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Hello Rali & thank you very much! I try to keep the eyes not too bleary..
Next one, another Sargent, I chose mostly for the unusual pose. Also thought it might be faster to do, because of the clear areas and contrast.
My intention was to stick to 1 hour limit, but went a bit over to get some hard edges there. Didn't quite have enough time to get all values in place, nor the hands. She is too much on the left, the extended arm is a bit too long + a few other structural problems... (sigh..)
Because I don't have that much time today, decided to go Photoshopisticated on her and used the Warp tool to pull things to their places and after that steamed on with rest of the values and details. Some of the edges might be a tad soft and her left arm is maybe in a slightly wrong angle? Oh well.. I call it done.
EDIT: Few little updates on the pic based on Jason Manley's comment below. ( It could still use another hour for all kinds small fixes, but now I'll move to a next one )
Last edited by samwaulu; April 18th, 2014 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Update + new attachment
beautiful job. the main thing i am seeing is your background in the top left is a little busier marks wise but overall you did a great job on values, shapes and edges and that makes me happy to see. There are some small differences in the face and hand that if you flip the images upside down you will catch I think. oh..and the light lights on the very bottom of the dress have a little less contrast and more form description. great work all around though. keep it up.
Wow! super precise! great job and nice brush work as well
Brilliant stuff here. Also some good analyzing of the paintings. Which paint program do you use? Painter?
I think utilizing Photoshop's other tools sometimes can help a lot when you want to work faster.
I still try not to rely on those very much, except for guides and free-transform tool for those
straight lines. But back on topic, really great texture use, and it seems to me you pretty much nailed
this one. One of my favs from Sargent. Awesome job at it!
Jason Manley: Excellent points, thank you! Did a quick update on the painting, added it on the original post.
Fincks: Naah.. half the time I just wing it, messing with this and that until it looks somewhat similar.. But don't tell anyone.. :-) Thanks!
Ben Zehner: Thank you!
Artificil: Thanks! I don't have Painter, have only tried some old demoversion that kept crashing a lot. I got the feeling its good for those who have learned painting with traditional methods. Photoshop is my weapon of choice and since I'm rather digital anyway, it suits me fine.
RaliVanMinks: I agree many tools could boost speed on stuff. But at the moment I want to improve my actual painting ability, so that need for corrections and any manipulation would be as limited as possible. But "free-transform tool for those straight lines"? I'm curious, do you use free transform to straighten lines? Or curve them? (You know you can press SHIFT for straight lines and just click for start and end point?)
Sorry, it probably sounded a bit strange the way I put it. I think I'll give you an example, as it's hard to explain otherwise. If there is an angle between two shapes or lines, and you've got pressed transfer in your brush settings, it doesn't give you a stroke connecting dot-to-dot, at least I don't. I either need to change to a brush that has transfer off, ooor hold shift like you said. But, for blocking in and establishing the angle relationships I made a new layer, pressed shift, drew my straight line and then free transformed it as necessary. That's what I used for the perspective line in my current study. Unless I've missed out on some other setting that's causing me to go through all this.. :-/I'm curious, do you use free transform to straighten lines? Or curve them? (You know you can press SHIFT for straight lines and just click for start and end point?)
beautiful work. please continue on. you are right on point. just keep them rolling.
@Rali: I'm not sure if I understood you correctly, but if you try to draw/paint while holding SHIFT you only get horizontal or vertical lines. You need hold SHIFT and click once for start, NOT draw, but move to the end and click there second time. You'll get any angle and brush transfer has no effect. Any opacity or size difference has to be made separately. (You could get all brush effects by making a vector line and then using "stroke" function on it, but that's slow-ish)
@Jason Manley: Cool, Thnx!
Number 14, Bonnat, that I chose for doing a not-too-detailed multi-person piece. And wanted to try it's painting style, which I don't particularly like.
The two Sheik's have been balanced equally on their own sides of the picture, with carefully similar heights too. They raise clearly above their subordinates, whom have both rhytm and variation in their heads and feet. The entire group of men have triangular form, binding them solidly together, yet both Sheik's are the pinnacle of their own triangle. The larger retinue has a little more precedence due to their closer feetline.
The detail and overall brightness of the rock formations on the right helps to emphasize that group, while the bright areas are balanced by the much larger dark mountains, where the receding effect is achieved with lessening detail and gradually darkening surfaces.
Tried to stick in the hour, but spent 90 minutes to get some detail and edge definition. Roughly 6,5h for the later version and still many things are a tad off.
Last edited by samwaulu; April 21st, 2014 at 09:35 PM. Reason: Wrong attachment..
