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Thread: Think Before You Post

  1. #1
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    Think Before You Post

    This thread was initiated by someone else who did not have English as a first language and owing to the awkwardness of linguistics and perhaps personal communication skills ended up creating a mess they tried solving by yet again deleting the entire thread they initiated. Fair warning: Next time I'll leave in all the posts and you'll have to live with what you create.

    The topic was something about whether the Tracing feature using reference material gotten from the internet was legitimate, which is something of a potentially bristly topic anyway.

    Since some of this thread was getting personal and about the person's words being insulting, I am leaving that business out. But there was also comments that expressed legitimate positions on that subject that still should still be heard.

    This conversation is still alive if anyone cares to post to it.

    Post #1 Deleted
    Springboard Topic: Tracing - Ba-a-a-a-a-ad
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    grayflo

    Member


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    LocationEdinburgh, ScotlandGalleryView imagesPosts
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    Originally Posted by . . .


    The traced picture tells a story about the artist something like "childrens colouring book art" or "paint-by-number-art". Not much skills.




    That may be true in one sense. But there are people, of whom I am one, that have no skill (yet).
    To tell my story I need help – the skill of another. So, tracing helps me to make a start.

    I love playing the guitar, but I cannot draw. So in my first artrage painting I traced a guitar to get the shape right. To me it was important to get that shape, as the image I made was about shape and colour and texture.

    If I didn’t trace, I don’t think I would have started making even a single mark. That tracing got me going.
    Perhaps I can use an analogy. Sometimes I find it hard to find words to pray, or express myself spiritually. So I may sing a hymn or song written by someone else, or read a passage from a book. These are the words or thoughts of someone else, but they help me to express myself, or, as you say, “tell my story” to God.
    I know I am not an artist. But I am learning to make marks and enjoy the juxtaposition of shape, colour and texture. It is a start.

    If I never get any further than tracing and/or adapting someone else’s work (better than I could ever produce), so long as I do not claim that work to be all my own, and it gives me pleasure and satisfaction in having created something, then I think that is worthwhile.

    I stand in great awe of the consummate artists here on the forum. I am also inspired by the beginners and improvers who display work in the gallery and have such enthusiasm. I will never match their ability. But because of Artrage, and the option of tracing, I am having fun!



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    grayflo
    Member
    Excellent discussion on tracing

    I have just read this thread and find it heartening, warm, illuminating and full of integrity...and it's all about tracing!
    http://www2.ambientdesign.com/forums...hlight=tracing



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    Steve B
    Senior Member


    Join DateJan 2011GalleryView imagesPosts578

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=JKbFZIpNK10


    BTW, people might want to watch this BBC special on the subject of tracing that's on YouTube-- it's fascinating and I found it very liberating to watch. It changed my mind vastly about using whatever tools I have available to help create the best representation of whatever image I have in my mind. Everyone knows that "tracing" just to trace isn't particularly personalized, but there are lots of ways to express yourself, a lot of ways to learn, and lots of shade of grey.



    Oh, and Merry XMas to y'all.

    Last edited by Steve B; 12-19-2012 at 10:57 PM.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

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    Next Post Deleted that I would re-post this thread if they happened to delete the whole thing again.
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    copespeak
    Senior Member


    Join DateMar 2012LocationWest Gippsland, Victoria, AustraliaGalleryView imagesPosts276

    Any kind of creating that gives you joy is of value.

    Robyn
    Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do. ~Edgar Degas

    My Gallery:
    http://members.artrage.com/vb_users/20778
    My website: www.robynrinehart.com


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    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  2. #2
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    grayflo
    Member


    Join DateSep 2012LocationEdinburgh, ScotlandGalleryView imagesPosts37
    Originally Posted by copespeak
    Any kind of creating that gives you joy is of value.



    I agree copespeak. I believe there is something in humankind that benefits from, and is delighted by, any expression of creativity.

    I remember as a young person visiting an old lady. She always had an easel in her living room and a painting on the go (no iPads and digital art then!). I loved her cheery summer scenes, harbours and cottages. They were painted in a colourful, if naive, style. But they were fun. I asked her if she had travelled widely and she said: "Oh no, I do them all from postcards"! And out from the back of the easel she pulled a wad of scenes she had already copied/interpreted.

