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Thread: RaliVanMinks - Composition 1.1

  1. #31
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    Awesome job on these last two. Your value control is getting better and better. Great job on the sharpness you achieved in the foreground of #10. If you put a sharpen filter over #9 and #10 I think it would make them even closer.

    I'm a bit unsure as to how much to zoom in when doing the details, without losing trace of the ref. So mostly, I keep it zoomed out and work on it as it is. Will have to figure out another way to approach these studies.
    I think keeping zoomed out for these studies is probably your best bet. What I personally found helpful in my later studies was to lay in everything with those textured brushes, then to achieve sharpness, I went over certain forms and edges with a hard round- size jitter on, but with full opacity and flow. At first it scared me, because it was out of my comfort zone and it looked terrible up close. If I kept it zoomed out, it looked pretty good. It sped up my process a lot, I learned more about choosing the appropriate values, and I think it's appropriate for this type of study. I also used the sharpen tool or sharpen filters sometimes. Just something to think about.

    Honestly, all in all, these are really great.

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    Thank you Agerkvist!

    The key is to start doing. The rest falls into place eventually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpysaur View Post
    Awesome job on these last two. Your value control is getting better and better. Great job on the sharpness you achieved in the foreground of #10. If you put a sharpen filter over #9 and #10 I think it would make them even closer.



    I think keeping zoomed out for these studies is probably your best bet. What I personally found helpful in my later studies was to lay in everything with those textured brushes, then to achieve sharpness, I went over certain forms and edges with a hard round- size jitter on, but with full opacity and flow. At first it scared me, because it was out of my comfort zone and it looked terrible up close. If I kept it zoomed out, it looked pretty good. It sped up my process a lot, I learned more about choosing the appropriate values, and I think it's appropriate for this type of study. I also used the sharpen tool or sharpen filters sometimes. Just something to think about.

    Honestly, all in all, these are really great.

    Thank you so much Grumpy! :o) I´m really glad there is a slight improvement. I will try the sharpen filter and see if it makes it somewhat better. It sounds also time-saving. I really want to get the sharpness with my brushwork though.. just knowing I can do it, makes it better for me to choose later on an easier way. But I will definitely try it out.

    Your suggestion on the brushwork is great. I think the fact I use about 50% fill might be one of the reasons I don't get nearly close to where I should. Out of the comfort zone it is, then. And I'll make sure to try the textured block in (I kind of did that with the trees on #10, erased with a hard eraser brush, but still.. blurry). You're probably right about the appropriate values though, it totally makes sense to get closer to those this way.

    Thank you so much for the tips!! I hope the next ones get closer to accuracy and crispness. :o)))

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    Try blocking out the big shapes with a hard 100% opacity brush at first - it looks weird at first, but remember you're only doing that to get the shapes right, you can soften them up later if need be. It's much harder the other way around, at least it is for me. I've tried just blocking in values and shapes real quick with a softer brush, but cleaning up the lines afterwards can be alot of work unless you're really precise to begin with in my experience - which isn't all that great tbh

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  7. #35
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    fabulous job. my only comment is to really double check your edges at the very end as you can go a little soft, like around the trees for example. keep up the great work.

    jm

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    Thank you Jason and Agerkvist. I hope this time it's a biiiit crispier. Still loads to learn and tons of practice to get where I need, but, it's coming.

    Next study. Have one week off, so will try to wrap things up as from May I'll be dead busy. This one was done entirely with 100% opacity and flow, as kindly suggested by Grumpysaur & Agerkvist, so I hope it's not as blurry this time. I checked the sharpen filter, but it only made some brush strokes a little too sharp.. I think I enjoyed this approach a lot more - less frustration involved, at least in terms of edges. I applied a lighter middle value than I actually should have, but otherwise I think doing that helps to establish a base to work on making it visually easier, at least for me. The body and head *and posture* are a bit off, and there are also some parts that could use a bit more tweaking, but I spent waaaay more time on this one, so I think that is it for now. So here goes:



    Name:  11A.Ancher900.png
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    Anna Ancher is one of the Skagen painters, inspired by the Impressionists, and therefore many of their paintings focus on light. This particular painting is beautiful, even though very modest in its theme. There is balance, economy and unity throughout the entire piece. The figure's blouse is the darkest dark broken by her skirt and being followed by the dark shadow on the floor. The other dark that the eye falls on is the door, although it "washes out" at its end. The kitchen counter's right side is in balance with the low left corner, where the groceries lie on the table, which depict a certain rhythm and difference in size, shape and placement, as well as value and repetition. The same goes for the objects on the counter. In terms of light, there's a similar pattern: lights are being balanced out by darker values, hence also giving a certain rhythmic quality to the painting. Economy is present in various places here, including all the objects on the counter and the table, details and the walls, which would otherwise distract interrupt the eye from running its course around the image. After observing the entire piece, eventually the eye exits on the right where the door is ajar, and the lighter wall serves again as a balancing element for the composition.

