a linear analysis

I have long admired an artist who I believe to be one of the all-time great geniuses in the use of color, as well as a virtuoso of the brush. But one thing bothers me. I have analyzed art and artists all my life, have been an illustrator and painter, and I have become convinced that I can tell the difference between a line that is drawn freehand and one that is traced. In one of this artist's books I see on two pages a line that delineates with photographic perfection and no corrections every nuance of the form. On another page and in a dvd of his I see a struggle to find the form and a result that is not photographically accurate. In my lifetime of studying art, including the Old Masters I have never seen an artist who could draw without correction a photographically accurate depiction of a subject. I have no problem with someone tracing a projected image if they disclose the fact, but this artist tells tracers that they are the lowest form of life. I don't know whether or not he traces, but from the clues I've given, is there anyone who can identify the artist (not publicly) and tell me; does he or doesn't he?


  • edited August 2017
    I don't have a guess who you are referring to, but could the lines you see be the result of transferring his/her own drawing to canvas?  Personally, I don't regard what a camera records as setting the standard for accuracy or realism and I hope that my paintings don't look like snapshots.  I think that tracing is just missing an opportunity to draw. Like using a drum machine rather than playing the instrument.  But to each his/her own.  Anyway, I'm interested in the artist's personal interpretation of the subject, not the camera's mechanical interpretation.  
  • I agree with you about the artist's personal interpretation and I try to do that as well. You also might be right about him tracing his own drawing. I don't want to reveal his name because I love his work and don't want to do him any harm, its just that I don't want to be John Henry competing against the track laying machine, if you get what I mean. Thanks for your comments!
  • This kind of goes with "Did Vermeer cheat?" Who cares, the art created was beautiful.
  • edited August 2017
    It's not cheating because it's not a race. But I'll never understand why people regard learning how to draw as some sort of a preliminary chore to avoid if you can. Getting there is more than half the fun in the case of making art, and drawing is one of the most enjoyable things that I know of.  Anybody can learn to do it, and I highly recommend it.  
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