Maquina - Composition 1.1

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Thread: Maquina - Composition 1.1

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    Maquina - Composition 1.1

    Greetings fellow peeps from the artistic cloth!

    A question I had in Regards for this study is.. How is Rembrandt able to pop out the painting forward without the use or a rim light in this painting?

    I chose "Portrait of Rosalba Peale" By Rembrandt, because he uses deep contrasting values in this painting. Making it (or at list I think) very dramatic without much effort. Also.. he tends to "imply" details in the fabrics; that read really well and is seen today in many video game character concepts.

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    The Study took 1 hr. This was really challenging for me due to the fact that face in general are a challenge.. but if i have time i can properly do them... I found out after i first spent 15 minutes sketching out the details. that i probably had better spent time establishing the overall shapes first. At 30 minutes i stared to freak out because it felt I was not gonna make the 1hr Max deadline. So i started making broad strokes of paint and discarted the sketch. However then i felt at a loss since i had no visual indications of the distance between eyes nose and mouth.. and well.. shit happened lol. but pushed through (Hopefully Rembrandt excuses the duck-face lips) and finished by the 1hr. mark.

    Looking forward in reading yer responses

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    I'm not a very good artist myself so take what I say with a pinch of salt. With that said I was told this by people with a lot more experience than me. Be really careful to watch your negative spaces, they can really help you get things roughly in the right places. Take a look at the negative spaces in your piece compared to the original below. Pay close attention to how far the hair is from the top in the original and yours. Use the edges of the painting to help you learn where to start putting your lines when you're drafting.

    Hope this helps. Good first attempt. Your values are good.

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    Hi Vonsar!

    Indeed, I had failed to totally see it can have had initially been been a big block out like you just did... that could have helped a lot in the initial stages. I will have to watch out for that going further.

    Thanx for the input!

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    vonsar that is a fabulous crit. thank you so much.

    When you are first getting started it is very important to really focus in on the mapping out of your shapes as accurately as you can possibly get them. If you put a shape in the wrong place and commit you end up having the other shapes off and require fixing, which increases painting time. By taking just a few extra minutes early on to measure out your shapes, to compare your shapes, and be sure they are placed and drawn accurately will make the rest of the painting process, working out your values and edges, much much easier.

    You should flip the images horizontally and vertically so that you see the shapes with fresh eyes. This should be part of the process and if you are already doing that, keep doing it more. The professional artists will often flip images or use a mirror to see with fresh eyes as many as three or four times a minute as they are working when things really get flowing. You can also back away...actually get up and back away...and doing this works for shapes as well as checking values and edges.

    Keep up the good work.


    jm

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    Hi Jason!

    Great to hear from ya... Indeed I will be more careful in planing out the painting before committing to shapes... and I must admit, I have never actively used the flipping technique. I will have to start using it. I will also try to stop and back away every so often. things i normally never do but I'm excited to explore different avenues to push the quality of work to its best.

    Thank you!

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    Study 2

    No real Question for this piece...

    I choose Velasquez's Portrait of Francisco Lezcano or The "Niño de Vallecas" ...sadly I found out (after finishing) the reference I obtained from google was a cropped zoomed in image of the full piece. Again I decided on a portrait since i need a lot of practice with facial features. I also like how Velasquez (even in the cropped pic) there is a sense of balance from the background having being weighted more to the right and the subject lean to the Left (even though he is in the middle).

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    I took more time initially making sure the major shape was properly situated before committing to it and start details. I did flip the canvas somewhere around the 40 minute mark.. however not used to doing that and after checking the over all read on facial features I switched back.

    I think i could have pushed the highlights a bit further in some areas.

    let me know what you guys think.

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    mmmm I tried adding the next study but it said it needed admin approval or something... I will try post later today again if it doesn't go through

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    Study 3

    Q: Why would Van Dyck include more detail in a far away landscape than say elements in the middle ground right behind the subject?

    The piece chosen from Dyck was the "Painting and the Plague". The use of most of the canvas in a diagonal direction and economizing the opposite corners really intrigued me. Not only does the canvas feels "full:" but in a way it isnt. I think they way he pulled this off was absolutely brilliant!

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    Took time in properly establishing the shape direction and body positioning. Adhering to the 1 hr time limit, the face suffered similarity suffered a a lot (and as previously stated.. not really good on faces on faces when working fast.) I was only able to spend 10 minutes on it by minute 40... in a dash to finish on time. Much of the issue i had with the piece was with foreshortening of the legs.. this because of the fabric no letting me see where they where.. ended up disregarding the fabric to attend to the leg issues and had to cover them up with 2 minutes left on the clock.

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    Study 4

    Q:why would Gérôme opt to divide the objects and overall piece by gradients in tones rather than use of drastic tone changes?

    Up next is Jean-Léon Gérôme with his painting Diogenes. This painting attracted me alot on 2 things. the only real black hard-lines are usually at the bottom and all values are pretty close together.. making it an exciting yet challenging piece to achieve in 1 hour.

