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I chose 'Ahasuerus at the end of the world' by Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl simply because it's one of my favourite paintings.
The painting has an interesting rythm through the placement of the figures ice and crows. There are various digonals at work in this painting that create a visual flow and balance. I believe the primary focus is on the figures in the background and the eye is lead down to rest on the female (secondary focus) in the forground. The rock at her head leads the eye back up to the start of the main diagonal ice mass where the eye is lead around the canvas again.
I believe the crow in the bottom right corner is key to the balance of the picture and the wing placement helps reinforce the flow to the forground figure. The crow above her derriere and the diagonal of the ice under the angel helps hold the eye in this postion.
Visual weight is acheived in the diagonal placement. The light of her head with the light of the ice in the bottom corner, the dark crow balances the dark mass in the top left. The dark figures with the dark areas in the female hair and above her head.
There is variety,contrast,balance found between the sharp and harsh edges of the ice with the softness of the fabrics in the clothing, clouds, angel glow and the skin of the figure.
I have to work on my edge control. I seem to have missed a lot of the sharp edges...
'L'Enfant du Regiment' by John Everett Millais.
I chose this painting becuase it stirs me emotionally.
A book I have says it's a boy, but to me it's a girl and she is the primary focus. Secondary focus I would say is the crypt and Knight which leads us down to a third focus in the top left corner.
Beautiful economy can be found in the simplicity of the jacket, with few details, I know right away this is a military jacket. The strong dark mass instantly draws and holds our attention in the central area of the girl, this is reinforced by the two triangular stone structures below which also help pull our attention up and also creates with visual weight.
Balance and rythm can be found in the stone work. The level of detail in the stonework fades out around the girl especially above her head which helps hold the focus on the little girl.
Two paintings I have never seen before. Amazing. Great choices too. The first study is very close but the edges could be more closely observed. The second one is much closer and where these need to be. Keep up the great work.
Yep I'm working to improve my edge control. Cool that you had never seen those ones before
Another favourite, 'Flaming June' by Sir Frederic Leighton. Spent more than an hour on this as it turned out to be way more difficult than I imagined.
The emphasis here is on the seagul in the distance riding the waves.. Kiddin, the emphasis is on her soft dreaming face. The hair and fabic folds seem to do most of the work in this painting. They are arranged in a radial formation that both frames the girl and creates a circular flow. There is economy to be found along her thigh in it's simplicity, the softness is maintained in the central area which contrasts with the folds, this creates a sense of relaxation and helps reinforce the deep dream like state conveyed. The sea and the marble floor helps with the balance and Visual weight, this is also acheived with the dark masses on either side.
Well you sure aren't screwing around. Love that you are taking on such challenging pieces. The flaming june is a really challenging image. Your values and edges are coming along very well. You are on the right track. Keep at it. Inspiring to see this happening.
W!L- Thanks for taking the time to have a look, really appreciate it man.
Jason- I'm taking this very seriously, don't want to waste my chance to learn and get feedback from someone who knows what they are talking about.
So I chose Sargent next simply because he is John Singer Sargent and his work speaks for itself.
Study 4-Sargent 'Reconnoitering'
Study 5- Sargent 'Beatrice Townsend'
Sargent makes the most beautiful brush marks, and I thought it would be wise to try and pay attention to them. I'm not familiar with making nice marks and textures with digital so I figured this would be a good opportunity to try and learn. Kill two birds with one stone maybe.
Took time to find two chalk brushes that seemed pretty cool then tried painting on a sandpaper background for the first one and a wood panel for the second.
These are taking me way longer than 1 hour as I'm simply not skilled enough or experienced enough to consider all the information present and work at a fast pace with digital but I'm trying my hardest. I'm also enjoying it so much, feel like the paintngs are pulling me in.
YAY Sargent! I am in awe of his stuff. I have studied three myself. these are great. love the girl portrait. nice work on capturing the features. i found that hard working so small. A few nitpicky things. her dress looks slightly too dark compared to sargents and her hair is alot softer almost flwing into the background on sargents compared to yours. plus the terriers highlights are a brighter in sargents. But overall thats greta stuff. her face is amazing. what size are you wroking at? like your backgorund texture.
Hey W!L. Sargent is/was the man!
Yeah I see a lot wrong with every pic so far. That's the problem though, as every time I stop then come back there is always something that needs fixing. Guess there comes a point where you just have to move on. The face took me a while, I'm stubborn like that with faces. If there is a heavy emphasis on a face I just won't move on until it is close. Will measure the shit out of it if I have to.
