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  1. #1
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    Jason Manley's Composition 1.1 Goal (simply an example assignment thread)

    Hello,

    I have the following questions:

    A. ask any question you have.
    B. ask another question if you have one.

    Below are my studies. (try to cover at least one of the principles in each simple explanation...one observation explanation per image as below)

    Name:  masterstudyexample.jpg
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    1.I chose Leighton because of his ability to capture mood and subtle yet romantic moments. One thing I noticed was how much of the emphasis was in the upper portion of the image, and that the focus was placed around the figures, while the legs and feet and less important details had less contrast.

    (image for thumbnail size/placement/labeling example purposes only...not an actual study).


    2. I chose this image and artist "x" because....and I observed/noticed/realized that she was utilizing the principle of continuity/rhythm/or whatever one you noticed, in the following manner...x, y, z.

    attach second image here.

    etc...

    etc...

    etc...























    .................................................. .................................................. ......
    Last edited by Jason Manley; January 28th, 2014 at 08:51 AM.


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  3. #2
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    Jason sir, pencil sketching thumbnails would work? can I use the pencil sketching medium?

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    yes...just try to utilize the full value range and match the range in the image best you can. Pencil is not quite so black..so you will have to pull off the most full range that you can.

  5. #4
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    Jason, excuse me, does it matter if I do some with pencil and I try some with digital paint? I start from very very beginner. I feel more comfortable using pencil though since I start from 0 with digital painting. However I do not know if trying like this will help me improve my pencil skills and will also introduce me with the software and the tablet or will just confuse me.

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    Whatever works for you. If you're happier with pencil use that. Skills learnt will translate over to digital later.

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  8. #6
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    agreed with bs on that one. Traditional is a great way to start.

  9. #7
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    I just recently joined and was reviewing this assignment and had a couple of questions. Some of the examples I am seeing completed can almost be a direct overlay of the original piece so a grid or something had to be used to do the study. My question is, if the lesson is focused on understanding composition and major value shape relationships, do you consider using a trace overlay or grid a good way to learn or is it better to try to capture the the organization of the major value shapes and composition by direct observation of the original? The challenge I see with using grids is that they could become a crutch when actually trying to draw something from life or sketching in the field. I do get their use though if one's goal is to very accurately transfer or duplicate one image to another support whether it be paper, canvas or whatever. Also, if the idea of understanding composition is to learn about the order and structure underlying a master work, would it be good to focus on limiting a painting to maybe 5 values and trying to capture the essence of the piece rather than focusing on details?

    Please do not take my questions as challenge to the assignment or questioning the intended method or work done by others. I am simply asking for some thoughts on what I mentioned because I just recently started to learn oil painting and understanding composition has been pretty important to me. I have been learning about notan design and limited value studies and wondered what your thoughts may be on this. I will take whatever approach you feel is the best approach to take for this particular assignment.
    Last edited by arcitek; May 28th, 2015 at 01:59 AM.

  10. #8
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    Tracing should not be used. A grid may be if you're having problems with the shapes, but you should not become over reliant on them. The reason some are pushed further is that things like shapes and hard/soft edges make up a lot of the composition and where and how the eye is drawn around the image. Some members start out more advanced than others, so if you've not as advanced, take a bit longer, as rushing the entire assignment mean you won't learn so much. When posting, you are meant to give a breakdown of the elements discussed in the video and how they relate to the image. Not only does the assignment make you think about the composition, but the elements that go into it to make it work. As you progress, you'll find that you'll want to improve on each one.

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    I'm not sure how "complete" I need to get my submission. I'm looking around at the other submissions and the goal seems to be to create an exact copy. I can certainly try that but I won't be able to get it done in an hour. In an hour's time I can lay in the general tones together and maybe blend some of the larger shapes into a smooth graduation. Is this acceptable? Going this route I can do at least twenty in a couple weeks with the bulk of my time spent just drawing the copy. I still want to draw all of the painstaking details in pencil even if I gloss over them in digital paint. If I went about the assignment this way I can do maybe 40-60 studies in a month.

    Or should I go for the exact copy routine and try to get my work to look as close to an exact replica as possible? It would take me at least 3 hours per study to get anywhere close to mimicking what I see. I do other studies outside of Level Up so, optimistically speaking I can complete this assignment in maybe 6 weeks.

    Or should I try a half and half approach. Set a time limit of an hour for 10 of copies and however-long-it-takes-to-complete approach from the other ten?

    Sorry if I'm over thinking this. I just like getting as much information as I can before doing a thing. I guess that's part of my paralysis problem.

  12. #10
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    If you get the general shapes down along with the main values, you should then consider the edges as all form part of the composition. When considering the different areas of composition as laid out in the video, you may want to see if you have expressed these in your composition. Whilst it's not imperative to make an exact copy, getting reasonably close in the main areas will stand you in good stead when you progress to Composition 1.2.

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  14. #11
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    It's probably a silly question but do I have to copy by hand the format of the piece or can just use digital means for that? Another one do I need to work in small size when doing study or just make it small when posting?

