Taylor's Composition Exploration

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Thread: Taylor's Composition Exploration

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    Taylor's Composition Exploration

    First study. 50 minutes.

    Name:  2 1 14 Composition Study Toyo SMALL.jpg
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    I learned how to use varied brushes to create texture in this piece. I also realize how important the angle and energy of strokes are, as I didn't get them quite right in the foremost mountain to the right. Additionally, my contrast is too strong, which makes my image feel more aggressive and less harmonious.

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    Name:  2 1 14 Composition Toyo 2 SMALL .jpg
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    Second Study. 42 Minutes.

    I got so caught up in trying to figure out how to get the texture/atmosphere down that I didn't pay close enough attention to the shape/flow of the tree+rock structure. When I zoomed out later I realized mine was squatter and doesn't carry the same continual flow as the original.

    I did learn a lot about line variety. I constantly lost my foreground to my background and had to pull it back out without outlining.

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    Name:  2 1 14 Shin Yun-bok 1805.jpg
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    43 Minutes.

    Had a lot more trouble with this one. The graphic nature of the boat and figures against the more painterly landscape really threw me.

    I tried to focus on getting the overall value balance closer to the original this time. I think I succeeded, and the overall image feels softer and more harmonious.

    I really noticed the rhythm of the figures in the boat. They have the most energy, but are also balanced by regularity. I'd like to spend more time with the rhythm/figures in the future.

    Last edited by autumncoloredmelodie; February 3rd, 2014 at 01:43 AM.
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    you are doing great. I moved your thread to the right forum. The bottom image with the boat is a little off value wise. The others are spot on studies but for a few tiny details. Great work.


    J

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    Name:  2 2 14 Cezanne Lac d'Annecy SMALL.jpg
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    50 minutes. I decided to focus on emphasis/economy to create focal point and movement with this one (rather than focusing on shape/proportion as I had been previously). Cezanne has this incredible way of using thin thin bits of dark or light color against the opposite to create contrast and draw emphasis. I really enjoyed figuring out how to get the house/island to pop even though the tree and clouds have the same amount of contrast.

    While I didn't focus on brush strokes nearly as much in this one, I did learn a lot about how to force and direction of the stroke can help draw the eye around the composition (I tried to capture his eye path of island --> tree --> right water/shoreline --> mountains --> back), and how the rhythm of the lines really unites the entire image.

    Last edited by autumncoloredmelodie; February 3rd, 2014 at 12:10 AM.
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    Name:  2 2 14 van gogh study.jpg
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    50 minutes.

    Van Gogh is truly a master.

    I was so lost in this painting, and felt an overwhelming sense of relief and accomplishment when the painting finally started to illuminate itself 30 or 40 minutes in.

    I decided to focus on emphasis again, studying how Van Gogh used contrast in mark making and value to lead the eye. I really played with how making small marks on a generally broad-stroke painting really leads the eye, and how few of these marks are needed to create emphasis.

    I would love to do another pass on this study looking at shape a little more closely. The rhythm of his curves is divine, and in focusing on emphasis I lost that.

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    keep it up. you are on the right track. I think you already see what needs to be done so I will stay out of the way and look forward to the next update.

    j

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    Name:  2 3 14 Gustave Dore Study.jpg
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    1 hr.

    This one just got away from me. I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone, so I definitely succeeded in that. This image is very linear, very dark, naturalistic, and backlit--all things I tend to stay away from.

    But I spent thirty, forty minutes lost with nothing coming together and in the end decided to just try to focus on trying to create some form of depth in a backlit source, which I feel like I made some progress on. I also realized how much easier time the eye has seeing shades of black than it does shades close to white.

    Perhaps more importantly, I was reminded of how much one's mood affects marks and image making. I had a rough day and I can feel the way my insides feel in the way this painting turned out.

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    just needs more work to get all the shapes drawn in and the values adjusted. it's definitely good to push outside your comfort zone. don't settle for good enough or allowing things to get away.

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    Name:  2 9 14 Cornelis Saftleven A Witches' Sabbath 1650 Dutch.jpg
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    I lived in Chicago for four years, and every time I went to the Art Institute (which was a lot) I found this painting haunting the back of my mind, so I decided to do a study.

    I paid close attention to the balance in this piece, specifically how the witch and her mount on the left balance with the satyr/fawn to the far right. While their brightest values are about equal, the greater contrast on the witch via the silhouette below her combined with the large "halo" behind her make her the primary focus, the fawn the secondary focus, and the middle ground with the frog the tertiary focus.