    She said, "I love doing it. It is such fun." And I had to agree.

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    Steve B
    Senior Member


    Join DateJan 2011GalleryView imagesPosts578
    . . . (on the the relevant part, sorry Steve B) . . .

    I hope someone gets some pleasure and interest though from watching that really interesting BBC special on Renaissance painters and how they used the camera obscura to trace. A great, brief bit of TV that's well worth one's time as an artist to watch.


    copespeak
    Senior Member


    Join DateMar 2012LocationWest Gippsland, Victoria, AustraliaGalleryView imagesPosts276
    I found that documentary fascinating. I was surprised also at the mistakes and distortions that were so evident... in proportions, positioning and eyes looking the wrong way, and the artist(s) never tried to correct them. I know that apprentice artists had to practice, practice and practice on all sorts of skills, but somewhere just lost that ability to critically assess how their composition was working. Their technical skills were enormous, but some seemed to rely too slavishly on patchworking images together.

    Makes us all realise just how human we are....




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    limey-g
    Senior Member


    Join DateFeb 2011LocationEnglishman in Ont, CanadaGalleryView imagesPosts2,608
    So what happened to the happy forum we used to have and does someone just need a bigger soapbox to let their voice be heard.
    Forgive me if I am wrong but isn't the idea of the forums to show using all of the many tools that Artrage has to offer and whether it is using a ref image ( actually a photograph of unknown origin from the web ) like I did with African woman that is perfectly acceptable.
    Maybe we should all put a disclaimer at the bottom of anything we post similar to what they put on chocolate bars.

    This item may contain traces of peanuts.

    It will be a pity to see the forum getting all bent out of shape over things but I sure will be glad to not post to the forum if that is what it takes.
    Life is too short to get upset about a hobby.
    Geoff

    Last edited by limey-g; Yesterday at 12:34 PM.


    coops
    Senior Member


    Join DateOct 2008LocationUKGalleryView imagesPosts12,733

    . . . (continuing)

    However a person comes by their painting they are using the wonderful tools that Artrage provides and it is not for you to badger people. . . .
    This is supposed to be the season of goodwill and happiness so lets call an end to this and get back to what ARTRAGE is all about, PAINTING AND FRIENDSHIP



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    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  3. #3
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    Fashmir
    Senior Member 


    Join DateMar 2006LocationPacific NorthwestGalleryView imagesPosts2,545

    I really tried to just let this one pass. In fact as I type I'm considering just discarding this and moving on. But... I do have some strong feelings about this. Those feelings are coming to the surface because of my views on truth and integrity, apart from the subject of art specifically. I am a person who understands the frustration M. Aster is experiencing when it comes to being forthcoming about how an image gets made. I expressed my views on this topic in another post here http://www2.ambientdesign.com/forums...rangetti/page2

    To my great sadness I haven't seen further posts from the person I was speaking to (I may have missed them, I hope he is still around). I have come to realize that this forum has a primary population of learners and hobbyists. The "rules to live by" for people who create artwork as a profession simply don't seem to work in this crowd. What does work and it works very well is a spirit of genuine love and acceptance as people travel the path of creative discovery. I feel very strongly that this kind of freedom to participate and not be judged for it, is important in this forum for it to succeed as a creative gathering place. It is far more important to me that people NOT feel like they are walking in a mine field or at the very least on egg shells, than it is for me to allow my particular views to cause *anyone* to stop participating in this forum and in creative endeavor. There is a certain amount of bravery involved in posting ones work for feedback and appreciation, particularly for beginners I feel. Nothing gives me as much remorse on this topic as much as the thought that I have ever been responsible for a person deciding that they will no longer participate.

    Do I still struggle internally when I see "paintings" posted that are tracings of photos or other paintings? Yes and no. I will always feel that it is of far greater benefit to everyone, beginners to pros, to be allowed a fuller understanding of peoples methods of creating an image. However as a result of my experiences in trying to point this out to others and having that not go so well, it will be my habit to avoid the topic where possible and simply embrace participation.

