The Composition 1.1. video is absolutely awesome, the best thing I have ever read/viewed/heard on composition.
So now I'm in the process of doing the assignment. It is quite difficult for me, as I am new to digital painting, but I'm trying to do my best.
This is a study of a work by Arkhip Kuindzhi. I chose it because I admire his works and his style greatly.
And my first painting in SAI ever
I spent about 2 hrs on this, but I think that is because I struggled with unfamiliar tools, brushes etc. a lot.
While doing the study I noticed how important the clouds and small stones in the lake are for this painting - I think they create variety, as until I added them the painting looked dull and not 'alive'. There is also great econome - actually only the moon and the lake are 'in focus', and everything else is not so clear/detailed.
well for just getting started with new tools you are off to a great start. If you slow down just a little and really focus on choosing the exact value as accurately as you can, you would see an immediate improvement. The tools will be under control by the third one of these I imagine. Keep at it.
I was out of the city (and off my PC) for a couple of days, but I'm back.
Thank you very much Jason for your advice! It seems I've found a way to check the values without the 'eyedropper' tool, so hope to get better ^_^
Chose Mucha this time, one of my favourite artists.
Proved difficult because of all the outlines - copying all of them exactly was impossible because of the small canvas, and without them the values somehow don't seem quite right.
However, I noticed some important things:
1. The weight of the outline is different - thicker on the main 'diagonal' lines and thinner for vertical/horizontal lines, I guess this is both for rhythm (making the diagonal movement really stand out) and variety.
2. The shapes of the flowers in the background a repeated by the shapes of the 'horizontal' folds (sleeve and the dress under her feet) - rhythm, too. It seems Mucha is much more about rhythm than I thought.
I took a Japanese artwork this time, A Sudden Gust of Wind by Hokusai.
Spent over 3 hrs on it... definitely not happy with my speed, but I guess it's all right since I'm a newbie.
But I'm getting more at home with digital painting, which is good.
I think it's a great example of continuity, this diagonal movement of the road which goes through all the painting. There is although freat variety of the people's poses.
nice job with your values on the mucha. a bit more detail in the face would help it read better, but for studying overall value pattern you are doing well. Now to get in there and study the edgework too.
The japanese print study looks good. More time would get it closer but for a quick study it looks pretty good.
I haven't posted for a while because there were problems with the forum and then I was very busy at work. But I'm back.
Copy n4 is of Roerich, and it was surprisingly difficult for me. I'm still not quite happy with the monk on the foreground.
I had always thought Roerich is about repetition, but when I started copying, I understood there is great variety too, in both outlines and values. Something I need to learn yet.
And one more try, Waterhouse this time.
I absolutely love this work, and it is amazing how the visual impact is achieved by emphasis/economy. There is very strong, almost black and white contrast on the lady and her boat, while everything else is more or less grey-ish; and most of the detail is also on the lady.
And it seems there is a very interesting rhythm to the dark/ligh areas, looking like a 'swing':
ok...you are doing a great job on your shapes. Your biggest area to focus on right now is your values while continuing to keep good drawing. Not everyone sees shape quickly, so that part is good. This is what I was saying earlier about value and it applies here so i share. Welcome back.
When you get your shapes worked out well (the stage you are at now), pay very close attention to the values. You want to match the values you see as closely as you can. It is important to be very honest about what you are seeing. try to put the accurate value down with each stroke as otherwise you end up having to fix things along the way and being accurate will save you time. Really take the time to observe and compare and choose the right value. If you are off, adjust it, don't keep working and come back to it. You are doing great...just need to focus in on value a little more.
Keep it up.
I am really sorry this is taking me so long... but I'm determind to finish all 20 copies.
So here are 2 more - one after William Hunt and another after Gustave Caillebot.
I really love the contrast on Caillebot's work, and how it gets the strongest on the couple.
Great Works, your making much improvement as far as I can I see. Take more time to touch up your values and shapes if you have too.
OK, one more try. I am beginning to enjoy the process. And I (finally) found a way to compare values which suits me - I just look at the 2 pictures without my glasses
It seems something is a bit wrong with the lady... I couldn't get her skin right, there is some very smooth and beautiful texture in the original work.
As for composition, I really like the contrast of straight lines in the background and smooth curved lines of the lady and ger horse, and how this contrast brings her out.
Number 9 - Wrubel.
One more painter I really admire for his style and for the great atmosphere in his works.
As for composition, I think this piece is a great example of emphasis/economy - the lady's face and crown are very detailed, while her wings and the background are very simple.
And also great continuity - it looks like all the lines of the horizon, wings, dress, veil etc. are centered on the face, and bring the eye to the face.
Number 10. Turner, Totnes in the River Dart.
Hooray, half of them done
Want to take something very complicated with many figures next time and not get into detail.
