here are my first composition-studies. Iīve mainly choosen pieces done by Hudson-River-School painters because I simply admire them.
1. In my opinion, this is quite an unusual composition for a landscape. The first principle that came to my mind, was that of continuity or movement. Itīs almost like you get sucked into the tunnel that is formed by the clouds and mountains. Also the groups of trees are important rythmic elements which also help showing size-relationships.
2. Also painted by albert bierstadt. While looking at both of these paintings I think that he used quite a lot of contrast and still gets an incredible amount of depth. Hope this makes sense, but I still struggle with the english language. I mean, normally itīs like, the darkest tones belong to the foreground, then some lighter tones for the middleground a.s.o. but with those two paintings itīs nicely mixed up and still reads well. Again, the rythmic principle is visible through the trees and clouds and also the stones in the foreground. Variety is mainly given through soft clouds and hard rocks, those two seem to compete against each other.
3. This painting is by Frederic Edwin Church, another painter of the Hudson-River-School. This is a good example for what Iīve meant with the receding planes getting ligther and lighter. In this piece the clouds almost seem like another instance of the mountains regarding their shape and placement. There is repetition in shapes mainly in the trees and rock-formations. Itīs interessting how the eye travels between hut, middleground mountain and the man standing in the boat. I think that Iīve heard this somewhere before, that especially landscape painters used this circular movement to keep the viewers eye in the painting.
Okay, thatīs it for now. Will upload again soon...
These are excellent so far. I think that you are mostly missing a pass on your edges, to crisp up the sharpest edges and soften down the softest edges. Watch for that at the end...once you go through that pass the image will pop.
So here are another two landscapes. The first one is from Repin and the second is from a guy called Ruisdael. The principle of variety is visible in both through their use of putting light against dark again and again. Again, as in the first three paintings there are various elements like the sky, trees, water etc...
I think the ruisdael painting is about the sky, because it takes about two thirds of the image and the contrasts are more pronounced than in the landmass. He unifies them both through the water on the right, without this brighter piece there would be two separate parts.
The repin painting is also a good example for rythmic placement of objects. Especially visible on how he arranged the trees.Again itīs dark, light, dark, light aso. The clouds follow the movement of the trees. In this painting the sky isnīt as important as in the first one, so I guess he painted it more subtle, so that the main focus lies on the trees.
Again, going in and popping your handful of very sharpest edges would take these so much closer to where they need to be. You should do that along the way some so that you are being mindful of edges as you work, or you can at least make a pass in the last 5 mins that you just pop a bunch more of the sharps. Watch what happens when you do.
You've a great eye for values for sure. And I really love hearing artist's thoughts on the composition too, helps me think about stuff i normally wouldn't. Like the point about the water's reflection on the large sky piece from Repin. Great stuff. As an example of the edges in the pieces, take that same Repin piece and look at how he's made the light and dark of the trees in the middle very sharp - helps add to the depth of space and the river forming between said trees and create an area of interest. Same sharpness in the tones of the water helps create a path backwards through that space too.
Another two studies, the second one took definitely longer, because I tried to watch some of those edges. Itīs interessting how even the smallest shapes play a big role in the whole painting, I guess this is called micro-composition.
So first, hereīs another piece by albert bierstadt. I especially like the subtle value change thatīs happening on the receeding mountains. The darker parts on this are nicely balanced against the lighter ones. The eye travels from the main point of emphasis (mountain top on the left) to the mounstian on the right and than circles back through the darker trees to the mountain top again. At least from my point of view
Thought I need to try some portrait, also because I am looking forward to do the self portrait on the color thread. I could have spend even more time copying those folds and the hat, because as Iīve mentioned those smaller parts are compositions on their own. But right now I leave it at this stage. I noticed that Mrs. Cassatt has put the darkest parts around her head and that perfectly makes sense, because itīs the point of focus of course. I also think that again the lighter and darker parts are equally distributed. Variety happens much in the folds and in the flowers on her hat. This portrait would be rather boring if she were just standing straight; by leaning to the side she gets some interesting movement happening.
I think for the latter image, the surface of the paint is quite important. When you get to images like that, both painter and art rage have textured brushes that suggest paint thickness. You could try experimenting with those. Both have free trials if you do not have the software.
You are well on your way. You may want to do another portrait or two prior to the color theory assignment. You will go into it buffed up and ready, that is for sure.
Thanks Jason, will try to enhance the cassat piece with the use of painter. Although I never really got used to it.
So here are another two copies.
This one is by sorolla and I think it has a really unique composition for a portrait painting. The dark areas all lead to the center of the image/interest which is of course the face. I looked a bit closer for the edges and tones on her face and I found out, that whenever there is a highlight, for example the shiny spot on her lower lip, the brightness got more pushed through the artist by putting a mere dark accent around, above or below it, so the highlight does pop out even more.
