@ Jason: Thank you Jason! I'm working hard on those shapes. There's always something that looks misplaced but I can't figure it out immediately... I only see it one or two days later -_- (And then I can't get my eyes off it!)
@Illoostrader: Thanks for your notes about the dwarf. I don't know if it's due to digital painting, but I struggle a lot with scales and mapping shapes.
Regarding values, I used to work with charcoal for some time. That's how I really discovered how all those lights/shadows and counter-lights worked. I don't know if it helps, but it's really good exercise .
Thanks again for your support and advice. I should definitely move more my eyes while painting too.
@Samwaulu: Hi! Thanks for popping in and for your encouragements too! I'm starting to understand why the first hour is critical for building the entire painting. By the way your work is pretty impressive! Good luck for the next assignments!
6- "Bacchante" by Mary Cassatt
(~3 hours, got lost in fixing things at the end)
1 hour study:
I choose this one for its good balance, suggested movement and repetitive but varied triangle shapes.
And here's the step by step process asked by AdriKoh:
(Pics 1, 2 and 3 are the same and done at the same time, but I separated them in 3 images for purpose of clarity)
N°1- I start with filling my canvas with a grey/black color (as close as possible as the background color of the reference) When mapping shapes, first thing I do is trying to see if any shape is close of borders or cutting them (red lines). It can be used as some sort of "anchor points" for placement. At the same time, I check at negative spaces for more anchor points (purple lines).
N°2- Then I squint my eyes and try to paint the main big black and white chunks in the picture, trying to position them correctly according to the reference.
N°3- Next I add the remaining big geometrical shapes and add some grey values with a simple hard brush (green). The orange line follows the core shadow of the figure and connects the neck to the the elbow. If well placed, it can be an useful anchor point for refining details around that zone.
N°4- Rendering... Nothing much to say besides constantly looking back and forth your drawing and the original. Soft brush used to reproduce gradients and a hard brush for details.
N°5- I use a textured brush to refine the background and/or parts of the painting in order to make it look a little less dull.
Not perfect but I hope it helps a little. Send me a message if you have any questions, I'll try to answer them
@Jason: Thanks Jason! I've tried to sharpen my edges on my next study. And you're right, now I see it, the light on the arm is wrong. I've probably spent too much time trying to fix the head and was a bit tired in the end. Maybe I should try to re-work those paintings again, just for fixing mistakes you pointed out.
7- "Seal Rock" by Albert Bierstadt
(~7 hours) I think this one just killed me (or maybe just my right eye... a little blood vessel exploded, quite annoying but nothing serious lol)
I still have troubles mapping shapes properly. It usually takes me about 1 hour or 2.
Does anyone know any tips to take approximate measurements in photoshop? (Like using the length of your pen with traditional media?... Could try it but doesn't look easy on a screen...)
Anyway, here's my try at analyzing the painting. I didn't know Bierstadt before I started this assignment, I think I fell in love with his epic landscapes scenes. This piece caught my eye, because it's looks very dynamic even if almost nothing seems to move.
However, a lot of things happen in this picture. The first emphasis is central:the big rock with seals sitting on it. Secondary emphasis is the big wave coming from the left and crashing on the rock. Third emphasis is the misty mountain on the right.
The way seals are positioned add a lot of rhythm to the piece. There's repetition in seal shapes as well as variation in their attitude. This is also creating continuity: the eye follows the seals from the bottom to the top through a Z-like shape that mimic the shape of the rock. Higher seals are mere silhouettes lost in the foam and create a real sensation of depth and focal distance.
But what struck me the most is the real strong balance of this composition. The 3 emphasis are built the same way but with different levels of details. They represents 3 triangles : a big one in the center (focal point), one the left and a third on the right.
But the balance is also created by the use of contrast, dynamic lines and opposite curves. The rhythm and repetition of the seals (along a vertical axis)is balanced by the repetition on the water surface (along a horizontal axis).