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    In my process i was able to roughly plot out the shapes of the over all composition. It was challenging due to the fact that since all the values are pretty close together. It makes it a bit difficult to establish boundaries between objects in the scene without the use of explicit black lines. it took 30 minutes to get all the shapes in the correct place.. and moving from left to right i tried to finish the piece... however i ran out of time, the dogs and the right side of the canvas went pretty much unfinished. :/

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    Jason or somebody else can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you should take the 1 hour limit as an absolute limit. By the comments in my own thread and others that I've read, it seems that to me that it's more important to get the study right while not spending too much time to get all details right. I've spending around 1-2 hours with the studies depending on their complexity.

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    your shape work is improving. keep focused there. do not let up on that. looks like the flipping of the images is helping.

    When you get your shapes worked out well, pay very close attention to the values. You want to match the values you see as closely as you can. It is important to be very honest about what you are seeing. try to put the accurate value down with each stroke as otherwise you end up having to fix things along the way and being accurate will save you time. Really take the time to observe and compare and choose the right value. If you are off, adjust it, don't keep working and come back to it. You are doing great...just need to focus in on value a little more.

    Keep it up.


    JM

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    Thank you for the Input guys.. will definitely keep working on it.. practice, practice, practice

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    Study 5

    Q: I wonder if Church took some artistic license in the positioning of the light source in this piece in order to achieve the dramatic effect of the sunset.

    for this study I chose "Twilight Mount Desert Island Maine 1865" by Edwin Church. I was really taken in by the sense of open space by how Church took 2/3 of the canvas just for the sky alone and allotting the last 3rd for the land and shrubbery; and the dramatic lighting of the piece. I noticed it was a great study potential, due to the fact that there is A LOT of complexity in the number of values and value changes in any particular area of the canvas.

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    On this study I took a total of 75 minutes... I took the first 20 to address the value matching and shape positioning. Although it was a bit challenging paying attention to all the proper value changes.. what i found to be difficult was to blend the borders of value shapes because sometimes the values changes so much in some areas that adding some type of mid-tone made the composition look incorrect.

    Although challenging.. it was actually rather enjoyable.. looking at it i think i could have pushed darker tones on some areas.

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    Study 6

    Q: Why would Bierstadt choose to omit much of potential detail in the middle-ground mountains?... Was he going for an Atmospheric rendering rather than a realist one?

    Continuing on Landscapes.. the next study was based on Albert Bierstadt's Mountain View. I wanted to study this painting of his because the use of repetition is predominant in this piece. One can see repetition in the mountains, the treeson both sides of the canvas as well as the local fauna found in this painting. Yet, the focus remained as a striking landscape painting physically well balanced vertically and horizontally by the use of values.

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    The Study took 1 hour and 30 minutes.. but unlike the previous one going over 15 because i ran out.. on this one i took time with the piece. Allotting the necessary time for each element in the painting and adding details... I DID however took a bit of an artistic silence in the mountains.. after matching shapes and values.. I don't know why but it felt really flat.. at first i thought i had not matched the values correctly.. but after examining further i noticed that there is very subtle almost no change in values of the original piece in the rock faces.... maybe it was me not being able to properly interpret the piece.. but it still reads pretty flat on his original.

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    Red face

    Study 7

    Q: I wonder why Frazetta felt the need to exaggerate anatomical features in his pieces? (some more than others but still)

    Frank Frazetta has always been a favorite of mine. Not gonna lie I was incredibly NOT looking in to doing it because the fear of fudging up a great piece from an artist I admire deeply. I was actually really nervous before starting on this (weird I know). The piece I chose for this study was Frazetta's The Moon Maid and The Centaur. We can observe elements of repetition in the Moons, the birds and the craters, each with its own frequency. On top of that i really wanted to challenge myself knowing that the piece would have a high level of value complexity between background elements and the subjects themselves.

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    I was not expecting the level of complexity it was going to have... to put it "Frankly" (excuse the pun) I had never really attempted any sort of sketching or painting involving 2 main subjects... especially, anatomically speaking. I actually had to go over substantially and spent 2 hours and 45 minutes on this study. The most i had difficulty with was the interaction between the Moon Maid and the centaur... I tried matching as close as possible... still in comparison of Frazettas original.. the Moon Maid looks like she is reliant on the Centaur for protection Beautiful and fragile... on my take it looked more like she was along for a joy ride... I don't know.. something was missing.. perhaps is my lack of experience between 2 characters.. but still... I tried.

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    these paintings are meant to be read with your eyes resting on the primary focal area...the shapes of the deer and the surrounding area for example. when your eye rests the whole of the picture comes into play. if he put more detail up in the mountains it would become more about the mountains. that is how they use focus to tell story. more detail on the more important bits. it also helps that the mountains are so far away that they become atmospheric and atmosphere and light/shadow can destroy information and lose information just as much as it can describe it.

    try to be as faithful as you can to the original. double check your shapes, values and edges. use a mirror over your shoulder and look back at the images, if you need to. keep flipping the images horizontally and vertically to check. you will get this. these are great starts.

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    Awesome, thank you Jason.

