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  1. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mydrako View Post
    I feel one should not really be mindful of such "historical accuracy", (okie it is super important to art historian but not exactly important for me) One in turn should be critical of what benefit each system give to you. Renaissance system might not be the most perfect system ever and there are certainly many new invention and improvement in our craft since the renaissance.
    The renaissance system is based on principles of visual communication and understanding of the sculptural structure.
    When I see any work done by any french master artist in the 19th century I see all those renaissance principles at work. These 19th century masters may not repeat the style of the renaissance, but it is apparent that they understood and mastered all the basic principles. And of course they improved. Especially in the study of realism and painting.

    This is why it is so important to be clear about the system that created a specific master, if you want to eventually produce works of the same standard.
    And that was one of the major reasons I started this thread in the first place. Giving students the idea that they can become the next Bouguereau through studying in a post Bouguereau system of figure drawing is a bit naiv!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mydrako View Post
    So what we should be aware of instead is the reasoning behind each system and take what suit your personality best. The almost sculptural manner russian drawing system is might not suit a person with a great love for looseness and gesture.
    It is impossible to see the subtle use of certain principles without mastering those same principles. And the russian "sculptural" system is more a system that enables you to build your structural understanding of anatomy in a logical manner - it has never been intended as an end in itself.

    I can tell you that classical pianists goes through countless horrible and boring exercises that certainly does not sound like Beethoven!

    Why should it be different for visual artists?

    If one wants mastery like that of the past, doing what is fun all the time doesn't guaranty much.
    Last edited by hummel1dane; January 31st, 2010 at 06:51 PM.


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  3. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by hummel1dane

    In the 20th century it was the general objectivity that Picasso was a genius and that Matisse was a master draftsman.
    No, it wasn't. What you are talking about is a subjective opinion shared by an indefinite number of people. Please refer here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivity_(philosophy)


    Quote Originally Posted by hummel1dane
    We can read all art history books from that period and see art historians personal oppinions being represented as facts!

    That is how history works - there is no such thing as a true 100% correct history, as all historical evidence is conceived by peoples personal judgement, however professional they may be.

    All we can do is attempt to be as unbiased as possible which is what I do. It may not seem like it but I do my best!
    Please don't try to make a point by suggesting something that has no significance to what I said to begin with. See a straw man argument : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

    I also did not wish to digress the thread from the original topic. Just wanted to share a general observation.

    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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  5. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art_Addict View Post
    No, it wasn't. What you are talking about is a subjective opinion shared by an indefinite number of people. Please refer here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivity_(philosophy)

    I don't follow this line of philosophy.
    I follow a school of philosophy that negates this (eastern philosophy) and then you must know that we have no possibility to debate these matters as we do not speak the same philosophical language.

    If you are interested in eastern philosophy presented in a western manner I recommend "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values"
    by Robert M. Pirsig

    --

    About the Straw man, never heard of him.

  6. #229
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    about so called "russian system"

    Since we've gotten into this whole argument, there is something I wanted to clarify for for the record.

    What was taught by now late Boris Kazakov (a really good teacher, no argument here) and by the Mukhina academy in general, I would not refer to as the "Russian system".

    I've pointed before in one of my previous posts that since the mid-20th century there has been a war going on between Repin and Mukhina academies, Mukhina being a new academy compared to Repin (Russian Imperial Academy). Despite this war, most of Mukhina teachers were recruited from Repin Academy, which I believe Kazakov himself graduated from before teaching at Mukhina.

    What's Russian and what is not, that's hard to say, really. My anser is nothing other than the Russian avant garde (Kandinsky and Malevich).

    When you get down to it, nothing is Russian, even the icons came from the Byzantia. While France had Boucher and Fragonnard, Russia had nothing of similar home-grown quality at the time. That's why Peter the Great's daughter Elizabeth started the Imperial Academy (called Repin today) to bring the French and the Italian tradition to Russia. Not one Russian architect participated in the original design and building of St. Petersburg, Russia's capital for many years to come, it's all the Rastrellis, the Qvarenghis, the Rinaldis, the Monferrants and the likes (all geneus men, by the way).

    What you present as the "Russian way" based on Mukhina-style drawing is actually the German way, and did not exhist in Russia until 1960s. In fact, Bammes actually visited Mukhina school in the 60s or 70s (not sure) and befriended many of their professors, Kazakov probably included. It was a totally "modernist" movement, very 20th century monumental art, perfect for the Soviet propaganda, sort of stylized and schematic, opposed to naturalism which might have been viewed as decadent by the authorities.

    While I studied at Repin for a year, I attended Mukhina's professor Zaitsev's private class to augment my more "optical" Repin-style understanding with more construction.

