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These were all about 1 hour.
1. 'A Soul Brought to Heaven' - Bouguereau
I chose this one because it had interesting value transitions, and I thought it did a good job of bringing focus to the middle figure by making that the highest contrast area. It also has some pretty strong diagonals that make X's everywhere, bringing focus back to the middle.
2.'Fumee d'Ambre Gris' - Sargent
I chose this one because it had great balance and economy. There is very little contrast anywhere, except for a few choice areas. There's a touch of dark outlining the figure's arms and head to define her form (surrounded by a bunch of white for contrast). The darker patterns on the floor have a similar tone and consistency to the darks around her arms, which balances everything out and also pulls the viewers eye downwards (along with her gaze) and to the pot-thing. The rugs also create a nice X pattern that brings our attention to the focal point.
While painting I realized that that tiny black patch behind figure is basically an anchor for the whole piece, as insignificant as it seems. Cool.
3. 'Phoebe' - Leighton
I chose this one because it is dark, high contrast, and moody, which I thought would be a nice challenge right after doing such a high key piece. I also loved all the repetition of curved lines in the her hat, the folds of her clothes, the S-like pose of her arm, her bent neck, and the chair. It's very flowing.
This one was really hard for me (the face was killer). It was trippy doing this one after the Sargent - the lightest lights in this piece are as dark as the shadows in the Sargent. I probably need more work on high contrast pieces. Also skin tones. And should probably learn how to use < 100% opacity brushes eventually.
Thanks for looking!
These look impressive, and only done in 1 hour!
Definitely the only thing that stands out is the value transition on the skin and softer textures. Any brush should work with the right opacity setting and flow setting (around 20-60% should smooth things out quickly). The hat and the sleeve of the last one are a little too dark.
Also might want to increase the scale a little more when uploading.
Keep it up!
Thanks ubemm! Good advice. I'll definitely play with the opacity on the next one. Then maybe force myself to find new brushes a bit later (the round brush is just so easy...)
In the meantime, here's one I just did in charcoal (little over 1 hr). It's amazing how having the reference just a little farther away ( vs. both directly next to each other in photoshop) makes everything harder. I had the worst time just drawing the outline. Drawing is my weak point.
3. 'The Black Hat' - Frank Weston Benton
I picked this one because I liked it and I wasn't really sure why. I think it has good variety in it; there's quite a bit of stuff hanging around with a variety of textures, colors, and values. There also seems to be a pattern of repeated triangles that makes it nicely balanced. Also, the brushwork has a nice rhythm to it.
I definitely blew out all the highlights, and the values in general are off, but it was kind of fun.
The new study is pretty good, even better considering it is traditional, and charcoal no less, which isn't easy to control. Shapes look good and contrast is pretty good too. I would say that the dress is a touch too light and the back wall a touch too dark, but it might be nit picking. Also the face a little small. Having said all that, I must say that there a wonderful sense of energy and gesture in your sketch, so nice work there too.
Very nice start to this. great work.
keep a close eye on your edges. Sometimes your edges are too soft or too sharp and that is keeping you from getting these to the level they could be. double check all your edges before you post and you will find that you get quite close. Nice to see the traditional media too. keep it up1
Mighty impressive for the time frame. Love to see the traditional also, looks great so far Dahlia
Kaidok- I definitely see what you mean. Now that I can see it directly next to the reference the values look way off. Thanks!
Jason - Thank you for pointing that out! I completely forgot about edges.
I decided to focus on edges for this one, and on blending/opacity/different brushes. At 3 hours, this took me 3x as long as I intended... Good practice though.
4. Bouguereau - premier deuil
I chose this one because it has a good variety of edges in it and very strong contrast. I also just love the emotion of the piece. I think it turned out okay, but I'm still going to have to practice using different brushes to get good texture. It looks okay when it's small, but if you zoom close the textures are fuzzy and grotesque.
Let me know what you think and/or what I should work on next!
Using a soft edged airbrush on low opacity can help to push down some of the marks on the flesh, which are much softer in value transition and gradient on the original, than your own. really good work though.
Great Job Dahlia and nice choice of painting. Know what you are saying about zoomed in textures looking funky, noticed it in my own work too. Think it's always a question of what's important. To create the illusion of nice texture and detail from a distance and get a sense of the overall picture? Or get up close and observe the textures in detail? Perhaps it's a balance of the two? Not sure sometimes, but part of me can see the benefit to be found in all areas of practice.
Thanks again for the advice, Jason!
Bri - I agree, it's tricky. I suppose it makes most sense for the texture to be suited to the size the final painting will be viewed at, but it just really bothers me for some reason when I zoom in and it looks bad.
