Dean Ng, Kuala lumpur Member Since March 2011 Artist Statement Being a self taught artist requires patience, observation, preseverance, temperament and effort.
Being a successful self taught artist needs extraordinary patience, observation, preseverence, temperament and effort.
I am on my way there.
I favour the concept of abstract realism and the master who practise this concept is none other than Mr David Leffel whom I admired the most. The definition of abstract realism can be sum up in this quote by Mr Leffel "An abstract painting is exactly what it proports to be, whether it be paint splatters or stripes, while a representational painting has to give the illusion of the paint being air, or flesh, or flowers... therefore abstract paintings are rather concrete while representational paintings are rather abstract."
I do not have the privilege to paint from life for my portrait and figure painting. Therefore, lots of image references are used to create my work. Most of the male portraits are posed by me. I put little emphasis on the subject matter of my work. The subject matter is merely a media for me to express my pictorial ideas. Therefore I refuse to regard my portrait painitng as Portraits. They are better off as Tronies - A tronie (Seventeenth century Dutch for a "face") is a common type, or group of types, of works of Dutch Golden Age painting and Flemish Baroque painting that shows an exaggerated facial expression or a stock character in costume. In contemporary usage the term might cover any picture of an unidentified sitter, but in modern art-historical usage it is typically restricted to figures who do not seem to have been intended to be identifiable, so genre painting in a portrait format.
As for most realist, the knowledge of tone, color, composition and edges are essential. To understand more of this, one should study various materials written by the old master. There are indeed a handful of books and instructional videos for beginners and the creation of internet has made these readily accessible.
I am not a huge fan of practice makes perfect. Practise is important, but understandings must come first. I believe that the artist should slowly develop his/her principles of pictorial presentation along the way. Principles will govern the identity of one works. The story behind this was When I first started out to paint, I have done reproductions of artworks but when I paint my own paintings, they fell short. As I mature, I realized that the old masters in the past has their own principles of painting. I started to understand the underlying principles and from there I form my own principles that govern the way I paint. I believe no artist has identical sets of principles. Some principles may be identical but not all.
In a nutshell, I loves traditional representational painting and its inherent peace. Painting is something I would like to do infinitely and be better along the way. In the long term, every great artist remains self taught.