Sunday, March 16, 2008

What are you looking at!?

Self-portrait from class.
It's interesting. The major criticisms I got for this were
1. Drapery could be better: Agreed.
2. The skin tone is getting lost: Not to sure about that.
3. That there's to much white remaining on the board: Definately don't agree.
4. Colors are getting in the way: Personally I feel like the colors are really helping the image.
5. That the side of the nose is to dark.
Sean, my teacher commented on the fact that the picture was somewhat more carictured than he might have expected. Personally I like the sense of personality in this picture. I'm one of those rare people who actually prefers the portraits of Frans Hals to Rembrant for this reason. Rembrant was a great artist of course, but in the area of portraits I think that Hals showed more of an understanding of expression.
Anyway just some thoughts.


Anonymous said...

You really shouldn't talk as though you know more than your instructors. It's extremely rude, and you obviously need their help. Don't be unnecessarily combative. It is patently apparent that you don't listen to any of your instructors, so why are you in school?

Stephen James. said...

First of all if your going to attack me like that at least have the courage to post your real name.

Secondly The idea that I don't listen to or mind my teachers is absurd. I respect each and every one of them and I take all of their opinions into consideration.

Art of any kind is about the give and take of ideas. One teacher might tell you one thing that completly contradicts the other. I've heard two teachers disagree with each other on the proper role of cast shadows on the figure in the last few months. Who do you listen to?
The answer is your own personal instincts. I wouldn't consider myself an artist if I didn't follow those.

Anonymous said...

If you are simply going to follow your "personal instinct," what is the point of going to school to begin with? You should simply draw on your own without someone telling you what to do.

However, if you are going to attend a class, taught by a particular teacher, your goal in that class is to learn from that teacher and follow his or her instructions. Instead of following your "personal instinct" you should try and actually do what your teachers say. At this point, honestly, they know more than you. They are trying to help, give you information, and share their knowledge. Simply dismissing their critics as a personal opinion is not the way to go about learning and growing as an artist or a creative person. At your age, at this point, you don't know enough, you haven't developed your skills, honed your intelligence, nor have you gained the educational understanding behind creating masterful drawings or paintings.

I've checked out the links from your list, and the ones that go to the teachers that teach at LAAFA. They know their stuff and probably have a lot to offer you. What is the point of being combative when you should honestly be groveling at their feet and taking every bit of information that your instructors give and devouring it.

1. I could not tell that was drapery. It just looked like paint vomit.
2. The skin tone does get lost. The background color and the color you chose to paint as your skin are exactly the same, therefore it gets lost. If you squint your eyes, it's quite apparent that the whole thing blends together and you cannot distinguish between the background and the portrait.
3. There is a lot of white on the board. It looks unfinished and amateur.
4. I would suggest you learn to paint in black and white before you decide to tackle color. Actually, I would suggest you learn proportions and anatomy and hone your drawing skills before you attempt to paint.

Most importantly, you should remember that you are not a badass artist, illustrator, drawer, painter. You are not any of those yet. At best, you are simply an art student. Having the ego, having the sense of entitlement will only limit you from ever having a chance of actually becoming an "artist." Don't be so brash to call yourself an "artist." There are professionals working as illustrators, matte-painters, animators, and concept designers who can draw, paint, and think circles around you and they don't have as much ego as you portray in your argumentative self righteous posts.

You're in school to learn, not argue with a teacher about 95% of his correct criticisms.

Stephen James. said...

First of all thank you for actually making a comment about the art and not me. Secondly, again you shouldn't hide behind the anonymity offered by the internet. I’ll be happy to continue this conversation with you but I am going to change the policy of this blog in regards to anonymous comments.

Okay then.

Of course I consider myself an artist. Anyone who picks up a pencil or brush (or in this case pastel stick) with the intention of creating is an artist. The pretension of some in the art world, in which they only allow “certain” people to be called artist is something I’ve opposed for a long time.

Secondly, no creative person ever reaches a point where they are so perfect in every way shape and form that they are above improvement. That being so when exactly is it officially "okay" for me to have an opinion about these things? Following that logic every art student should simply be an unfeeling robot who tamely follows what he or she is told to do without questioning anything. People become artist to express their opinions about art, the world, and what it means to be human not to just blindly do what they’re told without asking why.

My personal belief is that art school should be about a respectful dialogue between artist and teacher, and of course between the artist and their art itself. If an artist isn't allowed to respectfully defend why he or she makes a certain choice then why be an artist? One of my sight-size teachers, who again I respect immensely, even told our class that we’ve been looking at our drawings for longer than him and that we should take what we need from his criticisms, and omit what we don’t feel we do. We each do it, and I’ve had conversations with some of my classmates in regards to specific instances in which we have.

And no I don't feel I'm being blindly defensive about my art. As pointed out before I am in complete and total agreement with the statement about the towel. Folds are a very weak point of mine, I need to improve on it, and I plan to. My lack of expertise in this area shows, and I’ll admit it. I am open to my teacher’s opinions, but in general if I believe in something strongly, and feel like I have the grounds to hold those opinions I do. That carries over into anything I feel passionately about whether it be politics, or religion or art.


In regards to point 2: It could be better, but I don't think darkening it would help create contrast considering what my skin tone already is. I also feel like th background color and the skin tone being what they are helps unify things.

In regards to point 3: That was a personal choice, while I was creating it I consciously decided not bring the color to the edge of the board because I felt that it in this case it would hurt more than it helped.

In regards to point 4: No one is ever above practice and learning more, and yes I still do have flaws that I’m working on improving.

As for your question about why I’m in art school, of course I’m in it to learn and be instructed. I take the classes to improve my draftsmanship, form some opinions about what I think art should be, and to gain from the interaction with the people around me including my teachers. Over the last eight months I've felt like I've succeeded with every one of those things to one degree or another. I still of course have a long way to go, and it’s a journey that never ends. That doesn't mean I'm not going to take pride in my work, and stick up for it though when I disagree with someone on a point.