Wednesday, July 9, 2014

John Singer Sargent painted like a concept artist??!!?!

Over on I keep seeing this particular approach to digital painting that I think of as a specifically concept art/digital illustration thing, you know, very loose where you can see all the edges, partially transparent strokes etc. Like above. I've resisted this approach because my influences are mostly from the 60's and 70's and art history. But I was intrigued because I like the way people build form using this technique - each brushstroke defining a single plane. Very quick.

Then watching this video I suddenly realized - it isn't really just a newfangled digital art thing - it's just loose painting, like Sargent and many others have done. Oh, well that's different then!!

One thing I remember quite well from long ago was a PBS show with a woman teaching how she paints. Wish I remembered her name or the name of the show - I only ever saw the one episode. She painted very loosely, effortlessly. She said people ask her all the time how to do it, and they aren't interested in learning all the other stuff, they just want to be able to paint loose. But she said the first step is to learn how to paint well - realistically and in detail. The second step is to get a lot of experience doing that, and eventually you'll have absorbed all the lessons of art to such an extent that finally you can paint loose. Reminds me of my favorite Dave Sim-ism - "First you get good, then you get fast, then you get good and fast".

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