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Author   Topic : "Importance of Howard Pyle and the Loomis connection."
Wayne Johnson
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 12:30 pm     Reply with quote
How does understanding Howard Pyles theory on the importance of seeing in values and Andrew Loomis's explination of Pyles theory mean to digital painters?

Everything.
First off Howard Pyle is know as the father of American Illustration and started the Brandywine shool with studendts like NC Wyeth. Andrew Loomis has written the most important book on Illustration in the 20th century. Creative Illustration. The stress on the importance of values is what the core of the book is about. He opens his book with "The Form Principle as the basis of approch" In which he lays down his truths (about 22) of how light works. Then he spends 300 pages explaining it. It is all based on a two page letter that he had recieved second hand from Howard Pyle on how light works and the importance of seeing in values. I have been studying this for five years and have come to a great understanding on how to see in values.
This is the most important thing as pPyle sys "With out it no truely spontainious work of art can be created"

So let me know how familuar you are with Pyle and then we can continue the discussion.

Later,

Wayne
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AndyT
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 2:31 pm     Reply with quote
Ok seeing in values is cool!
What do you want to discuss again!?
You make it sounds like a challenge ... Wink

It's not exactly new that it's important to know how to draw basic shapes in perspective and how to render them correctly.

This exercise is from Sijun:
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8381
(the links are interesting)

So maybe clarify ... what's your question!? What should the discussion be about?
If you just mean too many artists neglect values ... then I agree!

Have you seen the tutorials by Fred Flick Stone?

http://forums.sijun.com/viewtopic.php?t=31438
http://forums.sijun.com/viewtopic.php?t=31503
http://forums.sijun.com/viewtopic.php?p=304170
http://forums.sijun.com/viewtopic.php?p=304171

There's a lot about the importance of values as well!
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Wayne Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2003 9:33 am     Reply with quote
It is a challenge of sorts and it is on the full understanding of the Form Principle. I will attempt to digitise at least some of the main Truths and also Pyle's theory. I am interested in painters opinions about The Form Principle.
I have found it to be the most important reading and instructional tool over any book currently in print on the understanding of value.

Look there are three schools of color.

1. Psycological= Red means angery or orange means hunger or really it is relative to the induvidual artist or what ever the veiwer brings to it mentally.

Problem with that is it's all subjective and then we as painters are not communicating with a universal language and we must get a decoder ring to figure it out. Most Modern Art.

2. Colorists point of view= warm color advances and cool color receads.

I agree with the concept because it is TRUE. But if you understand anything about Natural Order you will see that Spectral color is too close in value to creat a convincing depth in Grayscale. Well if you are a proffessinal illustrator or designer or hell just a good painter your work may be reproduced in grayscale some time and what happens? No depth everything is flat. Just get some imppessionist paintings and reduce them to gray scale and see what I mean, better yet Picasso. Your not shooting all of your arrows and you loose the convincingness of light striking form in space, and that is what painting is about.

3. Valueist point= Every thing is reduced to the big three values, Lights, Mids, and Darks. Once this is done to your subject then it is easy to key your painting and also apply color, as a matter of fact the Value Study as I call it is actually where the ART happens. Everything else is just work. To fully understand color and how to mix any color by sight, and know exactly what it is you must use in conjuction with Loomis and Pyle, Faber Birrens Color Triangle, to fully and truthfully understand the aplication of color based on the Physics based world and not a perceptionist or psycological based world. Then and only then can truly spontainiouse works of art happen.


So what do you all think? Very Happy
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Wayne Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2003 9:58 am     Reply with quote
It is a challenge of sorts and it is on the full understanding of the Form Principle. I will attempt to digitise at least some of the main Truths and also Pyle's theory. I am interested in painters opinions about The Form Principle.
I have found it to be the most important reading and instructional tool over any book currently in print on the understanding of value.

Look there are three schools of color.

1. Psycological= Red means angery or orange means hunger or really it is relative to the induvidual artist or what ever the veiwer brings to it mentally.

Problem with that is it's all subjective and then we as painters are not communicating with a universal language and we must get a decoder ring to figure it out. Most Modern Art.