    With affection,

    David Manuel


    --------------------------

    D Akey
    Senior Member

    Join DateJul 2006GalleryView imagesPosts15,192

    Nice sentiment Fashmir. I had posted this, and like you, I had doubts it would serve anything. In fact I had deleted mine. But here it is again since the conversation continues. I'm glad you find it in your heart to support Artrage and not chase away their customers of opposing points of view, heh. These forums are neither exclusively amateur nor exclusively professional. It's more like a place for everyone and because the agendas are all over the place, there will be disagreement. . . hopefully respectful.

    . . .
    --------
    D Akey Continuing:

    Well, [sir], I think perhaps you have not really experienced this community the be like family. We applaud the people and their accomplishments from what they set out to do on their way to learning and having an Art experience. In this context, the learning and joy are primary. We are looking at who they are, where they are coming from, what they set out to accomplish and what they do accomplish within those parameters. Friends do that, right?

    Since you're looking for support for your position, I'm sure you can find plenty of people here in the forums who disdain tracing. They have let it be known. And most of those people have financial reasons for doing so, whether it threatens their professional market as artists or their investments because the category of merely appearing skillful has been seriously cutting into the turf of the professional. And part of their economic livelihood is based on intellectual rights and copyright and all that.

    So of course it's an issue. But because boundaries are so contextual, the legal people have come up with a thing called 'fair usage'. Look it up. These people doing the tracing are well within their legal rights. It's polite to cite sources at this level, if they had that info at hand. Not all files have names attached to them. Would you personally go into all the small amateur classrooms in the world and demand that the people copying the 'postcards' give sources? Most couldn't if they wanted to. Besides, the pros steal all the time when they can get away with it.

    There is some truth to those concerns about protecting one's work against people aiming at the same market and the same dollars, but I've done art school and I have never seen one where people didn't copy to learn. And each step of the way they accomplished something, and they got and deserved praise as a form of encouragement for accomplishing a feat based on their awareness as aspiring artists and learning to master tools.

    I've seen enough people who still found that deep creativity within themselves and let it out any time they picked up a pencil or brush to copy or not. By picking up a brush, things in the brain get activated and that can lead to the deep stuff. Yes, getting to the core of one's creativity to find out who they are and how they might express as artists is a very good thing. But if you're fighting the materials, it could have you merely focusing on wrestling with the mechanics of it. So the artist needs to condition their skills. And they will tend to work on things that interest them anyway, which reflects who they are inside, their background and all the things you mention.

    A musician will never be able to produce the music inside them if they can't move their fingers well enough. If one is limited by their skills, they will have a very very hard time getting to that inner place in a way that gets it across. And they clearly pick the source images based on those pics already being in that space they aspire to.

    So these folks are building skills and I applaud their work. I applaud their joy. And I see where they are aiming at, and for me they are there already.

    So you and I, while we are coming from our own directions we come to the same place: It's about tapping to what's inside. We just see the form of it differently and what bridges that inner space with the outer space. I believe it can be reached the way these people are doing it. I'm watching it happen.

    But then again, I see paintings differently than you perhaps do. I don't look at the end result as the only thing. I look at a painting and see the previous and the next one. I look at who did it, and what steps they took to get there, the sureness of the color, of the strokes, what they saw in the original and how it translated to their version. It all speaks volumes to me and it's all about the person who did the copy I'm looking at. They could have chosen a Da Vinci, or a magazine ad for perfume, a painting from an art magazine, a snapshot of their dog or a model in a studio. It still talks way more about the artist who copies than the source picture does about them. The source picture talks about the one who did that source one.
    Last edited by D Akey; 12-23-2012 at 03:31 AM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  4. #4
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    Hey D Akey,
    thanks for saving this part of the conversation. I also think it's, frankly, waaaay outside the lines or normalcy on the internet to go around deleting any threads you started where you're not happy with the turn of the conversation. Don't post provocative statements if you don't want to start heated conversation, you know? Anyways, I appreciate your forethought in saving this very interesting stuff. It's good to see conversation that's vigorous, thought provoking, and generally respectful.

    edit-

    I would also like to add that although I personally don't find tracing or cloning particularly invigorating or exciting on an artistic level, I'm not against using it as a learning tool (to use tracing to focus solely on color and form, for example, versus line and composition, or to focus on how to use a tool while tracing, etc). I also think there's more than one way to skin a cat, and interesting art can be made in a lot of different ways-- who would have ever thought Warhol would have become so popular, right?

