Illoostrader - Composition 1.1

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    Illoostrader - Composition 1.1

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    1. Wrestled with the Frazetta for more than 5 hours, I am sorry to say. I actually went back and reworked this after I did the second study.....
    I got very lost and overworked (and killed) the Frazetta study, shocking brush economy on the upper torso.
    Frazetta is the king, just sayin'.


    2. Repin - Shy Peasant Study, an hour 15 min.
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    CC's very much appreciated.

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    Last edited by illoostrader; April 21st, 2014 at 11:58 PM. Reason: Edited to add rationale for Repin Study
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    Much improved on the value work in the second image...same with the shapes. The first could benefit from making sure your positive and negative shapes are accurately placed, checked, double checked, and triple checked. The second one is right on track and the main thing i see is that you widened her shoulders and for some reason put light between her elbow and her hip on the left size. Keep at it...you are headed in the right direction.

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    Thanks for taking the critique Jason Will definitely fully check my shapes more. I would put the widening of her shoulders down to .... ineptitude
    and the light is because I forgot to turn on a layer underneath when exporting. I have noticed some pretty interesting compositional elements when doing these, and the theoretical markups are yet to come.

    I have some questions
    * Am I supposed to be just painting straight on to canvas, or is it supposed to be a more technical exercise of lassoing selections, masking, clipping groups etc? I ask this because I have many years experience using pshop, and can sometimes really overcomplicate matters, which really slows me down, if they aren't required for further work down the pipeline. (might be overkill for a quick study)

    * Is everyone direct painting, with no blend modes ? I am currently trying to just paint everything directly.

    Current

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    The other thing Jason is I don't seem to be at the level yet where I can just block in and get my shapes spot on without drafting.
    and then drafting it nicely takes me about an hour?

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    that's ok. take your time then. speed will come pretty quickly. first it is important to get the shapes right. we will work through the speed challenge. if it takes a little longer to get things right...that is just fine. it takes me time too.

    jm

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    This is where I am at with my 3rd study, its a WIP -

    I had done this before I got your critiques, Jason, I know the values are way off on the fabric, and I have to double check all my shapes...but just to prove I have been working I have some detailed analyses for three of these that I owe you now -- will start working on them tonight.
    It is incredible just how much thought has gone into the creation of these artworks, stuff I had never noticed before.
    I had a bit of an appreciate for rhythms, however variety had never consciously played any part in any of my artworks. I had never thought of contrasting edges being a deliberate device, I am really getting a lot out of these studies, and your input.

    Despite the fact that I know its not really about what brushes you use that make a great painting, I have been wrestling with trying to use size based pressure, after seeing other artists use that approach really well, and it just feels too alien to me, just thinking out loud.
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    I will take my time on studies from now on too, and thanks for the support. And, I realise that analysis and theory is integral to good artwork, so I won't post any work in future until I have done and posted a full analysis of the piece.

    Last edited by illoostrader; April 16th, 2014 at 03:28 AM.
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    you are welcome. this is good progress and i appreciate the update and thoughts. you have in your mind what you need to do now...so keep focused ok? Keep them rolling out. I will wait for the next update then to put more feedback on you. This one is close...just need to slow down some as you said. I trust you will find the answers.


    jm

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    Primitive Beauty Rationale (1st study I did)

    thanks again Jason

    Here is my much delayed explanation of 'Primitive Beauty' by Frazetta:
    Frazetta’s genius and mastery at capturing movement, voluptuous women and locomotion in a painting has inspired me for years. I know we are only meant to mention one thing we learned but I got so much out of this I felt I would write it up. Most probably won’t attempt this much detail for following rationales, as I have limited time and could have painted another study in the time it took to write and annotate this
    These are just my thoughts, and I may be way off base, but here is my subjective interpretation of what this master was up to with this painting…….

    It appears to me that there is a triangular composition of sorts (red line) however the additional elements create a dynamic flowing composition ( yellow ‘S’ like curve). Brilliant. If my guess at a triangular composition is wrong, one thing is for sure - excluding her hair her body sits in the perfect third of the painting, in the centre. Without the aforementioned elements, this could have been a much less dynamic work.
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    What struck me too was the way he used the repetition (with variety) of the foliage direction to lead the viewer’s eye down towards the lower torso/legs and then the eye naturally follows the main mass (the beauty) back up the body and out to the two birds. The variety used in the foliage creates arrays that feature at their centre the female warrior.