2. Colorists point of view= warm color advances and cool color receads.

I agree with the concept because it is TRUE. But if you understand anything about Natural Order you will see that Spectral color is too close in value to creat a convincing depth in Grayscale. Well if you are a proffessinal illustrator or designer or hell just a good painter your work may be reproduced in grayscale some time and what happens? No depth everything is flat. Just get some imppessionist paintings and reduce them to gray scale and see what I mean, better yet Picasso. Your not shooting all of your arrows and you loose the convincingness of light striking form in space, and that is what painting is about.

3. Valueist point= Every thing is reduced to the big three values, Lights, Mids, and Darks. Once this is done to your subject then it is easy to key your painting and also apply color, as a matter of fact the Value Study as I call it is actually where the ART happens. Everything else is just work. To fully understand color and how to mix any color by sight, and know exactly what it is you must use in conjuction with Loomis and Pyle, Faber Birrens Color Triangle, to fully and truthfully understand the aplication of color based on the Physics based world and not a perceptionist or psycological based world. Then and only then can truly spontainiouse works of art happen.


So what do you all think? Very Happy
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faustgfx
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2003 4:13 pm     Reply with quote
that you have some sort of weird fixation with the dude and should seek help with it.

how are people supposed to "discuss" about it when you go "andrew loomis did this. tell me that he did this and we can continue the discussion."? wtf. it's not like it hasn't been "discussed" here and elsewhere and everywhere 1000^n+1 times already.

"How does understanding Howard Pyles theory on the importance of seeing in values and Andrew Loomis's explination of Pyles theory mean to digital painters? Everything. "

well i'm glad that's cleared out.

"Andrew Loomis has written the most important book on Illustration in the 20th century. Creative Illustration. The stress on the importance of values is what the core of the book is about. "

that too!

shrug.

double posts are ugly.
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Solid Nate
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2003 6:20 pm     Reply with quote
I think you're placing too much emphisis on value and formula. It's good to know that kind a stuff, but art is not a math problem. Following a whatever formulae you get from Loomis, Pyle, and Birrens won't necessarily lead to a successful painting, and not following them won't lead to a failed painting.

It's because painting isn't about values, it's about conveying an idea, or emotion, telling a story. Making a science of it will actually inhibit your ability to be spontanious in your art.
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Gothic Gerbil
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2003 8:35 pm     Reply with quote
Well Solid Nate, in this case I would have to disagree with you, as Wayne Johnson seems to be specifically focusing on illustration. So the use of value to define form, of colour to express mood, and the use of warm and cool colours to manipulate perceived depth even more are skills that are greatly needed to be understood. And also, even if you break away from the traditional illustrative view and venture forth into the realms of fine art, having a concrete knowledge of these concepts will help you greatly. You'll spend less time floundering trying to make your painting work. In other words, it won't just be an accident when your painting works. And when it doesn't work, perhaps you'll be able to figure out why more easily with these concepts. You say that a painting is "about conveying an idea, or emotion, telling a story." Well then, the psychology of colour will be a great boon in conveying that.

This is probably best summed up in the classic idea: if you want to successfully break the rules, then know the rules.
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Wayne Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:35 am     Reply with quote
Well, a list of rules that bind you. That is what I always get from you Artist types. Don’t bind me with your rules man! Your stepping on my creative spirit man! I don’t now who the guys on your list are man, I went to art school and we heard about real painters like Jackson Pollack! I’ll start with this from Sir Joshua Reynolds.

I would chiefly recommend, that an implicit obedience to the Rules of Art, as established by the practice of the great Masters, should be exacted from the young Students. That those models, which have passed through the approbation of ages, should be considered by them as perfect and infallible guides; as subjects for their imitation, not their criticism. I am confident, that this is the only efficacious method of making progress in the Arts; and that he who sets out with doubting, will find life finished before he becomes master of the rudiments. For it may be laid down as a maxim, that he who begins by presuming on his own sense, has ended his studies as soon as he has commenced them.
Every opportunity, therefore, should be taken to discountenance that false and vulgar opinion, that rules are the fetters of genius. They are fetters only to men with no genius; as that armour, which upon the strong is an ornament and a defense, upon the weak and misshapen becomes a load and cripples the body which it was made to protect.

