Hello! I finally started with Level Up. My first trial here is from Velazques, titled “Adoration of the Magi”. I spent around 1 hour for this piece.
Since the whole story is about the birth of Jesus, the focus point is absolutely in baby Jesus and Maria. This piece is interesting. The viewers’ eyes are led from the baby to the three magis and after that to the sky behind. Joseph who is in the right side of Maria, though he doesn’t take major part in this painting, also adds balance and rhythm value in the painting. So, it has balance between left and right. This piece also doesn’t look boring because the magi are drawn differently in skin color, face shape, and age. The negative space on the top and bottom help viewers’ eyes to rest and focus.
My second try is "The Swing" by Fragonard. This is my personal favorite art history painting because of the calm yet sweet atmosphere it created. It's one adorable artwork
I see the whole piece as a graceful unity. The way the lighting is done, how the gown flips, how the lady swing and the tree on the background, they make a wonderful harmony. Though I'm not sure why Fragonard leaves many space in the upper part, my best guess (based on Jason Manley's vid) is it has something to do with economy and to create asymmetrical balance. This piece has a jaw-dropping variant details especially on the dress and leafs.
There's still so much to learn, especially I need to enhance my speed. Daily dose of this helps me a lot in terms of value, depth of field, and of course composition.
Last edited by springofsea; April 29th, 2014 at 09:19 PM.
you are already showing progress with your values. good work.
It would be good for me to share what i have told some of the others about shapes so you can get that on track as best you can. Here is what i had to say earlier...
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.
Thanks Jason! I’ve tried what you suggested about mapping out and flipping image. It helps a lot to help me understanding more about object placement. I’ve always been curious why everytime I watched artists do painting tutorial on Youtube, they keep flipping their WIP. Now I understand why. It is useful to help seeing the same piece from different view so the painting process will be more accurate. Since this is the first time I tried it, it took me awhile to paint. Still 1 hour but I’m not really satisfied with the result. Gotta do better next time.
I do two Thomas Killigrew painting by two different artists : Shepard and Van Dyck.
My 3rd piece is Thomas Killigrew by William Shepard. The subject expression is interesting and the way his hand rests in head is unusual, different with the way common people usually do. This shows that Shepard is referring the subject as a unique person. This piece has a balance between top and bottom, and the objects Shepard put to balance are a portrait photo (top) and dog (bottom). I especially love the dog’s placement which is beneath the subject’s desk. It gives a little bit surprise to the viewer (including me) and it adds interesting touch to the whole picture. The drapery and clothes are painted in great detail to show the emphasized subject. The clothes’ color is white too, making it easier to emphasize.
My 4th piece is Thomas Killigrew painting by Van Dyck. Another pose of resting head in the left hand. Probably this was his habit back then. The painter emphasis on Killigrew by drawing him looking at the viewer. His eye contact with the painting viewer create certain emotion that he was the main character of the painting. There is contrast between the clothes and skin. To create balance, the background color behind Thomas is darker while the background of the other guy is lighter. This create value balance together with the characters’ hair color.
Note : So, I did a little bit of art research about Thomas Killigrew in the internet, wondered what makes him so special that 2 famous artists wanted to paint his image. After I read his biography, I was amused by his profile. He was –- according to Wikipedia -- an English dramatist and theatre manager. He was a witty, dissolute figure at the court of King Charles II of England. Wow. I imagine maybe if he lived right now, he could be the living figure of Willy Wonka. Witty and dissolute but a genius theatre manager working in the King’s court, and of course.. filthy rich.
I choose this piece by G. Caillebotte because it caught my eye with its daring composition. The subjects are placed far away in the left, making it different from normal painting composition. To create balance with the subject, dark colored trees and leafs are painted on the right. Good rhythm is shown through the subject placement and shining reflection in the water. I see repetition on the subjects : both are only shown by their back and doing the same activity, yet there is variety in their hair and hat style. The movement of the water creates harmony and calm atmosphere.
