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Here is my first study, a portrait of Berthe Morisot by Edouard Manet:
I chose this painting because of the economy of the means employed and their absolute efficiency at creating a clear and strong focus. The overall silhouette consists in a big black shape on a light background, and a light shape inside - the face . The eyes: two black shapes against the white of the skin. It's kinda like the concentric circles of a target. The outfit is merely suggested but nothing more is needed. The subtle use of various negative shapes make it harmonious on the background. The edges are fuzzier in the bottom and on the top of the painting, so the spectator cannot help but being hooked by the face. Needless to say I love this painting!
Real neat; I have this painting queued up for one of my studies as well.
The things that I noticed is that there are hints of very subtle implied form in her hat and coat that are missing in yours, and the spots of unpainted area in the blacks are a bit distracting!
Other than that, excellent study! Your brushtrokes are looking quite nice and painterly in the vein of the original piece, especially at the top of the hat.
it is a beauty. Your right eye..her left...is a bit high. great job on the overall values though. keep up the great work.
Thanks for the crits.
I tried to fix the problems spotted:
@ sus.thai I worked zoomed out and couldn't see the subtle variation of value in the hat and dress. As I was adding them I realised how much they add to the form.
@ Jason Manley her left eye is in the right place now.
I also noticed the utmost importance of the dark strokes on the right and the clever decision to sign in the top right corner : without these "limits" the eye wanders and looking at the piece is far less natural and pleasing.
For the second study I chose an abstract painting by Maria Elena Viera da Silva:
I particularly like the rythmic quality in this work, and the sense of space.
There is the repetition of different visual objetcts - verticals, horizontals and diagonals, squares and rectangles, dot clusters - used in countless variations. The use of perspective lines, the distribution of the noise and values, all these elements combine harmoniously to create a feeling of distance, height, volume.
Nothing is clearly stated but a wealth of clues are offered to the spectator, which he is free to use to construct a space he might want to explore.
fabulous work. The portrait is now really close. The second image, the mssterwork seems to have a grid like quality that is barely perceptible in certain areas, that yours is missing, although you are very very close with it.
Keep up the great work.
Study number 3 was a tough one : "le déjeuner des canotiers" (luncheon of the boating party) by Renoir.
Appart the fact that this painting is an absolute blast to look at, I wanted to try and understand how Renoir had balanced the placement of the figures in a harmonious and efficient way.
First I noticed A pattern of straight lines - some implicite, others explicite - dividing the composition into different areas.
The most remarkable is how well the characters are grouped together in order to fit into these boxes, beginning with three mainr groups:
then, three seconadary groups:
What makes me call these secondary is that they are much smaller and lower in value and hence do not attract the eye immediately.
Speaking of attracting the eye, I couldn't help but notice that I tended to follow the same patterns again and again. One seems to be implied by the organisation of value contrasts:
You may also go from face to face, according to their placement and to the direction of the eyes:
And that's all for now. No doubt that there is much more than that in this painting, but I have already learned a wealth of knowledge to digest and - hopefully - use.
super great work. at this point you are getting your shapes and values close. just need more....and as you do speed will increase and you can start getting your smaller details more accurate, like head likeness.
Back to composition studies, it's been a while...
"Joueurs de cartes" by Paul Cézanne
Here we have big, clear, simple value shapes and wonderful silhouettes. The two card players are almost symetricaly designed with the highlight on the bottle as a center line. Subtle variations keep the scene from beeing monotonous: the hats, positions of the heads, wrinkles of the tablecloth, the values. The point of view is not centered, but slightly moved to the right and a bit tilted, and it gives the feeling to be there at a nearby table turning the head to look at the dudes.
I was completely flabbergasted by the mastery of Cézanne on this one: so simple yet so effective.
awesome job. more more more.
keep a close eye on your values. your dark darks on the left side are about five percent too black i think.
keep it up.
@Jason Thanks for the crit, here's an edit:
For the next study, a venetian landscape by Corot:
Here Corot shows his mastery of atmospheric perspective: less contrast and higher values as we go taoward the background. He also uses implied lines and "repoussoirs" in order to help the eye circulate around the painting. It seems so easy...
At this point just keep going. I could nitpick in there but for the time spent you are hitting these at the level they need to be. keep up the great work. really.
@Jason Thanks for the support, much appreciated
Self portrait by Lucian Freud:
I love this painter. Here I wanted to study his mastery of light and form and his terrific brushwork.
whoa...this one just blew my mind. your surfaces are awesome. great job with the entire piece. more more moreeeeee!!!!