Great to be doing this! Fantastic opportunity for improvement
It was a very challenging beginning for me. I hope these were alright for my first studies. They were completed in Photoshop. For future studies it will be by pencil or paint as my WACOM just died
Artist: William Bouguereau
I chose this image for its powerful emphasis on composition. I learned quite a lot about how to balance values throughout the scene when the scene is so focused on the subjects. Some paintings give the viewer space to identify what is happening. With this painting it was so full of activity it can be hard for the eyes to settle. However, I believe the artist did a fantastic job in controlling the chaos. Most of the angels are pushed back using midtones. He has controlled how a viewer looks around the painting through subtle means of lighting. Whether it be an angels arm being lit more than the others around it, or the way the darkest darks are contrasted with the lightest lights.
I have also noticed that an object is used to 'balance' the weight of the paintings values in the bottom right. This is a very important tool to use. In my next study you will see the same being used to make a sort of asymmetrical symmetry to the painting. I have tried to employ this technique in my own little thumbnails and it works! It really gives the picture a certain feel that would feel 'wrong' without it.
One other thing I have noticed about this painting is the dancing with values. The darkest darks and the lightest lights seem to 'take turns'. This begins with the lightest lights being where you need the focus to be, and then its the darks, and then the lights again for the secondary focus.... etc etc...
Artist: Pierre-Auguste Cot
This painting was chosen for its beautiful choice of colour/saturation. So it was funny to use it when I desaturated the one thing that attracted me to the piece! But what I found while studying this painting was that this piece centered on these two lovers and wanted the viewer to feel calm and focused on these two people. The way the artist did this was to employ economization. If you look at the painting carefully, most details are just blocked in shapes. Even the main focus, the girls face, is very very simple. I believe the lack of details gives the painting a sombre feel. He has intentionally given this romantic painting a feeling of calm.
I have also noticed many repeated elements within this painting. This includes the rope, trees and the foliage. The peoples legs are also repeated in the same direction and shape.
This artist employs the same technique as Bouguereau. But with this one the woman has really intense light, the man has a midtone and the environment is darkest darks and midtones. He has focused the most intense light in one spot to make sure the viewer rests their eyes there. That is not to say the other light values are not also quite bright. It just brings the viewer back to the main focus once they have 'traveled' the piece.
-- For my next paintings they will either be thumbnails or actual paintings in acrilic or oil. I could cry with my 8 year old intuos3 dying!
Until next time.