Now with that in mind I think you might see the importance of what follows here.
If you have any questions please bring them up and I will be happy to explain.

Now read what Andrew Loomis hast to say.

No matter what the subject the artist uses or what medium he works in, there is but one solid basis of approach to a realistic interpretation of life—to the representation of the natural appearance of existing forms. I cannot lay claim to being the first to perceive the truths which underlie this approach. You will find them exemplified in all good art. They existed long before me, and will continue as long as there is light. I shall attempt to organize theses truths so as to make them workable for you in study and practice, in everything you do. To the organization of theses basic truths I have given a name: the Form Principle. Let us start out by defining the Form Principle:
The Form Principle is the rendering of form as to it’s aspect at any given moment with regard to it’s lighting, it’s structure and texture, together with it’s true relationship to it’s environment.

Now lets see what this means. Any pictorial effect that will present a convincing illusion of existing form must do so first by the rendering of light on that form. Without light, as far as we are concerned, form ceases to exist. The first TRUTH of the Form Principle that we are concerned with is:
1. It must be determined at once what kind of light we are working with, for it’s nature and quality and the direction from which it comes will effect the entire appearance of the form.

If it is impossible to render form without light, then it follows that the nature of the form becomes visible because of light. A brilliant light produces a well defined light, half tone, and shadow. A diffused light, such as the light of the sky on a gray day. Produces an effect of softness and subtle gradation of light to dark. In the studio the same relative effects are produced by artificial light for definition and by natural north daylight for the soft gradation.
The direction or position of the light source, then, determines what planes shall be in the light, halftone, or shadow. Texture is more apparent in a direct or bright light than in a diffused light. The planes of the form are also more apparent in brilliant light.

2. The lightest areas of the form will be within those planes lying most nearly at right angles to the direction of the light. The halftone planes will be those obliquely situated to the direction of the light. The shadow planes will be those planes lying in or beyond the direction of light so that the light of the original source cannot reach them. The cast shadows are the results of the light having been intercepted, and the shape of such intercepting form is projected to other planes. In diffused light there is little or no cast shadow. In brilliant light or direct light there is always cast shadow.
3. Direct light produces much more reflected light, and this is most apparent within the shadow. The amount of reflected light reaching the shadow will determine it’s value. Everything upon which the light falls becomes a secondary source of reflected light and will light shadow planes in the same manner as the original source, being brightest on the planes at right angles to such reflected light.
4. Reflected light can never be as light as the original source. Therefore no area in the shadow can be as light as the areas in the light.
5. All forms within your picture should appear to be lighted by the same source and be lighted consistently with one another.
6. All things represented within a given light bear a relationship of tone and value to on another.
7. Relationship of values is more correct in natural light than in any other.
8. Over modeling comes from incorrect values.
9. The big form makes the subject carry and appear solid, not the incidental surface forms.
10. The best pictures run to a few simple values.
11. The design makes the picture, not the subject or material.
12. The same form may be presented with great variety by careful arrangement of lighting. Just any light will not do. It must be the best of several experiments.
13. Light and shadow in itself produces design.
14. Value relationships between objects produce design.
15. All pictures are fundamentally either arrangements of lights, intervening tones, and darks, or else linear arrangements.
16. Line is contour; tone is form, space and the third dimension. Get this clearly in your mind.
17. Contour cannot be continuously defined all around all units and a sense of space be achieved.
18. The fundamentals are the same in all mediums. One more time for you digital guys.
19. The fundamentals are the same in all mediums.
20. The darkest part of the shadow appears nearest the light, between the halftone of the light and the reflected light within the shadow.
21. The Form Principle is the co-ordination of all factors dealing with line, tone, and color.
Very Happy
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astigma3
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:55 am     Reply with quote
what you're saying might have some merit, but i couldn't get past the first few sentences because it was so pretentious.
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Wayne Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:12 pm     Reply with quote
I'm interested in real feed back from people who love to paint and want to be the best they can be. to have a discussion we must have some common ground to stand on. So please read what Loomis has to say and let me know what you think.

