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Old 9th October 2017, 02:20 AM   #1
calebprime
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Artists who can't paint human figures

Just a light thread:

We have an Edward Hopper calender this year. I noticed first that his compositions are interesting. They often have strong lines that meet at a central figure, but that (human) figure is often drawn clumsily.

At first we thought that Hopper couldn't draw women, perhaps because of some lack of interest. His background curves are more sensual than his women. Then we saw that his males were just as bad.

There's often a sense of figures alone-together in a setting that makes them sort of forlorn or insignificant.

Hitler, also, couldn't draw people.

Can any artists here shed some light on Hopper and on the lore of drawing human figures?
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Old 9th October 2017, 03:26 AM   #2
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I've added fifteen minutes worth of reading to my knowledge about Hopper.

His early training gave him enough technique to do human figures with feeling.

I'd say it was his fond memories of boats-and-things, his strict upbringing by women, and -- for the pictures in our wall-calendar -- he was an older man with an older man's sense of detachment. I think also the 30's were a time when themes of humanity dominated by landscapes, technology, ideology (fascism, futurism) where in the air.

Here's the end of the wiki, which expands on what I was beginning to discern:



Quote:
Most of Hopper's figure paintings focus on the subtle interaction of human beings with their environment—carried out with solo figures, couples, or groups. His primary emotional themes are solitude, loneliness, regret, boredom, and resignation. He expresses the emotions in various environments, including the office, in public places, in apartments, on the road, or on vacation.[76] As if he were creating stills for a movie or tableaux in a play, Hopper positioned his characters as if they were captured just before or just after the climax of a scene.[77]

Hopper's solitary figures are mostly women—dressed, semi-clad, and nude—often reading or looking out a window, or in the workplace. In the early 1920s, Hopper painted his first such images Girl at Sewing Machine (1921), New York Interior (another woman sewing) (1921), and Moonlight Interior (a nude getting into bed) (1923). Automat (1927) and Hotel Room (1931), however, are more representative of his mature style, emphasizing the solitude more overtly.[78]

As Hopper scholar, Gail Levin, wrote of Hotel Room:

The spare vertical and diagonal bands of color and sharp electric shadows create a concise and intense drama in the night...Combining poignant subject matter with such a powerful formal arrangement, Hopper's composition is pure enough to approach an almost abstract sensibility, yet layered with a poetic meaning for the observer.[79]

Hopper's Room in New York (1932) and Cape Cod Evening (1939) are prime examples of his "couple" paintings. In the first, a young couple appear alienated and uncommunicative—he reading the newspaper while she idles by the piano. The viewer takes on the role of a voyeur, as if looking with a telescope through the window of the apartment to spy on the couple's lack of intimacy. In the latter painting, an older couple with little to say to each other, are playing with their dog, whose own attention is drawn away from his masters.[80] Hopper takes the couple theme to a more ambitious level with Excursion into Philosophy (1959). A middle-aged man sits dejectedly on the edge of a bed. Beside him lies an open book and a partially clad woman. A shaft of light illuminates the floor in front of him. Jo Hopper noted in their log book, "[T]he open book is Plato, reread too late".
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Old 9th October 2017, 04:07 AM   #3
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A common element or theme might be: lack of sexual harmony between men and women, or lack of desire.
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Old 9th October 2017, 05:00 AM   #4
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Pics or didn't happen
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Old 9th October 2017, 05:03 AM   #5
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I'm not trying to be smart, but does it work to simply link to a Google image search -- "Edward Hopper paintings from the 30's and 40's"?

https://www.google.com/search?q=edwa...w=1205&bih=620
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Old 9th October 2017, 09:12 AM   #6
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I think he was going more for a feeling. He once wrote “The picture was probably first suggested by many rides on the ‘L’ train in New York after dark, and glimpses of office interiors that were so fleeting as to leave fresh and vivid impressions on my mind.” link
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Old 9th October 2017, 09:16 AM   #7
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Cool. I haven't read the link, but I love the train and those flashes of scenes.
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Old 9th October 2017, 09:21 AM   #8
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Just to stir the pot: Michelangelo could not paint women. This is not to deny his extraordinary ability to paint strong, muscular, powerful images of men. Nor do I disparage his ability to apply that same power, strength, and beauty to his painting of women; there are strong, muscular, beautiful women. But most women, even quite physically strong ones, look quite different from the way Michelangelo depicted women in his art. Great art? Yes. Realism? No.
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Old 9th October 2017, 09:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Just to stir the pot: Michelangelo could not paint women. This is not to deny his extraordinary ability to paint strong, muscular, powerful images of men. Nor do I disparage his ability to apply that same power, strength, and beauty to his painting of women; there are strong, muscular, beautiful women. But most women, even quite physically strong ones, look quite different from the way Michelangelo depicted women in his art. Great art? Yes. Realism? No.
That's because they were men with boobs awkwardly slapped on.
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Old 9th October 2017, 09:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
Cool. I haven't read the link, but I love the train and those flashes of scenes.
Now, whatever Hopper did, it wasn't a photographic or futuristic vision of motion or of the effect of things-seen-at-a-glimpse.

