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Old 09-14-2007, 04:52 PM   #11
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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Thanks for sharing these, Marvin. That first one by Paxton (not the one above - the other post showing the woman with a wallpaper pattern behind her) is amazing. Those touches of bright green seem essential to the piece (I tried covering them up to see the difference with and without).
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Old 09-14-2007, 09:25 PM   #12
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Hi Julie,
I love these images so much. Paxton just blows my mind. I'm glad you enjoyed it too.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:01 PM   #13
Steve Craighead Steve Craighead is offline
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If I may, I'd like to clear up a slight misunderstanding about Henry Hensche and his method of teaching.
During the Summer months for approximately 60 years (1929-1989) Henry Hensche ran a school in Provincetown, Massachusetts on the tip of Cape Cod called the Cape School. He never thought of his school as a comprehensive art academy. He expected his students to further their art studies elsewhere during the Winter months. Hensche and his teacher before him, Charles Hawthorne, thought of themselves as carrying on the legacy and discoveries of Claude Monet. They sought to teach their students how to paint the effects of sunlight, that is, the light key, the time of day, the weather, etc. They felt that if one painted all the color notes of a scene accurately and placed them correctly that that painting would be truer and more vibrant than a painting that was first drawn and then filled in with color.
Charles Hawthorne, in his school, would have his students paint backlit figures on the beach in order to teach them to see the big color notes. To keep them away from painting features like eyelashes, etc. and to have them concentrate on accurately seeing the color notes, Hawthorne made his students use broad palette knives.
Hensche later refined this method of teaching by having students paint colored blocks outdoors in the yard of his school.
Its true Hawthorne and Hensche discouraged their students from drawing when they were painting their color studies, but that was only in order to teach them to see the big color effects.
Hawthorne and Hensche were in fact very competent draftsman.
Here's an example of what Hawthorne had his students doing.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:04 PM   #14
Steve Craighead Steve Craighead is offline
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And here's an example of what Henry Hensche had his students painting.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:22 PM   #15
Steve Craighead Steve Craighead is offline
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Here are some examples of Henry Hensche's work:
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:54 PM   #16
Steve Craighead Steve Craighead is offline
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By the way, members of the Boston School were very much influenced by the French Impressionist. Paxton, though slightly younger than DeCamp and Tarbell, was a part of that whole mileu as well. I don't think any of them eschewed cadmiums.
The "Blue Kimono" by Decamp at the High Museum is one of my favorite paintings too. Seen in person, its a beautiful tour de force. Here's the whole painting.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:44 AM   #17
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Steve,

I personally reach for whatever color works. I like a warm Vermilion as it is a very useful color in warm skin-tones. When I have to ramp up the volume, I use a ripping cadmium. I think trying to dictate what pigments work and what are out of bounds is like telling a trained pianist what part of the scales is useful and what is wrong.

Thank-you for your information about the Cape School. I wish I had known about it, instead of going to The Boston Museum School.

I found some more about the Cape School. Interestingly Henche was a in a direct line of teacher from William Merritt-Chase the founder of the Parsons School.

He was influenced by the Japanese prints and arts and often incorporated it into the arts. It was this cross pollination of Asian art to the French that produced one of the most exquisite periods of art in history. Of course the French influenced the American Impressionist movement as they all went over there to study.

Here is brief description of Chase and the Cape school.

http://www.mcbridegallery.com/amerimpressionism.html

Below is a beautiful Chase incorporating Asian design into a beautiful painting.

Also is a spectacular Monet of his wife in a kimono. This is a really poor copy of that magnificent painting at the Boston Museum.
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:15 PM   #18
John Reidy John Reidy is offline
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Am I being too simple minded? I've been following this post and the topic seems to have gotten caught up in a this vs. that string.

As portrait artists, are't our major concerns mainly two-fold, color and form? Aren't we all (portrait painters) really colorists?

We need proper form to be able to represent a resemblance to the subject. All else falls under color, especially values. You cannot represent a color accurately (or to more correct, to represent what you wish the viewer to see) without hitting its value and chroma. After all, if you miss on the chroma you miss the overall effect of 3 dimensions.

I know that I am not in the same caliber as others here and maybe my failures are due to my simple mindedness but this is how I understand the art of portraiture.

KISS is my mantra.
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:58 AM   #19
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Color me beautiful

Steve, I said Paxton didn't use any Cadmiums on his palette (although they were readily available to him at the time). This information regarding the content of his palette comes from James Childs who was a student of Paxton's student, Ives Gammel.

Having examined the DeCamp painting of the Blue Mandarin Jacket up close and personal, on numerous occasions, I see no evidence of Cadmiums there either. From that you can infer anything you wish, however, I never said Paxton or DeCamp eschewed them, I said I thought Sharon eschewed them (based on her listing of which colors were on her palette). Obviously I misjudged Sharon by taking her literally. My bad! You obviously misread what I said.

I happen to agree philosophically with much of what Henche says but I'm just not a big fan of amped-up over-saturated color, which to my eye stays right on the surface. On http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/OpenEyes.html/, Henche states, in his essay, that the "truths of Impressionism" have been "rendered obsolete and not worth striving for." This was obviously not the case with the Boston School artists who married the Impressionistic concept of a true color note to the Academic quest for accurate values and exquisite draughmanship, as evidenced in the images I posted above. This was practiced by artists such as Paxton long before Henche starting teaching.

In fact, many schools of painting championed the idea of what Henche called the "light key." For example, it was taught by Howard Pyle and can be seen in the work of Golden age illustrators such as J.C. Leyendecker, who happened to be a student of Bouguereau. They chose to utilize these effects in a more naturalistic and subtle way than Henche and Hawthorne.

My point is that there are multiple points of view on who or what defines a colorist. I was merely throwing in my two cents worth.

Regarding the drawing thing, obviously Henche could draw, if he wished to, based on the examples you've published, but then he flatly dismisses drawing as the foundation of painting and says, "This type of thinking has done more to cripple the development and usage of color in modern painting than any other fact." Ouch!

I believe the act of drawing, which I define as getting the right shape in the right place, can only help one to refine the color relationships.

That's all folks!
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:17 AM   #20
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Reidy
As portrait artists, are't our major concerns mainly two-fold, color and form? Aren't we all (portrait painters) really colorists?

We need proper form to be able to represent a resemblance to the subject. All else falls under color, especially values. You cannot represent a color accurately (or to more correct, to represent what you wish the viewer to see) without hitting its value and chroma. After all, if you miss on the chroma you miss the overall effect of 3 dimensions.

John,

Some portrait artists add color as in over a grisaille and others work directly using color to create light and form. Others leave form behind entirely. It depends on what your personal definition of portrature is, another thread entirely.

Here are some examples of what I mean.

The Raphael is probably a grisalle, highly modeled, color added. It is dependendent more on form than color.
The Renoir is directly painted with color, quite flat. It, though it is subdued, more dependent on color for it's effect.
The Klimt leaves form behind almost entirely and dependes entirely on color.
This clever Japanese portrait by Natori Shunsen, from the 1920's is almost posterized.
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