    I also paid close attention to how overlapping of light and dark were used to create edges and push shapes forward or back in the composition. I didn't nail them all, but I feel more aware of the technique and will pay closer attention next time.

    I also feel like I got a good sense of the radial energy in the piece, as well as the value and appropriate focus points.

    Overall pleased with this study.

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  14. #11
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    You are doing really well with these and it looks like you are learning a lot already. Keep at it. I will look forward to more updates. Great observations too.

    jm

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    Name:  2 10 14 Girl with Pearl Earring.jpg
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    I apparently didn't hit go on my timer and ended up working on this one an hour and a half to an hour 45. I'm happy I did though, as it gave me time to really think about the face and try a couple approached with the shadows. I ultimately realized I'd made the head too wide and was able to correct.

    This painting is deceptively simplistic. I realized too late it has this roundness the the lines (the face, the shadows, the clothing) that move the eye around and really unify the piece. If I did this again, I'd try to capture those curves better (and her glorious slight underbite). I would also make more of an effort to zoom way out on my thumb and get the overall shape right. I started with it right, but it warped as I painted.

    I did try to recreate the focal point of her eyes and the earring, and get the eye to move, which I think worked, and I feel like I am having an easier and easier time seeing and choosing values.

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    If you really pay close attention to those edges, like behind her head or behind her back, you will get these studies a lot closer. I cannot stress how important edge studies are to this process. Keep up the great work.

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    Hi Taylor, very nice work so far! Great choices for the Sesshu pieces, I especially like how you used different brushes in the second landscape to match the original.

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    Name:  2 12 14 Whistler.jpg
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    30 min

    I expected this Whistler to give me trouble after how much I struggled on the Vermeer, but this one just made sense to me. I quit around 30 min because I'd already started overworking it.

    I really thought about unity in this piece, and how the haze pulls everything into a semi-abstract space. Focus is created by either value contrast, or harder edges.

    I really enjoy how the dark figure pops in such an otherwise low-contrast image.

    I'm starting to realize I am very drawn to modernism and the movements overlapping with it (Tonalism, Impressionism, etc.) Really French/American 1860-1920 you can't go wrong with me. Atmosphere and shape make a lot more sense to me than naturalism. I also am good with Japanese brush paintings, but as these influenced Impressionism, etc, that's not surprising.

    That said, I want to keep pushing myself to learn about the things I am less drawn to/good at. I learned a lot more on the Vermeer and the Doré, even though I was less happy with my images.

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    This one is really close. Great job. The perspective on your light shape on the ground is a little less in perspective than the masterwork but outside that I think this one is exactly where you need your studies to be for this assignment. nice job.

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    Thanks for all the encouragement, Jason!

    Name:  2 13 14 Noyes.jpg
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    45 min.

    Really into how this painter used the dark darks to create a focal point in the lower left.

    Was less into the brushstrokes, at least the marks on top. They felt ornamental and less elegant than a Van Gogh or Monet.

    That said, I like how I got into this painting better. I tried to focus on strokes/swathes of pigment rather than on creating "things" or "forms". By trying to represent to small shapes of gray I saw, the forms emerged on their own.

    I continue to be interested in my fascination with atmosphere and mark making, but my apparent lack of interest in nailing forms/representation. Perhaps part of it is a fear of trying with a "real" form and failing, in a way that I am not scared of abstract space because it isn't anything but itself. I find the Whistler, Van Goghs, and the like unpretentious and welcoming, where I found the Vermeer intimidating, cold, and difficult.

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    Interesting. Those who love to render would find these painterly images the exact opposite...challenging, difficult even. It is ok that you have a preference toward the painterly. However, do not listen to the voice that keeps you from pushing through that part of your studies. You can always come back to it. The fully representational requires total honesty, as even the slightest mark off and it breaks apart. Painterly images can have more mood for me, abstractly, and I enjoy that, but they are far more forgiving in terms of missing a mark here or there. Watch your proportions...the background is pulled closer to the viewer in yours.

    great work...and keep it up. You will find more truth if you do.


    Jason

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    I spent some time looking at other threads (for artists, techniques, and critiques) as well as thinking about your last critique, Jason. It seems like the shape/space issue is a major obstacle at this stage for a lot of artists, so I wanted to spend some time really trying to get that right, and wanted to pull some new artists into my vocabulary.

    I also saw someone post process, which I thought was really helpful to see and to have critiqued -- so here's my go at that with an NY Wyeth piece.

