I am sorry for my English abilities because English is not my mother tongue. I hope you forgive me for mistakes I make.
I don't draw much so it took time to figure out how to draw. Especially how to start and not falling in to details. At work I overpaint or retouch, so i've never started with a blank sheet.
1.'Repose' - Sargent
For the first study I chose this one because here I was pleased by balance and economy. A lot of details in dress well balanced with left corner by table details and objects on and under the table And I wanted to practice in drawing folds. This one took about 4 hours. So after I draw basic shapes in first hour I've been carried away with folds and face for next 3.
2. 'Death dealer' - Frazetta
Here is a great example of emphasis. The black silhouette of the rider and the horse is outlined and set against a light sky. All figure is about death and power. At first all attention is drawn by the horse. So to pull attention to rider author made the highest contrast around riders head.
This one took 3 hours.
3. 'The Moon's Rapture' - Frazetta
At this one emphasis is made by frame of dark trees and light figure of the woman. The roots of the trees are also directed towards her. Observers look starts at the bottom of the painting then follows the roots curves to woman.
4. 'Retrato de juan pareja' - Velázquez
Here background is very simple, so nothing draw attention from the person. The area of most contrast is his collar and then the face. The portrait is very calm. It's not overloaded with details. I found out that it's hard to draw recognizable face at thumbnail size of paper, so i admit I had to zoom in to draw face details.
Painting is full of dynamic. Impression of instantly halted horse, running dog and small girl watching arrival. The white rider has strong contrast with the environment which is literally pushes her forward.
about 1.5 h
6. 'A Windmill in Montmartre' - Corot
This landscape painting makes cosy impression of a small village. Here I like the rhythm and contrast between land and clear sky and how eye flow towards the mill.
very good progress with your shapes and values. awesome to see that happening so fast and without lots of feedback. good work.
keep working on capturing accurate soft and sharp edges and also capturing some of the paint texture/surface with texture brushes or the chalk tool and papers in painter. surface is very important to edge quality and mood so watch for that.
These two I did day before and now see mistakes. First of all of course blurring edges and sometimes the lack of contrast. Without texture it also looks flat. I'll to improve.
7. "The Valkhof at Nijmegen from the Northwest" - AelbertCuyp
I like shapes and deep of this painting, Foreground has hight contrast and full of details, from the other hand background is more flat. I notice how for the balance author fills empty sky with big quite complex cloud and variated parallel shapes with the boat in left corner. I could't find the bigger size of the painting, so i decided to draw main shapes.
8. "Fumee d ambre gris" - Sargent
The painting is light and well balanced. The white simple background, mild details of the character and then eye lands on contrasted ground. Following the woman's sight we see the object in front of her. Here is also a great example of emphasis because woman is situated in center of crossing lines.
Here I like the feeling of motion of the painting, economy in background, repetition and variety of bears. There are two areas of emphasis - the bears and the head of the hero. The area of the highest contrast is near the head of the hero, whereas his body don't attract so much attention.
Painting looks well balanced.
10. Carl Spitzweg - "Der arme Poet"
Here is small without much illumination room with a lot of objects but painting is neither overwhelmed with details nor looks dark. Economy of walls around main character pulls attention to him.
these are excellent. my only comment is on the bears expressions, where yours have a different feel to them. The blanked on the knees/bed looks a little lighter in yours. those are the areas that pop out the most to me. keep working for more accuracy and nice work too.
This is another Frazetta's iconic painting. The main emphasis here is the queen. She is illuminated by beam of sunlight while others are just a background. Besides, there is a quite obvious triangle shape. Both cat and a guard look directly at the queen. Observers sight ascends from the bottom along the stairs towards main character.
12. Suspicious smoke - Carl Spitzweg
I like the impression of the painting. This is a house in some kind of small quiet settlement. The old man was as usual smoking a pipe at the balcony when he saw a fire in the distance.
There is an example where desaturation killed most of the depth. But I like this painting even without color. It's well balanced by the difference between plain sky and the ground which is full of details. Lines of continuity pulls attention from one object to another.
Line of continuity allows to enter to piece set on to area of interest, travel to secondary focus, third focus then back to main area of interest.
14. William Adolphe Bouguereau - The Nut Gatherers
I like everything at this painting - the girls poses, face expressions and the whole mood. Edge of the forest adds depth to background. I also noticed how visual lines pulls attention to what is the right girl holding in her arms.
15. Bouguereau - Return from the Harvest
It's a very dynamic and well balanced painting. I noticed, that light colors and movement are in the middle, while top and bottom are quite still. The front dancing character in comparison with others has much lighter clothes which pulls him to front. The child stands out against a background because of big contrast between him and black donkey. Plus dark dress of right woman.
I'm trying to spend about 3 hours at each study but every time I look at the study i see a lot of misplaced details.
16. Carl Spitzweg - Die Lektüre
It's well balanced painting with diagonal composition. The area of highest contrast is near head of the man.
Just like this painting. Girls pose, quite simple background how contrasts are used.
I've tried to fit in 1 hour but failed again. After an hour I was just about to start the girls face. So another half an hour I spend drawing her face and adding a bit details on the background. Maybe i should zoom in when I draw human faces.
Shapes are looking good. Nice drawing on these. Values are pretty close too. The biggest area to focus on right now is your edge work. Try to capture the full range of soft to sharp edge as it is so important to focus and allowing the eye to rest..and the artist to tell their story..and create their space.
Make a pass on edges at the very end of each painting you do. Just comb around on it and soften down or crisp up edges and you will see a big improvement in results I think.
There is a knight who is just about to go into the battle. He've just stopped the mighty horse before attack.
Here I at first decided to draw shapes with a simple hard brush for sharp edges and only then blend shapes. There is also two layers - the sky and the rider. It seems so unfinished. Trying to find a faster way.
Mainly at this point I think your values are looking great, as far as blocking in. If you block in your edge range..soft to sharp...at the same time, by switching up brushes, I think you will find the process moves along and you can get further faster with the blockins. Keep up the great work!!