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Old 12-14-2007, 05:36 AM   #1
Justin Snodgrass Justin Snodgrass is offline
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Oil portrait process




I added an article to my website that breaks down my current process for oil portraits. I would consider myself a novice at this point and would love to get some feedback related to the process.

Oil portrait process


The portrait used in the example is 4' x 4' and was done from a photo. Though I might not have chosen the specific photo myself, it was the one that the client wanted to use. My first commissioned piece

Any input is greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

Justin Snodgrass
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:25 AM   #2
Claudemir Bonfim Claudemir Bonfim is offline
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Beautiful painting.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:13 PM   #3
Richard Bingham Richard Bingham is offline
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Amazing. Simply . . . amazing.
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Old 12-15-2007, 12:09 PM   #4
Enzie Shahmiri Enzie Shahmiri is offline
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I love it as well. There is such substance to that little boy. Nicely done!

The way you have explained your work progress on your site is also very informative and should be easy for any client to follow.
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:00 PM   #5
Mischa Milosevic Mischa Milosevic is offline
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David Hocney should take lessons from you as you project images on the canvas or paper.

I am sorry but I have no words of praise for your procedure. I think that copying a photo image is one thing but it should lead towards honest study of drawing and painting.

Your method, as advertised on your web page, gives the idea that all artist do the same thing. To me it belittles the hard working, talented artists and the life time of sincere and solid education. I do not think that there is one person on this forum, maybe one or two, that has not tried the projecting method but we have see the error of our way. Are you saying that one should go back to something that has been proven to be a falsity? You are honest about your method but then that suggests that all others are dishonest and this is the problem David Hocney has.

I apologize if my words seem a bit harsh but I feel that this is quite important when methods of procedure are questionable.
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:17 PM   #6
Richard Bingham Richard Bingham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mischa Milosevic
. . . I have no words of praise for your procedure. . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Bingham
. . . Amazing. Simply . . . amazing. *
* not necessarily praise . . .

Accurate draftsmanship is not a "gift" that springs from divine inspiration. It is a manual skill that any reasonably intelligent person can master if they apply themselves to a considerable amount of hard work and discipline. That doesn't necessarily automatically elevate their efforts to the level of "high art" any more than copying photographs does . . . but what that study does accomplish is to refine one's abilities to observe and respond in ways that can be conducive to making "great art".

Those whose only concern is with a superficial image will never understand the quantum difference that working from the life represents as opposed to copying from photographs. There are probably 10,000 issues one might bring into question in assessing an enormously oversize snapshot of a baby.
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Old 12-16-2007, 02:57 AM   #7
David Carroll David Carroll is offline
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Hey Justin, If you really want to feel welcome you can post your opinion on your medium of choice, and why... you'll really feel the love.

Once an artist pushes a button instead of picking up a pencil, they loose the moral high ground as far as I'm concerned. Was Da Vinci a Nikon or Canon man? Film or digital? When I begin a painting from a photo I've already used 3 high-tech machines before I make a mark on the canvass (digital camera, computer, printer). When I take my camera with me landscape painting I often become a photographer instead of a painter.

Q. Why would a "real" artist bring a camera and take pictures instead of sketching?

A. It's easier than drawing.

Q. Why would a "real" artist use a Projector instead of drawing direct from the photo.

A. Refer to above answer.

The world is full of bankrupt idealists who measure integrity with their own personal sliding scale.

Keep working and you will grow. There is no one right way that fits everyone.

Peace,
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:33 AM   #8
Justin Snodgrass Justin Snodgrass is offline
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Mischa,

I must say that I am surprised by your response. It is clear to me that you have misunderstood the purpose of my post. Though I would like to move on, I find it difficult not to respond.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mischa Milosevic
David Hocney should take lessons from you as you project images on the canvas or paper.
This comment is simply not necessary and serves little purpose in this discussion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mischa Milosevic
I am sorry but I have no words of praise for your procedure. I think that copying a photo image is one thing but it should lead towards honest study of drawing and painting.
To clarify, I was not seeking praise with my post. As my original post states, I consider myself a novice in this field and this is my first commissioned piece. I was simply seeking input and advice related to my process. I made the assumption that most would understand that constructive criticism is the most common and accepted way in which to respond. Perhaps encouragement to goal myself with working from life would have been a more constructive piece of advice. After learning from your website that you conduct workshops, I am surprised that your response was not more along these lines.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mischa Milosevic
Your method, as advertised on your web page, gives the idea that all artist do the same thing. To me it belittles the hard working, talented artists and the life time of sincere and solid education.
I would have to disagree with these statements. In no way does the description of my process imply anything about the methods of other artists.


