Mess or Masterpiece? Portrait of Duchess Kate revealed
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Thread: Mess or Masterpiece? Portrait of Duchess Kate revealed

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    Mess or Masterpiece? Portrait of Duchess Kate revealed

    -I often post from my phone; so please excuse the typos
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    I would like to see more colour, as it is very greyish overall; it might be a bad photograph. Furthermore, I don't like the massive lumps of hair on her shoulders, and her neck a little too massive for my taste. It is pretty conservative portrait, I would appreciate a little more guts with subject matter like this...

    On second thought, I noticed the video gives a more colourful rendering of the portrait, including the usual qualifications of 'it's almost like a picture' and 'a Mona Lisa smile'...

    Last edited by eezacque@xs4all.nl; January 11th, 2013 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Second thoughts
    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, but it is very competent. There are some shades of brilliance there with the subtle way the smile reaches her eyes. The only thing I don't really like is the washed-out kinda blurry thing that would have been easy to fix with glazing. I wonder if it is just a bad photo with a bit of light reflection stealing the depth and intensity of the colors.

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    Whatever. Official portraits are almost always awful by nature, it's certainly nowhere near as bad as many. I'm just so fucking sick of this vogue for oversized portraits, it's a cheap way to make an otherwise traditional painting seem "modern."


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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    I'm just so fucking sick of this vogue for oversized portraits, it's a cheap way to make an otherwise traditional painting seem "modern."
    I'm a bit confused over what you mean by "vogue". Haven't oversized portraits always been a thing with royalty?

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    I came to this thread to either see an awful or an awesome portrait, but there's just a solid portrait :C.

    I just took a break to post this.
    But sometimes I also draw stuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeptime View Post
    I'm a bit confused over what you mean by "vogue". Haven't oversized portraits always been a thing with royalty?
    I meant larger than life-sized, not just big.


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    Is it just me or does anyone else end up going to the bottom (viewer's) left of the portrait, mostly due to the treatment of her hair on that side.

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    I think it makes her look a lot heavier than she normally appears. Looks like people are having fun with it already http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-n...-viral-1530177 (Sorry about linking to The Mirror)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Whatever. Official portraits are almost always awful by nature, it's certainly nowhere near as bad as many. I'm just so fucking sick of this vogue for oversized portraits, it's a cheap way to make an otherwise traditional painting seem "modern."
    I was sick of that gimmick the first time I saw it. If I was prescient I would have been sick of it even earlier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    I was sick of that gimmick the first time I saw it. If I was prescient I would have been sick of it even earlier.
    And if you had been pregnant, you would even have been more sick?

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    The more I look at it, the more the nose becomes blurred. Shame really, as a nose gives character to a face.


    I didn't think it was possible to be called an artist when you have nothing to say. It's like being a writer who publishes individual words as books and expects to be praised for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque@xs4all.nl View Post
    And if you had been pregnant, you would even have been more sick?
    That's a BIG if eezacque!

    And yeah....there's something wrong about the mouth. (some will get that).

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    An alternate theory: Duchess Kate has made a pact with someone, and this is her Dorian Gray painting.

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    talking about sick.... im sick of threads like that.

    seriously are you as good, you are ment to be posting someone elses artwork up for discussion (without the creators consent), instead of drawing and posting your own? become an art critic if you want to come off as an asshole, but excuse me if i dont take you seriously then. nothing easier than beeing a smartass about someone elses effort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sone_one View Post
    talking about sick.... im sick of threads like that.

    seriously are you as good, you are ment to be posting someone elses artwork up for discussion (without the creators consent), instead of drawing and posting your own? become an art critic if you want to come off as an asshole, but excuse me if i dont take you seriously then. nothing easier than beeing a smartass about someone elses effort.
    Uhm....whut? I don't really see a problem discussing a very publicly available painting of a very public figure for discussion? Seems completely valid as a topic in an effort to understand what may or may not be an effective portrait.

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    What Jeff said^^

    I think he botched the nose, royally, by going to safe, out of fear of making it unflattering. Her nose has much more structure. In the portrait it is too diffuse.
    I think there is actually an issue with her mouth. The left edge (her left) of her lower lip protrudes out like she just had dental work (in the portrait).
    Overall, I’m not impressed with the painting, trying to see past the not so stellar quality of the posted images. My first impression was this was a work relying heavily on photo reference. The hair needs some further attention. The problem with this portrait, for me, is that it does not rise above basic photorealism in areas.

    I’d like to see how Nelson Shanks would have handled her portrait.

    Ref photo adhered to:

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    Last edited by bill618; January 11th, 2013 at 04:42 PM.
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    She looks 5-10 years older in that portrait and why is her nose blurry???

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    Quote Originally Posted by bill618 View Post
    What Jeff said^^

    I think he botched the nose, royally, by going to safe, out of fear of making it unflattering. Her nose has much more structure. In the portrait it is too diffuse.
    I think there is actually an issue with her mouth. The left edge (her left) of her lower lip protrudes out like she just had dental work (in the portrait).
    Overall, I’m not impressed with the painting, trying to see past the not so stellar quality of the posted images. My first impression was this was a work relying heavily on photo reference. The hair needs some further attention. The problem with this portrait, for me, is that it does not rise above basic photorealism in areas.