Later Very Happy
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faustgfx
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:31 pm     Reply with quote
finely discussed, chap! all you lack is.. well. someone who cares.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:36 pm     Reply with quote
Gothic Gerbil, I doubt you'd ever agreed with me in any case considering I rarely post.

Funny how you just assume that I'm an "artist type" when in fact I enjoy illustration far more than fine art and work on my technique to be an illustrator.

But I believe that focusing on just technique or the opposite, focusing just on creativity, are dead end roads at least when it comes to my artistic goals.

Quote:
I'm interested in real feed back from people who love to paint and want to be the best they can be.


Well you see I love to paint and I am doing what I can to be the best I can be, but you're assuming that artists who want to be the best they can be have to have the sames goals that you have, or that your precious book has laid out, when they don't.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 1:16 pm     Reply with quote
Wayne Johnson:
When I read the first sentences of you new long post I thought that was out of my league.
I lack a professional education ... but ... somehow the 21 points you bring up sound pretty basic.
Maybe you could turn it into a tutorial and illustrate it.
I think it's a pretty good summary.

Good artists here know about that stuff ... tonal plans, key and value ... and so on!
Spooge always stresses how important it is to seperate light and shadow.
Or to observe things in reality and trying to understand why you're seeing what you're seeing.
That you should keep it simple ... and so on.

What I still don't get is ... you are telling something and it's interesting ...
... but what do you want to discuss?
Maybe you should ask a more specific question.
Quote:
I am interested in painters opinions about The Form Principle.
Well I think there are no opinions that anybody would consider new/interesting enough to share.
Maybe you can come up with a new aspect!?

For those who don't know the Loomis Books yet:
http://www.fineart.sk/loomis/page_04.htm
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Torstein Nordstrand
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 1:44 pm     Reply with quote
faust, thanks for once again bringing yourself back to the boards with a useless rant. At least Flat has style.

Wayne, I too am very occupied with form. Most artists I respect agree that tones are the most important factor by far in all tonal work, colour artwork included. Therefore, to learn, I spend most of my time on value studies. But stating that it is the only factor of art would, of course, be very wrong. For example, in a portrait, putting the background colour onto a cheek will often help it recede. An incredible penciller won't automatically have a solid colour sense akin to "the Masters". It takes study to refine your understanding of all aspects of visual representation.

The remarks you are quoting here serve as a good reminder of the basics we should always keep in mind. But students of the Art need to focus on different things at different times of their career. Personally, my tonal sense is now better than my colour sense. So that's where I'll spend my energy at the moment Smile

PS: Don't diss the impressionists overmuch, keep in mind that's where NC Wyeth acquired his incredible colouring from Wink And from what I've seen, Pyle really wasn't much of a colourist. Just because he might have mastered one aspect of art (tones), doesn't mean he necessarily rocks in the colour departement.

And why Pyle? A charismatic man who influenced a lot of greats, sure, but why not use Leyendecker for an example? In my opinion he is far superior to Pyle in many aspects, including (but not limited to) direction, personal style, strokes, composition, simplification of form and tones, etc.

Have you just bought Visions of Adventure or something? Smile
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Wayne Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 2:17 pm     Reply with quote
Thank you all for your comments. I agree that my question for a discussion should be more refined. I am interested in the experiance and level of the people in this discussion so I needed to get a feel for who I'm talking with.

What is your experience and knowlege of the Form Principle?

Now some comments about what was said above.

Impressionists and color I'm not dising. I am simply pointing out the fact that that one school is not all the answers. I am truly interested in a Physics based reality and not a psycological one. I am interested in telling the truth about light striking form in space. Surly there are better painters than Pyle in the history of painting, Sargent is my favorite and I think embodies all that a painter needs to be. But Pyle is an important figure in American history and he represents the connection to 500 years of art and Science Dualisum. Pyle is the next step in the chain of real art in my opinion. After Impressionisum Most artists, went down the road of Psycology and embraced the total empiric learning path. The old way was tossed out and the new way moved in and art is now, Defined in many groups as "If you call yourself an artist, you are and your art is."
Howard Pyle is the link to the American Illustrators. They are the ones that kept the "Grand Tradition" alive and have actualy modernized the thinking of the great old masters. Loomis's book "Creative Illustraton" is that connection to the grand tradition for US. We as painters need to take up that mantle and become a respected Proffession again and not be percieved as flaky burn outs or Deranged mad men and women.