    But, even Zaitsev and I believe, Kazakov, graduated from Repin, where none of this drawing of each individual bone has ever been taught. They themselves re-invented this system basing it on Bammes and going somewhat further with it.

    About stiffness being more characteristic of the Russian system. It's not true.

    When it comes to stiffness, you see more of it in the Mukhina type of drawings than at the Repin Academy. I don't find any stiffness in Professor Kurkov's anatomical drawings from Repin Academy (one of my previous posts), and definitely no stiffness in their 19th century guys (Repin or Imperial Academy products).

    One of my other mentors in Russia, now late sculptor and Repin graduate Sasha Molev always criticized the Mukhina system by arguing why bring onto the surface all this internal structure by actually drawing it (the see through method, as they call it in Mukhina). The idea is that the construction is there, but you should keep it in your mind while you are drawing a human being who is not a machine. He himself had a great understanding of construction and anatomy, totally planular approach, but he also emphasized fluidity and unity, which I think Kazakov in my opinion did not stress enough. Think about the Greeks. Did they draw individual bones? And yet, is there no construction there in the Greek sculpture?

    Don't want to go into this much longer, but if you consider any great Russian 19th century artist (which so far has been the height of their art tradition) such as Repin of course, Serov, Kramskoi, Vrubel, none of them ever heard of or practiced the type of drawing taught at Mukhina at the second part of the 20th century. My teacher Samuel Kudish is 82 years old and he studied at Mukhina in the 50s way before Kazakov, and they did not do any of this stuff then, it all came later.

    Anyway, to summerize this post, I would not call Kazakov's method "the Russian School". It's like calling "sight size" method the French method.

    Sorry, if it took me so long to explain it, but it's just for the record, especially if someone is debating between the Repin Academy and Mukhina.

    And of course, you can see my own bias towards Repin, can't help it. But so is felt by the Mukhina academy students, most of them have a lot of admiration for the Repin students. That's what they expressed when I spoke to them during their Open House a few years ago.

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  8. #230
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    Thank you Lena

    It's very difficult for a westerner to understand the richness of the russian academical system - that they had two such great schools in Skt. Petersburg alone! WOW!

    I would love as much info as possible about the Mukhina system - to me it seems as close to the renaissance as possible. Perhaps they use longer poses than they did in the renaissance, who knows. As to where it comes from - in my mind the similarities with the renaissance are to great to suggest that it should come from anywhere else. But I cannot know that. I was taught by Boris trained instructors that it came directly from the renaissance. More or less unaltered. All that Boris method really lacked was gesture.
    And of course cast shadows.

    Yes the idea is to eventually keep construction in the head - but only after many years of actually drawing the structure, this is also the method Robert Beverly Hale suggests.
    As for getting all the anatomical bumps - this is exactly what Michelangelo did. And what he was both criticed and loved for.

    Are you sure that Repin academy NEVER taught students to draw the individual bones? Even before the time of Repin himself?
    I believe the academy was much more conservative before Repin. Is this incorrect?

    If Boris and Zaitsev really did re-invent this "renaissance" system based on Bammes my respect for them has grown a whole lot! That means that they re-invented a lot of beautiful and practical methods such as see through and building the tone in layers, and having the tone follow the form.

    Considering the Greek statues - are there any surviving 2500 year old drawings that can teach us more about their method? Their statues are also very idealised, not at all realistic. It has been suggested that some of the poses are even impossible for human beings to redo. Similar to the exaggerations of Michelangelo.

    The renaissance artists may have liked the greek style, but they weren't at all satisfied with the knowledge of anatomy that came from the greeks. So they either performed or attended dissections themselves, building their knowledge of anatomical structure.

    Also the greek system wasn't just one unified system - they had origin in different methods of idealisation. Such as proportion and composition based on numbers, on geometry etc.

    Ah yes, for the record I must say I'm biased towards Mukhina institute then.

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  10. #231
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    You will find that semantics isn't really that high a priority in the mind of a student.
    More likely you will find that they are asking themselves why they have to fly to the armpit of the world and learn russian just to get that type of art education and why they still have to pay so much for it.

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  12. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mydrako View Post
    Jonas Heirwegh Hey it isnt that book. The one i have is a chinese translation for a russian book written by Nikolai Repin (He is a grandson of illya repin in case people is interested to know) http://www.gxfinearts.com/book/6/200...248082751.html Abit too expensive for the amount of facts inside but still worthwhile for all the rare pictures. I will post some pictures maybe during weekend.

    Interesting. I would love to see some examples of those analytical anatomy class. Also rare drawings would be cool



    Art Addict: I agree with Mydrako. Its kinda obvious that whatever you read on the internet you dont immediately take as facts. CA is a big community, there are tons of people like hummel1dane who state facts when in fact they may not be. I wouldnt worry about it so much, if people are clever enough they think for themselves.
    I would rather have you join in on the discussion cause I know you have some interesting views and thoughts to share...
    Last edited by Jonas Heirwegh; January 7th, 2010 at 04:31 PM.

