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    dbw's composition 1.1

    Hello,

    I'm pretty inexperienced with photoshop. These "START!" exercises are forcing me to sit down and figure it out which is great. Here is my first composition exercise. This copy of an Albert Bierstadt landscape took me about 50 minutes. I noticed that he controls the viewers eye with detail. The detail in the clouds and rocks and some of the trees creates emphasis. In this study I mostly tried to get the major value shapes right by squinting my eyes. That took me a long time. With the remainder of time i tried to fiddle with brushes to get some detail right. Not too much success there but I think the knowledge of where to put the detail is the important bit at this stage of the game...

    1. Albert Bierstadt
    Name:  Albert_Bierstadt_-_A_Storm_in_the_Rocky_Mountains,_Mt._Rosalie_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
Views: 463
Size:  34.9 KBName:  Untitled-2.jpg
Views: 426
Size:  37.5 KB

    Hey Jason. Thanks for the crit I reopened my sketch and tried following your advice. I spent a little bit of time de-contrasting the clouds and re-contrasting the mid mountains. I didn't spend too much time but I think it turned out a bit better.
    Name:  Landscape composition study.jpg
Views: 327
Size:  145.1 KB

    Last edited by dbw; February 4th, 2014 at 12:35 PM.
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  3. #2
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    nice start. It seems you are maybe a little bit contrasty in the sky and not enough contrast on the back mountain that's catching the direct light. Double check all your big areas of value and you'll find you get super close.


    j

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    Your round two definitely works better now, especially taking the contrast (and detail) down on the clouds. The MG mountains are working out better now that they're brighter. I did notice that the very far light against the horizon is a little too bright in yours, compared to the original - it might help to tone that down, since it will compete less with the focus on the mountains and lead the eye into it, rather than have it compete against them.

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    Here is another composition study. It's the bronco by Wyenth. I noticed that Wyenth repeats shapes to add dynamism to the image. The shapes i noticed were horse shoe type circular shapes and big X's.

    Thanks for the crit Eirtae. I didn't noticed that value imbalance. You're helping me tune my eyes

    Jason, I appreciate your input. I redid the image and it's posted above. It looks a lot better.

    2. Wyenth

    Name:  WYEND SPLIT.jpg
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    Here is a shy peasant by Repin. I really liked this original portrait. He is so intense yet seemingly harmless. The peasant in my version looks more dishevelled because he's slouching more and he has messier hair (mistake). He's also got a fatter head. I noticed that Repin creates a lot of emphasis in this Peasant's facial expression through contrast in value. The extreme change in value (especially around the bridge of his nose) creates that spot as the focal point of the image. The viewer can't help but look into those very curious eyes. I tried to follow Repin's techniques.

    3. Repin - A shy peasant

    Name:  shy peasant split repin.jpg
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  8. #6
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    Here is another painting by Bierstadt. I really like his epic style landscapes. I'd like to be able to capture that sense of scale and hopefully, one day, the awe that comes with it.

    I noticed that there are many implied lines in this painting. This painting is filled with rhythm. The snaking land and river creates rhythm. The clouds have rhythm and the sun rays do too. I think this rhythm and these implied lines help make this image interesting to the eye. Also, this image is symmetrically balanced from left to right. The heavy rock structures on either side are balanced by the dark value bushes.

    4. Bierstadt - yosemite
    Name:  Bierstadt_Looking_Down_Yosemite_ready for upload.jpg
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    Nice number 4! I think it's missing some of the luminous quality of the original. As the cliffs descend toward the right they look like they lose a lot of contrast until you can't even see where the mountain touches the sky. And where that hill climbs toward the left in the foreground it should catch some of the light of the setting sun.

