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View Full Version : Welcome Dr. Fillmer Hevener!


scottb
01-20-2000, 06:52 AM
Hey gang, A quick note to welcome Dr. Fillmer Hevener as our newest contributing editor! If you haven't seen it already, check out his new lesson on 8 steps to oil portraits:

<A HREF=http://www.wetcanvas.com/ArtSchool/Portraiture/Ike>8 Steps to Oil Portraits</A>

He is toying with the idea of doing a regular column on portraiture - encourage him, please! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

Cheers!
Scott

llis
01-20-2000, 08:03 AM
Dr. Hevener: Thanks so much for your step by step demo. We all would like to see more and did enjoy seeing the painting progress. I look forward to seeing the next one. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

liisa
01-21-2000, 07:42 PM
I loved the demo, and would like to see more.
Maybe a portrait of a child?

sandyartist
01-26-2000, 10:26 AM
Scott....while all us arteeests out here in netland truly appreciate your time and expertise and the very existence of this site as a communication/learning tool, there must critque for demos as well as for individual efforts. I have gone through Dr. Hevener's instructions several times, as well as visited his website ...and...(HATE to do this!)I think he is giving some not so good advice concerning the structuring of a portrait. I teach also, although don't have a Dr. preceeding my name, I have won many national awards in well-know shows and somewhat opinionated on the subject of portraiture. I make my living doing portraits and can't imagine evolving one by painting from the eye out! How can you judge color and value relationships by finishing one tiny area to completion and then "filling in" the rest of the painting?? An artist must work all over the canvas, adjusting all the relativities constantly and gradually bringing them into completion. I have taken numerous workshops by everyone from John Asaro to Clyde Aspevig to John Howard Sanden and have NEVER seen any of these fine artists work in this manner. With deference to Dr. Hevener's credentials, it just doesn't work. The final result is lacking in strong color and value relationships and in my humble opinion, the process created the problems. I welcome discourse on my stand and am more than willing to defend it. My artistic conscience just won't allow me to not say something that might keep others from following a not too good example.

scottb
01-26-2000, 03:27 PM
Hey gang - remember, I only post what I'm given. :-) If there are better ways, better methods, let's document them and get them published.

For what it is worth, we have several extremely qualified candidates for the role of Art Director. I will (at some point in the near future) begin deferring to them to drive the "educational ship", if you will. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

Cheers.
Scott

henrik
01-26-2000, 05:51 PM
Ok Scott, got your point - it is so easy to just complaint.

What I know about painting I have either discovered on my own, or managed to pick up by reading books.
Personally I prefer techniques as those shown in the great book "How to paint like the old masters" by Joseph Sheppard.

I.e. start with the masses (outline and do flat shadows), get the values right (middletone, shadow accents, and then highlights), continue working by refining, adding color and detail.

I would love to be able to contribute but I don't think I am good enough. I don't paint enough, and have never teached.

I have tried the method shown by Dr. Hevener (although I never heard of him) a long time ago and found it both difficult and not producing satisfactory result http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/tongue.gif. When I discovered the underpainting technique (Sheppards book) it made an enormous difference!


And Scott, don't quit on us - you are doing a great job! We are just a tough audience to please http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

scottb
01-26-2000, 06:13 PM
Oh don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. :-)

And who says you aren't talented enough? You can always do lessons on things that you feel comfortable with. Remember, there is ALWAYS someone out there who was where you where a year ago, 2 years ago, etc. Even the simplest of lessons or exercises can be beneficial to someone.

For example, look at my silly little lessons. I've only been painting for a year or two, and frankly, am not that good. However, I understand many of the principles and try to ocassionally discuss a single, isolated topic (such as my summer foliage lesson). Again, my results aren't great, but to a rank beginner out there, my foliage might actually resemble a tree! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

On a related note, I've been trying to convice Larry Seiler to do a lesson on his brushwork and color control.... ;-)

Cheers.
Scott

henrik
01-26-2000, 07:04 PM
Hi Scott, thanks for the encouragement.
Well... I am running a "misstep" by "misstep" kind of thing http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif of a Gamelan player in http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/Forum21/HTML/000097.html

(Would love more input BTW).

