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  1. #79
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    She doesn't teach? Mm, an outdated webpage perhaps. I'll keep it in the list anyways, then people can contact her if interested.

    The shorter the pose, the faster you have to draw, and naturally your result will be less like the model.
    But you can still keep rigidly to constructing when you have more time.
    With more time, you can still keep your approach entirely planar, infact you'll have more time to decide how to construct the planes and to check your perspective alignment and to get all the anatomy correct - if you are good enough, you can even start to construct the tendons and vains.

    And you can always spend more time on the shading - even with constructed planes and constructed light(constructed light = light from imagination) you can shade for hours, or days!

    The reason the renaissance artists didn't do a smooth shade when drawing the figure was because they didn't have to. Only in the finished charcoal cartoon would they spend time on shading. (The cartoon was the last step before they began the painting)

    I have only seen Vilppu do fast shades. The longer time you spend on the shade, the more 3d you can make it look(more fading values) and he doesn't spend much time with the perspective, thus the strength of the construction is weakened.

    If you want to master shading I really suggest you do the Bargues at one of the ateliers. Then you'd also see the difference between peoples ability to shade.

    I think the russians do more than 20 hour studies, and they always start with a strong construction. But they have several system - I only know their basic system(light source from imagination), which is similar to Vilppu's system, but in that system they have longer poses than Vilppu 1-20 hours - but no gesture system, you just decide for yourself where you want the big elements placed(they might disagree with your decision though.)
    If you lack gesture, they might tell you to go sketching in the streets!

    They think more in terms of big 3d blocks moving around in 3 dimensions, than expressive gesture lines.

    But the linear quality of overlappings they do very well.

    I know Vilppu thinks gesture is most important - the russians would say construction(as well as composition).

    When I get the time I'll try to contact Ashland academy of art and hear about their system of figure drawing. I know they use spotlight.
    Then I can inquire about the length of poses etc.
    And when I return to Florence in September I'll go visit the russian school in that city.

    Last edited by hummel1dane; July 1st, 2009 at 07:58 AM.
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  4. #80
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    Annigoni and Prudhon are not examples of artists following John Angel's (Bourgereau's?) methods! John Angel studied fresco painting with Annigoni. When he came to Toronto he painted in acrylic and didn't begin to use oil until the late 70's or early '80's (time is becoming a blur).

    By the way, since Bourgereau didn't paint from life, sight sizing couldn't have been what he was doing.

    I am not against trying true classical methods. I think students need exposure to a range of approaches and need to understand how process affects outcome. They need to understand the expressive potential of oil. Surface, medium, brush type, texture, thick and thin, scraping. A potential that is beyond the verbal.

    I adore Vermeer and he, living at the same time as Rembrandt but being a different personality with different tastes, is a totally different and individual painter who made very different choices. Both are brilliant.

    I'm off to the studio and have no more time! This is a very interesting and thought provoking thread.

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  6. #81
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    Vilppu is probably emphasizing more on gesture because he teaches in the animation industry where gesture, line of action, silhouette is more important than the 3d volume. Animation use alot of overlapping and other tricks to suggest form. This is my guess...

    I have been seeking out many ways of drawing. Starting out with vilppu's teaching which really give me a good start. Trying out reilly method now. But old habits are hard to break. I keep seeing vilppu influences creeping in haa..

    I havent really found books on the russian construction method so any recommendation would be great.. From observation of some of the drawings, the only difference btw the russian and the french academy is that the russian shade more in terms of planes while the french academy goes more towards the egg form? However, nowadays everyone is teaching we must observe planes, and we must do gestures lines. Vilppu is one example. Kevin Chen is another guys who seems to comibine gesture and planes construction quite well. Glenn Orbik too? So i think the current teaching now in US is like a mixing of everything, or should i say, a distilling of all the past teaching? So the question now is, is it good to learn this combined method or go to the root and learn them separately?

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  8. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxine Schacker View Post
    Annigoni and Prudhon are not examples of artists following John Angel's (Bourgereau's?) methods! John Angel studied fresco painting with Annigoni. When he came to Toronto he painted in acrylic and didn't begin to use oil until the late 70's or early '80's (time is becoming a blur).

