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

  1. #121
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    Awesome !!.. Very informative. I am just wondering.. If u take the prep course now but decide not to go into the degree course for now, next time u want to try for the degree course, do u have to go through the prep course again?

    The prep course actually sound like a great short course to improve ur skills... Lets just see when I can "retire" from my work for one year and head there...hee

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  3. #122
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    answering Mydrako

    Basically, that is what I did. I knew I was not going to enter the academy because of my family situation here in the U.S., so the prep course for me was an education in itself, and it is absolutely great. You'd make enormous progress in one year, which was the case with everyone in our group.

    I don't think you have to retake the prep course again. What happens at the June grading is that based on the work done in the prep course you are allowed to take the exams. Some students weren't, since the work was not adequate.

    I guess if you come a few years later, you can use the same works (the grades are posted on them) to be allowed to take the exams.

    By the way, Jonas now has all my pictures from the academy. I hope he will post them soon. I will give commentaries on what they are.

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  5. #123
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  7. #124
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    thanks, jonas

    thanks for the upload, jonas. I will be happy to answer any questions that any of you might have.

    But, basically this work is from different studios with different speialization. All portraits are done during the first and second years, so these are first and second year students' work. They don't do much portraiture after that, mostly the whole figure (multiple figures), dressed and nude after the first and second years. Also, I believe there is a file from the illustration department. They work in watercolor and a variety of printmaking techniques, such as lithographs, etchings etc. The idea is to train book illustrators. But, as you can see their portrait work is still very academic.

    Two figure setups are done starting the third year, I believe.

    Also, these huge drawings done in the sauce technique (multi-figure setups with sculptures and etc) are done only at the monumental studio. Monumental studio prepares students for mural painting among other things such as stained class, tapestry and similar designs.

    Also, there is all that compositional work from the monumental studio, such as semi-circle formats. They are given these specific assignments to design a mural or a stained glass for example in a specific format, oval, rectangular etc.

    I don't know if you can tell the difference, but the work from the monumental studio is supposed to be more flat, like the shadows are completely flattened.

    I believe I don't have any work from the restoration department or church painting. may be they did not open up their studios for the public, not sure.

    All these photos were taken in the winter of 2008 and spring 2008. After the grades are given, the studios are open to the public for just a few days.

    Hope this helps.

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  9. #125
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    Hey Lena, thanks for the info.

    What exactly do they focus on on the 4th, 5th and 6th year at the academy in the painting program?

    Also how do they teach to draw from memory as you said students need to do paintings with figures without drawing from the model?

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  11. #126
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    answering jonas

    Well, the large scale drawings with figures and sculptures is what monumental studio students do during their 3-4-5 year. Also, setups with two figures and interior. They work on composition through the whole program. The sixth year they get a personal studio where they work on their diploma painting, usually a large scale painting based on a theme. Actually those compositional sketches you saw could be preparatory studies for a large scale painting.

    As far as drawing from memory, I meant the exam. They are given a theme which could be as abstract as "wind" or "celebration" and they have to make a multi-figure painting based on the theme in a few days in class.

    In general when they work on compositions sketches, they don't use models much, although they can. The idea is to teach them a good design where everything is balanced in color and in black and white.

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  13. #127
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    I have ordered the anatomy DVDs for the school and can hardly wait until they arrive! They wouldn't deliver to Canada, so I had to send them to a friend in the US.

    You all don't know how lucky you are to have access to so much information! We struggled hard for everything. Now I go to the computer and, voila!, there it is, everything from Vermeer's technique to exquisite art supplies, to downloadable books that were out of print and hard to find once upon a time.

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  15. #128
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    repin academy more

    Just came across this photo of students defending their Diploma pieces at the Repin Academy. It's a good illustration that answers some of your questions of what they do in their 6th year, which is basically one painting. This one is from the monumental studio.

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  17. #129
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  19. #130
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    I agree, that's awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    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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  21. #131
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    Hey folks, check out this debate between Mentler and Graydon, very relevant to this thread...

    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=134717

    Scroll down to like the middle of the thread and read the comments by Graydon and the answers by Mentler.

    If you havent seen Mentlers work already check him out, he's awesome, I think he has like 3-5 threads at conceptart!!

    And Graydon is totally amazing as well - here is a link to his 9/11 masterpiece -

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=77541

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  23. #132
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    reply to hummel1dane

    I actually think that 9/11 is a little too ambitious for Graydon Parrish to tackle, sorry to say. Unfortunately, nobody today has the skill to make this kind of painting. While I admire his ambition and desire to excell in this, unfortunately for him, there is no system or school today to educate artists in the grand historic genre painting (Repin academy is no exception).

