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Old 03-14-2013, 11:57 AM   #16
Iguess
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Pierre Hakim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarisB
Hmm. Since I still haven't conquered my weaknesses I usually keep the following feelings to myself but I think this is a good chance to express my views.

Regarding learning from great painters, I feel like that advice is good but incomplete.

For example a lot of people advice studying John Singer Sargent. Well since so many people studied it why isn't there a proper analysis on what Sargent work is in more specific terms? I did not find any specifics on how to actually do it.

All you find is, he used expressive strokes, he moved a lot while painting, he used a lot of color on the brush, when he painted he painted quickly... nice, very nice. But not very useful. And this is one of the most talked about painters ever. Yet no one can tell you, "listen man, Sargent did 1 and 2 and 3, look here at this and I will show you step by step. This is how you would it, this is how he did it, see the difference?" It is astounding that no one can explain it that way.

Ok so someone tells me Faris don't be lazy. forget other peoples opinions, download the paintings and study them yourself. First of all I don't have a reference for the same scene he painted. No photos. So I cannot compare. The only option I have is to draw an outline, use his painting as a photo and try to paint it in my style, then see how differently he did it until I get a feel for it.

Now one thing that shows in their work is a sense of realism. Abbreviated realism, and man that is advanced. How can anyone learn how to paint abbreviated realism when they are still learning how to achieve realism in the first place?

Learning from great painters is an advanced lesson. Actually especially the ones that know what to put in and what to leave are even harder.

So in this case if I were were Pierre, I would also just try to reproduce the photo, in its micro details. Because only after I'm confident I can create any micro details, would I have the understanding, eye sight and knowledge of execution to know what to drop since I'm not worried about my technical limitations any more.

First I must succeed to copy, because that means I can analyse and execute accurately. Then I can see what can be dropped or changed or exaggerated to create a "style". It's like the comfort of having a save point that I can fall back on instead of falling all the way to the bottom.

I think doing all of it in one go is too ambitious.

Regarding this piece Pierre, I think Lunatique is right and this is more of a technical exercise. You need to focus on the hair, that is the main weakness. It sort of fell apart or was rushed through or the difficulty got to you.

I did an exercise the other day regarding skin rendering. I did it in monochrome, I ditched what is available on the net as "skin brushes" and created my own settings and it seems to have worked but only in black and white till now. So you are actually ahead of me. Hair is still a monster in the closet for me as well.

Since my eye is better than my hand at the moment though this is what I would attempt to learn to do if I was in the same stage as you:

- The hair is a lot darker.
- There are not so much highlights in the dark regions of the hair. You have highlighted hairs all over the place.
- The reflected light on the hair is more broken across the strands. In your piece it looks like a single region instead of reflecting of certain hairs in a certain angle.

The background looks good by the way.


thank you very much for the reply FarisB.
yeah exactly, like I said before, you can not go straight to abstract, it's absurd, you have to do the steps first, I'm more confident now with my technique, and yeah, the hair needs more work, you're right, I can see that now, so now I'm moving on to more of studying and starting to play more with the colors, and just experience, yeah, they tell you to look at that one's works or the other one's, but I believe that you might absorb a little from here or there, but eventually you will have to try and just experience, with a good knowledge and a solid background of course.
Thanx again Faris, really appreciate your reply.
 
Old 03-14-2013, 08:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarisB
Hmm. Since I still haven't conquered my weaknesses I usually keep the following feelings to myself but I think this is a good chance to express my views.

Regarding learning from great painters, I feel like that advice is good but incomplete.

For example a lot of people advice studying John Singer Sargent. Well since so many people studied it why isn't there a proper analysis on what Sargent work is in more specific terms? I did not find any specifics on how to actually do it.

All you find is, he used expressive strokes, he moved a lot while painting, he used a lot of color on the brush, when he painted he painted quickly... nice, very nice. But not very useful. And this is one of the most talked about painters ever. Yet no one can tell you, "listen man, Sargent did 1 and 2 and 3, look here at this and I will show you step by step. This is how you would it, this is how he did it, see the difference?" It is astounding that no one can explain it that way.

Ok so someone tells me Faris don't be lazy. forget other peoples opinions, download the paintings and study them yourself. First of all I don't have a reference for the same scene he painted. No photos. So I cannot compare. The only option I have is to draw an outline, use his painting as a photo and try to paint it in my style, then see how differently he did it until I get a feel for it.

Now one thing that shows in their work is a sense of realism. Abbreviated realism, and man that is advanced. How can anyone learn how to paint abbreviated realism when they are still learning how to achieve realism in the first place?

Learning from great painters is an advanced lesson. Actually especially the ones that know what to put in and what to leave are even harder.

