Master and Servant 2D Entry: Linda Bergkvist


Hi linda… I love your work is AMAZING…!!:eek:

simply AMAZING!! you know…:thumbsup:

do you think submit give a link for a high resolution image? please! I’m wondering if I can see this Wonder image…:love:

if you gime a link, I’ll thank you all the live… even, I can be your servant… :slight_smile: hahaha…:twisted:


I dont have words to describe your work! Its so poetic yor piece! And so many posts that you have that I know that my comments are just one big slime in your thread.

sorry my english and good luck ( you already have )! :thumbsup:


ok, Linda, 91 pages of posts… that you really deserve.
your work is great.

You’re my finalist so far.

Good luck, and thanks for giving a little more beauty to the world.


that image is awesome. all your images i had the luck to seen so far are awesome throught the years.

for the moment u’re my favorite participant in the 2d challenge:thumbsup: , but i havent seen all yet


::sigh::… everyone is going to murder me for this, but im going to say it. if i sound harsh, i do not mean it, please forgive me.

ive looked at this over and over again, but in 100% honest opinion… the only thing this piece has going for it is its technical rendering and some areas of nice color. i really think the composition could have been MUCH better… now ive looked at your challenge page and know that you thought a lot about the composition… but the image appears as if it hasnt been thought out at all, but rather done for the sake of rendering… in other words, it seems like the only thing you thought about was the rendering and superflous details. the two figures have no weight, and the masked character doesnt look like shes holding the other one up even one bit. they look as if they are floating. the little butterflies are too sharp and take the eye away from the focal point of the two heads. the poses are very akward and rigid… i do not believe for one second that either of them are actually touching the ground. they look cut and paste from another image there.

as for the rendering, it looks far too much like a photograph. i am not saying that in a good way… what i mean is that it looks like two of your friends posing in a costume instead of two painted figures inside that space. realism is fine, and i believe that is what you were trying to achieve, but when a redering/painting/interpretation looks like a photograph instead of the interpreted version, then to me, it has failed as much as it can.

there are waaaaay too many unneccessary details in the figures… so much that they have no real focus. it looks like you relied heavily on photographs, and made this a rendering exercise rather than a painting. i believe (and many others, though probably few from this forum, will agree on this) that a truly experienced artist will make sure the interpreted subject will not have an equal distribution and rendering of all the details in every area… the experienced artist will use discretion… that is not to say that attention shouldnt be spread evenly, because it absolutely must… but as it stands, this has all the things the eye shouldnt really see rendered out. it has a lack of important descision making as far as what to render and what not to render. my main example would be the feet. out of curiosity, why did you paint every single wrinkle, veins, and every little detail? granted, if you enjoy this (i do too), its all good… but in terms of a whole, i believe they detract from your overall image.

youre probably going to point out bouguereau or alma tadema, or any of their contemporaries. well, they sure can render. their compositions are better than yours, though not by much… but they also suffer from the same “technicality over personality” trait that i think plagues images in the same vein. some will disagree with me… maybe many. but i stand by this.

i think you should express yourself more rather than limit yourself to what your references show you. now i know that everyone has their own way of expression, and one really isnt better than the other… but that is only in terms of the value of expression. i think your style is limiting you immensely, and keeping you from what i believe could be a better painting all around. your two figures… i could take photos of the same girls in the same lighting and change the color around a bit, and replace them. if this is possible, then the artist has failed to do what they have set out to do… and instead made a replica rather than an interpretation of any sort.

what im trying to say is that because you have an urge to make things look as realistic as possible, you are forced to hold back some other tendancies that could make your images look far more painted, original, full of personality and character… rather than looking like a composite of reference photographs. your other piece with the girl stabbing the mirror is a good example of what i mean when i say “composite of photographs.”

now, i know mine is nothing to boast about. i know all of my shortcomings at this point and i know i have also done some of the things i am criticizing you for. im not going to defend my piece at all because it isnt worth it at this point. however, for the sake your knowledge, my piece was a personal challenge to see what i could do without using a single photograph or reference. that does not make my piece any better, but it does let you know part of why it looks the way it does.

anyway… if youve read this, thanks for the time you spent. i hope this sheds some new light for you, regardless of agreement or disagreement. see ya.


