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Suz
01-28-2001, 04:53 PM
Hi, I am still practicing portraits (thanks for the patience). This is Emily Sargent done after a painting by John Singer Sargent. In this portrait I saw a little of the shirtís color in the shadow of the jaw. I believe thatís called reflective shadow (?).

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/lib/28-Jan-2001/Emily_Sargent_small.jpg" border=0>

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/lib/28-Jan-2001/Earring_small.jpg" border=0>

I like the way Sargent paints jewelry and cutlery; I tried to copy it here in the earrings.
This is pastel about 20 x 24 on dark green Canson paper.

I would like to hear your opinion on this piece and on copying from the masters in general.

Ohju
01-29-2001, 08:02 PM
I think you did an excellent job, I just thought that you enlarged the painting. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
I don't know about reflective painting but I think that is what it is.
I think copying the masters is a good way to practice..don't hurt none.

LarrySeiler
01-29-2001, 09:36 PM
Copying the master's work is one of the oldest tried true methods to learning. Sargent is perhaps one of the very best to consider your mentor.

Nice attempt here btw....!!!

I'd be curious to see the original...as I feel something not quite right about the chin's alignment....and the eyes seem a bit high.

Lovely handling/treatment of the satin/fabric!

Larry
http://www.artsmentor.org

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"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!" Edgar Degas

Suz
01-30-2001, 11:12 AM
I will post the original when I get home tonight. I scanned it in and I am totaly discusted and embarassed by my copy. Honestly I did not see it until I looked at the two scanned pictures side by side.

I successfully changed this warm, beautiful young woman into a snotty, arogant old hag. I suck! Sorry Mr. Sargent, that's why you are famous and I am not.

Good news is realizin my mistake is the first step to improvement, never give up!! Besides there is always the back side of the paper.

LarrySeiler
01-30-2001, 11:58 AM
Hey Suz....whether it was a mistake in scanning, or in painting...it only sucks not to try!

Making good art requires making lots of it, and weeding out the bad along the way. You don't suck...not at all! You are getting a sense of brushwork, lights and dark dynamics related to contrast...and forcing your eyes to see. Hang in there....which I console myself 25 years later still striving to find what's inside of me!!!

Larry
http://www.artsmentor.org

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"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!" Edgar Degas

degreene72
01-30-2001, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by Suz:
I suck! Sorry Mr. Sargent, that's why you are famous and I am not.

Good news is realizin my mistake is the first step to improvement, never give up!! Besides there is always the back side of the paper.

come on, suz, you're being way too hard on yourself. this is a good portrait, and if you hadn't said anything about sargent, everybody would have gushed over it. as you mentioned sargent, of course they all had to compare. don't give up...you've inspired me, too....i got out the sargent books and began to wonder which one i could do with the least embarrassment! also remember that sargent did some really sucky paintings, too. i saw a really lame one in an article the other day...i'll try to find it and post it for you. one advantage of being famous and also dead is that most people are familiar only with your best work.

Suz
01-30-2001, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by degreene72:
one advantage of being famous and also dead is that most people are familiar only with your best work.



Very funny.

OK, here is the original. I am posting my copy side by side for you to see how I killed the spirit of this painting. Honestly, I am pretty disgusted, but I have even more respect for good art. It takes a lot to be a good artist.

Do you think it is all talent or is it study and practice?

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/lib/30-Jan-2001/orig.jpg" border=0> <IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/lib/28-Jan-2001/Emily_Sargent_small.jpg" border=0>

Sargent was very young when he did this one. In this same year he did about 100 portraits if not more, and very many good ones.

degreene72
01-31-2001, 12:11 AM
suz, you sound as if you know a lot about sargent. so you know about the years with carolus-duran and copying at the louvre. so..i think it is both. but talent is of no use without hard work. you are doing that. i hope you don't stop, but it is very difficult. obviously you have talent. do you also have perserverance?

LarrySeiler
01-31-2001, 02:25 PM
Talent is an odd thing. Some think that a work is easier where one is talented. Thus the harder it is...for others, the easier for those talented?

There are very few gifted ever that are born among us. Michaelangelo at age 14 had already stone cut his first sculpture that had masters sitting up and taking notice.

For the vast majority of good work however, comes the requirement of dedication, passion, self-discipline. Doing good works requires making lots of art....and along the way, weeding out the bad. Quitters never win, winners never quit. You never fail until you stop trying.

One realizes that "Good is never enough when you dream of being best!" ...and the perseverence that simply won't stop, always reaching beyond one's present capabilities is key. Then by sheer default of aging, one becomes proficient. Hard effort is not seen, the results are. The assumption is "talent" was responsible.

