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Old 09-12-2018, 12:09 PM
Sarah Rose Sarah Rose is offline
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“It looks like a photo!”

How does it make you feel when someone says this as a first response to your work? What do you say?
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:05 PM
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La_ La_ is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

how do i feel? glad that they've taken a bit of their time to pause and look at the work.
what do i say?
'thank you'
what else is there to say?

la
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:09 PM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

Yes, it makes me cringe as well. However, it is meant as a compliment 99% of the time. The person is not trying to insult you, and is actually trying to pay you a compliment. So the best response is thank you. Though you can follow that up with something like "I am trying to paint realistically what is there, but not just like a photo, it is my interpretation."
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:38 PM
Michaelshane Michaelshane is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

Some people want it to look just like a photo.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:23 AM
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brianvds brianvds is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

Seeing as I am quite thoroughly incapable of photorealism, I am never in danger of hearing that. :-)

I always find it funny: when people want to compliment a painting that say "Wow, it looks just like a photo." And when they want to compliment a great photo they say "Wow, it looks just like a painting!"
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:55 AM
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cjorgensen cjorgensen is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

I showed a picture of a portrait that I painted, that was on my smart phone. It was a commissioned picture of a Mormon Missionary. I showed it to the guy and he said, "Yes, it looks like a Mormon Missionary." I showed it to the wife and she said, "Wow, you painted that?" I said yes, and the guy said, "Oh that was a painting? Let me see that again. I thought it was a photo". That made me feel good.
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Old 09-13-2018, 04:36 AM
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Yorky Yorky is online now
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

After much hard work, I would see it as a compliment.

Doug
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:29 AM
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Dcam Dcam is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

sometimes, when I get that statement from a member at WC I ask them to enlarge my image to see that the work is much more "painterly" than they realize.

A much more annoying statement is: Oh! that will go so well with my new couch; the colors match my furniture".
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:45 AM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

It's not in me to analyse a compliment. It's only in me to accept it was meant with the best of intentions and to accept it gracefully. People sometimes read between lines where there is nothing between the lines...
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:13 AM
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bleu bleu is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

I've told this story here more than once but here goes.
Not everybody knows what original art looks like.
I worked in an office and the girls were asked me what kind of art I did. So one day I brought in several photos of my work -- 3 x 5? We didn't have gadgets in those days. One friend looked for a minute without saying a word. She seemed impressed. Then she looked up and asked -- "How do you paint that small?"
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:19 AM
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snoball snoball is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

Quote:
Originally Posted by bleu
I've told this story here more than once but here goes.
Not everybody knows what original art looks like.
I worked in an office and the girls were asked me what kind of art I did. So one day I brought in several photos of my work -- 3 x 5? We didn't have gadgets in those days. One friend looked for a minute without saying a word. She seemed impressed. Then she looked up and asked -- "How do you paint that small?"




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Old 09-13-2018, 10:51 PM
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stlukesguild stlukesguild is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

I painted a couple of Photorealistic paintings... still life... a year or so after I got out of art school. Other than that... while I admire art that employs a good deal of the illusion of “realism” and use some of those skills in my own artwork, I have never been all that interested in realism... art that looks like a photograph of visual reality. Because my work employs a great deal of invention and artifice I honestly can’t remember too many instances of others commenting on the photographic realism of the work.

Having said that... as others have suggested... a good many people have little real experience or understanding of art. I have the following painting by the contemporary Japanese painter, Ikenaga Yasunari, as the lock-screen on my phone:



I have had several students ask me whether it is a photograph of my wife, my girlfriend, my sister, or my daughter. These are older students... pre-teens and teens... and yet their exposure to Art (among many other things) is so limited that they can mistake something that looks to me in no way like a photograph as a photograph.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:56 PM
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musket musket is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

William Morris meets ukiyo-e. Beautiful.
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:38 AM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

Quote:
Originally Posted by stlukesguild
Having said that... as others have suggested... a good many people have little real experience or understanding of art. I have the following painting by the contemporary Japanese painter, Ikenaga Yasunari, as the lock-screen on my phone:



I have had several students ask me whether it is a photograph of my wife, my girlfriend, my sister, or my daughter. These are older students... pre-teens and teens... and yet their exposure to Art (among many other things) is so limited that they can mistake something that looks to me in no way like a photograph as a photograph.

I could not imagine not being able to see something that is so clearly a painting, and mistaking it for a photo. Perhaps mistaking this for a block print or something, but a photo? Boggles the brain.

I love Yasunari's work. In the west we are so preoccupied with the idea that the main focal point is the area of most contrast, most saturated colors, most details and excitement. And here is an artist whose background and other elements are filled with rich details, while the focal point is the area of most flat color and calm. Of course this is only one tiny aspect of his work, but it's one I keep thinking about.

And yet, the same thing happed to me just two days ago. I showed my colleague at work this photo on my phone. Exactly as it is, obviously a painting. Even the easel is there, right? She insisted it was a photo. I said no it was a painting. No, no it is not she insisted. I zoomed in. This banter went on for a while. Then I showed her another, a work in progress. Then she was like, oh, ok, you paint well. These are the two here, and it just boggles my brain that people CAN NOT SEE. I can understand an untrained eye having no taste for subtle color shifts or for composition etc. but to not see at all?



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Old 09-16-2018, 07:14 AM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: “It looks like a photo!”

I have a couple of paintings and people always ask me if they're photos when first looking. I don't mind because on my phone they're small and do look like photos. Of course, if one was to see the original they wouldn't ask because they can see all the mistakes and, even things missing because the paintings aren't completely finished.
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