Gottfried Helnwein's Working Methods?
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    Gottfried Helnwein's Working Methods?

    The last couple of days I have been looking at Gottfried Helnwein's work, and have been wondering what sorts of methods he used. I haven't come across any paintings of his that are incomplete, and haven't see anything showing or discussing how he works. I am particularly curious because a lot of his paintings are very large and have a very high degree of finish.

    There are a couple videos and pictures showing him "paint" but really he is just dabbing a brush on a finished painting, doesn't have any reference with him, and is wearing sunglasses!



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    As a wild guess, I'd expect he uses a projector to trace photographs in big size.

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    I believe there is an old Airbrush Magazine article with him about painting with an airbrush for a Scorpions album cover. The one with the guys head wrapped in bandages with forks in his eyes? I think there was also a Blue Oyster cult album with two weird Dinosaur type heads he showed in the article too?

    Anyway the article showed him using an airbrush and some fine brushes for the smaller detial work. Since hes working so large now I would assume he doesn't need the airbrush and his painting technique is pretty straight forward and time consuming. Sort of like Chuck Close.

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    Found the images I was talking about

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    That is fucking metal.

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    One thing that's always amazing with such big scale work is how these artists can still see the overall painting progress when they're so close, and yet it doesn't come out looking all distorted. I wonder if they step back 10 feet every 3 seconds to check the progress.

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    I dont know how he used to work but I think he is now just touching up large photos. There are a number of videos around of him painting and he is always "painting" on very finished work. There is a youtube video of him photographing his subjects where the photos look just like his paintings. All that said, if he is creating these works from fairly completed photos that he is touching up, as long as the concept is his own I have no problem with his process. Even if it is touching up his own photos.

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