    Indeed, I shall try to be more faithful to the original.. and since I've only recently started to flip the canvas, I have not done so vertically, only horizontally... this is seriously taking me in new and exciting directions.

    13 More to go

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    Hey Maquina,

    I started off having the same kind of troubles you are, so maybe my experience can help. It seems like you're not using any kind of measuring techniques? Just eyeballing everything. I guess some artists eventually get good enough they can do that and still be quite accurate, but I sure can't! Hope you don't mind I did a little check on your last one just for verticals:

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    There are many different ways to measure accurately - I tried a few and what I'm doing for these now is just to use the grid. You can adjust how big the squares are by going into Photoshop Preferences>Guides and Grid, and set what color you want too. Accuracy will improve massively as soon as you do it. Another way is to just scroll up or down and watch the picture as it moves off the top or bottom edge of the screen - that's how I first noticed how far off your horizontals were, just as I was scrolling through this thread. You can scroll until something lines up with the top or bottom edge of the monitor - like the top of a head, eyes, chin, whatever, and draw a little line there to show you the limits of the drawing. Or it's actually easier just to use vertical or horizontal lines in Photoshop like I did, just by holding the Shift key while you draw. Do this on a separate layer on top and hide it when you don't need it anymore. You can also try a google search for 'sketch measuring techniques' or something similar, there are a lot of them. Once you get everything placed properly everything else goes a lot better.

    Last edited by Darkstrider; April 14th, 2014 at 10:30 PM.
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    Hi Darkstrider!

    Thank you for your input and tips... and no I honestly do not mind at all.. all this is ubber helpful

    Indeed I'm trying to minimize as much as possible the use of measuring devices... the only thing I do have are the rulers on to get a general sense of where things are in the piece.

    I am trying to eyeball as much as possible, in an attempt (so I think) to get better at striking down at the canvas with big strokes and setting down shapes as fast and accurately as I can without wasting time much time trying to accurately measure everything. This due that i am notorious for painting suuupeeeer slow. But doing these studies, I have upped my painting speed considerably.

    I will try to drop down some guidelines here and there when I'm working to check stuff going forward.. cant hurt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maquina View Post
    I am trying to eyeball as much as possible, in an attempt (so I think) to get better at striking down at the canvas with big strokes and setting down shapes as fast and accurately as I can without wasting time much time trying to accurately measure everything.
    I think that would be fine if you're getting good accuracy, but actually you're pretty far off. I think maybe you're concentrating too much on speed and not enough on accuracy. I keep finding myself repeating this, but that's because it's so true - "First you get good, then you get fast, then you get good and fast" - Dave Sim, creator of Cerebus. And I think that's what Jason is putting us through, though he may agree or disagree, I'm not sure. But it seems everybody starts out trying to do these really fast and he tells them to work on accuracy, and then they slow down and it starts improving by leaps and bounds - especially when they start measuring.

    I think it's important to train your brain to really place paramount importance on accuracy, and you do that by slowing down and measuring everything. It takes as long as it takes, you do it for as long as it takes until you begin to find you can go faster, maybe ease off on the measuring little by little, and now you're getting a lot more accurate than before. At least that's how I think it works - I'm not through that learning curve yet. But I'm not here to twist your arm lol - just calling it how I see it. Different people are approaching it different ways, and I'm sure there's more than just one way to do it. Carry on!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkstrider View Post
    I think that would be fine if you're getting good accuracy, but actually you're pretty far off. I think maybe you're concentrating too much on speed and not enough on accuracy. I keep finding myself repeating this, but that's because it's so true - "First you get good, then you get fast, then you get good and fast" - Dave Sim, creator of Cerebus. And I think that's what Jason is putting us through, though he may agree or disagree, I'm not sure. But it seems everybody starts out trying to do these really fast and he tells them to work on accuracy, and then they slow down and it starts improving by leaps and bounds - especially when they start measuring.

    I think it's important to train your brain to really place paramount importance on accuracy, and you do that by slowing down and measuring everything. It takes as long as it takes, you do it for as long as it takes until you begin to find you can go faster, maybe ease off on the measuring little by little, and now you're getting a lot more accurate than before. At least that's how I think it works - I'm not through that learning curve yet. But I'm not here to twist your arm lol - just calling it how I see it. Different people are approaching it different ways, and I'm sure there's more than just one way to do it. Carry on!!
    Darkstrider makes some really good points. While speed could be an asset (eventually) it doesn't
    guarantee progress in its own right, since any mistakes you keep repeating will stay with you,
    unless you take some time and reflect on them, or find out what's not working. I don't measure
    slavishly, but I cross check with the use of temp rulers, but still end up being off. And then
    I've worked far into the piece to make major changes. My point is, a foundation is crucial. And
    the more you practice, speed will come later on. So, don't worry about "wasting time". There's
    no wasting in learning. I think the questions you ask yourself about the pieces is a good
    approach. It helps understand the painting you choose, especially why some compositions are
    better than others. Keep it up, and looking forward to seeing your progress with the rest of them!

    The key is to start doing. The rest falls into place eventually.

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