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    The jewellery/ adorements serve to lead the eye around the canvas (using material variation and contrast to create emphasis) in a most brilliant way, which I didn't notice at first: Headband, earrings, necklace, wristbands, down to the spear head, down the plants again, and back up into the body etc.

    There seems to also be repetition of triangular shapes - shadows, tree masses, lit areas of the body, which also seem to help to create a cohesive whole overall in the piece, which I only now have just noticed :

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    In terms of narrative, not only is the plant life metonymic of an entire jungle, but is says the character is wild, her size in the comparison to the plants perhaps infers control/dominance over her environment, that she has conquered the wild? She wears the teeth of some animal she bested in battle.
    Her gaze is quite deliberate, and she is seemingly focused on, and unafraid of whatever she has in her gaze.
    There is wonderful economy in the portrayal of the fauna element, with only a small amount of value variation, which adds texture and interest to the mid-ground, without it being distracting or overpowering.
    The birds in the background seem to be following in the wake of this warrior, as if they too are mastered by her. They also serve to create a really cool flowing curved rhythm of the overall elements of the painting. In addition to this, they also balance out the large foliage mass seen on the left hand side.
    Lightest areas of value are located directly beside darkest/darker areas to create maximum contrast.
    The master stroke in this painting is that one blade of grass sits above the spear in the foreground, subtlety creating a wonderful depth, but also connotes (to me) that she is moving.
    Just awesome stuff to be learned from Frazetta’s works, hope some of my impressions were accurate.

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    Here is my missing Repin Analysis, that I owed from last week.

    Repin has captured the essence of what appears to be a very underprivileged man. His pose is one of a man lacking confidence, he is hunched over and looks awkward, to some extent.
    The humanity and vulnerability he expresses with just one eye is incredible.
    There seems to be economy in his shadow areas, which makes sense I guess as texture disappears in darkness? I love the lost edges on the sleeve in the right corner (viewers’ right). The arrangement of the hair seems to lead the viewers eye around the head and back down into the painting.
    Understated but textural richness and supposedly random direction of brush marks in the background suggests (to me) the unkempt nature of the subject, and his clothing. I am not sure if it is a co-incidence or not, but many of those marks seem to point directly at the face of the subject?.....
    Ahh, the brilliance of these masters, learning so much!

    Sorry for the double image post, this is the same as previous:

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    Last edited by illoostrader; April 22nd, 2014 at 12:20 AM. Reason: Adding Rationale
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    nice work. i encourage you to take the image in to the liquify tool and work out the head proportions. yours seems a little wide in the skull structure and face. just a thought. Your textures are coming along well though. Keep it up.

    jm

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    Thanks JM,

    I was just reposting it for convenience with the newly written rationale.
    Liquify is definitely the way to go on this one, saves me repainting it.
    thanks mate.

    How did I go with my above rationales? Was I on crack, or on the money?

    Last edited by illoostrader; April 23rd, 2014 at 07:58 AM. Reason: typo. (obsessive compulsive with spelling and grammar)
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    your analysis is on the money...and well done. You think a lot as you work and that is one of the things i am trying to encourage and foster in here...much of what you are noticing most people don't pay attention to so it is good to see that you are eyes open as you create. keep it up.


    jm

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    well that just made my day, cheers bro

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    Really great to read your analysis and great progress with your studies. I think the Rockwell one is pretty close. Left arm holding the lamp is a bit off lenght wise, maybe the size of the hair too?

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    Hey Tomas - thanks for popping over! thank you very much for the encouragement. Yes to both of your points, and I am currently working on fixing up the Frazetta, but after that will be moving to the Rockwell BTW You are officially the first person other than JM to post about my work on CA

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    Round 2 for the Frazetta Primitive Beauty!


    Have tried so hard with all the edges and shapes, let me know what you guys think.
    added grain, and started using grainier brushes. Need help, the face absolutely sucks. I can't get it right. The resolution of my ref image is really proving a challenge.
    Reworked much of the body, using Liquify, and then painting the shit out of it. I have spent many moons on this...... but it is worth it. I have learned the importance of drafting accurately all of the landmarks first, even though I thought I did.....

    Things wrong:
    Birds - not enough detail
    Spear - wrong shape
    Wrist - too thick
    Face - looks like a bucket full of a$$holes with all the good ones taken out.