Yup, that's exactly what I did. I tried the same thing a couple of weeks back@Rali: I'm not sure if I understood you correctly, but if you try to draw/paint while holding SHIFT you only get horizontal or vertical lines. You need hold SHIFT and click once for start, NOT draw, but move to the end and click there second time. You'll get any angle and brush transfer has no effect. Any opacity or size difference has to be made separately. (You could get all brush effects by making a vector line and then using "stroke" function on it, but that's slow-ish)
when I was doing a ctlpaint worksheet just for that, but when I did the shift+click/
move then click again, the line I got was fairly visible. I don't get why it gets this
way, but the result either way is useless when I need it to work, so I just saved a new
brush with transfer turned off. The line's pretty harsh and very bold, but, that was
the only non-time consuming way I could work around it.
As for the Bonnat study, I think you captured the major values in the first sitting
really well, and the more refined details on the longer session look pretty spot on,
so the rest would maybe be nitpicking. There's a spot behind the first light figure
from the left, just behind him in the background that I notice is a bit darker and edgy
than in the original, it seems to pop out a bit more than blend in.
Overall though, another fantastic piece in the series! Did this one
make you appreciate his painting style a bit more when you were done?
It's great getting out of your comfort zone once in a while, however
small it might be, right?
@RaliVanMinks: Only way I get a faint line is either with minimal opacity or flow.. Oh well Yeah there'a lots of little things in the Bonnat still, but am tired with it. Please do tell when you notice something. While I know some myself, it's unlikely that I would notice all. And things I don't notice myself are the most important to learn about.
Still don't much like that style.. it might be nice when painting on a large surface, but with small wacom, not so much. And it lacks some of the visual aesthetics I'd prefer, but that's just a matter of taste.
@Jason Manley: Whoa.. thank you. Although on the next one I was pretty slow and messy.. :-D
15th, a Lefebvre, chose it because I like it and thought it would be good portrait practice without being just a portrait.
So far I've mostly worked these in one sitting at time, but this time had to work in multiple short periods. That wasn't good. Kept messing up things every time, noticing them next time, fixing and then messing up something new. Because of the limited time on each session, I guess I tried to speed up too much all the time. Took about 2 hours to get a decent first stage, which has inaccurate values and problems with face and the mandolin and she is too wide. That last one I noticed only after about 5 hours and when fixing that had to repaint almost all of the foliage on the right side of the picture.
Other than that.. well, the mandolin fought me like a beast and it still isn't 100% right. Painted the face maybe 4-5 times because somehow I got those features to be each separately very drunk and they kept wandering all over.. Not sure of the total time spent, but roughly 14 hours.
Good part of the longer time spent was that it allowed me to observe it more.
The girl in the picture is placed exactly on the center, a choice that could be boringly static, but her tilted head brings dynamics and the trees behind her on the right add a value mass that helps both the dynamics and depth. Due to strong dark/light contrast and central placement, emphasis is on the girls face. The dark fabric she is wearing might be necessary to keep warm, but it also helps to obscure all details of her body and so strengthens the detailed, brighter areas of hands, mandolin and face.
Her upper body structure is mildly triangular, which is broken by the protruding mandolin. That, along with the intricate detail, puts secondary emphasis on the mandolin, which also forms a sort of bridge from the girl to the trees and helps to bind them together as one group.
There is surprising amount of symmetry hidden in the edges of various parts. The shape of her head and the bottom of the mandolin, both hips, placement and form of her hands, the edge of her chest and hands.. Another small but important detail is the foliage in bottom right and leaves on bottom left. Without them the bottom would be very flat, but now the few leaves create depth in very subtle way, few in front of her skirt, the others receding towards the upper background foliage.
Wow, I am loving both your textures and your composition analysis. Spent quite a bit of time ogling the water texture in the Turner painting as well, haha.
Re: the inaccurate-values-at-early-stages thing, I have that problem too, but one thing that seems to help me is doing a quick 5-10 minute value drill before starting-- I just pull up any old picture, turn it grayscale, look at a point on the drawing and try to pick that value and paint over it to see how close I am to the right value. Dunno if that would help you, but thought I'd mention it!
Congrats on the 'best of' mention, keep up the awesome work!
agreed. excellent work. there is some slight variation in the expression/feeling of the face but overall I think this is a strong study and an appropriate analysis. good work as said. Just keep them rolling...you are on the right track.
@aolian: Thanks! Since you like the water, maybe you should give 'em a try yourself? Especially the Turner probably looks more difficult than it actually is. The defining "hard edge" of the water is mostly just white-ish scribble while most of the form comes from the dark areas.