    I am including here Karl Brullov's painting of 1830s from the Russian Museum, "The last day of Pompeii" and Graydon's painting. You see the difference, it's impossible to try to compete. It's no wander the historic painting genre has died by the end of the 19th century, the school was already lost then.

    As far as the bonedoctor, I love his posts, extremely helpful.

    Also, relating to this discussion somewhat, saw John Singer Sargent's exhibit of seascapes at the Corcoran yesterday. Part of the exhibit were his tiny pencil sketches, a few sketchbooks with his notes to himself (and he had toons of those filled up). That's another thing that's missing from today's artist's training, calligraphic, no eraser used, sketches of everyday things (life observations, people, trees, seawaves, anything), rather than staged spot lit studio arrangements. That's what really trains the eye, more than Bargue, sight size or any of that stuff. I see two reasons for that, one is that we are lazy to live with a pencil (we have to go to class to do it) and second, our surroundings and isolated life (large urban cities for many of us) aren't really that interesting to observe with our pencil.

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  25. #133
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    I agree to the first part of your post.

    But as for the second, I studied at a school where they taught in the strict russian renaissance tradition of Boris Kazakov(no eraser in model studies, except when used in the manner of a white pencil) -
    This was mixed with a free spirit of going sketching in the afternoons at the market or having shorter model poses, such as 30sec - 2min. (there were people at the school sketching in all kinds of crazy ways, because many of them were done with classical drawing and had started on the animation program)

    As for sketches we often used non erasable pen. We had many different teachers in sketching, one who instructed us in seeing the story in the faces and expressions of people(to imagine what they were thinking). That was very inspirational.
    I think there can be very interesting places even in a city - just think of the multitude of sketches by Leonardo, capturing city life at the marketplace.

    But our russian teacher hated sketches and short poses. In russia, the shortest poses he ever did was 15min!

    The school I stayed at unfortunately does not teach painting - they only have their half year drawing class, that can be repeated indefinitely(they teach individualy).

    I can give you the link if you havent checked it out already -
    http://www.animwork.dk/Default.asp?ID=655

    Ill recommend that school to all people in the world! At least just for a half year, to get good renaissance draftman skills.

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  27. #134
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    Realism vs Construction

    Yes I've read the entire thread as far, and got my own conclusions, first I agree with some of the words that Mentler posted in another thread

    "Two basic approaches

    Drawing the figure from imagination

    Drawing the figure from life

    Most master draughtsmen use a combination of both <> it is just a matter of where one puts the most emphasis.

    Anthony Ryder draws mostly from life

    Harry Carmean relies a great deal on imagination

    both work from models but see them totally different

    It alls has a lot to do with seeing shapes or seeing forms"

    and I also have to add, that this two ways of approaching correspond to the two sides of the brain, the left side of the brain "the logical" is related with construction, and the right side of the brain "the spacial" is related with realism, well maybe I wouldn't call them that way, i think it would be better if they would be called just "sculptural" and "optical", but it's ok, we all get the sense.

    I like to believe that both of these approaches complement each other, and that's the way I try to work.

    Beyond the fact that anyone agrees or disagrees with what I say, I firmly think that EVERY CA.ORG MEMBER OR ARTIST SHOULD TAKE A LOOK AT THIS THREAD because it may be helpful to realize which approach you like the most, and that will definitively determine your path as an artist, and in life.

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  29. #135
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    Ah yes, the brain.

    I like Robert Beverly Hales talk about the subconscious as being more greatful and expressive. So the idea to let all the technical information become part of the subconscious is very beautiful.
    Eventually we forget all that we have learned. Then we are free.

    Or in the words of a martial artist.
    "Before I started studying a punch was a punch, a kick was a kick
    Then suddenly, a punch ment 100 different things, and a kick the same.
    Now again, after attaining mastery, a punch is a punch, and a kick is a kick."

    Or in this quote

    "For a beginner there are many options, for a master there are few."

    Thans for that artist btw
    Harry Carmean

    I think we should make a list of all contemporary high level classical trained artists both mannerists and more realistical minded. It could be interesting. Maybe even sort them into the schools where they have studied.

    At Angel school we learn to see abstract shapes, and develop the minds ability to copy fast and precise. This is not the study of proportion in the classical sense. This is learning to see proportional relations in life.
    we also learn to pick out the subtlety of value.

    I will try and make a list of all the persons of skill who have studied here...

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  31. #136
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    Just found a step by step guide of "how we do charcoal figure drawing at Angels" by Dorian, its pretty old though, he is way better now!


    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...t=95605&page=2

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  32. #137
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    Just found a step by step guide of "how we do charcoal figure drawing at Angels" by Dorian, its pretty old though, he is way better now!


