I'll begin with "Death on The Pale Horse" from Gustave Dore.
This picture has a spiral rythmic nature. The primary emphasis lies in the head of the man (in this case, "death"), while the secondary emphasis lies in the horse's head and forelegs, and the third emphasis in the lighter clouds. I say this, because they're the ones which have more contrast. There is a lot of repetition: many curves, and also some stiff things, like the horse's legs, or the sickle's handle. There's also marked variation: Not only in shapes, but also in value range, and in the meaning/essence of elements. There're demons, but there are also things that -without reading the masterwork's title- seem more natural (like the horse and the "man"). Also, the clouds may give a little bit of heavenly atmosphere. I consider it very well balanced, the lighter elements are near the center, surrounded by darker ones, in a black background. Economy can be seen, mostly in the black areas.
The edges in the original work, are very sharp. There's little variation (probably because of the technique used), but some areas have noticeable less definition (like the demons in the end, or the clouds in the background).
Some analysis I made (I hope it's not too far-fetched):
wow. great start. you are about 98 percent there on this one. little things like the blade having a little sharper light on it, and the horses head being more rounded in the original are the last two percent. for a shorter term study though this is excellent. keep it up.
Ok, thanks a lot for the feedback, Jason . Here is the correction of my first one, and another 4 studies.
1-) Death on the Pale horse (Gustave Dore).
Time: 1 hour 10 min. Plus 5 minutes of correction.
2-) The milkmaid (Johannes Vermeer).
Time: 1 hour 45 minutes.
I really had problems with this one, especially while doing the face. So I took a lot of time on it, but very little on the rest.
I feel a smooth rhythm between her head, and the pouring of milk in the jar. The arms serve as a connection. My sight starts at the first emphasis, her head, and then goes through the lower arm to the second emphasis, the jar and milk, and then back through her right arm (while perceiving the rest of the picture in the process). The light on the breads in the table, and the white tone of the milk (with sharp edges), helps to balance the white tones of her ..hat, her blouse's neck, her left lower arm, and the light grey of the wall behind her, to the right. The dark tones of her skirt, sleeves, the tablecloth, and the black tone inside of the milk jar give balance to the dark tone of the frame in the upper left side, and the shadows below the woman's face, and the shadow below the hat (I'm sorry, english is not my first language, and I don't know how is the thing on her head called). The shadows in the box behind her (lower right) and the dark grey floor, balance a bit all the darkness that is in the left side.
There's a lot of repetition and variation. Some repetitions of round shapes are: Her head, shoulders, the lighter fold in her skirt, her bottom, the connection between the lower side of her upper left arm and her elbow, the connection between the milk-jar and her right arm, the round bread and it's basket. Some repetition of straight angled things are: The box in the background, the basket in the wall, the window, the table and the tablecloth, and her left lower arm.
There's some economy in the wall.
3-) Death Dealer (Frank Frazetta).
Time: 1 hour 20 minutes.
I noticed -toward the end of this study- that I made the Death dealer more far away from the horse's head, compared to the original.
Harsh rhythms combine with smoother rhythms. The rough ones can be seen in the areas of the death dealer, and the equipment of the horse. The cluttered rocks in the left of the ground, also give a strong, stormy rhythm (I hope I can make some sense, since I find it so difficult to describe rhythm). Things like the clouds, the background, the horse's tail, and the curves of the vultures, help to smooth the atmosphere. The curved sickle/axe, the curved tail and the curve of the horse's head, helps mantain the attention in the first and second emphasis (the death dealer, and his horse, respectively). I say the death dealer is the first, because the light tone behind him creates a high contrast with his darkness (also because the shining of the helmet, and the axe).
The dark cloud helps balance the dark tones of the ground. The death dealer and his horse are the darkest, and are in the center, which helps balance the other darker tones and the whole picture. The black tones and lines right under the horse, and the one near the left bottom, ground the animal and the creature. The shining light tones of the equipment, and the fur of the horse, integrate the darkness to the lighter tones of the background.
There is repetition on the already mentioned curved elements, plus other like the lower part of the horse's limbs, some rocks, the Death dealer's shoulders, round parts of his helmet and shield, the horse's bottom. The sharp ends and straight angles of some of the equipment (ie. the rein, the spike on the helmet) give variation, as well as more repetition (with the Dealer's leg, or some parts of the horse's leg, for example).