I mean that his compositions are as static and framed and composed with big lines -- nay, more so -- than say Kubrick. Kubrick is symmetrical. Hopper not. Hopper more interesting that way.
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Old 9th October 2017, 09:56 AM   #11
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Renoir couldn't do lips. Or rather he painted the same lipsticked pouting rosebud lips on everyone. Fine on young women but looks weird on men and kids.
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Old 9th October 2017, 10:29 AM   #12
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I went to art college and I used to paint. Painting the face and figure is extremely difficult to do well. You really need to study human anatomy to the finest detail. Then you still need models to get things right.
Michelangelo reputedly used to dissect bodies to study muscles even thought to do so carried a death sentence.
Even the great Turner was not very good at the human figure.
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Old 9th October 2017, 10:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
I'm not trying to be smart, but does it work to simply link to a Google image search -- "Edward Hopper paintings from the 30's and 40's"?

https://www.google.com/search?q=edwa...w=1205&bih=620
Well. He ain't no Michelangelo or Caravaggio.
But he is way better than Picasso in painting human figures.
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Old 9th October 2017, 10:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
Well. He ain't no Michelangelo or Caravaggio.
But he is way better than Picasso in painting human figures.
Actually Picasso painted very well in the classical style when he was a boy.
Although you rarely see any of this early work. But his genius as an adult was to reject conventional painting and explore his own potential

The reason he painted faces with an eye on the side of their head was because he realized the rules of perspective in conventional painting from the renaissance were flawed.
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Old 9th October 2017, 10:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Actually Picasso painted very well in the classical style when he was a boy.
Although you rarely see any of this early work. But his genius as an adult was to reject conventional painting and explore his own potential

The reason he painted faces with an eye on the side of their head was because he realized the rules of perspective in conventional painting from the renaissance were flawed.
What do you know. You are right. Never knew that. (just googled Picasso early paintings).
So he actually could paint. Not that stupid stuff he did later.
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Old 9th October 2017, 11:02 AM   #16
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There is a difference between "can't draw" a human figure and "make a choice to draw" a human figure in a particular way.
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Old 9th October 2017, 11:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by gerdbonk View Post
There is a difference between "can't draw" a human figure and "make a choice to draw" a human figure in a particular way.
agreed.

Hopper interests me because I think sometimes he chose, sometimes maybe he neglected or left it sketchy or blank. Maybe sometimes a figure that would have attracted another artist to really get it right left him sort of cold, or he wanted that awkward effect.

eta: And I didn't make that clear in my op.
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Old 9th October 2017, 02:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gerdbonk View Post
There is a difference between "can't draw" a human figure and "make a choice to draw" a human figure in a particular way.
There's a difference, yes. But that is not for this topic.
Ok. Picasso knew how to paint. At least in the beginning.

Still not a Caravaggio or Holbein, but better than I thought.

What is the baseline for ability of drawing human figures by the way?
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Old 9th October 2017, 02:32 PM   #19
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There is no baseline, since art is not objective. An artist makes choices based on what they want to achieve in a particular work, not on what will most closely adhere to a set of rules that one might label "realism".
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Old 9th October 2017, 06:21 PM   #20
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I’m not sure what you mean by “the lore of drawing human figures.”

Hopper’s paintings of human figures look clumsy because Hopper was clumsy at painting human figures. He’s not good with proportions. Parts end up too large or too small. His perspective gets off sometimes. He wasn’t good with faces. He had particular problems with the jaw line. The problems with his figures are issues that most beginning artists struggle with. He never quite got it, although his figures sometimes come out with few problems.

