Study 1: The Indian Lance.
First up I got N.C Wyeth's The Indian Lance. I really enjoy the violent rhythm that swirls through this piece. He really pushed the poses of the horse and rider that make them seem like they're on the brink of falling. The purposeful combination of values to draw the eye in and around the piece is textbook. It has a great silhouette and economy of shapes.
Last edited by ENmiTy; April 15th, 2014 at 10:44 PM.
Study 2. - Leyendecker Saturday Evening Post Cover
Man, hate to be repetitive but I was scrolling through Leyedecker pieces and this one caught my eye. The dynamic use of shapes and the way he rendered is something I've always greatly admired about Leyendecker's work. The striking way he pushed shapes from thick to thin and the bold hard edges he used to almost cut shapes out on the canvas. This piece is nice because of the distinct silhouettes and usage of shapes to create contrast to move the eye along and trap it on points of interest.
Ok great to see where you are at. you have somehow shortened him up, and put the moon shape lower in the sky. 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.
I picked this because of the layering of interesting silhouettes and values. Has a pretty basic top down light to dark range of values but he arranges them intricately. With so many figures layered directly on top of each other it's difficult not to run into tangents, but he uses values to give these figures that extra pop to pull them apart from each other, even though they're so close. The reeds are a really nice tool he uses here to vignette the focal point and keep the eye in the center.
I think I get caught up in details too much and really should focus more on breaking down simple shapes.
And yes, getting the shapes mapped out correctly really is worth getting done - you'll regret it later if you don't
Try flipping the canvas horizontally and vertically when you do these, that can be a huge help.
I actually think your shapes are looking really good, but the scaling and placement is a bit off on the last one here. And yes, I draw my shapes too big all the time aswell Forget about details early on - adding them later will be so much easier if you get the first steps right.
Thanks so much for all the great feedback! I spent a little more time prepping and mapping out this next one and I think it really saved me. The intense foreshortening was really challenging.
Study 4. On Leapt the Canoe like a Runaway - Frank E. Schoonover
Researching the piece further I realized that the image I referenced of this piece is actually cropped, but cropped in a way that still maintained good straightforward composition. I really enjoy the powerful motion and rhythm throughout this piece as the canoe almost jumps out at you- the way the figure is balanced and sturdy despite the radical speed and the waves that blanket the scene creating the path for the eye to move around. I'm also drawn the sharp contrast of the light waves and dark figure and how the figure is chiseled and hard like the rocks in contrast to the soft waves.
And now looking at it with fresh eyes, I can see his right arm is not at an angle enough and he's hugging the left border a little too much.
Much closer on the shapes - it does indeed pay off to put in the time at the start Shapes are still a bit on the big side and you lack the relly light values, but you're definately heading in the right direction as I see it.
Nice start on these. You are headed in the right direction. 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.
I've always liked this piece and others of George Bellows. The way he can capture something like it's still in motion. I like the movement throughout the piece- from the obvious impact in the center to the crowd framing it. The ring ropes are great because of how they really hammer in the depth and scale of the piece and it was tricky to get them all wrapped around and layer everything correctly.
I didn't get too in depth with it but I tried to get some texture in there since there is some great texture in the piece and I'll be try to input more texture in future studies.
really nice work on the big shapes. I would suggest going into that background and knocking in the shapes/patterns as they are really important to the feel of the piece..even if roughly. You are on the right track. Be sure you are not oversimplifying. Keep it up.
I want to make sure I'm doing this assignment right. This is supposed to be an hour maximum study, right? Cause I've been going through these while being true to that and forcing myself to put the pen down when times up. Because of that I've been trying to keep everything simple and broken up so I can get everything in there.
Should I be going back in and trying to develop these studies further or just focus on what I can achieve in an hour?
Either way, here's the next one.
Study 6. The Last Stand - NC Wyeth
I really enjoy the way this piece is composed and rendered. The placement of the figure and the way he's carved out makes him look like he's part of the rock formations. Also the way he sets the perspective with a slightly lower eye level to make the figure feel tall like a mountain. It's a pretty straight-forward look at using atmospheric perspective in how he breaks up foreground, middle ground and background with contrasting values. Even the little shadows in the mountains help draw the eye back to the focal point.
Based on other threads, I think it's fine, even encouraged, to go over the 1-hour limit if you need to to make the study feel 'complete'-- ie have all the major forms and compositional elements blocked in and the values fairly accurate. Some of the 'best of' threads consist largely or entirely of works that took longer than 1 hour!
I really like the George Bellows piece, and the way you broke down the shapes and motions of the main three figures. The quick textures on the boxers' heads is great. Nice composition observations on the latest Wyeth piece, too!
If you need more time...take it. From the looks of things another 20 mins per would do you well and I think by the end you would be at a place where you are back under the hour time frame. If you put that extra bit into shape mapping/matching early, then the rest will flow pretty quickly as you won't wrestle with the drawing during the rendering and cleanup phase.
keep pushing...these are looking good. keep working on those shapes..positive and negative...so you get it as accurately blocked in as possible.
Haha yeah, I just realized that now- that the gunslinger is a bit on the portly side. I just went back in and slimmed him up a bit. Just looks like the belly was popping a bit too much.
Got a couple new studies. Been falling behind...
Study 7. Storm on the Volga - Ilya Repin
I really like the motion and depth this piece has. The way the figures and waves layer over each other and the rhythm they all have together in harmony. There is so much going on in the foreground, it allows the simple background to just compliment it.
This was a little ambitious to get in under a time limit so I just tried to get the shapes down as close as I could. It's still too scratchy to me. I'll try to back in and sharpen up these shapes.
