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  1. #1
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    old master's 'tracing?'

    i recently checked out a book from the library called "Secret knowledge : rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Masters" by David Hockney. i got it because i thought it was going to actually go over their painting techniques but instead it talks about hockney's theory that a lot of the old masters(not just vermeer) used a camera obscura device. from what i can remember its a sort of prism device the artist would look through and then trace but if he moved his eye the image would get distorted. he shows how paintings suddenly became more real looking after the discovery of the device. my memory is a little hazy but he showed a bunch of examples of many painters ranging from the 1300's to 1800's. has anyone heard of this theory or seen this book?
    Last edited by pibb991; February 15th, 2003 at 11:00 PM.


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  3. #2
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    yeah i saw the book...its funny that hockney (the author) can try to use those same techniques and his work still looks like shi#.

    i could trace a rembrandt and it would not as good when i was done. EVER.

    but on a serious note...some of the things in that book that he claims support his theory of lenses to project are BS. he shows how the detail tends to pull forward...of course it does..the artist pulls his spaces out of the paint with detail and texture...that kind of thing...i dont have the book here or i could give specific details.

    some of the stuff in there was used...vermeer for example...but he is simply trying to discredit the old masters some. regardless of any device available, those people were trained to do it without any such help. One visit to a traditional atelier like Waterstreet or that of Richard Lacks students in minnesota will show you the truth. their skill is earned through hard work and hard work only...something mr hockney never attempted to do fully.

    hackney..errr..hockney is a joke.

    he could use photoshop to trace a rembrandt and it would not be as good as rembrandt...if ya know what i mean.

    the book was good to make ya think though...it showed some interesting ideas...but it was biased on his old twentieth century attitude of belligerence toward traditional art values. His mind is closed. He has tried to find any reason he can to discredit those who built art history over hundreds of years. It is those very masters who show him to be the fraud that he is. he has no choice but to attempt to discredit them...after all..how else can he raise himself to their level. it sure wont be his painting that does it. EVER.

    I view his book as his excuse for his own ineptitude.

    thats my two cents.


    j


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  4. #3
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    one of my art teachers totally buys into hockney's ideas and she tries to sell me the same thing. some fellow classmates, my teacher, and i went to the metropolitan museum in new york before christmas, and she was explaining his theory out loud when this guy came up to us and started telling us hockney's an ass and that he's full of shit. i already knew that and didn't buy hockney anyway, so i was like "this dude rocks", my teacher on the other hand got all flustered and argued back a little. i found that thoroughly amusing. but yeah, hockney's full of it, I dont care how many of the people where lefthanded in the painting. how does he know that for sure anyway?
    Don't interrupt me when I'm doing my art or
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    I think its Mr. Hockney that's projecting. He's projecting his own inadequacies onto the masters. It's like a politician who's dishonest always trying to figure out an honest man's "angle."
    -Anthony
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    boom...anthony keeping it simple.

    well said ant


    j

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    I feel that the works of the great masters are above, beyond, and to the side of the technical means through which they created their works, regardless. We can't always see this magic, but certainly if one works diligently and honestly at his own craft a glimpse ought to be afforded to him/her.

    I'm also reminded of dozens of beautiful master drawings that are more the product of the mind/imagination than of the eye.

    -Bone

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    I was ready to get the fire retardant when I saw this thread but am glad it turned out like it did
    2c : even if some "masters" did trace SOME of their work... so what ?

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    Obviously these "critics" know as much about art and its history as I know about nuclear physics. Please avoid showing your ignorance when trying to look smart. Hockney's book is relevant, truthfull and extremely important to 21 century art. As to Manley's comment : SHAME SHAME SHAME. Your are not fit to be an administrator !
    By the way,
    I'm a new here, and if this is the kind of things I'm bound to find regularly, I rather do it with rugby players over a bar and a beer.
    Health to you all !
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    Apparently francis bacon moaned about being hung next to hockney at a show, saying hockney was "rubbish" and "dreary". in fact he didn't even want to be in the same room as hockney.

    somewhat irrevelant, but while we're bashing hockney...

