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    Hi guys ive been reading alot of these posts on this thread and ive got to say a huge thank you for starting this, i now have realised that i was going to make a MASSIVE mistake by going to where i was going to go (florence academy), not that its a bad school, im just one who follows the constructional method.

    I've been looking at some of the schools tho that have been emphasizing this construction and renaissance method like the drawing academy (viborg i believe) and the villpu(i think i spelled that wrong, my apologies) and i know that the major con you said for this method is time, but they all seem to be focused in on one or two semesters and/or workshops books and dvd's, which it seems to me that if this method took so long to really get a good hold on, then these academies would have three, four year or even longer courses. So i guess my main question is why is it that these academies and schools on construction DO have such short term courses? Thanks guys this has been a real help to me and im sure to alot of others

    Also, it seems that alot of the schools are schools for animation, why is that?

    Last edited by SweetPea; January 16th, 2010 at 08:48 AM.
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    answering mydrako

    Quote Originally Posted by Mydrako View Post
    I see. The color subtleness in the painting you posted is quite amazing. What I am maybe bothered is maybe the level of finish. Comparing maybe the Bouguereau painting hummeldane posted, the level of color variation is also quite amazing, but the level of finish seems to be higher (in terms of tightness, not in term of artistic merit). Just a observation, it just seems artists nowadays is moving towards a loose finish and I am questioning the reason behind it. Is it a sense of bravado in the brushwork, possibly in admiration of artists like sargent and zorn? Or is there other reason behind this apparent popularity in loose painting and .

    Good information on the painting studio setup in repin. Does the student move to painting after a few years of drawing? Do they get to choose which master they want to study under? Do they immediately start with figure or do they start with still life to practice their paint handling skill first?


    I see. It seems that the interest of the artist now is different from the artists back then maybe during Repin's era. Back then, they seems to be more interested in the narrative, the dramatic lighting. Personally, I am more interested in the narrative and play of light on the figures (maybe not as dark as rembrandt). Are there are any masters in Repin academy whose work is similar?
    The painting I posted with the stages is not a finished piece, I just happened to have those progress stages which you asked for. This was done in 9 day, a relatively short setup for them. Like I said before, they have setups of varying time, some as long as a whole month.

    I am glad hummel1dane posted a more finished piece which to me looks like a compositional assignment, may be even a diploma piece, which takes a whole 6th year to complete.

    Also, they are not as concerned with the smoothness of the work, since they mostly treat it as excercises, not pieces suited for sale in a commercial gallery (Florence Academy focus).

    The monumental department produces much smoother work, since it is meant to be flat and decorative (this Ovcharenko example is typical).

    Also, when you work with color it takes 10 times longer to produce a smooth or "finished" painting then when you work with imaginary colors (Florence Academy) or limited pallette (brown-grey paintings, even like Bougerou). And in most cases, you do sacrifice some of the drawing, it's very hard to observe both color and tone and structure, all at the same time.

    Also, as you can see, their setups always include backgrounds, sometimes very complicated interior or still life. Florence Academy people usually paint a figure or portrait without any context, sort of a cutout, so yes, they can spend more time on just a figure.

    Answering your specific question about schedule. There is no such thing about learning drawing first and then painting in Russia. Children ages 9 begin doing both at the same time, and compositional work out of their head too. By the time these students enter the Repin Academy, they'd be considered professional painters here in America, since they've graduated a 3 year art college or specialized art school in most cases. By the time they are at Repin, they would have been painting for 7-9 years.

    The typical daily class schedule at the Repin Academy (actually the same holds for Mukhina) is 2 hours of long pose drawing in the morning, 3 hours of long pose painting in the afternoon, then for first and second year students lecture classes (anatomy, art history and others), then back to another class of drawing (called afternoon long pose), and then evening short sketches (called evening short poses). Then they have to do compositional homework after that. The first and second year students don't get much sleep, they stay in class into the midnight. It gets easier the 3rd-5th year, since they don't have as many lecture classes, almost all just drawing and painting or sculpture (for sculptors).


    As far as choosing a "master", they don't refer to teachers like that, everyone is considered an eternal student in a way, that's how professors talk about themselves too. Nobody pretends like he's mastered anything.

    But after the second year, they enter this or that studio, monumental is one of them. Basically, they apply to the studio of their choice, but the decision is made by the professors based on their grades. The monumental takes all A students (meaning the best one), but some of the best ones dont want to go there because of its style, so they can go to one of the other 2-3 studios. Basically, there are two monumental studios and three easel studios. Each studio has two professors, one for drawing and one for painting.

    I apologize for such long posts, but since you asked, I thought I'd go into all the details.

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    repin studies

    Mydrako;

    Here are Repin studies for a large painting. This is exactly what Repin students try to do. Through color and tone they sculpto the form. This is all treated like a learning process rather than a finished commercial piece, that's why the roughness.

    by the way, late Titian also became much more rough and painterly than in his earlier work, and so did Rembrandt.

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    repins' portrait of leonid andreyev

    actually, I made a mistake in my previous post.

    The portrait by Repin or poet Leonid Andreyev (wearing white shirt) is not a study for anything, it was a finished sketch.

    The other one is a study, one of hundreds, that he did for his huge painting in the Russian Museum, called the "State Goovernment in Session".

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    hummel1dane Amazing piece! Love the drama and feeling it evoke. I shall check him out. Oh i forget to thank u for the museum tour offer If only I have enough money for the air ticket haaa

    SweetPea I dont think u will lose anything by studying in Florence as what they teach is also sound. They rely greatly on observation and that i feel is a huge part of becoming good at drawing. I think you can probably go beyond what u are learning in school by learning anatomy on your own, drawing bones, learning to construct them from memory. In this way, when you are doing your drawing in school, by what every method they teaches, you can supplement it with your knowledge. Observing is one thing, know what to observe is another thing.

    And as to why the schools hav such short courses, I am guessing that amount of knowledge gained in that short courses is enough for what the whole diploma or whatever school is offering, which as you mentioned, is mostly animation.

    lena murray I thought it is a finished piece. My apology for the mixed-up. I do agree if you get color into the picture, everything becomes difficult to hold together as a unity. But it will be so awesome if you can do it, no?

    Wao, sound like the college school in Russia is as good as the ateliers in US. No wonder they are so good. Their schedule really make me realize how much effort u need to put in to get to their level. Truly a test of resilience and determination.

    As far as choosing a "master", they don't refer to teachers like that, everyone is considered an eternal student in a way, that's how professors talk about themselves too. Nobody pretends like he's mastered anything.
    As a chinese, it is customary for us to treat our teachers as someone we respect greatly, so we always call them "master". Of cos, they themselves never call themselves master of anything. But anyway... just a cultural difference i guess

    And don't worry about long answer... we all love long posts ! More the merrier.

    And those pictures u posted are also amazing. You can always learn so much from copying old master's work.

    -JS Neo

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    to mydrako

    As a chinese, it is customary for us to treat our teachers as someone we respect greatly, so we always call them "master". Of cos, they themselves never call themselves master of anything. But anyway... just a cultural difference i guess

    .[/QUOTE]

    Yes, I know what you mean. Actually, the chinese students at Repin Academy are extremely respectful to the professors, which I know the prefessors do appreciate very much. They probably wish the Russian students were just as polite sometimes.

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