The world is waiting for men and women of vision-it is not interested in mear pictures. What people subconsciously are interested in is the expression of beauty, something that helps them through the humdrum day, something that shocks them out of themselves and something that makes them believe in the beauty and glory of human existance.

The apitite of the mind is for truth.

No I do not hold just one book as the finqal answer in a giant world. But I do know that learning from books, many, many books, and Empiric study, Acers and acers of canvase. We can be better. I also believe that a new school of thought should be embraced and Truth and Beauty should be our cause.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 2:25 pm     Reply with quote
Torstein Nordstrand wrote:
faust, thanks for once again bringing yourself back to the boards with a useless rant. At least Flat has style.


thanks, i'm glad my self-entertaining trolling gets some gratefulness back. there i was, fearing no-one would notice me, for that would have been a defeat.. sniff :|~

(whatever?)
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Drew
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 2:26 pm     Reply with quote
Wayne Johnson wrote:

I would chiefly recommend, that an implicit obedience to the Rules of Art, as established by the practice of the great Masters, should be exacted from the young Students. That those models, which have passed through the approbation of ages, should be considered by them as perfect and infallible guides; as subjects for their imitation, not their criticism.


What I seriously disagree with here is regarding past masters as infallible, as though they were magically handed knowledge from the mystical forces of the universe. They were just guys like you and me who painted. Any "truth" that they knew was just the "truth" as they understood it.

There are no rules in art because art is subjective. Many people have established guidelines to help other artists, and this is a great help. I take what I need from these guidelines and disregard the rest. If they're treated as law they chain you down, but if they're treated as much needed guidelines that allow one to build on the work of former masters, then they set you free.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 2:55 pm     Reply with quote
Sniping on the lines of physical correctness vs. psychological correctness: Would you rather have people see what you want them to see or think what you want them to think?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 3:08 pm     Reply with quote
either i'm right or horribly wrong but.. would the right answer be have them see what i want/intend/hope them to see? as long as we're sticking to visual art (painted, printed, etch-a-sketched or whatever hand crafted medium) strictly?

must have missed something there jolly ol SuPeR_DrAwEr brain hemisphere chap!
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 3:44 pm     Reply with quote
Wayne, I just noticed your post count, and want to say that it is the general mindset of this forum (IMO) that digital creation does not exclude traditional values, least of all concerning shape. Our eyes haven't changed much the last thousand years, and this decade is no exception. Also, what many consider the height of representational art (French classicism with Bougereau, Gérôme, et al.), is having some sort of revival, exemplified through this remarkable website:

http://www.artrenewal.com/

If you haven't wasted hours browsing that gallery already, I suggest you do Smile
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Wayne Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 3:51 pm     Reply with quote
Reynolds has an answer for you about the Masters being perfect and infalible guides. I'll get to that in a second.

I am sorry to hear that people beleive truth to be a relative thing when infact there are absolute truths in the world. Loomis points out about 22 of them in his Form Principle. So as regard to the old Masters as being "guys like us who just painted, any "Truth" that they new was just as they understood it." I am sad to think that people think like that and that everyone percieves reality differently and truth is in the eye of the beholder. Psycology was invented only one hundred or so years ago and it has only been considered a real sience for about 50 years or so, so truth being relative is of a very recent vintage. For 600 years a physics based reality is what everyone was living in and I believe that is the right way.

Back to Reynolds.

Reynolds had told his students that there was a timeline of study to follow and painters went through 3 stages.

1. Learning the fundementals. This only takes about a year to be shown and understand the fundamentals of painting. Color, Value, composition, texture, human form, drapery, perspective, brush drill, and so on.