Yeah, I do a somewhat similar value drill, but directly with the actual picture. Lot of my early value problems come from me being lazy and not adjusting the value while painting, even when it's clearly not the right value... I just think "I can fix that later" and then steam on. A very bad habit :-/
@Jason Manley: Thank you! Yes, I notice the variation but I'm hard pressed to figure out all the reasons for it. Edge of left cheek is a tad wrong angle, ridge of nose maybe a tad thick, some nominal value differences and something about the mouth.. This is where I run into problems with portraits. Endless little differences to fix and more created when fixing... I'll return to that face sometime later, try to master it.
@Flashback: You are welcome & thank you!
Lots of small detail in this, which made it slow to start (2h for first stage) but somehow it feels easier to paint than for example the Lefebvre earlier, dunno why. Maybe Gerome's style just fits me better. The advanced version could still use hour(s) for adjusting the small detail.
This Gerome is slightly more complex to analyze than the others have been. The composition seems to work in two stages.
The darks and lights of the pic carefully balance each other both in small and large scale and placement and angle of many things, like the central pillar, help to separate areas of importance and direct attention to where it is wanted.
First the obvious emphasis is on the gorgeous, quite central, high contrast horse and it's intricate saddle. The bottom right half of the picture is such a busy jumble of detail that eye kinda jumps over it and turns to observe the large dark and light foreground and background areas. But as there really isn't much to see there, the eye is pushed back to the horse and then drawn to the contrast of the old man, the hands and the man next to the horse.
At this point rest of the image fades in the background and the second stage comes into play as most of the essential happens between the overlapping horse/man group and the old man, whose finger points at the subject of discussion, the barely noticeable jumble in the horseman's hand.
In some ways time has taken it's toll to this picture. When horses were common and lot of people had knowledge about their gear, this might have been more clear. Personally, as I don't know much about horses, if the name of this pic wasn't available, I probably couldn't completely understand what is being sold, while it is obvious the horse is very much involved in it. These days, it might have been clearer if the horse had no saddle and the men would hold that intricate saddle between them.
EDIT: A quick fix to horseman's face and shoulder area after Agerkvist's comment below.
Last edited by samwaulu; May 6th, 2014 at 05:46 PM. Reason: One more attachment..
Great stuff here - i love seeing the process on these!
The only thing that stands out to me on the latest study is the rather long face on the arab.
@Agerkvist: Thanks & well spotted! I was bothered with the horseman's arm being too short, but was way too tired to figure out the why and where. The long face and subsequently too wide shoulder solved the arm too. :-) Posted a quick update based on that.
@ZeCarnevilCat: Thank you! Keep up with the quality you have, you might be featured too :-)
These are amazing! Your use of edges and texture are really well done.
beautiful work. your column is a little wide at the top...and I think you could run a sharpen on it and crisp it up a bit, but outside that this one is really beautifully done and any other crits I would have would be nitpicking...which we can save for composition 1.2 on the full study.
great job. very happy to see this.
@Jason Manley: Yes, thank you, I might later try to fix that column too. Can't wait for the 1.2 :-D
Some time constraints, so wanted to do a fast one. Chose the Beksinski partly for that, but also for its nearly abstract and chaotic quality.
Aside from the small face, the center of the pic, that suggest the scale, this could almost be a pile of something dumped from the ashtray on the top. But the face sets the scale and the junk becomes a view to a mass grave, the vertical dark middle, a wound on earth.
The dark area forms an inverted triangle, an unstable element, which is enhanced by the ragged edges and chaotic textures. Emphasis is on the middle, where contrast and detail are sharpest, placed slightly off center for more chaos. Secondary emphasis on the ashtray/tower due to its sharp, clear edge, placement and contrast. It's weight dominates the face and the bones below. Despite the chaos there is a lot of rhytm to be found from the skulls and lines of the bones.
The 60 min version is messy.. and the 4,5h has textural and detail problems, but for now I call it done.
Cool pic! You did a good job emulating his very distinct style. Nice work with the textures. My only nitpick is that the bright spots right above the line of skulls is a little more subdued in yours. I think that spot is needed to bring the focal point to the top-most creepy guy and away from some of the brighter skulls.
17 down, only a few to go!
@Dahlia: Thanks & yeah, good point about the spots
18th, a Bierstadt, chosen mostly because I thought it would be relatively fast to do as was the Bierstadt I've done earlier. Well.. it wasn't fast to do.. Value subtlety is equal with Bougoureau and amplified by all the foliage texture and little detail. Tad too tired now for analysis.
90 minute and 11 hour versions. Lots of detail stuff is still slightly off on the final.
Love your Bierstadt study. Nice job with the hints of light on the rocks and trees on the right.
It seems Bierstadt is really good at fooling us all into believing we can reproduce his work like that ^^ *insert Admiral Ackbar's famous quote*
The latest study...double take. Great job.
The Beksinski piece has two things that throw me off just a little..the perspective on the tower and the mist near their mouths...and heads. This most recent piece is showpiece worthy for this class. keep up the great work.