How Did Edgar Degas's Use Of Visual Impairments

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A comparative analysis of two works by 20th and 21st century artists, Edgar Degas and John Bramblitt, where a discussion of their lives, their techniques and of course their works comes into focus. One of the main comparisons between these two artists is how visual impairments in both their cases affected their works. Whilst Degas’s works became more hurried and quick although not losing his precision, Bramblitt’s work still remained patient and calculated.

Dancers ca. 1900 by Degas is a study drawing of what was later to be Dancers VI. It portrays three women dancing, although one seems to be centrally placed and in focus with two other women behind her dancing. This portrait of dancing women, is a draft done in pastels, with the expert mixing of various other materials such as gouache, tempera. This is attributed to the experimental nature of Edgar Degas’s methods and techniques of creating his works. The lines are not sharp and crisp as you would expect in a typical impressionist’s work and yet there is the subtle detailed definition such as the
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The first I used primarily with oil paints. Because oil paints are made from different substances they have a viscosity and texture that varies slightly from color to color. By adding medians to the pain such as Liquin and paint thinners I can alter the way the paint feels even more. For example: Titanium White is very thick like toothpaste while Ivory Black is fairly runny - more like oil. By adding a little thinner you can make it even more so. In order to mix a gray halfway between white and black you simply mix for a texture that is halfway between the thick and thin paints. This is actually a very precise way of mixing color because your sense of touch is extremely adept at sensing subtle changes in texture. With practice it becomes even more so.” (Bramblitt,
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