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.
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 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 email@example.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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