There are a number of things that exacerbated these issues. Hopper often modified the proportions from his original sketches to emphasize certain parts of the body or to fit with the composition or twisted the figures to show certain parts of the body. Not having a real good handle on proportions or perspective, these modification sometimes resulted in distortions rather than emphasis.

There is also Hopper’s style of painting. He uses sketchy brush strokes to fill distinct shapes. He uses harsh and distinct areas of light and shadow. This creates figures from a series of shapes, much like their surroundings. Viewed from a distance, it almost looks like a paint-by-numbers. This can be difficult for human figures. When a figure is painted with smooth shadows, the view has a sense of the three dimensional forms, which makes errors in proportions and outlines less noticeable. With Hopper’s style, the artist not only has to get the figure right, but then has to make decisions on where to draw distinct lines between light and shadow. That creates more lines that can go wrong. The viewer has to piece together the shapes to create the image; anything not quite right becomes very noticeable as the viewer attempts this task. When Hopper painted figures or faces on a larger scale they tended to come out much better.

Hopper’s early work indicates he may have been aware of his shortcomings. He often depicted figures with an arm over the neckline or figures facing away or the head and face obscured completely. He didn’t do that in later work, but perhaps preferences in those early works contributed to his interest in figures who are looking away from the view. It is possible it could have led to his preference to paint scenes with a lot of straight lines.

But these aren’t significant problems. His paintings are not about the careful, close examination of his figures. The paintings are meant to be viewed as a whole, from a distance. From that viewpoint, his figure are usually good enough.

We can see how things could have been different in the works of Richard Tuschman. He produced photographs that reproduced scenes from Hopper’s paintings. We can see the challenges Hopper faced with the harsh light and his painting style. While the photographs are interesting, we can see power added by Hopper’s painting style. There is a harshness and emptiness n the paintings. A conflict between the flatness of the canvas and the space created by the lines of perspective. The figures, disengaged from the viewer, lost in their own thoughts, become lost in the shapes of their environment.
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Old 9th October 2017, 09:24 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by gerdbonk View Post
There is no baseline, since art is not objective. An artist makes choices based on what they want to achieve in a particular work, not on what will most closely adhere to a set of rules that one might label "realism".
But then we can't say whether an artist can or cannot paint human figures. Every painting where proportians are 'off' we can say that the artist made a choice to paint that way in stead of that this was just his skill level.
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Old 9th October 2017, 11:56 PM   #22
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LS Lowry, and John Constable. Not "can't", so much as not very good in Constable's case, and quirky in Lowry's. Of course, there are lots of brilliant painters of all sorts of genres who never even attempted to paint humans (at least in public works).
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Old 10th October 2017, 03:25 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
I’m not sure what you mean by “the lore of drawing human figures.”

Hopper’s paintings of human figures look clumsy because Hopper was clumsy at painting human figures. He’s not good with proportions. Parts end up too large or too small. His perspective gets off sometimes. He wasn’t good with faces. He had particular problems with the jaw line. The problems with his figures are issues that most beginning artists struggle with. He never quite got it, although his figures sometimes come out with few problems.

There are a number of things that exacerbated these issues. Hopper often modified the proportions from his original sketches to emphasize certain parts of the body or to fit with the composition or twisted the figures to show certain parts of the body. Not having a real good handle on proportions or perspective, these modification sometimes resulted in distortions rather than emphasis.

There is also Hopper’s style of painting. He uses sketchy brush strokes to fill distinct shapes. He uses harsh and distinct areas of light and shadow. This creates figures from a series of shapes, much like their surroundings. Viewed from a distance, it almost looks like a paint-by-numbers. This can be difficult for human figures. When a figure is painted with smooth shadows, the view has a sense of the three dimensional forms, which makes errors in proportions and outlines less noticeable. With Hopper’s style, the artist not only has to get the figure right, but then has to make decisions on where to draw distinct lines between light and shadow. That creates more lines that can go wrong. The viewer has to piece together the shapes to create the image; anything not quite right becomes very noticeable as the viewer attempts this task. When Hopper painted figures or faces on a larger scale they tended to come out much better.

Hopper’s early work indicates he may have been aware of his shortcomings. He often depicted figures with an arm over the neckline or figures facing away or the head and face obscured completely. He didn’t do that in later work, but perhaps preferences in those early works contributed to his interest in figures who are looking away from the view. It is possible it could have led to his preference to paint scenes with a lot of straight lines.

But these aren’t significant problems. His paintings are not about the careful, close examination of his figures. The paintings are meant to be viewed as a whole, from a distance. From that viewpoint, his figure are usually good enough.

