New artist challenge- Levin Rodriguez

April 21st, 2013
I wasn't expecting to be back here hosting the artist challenge again so soon, but I am really happy to choose the next artist, something a little different I hope.

I have been looking at Golden Age Still Life painting recently, and as the period spans a couple of centuries it was hard to find just one artist to choose, until I stumbled upon a Canadian photographic artist, Levin Rodriguez, who reproduces these old masters. Perfect

you can see some of his work here

and here is his wonderful blog where he has many entries about his work and method.

In this entry he describes the four main types of still life painted in this period

1. floral arrangements, often very elaborate and including things like insects, butterflies, birds nests and so on

2. breakfast arrangements of simple peasant fare, typically fruit, vegetables, cheese, bread and so on

3. banquet arrangements which showed off the sumptuous and decadent foods of the rich

4. vanitas ( aka momento mori) which symbolise mortality, lots of skulls, snuffed candles, upturned empty glasses, hour-glasses etc.

For this challenge you can either ; Reproduce as accurately as possible a particular work, take anything from the genre and make it your own, or use an idea from these works as a catalyst for your own creativity.

-In this case feel free to search further afield than Rodriguez's own work , Google the genre using keywords Golden/age/still life/Dutch / Spanish or Flemish

I personally like the Spanish ones very much

be sure to add a link to any image you base your work on in your description so we can see where you are coming from. Add your image to this thread if you like.

the challenge will run from today Sunday 21st April until Wednesday 1st May, with three days of voting soon after

tag your entries ac-rodriguez

UPDATE Levin Rodriguez has agreed to do some blog posts about how his images are made, as selected by us, very cool of him, check part one here
April 21st, 2013
this is my first effort, if you want to get a cracked paint effect use a layer of craquelure texture as I have done here.

April 21st, 2013
I would hang this in my kitchen
April 21st, 2013
April 21st, 2013
Very nice!
April 21st, 2013
Stunning! Perfect remake!
April 21st, 2013
great idea for a challenge
April 21st, 2013
terrific idea for the challenge!
April 21st, 2013
looks super interesting, but for the life of me, I can't find any postings on his blog that discuss his technique. can you post one or 2? thanks!
April 22nd, 2013
@cameronknowlton is this helpful?

a quote,

The biggest challenge though comes at the photographing time. Painters have no restriction on lighting, they can simulate light sources whether truthful or not, they can exaggerate angles and fake perspective (M.C. Escher being a great example of this). This is not the case with photography, you can modify lighting, add, take away, but you can’t fake it. The same applies to perspective and what fits in a frame. There is no other way except through painful experimentation that normally entitles taking many, many exposures.
Another really difficult aspect is to achieve that painting look using artificial lighting while arranging the composition like the painting.
For every exposure, I would have to find the right angle both horizontally and vertically to match the perspective, then arrange a table or space with props, constantly comparing to the source painting, then take the photo, look through the camera, zoom in and realize that maybe the overlapping of a tazza and a roemer was not the same, or a lemon peel (very common in these paintings) was not where is supposed to be, or a glass was off in terms of distance, the folds of the table cloth are not right, etc. For every exposure, I would move the objects a bit, go through the review process and snap again. It normally takes between 10 to 40 exposures before I am satisfied.

also here
April 22nd, 2013
fraid not, @kali66... I'm more interested in his post processing, not so much his compositional ramblings.
April 22nd, 2013
@cameronknowlton haha well maybe that is top secret, like a chef with a prize recipe. I emailed him, lets see if he replies!
April 22nd, 2013
Thanks @kali66 !
April 22nd, 2013
@kali66 My first attempt at the artist challenge. I didn't reproduce any particular work but got the idea of a still life and staged the shot. Hope it's acceptable.
April 22nd, 2013
he has asked us to select one of his works for him to write about in his blog

he has other work here
April 23rd, 2013
@mara19500 mara that is really nice, the lemons look really vibrant and the low key is working well.
April 24th, 2013
@kali66 , I'd be interested in how he lit and processed "Girl with a Pearl Necklace":

I find that facial tones are the hardest to manipulate without spoiling the photo. he did a perfect job with balancing his light, especially the rim light on her face.

Was the wall painted that way, or did he adjust that in post?
April 26th, 2013
@cameronknowlton I'm back, I have forwarded this, stay posted
April 27th, 2013
@cameronknowlton Part one of the blog post is here!

in the next part he will cover post-processing
April 28th, 2013
@kali66 So cool that you got a reply !!!! Very interesting read
April 28th, 2013
April 29th, 2013
@colie super
April 30th, 2013
@kali66 I'm very impressed with his response, wow! much work preparing for the shots. It would be neat if he would cast his vote when the finalists are chosen! Big kudoz to you for contacting him :)
Write a Reply
Sign up for a free account or Sign in to post a comment.