    Last edited by RaliVanMinks; April 15th, 2014 at 04:50 AM. Reason: typos
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    You've made amazing progress! This last one is really great. However I see a bit of a scale issue. The table the woman stands in front is wider than in the original. You can spot it especially if you look at the right side of the painting. There's less space between the cabinet (or whatever it is) and the edge of the painting. I also think the woman is at least a bit wider or bigger than in the original...

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    The woman's cast shadow and table leg could be darker. . . but overall. . . wow! Excellent hard work on those edges. Looks really great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomasBj View Post
    You've made amazing progress! This last one is really great. However I see a bit of a scale issue. The table the woman stands in front is wider than in the original. You can spot it especially if you look at the right side of the painting. There's less space between the cabinet (or whatever it is) and the edge of the painting. I also think the woman is at least a bit wider or bigger than in the original...
    Thank you for the feedback Tomas! Yes, I notice the difference now. I was so focused on getting the other parts right, that I totally disregarded the left side where the wall is. I could see the figure and there seemed to be a shortage of space on the right side, so I should have been more careful with the big shapes and proportions from the start. Or else, this is what it leads to. Need to keep that in mind. Thanks!


    @Grumpysaur: Thank you! Still not there, but hopefully getting closer with those edges. I notice it now, the shadow. Still need to work on those darkest darks, as I'm off by a value or two. I need to be more bold with those it seems. I will keep it in mind for the next ones.

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    Wow you are making great progress. I'm feeling inspired. How long did the last picture take?

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    Thanks for your uplifting comment in my thread

    The progress you made is awe-inspiring, I hope I can follow that route too. The one with the trees is the best so far in my opinion, the values are really close, the edges sharp, just great. And I am sure the next one will be even better ... looking forward to it

    Look what I did! Vep's sketchbook
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    fabulous job!!

    this is exactly the level you need to hit consistently. great work.

    my only crit is you seemed to have made her torso and head a tiny bit larger/wider but outside that i think for this type of study you nailed it.


    jm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex-Spectator View Post
    Wow you are making great progress. I'm feeling inspired. How long did the last picture take?
    Thank you! I'm still trying to figure out how to approach these. To be honest,
    I didn't really keep track that time. It was... too long to end up with the
    mistakes I made. Worked on it about three days, but not continuously, a couple
    of hours here and there.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vep View Post
    Thanks for your uplifting comment in my thread

    The progress you made is awe-inspiring, I hope I can follow that route too. The one with the trees is the best so far in my opinion, the values are really close, the edges sharp, just great. And I am sure the next one will be even better ... looking forward to it

    You're most welcome Vep! And thank you very much! I liked the Shishkin's trees most, as well. It was quite
    calming to do those, compared to the other ones, where frustration dominated mostly. Thanks a lot for the
    encouragement. Really appreciate it!


    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Manley View Post
    fabulous job!!

    this is exactly the level you need to hit consistently. great work.

    my only crit is you seemed to have made her torso and head a tiny bit larger/wider but outside that i think for this type of study you nailed it.


    jm

    Thank you for the feedback, Jason! Yes, the figure came out a bit larger than it should have, I seem to
    be be off with most of my proportions and I need to work on that a lot. Besides the edge problem I have.
    I also keep forgetting to flip the canvas every now and then, so that's also something I need to be doing
    more.

    The key is to start doing. The rest falls into place eventually.

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    Ok, so I finally started my 12th one. I'm 2 hrs in, and I saved 2 wip shots, as I'm not entirely
    sure how to go about this one. I mostly chose this painting so I could get some perspective practice
    going, plus I love Jean-Léon Gérôme's paintings. I don't know if I'm working slow or I'm not bold
    enough with the brushtrokes, but I had to stop after spending a good amount of minutes on details -
    again. So, just to break this habit and take a break from it for a while. Hope I get to finish this
    by tomorrow. Any comments and merciless critique especially is highly encouraged & appreciated!