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  14. #233
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    on mukhina academy

    Hummel1dane:

    You are right. It is amazing that there are two such good academies in Petersburg. We did not even speak about Moscow which also has some amazign academies such as Surikov and Glazunov Institutes, for example.

    Zaitsev published a small book which I have. If I ever have time, i will post a few of his students' drawings, classic Mukhina work.

    To Hyscoa: The armpit of the world is my home country and my home city, but I don't take it personally, and I have told people here that life there is not a smooth ride. But in a way, it makes it easier to study art, because there aren't that many things to distract you from it and everyone is really serious about it. Like my friend says, "Art aint a joke there".

    However, I would not want to discourage those who might be interested in studying there. It is still one of the most beautiful cities in the world (Petersburg that is), and it has the Hermitage Museum and the Russian Museum, a whole bunch of other palaces rivaling Versaille, great ballet, opera, symphony and dramatical arts. Beautiful young girls, by the way! And, I don't think studying there is that expensive. For what you get there it is much cheaper than any American or European art college or even an atelier.

    By the way, has anyone here had any time to draw or paint since participating in this forum? I actually have not done much myself lately, and I feel terrible. This has been so interesting to follow along with other holiday-type distractions for me. My New Year resolution is to cut on my electronic time. What about you guys? Although, I feel like I've made some good friends here, thanks to Hummel1dane who started this thread.

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  16. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by lena murray View Post
    Hummel1dane:

    You are right. It is amazing that there are two such good academies in Petersburg. We did not even speak about Moscow which also has some amazign academies such as Surikov and Glazunov Institutes, for example.

    Zaitsev published a small book which I have. If I ever have time, i will post a few of his students' drawings, classic Mukhina work.

    To Hyscoa: The armpit of the world is my home country and my home city, but I don't take it personally, and I have told people here that life there is not a smooth ride. But in a way, it makes it easier to study art, because there aren't that many things to distract you from it and everyone is really serious about it. Like my friend says, "Art aint a joke there".

    However, I would not want to discourage those who might be interested in studying there. It is still one of the most beautiful cities in the world (Petersburg that is), and it has the Hermitage Museum and the Russian Museum, a whole bunch of other palaces rivaling Versaille, great ballet, opera, symphony and dramatical arts. Beautiful young girls, by the way! And, I don't think studying there is that expensive. For what you get there it is much cheaper than any American or European art college or even an atelier.

    By the way, has anyone here had any time to draw or paint since participating in this forum? I actually have not done much myself lately, and I feel terrible. This has been so interesting to follow along with other holiday-type distractions for me. My New Year resolution is to cut on my electronic time. What about you guys? Although, I feel like I've made some good friends here, thanks to Hummel1dane who started this thread.


    I would like to see some Mukhina drawings, from what ive seen now I'm more impressed with the Repin drawings to be honest. I seriously think nothing surpasses the Repin quality in the world at the moment. Btw does Kurkov still teaches at the Repin Academy? And if he is can you choose wich teacher you want if you get in?

    You know you hit on some cool points. I cant wait to study in Sint Petersburg, although I've never been there I can imagine they are serious about art and there is not so much distraction like you have in LA. You can tell there is good old discipline, and thats what you need as an artist.
    I also agree on the price, it isnt that expensive. I'm doing a regular job at the moment and I'll propably have to work one and a half year to pay for the Repin academy including stay and food for at least 4 years. Once I have a bit more time on my hands I'm gonna start my preparation for entering the academy. As for now it would be way to early, I need alot more practice.

    btw Lena, I'm probably gonna visit the academy in august or september. I'm gonna try planning a trip to St Pete and visit some museums. Can you enter the academy as a visitor?

  17. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by lena murray View Post
    Hummel1dane:
    Zaitsev published a small book which I have. If I ever have time, i will post a few of his students' drawings, classic Mukhina work.
    I would really like that, Im curious to see if they are similar to the work of Boris students.

    Quote Originally Posted by lena murray View Post
    Hummel1dane:
    By the way, has anyone here had any time to draw or paint since participating in this forum? I actually have not done much myself lately, and I feel terrible. This has been so interesting to follow along with other holiday-type distractions for me. My New Year resolution is to cut on my electronic time. What about you guys? Although, I feel like I've made some good friends here, thanks to Hummel1dane who started this thread.
    Not much time to draw no. And yes I will definitely cut down on this forum as well, think it's more important to draw than to debate how it's done!

    Thank you for sharing all that stuff about the russian academies, I am now more curious than ever.

