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Old 03-08-2014, 08:30 PM
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J Miller J Miller is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

I am a process person, but I don't see anything wrong with tracing or anything else like that. Tracing becomes part of the process then. And sometimes it's fun!
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:06 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

There are no "art police officers", no officials setting "the rules" and who are ready penalize or punish artists who "break" those rules, etc.

There are also no special prizes or priveleges awarded to those artists who choose to do things "the hard way"--artists who don't trace from projected photos, who don't paint over photographs or digital imagery printed faintly onto canvas, or who don't essentially regurgitate ideas, concepts, and/or motifs from "earlier" artists--or steal outright from other creators and pass second-hand work off as their own original art.

This is either it's own reward--or it isn't.

If your work, however it's made, isn't "enough", you have only yourself to blame.

We are, primarily, image-makers. If the image itself doesn't have integrity, too bad. Process isn't going impress very many other folks.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:52 AM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

I always say this when this subject comes up: Deception is cheating. It's not any particular technique or method that is cheating, but hiding that you do it that way, or covering it up, because you know that if people knew the truth, they wouldn't be as impressed with you, or something.

Saying you used your own photograph when you used someone else's (even stock photography so it's legal) is cheating. Saying you drew or painted it from life, when you used a photo, is cheating. Saying anything untrue, just so it'll make you look better to judges, collectors and peers, or allowing them to think something that isn't true (and it's something that puts you in a better light) is cheating.

Like this classic scenario: "You drew that? You are so talented! I can't draw a straight line!" . . . and you traced it and cannot draw very well on your own. That's cheating.

The artist wants the praise for having the skill, but they don't want to work hard to acquire the skill . . . so they use some other method, but don't make it known to others.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:55 AM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveCrow
To me "cheating" in art, or in life, is being dishonest about breaking the rules for unfair advantage.
And this too.

I would again say that if you are dishonest about your process, letting people assume you do it in a more "impressive" way, then that is cheating.

In any other field or discipline, such a thing would be frowned upon or be called cheating. We instinctively know that it's not right and it annoys us and we resent the dishonesty of the people who do it.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:08 AM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Why should an artist even have to declare whether they traced or drew freehand or whatever else? Why would anyone even ask an artist how they came by the result? Why would I? What on earth would I have to gain by doing so? Only the beauty in their art or the end result is important to me.

I've found that people only lie about how they did things when they know the person listening will be only too willing judge them and belittle them, and in doing so boost their own ego.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:17 AM
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DavidPriestley DavidPriestley is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by La_
the only real cheating, to me, is blatantly copying another artists work and claiming it as your own original.

snoballs list is of aids/shortcuts, not cheating

la

Agreed.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:48 AM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianuk
Why should an artist even have to declare whether they traced or drew freehand or whatever else?
And why would an artist not want to clear up a misunderstanding, if someone is praising them based on something that isn't true?

Whether you understand it or not, a lot of people are impressed by skill, because that's not something everyone has, and it requires some time, education, talent, effort, to get it.

We call many of these arts "disciplines" because it takes time and discipline to get good at them. Drawing is one such discipline. Usually you can't roll out of bed one day and start drawing everything perfectly, with beautiful values and lines and sensitivity. It takes years sometimes to get it right. So being able to capture the shape and contours of an object freehand, by just looking at it, is considered no small skill. And most people know that, and will say things like "I could never do that!" "That is so hard!" and so forth.

So, if they are impressed by the accuracy of how a particular artist captures the proportions of their subject, and the artist allows them to continue to believe it was all done by scratch, that's deception. When the person finds out that the artist actually has no such skill, but they must trace the outline of a photo, they'll feel duped. They were praising the artist based on an untruth, and the artist let them do it!

Quote:
Why would anyone even ask an artist how they came by the result?
Sometimes curiosity and fascination. Of course the artist can say that they don't discuss their process, which is fair enough. But then if someone wants to assume that they DIDN'T draw something freehand, based on the artist's unwillingness to discuss it, I guess that's fair enough too, right?

Quote:
Why would I? What on earth would I have to gain by doing so? Only the beauty in their art or the end result is important to me.
And that's fair too. But a lot of people are impressed by effort, and the process is interesting to them, and it's unrealistic to expect all of them to stop caring about that, or stop being curious. Or, to stop being impressed by skill (which is what a lot of this is about).

Quote:
I've found that people only lie about how they did things when they know the person listening will be only too willing judge them and belittle them, and in doing so boost their own ego.
And I've found that some people are willing to lie (or deceive) about their accomplishments in order to get praise. I don't understand why they do it—I could better understand if there was money or some sort of career advancement involved, but often there is not. They lie and deceive just to impress, just for the ego-boost and attention. Often I see children do this, but some never grow out of it.

What would be much better would be if artists were honest about their process (to anyone who was interested) because they could educate people about what they actually do. Take Norman Rockwell, for example: http://petapixel.com/2012/12/27/the-...ous-paintings/ Are we less impressed with what he did, because we found out he traced over photographs? I'm still his fan. (It also is worth noting that he could draw freehand, very well, but used tracing as a time-saving tool. But even if he couldn't draw freehand, do I like his paintings any less? They are what they are, regardless, right?)
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:50 PM
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stlukesguild stlukesguild is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

I must side with Ian and Keith. Artists are image-makers. Whether an artist used a photograph, or projector, or traced is wholly irrelevant to the end product.