Just popping by to say thanks for all the encouragment, folks :] It’s as always really appreciated. But mostly because I just received a comment I have to respond to, it’s just one of ‘those’ comments, you know?

So, Belhaven, thanks for putting the time into giving me a reply. I’m afraid the piece is way beyond helping now as the contest is over, and I’m not sure why you’d offer such a very, very, very long critique long after I’ve finished the piece and handed it in for judging. Like I said, I appreciate it - I’m not in agreement with most of it, though, but it’s nice that you’d spend so much time trying to help me out, as it were.

Like I said, I appreciate the time, but I don’t get the point of it. It’s over. I can’t change anything, nor would I likely - you admit to not even liking some of my absolute favourite artists (Alma-Tadema among others) so even if I were to perfect what I am personally aiming for, I could not ever, possibly please someone like you. So rather than trying to argue why I paint the way I do, and you argue why you paint like you do, I guess we should just agree to disagree. I love working like this. I learned SO much from this challenge though perhaps not what you would have liked to have learned in my place. I loved working on this piece and even if it is absolutely boring and meaningless to you, it meant a lot to me and it’s my personal baby - I have to admit that I found your comment hurtful, but it’s not going to kill me nor make me want to steer away from what I love to paint. At the end of the day, I did my best in this challenge - and that’s really all anyone can ask from me or anyone else. Why you felt the need to try to totally ruin my mood after the actual deadline, I’m not entirely sure, but I guess you needed to get it off your heart.

You did mean to sound harsh even if you’re apologising and claiming not to at the beginning of your post - otherwise this would have been offered as a genuine criticism long before now - but I don’t mind, it’s okay, in your eyes, my piece has (and I quote you here) ‘failed as much as it can’ and that’s all right. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I didn’t do this because I wanted everyone to love it, I did it because I love painting.

In conclusion, you hate the way I paint and what I do. And I don’t mind. Go on. Hate it.


Belhaven: Why wait until now to post a critique that essentially pans this work?

Linda: Weigh that one post of his against 92 pages worth of almost unanimous praise, and I think you’ll find that this piece is more liked than not.

As for the details… Isn’t that a choice of the artist to determine how they detail their work?


i dont mean to argue. i am just going to clarify some of my points so you can understand better.

arg, sorry, this came off wrong. the reason why i didnt post during your process is because i was afraid it would disrupt your workflow, as it clearly would have. i thought that if i had posted this midway, all it would have done is ruin your mood and end up with a painting that you achieved without your full mental capactiy. i say this now in hopes that despite how my comments can really make you angry, there are things that might be brought to your attention.

im sorry but i really dont mean for you to be hurt, and i dont mean that your piece failed… i was pointing out that regardless of my will, the figures and such simply dont have the life and personality that i think they could have.
i was never questioning what you love and why you do this. i was never questioning its beauty. i was questioning the final image. i know you tried your best, and i am not asking for more than your best. i wasnt trying to steer you away from what you love or change how you painted… i was trying to show you that maybe what you painted might have an issue. i did this becasue after the millions of posts on how people love your work, you might settle and stop progressing. you might think everything was alright with your work. you have the most posts ive ever seen in a forum (except sijun’s speedpainting thread). that kind of attention (not to mention 99.9% of it being pure praise) can really limit growth, so i was hoping to try keep you in check (not that its my place). i was hoping you wont turn into one of those “rockstar” artists who get caught up in themselves more than their work.

in art school, i found that the harshest, most criticizing teachers (the ones who make students cry) give the honest, best crits. they force the student into such improvement through their harshness and bluntness… im not saying i am a teacher to you, but i have learned never to hold back when sincerely offering what one thinks is advice. that is all. i am sorry for hurting you. it was not my intention.

