Let me start by saying that I've never done anything like this before but it's a very interesting experience nevertheless. I realize the piece is quite terrible, the shapes are offset to begin with. I used a hard square brush only and quit painting after exactly one hour.
I've chosen this image because there's a great balance between the soft lines of the humans and the beautiful pieces with hard lines of art (the building in the background, the bowl on a stand and of course the harp).
Last edited by Kono; March 1st, 2014 at 05:26 AM. Reason: image frame changed
I broke the rules by spending slightly more than one hour on this one so there was no more time for details. I'm afraid the result is even worse than the first one but as the saying goes: errors are the roadmap to success.....
I really like this painting it represents some issues with our society. There are details that make this painting very interesting like the hands of the persons, it is almost the main focus (perhaps it is). The lightest colors emphasize the gestures (main focus I believe) which in turn relay the message and atmosphere.
And another one. Again, I needed slightly more than an hour.
The drappery above the entrance and the persons in front of it draw attention because it's not clear what's going on.
Last edited by Kono; March 1st, 2014 at 04:20 PM.
For basically 1 hour studies, I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. They all look really challenging, and you're values look pretty close (to me anyway) but I'm good at messing up my own so others might disagree. It's all learning.
nice job on the values. your shapes could be a little bit cleaner, so keep an eye on that. Introducing a texture brush on the latest image would push it a lot closer. Surface is important in a lot of these paintings.
Keep up the good work.
@ Emily, thanks for the feedback. I think it's good to be hard on yourself and push it.
@ Jason, thanks. I will do some brush studies, only used standard brushes so far.
John Singer Sargent, Head of a Carpi Girl. The story behind this painting is very interesting. Apparently, John made about twelve similar paintings of this beautiful young woman of Capri.
The background is divided in about half, the left side being darker than the right. The lightsouce seems to be situated somewhere on the left side, illuminating the girls right side thus creating a balance in the overall painting. The painter also used soft and harder lines where appropriate, leading to the focus on her face.
I spent a couple minutes beyond the hour to work on details.
Last edited by Kono; March 4th, 2014 at 06:34 AM.
And another one...One interesting aspect of this excersice is not only to learn about the various paintings but also about artists themselves. John Singer Sargent apperantly traveled a lot and this particular painting was conceived during one of his trip over the atlantic. Apparently, he (had to) made a quick sketch of the scene in front of him only to work it out later after he reached safety back on shore.
In this painting J.S.S captivates what must be a terrifying experience; the tiny boat and the fragile figures against the force of nature.
Another Bouguereau study, I love his paintings.
This time, I used a grid to measure but it took me almost 1:30hr to paint it. I was focused on the torso and then had to rush to block in the rest quickly.
Another great Bouguereau painting, all the elements are there. It's truly amazing how he skillfully depicts the human body.
Jason, be tough on me..
I felt that this one went a little better. Again, I used a grid to map the shapes and I used a chalk brush for the first time too. Stretched to 1:20hr to add some details.
Rembrandt van Rijn. I love the realism and the lighting in this painting. All the details are properly illuminated and shaded. Most emphasis on his head and gloves.
I have always admired the paintings of Vermeer because of their sheer realism. This painting is no different; the way the artist paints with light and shading is amazing. The light trough the windows illuminates the subsequent highlights and points of focus of this painting from face, body to arms, the milk can and the table.
I spent over 2 hours to get the study to this level. Slightly discouraging but the next one should be better.
Jason, out of curiosity; when you would do these kind of studies, what would you do to measure shapes?
Hi Kono. I think these are great for the amount of time spent. These last 2 are looking really good overall- you can tell you are thinking about edges and you are using your textures more effectively. Putting in that extra time is really paying off. Keep pushing yourself in your observations.
An area where I think you could improve, is in your faces, especially your eyes. It seems like, instead of observing the shadow shapes around the eyes in the painting, you are just putting in the stereotype of what your mind thinks that eyes look like. Does that make sense? . . It's like you see that the painting has a face, and then you just add in the eyes mainly from memory, without observing the shapes of the actual painting. Also you've added outlines and highlights in some of the eyes, that are not in the painting. You seem to get the overall size shapes of the other features to match the original pretty accurately, except when it comes to the eyes. I think you have a mental block going on there.