I have only completed a handful of this type of painting. Again, I am a novice in this specific field. I did receive my BA in Fine Art in 2004, but have spent much of the time since exploring my interest in filmmaking. My point is that there is no need to allow my current procedure to belittle anything. In no way do I feel (nor have I ever stated), that the described procedure is the end all of oil portrait methods. I was careful in my original post to use the phrase "current method" and "novice" in hopes of making this point apparent.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mischa Milosevic
I do not think that there is one person on this forum, maybe one or two, that has not tried the projecting method but we have see the error of our way.
The fact that this method has been utilized by others seems to affirm the fact that there is a purpose and a place for such a method. It does seem out of place that you have chosen my post to conduct your rant on the matter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mischa Milosevic
Are you saying that one should go back to something that has been proven to be a falsity?
Perhaps a careful reading of my original post would have prevented an erroneous leap such as this. I honestly cannot understand how you would have come to such a conclusion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Miscna Milosevic
You are honest about your method but then that suggests that all others are dishonest and this is the problem David Hocney has.
You are correct that I am honest about my current method. Again, my goal with the post was to receive feedback and advice related to the method. In no way does anything I have said suggest anything about the honestly of other artists. There is no logic in suggesting that one person's honesty equates to the dishonesty of others.


There are several examples on my site of works created from live models. Many of them are 40 minute charcoal studies. This process has been a huge tool for me as an artist. You will also find a number of studies completed from (brace yourself) magazine images. This has also served as a useful tool.


If art is based on process alone then one could argue that the ultimate work of art would not be done from a live model, but from our memory of a live model... while blindfolded and while holding the brush between two toes.


I do not consider the process in question "the way and the light" of portrait painting in any way. I look forward to growing as an artist and allowing myself to be molded by my experiences. As you can probably tell, your reply certainly qualifies as one of those experiences. I can assume that if your post would have been in a more fitting form it would have simply suggested that I should strive to paint from life. This is something that I agree with and that I will certainly apply.


The work on your site is amazing and I wish you all the best in the future.


Respectfully,

Justin Snodgrass
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Old 12-16-2007, 04:28 AM   #9
Justin Snodgrass Justin Snodgrass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzie Shahmiri
I love it as well. There is such substance to that little boy. Nicely done!

The way you have explained your work progress on your site is also very informative and should be easy for any client to follow.
Enzie,

Thank you for the reply. Iranian Man and A Lifetime on your site are amazing! Very powerful. looking back, I am honestly not 100% sure why I wrote the break down of the process. I am currently a stay-at-home dad with my two little ones (3 and 7). So, I can't realistically work as a commissioned artist (for a few more years anyway). I suppose writing it all out was a way of being able to step back and gain an objective perspective of the process. At any rate, thanks again.


David,

Thanks for the comments and advice. I was starting to question if this forum was a good fit for me. My guess is that Da Vinci would go with Cannon.


I can make armoured cars, safe and unassailable, which will enter the serried ranks of the enemy with their artillery, and there is no company of men at arms so great that they will break it. And behind these the infantry will be able to follow quite unharmed and without any opposition.


-Leonardo DaVinci

Sure seems like he was aiming to make things more efficient. In all seriousness though, I understand the appreciation behind grabbing a pencil over a camera and choosing a live model over an image. For the experience of the viewer, it seems that it is the end result of a work of art that bears more weight. In the case of the artist, maybe it is the process by which the art was created that is more important. Art is such an individual experience at every level, I suppose it is hard to say.

I have at times found it difficult to validate some abstract and minimalist works unless the artist has, at some point, shown the ability to accurately recreate a given subject. I have said before that realism is a means toward abstraction. I see that this is, in many ways, an opinion that is similar to Mischa's. Art is such a complicated matter in practice and in theory... and that is one of the reasons why I love it.
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Old 12-16-2007, 04:12 PM   #10
Mischa Milosevic Mischa Milosevic is offline
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Justin, thank you for your response and for sharing your thoughts. Please do not allow your emotions to think for you. Allow me to explain.

As one absorbs the information on this forum, one finds much discussion on the topic "working from life". One cannot avoid this topic it is practically present in every post. At the same time there is much advice in the proper use of reference material whether sketches or photographs. Again one cannot miss the fact that Many of the artists on this forum have spent much time and cash to learn this trade. These same artists respectfully have gladly volunteered all even their time, free of charge, in order to assist individuals as they strive to reach their artistic goals.

Please do not think my words to be a rant rather a big bell to let you know that we are all friends here.

Justin, if you posted in the unveiling's most all would have given you praise. Most likely no one wold have commented on you method being that your method is your prerogative. At the same time, the members of this forum are a bunch of nice respectful people and at times they are just to nice.

There is SO much input here that anyone wishing to learn can do just that.

Think about it and remember, we are here to help each other. If I have stepped out of line it is not because I do not care. I spoke up because I do care.

Also, if anyone even thinks that this place is to pick on someone or even belittle someones method then they are wrong. I would be wrong if I was to think along those lines. I hope you understand and if I have hurt you in any way I am sorry. It is up to you now.

I truly wish you to acheave confidence as you develop your artistic abilities.
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