We can see how things could have been different in the works of Richard Tuschman. He produced photographs that reproduced scenes from Hopper’s paintings. We can see the challenges Hopper faced with the harsh light and his painting style. While the photographs are interesting, we can see power added by Hopper’s painting style. There is a harshness and emptiness n the paintings. A conflict between the flatness of the canvas and the space created by the lines of perspective. The figures, disengaged from the viewer, lost in their own thoughts, become lost in the shapes of their environment.

Great post that goes to the heart of what I was asking, but know little about.


https://www.richardtuschman.com

sort of comically overobvious because they are so clear. Also sexy despite themselves. Very cool that you found this.
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Old 10th October 2017, 12:44 PM   #24
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I dunno... is it required to draw humans realistically to be an artist?

And at that does sculpting something in a 3D modelling software like Blender or 3DS Max, as opposed to using, say, clay, count as being an artist? Because some of THE most popular *ahem* enhanced female bodies mods for Skyrim/Fallout/whatever are anything but realistic. But if people like it, who can say it's not the right kind of art?

And even the artists working for the developers, I can think of some who out-Michelangeloed the actual Michelangelo when it came to modelling men with big breasts. Anyone remember the sex scenes in Dragon Age? Those broad shoulders and small pelvis... I swear I thought Morrigan was going to reveal that she has *ahem* another wizard staff in her underpands...
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Old 24th October 2017, 04:43 AM   #25
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And just what about those Neolithic "artists"? Sculptures of "women" with boobs like basketballs and butts a mile wide.
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Old 24th October 2017, 05:00 AM   #26
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Well, I guess some cavemen weren't exactly subtle about what their ideal woman looked like. Some of them still aren't
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Old 28th October 2017, 08:23 PM   #27
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Huh. And I thought for sure this topic was going to be about Rob Liefeld.
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Old 30th October 2017, 01:38 PM   #28
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That picture is exceptional evidence that Liefeld understands neither human anatomy nor perspective.
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Old 30th October 2017, 01:42 PM   #29
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Well, it's also evidence that he should have started a world war instead of painting. Worked well for the other dude, didn't it?
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Old 30th October 2017, 02:28 PM   #30
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I've often said that I can draw anything, except for things that actually exist. And I quite love doing so.
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Old 3rd November 2017, 02:49 PM   #31
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It was pointed out that greeks typically show runners with the arms and legs out of phase. Seems like more of a stylistic choice than an error, though.
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Old 3rd November 2017, 03:22 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
There is a harshness and emptiness n the paintings. A conflict between the flatness of the canvas and the space created by the lines of perspective. The figures, disengaged from the viewer, lost in their own thoughts, become lost in the shapes of their environment.
It would never have occurred to me that Hopper "can't paint" human figures. Painters aren't photographers; detailed realism is only one type of art. What if his people are just as blobby as he wants them to be? And of course Picasso could paint. It makes me wonder what people are using to measure these things. Impressionists focused on light, not on hard drafstman-like lines; does this mean they couldn't draw?

This whole thing of "seeing" is incredibly complex. Our eyes aren't cameras; we have to construct sight.
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Old 9th November 2017, 02:07 PM   #33
calebprime
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This months November Hopper is Portrait d'Orleans, 1950
https://goo.gl/images/Baubsa

What interests me about looking at this is that it seems to change in a few stages.

First, I'm struck by the syncopated but intelligible design of the warm buildings on the far side of the street.

Then I look up to my right and "my eyes are stabbed by the flash of the [Esso Sign]" which is maybe a curious effect -- to have something so bold way up in the upper right -- visual design is not something I know about.

Then I'm aware that there's another pleasure, of the long perspective down a desolate empty street. But as you look, there's a feeling a little like the erasure in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Instead of the pleasure of visible details, it's all left sketchy and generic, except if you're a little wary of a dark car as I am, those dark cars seem like they could be occupied by unsavory characters in wait, or something.

Again, as in other Hopper from around this time, the curved foliage where these cars are is the most sensual thing. Next when you do notice the small woman, she is dwarfed by her surroundings and awkwardly posed, chunkily rendered.

The picture again has strong lines with strong directions. Here the lines swoop off to the opening/cars/foliage -- the sexy point of interest without people in it as in some other Hopper -- to the left, and to the right.

The big open foreground. I can't explain why, but it doesn't seem entirely serene, it seems to generate a sense of speed and of awkward balance in the picture overall. Dynamic imbalance, or something.