This second one is a copy of sargent and still work in progress I think. Iīve seen that someone other has copied it already and liked the composition. I should have used painter for it aswell, because there are really evident brushstrokes all over the place which makes it seem lively and spontanous. Thereīs a good rythm of dark spots against bright spots. The patterns he has created come mainly from brushstrokes, like on the wall to the right. He has put the darkest tones against the lightest ones on the far building to make it the main focus point and pull the viewer into the painting.
Thanks for the motivation Jason. Iīve painted those next two pieces with painter 11. Although I was struggeling at the beginning it was a lot of fun painting them and after a while I even understood how the brushes work. At least a little Iīve chosen two landscapes again, mainly to get a start at working with painter. Iīll keep using it for my next copies to get a hang of it.
This first piece is by F. E. Church. Donīt know if I have mentioned this already, but I heard somewhere that many landscape painters tried to keep the eye moving in a circular direction without letting the viewer leave the painting on one of the sides. Hope I make myself clear here. I recognized this circular movement in this piece, itīs created by the bright mountaintop, the houses and the tree in the foreground. Church used trees and bushes as his main patterns. Another thing that comes to my mind is that this painting feels very calm and I think this is due to where he placed the horizon. On many pieces the horizon is on a third division, but here the horizon is almost in the center.
This second piece was painted by one of my famous landscape painters John Constable. The composition on this is a real mess and I think it supports the drama of the bad weather really good. Bright and dark areas are mixed all over the place. The clouds build a nice pattern of shapes as well as the stones in the foreground. I think the emphasis is supposed to lie on the mountain, but my eye is jumping all over the place. Would be nice to hear some other comments about this one.
Here we go again. One study copied after adolph menzel, the other again is a f.e. church. I switched back to photoshop for painting those and this time instead of using just charcoal I tried some different brushes.
12. Adolph Menzel / Studentenfackelzug
Really busy composition on this one suggesting chaos and confusion. There is a nice rythm of light and dark patches going on. I am not really sure about the emphasis on this, but I guess it lies on the protesting students carrying their torches and also the policeman on the right is standing out.
13. Frederic Edwin Church
This one took me some time but I think I also learned something from it. As mentioned earlier I think there is again a circular movement going on, that prevents the viewer from leaving the image. I am going to attach an overpaint of this.
So here you can see what I mean. Itīs nice to see how he catches the eye with the diagonal tree trunk, leading it to the bridge and from there up again to the lighter big clouds. I also noticed that the main focal point, the waterfall is exactly located at one third vertically. The horizontal third falls between the large mountain and the waterfall and I think there is a balance going on between the two of them. Some sort of yin and yang probably.
I had pretty much work to do lately so unfortunately I didnīt have enough time to do some advanced studies, but here are some quickies. I am still struggeling with textures, so if anyone can give me a hint on how to improve Iīd appreciate very much. Anyway here we go:
16: ivan shishkin
Nice rhythm and movement on the trees. The eye follows the path right into the picture and gets caught by the trees.
17 and 18: Winslow Homer
I think Winslow Homer is really great to study because he used only a few main values and thus the images read well from a distance and are graphically appealing. The first painting is nicely balanced between the bright water and dark rocks. There is a diagonal movement going on which adds dynamic. I had some trouble painting the water but I will give it another chance later.
In the second image the emphasis lies obviously on the woman on the hill. Instead of painting a horizontal break between sky and hill he again has put it slightly diagonal which underlines the impression of a windy scene.
This one took me quite a long time, mostly because Iīve started the wrong way I guess. I focussed too much on texture and therefore started with a textured brush to block in my composition which resulted in a quite messy picture. Nontheless I think Iīve learned a lot while painting it. The next image I will start again blocking in the main shapes with a simple brush and afterwards put some textures on top of it.
Some compositional thoughts about the piece. I think Menzel has put some very economic brushwork into this. Again, nice rhythms between darks to lights. The emphasis is on the girl standing in the foreground. The scene is also lit very nicely once by the lamp in the back lighting the background and the candle in the girls hand lighting her face and foreground well.
Hope you like it and as always comments and critics are very welcome.
Thanks Jason, I really appreciate your comments. So I tried to fix the left side of the last image a bit and added some texture. The next piece is a portrait by Repin and slowly I start to like playing with different brushes and textures. Thanks for that as well. I guess Iīll do some more of these along the way...
really keep a close eye on the shapes, particularly around the head as you widened the skull and eye sockets a little bit, yet narrowed the top of his hairline it seems. great job on surfacing and the values overall. the piece with the female looks like the left side wall that faces the viewer is a bit lighter than the original. keep an eye on these things and you will ace this entirely.
Thanks jason and agerkvist. Agerkvist, I start my paintings with a basic charcoal-like brush to block in my big shapes and values and then switch to some other texture brushes as I go along. I found a good brushset under http://digitalbrushes.tumblr.com/pos...ushes-download . Check them out and tell me what you think.
Do I get a new assignment now, because this was piece number 20?
Last edited by glutamat; March 25th, 2014 at 09:04 AM.
Aw man these are fantastic, great range of marks and textures, well done. Think the portrait could be just a little darker in the hair, beard and jacket armpit area. Other than that it looks saweet. See you in the next assignment