Whether you understand it or not, a lot of people are impressed by skill...

And whether you realize it or not, most of these people know little or nothing about art. If I were to discover tomorrow that Vermeer and Ingres both employed projectors to transfer images to their canvases it would not in the least affect the merits of the actual work. Every one of us here has access to photography, projectors, computers, and other forms of modern technology... but I don't see many artists on the level of Vermeer or Ingres.

And that's fair too. But a lot of people are impressed by effort...

Who cares what "a lot of people" think? A lot of people couldn't care less about art. Are we supposed to be impressed because someone does something the hard way? Personally, I couldn't care less if an artist used only brushes that he hand-crafted, pigments that he personally ground and mixed, canvas that he hand wove... while riding a unicycle at night and painting by the light of a single candle. It is the end result that matters.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:00 PM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

i've been painting for 30+ years and displaying works for more than 20 and have yet to have anyone (artist or non) ask me for details about the process.

correction: i have been asked here on WC! for a wip demo, once.

la
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:29 PM
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caldwell.brobeck caldwell.brobeck is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by La_
i've been painting for 30+ years and displaying works for more than 20 and have yet to have anyone (artist or non) ask me for details about the process.

correction: i have been asked here on WC! for a wip demo, once.

la

Well, I've been painting for 45+ years (I sold my first painting in 1969), and I get asked fairly frequently. In fact, I'm making arrangements with another artist for this week or next to show them how to do the transfers I used in my latest piece (from the original drawings to working sketches to larger final pieces.) Needless to say (of course) I've got lots of info from her on her process - which is very different than mine. And I have another good friend, and we quite happily "steal" techniques and methods from each other. The open exchange of info - especially between artists - is really quite enjoyable, it keeps one open to new ideas.

Cheers;
Chris
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:00 PM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

I don't even know how long I've been painting, I've been drawing all my life since I learned how to hold a pencil. And I have used photos, grids, a projector (even traced when I am doing something where I get only one chance to get it right. I can draw the arrangement and then trace it to the final support and not even call it cheating), however I have never once done a painting or drawing while riding a unicycle at night and painting by the light of a single candle.
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:18 PM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariposa-art
I always say this when this subject comes up: Deception is cheating. It's not any particular technique or method that is cheating, but hiding that you do it that way, or covering it up, because you know that if people knew the truth, they wouldn't be as impressed with you, or something.

Saying you used your own photograph when you used someone else's (even stock photography so it's legal) is cheating. Saying you drew or painted it from life, when you used a photo, is cheating. Saying anything untrue, just so it'll make you look better to judges, collectors and peers, or allowing them to think something that isn't true (and it's something that puts you in a better light) is cheating.

Like this classic scenario: "You drew that? You are so talented! I can't draw a straight line!" . . . and you traced it and cannot draw very well on your own. That's cheating.

The artist wants the praise for having the skill, but they don't want to work hard to acquire the skill . . . so they use some other method, but don't make it known to others.


Deception is the key word.
Deceiving the public is cheating
Cheating examples, imho:
Editing a photograph to look like a painting, and selling prints stating they are from the original painting is deceptive-cheating.
Having an artist paint one of your original photographs that you sign as your own is cheating.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:23 PM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

I think Mariposa has a good point. Ethics dictate that false impressions about an artist's methods should not be allowed to stand. It's simply a question of being honest.

However, I don't see a problem with keeping some things secret and not offering all the details of how it was done. This is the property of the creator. If someone asks how it was done I believe the artist has the right to decline telling. There is some value to mystery.

I did once ask an artist if he was sketching or using photos/tracing. I was just starting out and simply curious and frankly, his paintings looked like they were painted-over photos. He was generous to admit that indeed he did use projected photos. When I told him that as a beginner painter I was wrestling with this "cheating" issue he countered that many of the old masters used aides such as a camera obscura etc.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:08 PM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

I agree completely with Mariposa. As long as you tell the truth - no I didn't draw it freehand, I used a projector, or whatever. If you don't want to admit that, I would think it much more important to question yourself - what are you so ashamed of, embarrassed about? If you like using projectors and all the time-saving you get, you should have no problem saying you use one. However, if you use out of a lack of drawing proficiency, and that bothers you, then perhaps you should work on your drawing skills instead so you can put the projector away and be proud to talk to others about your work. I think it beats lying, either directly, or by omission.

I am asked a LOT about how I painted - do I use photos, if so are they my own photos, do I use a projector… As soon as last friday I was asked if I had used a photo and if it was mine or not.

Some people care, some do not. Certainly not 100% but very often I can see when another artist has used a projector, or if they printed an image on canvas and then painted over that image. It is visible in the way it is painted. I do care. Someone else may not care at all, and that is their right.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:14 PM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by john
However, I don't see a problem with keeping some things secret and not offering all the details of how it was done. This is the property of the creator. If someone asks how it was done I believe the artist has the right to decline telling. There is some value to mystery.

Is this a mystery, or lying by omission? If someone asks if you used a projector, and you decline to answer, I would say that is lying by omission. If someone asked you the recipe for your glazing painting medium, and you said you were keeping it as a trade secret, then I would say it is an honest answer. You could have a million reasons for not telling me your recipe, which are none of my business, but just admitting that you consider the recipe your private property is honesty enough.
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