I picked Repin's "What freedom!" for its marvelous flow and the overall luminous, translucent quality. Also took a larger bite than I could actually swallow. Haven't really painted in about three years. In one hour only produced some incoherent puddles. Simply couldn't leave it at that. The pic attached is a result of about seven hours more work. Has numerous problems, but it's at least recognizable. Time used and fiddling with details kinda defies the purpose of the assignment, but I really needed the practice. I'll try to cut the time on next one.
Main problem while working: Used wrong type of brush for almost every purpose(too hard/soft/small/large/texture/whatever) and then used another wrong brush to fix the former...
Anyway, the picture;
Emphasis is both on the couple (contrast, sharpness, values) and the foreground waves (large area, tonal difference with the rest of the pic). The direction of brush strokes and flow of the waves also carries the emphasis towards the couple. Secondary emphasis on the ice due to contrast. The repeated ice also has rhytm that helps with perspective and depth.
The picture is about the magnificence of the sea and the feeling it elicits on the couple, which shows on their joyful, proud body postures and faces and sets the mood for everything.
On my version the postures and faces are a bit off and different. Thus the feeling is changed too. The man is angry and the woman uncomfortable and unhappy. So my pic is what happens when the models have been posing hours upon hours in cold wind for the slow artist...
Yeah, good luck cutting the time spent down there! The textures look so great though. (THAT WATER, dang.)
I think the man's face/beard could be less contrasty, same with his sleeves and the cloth behind him, and the woman's face/features. And this is quite minor, but there's bit of motion of the wind blowing the man's coat to the right that I think you could exaggerate a bit more. Mentioning because that latter one might actually affect the feeling of the piece.
...alright, that said, I'm just gonna stare at that water for a while :o
Yeah I completely agree with your observations. I left the couple be, largely because my clock was insisting that sun is about to rise.. And I was already beyond the point of the assignment. Yup, gonna stare at the water some more myself
Ok, here's a the second one. Managed to cut the time spent to slightly over 2 hours (managed to stop fiddling). Still having some brush problems.
I picked Rubens Self-portrait partly because of the large relatively simple surfaces (so that I wouldn't spend all day with it) and because I'm not very interested in painting portraits.. I usually have trouble with eyes. So practice is much needed.
The pic is very center weighted, including a literal bulls eye. However, shoulders, face and hat are all tilted to to make things more dynamic and shape of the hat helps with that. The dark mass of the hat balances the dark mass of the body and they both bring contrast for the light face. Emphasis is on central eye, due to value contrast and sharpness, with secondary emphasis on the other facial features.
My version has too much contrast, dark areas are too dark, light areas too white. Facial features are a bit off, thus Mr. Rubens seems to be slightly amused about the situation..
nice progress on this and great to see you breaking down the shapes too. your values need to be just one step closer...you are a hair too contrasting, like too much dark in places or too strong of light on the face for example. keep up the great work...just keep pushing accuracy and you will get there.
Here's number three, chose the Bierstadt fot its drama, scale and impressive light. 1h 50min on this one.
The very dark and very light areas of the pic are balancing each other, while the contrast also commands attention. The alternating darks and lights have a rhytm of their own. Main emphasis is on the bright clouds on the right, but all the other light tones are forming a circular motion on the picture allowing eyes to follow the circle and see all the details of the scene.
On my version lots of stuff could use tighter definition especially on the clouds and trees, plus the mountain edge on the right is a bit off.. But I'm trying not to fiddle and keep the time spent at least a bit closer to an hour
Not sure why I picked this one, it just caught my attention, but this Degas was tough. Spent about 4 hours, wasted an hour because by mistake my canvas was roughly 10% wider than the original and no matter how much I estimated placements, everything seemed to be off. When I finally figured out the reason, it might have been better to start from the beginning instead of fixing things one by one. Oh well..
The large open floor area, together with windows and walls bring balance to the busy area of the ballerinas and so the picture on the whole is peaceful. Several rhytms can found from windows and repeated poses of the ballerinas, but there is also variety in a separate group. The emphasis is on the entire tightly packed group of ballerinas, secondary emphasis on the clearly separate dark violinist.
On my version the window on the back is falling inwards a bit and contrast is not quite accurate here and there. Plus whatever else I'm not noticing..
Great job samwaulu! These are looking really good. I like how you matched the textures in the last one. The values are a bit off though - in particular the darks are too dark. The angles in the windows are a little off too, for instance the top bar on the nearest window.
Number 5. Picked this for its simple power. There's rhytm and variation on the heads heads of the big fellas. Emphasis on the areas of sharpness and high contrast (top right, top left and bottom). The values from darkest (top right) to the brightest (bottom), as well as the curve in the picture help the eye to travel through the details. Haven't the foggiest what the name of the piece has to do with the content
In my version the dudes on left are slightly too large. Time spent still a bit over two hours.
Chose this Zorn for its delicate tonal range, thought it might be good practice for getting my contrasts more on target. I definitely kicked myself in the head with this.. 5,5 hours to get to this point and there just seems to be no end to the nuances, but since I'm now fiddling with details it's time to stop I guess.
The picture has very clear triangular structure, a solid form fitting for a queen. The triangle is placed off center to keep the picture dynamic and emphasis is on the eyes and face, due to sharpness and strong contrast.
Thanks Bri! Number Seven, a Manet, I chose for its strong but subtle values. Figured it would be good for some more contrast practice. Also thought it might be fast to do... Aand of course it sucked me right in. Four hours without even noticing the passage of time.