    I’d like to see how Nelson Shanks would have handled her portrait.
    Good analysis Bill...what I was thinking as well (but didn't care overly much). Eyes feel a skosh small to me also.
    Nice find on the photo ref.

    (Oh and if people didn't quite catch the "something about the mouth" reference...that was the complaint Sargent said he most often received)

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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterKiller_ View Post
    She looks 5-10 years older in that portrait and why is her nose blurry???
    She must have sniffed while posing...

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Uhm....whut? I don't really see a problem discussing a very publicly available painting of a very public figure for discussion? Seems completely valid as a topic in an effort to understand what may or may not be an effective portrait.
    every painting thats anywhere posted on the internet is publicly available? been there? had to paint a portrait of someone everyone knows? met the restrictions? its not like such a job gives you the freedom to go for truthfull artistic expression. so it shouldnt be judged by it. i think its strange you question that, considering youve been mentioning working as a production artist for a long time on a lot of occassions. you should know theres compromises to be made, most often for the worse considering the result. thats how it works.

    true its been comissioned by some public institution, and you aswell as everyone is free to offer his opinion. its still cheap. you be there, you paint, you put up with the royals, you talk about artistic qualities... thats my opinion

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    I think the edges on most of the contours and of the hair are really nice. This biggest problem for me about it though is that the face is just a bit too over-blended in some areas. I think a few harder edges especially on the nose would've done the portrait more justice.

    It's still a good painting IMO, much better than some other 'famous' people paintings.

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    Should have had Hale do it. In any of the repos I can find it is just a dead painting. For me the worst kind of portraiture. A seeming photo copy. I don't understand. Well I do understand. We seem, as a culture, to be losing our taste for the real in favor of the representational.

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    aye that hale painting i love, imo one of his best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sone_one View Post
    every painting thats anywhere posted on the internet is publicly available? been there? had to paint a portrait of someone everyone knows? met the restrictions? its not like such a job gives you the freedom to go for truthfull artistic expression. so it shouldnt be judged by it. i think its strange you question that, considering youve been mentioning working as a production artist for a long time on a lot of occassions. you should know theres compromises to be made, most often for the worse considering the result. thats how it works.

    true its been comissioned by some public institution, and you aswell as everyone is free to offer his opinion. its still cheap. you be there, you paint, you put up with the royals, you talk about artistic qualities... thats my opinion
    What gives man? Did you somehow miss this: Posted on Today News feed?

    We post things here all the f-ing time to have discussion. Here's a valid f-ing discussion about a fairly major portrait...but we can't discuss it? Bill Carman nailed it as well...dead painting...worst kind of portraiture...a seeming photo copy. TBH it's boring as fuck. As far as anyone can tell the artist wasn't there, didn't put up with the royals and lacked the artisitic integrity to do anything more than project up a photo and paint by numbers.

    Just my cheap opinion.

    And by the way...that level of "job" should absolutely give you the freedom for truthful artistic expression...if you have the balls to stand on your integrity. Anything less is prostitution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sone_one View Post
    talking about sick.... im sick of threads like that.

    seriously are you as good, you are ment to be posting someone elses artwork up for discussion (without the creators consent), instead of drawing and posting your own? become an art critic if you want to come off as an asshole, but excuse me if i dont take you seriously then. nothing easier than beeing a smartass about someone elses effort.
    Was this directed at me, or the original owner of the article?

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    I personally don't like the portrait, and I don't think it does a good job of representing it's subject... she looks far prettier, younger, and warmer (in character) in that photo. The artist seems to have made her older, and given her a more serious facial expression, there's an inappropriate melancholy to the whole thing (the faded, desaturated colours, skin, gray-blue everywhere).

    and, wow, Nelson shanks is good. Thanks for introducing me to him, bill618

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    If I was ever in the position where someone said they wanted to do a portrait of me to hang here or there I'd say only if you don't make it a portrait... ..... ... make me fight a dragon or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aks9 View Post
    I personally don't like the portrait, and I don't think it does a good job of representing it's subject... she looks far prettier, younger, and warmer (in character) in that photo. The artist seems to have made her older, and given her a more serious facial expression, there's an inappropriate melancholy to the whole thing (the faded, desaturated colours, skin, gray-blue everywhere).

    and, wow, Nelson shanks is good. Thanks for introducing me to him, bill618
    Yep agreed, when it comes to capturing her 'spirit' the artist didn't do a great job, it feels quite dim and detached, devoid of life, the number 1 sin to commit in portraiture imo. It's like a much less appealing version of the photograph. In the battle of painting vs photo, the painter lost this round.

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    My complaint is that the proportion of everything is there and it's a far better than average painting, but the details aren't tack sharp. I just get the sense that in 2013, with all of the knowledge painters have access to now and the general emphasis on realism being what it is paintings of official nation dignitaries should be almost photographically sharp instead of leaning a bit toward impressionistic. Obviously it's not impressionistic, but it just lacks the sharpness to give it the punch one can't get from expressionistic posing, costume, hair or make-up IMO.

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