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  18. #45
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    Great Anna Ancher study Rali - great stuff! The Skagen are from Denmark just like me and I have a hard time mentioning any of them. I should be ashamed. /edit - I can think of one. That's all ><

    Comments on the WIP...hmm...well I can't wait to see those crips edges when you're done Something about the perspective looks abit off, but I can't put my finger on it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Great Anna Ancher study Rali - great stuff! The Skagen are from Denmark just like me and I have a hard time mentioning any of them. I should be ashamed.

    Comments on the WIP...hmm...well I can't wait to see those crips edges when you're done Something about the perspective looks abit off, but I can't put my finger on it.

    Last edited by Agerkvist; April 17th, 2014 at 04:24 PM.
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  19. #46
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    You're showing some great progress on this thread! Well done! #11 is particularly nice.

    Good start on 12. I think you could be a little bolder in the initial lay in, for instance marking the darkest dark and lightest light right away. I find it easier to get my values right when I have the whole range down to compare to, but I guess that's personal preference.

    I can see that your soft edges are a recurring problem, so I'll try to give a couple tips on that (I'm a big believer that if you find a chronic problem, you should hit it dead on, so I hope this doesn't come across as harsh!)
    I think that you are using brushes that are too soft and/or too low of opacity for your current needs. Those brushes have their place, but I think they are exacerbating your problem. A lot of people when relatively new to digital painting seem to gravitate towards airbrushes and other squishy brushes (including me), and I never really figured out why.
    A suggestion: Try doing a few more studies (any study, doesn't have be one of these studies) with 100% or near 100% opacity, like you did in #11. Use a hard round brush so your edges are razor sharp. Try and get those hard edges ingrained into your mind, and get used to your strokes looking harsh at times, before you go back to doing the soft stuff. It may also help you when blocking in shapes because it forces you to kind of fill things in, like a paint-by-number, and you have to carry each shape until it's very edge instead of building up the middle and letting the edges kind of disappear. It might look terrible at first but that doesn't matter, what matters is that you are physically unable to create soft edges, and you are forced to be bold.
    Also, the sharpen filter can be a helpful tool, but I wouldn't rely on it too much. Better to learn how to do the sharp edges yourself, and then use the filter for quick and handy fixes once you have the basics down.

    Anyway, not sure I described that well, but hope it helps. You're improving a lot already, can't wait to see the rest of your studies!

    Last edited by Dahlia; April 17th, 2014 at 08:30 PM.
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    Yep number 11 is super sweet, great progress! Think Dahlia has given an accurate and comprehensive crit, I would take this advice. Don't know how others approach things but personally I never use the airbrush or change the opacity/flow. 100 percent all the time and just rely on pressure sensitivity and brush type for edges. Guess everyone probably works differently, but don't be afraid to try new things as you progress. It's all a learning curve Anyhow, keep up the great work!

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    Merciless, hmm? :-) The perspective problem Agerkvist mentions is mostly about your vertical brushstrokes and a few vertical lines marking the stones. They are angled slightly too much to the right. Its most evident on the upper right corner and the large seam in front of the man. This creates a feeling that the wall is slightly leaning (or curving). If you look at the stones in front of the man's head and especially compare the exact position of the lighter stone and its vertical edge, do you see the difference?

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    @Agerkvist:
    Great Anna Ancher study Rali - great stuff! The Skagen are from Denmark just like me and I have a hard time mentioning any of them. I should be ashamed. /edit - I can think of one. That's all ><

    Comments on the WIP...hmm...well I can't wait to see those crips edges when you're done Something about the perspective looks abit off, but I can't put my finger on it.
    Thank you! Really? You're from DK? That's awesome! I only know about them because I read
    about det Moderne Gennembrud in my Danish class, so, got really interested.

    Thanks you! Working on that perspective.. fell a bit short of time today.


    @Dahlia:
    I think you could be a little bolder in the initial lay in, for instance marking the darkest dark and lightest light right away. I find it easier to get my values right when I have the whole range down to compare to, but I guess that's personal preference.

