How much painterly is painterly?

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    Arjun Khode

    Hi Matt. I’ve only had the chance to see 4-5 oil paintings of yours full size. Would love to see more. I want to know how much painterly is painterly for you?

    I’ve been seeing a lot of artworks lately that are very zoomed out and small and they all seem very true to life. But when I download them full size, they are actually quite painterly! They just have such a convincing value structure.

    When I started out digital painting, I had 2 reasons:.
    1. To reproduce oil paint effect digitally, without the health hazards, expenses and space needed to do real oil paintings
    2. Develop concepts from imagination. Digital is the quickest tool for concept development in my opinion. Not necessarily weapons or war but just idealization of my visions of beautiful humans.

    I’ve slowly passively drifted toward photorealism because I found, I hate to be called painterly. My opinion is that I have got to be able to represent realism with my most honest effort, and then be allowed to paint in a painterly way. But in the end, I just want to be called realistic.

    I really hate that airbrushed or retouched feel in portraits that some photorealistic artists do. That could be the other type of painterly for me.

    Where in the spectrum do I fit in today’s age? Are old masters the standard I should be studying from exclusively? What about new masters. Who are the new masters? Or did realism reach its peak with the old masters and can’t be surpassed but only be restated?

    To be clear on what I mean by painterly, Zorn would be the perfect example. He has a very blocky, brushstroke heavy style. Not tight, yet I adore Zorn. I would say Bouguereau is not painterly, he is realistic.

    – Arjun


    Hi Arjun,

    You did a great job on your painting this week. It goes to show you that hard work combined with working from some excellent photo reference is the key to improving. That’s exactly what you have done.

    Listen to tonight’s podcast.


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