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Old 03-09-2014, 06:45 PM
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mariposa-art mariposa-art is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stlukesguild
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.
And that was my point about Norman Rockwell, it doesn't affect my opinion of his work.

But most people, regardless of their knowledge or ignorance, don't like dishonesty.

For example: "Home cooked meal" "I slaved over a stove all day!" and it's from the freezer, or a can. You don't know much about cooking, but you know that ain't right.

"Hand stitched" "all done by hand" and a machine did it. You don't have to pick up a needle and thread to know that's dishonest.

Quote:
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.
I see a lot of artists who don't have to use projectors, tracing, grids . . . despite some of the rationales people have for NOT "doing it the hard way" is that it's sooooo hard. But a lot of artists these days do it "the hard way" and it doesn't seem that hard to them. (I'm just saying. )

Quote:
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?

Drawing isn't "the hard way." Drawing is a skill with its own beauty and merits. If you think that it's just the "hard way," a bunch of busywork that has no value on its own, then I hope I misunderstand. Because otherwise . . . WOW.

I study a lot from life, do a lot of artwork from life as well as painting from life, have been studying with a wonderful teacher, and WOW is there a difference between using a photo for reference and from life. (The colors alone—wow, what a difference!) So yeah, it makes a difference, a big difference, and if my drawing skills weren't at least fair to middling, I couldn't work from life. I would hate to miss out on the experience. (Not that I think working from a photo is bad, I do a lot of that too, but the ability to draw freehand and avail myself of live models and life in general . . . it's a wonderful thing. )

Quote:
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.
Yes, and no.

Skill is admired, will always be admired, and you can't eradicate that from human nature.

It IS ignorance if someone thinks that because an artist traced (they cannot draw freehand) that it cancels out all the rest of the work. There's a lot more to art than just the ability to lay down accurate contours and lines on a paper and canvas. However, drawing ability is a skill, it takes time to acquire, and it's worth it, for no other reason than it allows you to work from life! So it's a big deal. And I won't dismiss others who think it's a big deal too. But no, I would never dismiss an artist who wasn't able to do it either. Because art IS so much more than one single skill.

What is so difficult about simply SAYING all of that last paragraph, instead of getting all huffy and indignant because someone asked whether it was traced or not? Norman Rockwell was wonderful, regardless of whether or not he drew out his paintings freehand before painting them. Because HIS work is so much more than one thing.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:53 PM
DaveCrow DaveCrow is online now
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

As regards Vermeer and projectors or tracing, if that was all it would take for me to paint like Vermeer I would be on my to buy a projector today! Sadly, I don't think it is that easy.

A projector is a tool, just like a paint brush is. You still need the skill to get the most out of that tool.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:57 PM
DebbieO DebbieO is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariposa-art
What is so difficult about simply SAYING all of that last paragraph, instead of getting all huffy and indignant because someone asked whether it was traced or not?

Maybe I missed something but I didn't see anyone getting huffy and indignant? I thought this was a pretty mellow polite discussion.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:00 PM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR
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.

Quote:
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.


If being asked such a question, or having it come up, bothers you so much, then you have to ask WHY? If you're not ashamed of your process (I don't think Norman Rockwell was, in the end, anyway) then you won't keep it a secret. What did he have to hide? Apparently he also drew or painted from life, had a solid foundation in drawing, but used a projector to speed up his process because he had deadlines. Where's the shame in that? He's awesome, right?

He had nothing to hide and by him showing what he did, he probably took away some of the stigma of using time-saving tools. (I'm assuming.)

But there are artists (I've encountered) who dodge the question, and it comes out that they cannot draw. Why be so secretive about it? Is it because they are getting a lot of praise and impressed onlookers who think their "drawing skill" is sooooo amazing? Yes, I think that's sometimes the explanation.

Quote:
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.
Agreed. Some people care, some don't.

Where do we draw the line? (Forgive the pun! LOL.) I took the photo, painted over the photo in Photoshop, and printed it out on canvas and sell it. It's my original work, all mine, right? So what does it matter if I allow people to think I "hand painted" the original?

