PixelObsession - Composition 1.1
 
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    PixelObsession - Composition 1.1

    Thanks for the video, it had some great information.

    I really like how Norman Rockwell used such hi-contrast lighting along with his realism. He really knows how to add drama, while leading the viewers eye wherever he wants you to look. I always struggle with getting my values right when it comes to my original artwork. I'm hoping I can learn a thing or two from these paintings. I did go over the time limit and spent an hour and a half on each of these because his paintings are fairly detailed and I wanted to be true to them. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

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    Last edited by PixelObsession; April 29th, 2014 at 07:55 PM.
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    There's such a fresh quality to John Berkey's brush strokes. It brings a lot of movement into the work, which is something I'd really like to bring into my own paintings. Both of these were done in an hour.

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    You are very talented and see value and edge qualities well. The biggest challenge for you to face head on at this point is with shape...positive and negative. You turned the first berkey ship toward the viewer and shortened the boy up a little in the prior image. Really focus in on that, flip the images more, use a mirror over your shoulder, even run plumb lines across horizontally and vertically if you need to...or step back across the room and look at it from afar. zoom in and out. If you can get your shapes under control from here on out this will be of the best threads so far and your work will see improvement as you won't be hurrying through the important shape mapping phase of the drawing. keep up the great work. jm

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    Jason, thanks so much for your feedback. You're completely right about the inaccuracy of my shapes. I slowed down a bit with these next few paintings and flipped them around like you suggested to get the silhouettes/shapes closer to the originals.

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    This one was really difficult. There was a lot of subtly in the values along with lost edges, which I found hard to replicate. but I'm happy with the result. I like how the lit up objects and the perspective draws the viewers eye to the figure.
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    Last edited by PixelObsession; May 2nd, 2014 at 05:51 PM.
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    Other than the edges on her face in yours are a little bit harsher in the most recent..same with value gradation like on her forehead, the piece is spot on and an excellent study. your progress and abilities are really shaping up nicely. The three prior to the latest are awesome. Really good.

    Keep up the great work.


    jm

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    Hahaha these are ridiculously good...I can't believe you did those first ones in just an hour and a half.

    You make me feel like such a newbie...which I am, but you guys with these kind of skill just make it that much more apparent. These are supposed to be quick value studies, not 1:1 black white replicas - Who started this trend anyway!

    All jokes aside these studies are amazing

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    Whoa.. the way you manage to capture complex detail is stunning. My hat is levitating for you

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    Jason, Agerkvist, and samwaulu, thank you all so much for the feedback.

    Here are two more studies. The focus in the first painting is definitely the group of dinosaurs and people. The fallen stones in the foreground help lead your eye and the use of dark against a light background creates a focal point. I wanted to try my hand at keeping the group of dinosaurs/riders reading as a single silhouetted group against the light sky and sand, while including the variation and rhythms within the group. I'm including some images of the process I take so everyone can see it at various stages of finish. The second step was around an hour into the painting.


    In the second painting, I like the dappled sunlight around the women's head and hitting the tiger, which draws your eye there.
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    Last edited by PixelObsession; May 6th, 2014 at 10:11 PM.
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    Man you're keeping yourself busy - two more excellent studies. And great painting too - I think I'll definately have to check James Gurney out. Dinosaurs, tigers and weapons...right?

    what size of canvas do you work with for these studies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agerkvist View Post
    Man you're keeping yourself busy - two more excellent studies. And great painting too - I think I'll definately have to check James Gurney out. Dinosaurs, tigers and weapons...right?

    what size of canvas do you work with for these studies?
    James Gurney is great. He's got some wonderful instructional books that I would highly recommend. The first one is called "Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist" and the second (my favourite) is called "Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter".

    I usually start off pretty small for the first hour or so (maybe around 800 pixels on the longer edge), until I've blocked in the important shapes and values and then I size it up to around 3000 for the details.

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    I've actually been looking at that Imaginative Realism, but didn't pick it thinking it might be too advanced for what I need at the moment.

    Now I'll probably end up buying them anyway...thanks alot!

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    fantastic work. these are coming along beautifully. no crit from me at this time just love. keep them coming.

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    It's been a long day, but I've managed to get one more finished. I like how the land mass in the foreground sort of points to the boat. The reflected light on the water also helps to silhouette it.
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    Wow, seriously, wow. love your work, Pixel. Just wicked.

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    Wow man, impressive work! Oo

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    Thanks for all the positive comments, it's very encouraging.

    I choose this painting because it feels almost like a matte painting. The rocks have really great rhythm and variety. The way the light hits them leads the viewers eyes in a zigzagging pattern from the foreground into the background. I also found the use of strong shadows in the corners to be interesting.
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    @PixelObsession:
    I have to ask, are you just going full opacity with your brushwork (mostly), when blocking in at the beginning? I think I am losing heaps of time because I have pressure sensitivity turned on in my settings, and am working in 'washes' in various passes.

