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Discovering the technique of a mad genius.
Discovering the technique of a mad genius.
70 backers pledged $7,125 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$7,125

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Hi, I’m Juan Jr Ramirez. I’m a Chicago based artist, author of the Sargent Notes, an educator, and my work has been featured in the Midwest and New England. I focus on contemporary realism and I work to help others explore the vast world of style and techniques in art.  I would love to show others what realism is; that it’s not just about being precise and detailed, it can be an expressive rendering. Nature does not paint with surgical precision, it allows for rough edges and texture. A finished painting can be a polished trophy on your mantel and it can also be an expressive process of love with all the quirks and imperfections that produce a living, breathing thing. I call this expressive realism. 

The Inspiration 

 So, how can we explore this subject together? Luckily for us Antonio Mancini explored expressive realism in a way that I think is very helpful. Mancini was an Italian artist from the 19th century, whom John Singer Sargent called, “the greatest living painter.” In some respects he was a mad genius who employed unorthodox techniques despite being a gifted child. By working with tones and values instead of relying on an outline, he challenged classical methods and ideas. He focused on observation rather than imagination. 

 The Technique 

The graticola is a valuable tool that he utilized for most of his artistic life. The graticola is a grid system similar to a map grid or an x-y coordinate plane with horizontal and vertical lines, with an addition of diagonal lines. One wooden frame with the grid made of strings is placed over the canvas and a separate equal frame is placed in front of the model. With the grid system, he was able to pay less attention to line and more to tone in order to capture the true values and color of the subject under natural light. It’s also an attempt to capture the perspective from a single point of observation rather than using classical perspective methods. The graticola can help us break the barrier of seeing the form through a scientific understanding to an optical observation. With this tool he explored the philosophy of the time, Verismo, an Italian word meaning “true”.

 The Mancini Project 

With your sponsorship I will film the painting process using the graticola technique. The project will be filmed from beginning to end, culminating in a very unique instructional video. The video will cover important lessons on: Materials, Canvas, Paint Quality, the graticola set up, Drawing, Value, Color and Color Mixing, Edges, and much more. The project would pay homage to Mancini’s “John the Baptist” painting.  In keeping with the original, the painting will be done on a 80 x 32 linen canvas. To accommodate for contemporary methods, photographs will be used and analyze to see the difference between a live model with a graticola and a photo. 

Where You Come In

Kickstarter is a secure, all or nothing platform that is easy to use for everyone. If the project isn't fully funded, backers don't pay anything; and if the project is funded, backers get their tier rewards and get to be with me on this journey.  $4,385 is the minimum amount to get this film produced the way I envision it. If we exceed our goal, it will improve the quality of production and make more instructional films possible. The funds will go towards paint supplies, film equipment and editing, model fee for 12 days, shipping and handling, Amazon and Kickstarter fees. A breakdown of expenses based on our closes estimates is below.

 Let’s Do This!

 Check out the rewards to the right! With your sponsorship, I hope to make a grand painting less intimidating for you. Through the step by step process featured in the video, you will learn about the problems and solutions to executing a big painting. I hope that through this journey we can gain the freedom to take on greater challenges. The Mancini Project will take that 19th century spirit and bring it to your home with great visuals and insightful teachings. No matter your level of skill, this comprehensive video will expand your knowledge on the tools of the trade, working with a model, lighting, and everything related to creating a realist image in paint. I hope to bring you the most unique instructional video! So, let’s take this journey together. 

Special thanks to Filmmakers Mitchell and Max Rathberger, Artist Anthony Cramer, Model Josh Stillman and Production Assistant Hessell Miranda. Without any of you this project would not have risen from the floor. Thanks to my faithful friends and supporters from all over the world! much love ~ Juan Jr Ramirez 

Risks and challenges

I hope to complete the painting within 3 months and the filming, editing, and production to be completed within 6 months, in April 2015. I will keep all of you updated on any unforeseen successes and setbacks. If you have any questions about the project, your reward, or myself email me at juanjrramirez@yahoo.com or at https://www.facebook.com/juanjrramirez
I want to thank all of you for your support and positive thoughts!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    With this sponsorship you will have weekly Vlogs and High Res images through my Facebook and through The Mancini project blog. You will receive a special thank you in the credits with your name. I will also ship you a 12" x 5" print in February 2015.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    With this sponsorship you will have weekly Vlogs and High Res images through my Facebook and through The Mancini project blog. You will receive a special thank you in the credits with your name and I'm going to ship you a Signed 20" x 8" Print of Final Painting in February 2015 with a personal note from me.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You receive The Mancini Project Video in MP4 format or in DVD format upon Request, in April 2015. You will receive a special thank you in the credits with your name and I'm going to ship you a 24" x 10" Signed Limited Edition Print of Final painting in February 2015.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    With this sponsorship you will receive a signed original 14" x 11" drawing by Juan Jr Ramirez along with a 24"x10" signed print of the final image on February 2015. As well as The Mancini Project film in MP4 or DVD format upon request by April 2015 with a special thank you note in the credits.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    With this sponsorship you will receive The Mancini Project Video, in MP4 format or in DVD format upon Request in April 2015. You will receive a special thank you in the credits with your name and I'm going to ship you a 24" x 10" Signed Limited Edition Print of Final painting, a one 2-3hr online instructional workshop with me through email, Facebook, or Skype. And you will also have a signed 11 x 14 oil painting vignette by Juan Jr Ramirez in mid February 2015.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    With this sponsorship you will receive The Mancini Project Video, in MP4 format or in DVD format upon Request in April 2015 and You will receive a super special thank you in the credits with your name. 24" x 18" Commission Painting in the style of Mancini and me combined. You will get 40" x 16" Signed Limited Edition Print of Final painting.

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Funding period

- (30 days)