    Great work so far, you definitely captured the mood of the painting well

    'Til death do we art.
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  10. #8
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    Great job. You might want to introduce a textured brush for the images that surface is being played with by the artist. That seems to be the main area to be aware of as you continue through these. Your values are starting to hit the nail on the head...more more more

    J

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    Here is a painting by Fengzhu. He's really good at getting that sense of scale that i'm after. There is a lot of emphasis on that middle, distant mountain top because it is contrasted with the total economy of the sky behind it. He uses really intricate detail on the rock structure. I didn't have too much success emulating that. (Anyone one know how to get jagged rocks on photoshop?). As for the rhythm of this one, all of the implied lines and shapes are pointing to the right. Fengzhu designs landscapes for MMORPG's. With visual theory, not only can artists like Fengzhu guide the viewer's eye, but actually guide the active players through this virtual world... pretty cool.

    5. Fengzhu mountains cape
    Name:  Fengzhu mountains split ready for upload.jpg
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    Thanks for the support and the crits Jason!

    You too, Dire! Is that emoticon of one smiley licking another's butt?

    I tried using a textured brush for these mountains. Don't know if I was using it correctly because I would turn down the brush size to like 5 - 20 pixels and then the texture of the brush disappeared. Also, I can now see (after uploading, of course) that i should of used brighter highlights.

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    You are a value step off at times, in this case, a bit dark in your background and less contrast and value range than the original. Watch for that. I really want to see you get your values fully under control by the end of this. Once you get your values on point, from the get go, you will see a boost in your own work. I promise. Value control is key and a root foundation of what you are learning to do. The texture brush is a nice start...keep at it with that. You will figure it out. You are getting there.

    jm

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    I chose this sketch by Repin because I thought it'd be quicker than the landscapes I've been choosing. Not true.

    Hey Jason,

    getting the values right (in conjunction with the other parts of getting the image right: composition, rythym, waterer) feels like a game of bludgeon the badger. I feel like i hit the value right and then i come back to it and it seems to have popped up in a different value. Also whenever I'm immersed and painting it looks right. Then I come back even 10 minutes later and I see all the wrong values. I guess its just practice.

    6. Repin - music guy
    Name:  Ilya Repin - Music Post (17) splitready.jpg
Views: 233
Size:  125.8 KB

    Last edited by dbw; February 12th, 2014 at 09:17 PM.
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  15. #13
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    Nice work. I think you can get a little bit closer on texture and brushmarks but overall this is a very nice study. Keep pushing, and watch your proportions and angles closely.

    j

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    Here is Monet's sunrise. I found it really difficult because there is nothing really that solid save for the sun and the strong reflections. The entire painting is a mass of subtlety. Again, I'm having difficulty with the brush textures within the time frame. I haven't got go-to-brushes for these types of paintings so i have to fiddle with them.
    7. Monet Sunrise
    Name:  Monet sunrise upload.jpg
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    This was a really difficult one by Bierstadt. Though I ran out of time, I'm happy with the way it came out. I think I hit the values better on this one than the last one.

    8. Bierstadt - Farallon
    Name:  Albert-Bierstadt-Farallon-Islands upload.jpg
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  19. #16
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    The seals and the contrast behind the seals atop the arch are very very important to this piece. Getting those in there will be key to completing this one.

    Keep up the nice work and keep pushing to be more and more accurate with your shapes and values.

    Jason

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    Hey Jason,

    I definitely would like to revisit that last one and paint in the seals and contrast. Thanks for the support and the advice.

    This next one has a lot of motion. I think that Wyeth has been able to create this illusion by varying the hardness of the edges and also by repeating various shapes (like the upside down 'U'). These are some of my observations while completing this exercise.

    N.C. Wyeth - The Indian Lance

    Name:  the-indian-lancesplit upload.jpg
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  21. #18
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    Nice work on your values. The angles of your shapes, like the hair, the headdress...those should be watched closely. Also those little tufts on the spear are really important to capturing the movement as they suggest both gravity and wind/air. Sometimes the little things really matter...and in this case I think that is right.

    Keep up the great work.


    Jason

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    Thanks Jason. I feel like I've been improving on my values and that's where my focus has been.

    Here is a cityscape of Paris streets in the rain done by Edouard Leon. I figure practicing with buildings will help me focus on getting lines and angles right. Thank god for the 'shift-line' function in photoshop. I can see a lot of the angles are off in this one but i'm happy with it as a first attempt.