    However, having said that, rather than going around denigrating tracing and cloning, etc, I would just say that alternately there's a great joy and focus that comes from using your own eye and hand to really pay attention to something and draw it out yourself, from a photo, from real life, etc. no matter what the end result. People make art for different reasons of course, but it would seem to me that one of the main ones is to create a better connection with the world through attentiveness. If this is your purpose (and that's a rather big if, right?), I would suggest that one might more thoroughly achieve that experience by training your hand to do as your eye sees versus tracing or cloning.

    That sense of relating very directly to the world and interpreting it through my own eye and mind is one of the primary reasons I paint, and so that desire to have my hand do as my eye (and mind) see is very central to my artistic play. Thus, no tracing or cloning for me. It's taken me a long time to recognize that's not the case for all others. Being here has helped me respect that facet of play.
    Last edited by Steve B; 12-23-2012 at 05:08 AM.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
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    I think you are all wonderful with your thoughtful comments.

    Maybe a final comment from me too: Using photographs for reference is fine, but how about going out and taking your own? I love photography and have a huge stash in my files. I regard taking a beautiful shot as part of my creative process, and have done that for 30 years. Thank heavens for digital, as the old method of film and develop was expensive.

    When I first got into Art Rage, I didn't care what reference I used, I just wanted to hone my skills and have fun. Now, down the line, I am going back to my roots. I try not to be a realist artist, but it's what I am, and I love it.

    I would hate to think the views expressed hurt the wonderful efforts from people on the forum. Ignore and be brave, and get painting! xxx

  6. #6
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    Missed this thread completely but would have posted if I had have seen it. I don't trace often but I do use the stencil features all the time, which is much the same thing. The thing about this forum is that it is not a predominantly pro forum most of us are amateurs finding our way having fun. Not to mention that art is subjective and I haven't seen an official rule book yet. So have fun, be honest how you do things and if the art police come banging on your door, it wasn't me!

  7. #7
    M. Aster Guest

    Unhappy I´m' not hapy about it

    I deleted my thread because there is an option "delete" and I found it best to use it because of all the hatred I was creating around my subject. The subject was "Every Picture Tells a Story - Make Your Mark", but the thread was hijacked by members that wanted to oppose to my opinion on tracing (I will never change my mind on that by the way).

    My intention of the thread was discussing Visual- and Digital Storytelling using ArtRage, but that was all left aside. No one took up the thread. Everybody just got mad at me. I´m not happy about that. I will keep a very low profile from now on.

    ¡Quiero desearles feliz Navidad y un gran año nuevo lleno de deseos y proyectos cumplidos!

    M. Aster

  8. #8
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    @ Steven B: Re: your link to David Hockney's BBC Documentary on projecting. [expletive deleted] Holy Shit! . . . er. . . expletive got put back in because this documentary forced my expression. . .

    Aside from this putting 'tracing' into perspective (pun intended), it's mind blowing. Something inside me said 'Well, duh!'

    I have been something of an armchair Historian, which had a pivotal point for my observation about what suddenly happened to make the quality of Art and Western Civilization change so dramatically. Observing the changes from the Egyptian to Greek to Roman to Dark Ages and then Middle Ages and Renaissance and thereafter, there were earmark indications of what might have brought about the switch in each case, like cultural hybridization, social dynamics and the will of the rulers, global temperature conditions, nutrition, civilizations falling and rising because of plague, famines or war, the slate being wiped somewhat and starting over, rebuilt with what was new ideas combined with the rediscovery of old.

    I had a notion that the Italian Renaissance happened with the time being ripe with so much of those conditions being present, not least of which was the acceptance of the Ancient Roman world's Art by the Church in Rome at that time. Universities had been working on reconstructing civilization including law, engineering, philosophy, poetry and art. And much of the ancients were brought in by the merchants and fighters from the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) and Islam who had not suffered the same Dark Ages as Europe when Rome finally fell their last time.

