I am happy to have joined this course and am eager to improve my work!
Here is my first attempt at a "master study". I was confused at how to approach the assignment and I feel that I was very slow to refine all of my "big picture" shapes and values, so I ended up spending 5 hours on this one! I definitely want to speed things up.
I used grids to try to get my shapes/composition right, and I made a point of not using my color picker on the original artwork. I feel like eyeballing the values is a good practice.
I have discovered that I LOVE NC WYETH. I love his style and subjects and I will do many more studies based from his work. I chose this image because I really like the eye-catching negative space that the sky makes, and the similar vertical lines are repeated by the swords and tree background elements. It keeps the viewer's eye moving between the two men in the foreground. The gaze of the men in the background also guides the eye back to that interesting area.
In this image, Wyeth outlines the subjects with a darker color to separate them from background elements.