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    Woah just jaw dropping work Pixel, hat off, hands down..really really talented. I was especially impressed by your cleopatra (tried it myself), but yours is to die for. Its mind boggling that you do these images in the amount of time that you do aswell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by illoostrader View Post
    @PixelObsession:
    I have to ask, are you just going full opacity with your brushwork (mostly), when blocking in at the beginning? I think I am losing heaps of time because I have pressure sensitivity turned on in my settings, and am working in 'washes' in various passes.
    Hey illoostrader! Thanks for dropping by. When starting a painting I always use the paint bucket tool first to get rid of the white canvas. I usually try to start with a lighter value that's prominent in the background. For example, if it's a landscape I'll choose the sky value. When blocking in the objects I go back and forth between using pressure sensitivity and then turning it off. For areas that have more subtle value changes and lost edges, the pressure sensitivity is on and when I want a clearly defined edge, I turn it off. I also turn it off when I want to "mask out" an object, such as a figure. I do this by creating a new layer and painting in the silhouette of the figure or object with a hard edge brush then locking the transparency. After that I can go in with my pressure sensitive brush to refine the values without worrying about my edges. I can always turn the lock transparency off and refine my edges if they're too sharp after. Hope this helps

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atnasina View Post
    Woah just jaw dropping work Pixel, hat off, hands down..really really talented. I was especially impressed by your cleopatra (tried it myself), but yours is to die for. Its mind boggling that you do these images in the amount of time that you do aswell.
    Thanks Atnasina! Just so you know, I'm not doing them that fast. I did the first few fairly quickly, but I've been spending anywhere from 3-6 hours on the more recent ones. I still make sure to get everything blocked in and the values correct within an hour or so though. A lot of the time my original work tends to fall apart when I detail it, so I'm hoping to learn more by taking these studies past the rough 1 hour stage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PixelObsession View Post
    Hey illoostrader! Thanks for dropping by. When starting a painting I always use the paint bucket tool first to get rid of the white canvas. I usually try to start with a lighter value that's prominent in the background. For example, if it's a landscape I'll choose the sky value. When blocking in the objects I go back and forth between using pressure sensitivity and then turning it off. For areas that have more subtle value changes and lost edges, the pressure sensitivity is on and when I want a clearly defined edge, I turn it off. I also turn it off when I want to "mask out" an object, such as a figure. I do this by creating a new layer and painting in the silhouette of the figure or object with a hard edge brush then locking the transparency. After that I can go in with my pressure sensitive brush to refine the values without worrying about my edges. I can always turn the lock transparency off and refine my edges if they're too sharp after. Hope this helps
    That helps tremendously, thanks very much Pixel! Your work is truly beautiful, again, I have to say it.

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    The subtlety was really tricky in this one, especially around the eyes. The angle of her arm leads to the face where the highest contrast and the emphasis is. The folds and pattern on the clothing has a nice rhythm and the economy is in the background, especially in the shaded part of the building on the right and the ground.
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    Hello Pixel! Great stuff that last one too.
    Earlier in some comment you mentioned that "A lot of the time my original work tends to fall apart when I detail it". I'm curious, would you care to elaborate on that? Mainly can you describe how/why the fall apart? (I've had similar feelings with my own stuff, so that's why I ask)

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    Hi Pixel!
    Great job as usual! Very nice studies!

    Quote Originally Posted by samwaulu View Post
    Hello Pixel! Great stuff that last one too.
    Earlier in some comment you mentioned that "A lot of the time my original work tends to fall apart when I detail it". I'm curious, would you care to elaborate on that? Mainly can you describe how/why the fall apart? (I've had similar feelings with my own stuff, so that's why I ask)
    Well, if you wouldn't mind telling, I've got the same problem too. *blush*

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    Thanks for sharing in your work methods. I have the same issue, I tend to get into the smaller details way to early and kinda forget about the bigger picture so therefore this method is really great in its own right!

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    Quote Originally Posted by samwaulu View Post
    Hello Pixel! Great stuff that last one too.
    Earlier in some comment you mentioned that "A lot of the time my original work tends to fall apart when I detail it". I'm curious, would you care to elaborate on that? Mainly can you describe how/why the fall apart? (I've had similar feelings with my own stuff, so that's why I ask)
    Well, I guess I have a tendency to tighten up too much and over detail so that it becomes really stiff looking and looses the painterly feel I started out with. The amount of detail also tends to be too even within the entire painting instead of having areas of economy so that my focal point doesn't stand out as well as it should. I was having a lot of trouble figuring out why my paintings weren't working out as well as I'd hoped until watching that video and doing these studies. Now that I have a better idea of what's going wrong, hopefully I can fix it.

    What about with your paintings? What do you think is going wrong when you detail them?

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    This painting is a good example of continuity with the direction of the sword and polar bears creating a diagonal from the top left towards the bottom right which helps to balance it. The emphasis is on the figure which is much darker than the majority of the painting and has the most contrast. The sky in the background and the snow mound utilizes economy well.
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    I really liked how the lighting was set up in this Frank Frazetta painting it creates contrast and places emphasis on the women. There's also a nice play between the horizontal and vertical continuity.

    I was drawn to this Ivan Shishkin painting because I thought recreating the textures would be a good challenge. The vertical birch trees create rhythm and variety, while the fallen one in the foreground uses continuity to draw your eye into the painting and points towards the figures.

    This John Singer Sargent painting is well balanced with the figure creating a diagonal "line" from the mid-upper left the to the bottom right and the object on the table helps put a little extra weight on the right hand side.
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    The figures in this painting are a good example of rhythm and variety. The size, poses, and value of their clothing are all different which keeps the viewer engaged and draws the eye into the painting as they follow the figures from foreground to background. Also, much of the sky and beach makes good use of economy.
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