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 Post subject: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Wed December 9th, 2015, 21:08 GMT 
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I remember reading a while back that he traced over photographs to make some of his art. I'm not knocking this process, it's been done since the beginning of time. Does anyone know how he did it though?

Did he use a lightbox like this?
http://www.amazon.com/Huion-Tracing-Art ... B00JXFYL80

Or an art projector?
http://www.amazon.com/Artograph-225-090 ... +projector

Do you think he threw the image in photoshop and traced over it with one of these?
http://www.amazon.com/Huion-H610PRO-Pai ... ing+tablet

I'm just curious, because I'm not much of drawer, but I figure I could take some great photos and turn them into canvas paintings.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Thu December 10th, 2015, 16:13 GMT 
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In one of the art interviews, Bob referred to the painter Canaletto and the camera obscura. I always thought this might be the closest he came to a hint on his own method.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaletto#Outdoor_painting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_obscura


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Thu December 10th, 2015, 17:06 GMT 
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There's also a documentary by Penn and Teller that goes into this method, as well as The Girl with the Pearl Earring.

I seem to recall an article talking about how Bob found the Asia images on Flickr. I can't seem to find this today.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Thu December 10th, 2015, 18:14 GMT 
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viewtopic.php?f=38&t=63507&p=998839#p998839


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Thu December 10th, 2015, 18:32 GMT 
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Johanna Parker wrote:
http://www.expectingrain.com/discussions/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=63507&p=998839#p998839


Thanks! I wonder how he did it. Sketched from memory? Did it while they were right there in front of him? Or he printed them out and traced over them?


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Thu December 10th, 2015, 18:39 GMT 
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They're too similar to the photos to have been sketched from memory, imo.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Thu December 10th, 2015, 18:58 GMT 
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The only time we've seen Bob create in person was that interview from the Hearts of Fire production. However, he was drawing from memory then. It came out quite well, but I think he's using this camera obscura, projection technique. I think before Hockney's book came out, this was a hushed subject in the art community. Dylan might have gotten wind about it from his neighbor back in Woodstock back in 1968. He may have learned about it back from Norman Reuben. I think it's fascinating. I'd love for there to be a book about this period of Bob's life. I don't think he's been using this process from way back then, but it's certainly something he's been using in the 21st century.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Thu December 10th, 2015, 19:06 GMT 
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goodnitesteve wrote:
The only time we've seen Bob create in person was that interview from the Hearts of Fire production. However, he was drawing from memory then.


He was drawing the person in front of him.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Thu December 10th, 2015, 19:17 GMT 
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Was he? I have to watch that one again!


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Thu December 10th, 2015, 19:29 GMT 
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A portrait of the interviewer. It was much like the portraits that appear in Drawn Blank.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Sat December 26th, 2015, 09:25 GMT 
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So tonight I watched Tim's Vermeer. It's a documentary showing how the painter may have used a standalone makeup mirror and a camera obscura to create realistic paintings. During the credits, Dylan's studio take of When I Paint My Masterpiece plays. Thinking of his Asia paintings, this can't be a coincidence, can it?


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Fri January 1st, 2016, 12:23 GMT 
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I suggest that the notion that Dylan is using camera obscura for some of his recent work is highly unlikely. It is the wrong tool to use if one is working from photographs. It is not practical at all, especially if one considers the scale of Dylan's paintings.

One can call it "tracing" but I think that might be a bit insulting to the artist. Hockney makes a point to say, "Optics do not make marks."

I've spent a fair amount of time exploring the approaches that Dylan might be using. I think a projector is likely. Warhol was known to use a projector. Hockney includes a Warhol example in his book Secret Knowledge. I think that another possibility is the use of camera lucida. Hockney did a series of portraits using this tool. It is quite different from camera obscura, and is particularly well suited to working from still images.

I have three different camera lucida tools that I was experimenting with in 2015 (I also have an overhead projector and an opaque projector). I did one experiment where I worked from a Josef Koudelka photograph that Dylan had based one of his paintings on. I used one of my camera lucida tools and I posted the results on Instagram a couple of months ago: https://www.instagram.com/p/8bFnLWrexk/

The scale of my drawing is fairly small, just a few inches across. But if I wanted to produce a work the size of Dylan's painting it would be fairly easy to adjust my process. I belong to a camera lucida club, and many members make large scale works. If I was going to work on a larger scale I'd be just as inclined to use my opaque projector.

As far as Dylan and Tim's Vermeer, here's a few lines from a news story on the film: "We kept it a real secret," Jillette said in an interview during the festival. "No one knew anything. I think the only people who had a copy of the DVD were Bob Dylan and Jack White. That was the entire list."