4-) La Baigneuse Valpinçon (Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres).
Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes. (I noticed, toward the end -as well-, that I made her more slouched).
There's rhytm between the darks tones (that form an "L"), and the woman, who has a curved pose (almost like an "S" flipped horizontally). The emphasis is on the woman's head. The darkness of her hair, and her face, balances well with the darkness of the floor and curtains. Whereas the lightness of the scarf she has on the head (and the slightly darker piece of cloth she has on her left arm, and the frame of the bathtub), helps to balance the lightness of the bed, and the upper-right back ground. There's a lot of repetition with curves (her body`s curves, the pillow, and some of the cloths' folds -like the upper left part of the curtain). Also some repetition with straight angles, like some folds in the bed, many of the folds in the curtain, and the bathtub's frame.
5-) Self-Portrait as the Apostle Paul (Rembrandt van Rijn):
Time: 2 hours
I had many problems with his face, but since there's a lot of economy -especially in the darkest areas- I could invest as much time as possible in it (although it would've been nice to do it in 1 hour).
I think there's some kind of "triangular" rhythm, formed by the relationship between his shoulder, the diagonal line of the book, and the lightness of the head.
The light areas of the book balance the light upper left background and the light areas of this head (also the darker tones of his face, which are still lighter than the dark background). The dark upper left backgound (and under the book) helps to balance the darkness of his clothes, his eyes and the shadows of his hair.
The primary emphasis is his face, and the secondary is the book he is holding.
There's variation, since his head-hat, nose, ear, are round, and the book as some straight angles.
I've enjoyed very much making these studies. They're really challenging for me (especially when it's about speed/time).
P.S. Please tell me if the size of the attachments is fine, or if I should make them smaller (if it's the later, what size should they be?)
You are doing a stellar job. As far as the challenge with the Vermeer head, I think the same challenge was overcome in the Rembrandt. Granted, the Vermeer has perspective to it, it all comes down to shape measuring...and judging emotional feel, both of which were wildly successful in the face of Rembrandt. All in all you are getting very close. Shapes are off about 5 percent, which is common this early in the assignment, even if you are getting stronger results than most, at this stage. It is going to come down to triple checking shapes before rendering tiny details and cleaning up. It's simply a quality control check point that needs to be installed a little earlier, and you won't find that you moved something back too far or the like, after you get done...but will find it earlier. Be diligent. You have that trait and it is a strength...just need to really double check all your shapes a little earlier in the game.
Keep up the inspiring work...and thanks for sharing. Great job on the analysis as well. I liked seeing that in the first one and think it is beneficial for you to do that with the others. It will sink in a lot deeper if you keep doing that.
Wow, thanks to you too, Jason! O_o
It's true that I struggle with the placement of the elements when I paint (also when it's from imagination), but the impatience to finish gets me most of the time. I suppose it would be good to take a time to observe the picture before drawing/painting (and develop better strategies for mapping the pictures). Maybe if I take away the space between both pictures, it'll make things easier? :/
I agree with you on the analysis, too. From now on I'll try to post one study at a time, so I can dedicate more to each one.
In this next study #6 from Gustave Dore, I found a lot of difficulties. I tried to place everything as accurate as possible, but after a while I realized that -among other problems- I made the sphinx and the angel a lot bigger (and darker) than the originals. So, with the corrections (to some extent) I took a lot more time.
6-) Enigma (Gustave Dore):
Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes.
I love this piece. Its the desolation that it makes me feel, that fascinates me and scares me at the same time.
The smoke in the background, the hair of the soldier and the lady, and the grass mountain (or haycock?) makes me think that this painting has a rythmic movement that goes to the left. Things like the cannon, the angel's wing and arm, the perpendicular angle of one of the dead men's arm, as well as the ruins in the far left, help break that rythm a little.
The emphasis lies in the two mythological creatures. They have some of the darkest areas of the artwork, and constrast very well with the light sky. They also seem to be the concious beings there. The rest are inmobile, most probably dead. The fact that they are fantastic creatures also gives them more attention.