bruin70
01-26-2000, 09:23 PM
"Again, my results aren't great, but to a rank beginner out there, my foliage might actually resemble a tree!"
but scott,,,,that rank beginner might end up painting,,,,,,,,just like,,,,, YOU!!!...milt

henrik
01-27-2000, 12:57 AM
In my humble opinion...
I agree with sandyartist. Thanks for speaking up. I did not dare to state my opinion first since I am an amateur; so thanks again sandyartist... I would never do a portrait the way it is suggested.

sandyartist
01-27-2000, 10:26 AM
Scott..thanks for not banishing me to cyberspace hell for my comments on Dr. Hevener's demo...everytime we put forth our work or opinions we are all hanging our arse out on a line for public scrutiny!! With your demo, you did the same. With that leap of faith in ourselves, we KNOW not all the feedback will be positive; at this late stage in my development, I am immune. I listen to the people whose work I am drawn to, for I know there is a common thread there. You are right in assessing the value of even the simplest of exercises, but I still maintain the example should be a good one that doesn't lead the novice down an errant path..it only frustrates and discourages them....been there, done that. It takes longer to unlearn than to learn, I've seen it in my classroom ssoooo many times I've lost count; my only concern is that those who are beginning to live the life of art live it well!

scottb
01-27-2000, 11:48 AM
Sandy - I'd never banish someone just for expressing themselves - that's what this site is all about. ;-)

I agree with Bruin's comments to me in e-mail regarding learning the fundamentals and building up from there.

Again, my challenge to the group is to document those better techniques, and rally 'round the flag (so to speak). ;-)

Cheers.
Scott

Fillmer
02-08-2000, 05:45 PM
Today I was browsing the chat room and found several comments on my article. I wish to thank each respondent for taking time to read the article and review it.

In addition, there is one view, itself, that requires critiquing. First, the Chatter notes that she is "opionated" about portraiture. Could it be that she is also parochial in her understanding of and exposure to portrait painting?
Nowhere in the article do I say that the method outlined within is the only method for painting portraits. It is one method that many find helpful.

She objects to my beginning with the eyes and working outward, saying that the artist must "work all over the canvas."

Following are several portraitists who have published examples of starting with the head:

1. Johan du Toit has written about portraiture, made videos about painting
portraits, and paints commissioned portraits. His work has international influence, and I believe him to be one of the leaders in contemporary portraiture. He begins with the central face and works outward.

2. Joseph Sheppard, in his book "How To Paint Like Old Masters," sometimes begins with the hair and works to the face. pp. 90,91.)

3. At times, John Sanden begins with the nose and mouth and works outward. (See pp.102, 103 "Painting The Head In Oil.")

For over thirty years I have taught the humanities (literature, music, and art.) The sciences and the arts are quite different. The scientist works often by formula; the artist does not. He takes into account principles, but realizes that these principles are not necessarily set in stone.

When Picasso ignored many traditional artistic truisms, a number of his critics relegated him to the ash heap. However, who remembers these critics? Picasso still stands tall!

I would surmise that successful artists somewhere at some time have broken virtually all "traditional artistic truisms." Painting by truisms alone can, of course, be expected to produce mediocrity.

I look forward to the Chatter's demonstration (in a published article) of her approach to portrait painting; I will respect her right to choose her technique even though I may not now use it.

Thanks, Scott, for the time and effort you put into the "wetcanvas" and for the opportunity to exchange views and, thus, continue learning about portraiture.

He who knows it all, knows nothing.

Cordially,
Fillmer Hevener, Ed.D.

[This message has been edited by scottb (edited February 08, 2000).]

sandyartist
02-14-2000, 08:51 AM
Gee Doc!!! You don't have to get angry!!! If you wish, you can see some of my pieces on Phyllis' Blackberry Ridge site...Sandy Perrine...then you can tell me if I know anything or not.

bruin70
02-14-2000, 11:24 AM
ooooooooooooo,,,scott. did you edit some expletives???
doc,,,the proof is in the pudding. if sanden or any of the artists you mentioned can paint a nice head working from in to out, then who's to quarrel with the process or the results. however if the end product lacks volume, stability, presence, or just plain old value sense,,,,then maybe the errors are tracable to a lack of fundamentals.
the generic portrait is a simple format. usually only three compositional values at the most. so even sargent painted heads first in some of his formals. but nothing so severe as eyes first... and still, he always brought along the painting in portions.
,,,and, then there is the stylistic painting. alex katz(who i don't like) could probably start anywhere on the canvas to acheive what he wants, which is very personal and not dependant on a realistic interpretation.
so what is successful for them may not be good for most.
as i look at your demo, i sense an "effort" towards a more realistic interpretation. but at the very least, you hover,,,, between realistic and stylistic, with not enough "push" to justify personal style. so, because your style as realistic in effort, i think a more structured process to clarify your values would have been better served....milt
ps,,,you have to know the rules before you break them

