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Thread: Drawing from life or photography

  1. #121
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    This seems relevant:

    "My sketching is the same way. I don't know a scapula from a sternum but when I venture
    out into the world with my sketch book, I am able to distill my impressions into a oneframe
    story that totally tells my version of what I saw. When my wife Dee and I go on a
    vacation, she takes the photos and I sketch. She records the facts—I record the truth."

    -- Walt Stanchfield, Drawn To Life


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    "Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it. Let us get used to throwing away the unsuccessful effort and doing the job over. Let us consider obstacles as something to be expected in any endeavor; then they won't seem quite so insurmountable or so defeating." - Andrew Loomis
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  4. #122
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    Nezumi...that one little paragraph is so full of wisdom! Thanks...and why didn't you post that sooner?!!!

    Also...great insight of course Bill. Couldn't agree more. Which is why I tried earlier to cite/reference such a wide array or art and artists. Andy Goldsworthy...not much time spent drawing from life...he works with it. Syd Mead? Not a great plein air guy...you know what I mean...

    And by the way...Happy Thanksgiving to all...whether I agree with your position or not...be safe, be well and enjoy!

    What would Caravaggio do?
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  5. #123
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    Example. You’ve been commissioned to create a portrait of Theodore Roosevelt. They gave you a bunch of photos and expect to see a really nice painting at the end. An amateur artist (or lazy artist, or too busy artist, etc) will copy the photo. A professional artist will hire a model having features similar to T.R. and will study many photos for reference. But he’ll still make a painting of a REAL person, a life model. I hate to put everything in numbers but on average such painting will have only about 10% of photo reference, the rest will be an artist’s own creation.

    As I’ve said earlier in a similar thread, we have to be careful with our suggestions. Many young students listen to this and take a wrong path. If you start relying on photos too early in your art studies, you might damage your ability to draw – thus to feel the form, the structure, the touch of a real model. In photos you’ll see plain things: dark/bright, shade/light… but no volume, no shape, no texture, etc. After you spend years following such path then it’s quite difficult to change this habit (and even more difficult to realize it’s wrong).

    In art, photo must always be secondary while art – primary. But by copying photos you will always make the photo primary, and your own drawing/painting – secondary. Kind of “post-photography”, or even “second hand photography”. Where is your originality, your own creativity, your own ART? Someone has already done this for you, but in different media.

    One thing I must admit. Progress goes on and there is a good chance to see in some distant future such 3D virtual models that will be able to replace (at least partly) real models and objects. But today there is no such technology yet. Computer screens and photo images are flat, capable to interpret 2D objects only, thus limiting your ability to depict real things as they’re not that real yet.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    Russian Academy of Arts thread - all about it

    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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  6. #124
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    Julie,

    “Look at any of the professional step-by-step threads, most (if not all) of them use a photo rather than painting from life.”
    I don’t look at professional threads, I look at how it’s done by professional artists. Those that I know have never done this the way you describe it.

    “The person starts out at zero, there's no way to go negative.”
    Yes, there is. By developing a bad habit of ignoring a necessity of your own hard work in investigating real things and relying on photo images instead. It’s a lazy way. Instead of using a photo(s), a young artist must train his memory and make many sketches... 20… 40... – as many as necessary to make his work done. By using photos you choose the easiest and very provocative way.

    “How is this different than having a live model in a setting you can't control? Everyone here goes to figure drawing sessions where they're not posing the model or choosing the lighting (or to some degree even their angle to the model).”
    Here, I really can’t believe you don’t see the difference between a real model and a flat image on a photo. No matter of your setting in the class, you can see the volume and all different gradations of a human body even with your slight move. Now try to move a photo image – up/down/left/right… any difference?

    “From what I've done with 3D models, they actually seem a lot worse than photography to me! They're missing any sense of weight and any sense of which muscles are contracting and which are relaxed.”
    Julie, please read again what I’ve said.
    I don’t believe you came back from the future (well… who knows?). What kind of 3D models are you talking about? That you see on a flat computer screen? But it’s a fake 3D. I was talking about 3D models of the future, those who’ll look very much like humans, those you can turn around, look at from any angle, and may be even… touch. This will help for art studying but yet won’t substitute real life models.

    “How could drawing anything be worse than drawing nothing at all?”
    Because if you choose a wrong path you’ll be walking following your own steps (and mistakes) in a circle, instead of going in spiral.
    Of course, I’m against of “drawing nothing at all”. Just forget about photos, do many sketches. MANY sketches.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    www.4-art.org - art educational books
    www.Practicum.org - art educational portal
    guru@4-art.org - my direct e-mail
    Russian Academy of Arts thread - all about it

    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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  7. #125
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    I did a portrait painting course held by Louis Smith and we worked from a photo, not a live model. We learned the stages of constructing a painting, as well as edge control, glazing and impasto to give the illusion of depth. I learned a great deal. These principles and techniques can be taken and applied to everything else you paint, be it photos or life. I don't see how photos are so evil to work from, Book Guru.

    Last edited by B u r l; November 25th, 2011 at 07:33 AM.
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  9. #126
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    but that's not how you learned how to draw.

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  11. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by B u r l View Post
    I did a portrait painting course held by Louis Smith and we worked from a photo, not a live model. We learned the stages of constructing a painting, as well as edge control, glazing and impasto to give the illusion of depth. I learned a great deal. These principles and techniques can be taken and applied to everything else you paint, be it photos or life. I don't see how photos are so evil to work from, Book Guru.
    Then again, Master copy material are generally photos of the art. Well pretty much all images of paintings from the Masters we look at are photos

    dun dun dun.....

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  12. #128
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    Photos are life with a condom on...

    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/
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  14. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    Photos are life with a condom on...
    ...someone else's junk.

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  16. #130
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    [QUOTE=Kamber Parrk;3309188]
    Quote Originally Posted by a67epipadjle View Post
    Both are good. Alfred Steiglitz and Paul Strand are worth a persusal. The stuff we look at for learning purposes are only interesting for their ability to answer our questions... I'm sitting inside right now and outside is night time and I don't give a shit because of the simple fact that it has nothing to offer me right now, I'm not curious about it. I'm saying that so much bright light or darkness or colorfulness or 3Dness doesn't matter if all I want to know is a question of geometry, or pose etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by a67epipadjle View Post


    Somebody needs to stop huffing solvents before using English as a second language. . .

    (Spammer? Maybe. . .)
    I want to get out of this whole thing, but since you brought me back into it. All I'm talking about is making a study. You pick whatever source that will give you the kind of information you are searching for. "The slow, continuous moving picture has given us a new appreciation of rhythm in all visible movement. In these pictures of pole vault and steeplechase we actually may follow with the eye the movement of every muscle and note it's harmonious relation to the entire action of the man of horse."

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    "Knowledge is proven in action."
    "It's use is it's meaning."
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