    Name:  NCWyeth 1.jpg
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    Name:  NCWyeth 4.jpg
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    I definitely found myself favoring the tree and background, but when I caught myself doing this I gave myself permission to make an ugly painting and then just started playing with the figures. They came out better (and less ugly) than expected.

    I also accidentally worked on the PDF after scaling down to 800 px wide, but was surprised to find this size easier to work at (versus scaling down at the end). It didn't allow me to obsess, so I made bigger choices and committed. I also played around with using a texture overlay to mimic the paint texture, and I think I want to use that again.

    As for the study, I'm really interested in how few brights there are--really none besides the highlights on the standing figure, who is the focal point. The silhouetting of the figures makes the piece feel very dramatic, but the high-key background really evokes the quiet hard-to-see effect snow has.

    I didn't nail the difference in edges between the background and figures, but I am aware of it and want to work toward it in future pieces.

    I don't know that this was my favorite study, but it's certainly the one I am most proud of thus far, and I want to push to feel that way as often as possible rather than sticking to things I know I can reproduce fairly easily.

    Edit: For the sake of consistency:

    Name:  NCWyeth 5 copy.jpg
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    Last edited by autumncoloredmelodie; February 15th, 2014 at 09:11 PM.
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  28. #20
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    Name:  12 15 14 Sargent .jpg
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    Sargent is a favorite of mine, and this may be my all time favorite painting. I'm glad I waited to tackle it until now.

    I really tried to focus on the figure, as they have been intimidating me. I succeeded with her so much better than I expected to, but I can see I let the background fall to do that. I need to try not to fixate too much on the part of the paintings I enjoy most.

    I love how he uses the two bright white areas of her dress and "hat" to make her face the focus, even though her face is in shadow. I also originally omitted the tiny architectural details on the upper right corner and couldn't figure out why my painting felt uneven. Amazing what those tiny marks do.

    I'm realizing my perspective/architectural rendering is really poor. I'd like to work on that, as it comes up a lot.

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  29. #21
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    Your value range in the wyeth and the sargent are super close. Very nice. Your edges and shapes could be more accurate in both. Great studied though. I look forward to the next update. Keep working on this stuff with your shapes and edges. Be as honest as you can be in regards to those.

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    Do you have an recommendations for achieving varied edges digitally? I have been playing with different brushes but haven't had much luck consistently getting the edges I want.

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  31. #23
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    You have to typically make three marks to get one brushstroke that you could with a real paint brush. It just takes extra carving around with the soft, sharp, and textured brushes.

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    Name:  2 25 14 George Inness.jpg
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    Right around an hour.

    Really tried to flip the canvas often and make major corrections no matter how deep in I'd gotten. Thinking a lot about varied edges and shapes.

    Still have more work to do, but feels like it's going the right way.

    Really interested in the use of contrast around the ground and shadows of the trees/woman. Also in the way rhythm/repetition of strong dark verticals makes the woman sort of a tree herself, and how the horizon, log, and water intersect that to create contrast.

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    Let's get a texture brush introduced into paintings like this, as the texture/surface is super key to the edge qualities in the original. also you seem to be a little contrasty from the horizon up. keep a close eye on your values.


    nice start on this too.


    j

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    Name:  2 27 14 innes 2.jpg
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    Tried another Inness using texture brushes this time. I don't think I quite got it, but feels closer than the last one.

    I noticed how the cloud, tree, and man make a triangle that gives the eye both somewhere to rest and creates movement. The bulging shapes of the clouds and trees produce repetition and rhythm that unify the piece, as do the marks indicating clumps of grass/foliage on the ground.

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  36. #27
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    great job on your values and shapes. If you will introduce a texture brush for these paintings where surface is so important you will see your edges get closer and also the overall feel of the piece will match a lot better. surface is important. keep an eye on that.


    j

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    Do you have any brush recommendations? I have really been struggling with figuring out how to achieve surface.

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    Name:  2 27 14 Master Study.jpg
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    Pulled a John Alexander white painting from the daily master copy challenge. Trying to broaden my artist base. Really enjoyed working from him -- love his brush strokes and the fluidity of his composition.

    Really tried to focus on edge and texture in this one.

    Compositionally, I noticed the woman's strong triangular form, combined with her arm being the largest bright area, make her the focal point. The reflection int eh fishbowl and the bottom of the poster/painting on the wall above the fishbowl make a secondary triangle with her and balance out the piece.

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    Name:  2 28 14 master copy.jpg
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    Another John White Alexander.

    What I love about this painting is all the curves that give it movement even though she's just lying down. The curve in the wall, her dress, the floor -- everything is rounded and keeps your eye moving.

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