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Showing posts from September, 2010
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Compressed charcoal sketch.
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DRAWING ATTENTION TO A WHISPER

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Illustrator Robert Blechman's tiny, distinctive drawings became a phenomenon in the 1960s.

Blechman graduated from college with virtually no artistic training and no portfolio except the work he had done for a college literary magazine. He later recalled,

Nothing could have been more impractical than becoming a professional illustrator. My style--such as it was-- had no precedents and therefore no clear outlets.Blechman showed one of his school assignments, a hand sewn booklet ("got a B-") to the editor at Henry Holt, who asked if Blechman could make a similar book on a holiday theme. Blechman chose the medieval theme of The Juggler of Our Lady.

I set to work immediately. Clearing the kitchen table of everything but the white paper and Will Durant's Age of Faith as reference, I started the book that evening and finished it the same night. In the morning I took it to Holt, and it was accepted for publication. An epic event in my life.His feeble, neurotic line, combined w…
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Oil study of Clark Allen.
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ARTISTIC TASTE CONVERTED TO BINARY CODE

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When people talk about computer art, they usually focus on the "supply" side: artists using computers to create and distribute art.

But computers have major consequences for the "demand" side of the equation: what viewers want.

We have already witnessed the first primitive applications of computers to understanding what kind of art viewers like and why:

1. In 1994, artists Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid conducted a statistical analysis to calculate the ideal painting for U.S. audiences. They discovered that 60% of the population preferred paintings that are "realistic looking" while 88% preferred outdoor scenes featuring lakes or rivers. 53% preferred paintings to have visible brush strokes. Komar and Melamid "translated the numbers into paint on canvas." Their analysis produced the following picture:



2. Information technology is being used to rank the greatest artworks of the 20th century: Economist David Galenson has proposed quantitative meth…

ALL THIS JUICE AND ALL THIS JOY

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Seymour Chwast

Some readers didn't like the traditional figure drawings in my previous post:
I can't believe such pointless work is still being appreciated today. Anyone can achieve the same thing in half a second with a camera...

My camera is capable of interpretations too, I can set it to add filters and thus alter the actual captured photons. After all, you can call every human drawing an interpretation... Some scolded that to qualify as genuine Art, "The act of interpretation should be in service of something more" than merely "perceiving form" with pencil or charcoal.

But I can't help it, I'm a sucker for perceiving form.  For me, the melodies that arise from the perception of form can rival the most elaborate intellectual construct.

Take the most famous figure painting of the 20th century:



Picasso wasn't merely capturing a likeness of the human form.  He deconstructed the form, moving in stages from mere likeness to the jagged underside of re…
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Sarah, oil on canvas, from a life painting session in 2000.
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Location design for How to Train Your Dragon. This is the shoreline of Dragon Island. I did it in photoshop, it's inspired by a look created by our Art Director extraordinaire, Pierre Olivier Vincent.

From Student to Professional, September 14th

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.I'm giving a presentation we're calling "From Student to Professional and Beyond" on Tuesday, September 14, 7-10:00 pm. It's for any student or professional artist seeking improvement and will focus on where and how to focus your efforts as you work toward developing a more professional level of artistic ability. We'll cover the skills, tools, workspace, attitudes and habits of of the successful working artist (digital and traditional). I've been working hard at fine tuning this presentation so I'm going out on a limb and guaranteeing that it will be worth your time and effort. Contact the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art at (877) MY-LAAFA or register online. Hope to see you there.