The diagonal curve created by the direction of the water and the wave is opposed to the diagonal going from the top line of the wave to the tip of the higher seal and mountains.
The dynamic curve of the water is opposed to the dynamic curve of the rock. This creates tension between massive opposing forces. At the same time, the repetition of the V-shape balances nicely the weight of the whole picture. Without the mountains on the right, I think the pic wouldn't work.
Last edited by ZeCarnevilCat; May 7th, 2014 at 01:47 PM.
Reason: bug occured while uploading pictures
great job. no need to rework at this point. let's keep pushing through them and see where you stand. You made great progress with the most recent. Nice analysis as well. Keep up the great work and just keep pushing.
Thank you Jason! I'll keep focusing on the next paintings then.
8- "Painting of Native American" by N. C. Wyeth
Lost track of time on this one, it was a tough week. I worked in small sessions... let's say more or less 7 hours.
Now I see it, the rock next to the boat might be a little too sharp...
Didn't know N.C. Wyeth's work before, and I really love his work too. And because of Pirates and Cow-boys are cool to draw. ^^
The emphasis is located on the Native American since it's the most detailed part of the picture, but the focal point is situated near the furthest part of the boat (where the rock meets water).
The boat offers a nice example of variety and repetition in its patterns (black and white rectangles, round shape with the sun-like form in it).
The water trails introduce a nice rhythm in the picture including small dots of dark values in large white shapes. Economy is used with the distant mountain, which barely stands out on the sky.
The picture is very well balanced. Angular shapes and edges (rocks, mountains) are balanced with round shapes and curves (again the shapes on the boat, the boat itself, the white water trails and the shadow on the right).
The painting in itself seems mirrored both horizontally and vertically, and slightly moved on the right. It creates a big opposition between light and dark values as well for vanishing points. Big diagonals lead the eye toward the right and shorter ones to the left. They meet at the focal point/axis of the picture.
The eye is also lead to this point because of continuity: the water trails form a large and dynamic curve going from the bottom left hand corner to the right side and coming back softly towards the focal point.
This one took me so long =_= (+7 hours). I messed up with my layers and got it all wrong so I spent ages trying to fix it :/
Her head still seems a bit too small and her expression is different. Decided to left it as it was and go on with the next painting. It's a very beautiful portrait, I'm so upset I ruined it.
The emphasis is clearly centered on the girl head and upper body. Her white dress vividly contrast with the dark background, making her stand out. There are nice rhythms in the embroidery and folds of her dress. We can also see a nice use of repetition and variety in the different fabrics she wears, the flowers on the ground and the silky curtains.
Economy is wisely used to help the eye focus on her features. The table and her right hand almost disappear in darkness.
It is also well balanced, as Sargeant vertically alternates high and dark values. The left white curtain imitates the curves of her dress, creating dynamic lines in a still pose.
Hi Carnevilcat, really great work in this thread. I really liked your N.C Wyeth, such a beautiful image. I think its great that you share your workflow as well as how you mark out directions and shapes in an image. Very inspiring stuff!
Nice job !!!! very nice.
I can't see any difference between you and the original in the tones. The only difference is in the textures, but is not the purpose of this exercise. Keep doing a great job. it is inspiring
@Atnasina,Ranunkel and Giropiro Thanks a lot for the nice comments and support guys!
Regarding composition, I've watched Jason's video several times and I try to find every concept he talked about in the picture. I also read others'threads, some are really good at this.
Composition is quite new for me but I find it really interesting. I wasn't able to see these things before.
(Just hope I'm not saying too much nonsense ^^O)
If I can do it, you can too, I'm sure of that
The most recent two images are beauties. Your talent and hard work are both shining in this thread. I really have no feedback as you are doing such a thorough and thoughtful job, and are putting in the effort to take in what I went over in the vid, and create some beautiful studies at the same time. Just keep rolling. If I see anything I think needs adjustment i will share but right now you are up and on the horse and moving along at a great pace. Keep it up.