2. The next several years of a painters life, was to learn and see what had been already learned by the greates painters before him. This is the time to see the Masters as perfect and infalible guids. This usualy takes 5 to 10 years of a painters life. Incorperating the best qualities of the greatest painters in history, and putting that into your work. You are now the student with no opinion other than what is given to you by thoes masters.

3. Becoming the master yourself. Once you have learned all that is nessisary and studied and practiced you will then be free to pursue your own thoughts and ideas and expressions. You are your own master with no one but what you have synthasized in youir artistic life to guide you and your own sense of what a painting should be.

Most people do step one. Most people skip step two and go right to step three. and that is the problem with art today, and why Art is in such a state of decline that it will take a generation or two to bring it back to where it once was.

Torstein Nordstrand,

I do not believe that this site in anyway does not exemplifie what I am talking about. You make my point about the human eye not changing. I am simply interested in understanding what others think and help Painting and painters returne to their rightful place among other respectable proffesions.
Intelligent discussion and a sharing of ideas is what I want to start with.
Thanks for your comments.[/quote]
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 4:49 pm     Reply with quote
"Problem with that is it's all subjective and then we as painters are not communicating with a universal language and we must get a decoder ring to figure it out."

Ok, so that is perhaps a fair enough statement as a general comment on modern art, but have you ever stopped to consider that not all art is targeted to a wide audience. Sheesh.

I don't know where this discussion is going... *sigh*
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Solid Nate
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:25 pm     Reply with quote
The conversation is not going to go anywere anytime soon because Mr. Johnson's art book is his bible and it has "truths" in it that he obeys without thought and he feels he needs to convert artists and illustrators that have a different opinion about the ways that work best for them and art in general.

It's unfortunate for him that following the idea that the masters are infallible creatures of paint and that you should have no opinion but theirs will lead to stagnation in your personal growth as an artist and the growth of art as a whole. With 5-10 years of pretenting to be one of the old masters, I doubt he'll ever be able to freely pursue his own creative thoughts and have his own idea what painting will be.

But we shouldn't stand in his way of being a glorious hack even though he feels he must stand in our way.
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aphelionart
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:36 am     Reply with quote
commenting on an earlier post:

i think the ideal artist will be able to make you see and think what he wants you to... why settle for one? i don't know how you can make someone think something if you don't know what they're seeing... that's the problem with modern art today. and the reason people make so much fun of it. i think sometimes artists get ahead of themselves, expecting people to understand too easily.. a lot of art nowadays requires too much consideration to finally realize the artist's view, or it's so cryptic/crappy most people will never find it. look at the older paintings by wayne's "masters"... they grab you instantly and gradually draw you to some sort of final destination, IMHO.

it's like artists nowadays blame the viewers for not being perceptive enough to receive their message when it's sometimes too encrypted for even other artists. i don't know about anyone else here, but i personally HATE modern art. it gives the world of art a bad name. picasso ripped apart the rules and suddenly it seemed like you didn't have to have any technical skill to be famous, when it's obvious from his earlier works that he was very technically talented.

it bothers me so much to the point that if someone else doesn't do it before me, i plan on rebuilding fine art. and i'll die trying if i have to. i'm not trying to be cocky, but it's about damn time for a new movement.. one that brings the basics back in to play, but perhaps retains the unleashed creativity of modern art. one that brings respect back to art. non-artists may not have a taste for the older movements, but at least you don't see them making fun of them. look how gaming and movie special effects have reached audiences... they can't get enough! but our current "fine art"? forget about it. if art's to play its role for the general improvement of our society by communicating ideas, it should be the other way around.

not to say there isn't still good "modern art"... but it's like punk music: so easy to make, good quality is few and far between. and ya know why? cuz most "fine artists" ignore the technical side.. i actually know several self-proclaimed "artists" who will admit even their stick figures look like crap. i think that's like what you're saying, wayne.

-matt
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spooge demon
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:56 am     Reply with quote
well said, solid nate.

Wayne, I also think there is no discussion here, you are here to preach. Since you were interested in opinions(!), here is a brief one.