As for this painting, the balance here is very interesting - the most contrast is in the bottom left corner, with the sail. However, it is counterbalanced with the swirling cloud on the top right, and the birds on the bottom right. And also there is great diversity in the clouds.
Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman Empire, by Repin
Number 11 yay!
I really admire both Repin's picture and the story behind it If you are interested in the story, it is in Wikipedia:
The copy took me 2 hours 15 minutes. Guys, I seriously don't know how you manage to make those awesome copies you post here in 1 hour... it must be either some divine gift, or years of practice!
As for the composition, I purposefully found a very complicated painting not to be able to get into detail. The copy I made may be not so good, but I feel like I learnt really a lot from it.
1. There is great rhythm of black and white areas. They go white-black-black-black-white-black-white-white-white (from right to left) - sounds like music
2. Blacks on the right are balanced nicely with whites on the left.
3. Even though there is such an awful lot of characters, the eye is drawn to the guy who is actually writing, the small one in the middle. This is 1. because he is in the middle and all lines of sight lead to him and 2. because there is real strong black-and-white contrast.
4. Several vertical lines (the guns or lances, or whatever they are) is what makes the painting stable and somehow holds it together - I painted them the last, and without them it looked extremely messy. Amazing what a couple of lines can do to a painting.
Your shapes are looking better and it is strongly advised now to double down and really dig into value accuracy. This should be your primary focus after you get your shapes roughed in on these next pieces you do. Keep checking and double checking your values. Triple check them. Get them as accurate as you can. There will be a big improvement if so.
keep it up!!!
Number 13, Madonna of Chancellor Rolin by Jan van Eyck.
I like the balanced composition in this painting. There is also great variety, in folds, tiles on the floor, intensity of shadows - everything.
you are making good strides. I am going to keep pushing you to be even more honest about the values that you see. quadruple check them if you must...but especially before you upload. Try stepping away from your computer when both images are showing on your screen. Step back five or six steps and look at them from across the room. You will see the big value differences if so and if you nail those big differences the rest of these are going to come along much more easily. be sure you are backing away from it...even if it means getting up and backing up.
Keep up the great work.
Jason Manley, thank you for your patience and for advice. I am honestly trying to do my best with the values... I just hope practice will help
I tried to analyse all my previous studies (better late than never), and it seems I tend to make contrast too high everywhere, so this time I paid special attention to contrast. I tried backing away, and also flipping the canvas. And I chose an artwork with very simple shapes to be able to really concentrate on values. Hope it is better this time...
The artwork is 'Rainbow' by Arkhip Kuindzhi
Your shapes are coming along well and your values you know to focus on...so plz do continue there. Be sure that you are keeping a close eye on your edges. Note where the sharpest sharpest sharps and softest soft edges are and use them as guideposts/landmarks for the rests of the edges in the image. Edges are important to space, form, and focal areas, so getting those in there will help the piece a lot. Once you do, you will see quality improve a lot. Keep up the great work. -jm
I discovered NC Wyeth... better late than never, I guess
I'm in love with his paintings. My new favourite artist.
This painting is called Blackarrow Dungeon, and I really like the dynamics and the rhythm of the composition - the repeated arches of the girl's arms, the man's shoulders and his legs. There is also great simplicity, I especially like the silhoutted rats.
Next one - Bierstadt, Among Sierra Nevada Mountains. Decided to do a landscape for a change, it was difficult.
I chose this particular painting because of the beautiful combination of balance and variety - on one hand, all elements are different (trees, water, mountain, clouds). On the other, they are grouped to balance each other - mountain vs forest, clouds vs water.
Another copy of Wyeth, don't know the name of the painting, found it in Google Pictures.
The copy took me some awful lot of time, maybe like 4 hours or more. The reason I like this picture is that it tells a story. The subject matter is seemingly very simple - just an old man in funny clothes. But every little detail - face expression, play of light and shadow, detail on the door and lock, ornaments on the robe etc.etc. helps to create certain feel and atmosphere.
I also like the variety of texture here.
Copy n19, Durer's self-portrait. It has been my favourite old masters' painting for a long time.
I really like the balance of this painting - how the artist's head is balanced by the window, and also the economy - while you can see every detail of the beautiful hair in the light area, the shadow area (hands and drapery to the right) is very very simple.
great job improving your values. I would recommend integrating a bit more of the textured brushes to capture some of the surface of the originals as surface and texture is so important to edge quality and the suggestion of materials.
keep up the great work. You are on the right track for sure.
My 20th copy - another portrait by Durer.
Actually, I tried doing this same portrait as my first copy for the assignment, but failed and did a simpler painting instead. Just for comparison, that is what my first try looked like.
Well, what I want to say - it's working. After 20 copies things start to look easier
I am so happy to see the progress and hear that you are finding things to be better under control. Just got to keep rolling through the assignments and keep focusing on analyzing images. You will continue to improve if so. nice work.