Looking For An Artist That Posts Here, Wonderful Response To Use Of Reference
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    Looking For An Artist That Posts Here, Wonderful Response To Use Of Reference

    I'm trying to pin down an artist so I can then pin down a post of his about the use of reference. The artist in question is not really a regular poster - from what I have seen - but when he does post, his work is very singular and technique heavy. In the past he has done paintings of American Civil War figures (I remember a drummer boy), a smithy standing by his anvil with a wonderful collage of leather bits that made up his apron, some kind of prehistoric flightless bird, a horseback rider on a beach; and more recently, a very complicated harbour/beach scene with sail ships in the background, and multiple rendered characters: foreground scene based around a woman altercating over something ruined or tipped over from her fruit/veg' stand (can't quite recall the actual scene in full), and another trio (?) of characters around some barrels?

    If I remember right, the artist got a little stick in the responses about the use of reference, and he posted a really wonderful reply on the subject by using a simple single light source portrait (I think) as an example to those that questioned him in this regard.

    I suspect the answer is either so clear, or a huge long shot, but I would really like to track down - first the artist in queston - and then that beautiful response. In my infinite idiocy, I never bothered to save and name the art in my inspiration folder. Can anyone help?

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    I think the thread you're looking for is this one: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=201350


    Tristan Elwell
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    Oh, you wonderful little so-and-so. Very much appreciated. Thank you.

    Edit: Just to draw closure to this thread and spread some words/thoughts I found very, very memorable (hence my initial plea) and so very bloody decent, I'll drop the quote here...


    Quote Originally Posted by scrawnypaws View Post
    Hi all,
    thank you for kind words. For those interested in professional discussion, here it is:

    This is the most difficult type of lighting - 3/4 frontal with distinctive cast shadows. It sculpts form nicely and is probably the most handsome one. However, such lighting requires certain restraint. The image needs significant enough shaded areas to create balance between bright and dark zones. It should work almost like an abastract composition: dark and bright, tight and soft, vast and tiny. I didn't do a greyscale general sketch to solve that (kinda hoping my experience would sort it out by itself). This always leads to disaster, mark it. If you look at prelim studies, each fragment work fine. In fact, they are even better than the final image, because the yeye has no difficulty identifying what is primary and what is secondary. Some of vignettes and secondary figures should have been "toned down" to make the principals stand out. The background should have shaded areas to tie together the whole thing and provide more value variety for the eye. But once everything was in place, I didn't have strenght or courage to radically chnge what was necessary. So, it's an experiment that somewhat fell short of what it should have been. It was a good lesson, too, that one should always repeat to oneself - always solve basics first. That's why I say it's overdone. The image barely holds together.

    Now, educating someone who doesn't want to be educated is an ungrateful and hopeless task. Nevertheless, let's end once and for all that "from mind" nonsense, at least in this thread.

    The overall idea, the composition, the basic color and tonal palettes come "from mind". But "basic" is the key word. For those poor misleaded souls I say IT IS NOT POSSIBLE, hear it? NOT POSSIBLE to paint a PARTICULAR human form in directional lighting without a model. Even divine Michelangelo couldn't do it - he used multiple models and fused them into sublime beauty, but models he DID need.

    So, I've spent counless hours looking for fotos that had a figure, a detail, a head that matched - more or less - the idea. some were close, some weren't. The foreground head had a good experession but had a flat frontal lighting and from the wrong direction, too. I did my best to extrapolate, but there are limits... Just look at your hand in directional lighting! Turn it just one degree and everything is different, the outline, the muscle shape, all has changed! How one's mind can "figure out" this infinite richnes of form?!! What a silly notion!
    Now, I can raytrace by hand, like they did in the old days. If you give me front, side, top and precise sections every inch or couple of inches, I can construct a quite precise shading model, cast shadows and all. Even approximate the color bounce from experience. But who can provide such information? It's an immense task. It's absolutely prohibitive in ternms of time and effort. And it would still fall short of any study from a live model.
    And for those who don't understand words, just try something VERY simple. Paint a subject you're intimately familiar with. Something you've known for years, seen every day.
    Now, my "from mind" friends, please paint me your self-portrait. Head tilted 15 degrees to the right and 20degs back. The light source vector is (I'll make it REAL simple for you) is 45degs from right to left and 45 degs from top to bottom, just like in architectural renderings. Your viewing axis is tilted 5 degs to the right and 20 degs upward.
    Greyscale would be OK, just shading and cast shadows, alright?
    And please, NO MIRROR.
    Then we'll take a head shot of yours (to the secs) and compare the results.

    Go for it.

    I apologize if my manner is somewhat brash.


    Last edited by Munin Raven; July 7th, 2012 at 06:35 PM.
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