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This is my first post, forgive me if I don't format the message correctly!
Thank you for taking the time to make the wonderful presentation Jason, if START! hadn't been here I probably never would have make a post on CA.
First study is of J.W.M Turner's painting "Mortlake Terrace"
I chose Turner because I find a lot of his work walks a fine line between representation of a scene and emphasizing the abstract elements that are making the painting work.
Studying this piece I noticed a lot of what Jason talked about, all the criteria seems there
What I'll mention is the strong contrast between the tiny sun and the tiny silhouetted dog.
a very simple shape,
the lightest value in the image,
the largest thing represented in the logic of the painting
the darkest(to my eye) element in the image
a complex shape
perhaps the tiniest stand alone element in the logic of the image
The way they are placed in relation to each other suggests that contrasts between them are there to be drawn both visually and on other levels.
Nice start to the assignment. It is very important that your big value shapes be spot on. Part of this exercise is being able to nail value without even thinking about it, by the time you are done with them all.
If i crop the painting and just look at the bottom of it...if this were the whole painting...what is different about each one, if you look at the biggest differences first (not little pixels off here or there)?
The values are darker in the left, that whole large promenade triangle isn't straight, I left a big patch of lighter value where the sunlight hits the ground, vertical lines aren't the same distance apart. There is a significant difference in the block of light value in the top right.
I think the main ones are the value inconsistencies to the left side and the laziness of that dark walk shape on the right.
I'll try and carry this on into the next study rather than implement alterations here, hoping 20 will get me on the right track with this!
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema "The Roses of Heliogabalus"
The large organic mass of the petals was used as economy, helped subdue some foreground figures while creating negative spaces which serve the rhythms that lead the eye.
getting closer....if you can introduce some sharp marks to it i think you will see it really pop. great work. that one is one of my favorite compositions ever...the spiral movement and the animated placement of the figures blows my mind...the shapes and the wind is also...nom nom nom...can't say it any better than nom.
Johannes Vermeer "The Astronomer"
the light entering the room provides a clear focus as is decays around the room.
The dark areas that make up a lot of this piece are full of information, the values changes are so subtle in the darks its fascinating! All this dark subtlety is in harmony with the sharp edges and high contrasts that are seen in the directly illuminated areas, on the desk and profile of the face. There are also mid tones that seem to tie these two opposites together. the contrasts remind me of Chiaroscuro but much richer with so many changes in value in the darkest of areas.
Gerard Leslie Brockhurst 'Jeunesse Dorée'
This is perhaps my favorite portrait. The reason I chose it is that when I first saw it I was hypnotized, hadn't stared at a painting for so long! Still haven't. I remember wondering why I found it so enigmatic. In hindsight this probably wasn't a good choice for the activity.
I think there's a sense of symmetry to the piece, the hair shape and center parting, the flat and centered subject. I noticed some triangular shapes the most obvious being the hair also the subtle illuminated triangle of the chest that directs the eye up to the face. Opposing this symmetry, the arms both point to the right, the corners of the mouth point in opposite directions. The detailing in the buttons pulls focus right down the length of the image where the arms are abruptly severed.
I think that its lacking in a good balance of the outlined criteria, maybe in such a way that it adds to what keeps me fascinated with the piece; but having stared at this painting as much as I have I only just noticed you can see here nipples so maybe that's it!
If anyone has an opinion on this painting I'd love to hear it.
excellent observation about the corners of her mouth. there is contrasting emotion on each side of her face. It is creating a sense of soul in her. Great painting. First time I have ever seen it. I would spend another 10 mins or 15 adjusting the marks on her face, just so you can get better at translating the emotion in his piece to yours.
I redid the face noticed that the shapes created on the shadow side seem to emphasize this contrast. added some guides to the original to illustrate what I mentioned in the last post. On the idea of contrasts and soul,and nipples, she seems to be bursting out of her clothing, well dressed but unkempt.
Thanks for the feedback Jason
John Martin "The Fall of Babylon"
I find a couple a Martin's painting just wonderfully epic in scale and energy.
Here some nice repetition in the form of of the dark spot of the sky mirrored in the shadow of the foreground group of people, the group themselves seem to repeat the form of the distant tower. Adding focus to the tower in this way lets the tower itself be hierarchically(?) dominated by the wrath of the heavens.
Although the picture seems quite cluttered with things of varying scale, I think the strong rhythmic spirals of light from the top right subdues much of the mid ground letting my eyes make a that journey between the foreground and background without feeling overwhelmed.
that one is a big one...but for a quick study of a very complex piece I think you did ok. the values overall are still a little off. If you put them on layers and turn one of them on and off you will see what I am talking about.
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