as for beauty being in the eye of the beholder, youre right. i have no issue with your subject, or your colors. my MAIN issue was with how they simply look like photographs to me… thats all. if they dont to others, thats great. i was simply pointing out that there are people out there who find that type of rendering not so good… take a look in spectrum, you’ll see the ones that look like photos of friends vs figures that really mesh with the painting.

finally, i said all of this because i think this could be better if those issues were addressed. what does a contest matter when growth is the main point. you have all the technical ability you need. i hope that you dont become a shitty technical painter, forgetting that the technicality is there as a tool, not the point of a painting… which, if it does become the point, it becomes a different thing altogether.

ps: alma tadema and bouguereau’s figures never looked like photographs. i question their compositions, not their ability to see. perhaps that is one of the greatest downfalls of using photos instead of models from life…

pps: yes firestar, that is absolutely their choice. sometimes, however, those choices can either make or break a piece… which is why i decided to post.


I have no idea where you could have possibly gotten the impression that I do not receive criticism and comments regarding the failings in my work, nor how you could think that I’m not trying to grow beyond the technical achievements. I’d actually wager that I receive a fair bit far harsher criticism, much like what you’ve dropped in my thread, than your regular poster… and every bit of bashing (I get a lot of bashing, whether you like to believe it or not) smarts like a hammer to the head, and I always take it to heart. I can’t see a criticism like this in anyone else’s thread - because people generally know that saying something like this to any normal person will really, really, really bring that person down. And since I am not what you like to call a ‘rockstar’, it does bring me down, it does bash my mood and it doesn’t make me feel very happy about myself or the piece. I’m so tired of people making assumptions about what I think about myself or my work, based on what other people say about the pieces. I personally consider myself a learner, and I’ve learned a LOT throughout this post.

" i was hoping you wont turn into one of those “rockstar” artists who get caught up in themselves more than their work"

" that kind of attention (not to mention 99.9% of it being pure praise) can really limit growth, so i was hoping to try keep you in check (not that its my place)."

I can tell that you don’t know me, and that you were, in fact, posting to ‘keep me in check’, as it were. Another way to put that would be to say that you were trying to take me down a peg or two, however nicely you try to word it.

Read through your original post another time and you might notice what most others would: it’s condescending. Very. Condescending.

But really, I’ve spent too much time worrying about this, replying to this, and thinking about this. Thank you for your time. I’m going to try to view it as you genuinely wanting to help me - and thanks for the effort, for the time you put into it, and for the advice. I will honestly keep it in mind. Please, though, the next time you feel like launching at someone, try to consider that even if you think their heads have blown out of proportion, they might just be regular people sitting around worrying about stuff the same way most people are.


Belhaven, after reading through what you’ve posted here so far… I have to disagree with you, not because I’m trying to defend Linda’s work if you absurdly think so. As what Linda mentioned, though you try to sound/appear “nice” & “helpful”, but from what I see as a third party, you aren’t at the slightest bit (if you naively think so). And just for your info, your crits here isn’t as constructive or correct as what you might perceived it to be…

First off, photography is another art by itself, so I don’t see any issue with art works similar to photographs. It’s just another style apart from the many kinds of rendering out there, be it photoreal, impressionism or abstract. Tell me Belhaven, how did you learn to draw & paint? What did you based upon for drawing humans or whatever you know? It’s all based upon the world you are living in dude. It’s from this real world since the day your tiny eyes could see, be it through your very own eyes or photographs, etc.

You quoted “however, for the sake your knowledge, my piece was a personal challenge to see what i could do without using a single photograph or reference. that does not make my piece any better, but it does let you know part of why it looks the way it does.” With regard to this quote & whatever you’ve written earlier, please think real hard dude. Whatever you had drawn or painted so far (without using photo or whatever references at that very moment), it all boils down to whatever you can remember or recall from your limited brain cells about how things looked, & then from there you started mixing things here & there to get the look you wanted, be it a monster or human you are working on.