    By the way, since Bourgereau didn't paint from life, sight sizing couldn't have been what he was doing.
    Thank you, I often wondered exactly what John Angel studied with Annigoni, as Annigoni has a very sculptural style that I can't recognize in John Angel's work.

    Bouguereau was very sculptural, extremely influenced by renaissance artists, Raphael in particular.
    He chose the raphael painting "Galatea" as his work of study in Rome(he had to go to Rome and do a full size copy of a renaissance painting with more than 3 figures after winning the Gran Prix de Rome)
    It is interesting to compare this painting to Bouguereaus later "Birth of Venus" - there are similarities yes?

    It is likewise possible,at least in his early days at the academy, that he supplemented his study of paint with the study of clay sculpting. Many french painters did that.

    Yes it is unthinkable that he should ever have used sight size. And in his figure studies he certainly didn't use shadowshape copying.
    I don't know about objects or foliage, but I like to think that they where constructed as well.

    I don't think any painter today has a technique similar to Bouguereau.

    About his popularity today - yes it is very much a result of Fred Ross work, but even so, if we disregard the change of taste in the 20th century, and only consider the popularity of Bouguereau in his own days, he certainly does deserve a place among the top painters in history.
    I mean, think of all his achievements, medals, honorable positions, what more could a french painter of that time attain?

    Btw what do you think of the norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum?

    Mydrako,

    I don't think the russians wrote down anything, and if they did - it's probably in russian!!! Yes today their system is most interesting.
    The school where I studied is really really good, but it is only drawing, and no value study.
    I can't say at the moment if it is good to mix different systems - I have only been one trimester at Angels and most of the time it felt like too much of a challenge(to draw differently/think differently).
    Copying 2d shadow shapes is like the opposite of constructing the figure. I would prefare to just have stayed in the russian system, but complicated financial reasons makes me continue at Angels. (It's a great school btw, just different) Well, I probably will get used to it.

    Doing smooth rendering of round forms takes a looooong time. Planar is much faster. Planar also gives a more strong result, in the sense that it is easier to grasp/comprehend/touch. But of course it lacks realism.
    One very good thing about working in planes is that you can easily see if the perspective is way off. And when you have found your planes you can always choose to round them.

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  10. #83
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    What do you mean by "it lacks realism"? The Angel method seems to me to look flat and like a photograph.

    About Nerdrum: I have never seen his work in the flesh (so to speak), so it's hard to say, but on line his painting seems very compelling. What do you think?

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  12. #84
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    At Angels they do have a system of rendering, it is more than just copying shadow shapes. I haven't got enough experience with their system yet to explain properly.

    What you are talking about is 3 dimensionalism - this is different from realism.
    If you work planar the result can be VERY 3 dimensional, but little realistic. You can easily see the underlying structure, how the artist has perceived the form, anatomy, gesture.
    And if you so choose, you can omid cast shadows, disregard specular highlights etc, and it will still look 3 dimensional.

    With the Angel system, the underlying structure isn't build up in the same way, it is aimed at copying the exact shapes of light, but with a smooth rendering wrapped around imagined cylinders and eggs(to increase 3d I guess). I think they also do reflected light at these imagined solids, but it is very dimmed down at the edges of the forms.
    Mm, I think Dorian can answer more about their system, I only have 2½ months experience.

    The french masters of the past had a VERY strong underlying structure, but they dimmed down this structure, so that it looks more realistic(smoother, more values)
    I strongly believe that an artist such as Bouguereau could easily draw in the style of Raphael or Michelangelo if he so chose.

    This quality of structure is what is lacking at schools such as Angel, but they attain a more realistic result right away.

    About Odd Nerdrum, I have only seen some bad imgs online(bad quality), but they still look great! Just ordered his new book, 500 pages or so. I am very excited.
    What really interests me about Odd is that he takes the word "kitsch" and attempts to make it possitive by applying it to his own art.(after Edmard Munch he is norways most famous painter)
    And looking at his art it is as far from "kitsch" as anything could ever be. That is cool I think - will make it easier in the future for classical artists to break through the barrier of art criticism(if they can't through "kitsch" at you, what can they do?).