As per suggestion, for this piece I really tried to work on getting that smooth finish. Normally I stubbornly avoid that because it's so aggravating (at least to me) to mess with. I left most of the piece rough because I really didn't want to exceed 2 hours.
5. Godward - A classical beauty
I chose this piece because of that smooth, flawless skin. It's a great contrast to the waves of the hair and her dress (variety of textures, also repetition of soft & rounded lines). The piece also has great economy; there is nothing here to distract from the main focus - the beautiful model.
6) Manet - A bar at the Folies Bergere
I chose this one because I liked how busy it is - there's a lot of shapes and textures and little contrasts to look at. Your eye can kind of explore the painting instead of just staying in one spot. All this motion is also a nice contrast to the bored look of the woman. I also thought it had interesting balance. All of the darks and lights are arranged to keep it balanced, and yet it just seems just ever so slightly 'off' because of the heaviness of the figure on the right. It's slightly unsettling, and for some reason this really draws me in.
I tried to do this one as fast as possible (managed 1.5 hours) so that I was focusing on the rhythms of all that busy detail instead of on the details themselves. Also because I got really hungry after 1.5 hours. That becomes a limiting factor surprisingly often.
Nice start Dahlia. This last one has a lot going on and you have it placed out well with matching tones. I think time is the main issue on this one. In the original, the woman has a slight tilt of the head to the left throwing her eyes off the horizontal. Watch for that if you take this one further.
Keep it up.
MY WEBSITE http://scotthgfindlay.com/
My Sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=167012
My Finished Work Thread http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=136168
Thanks Zimfin! I should be watching my faces more closely.
7. Bierstadt - A storm over the rocky mountains
I chose this one because it is gorgeous. The lighting is dramatic and moody and there is a cool swirling texture going on between the rocks and clouds, which gives it a churning feel. The whole composition has a U shape to it, which draws your eye to the far mountains and keeps it there.
I had fun with the brushwork on this one. ~2 hours
Love it!! For shorter studies these are right on track and with that said...
Haha I love the bear. Thanks Jason!! Hope I can keep it up.
I like that this exercise is really forcing me to notice my painting process instead of just the result. I'm seeing that I don't really have enough of a set process and I don't spend enough time in the early stages. I'm weaker at drawing than painting, so I tend to rush the drawing, but then if the subject matter is even somewhat complicated I'm screwed in the later stages. So for the next few I'll focus on getting the shapes right early on.
8) Frazetta - Serpent
I chose this one because of the dramatic lighting, spiraling curves and thick, juicy volumes. Everything in the composition is pulling up - the knife, his chin, the tail, arm - which really gets that spirit of the struggle to get up and away from the serpent. And, of course, there's always that good vs. evil archetype of fighting up towards heaven against the evil pulling him down. It wouldn't have been the same if he had been pulling sideways. This one was a quickie.
9) Gerome - Black Bashi-Bazouk
I chose this one because I've always liked the variety of textures in it. His shirt is so pleasantly shiny, and there's all that cool stuff on his hat, and then he's got that ivory thing to give a little smooth contrast. The pose is also good; kind of mysteriously turned away instead of face forward. It makes it less like a portrait of a person and more like a portrait of a peoples.
Just noticed I missed the highlights on his shirt. Oops.
Here's a couple process shots because I'm in a rambling mood. For the initial drawing I drew it all in red, then overlaid the drawing on the original and did corrected lines in green to see where I was going wrong. I'm hoping I find a pattern so I can fix it.
From there I tried to lay in the shapes from largest to smallest. I'm trying to get it so that every stage it looks like a completed image (just heavily posterized) so that mistakes stand out more. Way easier said than done...
I love how you were able to simplify the values for Gerome. It looks very well thought out.
Thanks weatherleaf! That's what I was going for.
Here's a long one - just over 4 hours. I got carried away.
10) Schoonover - Joan of Arc
I liked this one because of the 'once upon a time' feel it has. The way all the legs are going the same direction and all the poses are kind of stiff reminds me of medieval paintings, which has a nice effect for a medieval subject matter. Also, how all the dust is kicked up and everything is pointing to the right and up really gives that feel of forward movement. I also love the edge quality - some of the lines look sharp and sketched, where others seem to just disappear.
11) Gerome - the Carpet Merchant
This one has nice rhythm and repetition in the values and shapes. There's a lot of alternating dark and light, and repeated shapes, such as all the rectangles on the wall, intricate patterns everywhere, and the fabric of the figures and the carpets.
This one took a lot longer than it looks. I was really focusing on trying to get the major shapes in there and figuring out how to simplify the image. I also still really need to work on my drawing - when I checked and measured before adding paint, I had pretty much gotten it all wrong. sigh...