I sincerely advice you to open up your heart & mind about how other people do their work. And certainly you need to learn how to respect others preference & style for doing their things. Jealousy won’t bring you anywhere or improve your work.

Linda, your works are definitely worth the praises, because it’s really beautiful to me & believed many others here. I really feels good looking at the works you did. Do continue producing more beautiful artworks here. Take care.


SHOCKING. (Did i spell correctly?)
How do you that, mademoiselle?

Best wishes.


alright, for further clarification:

i have no issue with photography. i have no issue with representational art. i have no issue with realistic art. i am not saying that a painting shouldnt look realistic. i am saying that when using reference, the final image should not look like a bunch of reference photos put together. it should look like one coherent image, with everything looking as if they were in the same space, interacting with each other, recieving the same light, etc… unless it was purposely meant not to. my little “looks like a photograph” does not = “looks realistic.”

as far as linda goes, shes got great skill, one that many cant achieve in a lifetime. what i was trying to get at, was not at how realistic they looked, her rendering method, her style or how she works. it was two things.

a. how she put the same emphasis of detail everywhere

b. how several of her works look (as fabulously rendered as they are) like different reference photos put together.

i am NOT telling her that her way is wrong. i AM telling her that her final image might be better as a whole if certain aspects are paid attention to. in fact, im pretty sure her image would be better had she done some things differently.

yes what i have painted comes from my memory. yes it comes from this world. yes it is another form of reference (the reference i was referring to was outside sources). but i never had a problem with using reference… my problem was with a final product that looks no different than the reference used.

now, i do not want to intrude on lindas thread anymore. if anyone wants to flame me, please private message me.



Questioning why Linda would put so many details in her paintings is like asking why God created ants, plankton, micro-organisms, millions of stars and galaxies, and even Gary Coleman…

Whatcha talkin’ bout Willis? They are just there because…they are.

Can you deal with it? Our universe is full of mysteries isn’t it?

“Tainted by a darkened heart, some pretentious critics have become…”
– Yoda (episode 7! spoiler!)



Ok…So you think that many details take away from the focal point; I, however find it essential. An easily found theme is only made for average people; on the other hand, a detailed, complicated, well thought piece is made for intelligent beings, who are known to be the wanderers of this forum. Actually, my art professor critisized my piece and found it easily comprehesible due to the fact that the focal symbol was very well defined; however, he found Linda’s piece, and this criticism came from a proffessor of fine arts, refreshingly detailed and very well composed; in addition, he found it quite complex due to the similar sex usage.

Now, I think you only criticised harshly because of jealousy, yes it’s childish but true.

behave according to your stature. I can’t really say think before you speak, because it seems like a very well thought out bashing. Disappointing really.

btw: Linda is well versed, so I’m not defending her. I only found it wrong what you stated.


When I hit ‘reply’ to this post, my eye was immediately drawn to rule number #4.
“Critiques and responses to images are to be CONSTRUCTIVE and RELATED TO IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF THE ARTWORK”
Belhaven that is the harshest 'criticism ’ I have read in a really long time. All I have to say is that having found no constructive piece in your post, I will have to call it bashing. Throughout the challenge, I read every post in her entry, and she took suggestions very well. I am not defending Linda, I know she is aptly able to defend her art. I am a complete noob trying to learn in this forum and her style is what has drawn me to her. Trying to bash an artist into changing his or her style is rather harsh and extremely presumptious especially since in my opinion your style aint all that. But am sure there are those who adore yours.
If you really wanted to ‘help’ her and your effort was sincere, what stopped you from sending her a pm?
I just think we have a Salieri in our midst.
Linda, eat a chocolate and keep painting!!!


you are right, it’s not your place to keep her in check.