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    Quote Originally Posted by henrihoux
    Obviously these "critics" know as much about art and its history as I know about nuclear physics. Please avoid showing your ignorance when trying to look smart. Hockney's book is relevant, truthfull and extremely important to 21 century art. As to Manley's comment : SHAME SHAME SHAME. Your are not fit to be an administrator !
    By the way,
    I'm a new here, and if this is the kind of things I'm bound to find regularly, I rather do it with rugby players over a bar and a beer.
    Health to you all !
    henrihoux


    Feel free to "do it with rugby players over a bar and a beer".... but bear in mind that that sounds awfully uncomfortable.



    PS. We need a schmuck smiley.

  12. #11
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    All Hockney is, is a jealous second rate artist who tries to bring down the masters to make him look better. Not all the masters used camera obscura's
    Man of integrity

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    I think its Mr. Hockney that's projecting. He's projecting his own inadequacies onto the masters. It's like a politician who's dishonest always trying to figure out an honest man's "angle."
    now THAT was an impressive pun.
    Often there is no more than a little plaque to reveal that, against all gynecological probability, someone very famous was born halfway up a wall.

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    Well, even if the masters were using the camera obscura, we gotta have in mind that it was something new. Very different from photos today... Those guys were the creative minds of their time! I see no problem about experiencing a technique...

    Now, he can´t say that those great fellas weren´t able to draw and paint using only their observations! No he can´t!
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    "Hey, I can't do something, it must be impossible!"

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    Bingo, Flake.

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    What the hell, the masters are all fake i tells ya! YES its a fact, im so much better then them now! = bullshit


    The Masters had a lot more time to work on there art back then, and put in 100percent. Thats why there the masters, not because they traced, even if they did. There good because they worked there little butts off all day everyday in most cases and diddent give a fuck what others thought.

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  18. #17
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    Them old masters busted their asses for the future artists. Most of the stuff we read in art books is what they spent years trying to figure out. From perspective, color, devices like the camera obscura, etc. Hockney should thank them.

  19. #18
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    I love it how artists too jealous of the success of others like to attribute that success to the use of cheap tricks.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  20. #19
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    You guys want to know a secret? Picasso just painted stupid random shit 2 or 3 times a day- I know it sounds crazy, but it's true.


    Kiddin'. Not all of his stuff is stupid or random.

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    After reading this thread I had to post. Seems that most people are bashing Hockney for having an opinion based off of "evidence" that he personally believes in and could be creditable. To some, Hockney seems to be pissing on the ideas that these people have of the "Great Masters". And such ideas, like religion, shape people's lives and make them into who they are today. So the kind of responses in this thread should be expected. Davinci Code anyone? There's such a negative response towards Hockney but the same people bashing him have never read his work at all or thoroughly. To be upfront I have not read his work at all really but I looked him up and the second quote I read about him quotes a passage in his book, "Optical devices certainly don't paint pictures," Hockney said. "Let me say now that the use of them diminishes no great artist." Just like that he's cleared in my opinion of every bashing post here. Dispite the ease of finding such knowledge people jump the gun and bash him..."He's jealous because he can't do it!" or whatever. I use an artograph projector myself. Not because I cant draw but its more practical when I want precision. I can use calipers, rulers, pencils with my thumb what ever other technique I learned up until now but I'm sure that the "Great Masters" probably thought of camera obscura as just another piece of technology to help them create art, not make the art for them. Unless the words "fake, fraud, and/or cheater" was used to describe the "Great Masters" (words I've heard about the use of the Artograph Projector) then most of these post are unfair. The underdrawing is only about 15% or less of the total time spent painting. Drew Struzan (Star Wars poster artist) uses an artograph prism pretty much exclusively but can anyone here say that that takes anything away from Drew? In 300 + years when students talk about "Masters" of art I'm sure his name will be in there somewhere (Drew Struzan not Hockney...well maybe hockney what do I know ) . I must be jealous because I said Drew traces? Artist are like anyone else that dedicates themselves to a skill. That dedication is usually based off of inspiration and ideals so when those ideals/inspirations are challenged we fight back...Pride and all. I had to fight an angry mob to see "Davinci Code". There were even nuts protesting the "Lord of the Rings" movie. If you want to say that Hockney is wrong then discredit his evidence with your own evidence. Wether or not it's true that he is jealous of the "Great Masters" does not make his theory untrue that some "Great Masters" used an optical device in their painting process. What I find funny is that I have never heard of Hockney or his book until today. Guess I have to go read it now... Hockney is what now 70 years old or so?
    Maybe he has something creditable to say...
    Imagine in 500+ years in the future a not so good artist states in some book somewhere, "(Insert Conceptart.org artist's name here) used photoshop and painter to create their images". Some student somewhere who had dedicated his/her life to art because of your (insert Conceptart.org artist's name here) work is gonna respond on some forum the same way as most of the posts here.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Ross
    To be upfront I have not read his work at all really. . .
    Wait. . . so you’re allowed to form an opinion based on a book you haven’t read, but no one else here is?
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  23. #22
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    The only opinion I've expressed is bashing someone who has an opinion when you have no knowledge of his/her full opinion. I'm not defending Hockney rather I'm defending another individual's right to have an opinion. The other opinion I've expressed is that if in fact he is correct...then so what. I have no opinion of whether or not his theory is true or not. My post doesn't say I believe him or not. I want to believe that he's wrong and that the "Great Masters" were above us mortals and all. I personally don't care if he's right or wrong. The "Masters" created life changing imagery.
    Your response to my post would be valid if I actually based an opinion about Hockney without reading his book not on what his opinion is.
    Last edited by Jason Ross; October 20th, 2006 at 06:21 PM.