    I can see that your soft edges are a recurring problem, so I'll try to give a couple tips on that (I'm a big believer that if you find a chronic problem, you should hit it dead on, so I hope this doesn't come across as harsh!)
    I think that you are using brushes that are too soft and/or too low of opacity for your current needs. Those brushes have their place, but I think they are exacerbating your problem. A lot of people when relatively new to digital painting seem to gravitate towards airbrushes and other squishy brushes (including me), and I never really figured out why.
    A suggestion: Try doing a few more studies (any study, doesn't have be one of these studies) with 100% or near 100% opacity, like you did in #11. Use a hard round brush so your edges are razor sharp. Try and get those hard edges ingrained into your mind, and get used to your strokes looking harsh at times, before you go back to doing the soft stuff. It may also help you when blocking in shapes because it forces you to kind of fill things in, like a paint-by-number, and you have to carry each shape until it's very edge instead of building up the middle and letting the edges kind of disappear. It might look terrible at first but that doesn't matter, what matters is that you are physically unable to create soft edges, and you are forced to be bold.
    Also, the sharpen filter can be a helpful tool, but I wouldn't rely on it too much. Better to learn how to do the sharp edges yourself, and then use the filter for quick and handy fixes once you have the basics down.

    Anyway, not sure I described that well, but hope it helps. You're improving a lot already, can't wait to see the rest of your studies!
    Thanks so much for the encouragement! Very much appreciated! I'll do my best being bolder with
    these.. I do seem to tread lightly for some reason.

    The brush issue, that's the weird part: I don't even use a soft brush. And since #11, I keep both
    my flow and opacity at 100% and my brush's hardness at 100%. The only thing I have ticked on is the
    texture in the settings. Maybe that could be an issue? I honestly don't know anymore. For this lay-in
    I used Matt Kohr's blocking in brush, which is hard. Maybe I should check the airbrush option is ticked off?

    I tried the sharpen filter on the one I'm working on, it definitely got better, but I don't want to rely on that
    yet. So back to experimenting it is. Thank you so much Dahlia for the in-depth comment on this, I'll do my best
    to get better at this, hopefully before I finish my thread.


    @Bri:
    Don't know how others approach things but personally I never use the airbrush or change the opacity/flow. 100 percent all the time and just rely on pressure sensitivity and brush type for edges. Guess everyone probably works differently, but don't be afraid to try new things as you progress.
    Thanks a lot for stopping by and for the feedback! I think the key word is airbrush, just like
    you said.. that might be exactly why I'm in such mess. So I'll make sure to check it's not on.
    Progress is all this is about, you're more than right about that.


    @samwaulu:
    Merciless, hmm? :-) The perspective problem Agerkvist mentions is mostly about your vertical brushstrokes and a few vertical lines marking the stones. They are angled slightly too much to the right. Its most evident on the upper right corner and the large seam in front of the man. This creates a feeling that the wall is slightly leaning (or curving). If you look at the stones in front of the man's head and especially compare the exact position of the lighter stone and its vertical edge, do you see the difference?

    Yup, the more the better Thanks a lot for pointing that out, I hadn't noticed it before, but now I do.
    I don't know if it's any better on the 3rd wip below, but I only managed to work half an hour on this today,
    so I'll try to be more careful and fix it. It's so nice to get a fresh perspective on these things.



    Thank you so much for stopping by guys, really appreciate the help and comments!
    Didn't get to do much.. but here's another wip shot. Was flipping the canvas
    horizontally and vertically, the latter helping more in terms of not thinking
    about what I'm doing. I'll get back at it tomorrow.

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  23. #50
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    this is a challenging piece as the shapes on the ground plane are so key to making it work, spacially and compositionally. Secondly your values could be a little closer. Nice study so far. do keep up the goo work.

    jm

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    this is a challenging piece as the shapes on the ground plane are so key to making it work, spacially and compositionally. Secondly your values could be a little closer. Nice study so far. do keep up the goo work.
    Thanks Jason, it was more than challenging, and unfortunately I've already spent way to long for this one.. so I'm afraid the floor patterns will be left incomplete.. I underestimated the details in this painting and this is what I have after about 7 hrs.