    10. Edouard Leon - Paris in the rain

    Name:  Cortes, Edouard Leon, Place Vendome SPLITin the Rain, French 1882-1969 upload .jpg
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  23. #20
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    great job capturing the rainy atmosphere. Watch the shapes, and their placement, like the female with the umbrella. yours is moved over to the left. Getting your shapes mapped in well by slowing down for just five mins will help a lot. Great job though. This one is not an easy one to capture mood wise and you are getting that very well.

    j

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  24. #21
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    great job capturing the rainy atmosphere. Watch the shapes, and their placement, like the female with the umbrella. yours is moved over to the left. Getting your shapes mapped in well by slowing down for just five mins will help a lot. Great job though. This one is not an easy one to capture mood wise and you are getting that very well.

    j

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    The first part of this painting went quite quickly. I'm developing a technique where I can fill in the major shapes and values quickly and without getting hung up on the details. Then, when I focused in on the face I had a lot of trouble. I find female faces much more unforgiving to paint then male faces. The girl in this painting kicked my butt a little bit. Almost reluctant to post, i decided just to upload!

    Especially in female faces, i'm noticing a real subtle connection between value and shape. The curve on the upper lip below the nose, for instance, can be outlined as a very distinct shape by three different values.



    11. Leo Putz - Portrait of a young woman

    Name:  Leo-Putz-Portrait-of-a-Young-Woman-Impressionism UPLOAD-Paintings-92.jpg
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    Here is another painting by Edouard Leon. This one has a different mood than the one I did above - Paris in the rain. This one called Normandie, is like sunday at the Yacht club! I'm trying to figure out what makes for this difference in mood by continuing to imitate the values and composition.

    12. Edouard Leon - Normandie

    Name:  edouard_leon_cortes_b1724_ouistreham_normandie_wm upload.jpg
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  27. #24
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    I think the issue is that you start to see it as a face rather than abstract shapes and marks. when that happens flip it upside down and horizontally back and forth while making adjustments. That should get your mind back to thinking of it as shapes and edges rather than getting hung up on what it is. Your most recent landscape is the same shapes and edges, abstractly, and you have no issues there other than perhaps needing a little more time to carve them all out with your brushes. You can do this. keep it up. You will get it.

    j

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    Hey Jason,

    Long time.

    I fell off the practice train because I moved to Korea to teach English. Never done that before. Getting a hold of my self now so I want to keep painting and improving!

    Here is an oriental boy by Repin. He looks a bit like one of my students haha.

    I know there is a tonne wrong with this one. Haven't painted since my last upload. I tried to follow your advice about looking for abstract shapes. I inverted the photo 180 while painting and then flipped it back again and again and again. Anyways, here it is:

    Name:  repin oriental boy upload.jpg
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    Here is another painting by Edouard Leon.

    Still getting back into it. That two month layup has taken its toll. This is as much as i'm getting down in the allotted time.

    here it is:
    Name:  edouard Leon painting upload.jpg
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    15. Wyenth the last Mohican

    Name:  nc-wyeth-last-mohican.jpg
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    Last edited by dbw; April 29th, 2014 at 12:26 AM.
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    paul cezanne portrait.

    Not sure how to get those textures. Also the face is a lot thicker in mine.

    I did feel i had success with my approach. I spent more time on the outline which made the whole process a lot easier.

    Name:  Paul_Cézanne_upload.jpg
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  32. #29
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    nice work and effort. good. The latest image would benefit from a more textured brush to capture the surface which is so important to edges and mood. The wyeth image has some shape differences (notice the angles of the feathers) that if you were to take an extra 15 mins early to check your shapes before rendering would speed up the process later and give you more accurate results. keep up the great work and really focus on those shapes and edges.


    jm

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    Hey Jason,

    Thanks for the feedback

    With this next painting - Van Gogh's Skeleton - i spent some more time on the shapes (there is evidence of this with the line i accidentally left on the original). You're right. It did speed up the process. I also spent a bit more time with the textures. This is where I need some work. I really don't know the brushes in photoshop. There are too many to choose from!

    Here it is:

    17. Van Gogh's Skeleton
    Name:  van gogh skeleton.jpg
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