    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...t=95605&page=2

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  33. #138
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    the step by step guide is looking pretty good .........but you really need to post it TWICE?

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    some amazing demonstrations by professor Kurkov from repin academy

    Here are a few of the demos done by an anatomy professor Kurkov at the Repin Academy. As you can see, they are done as small demonstrations on the side of the students' drawings. This is how they teach. They go from person to person, drawing this little structural diagram for you, so all you do is look at the model, the diagram and draw...easily said, not so easily done. But I find Kurkov's drawings. Have over 100 of those, but big files, as usual, need to resize. May be able to post them later.

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  36. #140
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    Can't we like.. abduct one of these teachers and bring them over to Belgium?
    I'm sure Jonas won't mind either.

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  38. #141
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    answer to question from Hyskoa

    To Hyskoa: Sorry, but I don't think it's within my control. Also, I think these teachers are pretty happy there, and also, you don't get this kind of training by having one or two good teachers, it's the whole process and the academy's resources that can help tremendously. I experienced it first hand, my progress of being there for just 9 months was so much faster than taking classes here and there in the States for 5 or so years before, even from very good teachers, many as good as Professor Kurkov.

    That's why I am such an avid promoter of the Repin Academy, even though I have my own school in New York with a similar direction. It's really hard to reinvent the bicycle.

    Having said this, I think they might be interested in coming to teach a short workshop here and there from time to time. The issue is money. I've been thinking about bringing someone to New York, but just the airfare and living expenses makes it impossible. I have a friend in Paris who also has been thinking in that direction, so may be she makes something happen. I will let you guys know, since you are not too far.

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  39. #142
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    By the way, can anyone recommend a simple free program for resizing images in batches? A free one is preferable. I tried picasa, it's too complicated.

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  40. #143
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    Google: "Free batch image resizing" gave me this
    http://www.fotosizer.com/

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  41. #144
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    fotosizer

    Thanx, Hyscoa. I tried that program, but you can't save the recized images on your computer, at least I couldn't do it.

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  42. #145
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    more images by professor Kurkov

    I finally figurered out the batch recizer, so here are some more photos by this professor.

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  44. #146
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    These are very good, well constructed, but they are not brought to a high degree of finish. Do you know how long are the duration of the poses?
    Do you have some of longer duration, lets say between 10-30 hours or so?

    What are the longest poses kept, and what are the shortest?
    Do you work with direct studio/daylight, or do you construct the light from imagination?

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    reply to hummen1dane

    Perhaps you did not read my first post with these drawings. These are not at all finished drawings. These are thumbnail sketches (basically diagrams), very small, drawn by the teacher on the side of a student's drawing to explain how to draw a specific piece of anatomy. They are probably 6-7 inches and done in 10 minutes.

    During the class, the teacher does dozens of them for each student from each student's vantage point.

    The poses may be very long, like 60 hours (three weeks, 2 hours a day, 5 days a week), but these again are not done by the students, but by the teacher as short demonstrations.

    As far as lighting, they usually use directional light that could be both natural and electric, but they don't use harsh spotlights.

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    Ah ok thanks. Just wondering if you have any finished drawings from the academy.
    The thing is, I still doubt they are as good as they used to be.

    I always wonder about the use of directional light. I understand that basic draftmanskills doesnt involve direct light. Building the planes and you can choose a light direction from imagination - is this school of renaissance drawing not being taught at the academy?

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    my answer to hummel1dane

    Now that I've figured out how to use a recizing program I can actually post some student drawings from the Repin Academy. Yes, they are not as good as they were 50 years ago, no doubt. The older teachers who studied back in the 50s draw amazingly well, and some young ones too. You see some of these drawings in the chinese book that was mentioned in one of the posts on this thread.

    As far as directional lighting. They are not as slavish to it as you would think, and many studios have just even light from the skylights which they use a lot. One thing is that they never use spotlights for painting, because it kills the color nuances. Since in the fall and winter there is almost never any sun in Petersburg, you get this very even northlike light almost all the time, so the paintings have a silvery tone to them, lots of cools. I actually love working in that light myself.

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  48. #150
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    nice

    Those drawings you posted look very good. Some of the better structural analysis I've seen. Very good grasp of the working's of the body.

    Quote Originally Posted by hummel1dane View Post
    I always wonder about the use of directional light. I understand that basic draftmanskills doesnt involve direct light. Building the planes and you can choose a light direction from imagination - is this school of renaissance drawing not being taught at the academy?
    Could you clarify what you mean by that Hummeldane? Do you wonder about it's use for understanding form?

    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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