Portrait Artist of the Year 2021… (sort of AIBU?!)

(22 Posts)
Decaffe Tue 16-Nov-21 20:28:16

Is anyone watching?

Just wondered if anyone else feels all electronics should be banned? It’s one thing for the artists to take a photo on their iPad and then proceed to never actually look at the sitter once… However in the episode I’ve just watched, one of the artists took a photo of Celeste and then proceeded to trace it!! Surely that goes against the spirit of the show?!

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Decaffe Wed 17-Nov-21 20:24:04

Bumping smile

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Anotherhill Wed 17-Nov-21 20:27:14

I agree

NotagainTuesday Wed 17-Nov-21 22:44:18

I liked that Joan called it out this week, not that it achieved much!

Badnightguaranteed Wed 17-Nov-21 22:45:46

Agree 100%

NiellyNoFive Wed 17-Nov-21 22:57:38

It's art so there are no rules

AliceWo Thu 18-Nov-21 10:28:38

It's the end result that matters, not the process.

I haven't seen the episode yet, though it does seem a bit limiting if they were just relying on tracing. If the portrait at the end is as good or better than the others though, no problem.

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Decaffe Thu 18-Nov-21 23:54:05

Just watched last night’s episode and I couldn’t agree more with Joan Bakewell. PAOTY is now just full of gimmicks. Amazing portraits don’t get a look in any more unless you stick a bit of fabric on the canvas or copy an edited Polaroid. It’s become a parody of itself. This series has been really disappointing.

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JadeTrinket Thu 18-Nov-21 23:58:19

I didn’t like the ‘winner’ last night and thought the grey portrait of David Olusoga should have won, but lots of art historians (and David Hockney) argue that many of the old masters used lenses and the tech available to them to ‘trace’ their paintings, also, so it’s not a new gimmick.

Dinosaurwoman Fri 19-Nov-21 00:04:14

I know one of previous year’s contestants and he couldn’t agree with you more. He worked from life and did not use an iPad to help, as he feels that he gets a better connection with the sitter (Adrian Lester) .
He felt at a disadvantage because the filming process obscures the artists view with cameramen moving about. It didn’t bother the iPad users as they weren’t looking at Adrian Lester. I think that there no point drawing an image that has already been captured as a photograph. The art is when you create a painting with life and the essence of the sitter in it.

Decaffe Fri 19-Nov-21 07:47:56

I think that there no point drawing an image that has already been captured as a photograph. The art is when you create a painting with life and the essence of the sitter in it.

Absolutely - in fact I’d go so far as to say that portraiture is when you create a painting with life and the essence of the sitter in it!

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SamDees Fri 19-Nov-21 17:27:12

I so strongly agree with this.

The privilege of being accepted into this competition should be reserved for those artists painting FROM LIFE!
The sitters are right in front of you - look at them!
If you want to copy from a photo then sit at home and do that.
The gridding and tracing is for children.

I do enjoy this show and love the diversity of sitters.

JadeTrinket Fri 19-Nov-21 19:50:13

SamDees

I so strongly agree with this.

The privilege of being accepted into this competition should be reserved for those artists painting FROM LIFE!
The sitters are right in front of you - look at them!
If you want to copy from a photo then sit at home and do that.
The gridding and tracing is for children.

I do enjoy this show and love the diversity of sitters.

But they’re accepted by virtue of a portrait — it won’t necessarily be obvious what technique was used to make it. Especially if the judges only see the physical portrait when the show is filmed, and have only seen a photograph of it when making the selection?

I think it’s obvious that the judges like to see people drawing from the sitter, as it’s commented on quite often, and there are sometimes comments from the sitters about feeling more attuned to the artist who was looking at them, rather than their phone or iPad.

Theforest Fri 19-Nov-21 19:57:24

I dont know why they allow it. Surely the whole point is painting someone in front of you, not from a photograph!!

AliceWo Sat 20-Nov-21 11:16:10

Theforest

I dont know why they allow it. Surely the whole point is painting someone in front of you, not from a photograph!!


It's not the whole point though, is it? The whole point is the portrait at the end, the means of getting there is irrelevant.

For those working from photos - they have chosen the shot, they have interacted with the person, they can look at them to check skin tone and details. It is not the same as working solely from a random photo from the internet.

I very much liked the portrait this week that was made by working from a Polaroid, it had a lovely quality to it. Working from life is a very skilled approach, but it is by no means the only way.

I'm saying this as an artist (though generally landscape rather than portraits) - I use all kinds of methods, whatever will get the best result.

MilkTooth Thu 25-Nov-21 23:44:32

I thought the wrong artist went through tonight — that it should have either been the Moghul miniature woman or the archaeologist who panted Ali Jawad. Grumble.

RaisedByPangolins Thu 25-Nov-21 23:52:50

I agree about the iPads and photos - it’s a totally different skill to painting from life - I can appreciate that having only 4 hours they need to quickly lock down a likeness but I do think they should maybe have a time limit - say the first hour - when they can use tech, and then paint/draw from life after that. I feel so sorry for the sitters trying not to move a muscle for 4 hours only to find everyone has only painted their head and most of them haven’t even looked up while they did it!

I know they’re looking for something new and intriguing, not the same old traditional painting techniques so I guess they have to move with the times somewhat, but I wonder if the entry submissions should be by video so that they can see the process at work.

RaisedByPangolins Thu 25-Nov-21 23:53:25

It’s always the wrong artist Milk!

GreenTeaPingPong Thu 25-Nov-21 23:58:35

On a slight tangent - does anyone else find it so predictable who's going to win? At the beginning of the show, whoever has the most weird and 'out there' style, as far away from naturalistic as possible - they'll win. It's become a bit of a joke for me.

MilkTooth Fri 26-Nov-21 00:08:01

RaisedByPangolins

It’s always the wrong artist Milk!

No, sometimes I do agree with the judges — though admittedly, they’ve made some weird decisions this season.

RaisedByPangolins Fri 26-Nov-21 01:01:26

Just watching the most recent one - right top 3 I thought. And I actually think the winner was great. Not wholly there with the likeness, but with a bit more time I think it would have been a brilliant portrait. Loved what the sitter said about it too.

AliceWo Fri 26-Nov-21 09:00:50

I really liked the two runners up this week. Wasn't so keen on the winner - I liked his approach, but it really didn't look like the sitter. It looked far more like the artist himself.

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