I have seen students quit school for the wrong kind of criticism - they lost a lot from it - no improvement. Keep in mind that good criticism draws the best out of people, while the heavy imposition (as you have seen from the reaction) of your opinion has not.

Look at the background of her painting on the right, above the grass. If you were to separate it from the painting it would look like an abstract. Look at the apples beside the skirts, the edges are not defined, you cant see the detail as you would in a photograph. Check it out, try and do a photo of someone beside an apple, it would not look like this painting does - that you can’t see this discredits your criticism.

Linda has chosen where to place detail in her painting in order to visually tell the story like no camera could.

She enjoys detail very much, but it is not a creative handicap for her like it may be for others. Most teachers harp on this subject, you have paid attention in class, though it teaching and criticism meant for a beginner.

Besides what’s the big deal, a good art student would know that a lot of the most interesting contemporary art is based purely on the copying of photographs, questioning the use of imagery which is so much apart of our life today (see Gerhard Richters work).

Your opinion, though, put in another tone, may have been very interesting for all to hear during the work in progress and would have raised issues for us all to think about as we worked.

Best salutations


I’m trying to be very polite.:rolleyes:

What I’m saying though is in short that your arguments don’t stand up to reason at all. The worst thing is that you seem to be doing this to hurt someone else and get a kick out of it. I base this on two facts, you post to late for being of any use obviously and you are bringing in arguments of no relation to this painting. I’ve looked at your arguments with the image in “question” on another monitor. It almost made me laugh were it not that you are personally attacking Ms. Bergkvist here. You’re wasting peoples valuable time here with stupidity.

Just bare in mind that you’re talking to real people here, whom will probably take serious offense to your rudeness and inconsiderate ravings. Why wouldn’t we all run over to your entry now and start commenting on it. I think it would be fun, we could tell you how bad it looks since you’ve put in enough time to be worthy of our grand insights. Of course us being so great in our fast knowledge we wouldn’t need to argument our stuff with subjective babbles, you’d understand exactly what we meant. Silly isn’t it?

 You probably get a real kick out of feeling better than others, but the sheer arrogance is enough to take offense at.

I know for sure that if you took a better look at yourself in this situation you’d reconsider posting back. It would be of-course polite of you to apologise to Ms. Bergkvist. I’m sure you won’t take this seriously at all. And you probably won’t take the time to actually apologise or reconsider your choices. It’s been a rude discomfort to her and nothing more probably, I think she deserves an apology here.


Couldn’t agree more with u jmBoekestein :slight_smile: In fact it made me laughed at what “he” commented… Initially also thought of giving a page or 2 or more constructive crits about his “great work”. But thinking back again, I’ll rather go watch my video. :rolleyes:

Cheers Art lovers!


I wasn’t intentionally going to respond to Belhaven’s responses (don’t dwell over this crap, Linda: just take Azrael out a walk and forget about it :slight_smile: ), but I do have to respond to this little comment:

in art school, i found that the harshest, most criticizing teachers (the ones who make students cry) give the honest, best crits. they force the student into such improvement through their harshness and bluntness… im not saying i am a teacher to you, but i have learned never to hold back when sincerely offering what one thinks is advice. that is all. i am sorry for hurting you. it was not my intention.

I’m sorry, but that’s just total bulls*** - there is such a thing as too much critique, too much negativity in responding to another’s work. I agree with bowditch, I’ve seen a lot of students quit school or college cause their instructor was too critizing of their work; without a positive purpose behind it, a critique becomes a way for a person to put down the work of another out of insecurity, jealousy, or just plain meanness.


I won’t quote the rest of the message, suffice to say I read it and I agree 100%… You can be too overbearing in critique and some people are bitter and twisted about their own work and/or lives (I’m not being specific here) that they feel they have to put other people’s work down and find fault with it when there simply isn’t a need.

I think this piece is fantastic, and I would hate it if it was simplistic and lacking in detail. And what’s all this photograph business all about anyway? I simply don’t see the connection!