    In the end the purpose of doing this study sort of fell apart, as for 4 of these hours I was just going around looking at tiny portions trying to make it look like the original. It's still off at many parts, but I have no strength left to keep working on this. While I noticed a few things light-wise and got more certain about why this piece works composition-wise, I was mostly focused on my many shortcomings in terms of working digitally - again. This time though I ticked off the airbrush option, so the brush worked better, although sometimes even if texture was ticked on, there came no texture. Anywho, here goes:

    Name:  12.J.L.Gerome900.png
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    I chose this painting because I love Gérôme's works, and also because I was naive enough to want to practice my perspective skills this way. :o) The theme is pretty simple in terms of perspective and the focus area is the standing figure. There is a certain rhythm to the wall as well as the pattern on the floor (also evident design principles of economy and repetition here), which balances out the vertical line that is the figure. There is variety of contrast and rhythm in the values on the wall: the darkest dark is the hat and the plants growing on the wall, which alternate some light areas in a zig-zag-like manner. This can also be interpreted visually as a marker that points downwards to the figure, when the eye tends to leave the picture at the top or right.


    And with that, nr. 12 complete. :o)
    Happy Easter to everyone celebrating, and.. I think spring is finally here! :o)

    Last edited by RaliVanMinks; April 21st, 2014 at 03:32 PM.
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    Ok, some merciless stuff coming up.. Stop calling yourself naive! You did a good job on that vertical in front of the man. But I see you got a bit distracted and maybe daunted by the apparent intricacy of the ground and because of that forgot also the upper right of the picture.. I think that you have been following the edges of individual stones (?) instead of establishing a perspective grid.

    On the original pic, look at the heels of the man. Now find the thin lines that start there and follow their advance all the way to right edge of the picture. You'll find similar lines to right and left of the man's feet. There might be small bumps due to some stones in the way, but they are fairly direct, maybe 20 degree angle lines. If you look at the bottom of the wall, you find the angle of the lines from left to right edge. This is your perspective grid for the ground that you should draw there first, the rest of the stone edges will be much easier then, just kinda cutting the grid to pieces.

    As for the wall, same thing, perspective grid first. Don't let the texture fool you, the vertical lines separating the stones are mostly 90 degree straight up, like walls often are. Yours have maybe 3 degrees tilt, which is not much, but it kinda gets amplified the higher that wall is. If you put a ruler or an edge of piece of paper in top of your screen and move it over the pic, you'll spot the vertical differences fast and easy.

    Anyway, I get the "no strenght" part.. felt that way couple of times myself with these pics. So don't drive yourself up that wall, it's better to enjoy the spring (It's already here too! Close to +15 celsius day temperature this early, wooo! )

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    Merciless is exactly my cup of tea!

    Honestly, if you hadn't mentioned that corner Samwaulu, I wouldn't have noticed -
    I was sooo consumed with.. everything else that I complete forgot that.
    And yes, I eventually followed corner after corner - the "grid" or rough thing
    I laid out initially was full of misread vis. information, and I could barely see
    what I was doing when zoomed out, so, I glued my face to the screen and.. yeah.

    On the original pic, look at the heels of the man. Now find the thin lines that start there and follow their advance all the way to right edge of the picture. You'll find similar lines to right and left of the man's feet. There might be small bumps due to some stones in the way, but they are fairly direct, maybe 20 degree angle lines. If you look at the bottom of the wall, you find the angle of the lines from left to right edge. This is your perspective grid for the ground that you should draw there first, the rest of the stone edges will be much easier then, just kinda cutting the grid to pieces.

    As for the wall, same thing, perspective grid first. Don't let the texture fool you, the vertical lines separating the stones are mostly 90 degree straight up, like walls often are. Yours have maybe 3 degrees tilt, which is not much, but it kinda gets amplified the higher that wall is. If you put a ruler or an edge of piece of paper in top of your screen and move it over the pic, you'll spot the vertical differences fast and easy.
    ^ This is precious, thank you so much! It makes a LOT more sense if you
    put it this way. It didn't even occur to me to look for those details, and both
    verticals and horizontals make perfect sense this way. Now you make me wanna go
    and fix things up! I will take a breather from this one for a few days first.

    I'm happy to hear that! Although by the time spring actually kicks in, it will
    already be time for the summer! But after cold weather and windy adventures,
    15/17 Celsius sounds dreamy!

    The key is to start doing. The rest falls into place eventually.

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  28. #54
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    I am in agreement. I love seeing such great crits coming in from everyone. Thanks. Good progress...just need to keep focused on accuracy of shape, value and edge and you will continue to climb. keep it up.

    jm

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