12) Draper - Icarus
I love this piece mainly because the wings are so beautifully done. Composition-wise, the values are arranged such that it creates almost a sunburst at the center, which places Icarus right in the middle at the point of highest contrast. There's really nowhere else your eye can go. The sunburst is also satisfying in its simplicity and its symmetry.
Still trying to do the posterization thing. It's mentally exhausting.
I have dancing bear envy! Totally deserved Dahlia, super studies. Really diggin the opaque ones and number 17 is a beauty. Will need to go check that painting out, always found the Joan of Arc story interesting.
Thanks Bri!! I like the Joan of Arc story too, though I always wish it had a happier ending...
13) NC Wyeth - Giant
Thought I would have fun and break out the watercolors. Totally blew out the contrast, which I kind of expected given that I don't really know how to use watercolors.
On a side note, I've been struggling with copying something at a different size than I see it. I recently noticed that literally everything in my sketchbook that I did from reference is the same size as it was on my monitor. So when I have to blow something up to fill a given space I get disoriented and lose all concept of space and proportion. Gonna have to work on that
I picked this one because it's a really cool picture with a cool concept. There's a lot of rhythm in the cloud patterns that is repeated in the shapes of the giant. The values are also nicely layered from top to bottom - dark, light, dark, mid, light, etc.
keep a close eye on your values. your levels are off a bit...so to speak. you have much more light in yours in this most recent piece. you are doing a nice job getting things roughed in...let's just get to the point of accuracy on your values and go from there. keep up the great work. j
Thanks Jason! Yeah, the watercolor was a mess. Oddly meditative though - I see why people take watercolor classes and paint flowers when they retire. Anyway, back to Photoshop!
14) Frazetta - Death Dealer
This whole composition is about being bold and iconic. The horse and rider are black, and even entirely outlined in black, and set against a light sky. The area of most contrast is the riders head, which helps pull attention to his gaze and away from the glitzy horse.
The profile view also gives that extra dash of impact, as it forms a perfect silhouette. It's very memorable. It would look great on a hat.
Finally, the values and brushwork are chaotic and lovely, with razor sharp edges in the areas of high contrast and fading into nothing elsewhere. Matches the subject matter perfectly.
This was a long one.
* Just noticed I totally spaced that thing he has hanging on his back. I'll just pretend that wasn't there.
Oh Yes! Look at you totally rockin the Frazetta I for one would wear a death dealer hat! Especially if it had horns.
With regards to the Joan of Arc story, in my head she was victorious and brought peace and love to all the lands. She also has a pet dragon.
Thanks Bri! I like your Joan of Arc ending better.
15) Gerome - la priere au caire
This one is great for practice with atmospheric effects. Everything gets so light and hazy as it gets farther away.
The thing I notice most about this painting is balance. It feels almost like a teeter-totter to me. The clump of people on the right is very heavy, so they are kept in midtones. The lead man is dressed in all black (most contrast = focal point) which gives him a lot of visual weight. He's fairly close to the center, though, so Gerome added the big building on the far left which, while it is light and value, has a long moment arm from the center of mass that gives it a lot of weight too. The result is perfect balance.
Also there's nice repetition of shapes - square rugs, standing people shapes, and the pointy building shapes.
I tried using softer brushes for building up everything instead of my normal opaque brush. Not sure how I feel about that yet.
incredible job. these are fantastic. other than little things, which for this type of study would be nitpicky...ie we are not spending four days on one of the studies but less time, you are spot on for where you need to be to gain knowledge from them. I look forward to seeing what you do on the longer studies in 1.2.
keep up the great work.
This is great. Pretty much how I work, building things up with softer brushes and knocking in hard edges here and there. The softer brushes are better for nudging shapes about and increasing accuracy as you go, where as opaque marks are really solid and harder to push about. Think it's alot harder to use opaque brushes and you are really accurate with them which leads me to believe that once you settle on a balance of hard and soft your work will be off the awesomeness scale Opaque does look really cool as a style though. Nice work Dahlia.
Last edited by Bri in the sky; March 14th, 2014 at 11:25 PM.
Nobody puts Dahlia on page 2! Cmon missy, where are the updates? You run off to Bhutan?
Haha thanks for your concern, Bri! I've been really busy the last couple weeks, but should be able to start getting back into it now.
Good thoughts on the brushes, too. I can definitely see how the soft brushes will be nice for doing stuff from the imagination, where you pretty much just fudge it until it looks right. It also probably makes more sense anyway because you're building up the final render/textures the whole time, whereas with the opaque brushes you have to go over the whole thing again to get the textures and edges. The one nice thing about the opaque brushes is that you have all your hard edges there from the start. Softening hard edges always seems easier than hardening soft edges.