------------------
"he who thinks he know all and knows nothing is king in a kingdom of one,,,,,or a critic" - the kobe

Mich451
02-14-2000, 01:31 PM
When I paint faces, I always paint the eyes first because I believe they show me the soul of the subject. When I meet people, I listen to what they say, and see if the eyes are agreeing.

scottb
02-14-2000, 01:40 PM
To clarify - no, I just cleaned up the post a bit. It was the victim of a brutal cut/paste operation. :-)

Cheers.
Scott

Leonardo da Vinci
02-14-2000, 02:48 PM
I used to start with the mouth, but now when I have switched method and begin with the eyes I am much happier with the result.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/monaeyes.jpg

Reading this post I see that I am a junior member - could please someone correct this. I am older than any of you.


[This message has been edited by Leonardo da Vinci (edited February 14, 2000).]

Gisela
02-14-2000, 03:47 PM
I love all of you...you CRACK ME UP!!!!!!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

bruin70
02-14-2000, 07:23 PM
leo,,,,,,you're DEAD! one lucky sitting, and you think you're our godfather. try painting mimi bobeck...milt

[This message has been edited by bruin70 (edited February 14, 2000).]

sandyartist
02-15-2000, 08:45 AM
GOSH, BRUIN..THE CHECK IS IN THE MAIL!! Leo..rethink that process..lol! Mich, while the eyes may be the window to the soul, the rest of the figure has great expression as well...I doubt you'll convince anyone of soulfulness if the eyes get all the attention and the rest of the painting falls short.

manlewis
02-16-2000, 12:55 AM
I personally like to start with the shape of the head then I go to the eyes. I feel that if I get the eyes right then it pulls the whole portrait together. The eyes truly are the window to the soul and my opinion is that if the eyes are right on than the whole portrait will portray the proper likeness.

Fillmer
02-18-2000, 05:33 PM
Hi, Thanaks for your observations. I appreciate your views.

Your friend,

Fillmer

Originally posted by Sandi:
I, for one, appreciated Dr. F.Hevener's tutorial. He gave welcome insights into areas of consideration, beginners & novices would never even think about...such as the texture and size of the canvas, color and light setting the mood, research into character, etc...
His eyes actually line up, show proper perspective, and are definitly the focal point...not only in the image, but in voice as well. Although he rendered the eyes first, he did not *finish* the eyes first. Also, the colors he used, such as the blush, don't even show in the image... perhaps Dr. H just needs a better photo, to help drive home his points. All in all, I think his tutorial is great, for those (75%) artists who have great trouble rendering a likeness.

Fillmer
02-18-2000, 05:36 PM
Hi,

Thanks for your comments. They are appreciated,

Your friend,

Fillmer


Originally posted by Sandi:
I, for one, appreciated Dr. F.Hevener's tutorial. He gave welcome insights into areas of consideration, beginners & novices would never even think about...such as the texture and size of the canvas, color and light setting the mood, research into character, etc...
His eyes actually line up, show proper perspective, and are definitly the focal point...not only in the image, but in voice as well. Although he rendered the eyes first, he did not *finish* the eyes first. Also, the colors he used, such as the blush, don't even show in the image... perhaps Dr. H just needs a better photo, to help drive home his points. All in all, I think his tutorial is great, for those (75%) artists who have great trouble rendering a likeness.

Fillmer
02-18-2000, 05:41 PM
Hi, Thanks for your observations. I appreciate them very much.

