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Hi all !
Jason was right this was a lot of fun! It is my first time doing studies and I didn't know how very differently and deeply you can perceive a picture doing this kind of studies..
I know that I didn't really measure well the proportions, I just didn't really wanted to get back and correct them because this was not the idea, I had to understand the idea as a hole and move forward. I will be watching these mistakes in the next studies.
For now, just two works:
1. Edouard Manet - Luncheon on the Grass
I tried to keep an eye on every point discussed in the lesson, but I didn't find all of them in this piece. There is rythm represented by the tree trunks - some are very near, others farther creating this playful rhythm, like jumping right-left-right-left-.. in the picture and creating a continuity that leads to the woman who is washing in the river and even after her. This continuity is also enhanced by the light in the forest, leading the eye to the horizon behind the dressed woman.There is definitely unity presented by the triangle composition of the figures with the emphasis on the naked woman, especially her being the single figure looking at us directly.Balance is created by the triangle composition and also by the man on the right leaning on his hand and the canvas with food on the opposite side.
I saw less economy, maybe just in the trees, and not so much repetition, maybe also in the tree leaves. Variety, in the tree trunk direction ?
2. Jacques-Louis David - The death of Marat.
Beautiful Balance here that I didn't see earlier: figure of Marat on the left and light on the wall on the right and also economy on the wall behind Marat, emphasizing him. The emphasis is also realized by the very detailed wrinkles on the scarf on his head and the light hitting directly from above.
I don't really understand the role of the table in the composition. I guess it is also for the balance, keeping the weight on the bottom of the image. Variety can be found in the wrinkles of all the cloth in the painting. Continuity maybe in the bathtub that comes out of the image.
Ah, also a nice thing I noticed - the emphasis of the feather in Marats right hand, it is intentionally positioned on that black background to emphasize that he was writing a letter, as the paper in his left hand in also emphasizes being the brightest object in the scene.
Great work on the analysis. Your overall values are a bit more contrasty than the originals. The top one has a bit too much black in the background I think and the format of yours doesn't quite match so the figures are not placed as accurately as they could be. The second is way better that way, but could match the original's values more accurately as well. Keep it up!
Thanks Jason for the feedback, I cannot imagine how you manage to respond to everybody !
Nest one - 3. Goya - Saturn Devouring his son
It's a very dark work, I could feel it especially while doing the study and thinking about the theme.
I didn't see rhythm at first, but then, while doing the study I saw it very well, the arms and legs form straight lines that somehow lead the eye towards the upper part, towards Saturns head. Also lines formed by Saturn are crossed by the lines formed by his sons body. Emphasis is on Saturns eyes and his sons body as they are the most lit parts in the work. Also the hands are more detailed than other parts in the picture, emphasizing the action of devouring something madly (the madness is also illustrated by Saturns eyes). A lot of economy used on the background and lower part of the painting - Saturns legs are barely drawn, but they balance very well the entire picture. Continuity is show by Saturn stepping out of the image(or better not stepping entirely into the image as though in a hurry to finish his task.)
Last edited by terusan; February 2nd, 2014 at 12:05 PM.
look at the big shape breakup that happens around the bite and the torso of the figure...that whole area makes a certain pattern of shapes that is not as obvious in your image. nice start. love that painting...super moody.
Thanks Jason ! I think I understand what you mean. It's a little more contrast on the torso from the blood. I will keep this in mind.
The next study is by a Romanian painter - Nicolae Grigorescu.
4. The gypsy from Gherghani. Because I love this painting, It came out to be a proper, long study, rather than a sketchy one(although the golden coins were done in a hurry), I tried to get most on the important details and it took me considerably more than one hour to finish it. I apologize for breaking the rules I will stick to them in future studies, because otherwise I might never finish the assignment..
What struck me the most about this painting is realizing during the study that the crispness in the image is give by small light reflections on the points of interest in the image: the face(eyes, nose, chin), the golden coins around the neck and the vessel in the bottom right corner - that is some nice emphasis there. Then there is economy in the lower part of the image - hands are not seen at all, the belt and the shadows on the dark cloth are merely brute lines. The second point of interest in the breast area, that is emphasized by the detailed white cloth and the contrast between it and the skin.
There is also this interesting rhythm and unity given by the lines of clothes and the alternation of white-gray clothing. Note that the head has dark area included in the light frame and the torso has it the other way around - light cloth included in the dark cloth frame. This effect gives some stability to the image and determines the hierarchy of the motives in the painting: first the head, then the breast, then the vessel. The vessel is there to discharge all the tension/concentration on the portrait, that would otherwise be imposed by the painting, it seems to say "Here is a composition of a young woman with a vessel, it is not only a woman portrait", but of course it is, just that the painter lets us decide that, which makes it so much more enjoyable..
sorry for the long analysis
Another artist I'll have to check out, really interesting to get to know something new.
And the long analysis, at least personally, I think is great. Especially the part about
hierarchy was interesting to read your take on. :o)
great work. still a bit off on some of the shapes, which I am confident you can get tightened up as you work. for example..her head scarf is bigger and wider on yours above. keep an eye on that stuff!
5. Egon Schiele - Selbstporträt mit Lampionfrüchten
I didn't really expect it to be so hard, but the irregularities of the portrait were rather hard to copy/sketch. Anyway I am happy with the progress I make. This one went really fast, about 35-40 mins.
This painting has a very strong emphasis on the eye, that feels positioned almost in the center of the whole painting, being also framed in the center of the gray triangle behind the painter. There is definitely economy used on his clothes, but the overall style is still maintained, giving his jacket a little texture there. There is also a strange rhythm and diversity given by the Lampion flowers in the background.