  24. #23
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    Oh, my mistake, sorry.

    Hey, if you're so interested in the book, you should write up a review of it when you've read it and share it here for everyone. I would be interested in reading what you write.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  25. #24
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    I was looking up some Atlier programs in chicago on this site and they had this nice beefy section on Hockney, if any of you need a lil light on the subject heres the link
    http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/2...d/hockney1.asp

    Fuck You David Hockney

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Ross
    There's such a negative response towards Hockney but the same people bashing him have never read his work at all or thoroughly
    I've read the book in question but mainly because it has many nice pictures.

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    Dunno about his theoryes or believes, but he sure has some stunning drawings!

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    Hockney was only partially correct. The old masters used the camera as a base and then their imagination and eyeballs to add the touch of genius and hard work to it.
    Simple as that.

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    Hullo,
    I'm a lurker. This is a really interesting subject though, so I'll make the exception and post, although I haven't read the book I have heard about the theory. This thread has sparked my interest enough to actually read it so I can have a proper opinion.

    As of now, I think I agree with comparing it to artists today using digital media. It's very convenient for us for a number of reasons, like being able to play with layers and dynamically change something very fast without an eraser. Even in these times I have experienced controversy and claims that visual imagery created on a computer, especially 3D, is not art.

    I don't know if this is any different for professionals, but I'm not one, so here goes: It doesn't matter if they did or didn't do it, for two reasons!

    First, for someone like me, I am still overwhelmed by their dedication, I still respect these people who produce picture after picture throughout their lives. Hell, I even find it a struggle sitting down merely to sketch! I can't remember the last time I spent more than 45 minutes to draw any one thing. Then I hear about some old renaissance man who spends one or two years perfecting a painting. WHAT?!

    Second, this magnifience can't just be measured in the level of realism. These artists are not cameras, but human, and so when you project something from your mind onto paper more follows.

  30. #29
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    Wow, I just looked up his art and it definitly isn't something I expected from an assumed famous artist, hmm. He's not bad, but he is definitly not amazing.
    Whatever though, atleast he's famous.

  31. #30
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    Great post Jason. As I was reading the bashing, as it will happen to anyone, I began to think like them...but I'd never read the book. I just took an opinion. Then You opened my eyes, yup. I hate when I do stuff like that because I do credit myself to being cleverer than most people my age, and many people tell me so, so I'm going to try and not fall into anything like that agaain.

    I just looked up his artwork...wtf? He's nationally famous? My Tempera work is better than this.

    What gives?

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