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Thread: oils by a novice

  1. #1
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    oils by a novice

    I never Learned to Paint with Oils in a classroom setting. Nor have anyone who lives near me to get in person critique or to have share/sow technique with me. in the past year I've gone from the first post to what I'm gonna be updating. Ive practiced painting from Life, Plein air, and attempts on illustration work. My focus has always been on trying to learn but its been so long since I've heard any kind of critique from anyone online or off that i really have no idea where I'm at technique and creative wise.
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    Last edited by Swordfish; April 20th, 2014 at 12:31 AM. Reason: long absence
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  3. #2
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    Hi Matthew!

    Mixing skintone is not just mixing white into an orage mix for the highlights and mixing burnt umber for the darks. Skin has a lot more subtle nuances and by using model's photos you won't recognize that since they all got makeup.

    I myself would consider the one with the heavy canvas texture as the underpainting. You can always come back to a painting and improve it. This also will overpaint the canvas texture which you don't like. The colors in the background should not be as strong as the model's because they then compete against each other.
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    drawing casts (geometric shapes, anatomical casts, skull), tutorials on Bargue drawing and cast drawing, Willow Charcoal, free drawing exercises
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    With a few of them and the one im messing around on now im attempting to mix tertiaries and hint at subtle blues/purples in shadows and orange/reds and so forth in the highlights. What im working on now im using alot of photos i took myself of reference plus hanging actual objects in the light the way i need. On top of that i have a huge 3x4 mirror right next to my painting area, can make good use of it i hope. i'll have to revisit the canvas one now that its dry, see if i can get anything out of it. Maybe take some ref shots of real skin for it.
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    i took a second pass at the woman in armor to get paint on there. needs a lot more reworking.. One of myself i roughed out last night, ive tried to get creative with my color mixing and i hope its at least on the right track some so thanks Bjoern for speaking up, and I also took a peek at the classical way on one of your sites and during the past couple weeks i have been running through barge plates every day and I'm working on making a setup to do cast drawings in the near future. start reading Eye of the painter since its one i have no given to the time to read through yet.

    i still feel as though I'm having a hard time separating subject from background, i guess it will come in time
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    still working on it but im trying new things with it and enjoying myself
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    So its been a long time since I've posted here and I'm gonna update it with recent things so the progress can easily be seen between what i did before and now. And although its a good amount of progress i still feel its not progress in the right areas.

    These should be in order from oldest to newest. The first Being from Dec. 2013, The last being March 15 2014.

    Ive had no one teaching me, no one to bounce ideas off, learn from, ask advice of. No artistic people live near me, you can say i live in a very boonie type area. All i have is a decent area for painting. the internet, which hasn't been to helpful in terms of critique, A few James Gurney books, some Donato dvd's and Trail and error, a lot of it.

    Before i started Painting these i and about a 4 months period where I plein air painting everyday. because i was unhappy with my progress i stopped painting and eased back into it with outdoor landscapes. and eventually got inspired to attempt what i wan tot do with myself. and have been doing a healthy mix of just about everything now. But still feel unhappy with my progress. I enjoy making every piece and still set out to challenge myself every picture. But things still aren't coming together in a way that can actually take me away from where i currently am in life.


    These are only some but for the most part represent myself in my current state.

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  8. #7
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    Had this sitting for a little while i decided what to do with it. It still needs work but thought i'd get it up somewhere so it feels like its gone somewhere.

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  9. #8
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    new oil, 30x40

    had a lot of turmoil on this one due to some health related issues effecting my painting. but its done and now i can reflect and move on to the next one.

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    Glad to hear you're ok, keep up the work!
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    I prefer the cave one as it has more atmosphere. The last one is sort a flying on grey day.

    Also choose where you want the eye to focus on; having everything pin point sharp doesn't make it great. Go and do some master studies and look at the edges or lack of them.
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  13. #11
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    The one with the Egyptian queen has a nice sense of depth. The way the servants are shirking away from the light is kind of funny, it makes the piece interesting
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  15. #12
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    You should take a look in the level up section of this website. There are a few sections of level up that are free and they deal specifically with a couple of things it seems you should work on. In particular watch the video about mass light and mass shadow - it seems like you're not making clear distinctions between them in many of the paintings, and your shadows tend to be pale and not very dark, and often light isn't very bright either, resulting in paintings done in a narrow middle value range. That's the color and light video - then I also recommend the composition as well. It will help with separating figure and background and where to put emphasis and how.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts

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  17. #13
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    i thanks you all for stopping by this thread and posting a reply with a tid of information for me to think about. @darkstrider i will take the time to watch the videos more thoroughly since ive only glanced at them in the past.

    It takes a good amount of trail and error before im able to put into practice anything i learn due to my medication and the condition that medication is supposed to help with. Ive seen leaps in my ability to paint with oil but my designs lack creativity and despite planning things out for way in advance before ever going to paint, things that seem off to most get by my eye. Its hard to get that part of my brain to work properly when i need it most in the design process.
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