Monday, December 14, 2009

Repost about cheating in Art

Caravaggio Cheated
well, not really, he just did what many artists have done throughout history
Caravaggio used 'photography' to create dramatic masterpieces.

Amor Vincit Omnia by Caravaggio

There are many purists/art snobs/dilettantes who claim that the use of projector/photograph is cheating and will dismiss the work of an artist who does use them. The problem with that view is that they will have to dismiss a whole slew of artists in history whose painting and drawing skills are unquestioned. One can't just copy a photograph/use a projector and render a realistic painting without a solid background in drawing, and anatomy/life drawing.
Vermeer and the Camera Obscura

Famous Painters who copied photographs.

So next time someone gives you a hard time about using photographs or a projector (camera obscura) tell them if it was good enough for Caravaggio, Canaletto, Vermeer, Sir Joshua Reynolds it's good enough for you.

I like using them sometimes for reference purposes, and other times to copy. For Shadow Songs I wanted that stilted frozen studio portrait look and copied the pose in the photograph.

Shadow Songs

Here is a completely different take on copying photographs and it is fabulous, found it on Mr.XStitch Blog.
The work is by Cecile Jarsaillon who stitches the actual photographs, and not as easy as one might imagine.
AdviceBetter to use your own photographs (or with permission of the photographer) unless you want to get in a pickle.


shana goetsch said...

just had a discussion about this with someone two days ago....i told her that they all did it, back in the day. however, she questioned me, because 'projectors' as we know them are a newer feature.
but in the olden days they did a thing like the camera obscura, all upsidedown. and they called them 'cartoons'. nice. when they do 'xrays' on artwork, they often find the cartoons are different too.
i guess i just wanted to chime in with more info.
carravaggio is one of my faves. so dramatic!

Colette Amelia said...

I could have a photo and tracing paper and I stil couldn't produce anything worthy of staying out of the garbage. You are right you need to have the gift to be able to make art.

Undaunted said...

Argh! It's that painting again of the boy picking his bum!!

Something occurred to me while reading this post - if that boy was painted today with his winky on show it would be called child porn. And Caravaggio must have used a naked child model, which also would be illegal these days. Tricky one, because I'm not suggesting that it should be ok to hire children to pose in the nude, it's just a shame that art has suffered due to the perversities of mankind. Or maybe it's the other way round, and children once suffered due to art? But the boy in the painting looks perfectly happy picking his bum in the nude :)

JafaBrit's Art said...

shana , I just found another interesting tool artists used: "camera lucida"

LOL! yes undaunted, you have got some good points there.