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Postby Ambiguity » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:09 am

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Subject title: Western vs. Eastern Art

Most of the guys from Cali' will tell you their favorite painter is John Singer Sargent(along with secondary mentions of Anders Zorn), to the point where you can guess it before anyone even asks in interviews. Even Steve Huston said he was the same, but he purposefully avoided trying to achieve anything like Sargent because everyone else already was. I think that very narrow lack of painting influence, coupled with teachers taught by teachers with the same influences is where they get their more impressionistic, shape centric style. Of course that comes with it's own approach to achieve that like using the charcoal pencils more like a brush, filling in big areas with the side of the pencil instead of the tip like Chinese fine artists and using the smoothest papers they can get.

What your dad said about Chinese painters referencing old Russian masters actually makes a lot of sense, from what I've seen they tend to focus more on solidy of forms as opposed to using a lot of abstraction like the Californians.

There is some examples of Russian academic art here, I think you can see some similarity between them and the Chinese drawings:


Postby Fantelle » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:21 am

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    There was definitely a difference a few centuries ago, but with the internationalisation of art through the internet, media, traveling and other sources, those differences are turning more into a blend instead of a harsh line.

    The introduction of Japanese woodcuts to western artists is a good example of this. Take Toulouse-Lautrec before he was introduced to them:

    Image Image

    And after:



    You can see the same type of evolution in many other artists from that time like Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne etc.

    Nowadays though, most artists are exposed to all these different types of art from a very young age. So even before they start making any significant works, they already have these international influences. Am I implying that all the international styles are going to blend together at one point? Not really. There are still regional preferences. And since humans are social creatures, we tend to drift towards what everyone else is doing = collective regional preferences/styles will always remain, but they will shift, pull and transform from what they originally were.


Postby Ambiguity » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:55 pm

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swangart wrote:Are there only a few major camps which everyone derives from in artistic approach?

In the United States, I think so. I can't speak for Europe and Asia, but schools dedicated to artistic learning are very centralized here to California and New York in the US. There is also seems to be this lingering old American belief that you can put blind faith in a school to teach you all the information you'll ever need/want to know, I think that is part of the reason why the styles are so incestuous with a few exceptions.

I feel having a uniform teaching method can help you track your progress better because there is a clear goal of what things are supposed to look like though, so it's mostly fine. You just got to remember that these academic style drawings aren't your end goal, at least for most artists I think the ultimate goal is to eventually have their own voice, but that starts with choosing your own influences based on what you really like, rather that what is "cool" to like imo.

I was actually just watching a video with Steve Huston and he actually mentioned that China and Russia tend to be more "atelier style" in their schools, versus the more western/Californian "quicksketch style". He said it comes from Californian artists doing mostly commercial work with very tight deadlines, so they have to learn how to draw "simple, yet charicteristic".

Last bumped by Ambiguity on Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:55 pm.

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