Someone gave me a good advice to pay attention more in painting the object, not just understanding the form/shape but as well 'breaking down' the objects into cubes/circles in my mind while painting.
Last edited by springofsea; May 4th, 2014 at 11:59 PM.
I really like how this one turns out. Yayy! I think I start to grab the point of this practice! Still rough here and there but I guess I’m making progress
“Artemisia” by Rembrandt. This painting is attractive because of its mysterious atmosphere. The main subject’s expression makes me curious of what is in her mind, and look at the dark corner behind! I thought I saw a ghost, and this little goosebump is also one reason why I chose this painting. I can see the rhythm between the main emphasis (the big lady), the second emphasis (her maid, probably) and the last emphasis (the dark man behind). The combination between the color contrast and economy space brings out the most of its mysterious feel.
nice job. you are about 95 percent there on your values. you can get even closer if you take a pass at it where you make final adjustments to all values.
I really want to see you focus on getting your shapes even more accurately done. Please slow down and triple and even quadruple check all your positive and negative shapes. Until you do it won't matter how perfect your values are, it will still have challenges to deal with. Let's get those shapes super accurately handled.
Keep up the hard work. Great to see how you are doing.
Last post by Jason advised me to start focusing on my shape. So I tried to work on it through this piece. Take me hours to get this done because I am not used to make a neat object in short period of time. It turns out to be not as difficult as what I’ve thought; in fact it’s enjoyable to see that the object is drawn in correct proportion.
In this painting, I can see a contrast direction between the woman and the background. The woman (Biblis) is praying to the left while her background (trees’ shadow and grass) are facing right. I think this is a creative way to create balance. To emphasize Biblis, the background is painted darker and Biblis’ skin is painted fairer. Biblis is also painted with more details, especially her skin lighting value. Her pose of praying is unusual yet graceful, making this painting unique.
Batsheba’s expression is deep. I can see sadness through her eyes. In this piece, the painter visualizing lust by directing the source of light toward Batsheba’s body (especially her breast). There’s a rhythm created between the pose of head, hands and the way she tilted her body. I still spent too much time for this one. I guess this is around 8 hours or so.
Anyway my wacom pen doesn’t work properly, the pen pressure is randomly missing and appearing by itself. This drives me crazy, really not convenient for painting :/
Big improvement since the first one Spring, great job. The last one is just a little lighter in value and perhaps would benefit from a little texture over the skin to acheive that slight grainy look of the original. Keep it up
I agree Bri. Nice work. Your latest is a bit more contrasting in value than the original and i think that can be adjusted by tweaking the levels a bit. try to capture that same atmosphere. you did the same over contrasting decisions in the bouguereau. the fact that you are so close, this issue is minor. The key is looking at both images at the same time in your peripheral. have you ever people watched where you are looking out into space but really paying attention to someone in your peripheral vision? it's kind of like that. when you do that, let your eyes rest and take in both images at the same time. weight the images together that way. The answers will be found.
Here is my Frazetta’s study of “A Fighting Man of Mars”. This piece is really complicated compared to my previous chosen paintings. I chose this piece to help me understand more about the difference between male and female figure. This piece allows me to draw both gender which is an advantage for me to learn. Frazetta had a keen eye for anatomy details. It can be seen through the value details on the body (especially the abs). There’s a harmony in the costume design. The costume’s design is very simple, it only covers vital areas of the body, and they both wear helmet with thin horns.
The placement of the 2 moons and 2 human figures make the whole painting looks balanced.
I gave rough texture a little bit to make this piece doesn’t look flat and thus has an artistic feeling like the original piece.
I'm aware that the woman looks a lit bit stretched though.
So far I think this is my most favorite piece from my study on composition 1.1
“Stars” by Maxfield Parrish. Symmetrical balance with more negative space on the upside part to enhance the feeling of “higher sky”. Economy and balance plays important part in this piece, can be seen through the silver lining of the sea that “cuts” equally between half of the female stomach and leg. The subject and rocks beneath her are drawn in details because they are the focus point of the painting.