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    Most members do it digitally, but you can do it traditionally if desired. The assignment says to work on it playing card size to start with, but you can zoom in for details. The idea is not to get bogged down with details at the beginning, but get the overall composition down. It's best to make sure your image is exactly the same dimensions, or multiple of, as the reference.

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    I think I have an idea on how I want to approach this assignment. It's pretty much just combining all my approaches try to get as much out each study as possible. I was watching some tutorials by Scott Waddell and his process makes a lot a sense to me because you're breaking down the painting procedure into manageable chunks instead of just going all gung-ho take a sketch to finish piece which can be frustrating as hell. He has a three step process:

    Posterization-- which is pretty reducing the image down to a thumbnail and blocking the general tones with blending anything.

    Render Pass-- Take those generalize blocks of shades and subdivide them until they smooth out and the areas blend together creating the form of the object.

    Final Pass -- Fix any areas that may be a little too rough or is catching to much light or not enough.

  17. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by narima2k View Post
    I think I have an idea on how I want to approach this assignment. It's pretty much just combining all my approaches try to get as much out each study as possible. I was watching some tutorials by Scott Waddell and his process makes a lot a sense to me because you're breaking down the painting procedure into manageable chunks instead of just going all gung-ho take a sketch to finish piece which can be frustrating as hell. He has a three step process:

    Posterization-- which is pretty reducing the image down to a thumbnail and blocking the general tones with blending anything.

    Render Pass-- Take those generalize blocks of shades and subdivide them until they smooth out and the areas blend together creating the form of the object.

    Final Pass -- Fix any areas that may be a little too rough or is catching to much light or not enough.

    I too had the same observation as you where it certainly appears that many are trying to do exact copies and there appears to be a lot of appreciation for when this is accomplished. I'm too new in my training to really be making this following comment but I am going to do it anyway because we are all just trying to find the best way to learn and grow as artists. I am not sure I get where making an exact copy of another piece is time well spent in learning about good composition or design. I would think the idea behind this is to realize the essential structure of the piece that is implemented and reinforced through the organization of values, shapes and less importantly, color. If one would take an image and insert it into photoshop, transform to Black and White and then posterize to 2,3 or 4 levels, one would quickly see the essential notan structure of the work if it even exists. Looking at the Black and White image again, something similar can be accomplished by using the cutout filter.

    When converting a piece to a value study, I would think one should be looking for the big or main value shapes. Slight variations of value within these shapes should not be considered a separate shape unless it is indeed a different value. Usually, you are looking for 3 main values, light, mid and dark but I guess there could be 5 and 7 value studies.

    The other thing that creates unity or a sense of assembly within a composition is shapes. Shapes can be defined by edges, mostly hard, which can be created through line, change in pattern, texture, color, temperature, value and so on. The challenge with identifying shapes is that not all shapes contribute significantly to the composition. There are primary shapes which are usually the most obvious because of value change and are pretty much very obvious at first glance, The there are secondary shapes and there can be more levels but each level is less important to the integrity of the composition.

    The reason I am blowing all of this hot air is because it would seem the success of this project is someone who is able to take an image and identify and break down the image into the main values, shapes and edges that actually make the piece work. I have seen some really successful examples of this in the postings but it seems that the people who do the closest, most exact copy of the original get most of the praise. Don't get me wrong, duplicating the images exactly is pretty impressive for sure but I question whether that person really understood the essence of composition by duplicating these tiny little shapes that may have had nothing to really do with the overall composition.

    These are just personal observations and opinions and they are not meant to be critical in a negative way. I am only wondering these things "outloud" because I am having some inner conflict about what I should be doing. I am going to be taking the more "big-picture" approach to this assignment and hope I am not missing out on something by not doing the exact copy of the original.

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  19. #15
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    You don't have to do an exact copy. Omitting a lot of the details is fine for this assignment. It's getting the bigger elements like shape, value and edges that are important to the compositions. A splodge instead of a flower is fine.

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    I was actually thinking to try already months ago,but I ended up not doing it because I noticed that when I copy works I don't notice the stuff you guys notice (if not subconsciusly maybe) so I can't properly fulfill the requirement of the assignment... x_x
    This days I was thinking again about trying it,but...like the other day I did this copy of "happy drinker" www.conceptart.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=2123762&d=1433354649 in the "Daily Master Study",and the only thing my brain could notice was "man,this guy really likes his wine,he's probably thinking "look at that buffoon inside the glass"(his reflection)"...and I know this is not the kind of thing I'm required to notice... x_x

    So my question would be,is it possible to pass the level just trough practice and achieve a good enough quality for the studies,or noticing and putting on words those things is indispensable? :/
    Last edited by Marcus Aseth; June 5th, 2015 at 08:05 AM.

  21. #17
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    For Composition 1.1, you could just about do that, but the assignments get harder as you progress. There are a few optional extra assignments to help you up your skills. Actually, you'd be amazed at how much some people have improved by getting insightful feedback and sheer hard work. Go and have a look at a few of the completed ones, especially those with loads of posts.

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