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1. "A Shy Peasant" - Ilya Repin
Wow. This was hard! Having only an hour I think forces you to make efficient choices and exercise more understanding, which is probably why I found this so difficult. Anyway, I'm going to mainly choose pieces that are heavy on emphasis and economy, as these are two areas I have serious problems with. The cool thing about this one is that there is so little detail overall, just in the face and hair, but the entire image registers beautifully. It was also interesting to see that I kept going for too much contrast, when in reality the painting seems to accomplish its goals without straying too far from the midtone range. Anyway, looking forward to doing more.
#2 "Self Portrait as the Apostle Paul" - Rembrandt
An hour's tough. This one again I really wanted to try to understand the economy of the black and the detail is really only in the face, which I wish I could have spent a bit more time with. One thing I noticed in both of these is that the backgrounds, though relatively blank, really succeed by the use of the painterly strokes and variety. Something that is a bit hard to pull off with the brushes I've been using. Will probably play around with brushes some more before starting the timer next time!
yep...great observations. one thing to keep an eye on is your value range. you are working with a bit more contrast than the originals so watch for that. the second one is much closer so great to see progress there. keep it up. keep a very honest eye on your values and you will see an immediate improvement.
Thanks for the feedback Jason!
#3 Ilya Repin "Portrait of a Peasant"
Tried to keep a closer eye on value on this one and I'm a good deal happier with the way it turned out. The brushwork...not so much, but that's something to keep improving on as well. This is very similar to the first Repin study in that the image is overall very muted in contrast, but just a few bits of dark and the light impasto-wrinkles really direct your eye to the face. Once again it's cool to see the background kind of doing that overlooked heavy-lifting. I think for the next one I'll try something a little more difficult.
you have such virtuoso marks...really fresh, and clean and show a good flow. we need to get you to focus on your values as much as you do on your marks and we will all see a big improvement with you. double and triple check your values. Part of a true virtuoso painter is the patience in preparing to make the mark...be sure you are right. Be sure the very first values are spot on, and be sure your biggest shapes of value are there so you can work off of them as you refine.
keep it up.
#4. Frank Frazetta - "Death Dealer
My goal with this one was to really, really, get a lot closer on values. So I didn't spend a lot of time on blending or details, and ended up cutting myself off after about 90 minutes but I feel like this is my best effort for reproducing the original values by far. I am really starting to realize in terms of composition how impressive and effective a background can be that doesn't contain more subject matter. I think that's the main thing I'm taking away from these exercises. I also really like the transition from dark to light in the background, which highlights the (mostly) dark figure which has all of those wonderful high contrast glints and light shapes. That also happens a bit with the bones at the bottom, and now it's becoming quite object how you want to save your contrast for those eye-drawing parts of the piece and be more subtle with your transitions everywhere else.
Look at both images at the same time. Compare the largest value shapes. What do you notice?
I am curious to your thoughts...speaking of the FF by the way.
try putting them together before you do the last stage...and even along the way as a checkpoint. You will get this...I know you see it...you draw far too well to not.
Keep it up!!!
#5 Rembrandt, Joris
This one, although I got a little hung up in fiddling with the face, which didn't turn out anyway, I feel like I got sort of closer with the values. I think I'm going to stick with Rembrandt for a few more because I really like what he does with light, shadow, and emphasis.
Hey, good study.
I got the impression that you are a bit too light on the face.
And one question, what is your setup in photoshop ? do you have a multiple window to paint and see your reference ?
6. David and Goliath, Caravaggio
Scratch that I'm only doing Caravaggio from now on. The way he distills form down to only three or four values and still makes it feel real is absolutely amazing and really what I need to be studying right now. I especially love the contrast in this piece and the way he handles folds in clothing, with crisp edges but simply.
Madaoway: I'm sorry, I thought I answered you last week but the post must not have gone through
Agree about the face. I use Painter but basically I just set the image right on my canvas and paint next to it.
much closer with your values on the latest. good progress. Watch for how the light describes volumes and forms. You can use a soft edged airbrush at low opacity to achieve that.
Keep it up!! You are on the right track.
7. Honthorst "Young Man Crushing Grapes into Earthenware Pot"
Definitely bit off a bit more than I could chew with this one. I just couldn't pass this guy up because he looks like such a goofball, but after 3 hours and I hadn't even gotten to the hands, feathers or grapes I called it quits. I do think I'm getting pretty close with picking values so that's improvement, I just really need to work on blocking things in more quickly so it looks good without me having to agonize over details.
With the exception of the leaf in the hair your values are very close. Your edges would benefit from more observation of sharp to soft, and do keep an eye on value gradients! You are a little soft in some places and overly sharp in others (like the face for example)
Nice study though. keep it up!