    If he excibits in Denmark(or west Sweden) I will go and see his stuff in real life.

    Last edited by hummel1dane; July 2nd, 2009 at 02:46 AM.
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  14. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by hummel1dane View Post
    She doesn't teach? Mm, an outdated webpage perhaps. I'll keep it in the list anyways, then people can contact her if interested.
    Her page is: http://www.academicfigure.com/

    I took a look at your sketch thread and I think I better understand the planes approach to shading. My art education has been a la carte with no formal study, but I did study briefly with one Chinese instructor who taught bust/cast drawing very similar to the Russian approach. We used loose hatched pencil lines and a planar breakdown (planes facing away from the light source will be darker, etc) as opposed to the Bargue shadow shape approach.

    I think the longest pose that Vilppu instructs with is 6 hours. The most finished of his more recent work (within the past few decades) that I've seen has been white/black charcoal/pencil on toned paper. He generally works fairly small and definitely prefers quick sketches with washes over longer poses with a one source light setup. In his classes, no light setup is used except on longer poses and only in sessions studying light/shadow.

    Perspective I think is an integral part of construction when you break things down to simple cylinders and boxes. If you can't draw simple objects in perspective you are going to have trouble with construction. I've never thought perspective as being that complicated and it really is so basic an art skill, that is perhaps why Vilppu does not focus on teaching it much. Understanding and using perspective is part and parcel of drawing the shapes you are using to construct the figure in space.

    But students of Vilppu are primarily concerned with the animation industry and so the focus is usually composition, construction of the figure, and gesture. As a result, tone, modeling form, shadows, edges and all that jazz are not focused on. However, they are given equal weight in his books, it's just that many never get that far in terms of either interest or mastery of content.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxine Schacker
    The Angel method seems to me to look flat and like photograph.
    Why is that? the work looks very flat and a bit sterile to me as well. Is it the single spot lighting? Or the sharp focus and edges of every little thing? The lack of much color in the shadows, and the convincing reproduction of objects lit by a single light source in a studio setting add to the sterility for me.

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  16. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by forsaken dreams View Post
    Her page is: http://www.academicfigure.com/

    I took a look at your sketch thread and I think I better understand the planes approach to shading. My art education has been a la carte with no formal study, but I did study briefly with one Chinese instructor who taught bust/cast drawing very similar to the Russian approach. We used loose hatched pencil lines and a planar breakdown (planes facing away from the light source will be darker, etc) as opposed to the Bargue shadow shape approach.

    I think the longest pose that Vilppu instructs with is 6 hours. The most finished of his more recent work (within the past few decades) that I've seen has been white/black charcoal/pencil on toned paper. He generally works fairly small and definitely prefers quick sketches with washes over longer poses with a one source light setup. In his classes, no light setup is used except on longer poses and only in sessions studying light/shadow.
    Who was that chinese?

    Doing a 15-20 hour study without a light setup has many advantages - you have time to get the proportions right, you can dig REALLY deep into the anatomical details, and you can do a nice 3 dimensional rendering.

    Oh yes, the size... The russians draw A3 or A2 - Vilppu is A4 or smaller right?
    At Angels I think max 30cm for the length of the figure in pencil is standard, then charcoal is a bit bigger.
    The 30cm figure is necessary because of the time consuming rendering(filling a dark smooth tone with graphite can take 3-5 hours alone)
    Then we use brushes(long haired and cut down), some also use stomps. We use 2B and HB (if time, 2H as well) I don't know about charcoal.

    I don't think the russians use stuff like stomps and brushes and they don't go harder than 4B in graphite(and they probably don't even like pencil, prefers redchalk, blackchalk or charcoal.)

    But that makes sense - if you use brushes or stomps you can work in harder pencils, because you'll get the dark tone by brushing - working the graphite into the paper = darker tone.

