Abduction, Steven Hägg-Ståhlberg (2D)

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  12 December 2006
Can't say more than fantastic
  12 December 2006
Originally Posted by elnady: Can't say more than fantastic

Neither can I.

  12 December 2006
Hi Steven,

I'll be harsh to you. But the good way, don't worry:)

The use of reference to do paintovers is actually a very bad thing similar to those "painting by numbers" books. It lacks originality and it limits the range of design.
In these days, there's nothing special about a painting that has been generated over a photo, despite the fact that it does take a certain amount of skills to do it properly.

Using reference for a traditional, "real" painting is something else, since translating proportions and colors to canvas as well as dealing with the REAL paint is a process of artistic surgery.

In this piece, the idea is truly great and it has been executed very well, so don't take me wrong: i love it! I also used tracing or reference for some illustrations of mine (see my CG Portfolio).
But i'm just terribly angry about the fact that paintovers gained so much popularity.

I respect you and your work very much and know, you could do it without any ref as well.
But i think you just got too lazy one day and stopped sweating about it..

I hope you'll take this as a constructional crit and not as offense.

Best regards and big respect,
Kan Muftic
My Blog
  12 December 2006
Quote: you could do it without any ref as well.

Sure, and this is what it looked like without reference (on the left):

I don't know about you, but I prefer the one on the right.

Quote: i think you just got too lazy one day and stopped sweating about it..

I've always been lazy. I see no honor or intrinsic value in doing drudgery work that does not show up in the final product. All I see is wasted time, time I could have spent thinking up new images or whatever.
But quite apart from that, I don't think I acted particularly lazy in this case.
Here are some different tests I did for the leg, before I settled for the one in the final image. The bent leg was done without photo reference, which you can easily tell by the 'broken ankle' look.

Not to mention that I researched and hired a pro photographer and model for this shoot, and directed them (for hours). It was fun but exhausting, and very sweaty.
Quote: I hope you'll take this as a constructional crit and not as offense.

I take it as neither. Of course I know you mean well, but it's not constructive because your philosophy is different from mine and I will never agree with you, and so I will never paint the way you suggest.

I don't care if people use references, in fact I encourage it among my students. What annoys me is artists who obviously use reference, and don't post their references, perhaps even try to specifically claim they used no refences whatsoever. (And this is more common than you may think.) So I make a point of being upfront about it.
  12 December 2006
Really love the girl figure, she has a sexy-beautiful figure. This is my other favorite idea in the Journey Begins. I'm glad you decided to touch this up. Your colors and spirit have leaped forward a great deal.
  12 December 2006
Oh man! so happy you finished this one, I really loved the idea when you first posted it. It looks great! love the water and the expressions.
  12 December 2006
Outstanding! 5*
  12 December 2006
Hey I agree with you about the ref thing. I really figured that it's okay either way. Before I would love to show that I didn't use any ref, but I find out most people can do it to - so it didn't seem too special anymore.

But I was always inspired by Michaelangelo's plain pencil drawings and his firm grasp of anatomy. To me, even though I think he used some ref to research the figure, I think he mostly worked from his imagination. To me he is still one of the top best artists in history. To one day have the taste of being a giant, I think we have to learn from the giants.

I also liked Adolphe William Bouguereau, who mostly used ref, but I think there is a certain creativity and free joy and a better sense of accomplishment when I do paint it completely without ref.

Now I use ref for areas I'm not too certain about, instead of winging, because I found I still have a lot to learn. I was just blown away by how another artist, zhuzhu, who excelled so rapidly. So I do it for the learning experience.

Before I wanted purely the ability to render anatomy close to the way Michaelangelo did. It really tests the artist's knowledge, and how much an artist really knows.
I mean people can draw about 3 times better with ref, than without it. So for the act of judging the ability of another artist, I think that is what the ref thing is all about.

And to me I find almost anybody can draw from a photograph, and to me it doesn't require much skill. Just copy what you see. That also gets quite tedious, and doesn't require much imagination. I think anyone almost can go out and shoot a nice picture, and copy it by hand. So it's like a computer, or a blank sleight. Albert Einstein, "Imagination is more important that knowledge," or to create is more important than the fact, or drawing from fact, or drawing from reality.

It really shows the ability, or it really shows skill, when an artist can draw a realistic figure without using a photograph. Or completely imagine and create a final product purely on one's own. When talking about a woman: when one can choose the eyes an artist wants, the hair color, the skin tone, the skin glow, what pose she's in, what atmosphere she's in, the expression on her face, and etc., the imagination is set free and the pure expression of the soul is relayed, without having to be shackled by details.
But in the end, to serve other people and not only yourself, it's also about the final product.

We've all heard it's about the journey and it's not only about the destination. So it's really how satisfied one feels with oneself and the artwork one accomplishes and feels in the process of accomplishing. As well as, the satisfaction it brings to others. One's own satisfaction is usually determined by where one wants to go or be in the end, and whether or not s/he plays through with that plan.
So a greater satisfaction is won when we have the freedom to create purely from our imaginations, and another is given to the other when the final product is presented. It's not just about me, it's about us.
So I think on both counts it's okay, depending on the satisfaction you get from doing it, and the sense of accomplishment when making a good painting . . . as well as how much it serves other people.

Well I don't know about you, but that's my beef. I didn't exactly proofread everything, so I hope it makes sense. Cheers Steven. ( I probably won't be back, so you don't have to comment. You can always email-me if you need to say anything more, zillionwater@yahoo.com. But at this time I don't recommend it.)
  12 December 2006
Woah! This is crazy!

Outstanding work!

Congrats =)
  12 December 2006
definitely, one of your best works
i really like it
5 stars from me
  12 December 2006
Cool crasy good has ever

It's sad I'm not to much rich to take part of your futur cours...
Ive loved to try to make an realistic body sculpting...
  12 December 2006
Another brilliant piece, Mr. Stahlberg.

And I completely agree with you about the use of references. That's in fact something I learned from your paintover thread as I originally considered them "a copy", thus diminishing the importance of the artists in the process of portraying a scene. Which is absurd really, all the great artists had real models, landscapes and objects to help them convey reality in the best possible way.

Today I use references for almost everything, and I think that adds alot to the final product, which is what really matters. The important thing is to show the scene as you imagined it, and all tools to make it seem plausible and real are just as worthy as your own imagination.
Ralph Damiani
CGS:DSG | Sketches: 24 | Cat. Winner: 01 | SotW: 00
  12 December 2006
Oh yes, 5 stars.
Ralph Damiani
CGS:DSG | Sketches: 24 | Cat. Winner: 01 | SotW: 00
  12 December 2006
The more I look at it the more I like it.
My second post on this thread, but I couldn't help notice that the girls boob is blured and fading a bit into the background? Did you censore the nipple or something?
I wonder why this isn't on the front page already.
gave you well deserved 5 stars btw
  12 December 2006
Glad to see you had the chance to get back to this image and finish it up, Steven. I think you made the right choice for the Journey Begins challenge, but it's nice that you managed in the end to get two solid pieces out of it. It looks great! Fun seeing your photoshoot images, too.

Michael Dashow
My web site / My art on Facebook
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