Monday, April 23, 2012

Virgil Elliot Perplexes Pug

Dot is confused.

Dot is very confused.

Dot is very confused by classical realism techniques.

(Then who isn't). 

I have spent enough time peering at Tuscan & Flemish Paintings with and without my glasses on (before you ask) to deduce that there is some alchemy in the way that pigments were manufactured and applied back then, some ellusive quality that cannot be bought in even the most expensive art store with an artist that has had a lengthy university education. Although a lifetimes study under a tutor who's sole aim was to depict realism- not one that values the childlike charm or the naĆ­ve or primitive expressive attempts at art would have been extrememly beneficial. Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, the primary focus on art has been on creativity and expressiveness, with too little attention given to developing and understanding of the physical materials involved and of their proper use.

The History of Art is generally categorised in term of centuries, each of which is recognised as distinct from all others in various ways. A new century has dawned and the idea's of the last century need not be carried over into the new one. i.e. the form of post-1960's "modern art" that worshipped the energy of the savage & the primitive. Which is why I am seeking out Classical Realist Treaties.This is a helpful book, if you're looking to add some Realism to your Pop-Surrealism, or capture the basic essence that will lend your work a solid historic portrait feel but traditional art students would have already went the way of pouring over eighteeth and nineteeth century portraiture treaties, and to be perfectly honest- that's what this is; with a knowledgeable and practical narrator (one of ARC's select Living Masters). And also far more more accessible language, and where is the fun of that. I very much enjoy hearing;

 "Don't look upon your brushes as something as few of as possible and which you would not get at all if you could help it. There is nothing which comes nearer to yourself than the brush which carries out your idea in paint. You should be always on the lookout for a good brush; and whenever you run across one, buy it, no matter how many you have already. Don't look twice at a bad brush, and don't begrudge an extra ten cents in buying a good one. If you are sorry to have to pay so much for your brushes, then take the more care of them. Use them well and they will last a long while; then don't always use the same handful. Break in new ones now and again. Keep a dozen or two in use, and lay some aside before they are worn out, and use newer ones. So when at last you cannot use one any more, you have others of the same kind, which will fill its place.
    Have all kinds and sizes of brushes. Have a couple of dozen in use, and a couple of dozen, which you are not using, and a couple of dozen more that have never been used.
    What! Six dozen?
    Well. Why not? Every time you paint you look over your brushes and pick out those which look friendly to what you are going to do. You want all sorts of brushes. You can't paint all sorts of pictures with the same kind of brush. Your brush represents your hand. You must give every kind of touch to it. You want to change sometimes, and you want a clean brush from time to time. You don't want to feel that you are limited; that whether you want to or not these four brushes you must use because they are all you have! You can't paint that way. "
The Painter in Oil
by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

This is not written by a Sex & the City Girly shoe-hoarder by the way, but by an eighteenth century painting instructor advising a newb. One who is the anithesis of mine, who believes all you need is one brush and an eggcupfull of paint to create something spectacular (BOO!)

Painting manuals like that can be found for free, on gutenberg or google books, if you have one of those fancy ereaders. I do- a pink one! *love love love*

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