Saturday, June 18, 2011


Before we had the unfortunate crutch of the photo- artists really had to learn how to paint well. Really well. Now we can keep going back to the photo until we think we get it right. The photo never really changes- it may fade and in time fall apart, but for the most part the image remains the same. Of course maybe the artist has changed, maybe not.

Todays excuses:

A: Models are too expensive- of course artists in the past must have been much richer.
B: They fidget and move, they are alive. If a model is lousy, get a new one. I never start a major painting unless I test out my model on some small drawings first.
C: I can get more work done with a photo and faster . Yes you can- but is it better. Quantity has never meant quality. There is a glut of art out there- how many rapidly done' thoughtless pieces do you want to add to the pile?
D: I can get a more accurate rendering. Just post the photo and and throw some brush strokes on it.
E: The poses are boring and repetitive. Below are some painters who painted animated and lively figures without using photographs.





D: Painting from life lack expressiveness. I love this one as we are all brought up to think a portrait has to be smiling. Cheese everyone. Yet these masters acheived delightful painting in the past from life. Maybe we have not learnt how to paint well enough as yet. Look at the work of these painters.

Judith Leyster

Frans Hals



In New York, one of the biggest new slimeball (that takes chutzpah) movements is painted over photographs.

I am beginning to hate ALL FORMS of current realism- give me Rousseau- at least he was honest.

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