From another:
Penn Jillette: "We throw the word genius around. Bob Dylan’s a genius. And Bob Dylan’s a genius because we don’t want to think that Bob Dylan is doing this stuff because he’s willing to work harder than we are. (Laughs) We’ve all seen Bob Dylan’s notebooks. We all know the thousands of hours he’s spent on stage. We all know that Bob Dylan isn’t known for his guitar playing, but he practices guitar playing thousands and thousands of hours. We tend to throw that word genius around to say we can’t do this so why don’t we just sit on our asses and watch TV. We also throw this other word around. Teller just said this beautiful thing last night: 'Obsession is a word lazy people use for determination.' (Laughs) I think that the people who are called geniuses are willing to keep that going because there’s something kind of prosaic at first blush about saying, 'Well, I just worked really hard.'"

I first wrote about Dylan, Hockney and camera obscura back in 2013: http://swarmuth.blogspot.com/2013/03/ap ... dylan.html


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Sat January 2nd, 2016, 15:59 GMT 
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scottw wrote:
I suggest that the notion that Dylan is using camera obscura for some of his recent work is highly unlikely. It is the wrong tool to use if one is working from photographs. It is not practical at all, especially if one considers the scale of Dylan's paintings.

One can call it "tracing" but I think that might be a bit insulting to the artist. Hockney makes a point to say, "Optics do not make marks."

I've spent a fair amount of time exploring the approaches that Dylan might be using. I think a projector is likely. Warhol was known to use a projector. Hockney includes a Warhol example in his book Secret Knowledge. I think that another possibility is the use of camera lucida. Hockney did a series of portraits using this tool. It is quite different from camera obscura, and is particularly well suited to working from still images.

I have three different camera lucida tools that I was experimenting with in 2015 (I also have an overhead projector and an opaque projector). I did one experiment where I worked from a Josef Koudelka photograph that Dylan had based one of his paintings on. I used one of my camera lucida tools and I posted the results on Instagram a couple of months ago: https://www.instagram.com/p/8bFnLWrexk/

The scale of my drawing is fairly small, just a few inches across. But if I wanted to produce a work the size of Dylan's painting it would be fairly easy to adjust my process. I belong to a camera lucida club, and many members make large scale works. If I was going to work on a larger scale I'd be just as inclined to use my opaque projector.

As far as Dylan and Tim's Vermeer, here's a few lines from a news story on the film: "We kept it a real secret," Jillette said in an interview during the festival. "No one knew anything. I think the only people who had a copy of the DVD were Bob Dylan and Jack White. That was the entire list."

From another:
Penn Jillette: "We throw the word genius around. Bob Dylan’s a genius. And Bob Dylan’s a genius because we don’t want to think that Bob Dylan is doing this stuff because he’s willing to work harder than we are. (Laughs) We’ve all seen Bob Dylan’s notebooks. We all know the thousands of hours he’s spent on stage. We all know that Bob Dylan isn’t known for his guitar playing, but he practices guitar playing thousands and thousands of hours. We tend to throw that word genius around to say we can’t do this so why don’t we just sit on our asses and watch TV. We also throw this other word around. Teller just said this beautiful thing last night: 'Obsession is a word lazy people use for determination.' (Laughs) I think that the people who are called geniuses are willing to keep that going because there’s something kind of prosaic at first blush about saying, 'Well, I just worked really hard.'"

I first wrote about Dylan, Hockney and camera obscura back in 2013: http://swarmuth.blogspot.com/2013/03/ap ... dylan.html


This is the answer I was looking for! You think he was using a projector and not something like a Lucida?


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Wed January 27th, 2016, 21:00 GMT 
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Based on my experiences in art history/design and having seen many of Dylan's artworks in person, here's my take on the subject:

The original Drawn Blank drawings (publ. 1994) were done after nature.

For the Drawn Blank Series paintings the drawings were scanned from the 1994 book (the originals apparently were no longer at hand) and then blown up and printed onto canvas. Dylan then painted them over, sometimes altering the original compositions.

The Brazil Series was probably based on sketches made after nature and on printed sources and also painted from memory.

For several of the Asia Series paintings Dylan clearly used a projector, probably hooked up to a computer on which the source materials were stored. This technique is much more comfortable and results in greater precision than the use of historic optical devices like the camera obscura or the camera lucida. The projected images are traced with a pencil or with charcoal and then painted over.

For the Revisionist Art pieces Dylan used scans of original magazine covers and then altered them digitally (probably in Photoshop). The files were then printed onto canvas using a large-format inkjet printer.

The command of anatomy and perspective in the New Orleans Series paintings indicate that a projector was used on most if not all the paintings. Again Dylan probably worked from files/scans on a computer and projected them onto the canvas.

The Face Value pastels were done after nature (without the use of a projector).

Throughout art history artists have always used optical devices (camera obscura, camera lucida, concave mirrors, analogue and digital projectors) and the so-called grid method in painting and drawing. For a thorough analysis of the topic see David Hockney's studies in this film:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKbFZIpNK10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDIiVkoTik8
And in this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Knowledge- ... 0142005126

Many great works of art that you all know and that are universally acclaimed as masterpieces were created with the help of optical devices.

I love Dylan's paintings and drawings and find them endlessly inspiring.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Wed January 27th, 2016, 21:24 GMT 
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I just want to see pictures of Bob using a computer. What if he's among us?