    Last edited by hummel1dane; July 2nd, 2009 at 01:42 PM.
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  18. #87
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    Hmm u probably know this but this site seems to sell alot of russian drawing book published by chinese publishers.

    http://www.gallerynucleus.com/detail/6866?page=1

    Looks really interesting. They are kinda costly and i think u can find them at a low price in china. I will try to find the publisher and see if they sell it direct from china which will probably be at a much lower price.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Edit:
    Found that amazon china sell all these books at pretty good price.

    http://www.amazon.cn/mn/detailApp/47...did=zjbk295314

    The actual publisher is guangxi fine art publishing and their site is at
    http://www.gxfinearts.com

    If u guys have problem navigating the site, I can help with the chinese

    Last edited by JS Neo; July 3rd, 2009 at 12:44 AM.
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  20. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mydrako View Post
    Hmm u probably know this but this site seems to sell alot of russian drawing book published by chinese publishers.

    http://www.gallerynucleus.com/detail/6866?page=1

    Looks really interesting. They are kinda costly and i think u can find them at a low price in china. I will try to find the publisher and see if they sell it direct from china which will probably be at a much lower price.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Edit:
    Found that amazon china sell all these books at pretty good price.

    http://www.amazon.cn/mn/detailApp/47...did=zjbk295314

    The actual publisher is guangxi fine art publishing and their site is at
    http://www.gxfinearts.com

    If u guys have problem navigating the site, I can help with the chinese
    Thanks that would be very nice! When I return to Italy I would like to order them! I can't even read what the price is!!

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  22. #89
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    Here are some painting by Vasily Perov. I think they are really strong in narrative, something i admire in some of the russian painters.

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  24. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by hummel1dane View Post
    Who was that chinese?
    Not sure, he's not any of the famous guys that teach currently, but I believe he studied at a state run art academy in China. The primary method he teaches for studying and understanding form is with graphite, from 4B to 4H in 2 step increments, aided by a kneaded eraser. The hatched lines are very apparent and rough, and funny enough, look exactly like the book that Mydrako linked to: http://www.gallerynucleus.com/detail/6866?page=1

    In fact I had to actually copy this exact drawing too:
    http://www.gallerynucleus.com/item/i...e2_detail5.jpg


    Oh yes, the size... The russians draw A3 or A2 - Vilppu is A4 or smaller right?
    Hmm, I don't believe Vilppu has a specific size of paper he draws on, but yes A4 or smaller is pretty close. When demoing he'll work on large newsprint only because it's easy to see and probably cheap. But in general he carries around a sketchbook he makes himself, around A5 in size. The largest drawing of his I've seen was between A3 and A2 but it was framed and contained a composition of 2-3 figures. In general his drawings measure about 6cm-10cm in height on average I'd say. Most of the time he uses a fountain pen for his own work and applies tone via a mix of hatching and water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mydrako
    Hmm u probably know this but this site seems to sell alot of russian drawing book published by chinese publishers.

    http://www.gallerynucleus.com/detail/6866?page=1

    Looks really interesting. They are kinda costly and i think u can find them at a low price in china. I will try to find the publisher and see if they sell it direct from china which will probably be at a much lower price.
    wow, thanks for posting these! This actually is starting to answer my questions about the style of cast drawings I was taught back in the late 90's. I could never quite figure out why what I was taught as "cast drawings" was so different in style and technique for the "cast drawings/paintings" taught by the ateliers I've seen popping up lately. I thought maybe it was a variation of Bargue's stuff, but as I understand it now the technique and approach is quite different. It's interesting to find that the roots are actually Russian.

    The same technique (breaking down into planes and rendering with roughly layered hatching) was applied to everything from basic still life of cones and spheres to pots, pans, vegetables and casts. It is pretty interesting to see the same look taken to the figure drawings as my own figure drawing training has been a vastly different approach.

    Last edited by forsaken dreams; March 17th, 2010 at 10:55 PM.
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  26. #91
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    Could be interesting to know more about that state academy. Especially now when the standard in Russia and rest of eastern Europe has dropped.

    The only thing I've heard about chinese students is that after so many years of hard discipline they end up with the ability to draw everything from life to minute details, fast and with perfect technique - but they have no imagination!
    Is it true?

    The roots of the Russian system are french and italian schools of renaissance technique(around 1720). Yes we are VERY lucky that they didn't stop teaching the classical stuff in the 20th century!

    Mydrako, those are amazing paintings! I definitely will look into that guy.

    Last edited by hummel1dane; July 3rd, 2009 at 02:11 PM.
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