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    lena murray Great information!! Such facts is really hard to obtain even from the internet. I am just wondering. According to the book I have (posted a few post down) which is written by Nikolai Repin who graduated from repin institute (is this the same Repin Academy?) under Andrei Mylnikov. Now he is teaching in repin institute now and he seems to say analytical anatomy study is a very important part of the education at repin. Maybe u can provide more insight on as to why it seems to conflict with what you said?
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  20. #237
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    U.S. schools

    Any other opinions on U.S. schools with a strong figurative program? I see that the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art combines constructive anatomy with what it considers 19th century practices. It has gotten some positive mentions in this thread, as has Glenn Vilppu, who teaches there. Any additional thoughts from you guys would be appreciated.

    <quote from Web site>

    The LAAFA/Atelier core curriculum uniquely combines techniques developed by:

    * European 19th Century Ateliers and Masters
    * U.S. 20th Century Figurative Masters & Illustrators

    These schools of study are sometimes seen at odds with each other. However, when studied within the LAAFA/Atelier curriculum, they dramatically enhance the student's artistic appreciation and forms of expression. Our program is designed to create an artist who is prepared to take the skills learned into any avenue of the art community, whether it is Fine Art, Illustration, or Entertainment.

    <end of quote>

    Most of my art heroes are illustrators of the early part of the 20th century, and I'm looking for a program that will move me in that direction.

    I know the New York Academy of Art also seems quite focused on anatomy and structure.

    Thanks again.

  21. #238
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    Adelheide -

    New york academy is new to me, just checking it out now.

    From what I can read on the website it sounds great, but without more images of student work it's difficult to tell. I suggest you visit the school to check out the student standard.

    LAAFA I would recommend since Vilppu teaches there and Rey Bustos. But thats only drawing, construction and anatomy. I don't know much about the other classes offered.

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    U.S. Schools

    Thanks. Yeah, Rey Bustos' ecorche class looks excellent. New York has a full-year ecorche, too.

  23. #240
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    about New York Academy

    I am very familiar with New York Academy since it's sort of a competitor to the Bridgeview School (my school in New York city).

    NAA has great resources, full figure casts from the Met, excellent studios, extensive use of models, long poses and etc.

    It is very expensive, about $30,000 a year I believe? (not sure). This is an MFA program although they do have some Continuing Education and workshops as well.

    Andy Warhol gave money to start it back int he 80s, isnt' that ironic? You probably heard that Warhol was an avid collector of traditional art.

    Drawbacks. Student level varies a great deal from absolutely beginner to an OK. The weakest Bridgeview students were able to get in there, I was really surprised. I think it's gotten better now. If you look at their diploma projects, it's hard to believe it's done by MFA graduates, people who will be now trying to get teaching jobs at colleges and universities.

    At Bridgeview we have always had quite a few New York Academy students, who attended our evening classes to augment their NY Academy experience. One guy was from China (the best student at NYA, got a scholarship and etc). After studying at Bridgeview he ended up going to China to study more. Actually Joe Menna (mentioned in the previous posts) studied there as well, and ended up in Mukhina in Russia after NYA.

    Currently we have Boris Tyomkin (an American of Russian discent) studying with us right now. Boris moved to New York all the way from LA to attend New York Academy. At Bridgeview, he is taking Samuel Kudish's class (this is my 82 year old teacher and mentor, a Mukhina graduate back in the 50s). Boris says that he gets more from Kudish in 3 hours a week than from the whole Academy in months (that's his words).

    The bottom line is that their teachers are not so good, I am sure there are exceptions. But, again these are American-trained realist artists who themselves went to New York Academy or studied in some atelier schools. None of them had the benefit of a real academy education. Leonid Lerman, probably one of the best sculptors living in America now, another Mukhina graduate, used to teach there, but not anymore. This has nothing to do with the students, he just gets more money at other places.

    If you are interested in any type of construction, even minimal, NYA is not your school, totally "shadow shapes copying". Their ecorche classes are more for medical students. You learn the bones and muscles by sculpting each individual muscle thread, but you don't understand plasticity, or what is referred to as "artistic anatomy".

    Having said this, if you need an MFA degree which may help you get a teaching job, and you have a lot of money or want to borrow money (you can get student loans for NYA), and can spend 2 years in a very intensive program in New York city, then NYA is for you. By the way, their program is quite intense, they cram a lot of classes into these two years.

    This is another thing that I've heard from one of our students who also studied there. While they accept students with very low level, many of them quit, since the program is too hard for them. So, the ones who stay are probably the better ones and they produce better work at the end.

    In any case, if any of you decide to go there, I hope you come to Bridgeview in the evening or on weekends to augment your training there.

    If you want Boris Tyomkins' email, write to me privately and I will send it to you so you can speak to him first hand.

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