Turn the images upside down or sideways rotated so that you stop seeing it as a portrait and start just seeing it as a layout of shapes and edges. Also if you can create a brush that suggests some of the brush quality of the original it will translate better. Keep up the good work.
Thanks for the comments. In the following entries I tried to apply some of your advice(not always successful though )
I decided to stick to the thumbnail studies and not spend more than 40-50 minutes per study, hence these will look more like studies of form and composition than accurate copies.
6. Rembrandt - Head of a bearded man.
Economy is used on the fabric, maybe also a little on the hair. But the hair also plays a role in
emphasis by creating a contrast to drive attention to the forehead, the face. Emphasis on the face
is also created by multiple wrinkles, very crisp and detailed.
7. Edouard Manet - Olympia
I felt a smooth rhythm in all the curves created by the nude and also by the black womans canvas form.
These waves give a calm, relaxing rhythm to the picture. Emphasis is of course on the two
bodies, given mainly by the contrast of their skin/cloth and the background. One thing that
impressed me here was the subtle emphasis on these two figures given by the gray lines in the
background, that seem to shine upon the figure, like two scenic lights. They focus the
viewers attention on the subjects in an absolutely non-aggresive way, just as the mood of the
whole picture is.
Variety is used on the bed canvas, which is drawn in great detail and brings the viewers attention
to the front, it states: here is the main subject. The balance in the image is as smooth as the
rest of the elements: the girl leans to the left, while her maid to the right.
Manet is just my favourite painter, thats why I'm so excited to comment him
8. Turner - Fort Vimieux
Plenty of economy used here and so bautifully the painter leaves this landscape to our imagination.
By making the two "non-natural" elements - crisp, the painter emphasises them.
I tried to use here some custom brushes, as Jason suggested, in order to simulate the original brush.
Not very succesfully, but I am working my way through learning to use custom brushes. I guess
photoshop is not very friendly for digital painting. Will try something else these days.
9. Modigliani - Franz Hellens
This one came out pretty bad, but I decided to still put it up here and count it among those 20.
Here I tried painting the whole thing upside down and this might be the cause, but I was also tired after
about 5 hours of drawing.
Again, economy is used here on the fabric and background, but the face is emphasized by the use of color
and also a smoother shadows, not as grungy as the rest of the elements. Maybe there is also continuity
by leaving his body out of the frame and abruptly cutting the tie and the shirt.
10. John Singer Sargent's Portrait of Miss Dorothy Vickers
This one is alwo an upside down drawing. A bit better than the last one, but still I don't think I like it,
I cannot see the mistakes but at the end. But still I get the idea, of detaching from the
way we perceive certain elements. I think the most productive way is to occasionally switch between
horizontal mirror and vertical mirror in order to better notice the mistakes.
So here I noticed some repetition nicely placed behind and in front of the character - the
building behind the girl and the ornaments on her dress. This creates a strange stabilisation
of the image as though the girl is caught between two planes. Economy is found on her dress
as the emphasis should be on her face, her eyes. The contrast given by her hair and face skin makes an
even bigger impact on emphasis.
11. Nikolaos Gyzis - Boy With Cherries
Economy is used on the boys pants. They are basically not distinguishable, but
exactly this space gives the image the necessary discharge created by the very detailed elements
in the upper part of the image. In this sense there is some rhythm in the image, a route
that starts at the chest of the boy continues to the cherries(also the direction of the right hand)
and then the face. Emphasis is created by the details on the boys shirt as well as the contrast.
Variety is part of the technique, shown with great skill on the shirt wrinkles. It is used also for
the epmhasis of the boys figure and face. Balance is created by the light on the background.
You are doing a very good job with your values. Awesome. When you are first getting started it is very important to really focus in on the mapping out of your shapes as accurately as you can possibly get them. If you put a shape in the wrong place and commit you end up having the other shapes off and require fixing, which increases painting time. By taking just a few extra minutes early on to measure out your shapes, to compare your shapes, and be sure they are placed and drawn accurately will make the rest of the painting process, working out your values and edges, much much easier.
You should flip the images horizontally and vertically so that you see the shapes with fresh eyes. This should be part of the process and if you are already doing that, keep doing it more. The professional artists will often flip images or use a mirror to see with fresh eyes as many as three or four times a minute as they are working when things really get flowing. You can also back away...actually get up and back away...and doing this works for shapes as well as checking values and edges. Keep up the good work too.
12. Picasso - Celestine
about 1.5 hours
I paid a little bit more attention to proportions and form.
I noticed much economy to this work with emphasis on the face where we find a lot of details.
Nice to see you're progressing with these! I find it sometimes hard to get the measurements right, so I usually cross-check how to forms relate to each other in terms of angles. It's usually harder for me with portraits, which is why I drag a ruler line occasionally to check the distance/position and then fix something where necessary. Just thought to share, in case it helps. Looking forward to seeing your next ones!
yeah, Thanks RaliVanMinks for the tips, I was already kind of doing that but didn't know if it is the right way of learning or not.. nice to have a confirmation
13. Odd Nerdrum
There is nice economy in this picture for the body of the man. The emphasis is on the face with great detail on his face and head covering. I see that composition is not so complex in portraits and there are not many of the principles applied. Maybe I should try to do the next ones on some other topic..
very good improvement with your shapes already. keep working on that and keep flipping the images. use a mirror and look at them both over your shoulder. you will get even closer, and you need to. your improvement is showing that you can do this...just keep adjusting...that is all it is...constant adjustment and willingness to do so, which you have. great job. keep it up.