I was going through my art folders and came across this painting...I was struck by the pattern/design on it since it is so precise. This sort of thing would be easy in Photoshop, but in oils I have no clue as to how you'd do this. It looks like he painted the drapery first without the pattern, then somehow laid out the pattern on top in one value, and added a few lighting details on top. But how did he do this? I don't imagine it was drawn freehand since it is so perfect and the pattern doesn't distort/change as it wraps around the forms. Is there some way of masking out the pattern? A way to transfer the pattern?
Detail (haha, this is only like 60% zoom on the file, crazy hi-res, shame the forums won't let me post anything near that size):
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I think it would be freehand. I was blown away with the fabric on Hans Holbein's The Ambassadors. You can see almost every stitch.
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Last edited by Cola73; April 16th, 2013 at 06:44 AM.
People are mesmerized by details (not related to horror vacui). Doing this freehand directly on the painting is not difficult, just time consuming. Every element in the pattern is slightly different in the painting. Having done quite a few traditionally painted tessellation designs (for software repeat), as long as you plan the repeat pattern and grid correctly it’s just a matter of dealing with the lengthy time it will take getting a large field done. This is a large painting, 314 cm x 301 cm, almost 10 feet high. This makes the main tessellation element about 11.5 cm (4.5 inches), a comfortable size to paint in oil or tempera. If you can paint the principle tessellation element you can paint it repeating a million times—if you have the time. Glazing can be used for shading the fabric folds over the pattern.
Most likely he did that by delegating the tedious task to an assistant.
In our time, when it is usually expected that the artist does all work on their own, people forget that for the most of history artists used help from pupils and assistants, especially successful artists who had many paintings commissioned.
Multiple artists working on the same painting happened way more often than a lot of people realize. Things like underpainting, background, clothing, horses etc. would often be delegated to someone else, either because it was tedious or because that someone else was specifically skilled at the task. (And then there had been cases like fresco painting, which must be done while the wall is wet, so there was no other way than assaulting it with a crowd.)
I won't claim to know exactly how this was done, but I can however add some observations of my own.
If you'll notice, the pattern doesn't hold true to the form at all. Instead it appears to be a flat, consistent grid.
Even in the intricate folds you can see that the grid holds steady, although broken up in the recessed areas.
It seems to me that if someone took the time to delicately lay all of that pattern out, they would account for the form shifts and the way the fabric should warp away from the viewer.
My best guess is a grid/stencil of some sort (I say the word 'stencil' loosely, I can't picture them going Banksy style on it haha)
he did it by keeping in mind "if there's nothing you'd rather be doing than what you're currently doing, then nothing is work"... that and a lot of students as people have said.
People are like Clay Vessels! Their usefulness depends on their EMPTINESS! You must Empty yourself of all your mental clatter, noise and bullshit, so that you can make truly spectacular art.
Whatever you produce is only a mirror of your internal state.
The reason antiquity produced such great artists, must be that they lived in a different way; devoted to a craft, not distracted by anything.
Harsh as it sounds; You must not only be dedicated, you must be DEADiCated; we all will die, soon, and what, proudly, will we, will YOU be able to look back on and say: My work; This is what I did with MY life?
who alive today has such devotion, and can distance themselves from the noise of the world? The techno-babble; the inane merry go round.
Something to work on (:
No pressure, cause, there's an infinity of things to work on, and whatever you choose will be your choice and you will know why you chose it.