I love painting and have devoted the first half of my life to it. I am quite familiar with Pyle and academic art in general. I believe Pyle's principles are sound but are in no way exhaustive, and your strict adherence to them is very limiting for you.

I would suggest not reading anyone’s words unless you can resist the temptation to pedantism. If you can handle it, read as much as you can.

I think a better way to learn about art is to look with truly open eyes at art and artists and the world and not use words at all. Soak it up with a different part of your brain.

Jason Manley and I have gone around a bit about academics. He believes that creativity can only rest on a solid academic foundation, and I believe that foundation limits you. I suppose how importantly you view creativity as a value in art is a big part of this debate. A lot of artists ask me “so what do I do to kick ass??!!” I don’t know. My only advice is what I said above. Absorb like a sponge, sell your soul to no school, your path will reveal itself.

Far from being “respected,” artrenewal is a laughingstock for most of the artists that I know, myself included. It isn’t the fact that they like 19th century art, but the raving fascist area 51 paranoia self righteous rage they have about it that is kinda scary and funny. I bet they are going to start quoting Revelations next.

I disagree that the profession of artist/illustrator is 'in a state of decline.' I think the art world is much better off than it was under the Salon. So you can’t get on the front page of art news because you can render toes like no other? Oh well.
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Drew
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 5:52 am     Reply with quote
Wayne Johnson wrote:

I am sorry to hear that people beleive truth to be a relative thing when infact there are absolute truths in the world. Loomis points out about 22 of them in his Form Principle. So as regard to the old Masters as being "guys like us who just painted, any "Truth" that they new was just as they understood it." I am sad to think that people think like that and that everyone percieves reality differently and truth is in the eye of the beholder. Psycology was invented only one hundred or so years ago and it has only been considered a real sience for about 50 years or so, so truth being relative is of a very recent vintage. For 600 years a physics based reality is what everyone was living in and I believe that is the right way.


Rarely have I read so much wrongness in one paragraph. If the world is full of absolute truths, then why has there been so much warfare, which in essense is a disagreement that comes to violence?

Psycology may not be a new science, but that makes it no less correct. I wasn't speaking of psycology when I was making those statements, though. I was just stating the truth as I see it.

I have no clue what this discussion has to do with physics.

Wayne Johnson wrote:

3. Becoming the master yourself. Once you have learned all that is nessisary and studied and practiced you will then be free to pursue your own thoughts and ideas and expressions. You are your own master with no one but what you have synthasized in youir artistic life to guide you and your own sense of what a painting should be.


So basically....
Drew said:
Quote:
Many people have established guidelines to help other artists, and this is a great help. I take what I need from these guidelines and disregard the rest. If they're treated as law they chain you down, but if they're treated as much needed guidelines that allow one to build on the work of former masters, then they set you free.


The only difference in what we're saying is that you're demanding that people do things your way. Good luck with that.
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Wayne Johnson
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 7:25 am     Reply with quote
I am not demanding you do anything. I am just interested in your take on the Form Principle. Now if you have not read it, or if you have not understood it, then please go back and do so. I will post Pyles version shortly so all can read, or you can find "Creative Illustration" (Andy T can help) online and read it yourself.

I do believe we need not follow just one man or one BOOK in the case of art.
That is not my Idea. It might be nice if you at least read one book. Hear is a short list of titles to consider.

John Pike Paints Watercolors

Lessions from Eliot O'Hara

Discourses on Art by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Creative Color by faber Birren

Principles of Color by Faber Birren

Hawthorn on painting.

Painting watercolors that glow by Jan Koonz

Understanding Comics Scott McCloud

Watercolor Portaiture by O'Hara, Walker, Short

That is just the tip of the Iceberg. I beleive that if some of you even scan through these books you will find something helpful to your work. Loomis and Pyle are just the beginning. Very Happy
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Wayne Johnson
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 8:55 am     Reply with quote
Fortunately I am able to give you, in his own words, the general theory of approach used by Howard Pyle, as it was given out to his students. It has been copied and handed down from artists of one generation to another. I must frankly admit that it has passed through my hands, so there is nothing to verify its absolute authenticity, but in substance it is as Pyle himself wrote it down. My copy was given to me some twenty years ago – I cannot now recall by whom. Since Pyle has been revered as the "Father of American Illustration," and since he gave it out freely, I believe it is proper that it should be recorded permanently for the sake of the craft. There may be very few, if any, other existing copies by now. There are but few of his students living. Unless they likewise set down his message, it could be lost forever. I feel fortunate in being able thus to pass on his words, and I assure you that you are equally fortunate in having them.

