I picked Repin's "What freedom!" for its marvelous flow and the overall luminous, translucent quality. Also took a larger bite than I could actually swallow. Haven't really painted in about three years. In one hour only produced some incoherent puddles. Simply couldn't leave it at that. The pic attached is a result of about seven hours more work. Has numerous problems, but it's at least recognizable. Time used and fiddling with details kinda defies the purpose of the assignment, but I really needed the practice. I'll try to cut the time on next one.
Main problem while working: Used wrong type of brush for almost every purpose(too hard/soft/small/large/texture/whatever) and then used another wrong brush to fix the former...
Anyway, the picture;
Emphasis is both on the couple (contrast, sharpness, values) and the foreground waves (large area, tonal difference with the rest of the pic). The direction of brush strokes and flow of the waves also carries the emphasis towards the couple. Secondary emphasis on the ice due to contrast. The repeated ice also has rhytm that helps with perspective and depth.
The picture is about the magnificence of the sea and the feeling it elicits on the couple, which shows on their joyful, proud body postures and faces and sets the mood for everything.
On my version the postures and faces are a bit off and different. Thus the feeling is changed too. The man is angry and the woman uncomfortable and unhappy. So my pic is what happens when the models have been posing hours upon hours in cold wind for the slow artist...