Size? Just zoom right out and get the shapes down, then work in and refine a bit. Didn't zoom out so much with the sargent ones as I was trying to anaylze his brush strokes. I know it's mean't to be a value study, but I'm trying to learn as much as possible from each study.
some of the background texture is really working great. The vertical lines going through it are distracting a lot. i would avoid doing that.
great job though. You handled the figure and the dog beautifully.
Yes i do same thing. sorry I meant what size as in pixel width and length?Size? Just zoom right out and get the shapes down, then work in and refine a bit. Didn't zoom out so much with the sargent ones as I was trying to anaylze his brush strokes. I know it's mean't to be a value study, but I'm trying to learn as much as possible from each study.
Jason- Yep you are right, took a min to paint over them...... Just noticed they are still showing here and there. Ah well, I won't use the lines again.
W!L- Ah my bad. I have a new document saved that is always set to 2000x2000. 300 pixels per/inch. Always start with that and just resize the canvas when needed. Any larger and My laptop gets all pissy.
I chose Richard Schmid as he is another master of brush marks. The Bonus is he is still alive. Only came across him about 4 months ago.
Some of his sketches/paintings are all about economy, he often renders the area of interest combining expressive and precise brush strokes, leaving much of the canvas untouched. This style appeals to me so much.
Study 6- 'Chicken'. I chose this painting because it taught me so much just by looking at it. I am not particularly fond of chickens nor do I find them particularly pleasant to look at, but the beauty of this painting is mesmerising. It taught me that the painter can take even the most uninteresting subject and transform it into something beautiful. That technique is more important than subject. It might be argued that he loves chickens and this comes through in his painting, but something tells me this man could make a turd look beautiful.
Study 7- 'Grechen Sewing'. Nice contrasts here putting emphasis on the female, think it's his daughter. She is bathed in light creating such a soft and radiating feeling, it feels like she is glowing. You can tell he loves this person dearly. The painting feels so alive, he has captured that moment perfectly and when I look at it, I almost feel like I'm in the room. Just look at those brush marks! I love you Richard!
My favourite 'still breathing' artist without a doubt
Oh and managed to go a bit quicker with these ones which I'm super happy about.
Wow, this is really amazing stuff. It makes me want to keep studying. If I may ask, what program/brush are you using?
Msharp- You can ask me anything buddy and I will help as best I can. Using photoshop cs5 and up until yesterday I was using two brushes. Round and a little rectangular pastel brush. Wanted to play with texture so spent time looking at digital artists and came across a guy called Jaime Jones. Thought his work was amazing and he was kind enough to make his brushes available to everyone through a few sites. His library had loads, was a little overwhelming, so I picked two that looked cool. They are chalk brushes, they may even be in the standard library I dunno. Hope that helps
Oh and keep studying for sure!
Wow, great use of economy in those paintings.
I didn't knew Richard Schmid, thank you for make me discover this wonderful artist!
buzzeli- He is a master painter working in our time. I think it wise to pay attention to him
W!L- Yeah James Jean! He got me seriously inspired. Got 4 of his books. Remember reading or watching an interview with him and his words have always stuck with me. He said something along the line of - even when you don't know where you are going or what to draw, that you must keep practicing and practicing and that the way forward will eventually reveal itself.
I have always thought of these words. I believe the level up is the way forward for me and that the path will continue to reveal itself if I just keep working hard.
Study 8- 'The Lady of Shalott' by John William Waterhouse.
Looking at it again after upload, need to try and get more sense of depth/distance. Think I need to lighten the value of the dress a notch. Area at her right side of the rib cage is also too dark.
Have always loved this painting, and now after closely examining it, love and respect it even more. This was such a difficult one, but really rewarding at the same time. The information in this painting is so intense, the brushwork, the edges, the intervals of distance etc etc could probably spend the rest of my life analyzing it. Will no doubt go back to it many times.
The focus is primarily on the girl then the beautiful woven fabric hanging off the side of the boat which leads us along the boat itself and up to the background in the rop right. The background leads us back down toward the head or the steps in the far left corner. There is a lovely arc that starts at the steps and follows the contour of the boat. The detail of the fabric contrasts the simple economy found in the hull of the boat.
There are so many angles pulling the eye around, like the reeds or the angle of the fabric leading up to the candles and they in turn are angled towards the head.
Repetition can be found in the shapes of her forehead,eyebrows, mouth, shoulders they all follow a similar contour. This adds a nice rythm. There is repetation all over the place, steps, reeds, branches,candles, water, background/forground horizontals etc you name it. There are just so many things happening.
Note the smiley face on the far left hand side in amongst the reeds. This guy was a genius!