Or I hired someone to write my novel, and they signed away all rights to me, and I sign my name to it. What's the problem, I have a legal right to the work now, right?

I bought some stock photography, and use it as a reference for my art, and never let anyone know that I used someone else's reference. I'm not breaking any laws, so it's okay, obviously.

I can't carry a tune that well, so I use some tuning software to make myself sound good, and never admit it, and allow people to think my singing voice is really that good.

Taking your own photos is a skill. Doing your own writing requires skill. Singing on key is a skill. (Or talent, whatever.) If you conceal the truth, or allow people to believe a lie, and they find out later, they consider it "cheating." That's human nature.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:02 PM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbieO
Maybe I missed something but I didn't see anyone getting huffy and indignant? I thought this was a pretty mellow polite discussion.
Oh, these discussions come up regularly, and there's always someone who gets huffy and indignant.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:38 PM
Thom T Thom T is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

I think copying another artists work without crediting the artist is cheating. I know many fine portraits are painted from photographs printed on canvas, and are almost undetectable. However these are marketed as portraits and not fine art. Duchamp and Picasso sold and exhibited "Ready Mades" Simply exhibiting someone else's product as art. So I think if you produce something that someone will hang on their wall and enjoy, good for you. I have lost contests to computer generated art and a urinal drenched in pigs blood. I felt cheated. .....And how about all those "Starving Artists" paintings where a room full of people sit in a room and repeatedly paint there own little section of what I call " Slob Art" That's what I call cheating.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:50 PM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Here's another point I'd like to address:
Quote:
Originally Posted by stlukesguild
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.
I wouldn't care either, if they ground their own paint, made their own brushes, and so forth.

And you know, if someone asked me, did I grind my own paints, or weave my own canvas, I would be very quick to tell them NO! Oh heck no, I didn't do that! I wouldn't lie (by omission) about it! And if someone was going on about how "amazing" I was, because I ground my own paints and wove my own canvas, I sure as heck wouldn't smile sweetly and say "Thank you" and listen as they continued to praise me for something I didn't do. I'd say, "oh you've got it wrong, I didn't do those things!"

I feel no shame or embarrassment at buying commercially-made paints and canvas. I talk about it a lot, in fact. I couldn't sit by and allow someone to think I made my own paint and canvas. And if they thought I was a lesser artist, or not a "real" artist because I didn't? Good bye! I don't care! Or, I'd explain to them why I don't think it's necessary to make your own paints and canvas. I'd point out other artists who don't make their own paint and canvas. But I wouldn't lie by omission, and let them keep praising me for hand-grinding and hand-weaving. (But I'd also say that hand-weaving and hand-grinding is pretty cool, for those who do it. I have no small amount of respect for people who can do that. )

Last edited by mariposa-art : 03-09-2014 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:01 PM
Thom T Thom T is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Basquette painted with rustoleum on bricks. Few of us will ever achieve his fame. My final thoughts, It is easy to say what one might do, but as an Artist and a gallery owner sometimes hunger and rent is more important than absolute integrity. Don't copy someone else's work and call it your own. I had an artist that only produced" forgeries" . I sold them as such and made a lot of money. He had great talent but no creativity.

Last edited by Thom T : 03-09-2014 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:21 PM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thom T
Basquette painted with rustoleum on bricks. Few of us will ever achieve his fame


Few of us will ever achieve fame at all. Some of the younger artists here might though hopefully. I'm sure most of them have excellent drawing skills and don't have to do what some would describe as 'cheating', so to speak. Providing there's not a monopoly on such skills of course.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:45 PM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

You guys may have heard about "Tim's Vermeer" ,a movie wherein the possibility is raised that Vermeer used mirror tricks....cheated.

From the NYTimes review.....

Along the way, you learn a little about art and a great deal about the familiar impulse to tame art and drain it of its mystery and power.

How to make your own Vermeer....

http://www.studio360.org/story/diy-vermeer/


Assuming this is true, was Vermeer a cheat? Or maybe just very clever. Like an illusionist.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:55 PM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

According to Hockney, artists from Caravaggio to the Dutch masters and everyone beyond cheated in some way by using optical devices. He says their work is just too accurate to be true. However, it's a theory and it's one that will be discussed and disagreed upon by many for years to come. Frankly, even if they did, most of their work can't be reproduced using far more sophisticated devices, or impeccable drawing skills.

