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Old 01-20-2000, 06:52 AM
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scottb scottb is offline
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Post Welcome Dr. Fillmer Hevener!

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!

Cheers!
Scott
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Old 01-20-2000, 08:03 AM
llis llis is offline
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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.
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Old 01-21-2000, 07:42 PM
liisa liisa is offline
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I loved the demo, and would like to see more.
Maybe a portrait of a child?
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Old 01-26-2000, 10:26 AM
sandyartist sandyartist is offline
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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.
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Old 01-26-2000, 03:27 PM
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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.

Cheers.
Scott
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Old 01-26-2000, 05:51 PM
henrik henrik is offline
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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 . 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
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Old 01-26-2000, 06:13 PM
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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!

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

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

(Would love more input BTW).
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Old 01-26-2000, 09:23 PM
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bruin70 bruin70 is offline
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"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
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Old 01-27-2000, 12:57 AM
henrik henrik is offline
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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.

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Old 01-27-2000, 10:26 AM
sandyartist sandyartist is offline
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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!
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Old 01-27-2000, 11:48 AM
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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
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Old 02-08-2000, 05:45 PM
Fillmer Fillmer is offline
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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).]
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Old 02-14-2000, 08:51 AM
sandyartist sandyartist is offline
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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.
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Old 02-14-2000, 11:24 AM
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bruin70 bruin70 is offline
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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
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