Your friend,

Fillmer

QUOTE]Originally posted by Mich451:
When I paint faces, I always paint the eyes first because I believe they show me the soul of the subject. When I meet people, I listen to what they say, and see if the eyes are agreeing.[/QUOTE]

sasha
02-21-2000, 10:36 PM
I was kind of surprised at this too.
I always thought that one had to establish the basic structure, shadow values and then go for details. I often notice if people focus on the details too much first they are all out of relation to the whole. The are some great protraits in which the eyes are almost entirely lost in shadow, yet the proper reationships allow you to know what is there.
I guess it is not the system but what works for the individual.
There is a great demo of painting a head in a wonderful traditional book on painting
Oil Painting Techniques and Materials by Harold Speed.

bruin70
02-22-2000, 02:18 AM
of the three artists that the doc mentions , i know of one. and i will look for the boo by sanden. i think the good doc may have missed something. as for the other two,,,,while i'm nor current on contemporary artists, i would have to see what they do. there's a lot of mediocrity that that sells well....milt

Wigge
02-27-2000, 12:16 AM
I really dont get what all the fuzz is about.. I mean, if you don't like it you won't have to use it, right? =P

Speaking as an individual i think it is important to bring out every different technique there is out there, some may think that some techniques are useless to them, but it will always help someone out (or at least give them something to consider).

I'm *really* new to traditional arts (mostly been doing 3D renderings on the computer, and got an interest for traditional just a few weeks ago), so maybe my words don't count for much around here.. hehe..

Hmm.. i better stop nagging here or you ppl will flame my a** off http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif



------------------
/ Wigge

Leslie M. Ficcaglia
02-29-2000, 12:52 AM
Originally posted by sandyartist:
Gee Doc!!! You don't have to get angry!!! If you wish, you can see some of my pieces on Phyllis' Blackberry Ridge site...Sandy Perrine...then you can tell me if I know anything or not.

Sandy, where IS the Blackberry Ridge site? I'd like to see your work.

I would have a great deal of difficulty following the procedures that Fillmer describes, too. I cover my canvas with a purple or blue wash and then sketch in the composition with a less dilute version of the same color, also establishing some values at the same time. Then I add color, but in planes rather than details, and refine my images as I complete the work. Sometimes I'll bring the eyes or the face to a greater degree of completeness than the rest, especially compared to the background, but for the most part I try to have everything in roughly the same state at the same time. Works for me!
Leslie



------------------
Leslie M. Ficcaglia
Minnamuska Creek Studio
Portrait Gallery at http://www.igc.org/mauriceriver/riverpeople.html

sandyartist
02-29-2000, 09:46 AM
Leslie..the Blackberry Ridge gallery site is in Artistnation (Paris studio)..thanks for asking. Your working method sounds right on track to me..saw your work and the quality shows sound thinking. i checked my Sanden books..cover to cover..for the life of me, I don't see what the defensive Doc H. saw there that substantiates his referencing them...Bruin didn't either. I looked through some other books as well..saw nothing there like what was shown in the demo...go figure.

CrowsNest
02-29-2000, 01:48 PM
Why is the Doc getting so defensive? There are good and bad reviews on all work. They are just opinions that we all have. I do think he went overboard on his rebuttal and sort of acted childish if you ask me. (My opinion) I appreciate seeing Sandy stand up for her opinion, and may I add, in a professional manner.....Crow

cagathoc
03-31-2000, 02:47 PM
I know I'm late coming in on this one but...

The doctor got defensive because he was rather bluntly told that his method was wrong. I would also be defensive!

There is more than one way to pluck a chicken, so to speak.

The best artists can start anywhere on a figure and end up with great results.

Remember different does not equal wrong, necessarily.

And for what it's worth (you can judge for yourselves, I know), I also always begin with the eyes!

Let's not be so pedantic! This is art, after all.

------------------
Cindy Agathocleous

"What if imagination and art are not, as many of us might think, the frosting on life, but the fountainhead of human experience?" - Rollo May from The Courage to Create

henrik
03-31-2000, 06:41 PM
Cindy - agree that the best artists can begin anywhere or use any technique and end up with a good result. But the critique here is that not that this is just art - this is about teaching art Dr. Hevener may paint in any way he wants - put for the beginner this is simply not looked upon as a good method (as many have pointed out above).

It can be very difficult to get the values correct, and colors consistent (as you can see in the result). A colorist aproach may be different.

bruin70
04-01-2000, 10:05 PM
cindy,,,this is not about the portrait. this is about learning to bring a realistic painting along in as easy a way possible. doc's method is wrought with hurdles. and as you said,,,,,the BEST artists can work in any method.....milt