..

Last edited by ianuk : 03-09-2014 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:05 PM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

You're right, a lot of people disagree with Hockney. I think he's been discredited rather well. http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/2...d/hockney1.php

And Hockney can't draw that well (I love his work, but he can't draw!). I question his motives and conclusions. Some artist say (in jest, sort of), "David Hockney can't draw, therefore no one else can either." It almost seems like that!

And who says these masters were "cheating" if they used optical devices? And even if some of them did use aids, I doubt they all did all the time. I doubt Rembrandt used aids when he did his self-portraits.

The fact is, we have legions of artists today that can paint from life (freehand it, no aids) and most of them are not on the same level (all other things being equal) to the Dutch Masters, but they can sure paint an accurate outline by eye. As I said before, there's a lot of merit and advantages to learning to draw and I don't think it's merely "doing it the hard way" for the sake of doing it the hard way.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:21 PM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

I'd like to read the article but the link to it from arc to the Sunday Herald is obsolete. I have no interest in reading at ARC, they are extremely biased toward realism.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:33 PM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by john
You guys may have heard about "Tim's Vermeer" ,a movie wherein the possibility is raised that Vermeer used mirror tricks....cheated.

From the NYTimes review.....

Along the way, you learn a little about art and a great deal about the familiar impulse to tame art and drain it of its mystery and power.

How to make your own Vermeer....

http://www.studio360.org/story/diy-vermeer/


Assuming this is true, was Vermeer a cheat? Or maybe just very clever. Like an illusionist.

If you go to the site you link to, click on the first picture to bring up Tim's Vermeer in a fairly large representation.
Then in another window, bring up a reasonable photo of the real Vermeer, say from Wikipedia.

Now spend some time comparing the two. Look particularly for the subtle nuances - for example between areas where Vermeer clearly delineates, and where he leaves soft edges, or the gradations of tone - and notice how badly Tim does this. There are lots of other issues as well, but those are pretty easy to spot even over the problems of the internet. And of course the fact that Tim didn't put a shadow correctly under the cello kinda leaves it floating in the air. Whoopsie!

All Tim proved is that with a lot of time, effort, and money, he could imitate the geometric perspective of Vermeer to a reasonable degree, the rest is just bad painting. It's actually easier to do the perspective the way it is generally assumed Vermeer did, using strings (appropriate pinholes have been found in a number of canvases - see Broos and Wheelock's catalogue raisonee for the spectacular Mauritshuis/NGA exhibition back in the 90's). But so what? Would I be considered a Cy Young if I could through perfect pitches using a pitching machine?

Cheers;
Chris
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:34 PM
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Re: What is "cheating" in art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianuk
I'd like to read the article but the link to it from arc to the Sunday Herald is obsolete. I have no interest in reading at ARC, they are extremely biased toward realism.
They are, they are avid realism fanboys.

But I read through their articles and they had some compelling arguments. A few that came to mind was artists doing studies (of a figure for a future painting) where the model was nude (the final painting had the model clothed). Artists who work freehand will sometimes draw a figure nude and then add the clothes on top (in order to get the folds of the clothing right). If the artist was tracing an outline, why go to the bother of drawing out a nude study beforehand? Seems like needless busywork.

Another point was some artwork where the artist went too 'tall' (miscalculated how much space they'd need on the paper) and had to add a strip of paper to the top, to allow them room to finish. Why do that if you're transferring the outline with optics? Just make it fit with the size of paper you have. And there's also the question about how Rembrandt used optics to do his self-portraits.

And of course, even if these old artists used optics, we have plenty of evidence that many artists today can get very accurate drawing, with no aids whatsoever. So what exactly does this expose of old master's supposed use of optics prove? That accurate freehand drawing "can't" be done? It can, we have many artists today who can do it.

This guy also explores this subject, very interesting! http://diatrope.com/stork/FAQs.html

Last edited by mariposa-art : 03-09-2014 at 09:45 PM.

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