    Just noticed now that my version of the skin is an ever so slighty higher value ARRRRRGHHH

    (still loving doing this)
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    Hit me crits!!!!

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    Repin Study Revisted

    Okay, so here is my second pass at Repin, applying your suggestions (in general) Jason.
    I really feel like I am getting somewhere, I need to speed up though.
    I think I have more specularity on the face of my study, and getting those eyes close to right was a killer. I can’t make out what is happening with the eye in shadow anymore than this, Love to hear your thoughts – or anyone elses .Name:  2b-shy-peasant-1877-Repin-JNb.jpg
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    4. Became Silent” by Dubovskoy Value Study

    I love this piece, “became silent” by Dubovskoy – to me, it looks like those little fishermen dudes (in comparison to the monolith storm cloud) are about to get caned.
    I feel like there is a great sense of foreboding, these two fishermen with their single small light (a great contrast device to lead the eye, I personally feel they are the third emphasis in the painting) are enveloped by a very subtle mid tone, to increase there visibility, and are pretty much a full dark value.
    The edges on the clouds were a massive challenge to do, and nearly backed out of this one twenty minutes into it. I probably got the guts of this done in 1.5 hours, then spent a further 1.5 hrs refining edges reworking shapes, fixing mistakes, and kind of stuffing some of nice feel I had in the clouds, in the first 40 minutes. I nearly canned this one, because it was too hard, but glad I didn’t. LevelUp is teaching me to stick with and finish stuff, despite how shite it looks initially, which is invaluable to me, as a person, let alone an artist. Hit me with thoughts and crits please!

    (BTW - the notes on Variety etc should say this: "Variety and Repetition seem very closely related?"

    Further analysis below:

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    And my study

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    Nice improvement here, and fast too. Great to see. I think you took it up a notch on the last study. Great analysis too - I often get too caught up in the process to remember paying attention to those details.

    But don't tell Jason!

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    Thanks Agerkvist! I really appreciate you taking the time to say that, and don't worry, it will be our secret...

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    ha.


    get that horizon line straightened out. and take a pass on your values as this study is far too beautiful to have it almost there. wrap it up. I might suggest taking another pass at the face on the prior as well so that you get those close. You got my comments on fb already so I think you have it under control. keep up the good work.


    jm

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    Thanks for the kind words JM, that makes my day. I can't believe how much this is sharpening my analytical ability when I now view my own works, and others (non-studies). I am excited about these studies, and am finding my ability to keep working a painting (I used to quit way to early) is increasing significantly. cheers!

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    Dubovskoy changes

    Okay so I spent probably another hour on the values for this,thanks for the critique Jason.
    I could use some help as to how I can fix the edges on the penumbra at the bottom of the cloud, please?

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    Last edited by illoostrader; May 5th, 2014 at 10:46 AM.
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    Nice one Illoostrader!

    I like that cotton-ish texture you used for both the clouds and the sea.
    Also, nice contrast and values
    Maybe the black bottom part of the clouds is a little too thick, but it's gorgeous anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by illoostrader View Post
    Okay so I spent probably another hour on the values for this,thanks for the critique Jason.
    I could use some help as to how I can fix the edges on the penumbra at the bottom of the cloud, please?
    I'm not quite sure if you're talking about this:
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    The edge is very sharp for the most part. I think using a round hard brush with no transparency would be okay.
    Just add a layer above your work and paint the negative space with it (the grey sky).
    Then add the fluffier parts with a very soft brush and low opacity, I think it might work.

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    Hey ZCC,

    thanks for taking the time
    Yep, you are spot on with the bottom of the clouds, I kind of just called it quits (it was late too, so I thought I should hit the hay.)
    Penumbra is latin for 'almost shadow', so yep, you are on the money with the problem areas, cheers mate!

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    you could try flattening the image, duplicating the layer then doing a soften/blur on the duplicated layer over the top of the original, then erasing out the areas that need to be sharper and were accurate in the original. at this point it is about pixel pushing if that does not solve some of the softness challenges you are seeing.

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    Thanks JM, I was trying to paint the problem out oldschool, but I can totally 'trick' my way to where it needs to be, cheers!

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    That last one's great! You really managed to hit the right values.

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    Thanks PixelO, really appreciate that you took the time to look at my work and comment. Your studies are currently blowing my mind.

    General sidenote: I am revisiting my Norman Rockwell piece, will upload it tonight.

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    looking forward to your updates.

    jm

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