Andrew Loomis

AS TO THE ELEMENTARY INSTRUCTION AS TO COLOR AND FORM

Light-All objects of nature are made visible to the sight by the light of the sun shinning upon them. The result is that by means of this we see the color and texture of various objects of nature.
From this it may be seen that color and texture are the property of light and that they do not enter the property of shadow. For shadow is darkness and in darkness there is neither form nor color.
Hence form and color belong distinctly to light. Shadow-As the object illuminated by the sun is more or less opaque, so when light of the sun is obscured by that object, the shadow which results is more or less black and opaque, being illuminated only by the light reflected into it by surrounding objects.
By virtue of shadow all objects of nature assume form and shape, for if there were no shadow all would be a flat glare of light, color and texture…but when the shadow appears, the object takes form and shape.
If the edges of an object are rounded, then the edges of the shadow become softened; if the edges of an object are sharp, then the shadow is correspondingly acute. So, by means of the softness or acuteness of the shadow, the roundness or sharpness of the solid object is made manifest.
Hence it would follow that the province of shadow is to produce form and shape, and that in itself it possesses no power of conveying an impression of color or texture.
I have tried to state these two facts because the are the foundation of all picture making; for in the corresponding mimic separation of light and dark, the mimic image of nature is made manifest. So the function of all art instruction should teach the pupil to analyze and to separate the lights from the darks, not technically but mentally. That which the pupil most needs in the beginning is not a system of arbitrary rules and methods for imitating the shape of the object, that which he needs to be taught is the habit of analyzing lights and shadows and representing them accordingly.



HALFTONES

1. Halftones that carry an impression of the texture and color should be relegated to the province of light, and should be made brighter than they appear to be.
2. Halftones that carry an impression of form should be relegated to the province of shadow, and should be much darker than they appear to be. This is the secret of simplicity in art. The equation might be represented thus:


LIGHT SHADOW
(i.e. Texture, quality, color) (i.e. form and solidity)

Highlight-Tint Halftone-Reflection
1 2 3 2
Halftone Shadow
3 1


This is, as I said , the foundation of technical art. And, until the pupil is entirely able to separate those two qualities of light and shadow from one another in his perception, he should not be advanced beyond the region of elementary instruction-no matter how clever and "fetching" his work may appear to be. And, during this progress of instruction the pupil should be constantly encouraged with the assurance that what he is doing is not mere drudgery but is necessary process by means of which-and only by means of which-he be able to manifest the beautiful thoughts that lie dormant in his imagination. I may say here, in this connection, that the pupils who come to me are always so confused as to those two qualities of light and shadow, and their habit of exaggerating the halftones has become so confirmed, that it takes oftentimes several years to teach them analysis and simplification, yet without this power of analysis and simplification, it is, as I say, impossible to produce and truly perfect any work of art. For that separation is fundamental to the law of Nature, and until it becomes habit of thought, no spontaneous work of art can be produced.

Howard Pyle
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pierre
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 3:51 am     Reply with quote
I wonder how anyone will be able to create new footsteps in history by being stuck in the footsteps of the dead. I believe they can guide you to success as well as make you fall of a cliff.
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Drunken Monkey
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 6:29 am     Reply with quote
I don't think that fundamentals should be the only thing practiced untill one can paint an ultra-realistic figure or landscape - if you do that you will end up a human xerox. A zombie without any creative fibers. Creativity needs to be stimulated just as much to be developed, wouldnt you say?

Sometimes after 8-12 hours of figure drawing with short breakes for food i feel pretty damn dull. Its scary.

I do find the technical info you posted pretty usefull though. Just not the preaching part ;]
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