Friday, September 7, 2007

Borrowing, Part 1

Here’s a subject we all think about, but we don’t really want to admit to. When you’re doing your own picture, is it OK to look at another guy’s work and…what’s the word…Borrow? Lift? Swipe?


This is a painting called “Spotters and Liners” from the new Dinotopia book. Click on the image to enlarge. Let’s see if you can guess which artists I was looking at while I painted it. Post a comment if you think you know. Hint: there are four different artists—at least four that I'm conscious of.

In tomorrow's post I’ll reveal not only the artists, but the very pictures that I swiped (ahem) borrowed from.

9 comments:

Meredith D. said...

Hmmm...the first thing I thought of when I saw the horizontal format and the character with his finger up is Da Vinci's Last Supper.

Emilio said...

As always your work inspires to me.“Spotters and Liners” is a masterpiece,
It remembers me strongly Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, especially "ask me no more". I love the way you show us a classical beauty in so natural and spontaneous way.

Jamin LeFave said...

There are only two artists that I can spot, Alma Tadema and John Singer Sargent. Looking forward to finding out who they are.

Mark Elliott said...

This is such an informative and delectable blog that I like to check it out after lunch breaks and get cracking again full of inspiration...
Anyway, let's see... I'm guessing about 2 parts Alma Tadema, 2 parts Parrish, with a strong hint of Da Vinci and a dash of Leighton in the horizon for additional seasoning and taste?
I may be way off there, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a wonderful painting.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Mark, and everyone else so far.

Those of you who don't know Mark Elliott, he's a great SVA-trained artist who has illustrated a lot of children's books, and you can see his portfolio at KidShannon.com. Mark is also a neighbor and a friend, and always comes up with books on obscure artists I've never heard of.

Re: the comments so far, you've got two right, but the other two are still not mentioned.

John Ward said...

Okay, I think that Tadema was used as inspiration for the building/stairs on which they are sitting. I'm not sure of who the other artists are specifically-- so, let me guess about how you used other sources as a jumping off point to create this painting.

I believe that one of the Hudson River School painters helped form the basis of the cloudy sky.

I believe that you have used a painting as reference for the way the figures are clustered together. The poses look familiar to me. I believe it was an artist from the Orientalist movement. That being said, it's also fairly likely that these poses are simply reminding me of Da Vinci's Last Supper (for the same reason as Meredith D. lists above).

The fourth artist (and I'm actually surprised that no one has mentioned this-- especially, since it is the most blatant and poorly disguised out of the four), is one that you have completely ripped off. You have shamelessly stolen Charles Schulz's color scheme from the beloved Snoopy when designing the outfits that everyone in this painting is wearing. Quite shocking!

Finally, I believe that you have appropriated the likeness of an artist and forced it onto one of the characters in your painting. Specifically: the guy who is pointing to the heavens. That face, unless I am mistaken, belongs to the host of this blog... or at least it looks that way to me based off of the various photographs you have posted in your messages here.

Munchanka said...

NC Wyeth?

Cat said...

Is that you in the back of the Liners? :) The face on the far left reminds me of Rossetti.

David B. Ellis said...

OK, I'll give it a go.

The most obvious has already been mentioned: Lawrence Alma-Tadama.

The figure pointing toward the sky reminds me of the figure of Plato in one of Raphael's murals.

I agree also that there is something of Da Vinci's LAST SUPPER here.

And, finally, the spotted coats remind me of a similar costume used in one of the paintings of Maxfield Parrish.