    I thought that the Italian Renaissance would have jumped forward much like Rome jumped forward when they assimilated the Greek culture. That it would have been something along those lines of the discoveries around Cosimo di Medici's Renaissance Garden where he collected and fostered the cultural if not scientific Renaissance. So I came to look that direction of a cultural nexus that produced a consciousness shift rather than a tool. But why not?

    I was aware of attributions to this artist or that for having been the initiator of things like Linear Perspective, Alberti's grid, and the evidence of artists' tricks appearing for the first time. And tricks of the trade there certainly were. I mean, we can look at big changes based on technology like the printing press, or metallurgy, discoveries and scientific advancements that suddenly changed the world, why not with a glass lens as a tool for Art, especially when they were being made for other uses like telescopes and eye glasses? Oil paint changed most of the painter's world. Did egg tempera people call that a cheat? Probably.

    Interestingly, not relating to tracing per say, I had heard it was Masaccio who was attributed with the first perspective in painting. However this documentary credits Brunelleschi with that honor. And looking at the time table on all this, Brunelleschi seemed to have more of a probability based on what he did in his life and being older.

    Anyway. . . so that's the jumble I was working with for most of my adult life. But Hockney makes an amazing case, one which is nearly impossible to refute. They projected. Most of them. Not in all cases obviously. But enough to say projecting and tracing and all that is grandfathered in.

    I have seen plenty of sketches clearly done by hand from the big guns in Art throughout time. And I myself could draw photographically and did so in my early career. So clearly drawing skills were also important to have as well as color and how to mix paints and make brushes and all that other art stuff. If your competition was using those tools that gave them the edge, so would everyone hope to possess that edge as well. People clearly wanted their era's equivalent of photos. That's what they want, that's what they got in the most efficient way.

    And also having dealt with clients, I know that they often wanted something they had seen elsewhere but they wanted a custom one done for them specifically based on their needs or fancy to show others. They wanted work that was about them, not the artist. Aside from the caché of a famous artist's name, to the rich and powerful, the artist was a tradesman for the most part providing a service. So no Van Goghs or Matisses or Picassos, thank you very much. Give me a realistic image showing my prosperity or likeness to show others, they would doubtless say. All those other attitudes of a 'creative artist' came after photography (although Turner was more or less unique).

    So talking about going back to the old school art and not use 'tracing' means you can more or less do late 19th and 20th century. Hey, we have computers now. This is not an exclusive club anymore. EVERYBODY has the ability to do nearly anything visually if they put their mind to it. Welcome to the 21st century.

    Bravo for the find, Steven, and thanks for uploading it.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Aster View Post
    I deleted my thread because there is an option "delete" and I found it best to use it because of all the hatred I was creating around my subject. The subject was "Every Picture Tells a Story - Make Your Mark", but the thread was hijacked by members that wanted to oppose to my opinion on tracing (I will never change my mind on that by the way).

    My intention of the thread was discussing Visual- and Digital Storytelling using ArtRage, but that was all left aside. No one took up the thread. Everybody just got mad at me. I´m not happy about that. I will keep a very low profile from now on.

    ¡Quiero desearles feliz Navidad y un gran año nuevo lleno de deseos y proyectos cumplidos!

    M. Aster
    First, I don't think anyone wants you to change your opinion because you want to change theirs.

    Second, if you post people will comment. It's not hijacking a thread. It's not yours. It's everybody's. I salvaged what you threw away. It's called recycling. Environmentally sound.

    If you're so controlling that you want a thread to be only yours, start a blog in a place where blogs exist and you can invite people who agree with everything you say. When you post here, you are walking into a shared space and may want to adjust your expectations accordingly.

    Bueno. Feliz Navidad por usted tambien! I mean it.

    Have a great year and maybe we'll all grow a bit in how we interact publicly.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  10. #10
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    Somehow I feel like I either started a fire or threw gas on it with my question about tracing. That was never my intent. Maybe I should just stay quiet and read rather than post until I get to know people here.

    The last time I kept an open mind,
    my brain fell out and the dog grabbed it.
    Now it's full of dirt, toothmarks, and dog slobber.
    No more open minds or dogs for me.www.gms9810.com/

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