Study 8. Portrait of Marchesa Luisa Casati, with a Greyhound - Giovanni Boldini
This piece really caught my eye with it's bold brush strokes and the way Boldini pulls shapes out from the dark background into the foreground. The texture is really something I admire of Boldini's and his ability to plant the figure into the background.
Study 9. El Jaleo - John Singer Sargent
I really wanted to try something with a different light source and I just love the way the light covers an shapes this scene. The way the shadows unify and create rhythm throughout.
I tried out a few different brushes to get a better feel for different tools.
Yeah, I've been playing around with some texture brushes but I think I need to work larger. I noticed on this study the image size was a bit small and I was getting some teeth out of the brush on bigger strokes but the smaller they got it just more and more slick. I tried to get a little more texture and tooth in this piece.
Study 10. Marthe De Florian - Giovani Boldini
I dunno, I really like Boldini's portraits and had to do another one. This gives off more of a sketch vibe to it but I like the unfinished transparency and tried to replicate it in some areas. Spent a little more time zoning in the values and practicing getting a little more texture out of my brush. I just really enjoy the strong vibrant brush strokes in how he sculpts clothing and tried to practice that.
once you hit this stage you can do a final pass on a. shapes, b. values and c. edges. You are getting great starts but we need to push for a bit more accuracy and that will come with a final pass on each of those. flip the images upside down and horizontally if need be.
Study 11. Hide the Body - Mead Schaeffer
I thought this would be an awesome piece to study with the chaotic composition that creates a direct path for the eye to travel throughout the piece with big shapes and strong value contrasts. I really tried to get everything in this one. I did notice after finishing this one that I DO need to flip my studies more when working on them.
Study 12. Dean Cornwell - The Desert Healer
The lighting and mood in this piece are great. It reminds me of how night scenes looked like in old spaghetti westerns- with this bright twilight. I enjoy the way Cornwell uses the shadows to swirl the eye around the canvas. The delicate way he paints the clothing and then sculpts out the figures is really nice too.
Study 13. Mead Schaeffer - Dinner White
Back to Schaeffer again. I just like the way he makes shapes pop and the slick way he paints. He really takes full control over a composition and grabs the eye and makes sure it travels exactly where he wants it. It's really evident in how he draws in this curvy hand rail pulling us from the foreground into the middle ground. The asymmetrical balance in this nice too, with the two standing figures and the seated figure pulling the eye upwards to the lamp and down the side of the screen back into the hand rail.
Last edited by ENmiTy; July 30th, 2014 at 05:47 PM.
you are doing an impeccable job with your shapes. please focus on your value as your levels vary compared to the originals. Be sure you are comparing both images at the same time in your peripheral vision, when checking the quality of your values while your eyes rest on the two artworks (kind of out the corner of your eyes). Looking into a hand held mirror can help too. Just be sure you check your values, starting with the biggest shapes and moving down.
Keep up the great work.
Wow, it's been a little while since i last posted! I'm back in the saddle and ready to get this going again.
Thanks, Jason. I think what I was doing before was looking more for the local value instead of the actual value. I tried to get these new submissions as close as possible this time around. They're still a little off I think, here and there.
Study 14. JC Leyendecker - Character Studies
I always love these lineups that Leyendecker did. The way he uses pattern, shapes and value to distinguish characters sitting side by side in what would normally be a very boring composition. The dark light dark light pattern he does here also helps to let the individual characters pop out a little more. Like I've said in previous pieces I've done of his- I love the way he sculpts form out of very recognizable silhouettes.
Study 15. Ilya Repin - Easter Procession in the Region of Kursk
I was searching through a number of images by Repin and I came across this image and then releasized later that this just a tiny crop made int he middle of this huge piece- but the composition of just this time space is so nice I decided to do a study of it. The accents of white really move your eye around this piece- from the white horse, down to the white clothes on the woman's head, up to the white hand shooting out of the crowd and then into the white uniform of the soldier reaching back to strike the crowd. I enjoy pieces by Repin because everyone is in motion- there is so much motion going on in all his pieces and they really feel alive. All the way from the poses to the extremely animated faces. It's incredible to think that this piece is just a tiny crop in a sea of detailed and very interesting characters.
Last edited by ENmiTy; July 30th, 2014 at 05:48 PM.
Please do work on capturing some of the volume of the forms. You can use a soft edged air brush at low opacity to achieve that effect. You are overly flattening things at the moment and including painting form in the process will help widen your digital skill set a lot.
Good to be back. Thanks again for the feedback. Yeah, I was focusing too hard on basic shapes and values.
Study 16. John Harris - Star Surgeon
Decided to try something out of my normal comfort zone. I recently introduced myself to the art of John Harris and I love the way he applies paint and the vibrant colors he uses. I picked out this painting because of seeming simple composition but the great deal of detail that picks up the eye. The sense of scale is really well pulled off in this piece. Even without the small fighter-ships- you can really get a feel for the scale of this huge hospital space station. The details help but the simple use of the red crosses really hammer in the scale.
Last edited by ENmiTy; July 30th, 2014 at 05:48 PM.
Nice work. You are on the right path for sure. Your shapes and values are coming along well. Be sure that you are keeping a close eye on your edges. Note where the sharpest sharpest sharps and softest soft edges are and use them as guideposts/landmarks for the rests of the edges in the image. Edges are important to space, form, and focal areas, so getting those in there will help the piece a lot. Once you do, you will see quality improve a lot. Keep up the great work. -jm
Study 17. Dean Cornwell - Female Soldier with Gun.
Really like the economy of shapes and values in this one. The way Cornwell uses the snow, shadows and the girls face to break up the value shapes. The pose and expression on her face (that I couldn't exactly convey) really give this piece a sense of tension and make you want to see what she's seeing.
Last edited by ENmiTy; July 30th, 2014 at 05:52 PM.