So in this case if I were were Pierre, I would also just try to reproduce the photo, in its micro details. Because only after I'm confident I can create any micro details, would I have the understanding, eye sight and knowledge of execution to know what to drop since I'm not worried about my technical limitations any more.

First I must succeed to copy, because that means I can analyse and execute accurately. Then I can see what can be dropped or changed or exaggerated to create a "style". It's like the comfort of having a save point that I can fall back on instead of falling all the way to the bottom.

I think doing all of it in one go is too ambitious.

Regarding this piece Pierre, I think Lunatique is right and this is more of a technical exercise. You need to focus on the hair, that is the main weakness. It sort of fell apart or was rushed through or the difficulty got to you.

I did an exercise the other day regarding skin rendering. I did it in monochrome, I ditched what is available on the net as "skin brushes" and created my own settings and it seems to have worked but only in black and white till now. So you are actually ahead of me. Hair is still a monster in the closet for me as well.

Since my eye is better than my hand at the moment though this is what I would attempt to learn to do if I was in the same stage as you:

- The hair is a lot darker.
- There are not so much highlights in the dark regions of the hair. You have highlighted hairs all over the place.
- The reflected light on the hair is more broken across the strands. In your piece it looks like a single region instead of reflecting of certain hairs in a certain angle.

The background looks good by the way.


The reason why you don't see people writing long essays in forums explaining how to analyze and learn from master painters is because it will be too in-depth, like a full-blown class. That is why people teach this kind of knowledge formally, because it requires dedication and passion to learn and understand and apply to your own work. It's kind of like how in a music forum, if people say, "You should study the work of Debussy and Ravel and Mahler and pay attention to their harmonic progression and melodic contours, and how they build up tension with dissonance and then resolve it in a satisfying manner," and you say, "Well, why don't you guys actually write detailed, in-depth instructions on how to do that?" They'll just tell you, "That's why you go and take music lessons on composition and orchestration and actually train as a composer--that's the only way to learn. If we tried to explain it, it would turn into a book-length essay."

Everything you have mentioned, are contained in the workshop I teach right here at CGSociety (linked in my signature). I teach students from the very beginner level all the way up to professional art director level, in the same workshop.

In order to understand what you called "abbreviated realism," you must learn about the inner workings of the critical foundations of visual art such as composition, values, lighting, colors, anatomy, figure, etc. Only when you understand the principles behind these components that makes up visual art, would you know how to artistically manipulate them effectively.

And I do advocate that students learn the very basic technical skill of copying what they see accurately and develop their eye-to-hand coordination and ability to observe and analyze what they see. That is the most basic training for all visual artists--it's the first level challenge. It really doesn't take a whole lot to meet that challenge--it's mostly just patience and paying attention. Even non-artists can be trained copy a still image accurately, since it's more of a technical skill that doesn't require a whole lot of creative input.

But as soon as the student is able to copy accurately, they're ready to move on to much bigger challenges, and that's when they need to buckle down and train in the critical foundations of visual art. That's when they are taught how to break down an image into limited values, how to manage those values effectively for the overall tonal composition, how to depict the turning of forms properly, how to control the variety of edges for selective detail and eye-leading, why artists use the colors in specific ways, how to deploy effective and expressive brushwork that aren't arbitrary but serves distinct purposes in the image, and so on.
 
Old 03-15-2013, 10:28 PM   #18
FarisB
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How can someone copy effectively without learning about the critical foundations of visual art? Value, edge, anatomy, figure, observation, lighting, texture, layering, perspective? and if it is a painting, without learning color theory, brushes, also depending on if it is traditional or digital, a lot more can be listed.

I think the only people who would be that limited are people whose goal is only to copy and then stop. But most people when learning how to copy are trying to learn a whole whole lot about the critical foundations of visual art as well in the process.

Regarding the musical example, just because that is the normal and most common answer does not make it the way it has to be.

If the question is: How do I reach from zero to Sargent, the answer would be: Take classes, see videos, draw like crazy, read books from everywhere since you have a lot to cover.

But I think if the person asking can understand the concepts and vocabulary a more specific answer, like an approach recommendation, a list of observations and some specific examples since the person answering did a study of their own previously would suffice to a serious student.

That same answer can be reused as well if the question was re-asked. That kind of attitude is not the responsibility of one person of course to always do, but would be great as a group attitude.

I have checked the workshop and you have a sincere workshop with a lot of value added and I think that is very evident and if I can attend I will, it seems to answer questions which I have labored a lot to find solutions for and some which I still haven't. And of course you are right that creativity is a big challenge with its own categories to study.
 
Old 03-15-2013, 10:28 PM   #19
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