Art is a language. Language can be learned. It communicates, and either fails or succeeds. There are things one learns that brings either. Perseverence however is the most important. That old saying that talent is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration.

I assume every single one of my pieces can be improved upon. I learn something new every few pieces or so that would make me want to go back and improve another. However, I keep my eyes focused ahead, forgetting what lies behind. What will be my best piece? My next one!

Larry
http://www.artsmentor.org

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"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!" Edgar Degas

Elisabeth
01-31-2001, 06:30 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Suz:
[B] Very funny.


Do you think it is all talent or is it study and practice?

I think it takes BOTH and you are being entirely way TOO HARD on yourself! How long have you been painting? The portrait you have done is very well done,...If I had a student turn out a painting like this, I would say they had "talent" and the potential to be become an excellent portrait artist. My belief is that some people are born with a "talent"; the ability to see things are they really are and the ability to draw without ever having had to take a lesson BUT...even those people still have to practice, practice, learn techniques, the paints, mediums etc.. They just progress faster. The others just have to spend more time on the basics, drawing, perspective etc. but through perseverance, can achieve the level they want. Desire plays a big part in it. But as with everything..even Olympic stars practice practice practice! You have gotten a great start and there is no reason that in time and practice you won't be able to tell your paintings from his (if that's what you want). <FONT COLOR="Red">[/color][color=Black]</FONT c>

bbbilly1326
02-19-2001, 05:01 PM
Hi Suz,
IMHO, Sargent was one of the artistic geniuses who was born with a huge load of talent. He was also fortunate to have parents who recognized his talent early and nurtured it. In addition, they all lived in and traveled around Europe, so he was exposed to the finest in Western Art, the only way, I think, to develop the kind of sensibility that makes great Art.

So...you're comparing yourself with some pretty heady stuff here. Your portrait looks perfectly fine of itself; the fact that it's not up to Sargent's work doesn't make it a failure --else, we're all mostly failures.
Regards,

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Bill Carroll
Self-taught/all-ways learning
index.html (http://hamiltoncarroll.homestead.com)

Suz
02-19-2001, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by bbbilly1326:
... so he was exposed to the finest in Western Art, the only way, I think, to develop the kind of sensibility that makes great Art.


Hi BBB,
Thanks for your response. Acctually, I have pondered over the fineness of Western (European) art lateley.

I am Swiss and grew up in Switzerland exposed to the fines Western art and believing it was the "best in the world". Now, I have looked around at some less well known art, for example the work of American Illustrators from 1900 - 1970 and I have to say they were awesome.

I suspect that European Art had a lot of marketing and public relations that established it as "The Best", but there are some hidden treasures. It appears to me that the US is less accepting or maybe less understanding of art for art, but illustration is an honest living. What I saw in the illustrations are some great artists making a living at painting what they are told to paint and sneaking in their talent and creative expression.

This is very interesting because of it's paradox, trying to make a living while expressing yourself. A compromise I struggle with all the time.



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Suz.

Gary B
03-02-2001, 08:23 AM
Well said, suz...

I agree with you about under esteemed illustrative art.

I also think Sargent is awsome. His brush strokes and seemingly minimal rendering showing great realism facinates me. Tintoretto has always been one of my favorites and I can see his influences in Sargent's work.

Tastes differ...that's why there are so many different models & colors of automobiles.

Your portrait is wonderful and I think the only trouble you had was with the subtle angle of the head in Sergent's work.

No critic, I......I love it all.

Gary

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It's just a matter of time.

leesmith
03-02-2001, 07:05 PM
Hey Suz,
Sargent's portrait maybe painted beautifully but the woman is not beautiful by any standard! Check out that chin! Your portrait's subject is more dainty and attractive; I don't think you should berate yourself so. I did a copy of Mary Cassatt's La Jeune Fille, couldn't quite capture the face and even forgot the eyelashes but it still was a decent copy. I used to feel like copying was cheating, but that is how many masters learned to paint. I have a wonderful book on Peter Paul Reubens and was SHOCKED to learn that he purchased other artists' works, revised them and signed them! He also had a studio with working apprentices; in exchange for them cleaning up, setting up palettes and doing the dirty work, they were allowed to work on paintings under his supervision and thereby learn. When the painting got to the last stages, Reuben stepped up and added his touches then signed his name! Kind of makes you wonder if all these long dead greats were so great!?!. LOL Reubens also hired talented landscape artists to do background, then he painted the figures.

leesmith

Suz
03-04-2001, 10:18 AM
LOL
Fine art is a fine business. I could not agree with you more about how the greats got to be greats. But it is good to know that human nature has not changed much in 500 years.

What's the name of the book?

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Suz.