It's almost as if the road is taking over and thrusting the buildings back.
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Last edited by calebprime; 9th November 2017 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 9th November 2017, 02:31 PM   #34
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LS Lowry made his success on not being able to do people.
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Old 10th November 2017, 04:22 AM   #35
calebprime
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
This months November Hopper is Portrait d'Orleans, 1950
https://goo.gl/images/Baubsa

What interests me about looking at this is that it seems to change in a few stages.

First, I'm struck by the syncopated but intelligible design of the warm buildings on the far side of the street.

Then I look up to my right and "my eyes are stabbed by the flash of the [Esso Sign]" which is maybe a curious effect -- to have something so bold way up in the upper right -- visual design is not something I know about.

Then I'm aware that there's another pleasure, of the long perspective down a desolate empty street. But as you look, there's a feeling a little like the erasure in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Instead of the pleasure of visible details, it's all left sketchy and generic, except if you're a little wary of a dark car as I am, those dark cars seem like they could be occupied by unsavory characters in wait, or something.

Again, as in other Hopper from around this time, the curved foliage where these cars are is the most sensual thing. Next when you do notice the small woman, she is dwarfed by her surroundings and awkwardly posed, chunkily rendered.

The picture again has strong lines with strong directions. Here the lines swoop off to the opening/cars/foliage -- the sexy point of interest without people in it as in some other Hopper -- to the left, and to the right.

The big open foreground. I can't explain why, but it doesn't seem entirely serene, it seems to generate a sense of speed and of awkward balance in the picture overall. Dynamic imbalance, or something.

It's almost as if the road is taking over and thrusting the buildings back.

Our wall calendar is above eye level so that ESSO sign is way up there!

On the computer now at eye-level, I think I get the effect of the overall design and why maybe he did it.

You have road mirroring sky -- 2 panels in balance, opposed.

But the effect of the lines and the ESSO is to create a strong, almost violent sense of motion to the right and up.

to the right and up. (gestures dramatically)
There is almost literally a "hairpin" or crescendo of buildings up and to the right ----->ESSO.

So, yes, the road is pushing the buildings back. Modernity, speed, violence, targeting in on the ESSO.

Quaint old port is replaced by zippy gas-powered vehicles.

Sky is balanced with road. But road is now ready and greased for cars to come zipping off to the right, ignoring the warm buildings and
tiny
chunky
woman*




* this should look small but it isn't working with my current display
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Last edited by calebprime; 10th November 2017 at 04:27 AM. Reason: can't make tiny chunky woman like smaller than my text
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Old 10th November 2017, 04:31 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
LS Lowry made his success on not being able to do people.
Just what I was about to say, as I love his 'matchstick men' work.

Though in fact, early in his career he was rather good at portraits.
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Old 10th November 2017, 06:09 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
Our wall calendar is above eye level so that ESSO sign is way up there!
https://goo.gl/images/ium9B4

His original sketch. You can see what he changed for effect.
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Old 12th November 2017, 03:17 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
It would never have occurred to me that Hopper "can't paint" human figures. Painters aren't photographers; detailed realism is only one type of art. What if his people are just as blobby as he wants them to be? And of course Picasso could paint. It makes me wonder what people are using to measure these things. Impressionists focused on light, not on hard drafstman-like lines; does this mean they couldn't draw?

This whole thing of "seeing" is incredibly complex. Our eyes aren't cameras; we have to construct sight.
Nah. Hopper just can’t paint figures well. If you push the issue too far you go down that rabbit hole of philosophy of aesthetics and art criticism and what makes an artwork good and artist intent versus viewer perception and, “What is art?” Without going down the rabbit hole, we can draw (pun intended) some general conclusions.

One measurement is intent. If it looks like the artist was trying to accomplish one thing but did not accomplish it, it looks bad. (Yes, an artist can create something where the viewer finds value absent the artist’s intent. See: rabbit hole.) An artist can paint figures in all sorts of ways from photorealistic to highly abstract.

Another measurement is expression. Yeah, that term “expression” is vague. The issue is whether the way the artwork is made presents anything meaningful. (Yeah, that’s still vague. See: rabbit hole.) An artist who exactly reproduces a random photograph certainly has a large amount of skill and certainly demonstrates intent, but a human reproduction machine lacks expression. (That doesn’t mean any non-photorealistic artwork necessarily exhibits an expression of value. See: rabbit hole.)

