The biggest thing I noticed was the wide value range and contrast he used to bring focus. The foreground figure is almost white at the highlights and the Satyr is accented by the darks of his hair and fur. The other figures are allowed to fade more into mid-tone(I didn't even notice the greyish area way in the background on the right is actually three figures until after I'd done it).
Can already see plenty of measuring and proportion errors... I seem to have a habit of making the figures bigger/higher up than they actually are in the composition.
really nice work on your values. now is the time to go in and check all your shapes.
I shared this with another earlier and I think it will be helpful.. 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.
Interesting to see the alternating dark and light on this one. Dark trees and columns against light sky, with the dark hair used to frame her face, then the light of the figure against the dark of the seat, and then the dark of the seat against the mid tone of the stone in the background. Similar thing is happening within the figure itself, with a stepping of light and dark as he alternates between more front facing versus top planes.
Your shapes and values are coming along well. 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
#3. Mariamne Leaving The Judgement Seat of Herod - Waterhouse
So it's been a while, but here's number 3. I did this one some time ago so seeing it with fresh eyes.
Main thing I noticed was the contrast between the darks and middle tones of the background and the light of the main figure, which immediately pulls the eye to her. I think the high contrast between her dark hair and the light drapery, skin tone, and head-piece, work to make her (particularly her face) the focal point. Her head also sits very near the upper-left intersection of thirds. The value arrangement seems to direct us to look at her first, then the king (and his adviser), and finally to notice the circle of men more subtly blended into the darker tone of the background.
I think I've made the central figure somewhat bigger than she should be, and the composition is a bit... squatter? than the original. Also noticing I've missed the value change of the gold leaf design at the top of the steps, and the value under the the throne/footstool should be darker. I somehow neglected to paint the chandelier, and the lion is rather wonky. The white highlight on drapery could have been popped a little stronger too perhaps. Onto number 4...
agreed. It's an edge game at this stage of where you are at, so be sure you are triple checking those sharps to soft ranged edges. Your shapes and values are coming along well. 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