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Sat January 30th, 2016, 15:22 GMT 
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I have now watched "Tim's Vermeer" and I think it's an accurate technical demonstration of how Vermeer probably used optical devices to create his paintings. Tim's construction of lense, concave mirror and small mounted mirror above the canvas allows you to create photorealistic paintings. I paint myself and I have made photorealistic paintings after nature and also with the help of projectors (and other technical devices). So I know that it can be done both ways, but I agree with Hockney, who says it would be childish to think that artists like Vermeer, van Eyck or Holbein did not use optical devices that were available to them. While you can make photorealistic paintings without optical devices, it's easier (and faster) to make them with optical devices.

The most expensive living European artist (Gerhard Richter) has always used projectors to create his photorealistic paintings (his abstract paintings are created differently). He projects the image onto the canvas, meticulously traces the image with a pencil, then removes the projector (because you cannot paint under the colored lights of the projection) and paints on top of the tracing with oil colors, using a printed source of the image as a guide.

Dylan surly a used a similar technique for some of his paintings (Tim's construction is far too unwieldy and also unnecessary if you do not want to paint in a photorealistic style).

Anybody who thinks the use of projectors is an "easy" way to create paintings or a form "cheating" should try the method themselves, before criticising any artist working that way. The projector is a tool that helps you to create a painting, but it will not make the actual painting. The projector helps you to transfer the basic outline of the image onto the canvas, while the painting will always be a highly individual creation made by the artist.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Mon February 1st, 2016, 16:40 GMT 
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My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:
I have now watched "Tim's Vermeer" and I think it's an accurate technical demonstration of how Vermeer probably used optical devices to create his paintings. Tim's construction of lense, concave mirror and small mounted mirror above the canvas allows you to create photorealistic paintings. I paint myself and I have made photorealistic paintings after nature and also with the help of projectors (and other technical devices). So I know that it can be done both ways, but I agree with Hockney, who says it would be childish to think that artists like Vermeer, van Eyck or Holbein did not use optical devices that were available to them. While you can make photorealistic paintings without optical devices, it's easier (and faster) to make them with optical devices.

The most expensive living European artist (Gerhard Richter) has always used projectors to create his photorealistic paintings (his abstract paintings are created differently). He projects the image onto the canvas, meticulously traces the image with a pencil, then removes the projector (because you cannot paint under the colored lights of the projection) and paints on top of the tracing with oil colors, using a printed source of the image as a guide.

Dylan surly a used a similar technique for some of his paintings (Tim's construction is far too unwieldy and also unnecessary if you do not want to paint in a photorealistic style).

Anybody who thinks the use of projectors is an "easy" way to create paintings or a form "cheating" should try the method themselves, before criticising any artist working that way. The projector is a tool that helps you to create a painting, but it will not make the actual painting. The projector helps you to transfer the basic outline of the image onto the canvas, while the painting will always be a highly individual creation made by the artist.


Bravo! I've been a photographer for a long time, videographer as well, but I've never made the leap into drawing or painting. I've done some basic work in school, but I always felt pressured or didn't have good ideas. I also cannot draw realistically, so this could be the tool to motivate me into creating some things I've always wanted to create. I don't want to say it's easy, but it does make it easier for me to have a guide in the studio.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Mon February 1st, 2016, 20:28 GMT 
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goodnitesteve, you might want to check out the work of Gary Hume, whose figurative paintings are solely made with the help of projectors. Gary Hume is a good example of how you can use "traced" projections to produce highly individual paintings without being in command of classic draughtsmanship.

An interesting article on the use of photos/projectors in contemporary painting: http://www.artnews.com/2006/04/01/slides-and-prejudice/


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Tue February 2nd, 2016, 05:24 GMT 
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My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:

Anybody who thinks the use of projectors is an "easy" way to create paintings or a form "cheating" should try the method themselves, before criticising any artist working that way. The projector is a tool that helps you to create a painting, but it will not make the actual painting. The projector helps you to transfer the basic outline of the image onto the canvas, while the painting will always be a highly individual creation made by the artist.


I concur with a bravo.

I, myself, enjoy photography. Yet, freely admit a dear one to me grasps the significance of lighting, angles, film speed, etc better. There is just so much more that goes into art and to dismiss the tools used (or not) as less or more becomes redundant laziness to not take into account the larger picture (pun intended).

Same with painting, not art exhibition level. For me the art and joy of painting is in the mixing of colors.

Thus, thanks for the link,

Quote:
An interesting article on the use of photos/projectors in contemporary painting: http://www.artnews.com/2006/04/01/slides-and-prejudice/


Totally agree how Marilyn Minter explains,

Quote:
“the issue is how you get your effects."


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 Post subject: Re: Bob and Tracing
PostPosted: Thu November 3rd, 2016, 21:00 GMT 
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Bob does use a Camera (Obscura) afterall!
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2016/ ... lan-paints


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