When we talk about whether an artist “can paint” we get to the question of whether their painting is “good”. People are judgmental of art. When people (especially people without an education in art) look at art they don’t typically first think about what the art is about but rather whether it is “good” or “bad”. It’s often not even a rating of 1 to 10. Just good or bad. A problem with that is that an artwork, like most things, can be good in some ways and bad in others.

When I say Hoper can’t paint figures, I am not judging his expression. He has a certain style to his painting. That is fine. It is a judgment of his skill, and that is based largely on intent.

Hopper’s figures often are obviously not what he intended. It is apparent that it was not due to some intent of expression but rather due to lack of skill. We can confirm this by looking at His early drawings and paintings when he was obviously trying to painting somewhat realistically and see where he struggled and made mistakes. We can see the body parts and poses he tended to avoid. We see those errors in later paintings. Those types of errors are common among people struggling to draw or paint figures. All of that presents evidence that the “bad” quality of Hopper’s figures was not “intentional” but was rather due to a lack of skill.

As I said, Hopper wasn’t that bad. He had a few paintings where the figures were really horrible. But for the most part, the figures were good enough to pass in the context of the whole painting. You only see the problems if you really look close.
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Old 12th November 2017, 04:27 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
First, I'm struck by the syncopated but intelligible design of the warm buildings on the far side of the street.
That is interesting, isn’t it? Especially considering the sketch you posted. The buildings are almost the same, but you can see where he chose different colors to form a sort of rhythm. It’s almost like jazz.

Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
Then I look up to my right and "my eyes are stabbed by the flash of the [Esso Sign]" which is maybe a curious effect -- to have something so bold way up in the upper right -- visual design is not something I know about.

Then I'm aware that there's another pleasure, of the long perspective down a desolate empty street. But as you look, there's a feeling a little like the erasure in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Instead of the pleasure of visible details, it's all left sketchy and generic, except if you're a little wary of a dark car as I am, those dark cars seem like they could be occupied by unsavory characters in wait, or something.
It can be read from right to left as new to old. On the right and front we have a modern sign, street light and tires. Moving left and back we have brick buildings and a church that are a bit older. Moving further we have an old wood house. Beyond that, forest. The mountains. And sky. There is a progression from the aesthetic of the appeal of the modern man-made convenience advertisement to the aesthetic of the natural primeval world.

Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
Next when you do notice the small woman, she is dwarfed by her surroundings and awkwardly posed, chunkily rendered.
This is typical of Hopper. I think it is one of the most interesting things about Hopper’s paintings. The paintings are overwhelmed by modern man-made construction—usually with a high degree of geometry. But there is always a person there. That figure both fits in, and does not fit in. Humans evolved to live in the natural world, but have used their abilities to build another world for comfort of stark efficient geometrically logical designs. This new world does not fit the essential name of the human creature, yet it is of their design and they somehow become a part of it.

Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
It's almost as if the road is taking over and thrusting the buildings back.
Again, typical Hopper. Although this is a bit different from most of his paintings. Hopper’s paintings usually have a contrast between flat, geometric, abstract shapes and a depiction of a scene with perception of depth. If you took most of Hopper’s later paintings and removed the figures and perhaps some details and turned them upside-down, you would have a geometrical abstract painting.

Hopper’s paintings often use mostly flat areas of color. These are usually in geometric shapes. Lots of straight lines. Those shapes create an abstract composition. But those shapes are also constructed to create an illusion of depth. You can view it in two ways. Similarly, you can view the figures in two ways: belonging and not belonging. They are separate, but a part of it, but separate.
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Old 13th November 2017, 01:51 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
But there is always a person there. That figure both fits in, and does not fit in.
Which I consider a skill. The tiny person in the Orleans picture to me very much has the body language of someone looking down the street - to the past, to carry on with the analysis - awkwardly craning to get a glimpse of something that is coming and/or going.

I'm a little leery of judging painting by jpegs on the Internet.

Also skeptical that I could divine his intentions and judge accordingly.

Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
Hopper’s paintings often use mostly flat areas of color. These are usually in geometric shapes. Lots of straight lines. Those shapes create an abstract composition. But those shapes are also constructed to create an illusion of depth. You can view it in two ways. Similarly, you can view the figures in two ways: belonging and not belonging. They are separate, but a part of it, but separate.
Maybe he just couldn't do proper perspective. But this time, we know his intentions?
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