@ Grumpy, thanks for the feedback. You are right about the lack of details, especially in the eyes. It's mainly because of the time constraints, painting at too small a scale and other lack of skills. Usually, I'm rushing to paint in the details last and the eyes are often the most detailed part of the painting so those suffer first (I was under the impression that -just for this excerise-, we are supposed not to bother with details). I do take your feedback in account next time I'm drawing a portrait; perhaps I should start painting the face first instead of last.
Next study is a painting of Dennis Hopper called 'The Long Leg' which I like very much. The 'simplistic' shapes have beautiful lighting. One of the stronger aspects of the original painting are the bright colors being used.
Completed in one hour, I also used pastel and chalk brushes which helped a lot.
Last edited by Kono; March 7th, 2014 at 09:36 AM.
Hi Kono, I was not talking about the detail of the eyes, but rather getting in the overall shadow shape to be the correct size. Yours are actually probably too detailed in #4 and #6. You are making the shadow shapes too small.
wow. amazing work on that landscape. beautiful.
you are making good progress...if you can do that...you can paint faces too...they are nothing more than landscapes are as it's just abstract shapes when you really look at it. keep up the good work.
When I was browsing the online gallery at wikipaintings, this one painting of Edward Hopper (Summertime) really jumped out, so I decided to use it for a study. It has all the elements. Rhythm in lines. Emphasis, a person (soft round lines) amidst a architectural background. Variety in clothes and curtains against brick and mortar. Economy in using white for the brightest lit areas. Repetition and continuity, the spacing between tiles. Balance in the woman standing in the middle.
I was experimenting with brushes and measuring methods so it took me waay more than one hour (+2 or so) to finish it. For the building I used a 100 x 100 reference grid. For the person a 20 x 20 grid on a separate layer. Pastel, hard square brushes and the eraser were used.
Another John Singer Sargent study.........I thought to study more portraits
The main observation would be emphasis on the face but all other elements are in it too. I like the colors in the original painting which reminds of the region (likely a country with deserts) the person is from. Another observation is that after looking at the painting for some time, the nose and mouth seem to be in a different perspective but, it could just be me.
Spent a good hour on the face, one hour on the clothes and another hour on (finding a brush for) the background.
Wow, great job Kono! I had to look for a while to figure out which one was yours (I guess the one without the signature). You've come a long way fast!!
Im not sure about the perspective on the nose/mouth though - actually in your copy they seem to be facing straight at the viewer, but in the original the face is in 3/4s view. Well, not quite a full 3/4, but turned a little anyway. Looking at the hood you can see a bit of the side of the head, so you should be seeing the side of the nose a little too. It's very subtle though, took a while for me to notice it.
"Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts
agreed. great job. I too had to do a double take on the last two to see the original and that is exactly the type of progress that makes me happy about what we are all doing here. keep up the inspiration and keep working on getting those values as accurately as you can. great work.
Thanks guys, you're all too kind.
The next painting was chosen because it really popped out of a random list of paintings and I wanted to do something with landscapes and architecture. There's variety and balance in shapes; the buildings vs the hill but I found the use of colors and lighting in the original painting most attractive.
Just some notes: I'm lacking texture skills. It helped to work with a varying grid for determining shapes, a larger one for the general shapes and a finer grid for details of the Parthenon. I used one brush only, soft oil pastel.
excellent work. i think the lightest light shapes might be a little stronger in the one. outside that...rock on.
Thanks for the feedback guys.
Retouch of the Ingres study. I'm not sure if it's right this time.
And here's another Bouguereau study. I was attracted by the elegant subject, the applied lighting and the mixed use of hard and soft lines. Again, all the design principles can be found; rythm in the lines of the young female, variety in the landscape vs a human being, economy in the background, repetition in curves, balanced around the center..
Vermeer's work is amazing, a master of lighting. The focal point is named in the title 'The Girl with the Pearl Earring'
Brushes used: 'Soft Round' and 'Soft Oil Pastel'
Wow, some really great improvement through this thread! Good job!
On the last one, be sure to really keep track of the shapes and structure of the face in addition to the main features. For instance, the area around the eyes could be more strongly modeled to really set the eyes into place - they are flatter on your version than the original. Also, double check her jawline - it's a little too straight.
Keep up the great work!
Last edited by Dahlia; March 22nd, 2014 at 03:41 PM.
Thanks for pointing out Dahlia, I made some corrections, hopefully it's better.
beautiful job on 12 and 13. on 14 you have her eyes a little small i think...so the feeling...the gaze...is just a little different. capturing that essence is reallllllly important when doing portraits and should be captured at all costs. You are doing great...keep it up.