I think the second emphasis lies in the woman with the baby. The rhythm of the smoke in the background and the angel's wing (pointing down) take my eyes to her.
The lightest and darkest tones lie near the center, while more neutral tones are in the high and low areas of the image.
There's some economy in the land in the background, and also in the high areas of the smoke, but I don't think it's significant.
Variation and Repetition:
Last edited by Andrea86; June 16th, 2014 at 06:39 PM.
excellent analysis. that's exactly what i like to see. I wish everyone was doing that. Thanks for setting a great example.
keep working on your shapes and values. you can get even closer than you are. just keep flipping those images horizontally and vertically. you will see the differences if you are doing that every 30 seconds or so. keep hotkeys set up to flip stuff if you have to.
Thanks for the feedback, Jason. I'm glad that I don't sound farfetched in my opinion/analysis about this picture. I also feel that, while it takes more time, it helps me understand better the principles.
I'll keep trying to improve on my studies! I really wished to know if there is a shortcut key for flipping horizontally in GIMP 2. But I suppose that doing it with the buttons every 5 or 10 minutes, is better than nothing (I admit that I used that feature only until the study #7... or at least a little bit more frequently).
7-) Destruction of Leviathan (Gustave Doré):
I really wanted to make this study for Composition 1.2, but I find it extremely difficult, since the artist's technique involves so much precision (just the fact that it's engraved, makes it an ambitious idea to copy the artwork exactly as it is). So, instead, you will see another Gustave Doré study here (maybe another one in the future, too.... I love his works).
Hmm, with this seventh study I've noticed how hard is for me Not to copy things lower than they really are, even when I check more than five times. But I insisted as much as I could in the first stages, and I didn't get as lost as with the previous artworks. The only moment where I felt that I lost a lot of time, was when I tried to imitate the texture of the piece, in the background, and decided that didn't like it later (I tried to smooth things there, but I still think it looks disorganized).
Time: Aprox. 2 hours and 40 minutes.
The contortions of leviathan, the turbulence of the water, and the cumulated clouds in the background, are the rhythm here. You can see a lot of movement, especially where the monster is. I think there is a triangular composition between leviathan's head, his tail in the background, and the celestial being (I assume he is God, since Doré Made biblical illustrations). All the rhythm/elements resolve around these three spots (and also help to shape the "triangle" - both cascades, for example). The two emphasis are also inside there.
The most intense spot here, is the contrast between leviathan's head/neck with the white foam of the water. The second emphasis is God, who makes some contrast with the dark clouds. He points his sword at Leviathan's head (leviathan's dorsal spikes/scales and wing, serve as arrows that help guide the eye to God, while the sword serves as an "arrow" to guide the eye back to leviathan, while the brain assimilates the whole picture..). The contrast in Leviathan's torso, and the contrast between it's dark tail with the lighter sky behind it, serve as a transition between the two emphasis. I tried to fix my eye in the torso, but it either wants to go down or up; the most important things here are Leviathan and God (Celestial versus demonic stick out in the natural, mundane setting).
In each light area, there is some dark one, and vice versa -this with the curvy rythm, almost makes me think of a Yin Yang (Leviathan's dark head is surrounded by a lighter element, and God is surrounded by darker elements).
The darkest elements lie near the center, while the lightest are up (God), and down (water's foam). The shadow of Leviathan's dorsal spikes, his dark head, it's wing's shadows, the cloud's big and small shadows (...actually every single shadow in the picture), help to balance the intensity of the darkness in the middle. Meanwhile, the small spots of luminosity in some of the elements (like leviathan's torso, or it's wing) help to counteract the attention on the light cascade and it's foam.
I hardly see significant economy in most of the Doré's engravings I've seen so far (there are exceptions, of course, but I don't think this is one). In a better quality version of this artwork, you can see fine lines even in the dark clouds. In the low quality version (this one), I would say that there is economy in the darkness of the clouds, water, and leviathan's tail (and also in God).
Repetition and Variety:
Last edited by Andrea86; June 19th, 2014 at 01:12 AM.
Excellent work. For the time allotted you are hitting the mark, and your analysis is very strong. Please keep it up. keep pushing for closer more accurate values too. You are close...but can be closer, like the darks on the seamonster for example..or the value shapes in the sky as another example.