Last edited by Bri in the sky; February 21st, 2014 at 11:21 PM.
Study 9- 'Slav Epic' by Alphonse Mucha
Bit off more than I could chew with this one, too many things to contend with, but I gave it a go. Loads of value changes happening. Could probably have spent weeks/months on this.
Went with a linen texture background.
Would really love to see these paintings in the flesh, they are enormous.
Really great stuff going on in here. This last one. . . man, talk about ambitious. #8 is a beauty and pointing out the smiley face was a nice touch. Keep up the good work.
Beautiful work. You can still crack your sharp edges a little harder as you are working. Considering the complexity of these last two images you did great as they require so much time to take them even this far. Great job.
Thanks Grumpy Your work is awesome.
Jason, I increased my sensitivity on the wacom to see if it helps my edges. Think my touch is too gentle.
Also decreased the contrast and brightness on my monitor. Think it was way too bright. Can see the dark darks better now.
Went with teacher and student Klimt and Shiele.
'Judith and the Head of Holofernes' by Gustav Klimt.
'Harbour Trieste' Egon Schiele
Schiele is really known for his figures but I just love this painting. Incredible technique. I'm sure he has applied really thick paint and then dragged the wooden side of his brush through for the reflections. Think it's called sgraffito.
Real shame he died so young.
Really beginning to see the language of each artist doing these exercises. Don't think I've ever been so excited about art
Looking at it now I've uploaded, can see lots of missing edges. Will try harder to get them closer.
Last edited by Bri in the sky; February 24th, 2014 at 06:14 AM.
Cheers brother! You probably don't realise it, but your insight in the critiques forum inspired me to work harder.
As I was overlooked for feedback can only assume I strayed too far off. Think my enthuisasm and excitement got the better, just got so engrossed in the paintings. Please feel free to reign me in should it happen again.
Tried to forget about accuracy, details and stuff and just focus on value and edge. Also tried to stay within the hour.
Not happy with the outcome but hey.
Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema- 'A Coign of Vantage'
Chose this painting for the sense of height acheived. The focus would be the girl looking over the wall. Nice rythm in the placement of the figures creating a smooth circular flow. The lion looking off into the distance gives a good sense of depth, the eye is then lead down through the figues to the girl looking over the wall and on down to the boat. The flowers on the lions back helps reinforce the focus. The tiny boat also creates depth and scale.
The edge on the dark value at the lions rear end is way too sharp.
You've got some really good work here. Your longer pieces are really strong (6 and 7 are awesome), so it's clear you know what you're doing and maybe just having trouble speeding things up. That'll come with practice and time!
On this last piece I notice a couple of things. Most importantly, the girl on top is not reading at all unless you know what you're looking at. You'll want to add a touch of outline around her face, clarify the collar, etc, until she pops out. Sometimes a couple tiny details make a huge difference. That's one of the great things about trying to paint fast (keep at it!) - you are forced to find which details are important, and leave those that aren't. Especially for complex images, where just the major value shapes isn't quite enough to show what's going on.
Second - and this is more nitpicky - make sure you're still keeping volumes in mind while you're working. For instance, the shadow shape on the lion's butt kind of looks like the shadow shape of the picture, but it doesn't really match up with the structure of the lion. I know you did this one fast so you probably just didn't have time, but just wanted to point that out. Thinking about volumes might also help you speed up a bit too, as you have a better idea of how the shadows should fall and such.
Anyway, you're doing really good! Keep pushing yourself and you'll be amazing!
I wouldn't suggest outlining anything as there are no lines in the piece...it is a matter of getting shapes just a little more accurate so the contour reads. I am less concerned about the back figure as i am the front. She looks a little wonky and that figure is so key to this piece. Values are coming along great though and all in all these are quite good.
Dahilia- Thanks for the encouragement and the feedback, I really appreciate it. The problem is working fast, if I try to go fast everything just collapses and I forget about volume,accuracy,shapes etc Just ends up a mess. It's a new way of working as when working with traditional I don't start out thinking how quickly it can be done. I know working like this will no doubt have huge benefits for things like working outside when time is of the essence.
I'll try and heed your advice and focus on the important areas and simplify the parts that are not so important. At the moment I seem to be slow and methodical, might just have to accept I'm a snail. Perhaps you're right and with practice things will speed up. Here's hoping.
Jason- Yeah don't normally put lines in, probably put them in as a crutch as I was stressing out. Was all a bit of a blur.
So I got back in touch with my inner snail and fixed stuff. Quite shocking how far out I was with lots of stuff. Practically had to redo the whole thing.