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Thread: Are you still a "painter" if you only use stencils?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    147

    Are you still a "painter" if you only use stencils?

    Hi, I am new here.

    Honest discussion:

    Are you still a "painter" if you only use stencils?

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE ArtRage. I want to marry it. LOL But I can't really draw. At least not anything I like. But I adore the stencils feature. I go a'googling for great copyright free line art and make them into stencils and put together pretty pictures.

    But I feel a bit afraid to post much here because they are not "paintings". Attached is a current project to show you what I mean.

    Honestly, using stencils, I feel like I am cheating.

    Note: Not looking for reassurance, but honest viewpoints on how others think about "cheating and the stencil tool".

    :-)

    Credit: All the stencils I used in this one are from the fab MisterPaint.

    Edit: This is a WIP. It is not finished yet.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Liv Lukas; 04-16-2009 at 07:02 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Pacific Northwest
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    2,565
    Liv Lukas- Nice image there. I think it is simple. If you are clear about what you are doing, there is no cheating involved. Consider many of the music artists of the 80s and 90s who used recorded sounds and even recorded musical riffs in their mixes. Their tracks are distinct from other musicians in that they combined elements in such a way that something new and fresh was given back.

    The similarity to using stencils seems clear. You are combining elements in a way that creates something new. You are the one making choices about which tools are used i.e. chalk, oils, airbrush, etc. You are also in charge of color and size and placement and on and on.

    There will always be purists who decry using any method outside of drawing and painting skills acquired through time and effort. Their arguments invariably break down for me in the face of the reality of the variety of people and skill levels who crave creative communication and action. To them I say "Don't stifle the possibility of brilliance and inspiration."

    My advice to you is to continue being clear about your methods, and enjoy the freedom of expression, and creative satisfaction possible with these tools. Above all have fun and enjoy what you are doing. We want to see what you are doing with this amazing set of tools. It may be one of your creations that generates a spark of inspiration in another person and the creative energy is doubled and so on.
    Be well,

    "Teach, Learn, Thrive"~DM


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Scotland
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    Depends on what you do with those stencils... I did this using 4 stencils... I figure if the result makes you smile then it doesn't matter if people think you are a painter or not... I don't care... I just know I end up with a picture that wasn't there before... Enjoy yourself... And let other people worry about what a painter really is.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    Mar 2009
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    Virginia, USA
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    I think it's instructive that both Picasso and Braque claim to have invented Collage (which is, for all intents and purposes, what you're doing).

    I'd say you can claim to be in pretty good company :-)

    Ultimately, Fraser is right. Have fun. That's all any of us who can (come close to being able to :-) draw are doing too.

    And Art? That's just expressing an inner vision, whether through paints, stencils, dancing, cooking... the list goes on forever. You're in the club, you've done the quality thing already.
    WARNING: ArtRage can cause serious loss of time, and excessive smiling! Use with care! Frequently!

    “All creativity is an extended form of a joke.” – Alan Kay

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Grand Island NY
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    It is "YOU" that is creating the picture, the stencils are just another tool to use in making the picture..Art is supposed to be fun so go have some fun and don't worry about what others think....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    U.S.A. North Carolina
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    1,950
    Have fun, and enjoy.. If it makes you feel more honest, tell people that you create art .. Which you apparently do.. Looks like art to me.. Bottom line, is don't take credit for another's work.. But use all the help that is available to you..
    Click Upper Right To Visit My Gallery

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
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    428
    Are you familiar with the concept of photomanipulations? (manips for short >.>) - as well as collages, as mentioned.
    I think it's quite similar; you are taking previously created resources and working with them to create something new. There's a fair bit of debate about it, and it doesn't help that some people stick one image onto another and call that a painting, while others blend and rearrange and alter and erase and distort and filter to produce something unrecognisably new.

    Always say straight off that you're using stencils and I think you'll be fine ^_^

    *I wouldn't call it 'painting' exactly - but I would call it art. Then again, stencils in ArtRage blur the line a bit there, and it depends how much you actually do.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Arizona
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    Painting?

    Is using stencils " painting "? No, but then nothing done using electronic media is literally " painting ".

    Art? Emphatically yes!

    Stencils, tracing images, image projection onto canvas to paint on all these and many more things are just TOOLS used to convey ideas and inspiration to others.

    If one were to stick strictly to methods used by the old masters and claim anything else is cheating then all painting would be done on wood with paints we made ourselves.

    Using pre-made paints is cheating

    If you produce images you like ... then you are a successful ARTIST.

    However you produce the images is simply a matter of the TOOLS you used.

    The only way to cheat in art is to claim someone else's work as yours.

    Any way you can produce an image is fair and ethical and honest.
    My artistic ability is strained to draw stick figures.

    I sit here in front of the computer in awe of the talent displayed by the posters in Art Rage.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    147
    These were some very thought provoking replies. Thanks to everyone for their comments in the discussion.

    I had some play with stencils last night and out popped a beautiful, whimsical butterfly piece (Shh! Butterflies~ in the gallery)! So, I felt artistic, that's for sure.

    Also, fraser, your painting is WONDERFUL. Amazing what one can do with this program.

    *wave!*

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    washington, usa
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    14,215
    Looks like a dandy of an original art piece to me. It came together (however) really well and works beautifully. Really looks like a good use of stencils and certainly would not see any complaints from anyone as to plagiarism.
    Last edited by screenpainter; 04-17-2009 at 12:20 PM.

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