Emphasis on the sharp features of the face, which is also enhanced by the contrast between hair/hat and face. The body and hair/hat balance each other, the entire form almost like a hour-glass.
Wow! These are fantastic. I would never guess that you weren't interested in painting portraits. Your observation of textures is really, really nice. Could be an interesting exercise to draw with a timer and only allow yourself an hour...I'm used to spending hours and hours, too, so not having that luxury has forced me to really re-evaluate my approach.
Thanks Em! Yeah, you are right, I really should try harder to stick to the one hour limit. I had long break in painting, so I have now been spending time to re-learn things forgotten and build some routine with the painting tools. With the first pics, a lot of time was wasted with fumbling the brushes and all, instead of just being able to paint. But I'm getting there.. slowly..
This time I saved the pic at one hour and only after that kept pushing on couple of hours more. And the one hour limit really did force me to rethink some stuff.
Problems with 1h version are many.. the sails are not wide enough, forms are messy and values not accurate. All easy enough to fix, but..
..it takes a bit more time.
Last edited by samwaulu; April 3rd, 2014 at 09:27 PM.
Reason: Wrong attachment..
Nice work samwaulu!I've found managing the time constraints tricky too. My average has been gradually increasing to about 4 hours, but the 1 hour limit really is a different experience. It looks like you hit the important parts for your 1 hour version, and most of the values are about right, so it seems like you have a good handle on it. I can't find anything to critique on the 3hr version - looks great to me.
beautiful beautiful job. you are absolutely on the right track. if you make a final pass at checking all your values you will catch the last bits...like the strength of the light on the sail is just a hair darker. keep up the great work..you are up and rolling well.
Number nine. Chose this Salvator Rosa for its light and contrast. By mistake saved over the one hour version, but in that I misplaced the right eye and made nose too short, which cascaded into wrong placement of the mouth and part of the beard.. was also sloppy with the folds of clothing. I was trying to be fast and later that cost over an hour just to fix the face. Got annoyed and fell into old bad habit of scribbling with very small brush, which cost more time. Part of the clothing is still wrong (too high on the shoulder, edge on the left too soft, etc.)
Note to self: Occasionally stop and actually look at what you are doing.
The picture uses similar composition as the Rubens I did before. Bulls eye, tilted face and also triangular.
This Sargent was the hardest of these I've tried so far. Don't know if I just had a bad day or if it's the delicate watercolors or what?
Also worked in large size (about 5000px * 2000px) because I wanted to have lots of precision for the watercolor-style brushstrokes, but that of course brought more room for imprecision. Aaand not what this was supposed to be in the first place. Back to smaller size with the next one.
Got lots of stuff out of whack in the first 80 min version. Fixed part of them, but managed to create some more and lot of the picture started to look very overworked. Trying to fix that with more work was not helpful... There's multiple problems, so many that I'll try this one again in maybe five or ten years, but now I just bow to completely superior brushwork.
Jason Manley: That's nice to hear! Yeah, was probably too engrossed about the watercolor feel and textures and neglected the edges. I'll try to remember that now :-)
Next one, a Delacroix, chose it mostly just to do more portraits, but also because it isn't entirely usual portrait subject.
The reasons, why portraiture is not my favorite, are evident in this.. While I got fairly close, it's still in many subtle ways different. The angle of nostril is wrong, there's probably small difference on the curves of forehead and collar, nominal differences on mouth, eyes and some shadows. The angle of the entire head is probably tilted just slightly different way... It all changes the demeanor a bit and hunting all the minor nuances down would probably take longer than it already has for the whole painting. In comparison, painting something like the sea, mountains etc. is very relaxing, since small differences on the foam of a wave don't really make it any lesser wave.. Or at least I don't see it.. :-D
Anyway, on the 75 min version, the main thing off is the nose and while I thought it fixed, I notice the nostril now..
EDIT: Just couldn't leave it at that.. The worst problem wasn't after all the nose, but the edge of forehead, entire left cheek and parts of the hairline. Also small tweaks on mouth, nose and right eye. Some stuff is still off and went a tad dark on some values, but Now I try to leave it at that.
Last edited by samwaulu; April 11th, 2014 at 08:07 PM.
Reason: Additions to text and one attachment
Great job on the delacroix! Nice work on matching the textures.
The last sargent was an ambitious choice, though it turned out well. Trying to reproduce watercolors in digital sounds crazy difficult. I feel like you'd almost have to rely on a lot of masking, layers, erasers, etc to get those sharp edges and soft interiors.
Thanks Dalia. Personally I'm tad annoyed that most of the positioning of the facial features went a few steps sideways and the annoyance applies a bit on the Sargent too.. Watercolors is different and maybe a little crazy, but it really would just require suitable brushes and enough skill with the brushstrokes. As a rule, I don't use masking etc. for these as I want to be able to do things with just brush (for now.. later stages, different story). Layers yes, to test out how some type of the brush actually suits for the purpose. Eraser, never. I think its better to fix painting problems with painting or lots of steps back in history and redoing until its better.
I couldn't really figure out suitable brushes for the Sargent. For a while I had one that first seemed good, but then I noticed it erratically throws repeating patterns in all the wrong places.. Messed up stuff, had to give it up and use another that wasn't much better. You are right, the main problem was the combination soft interior and sharp, slightly darker partially broken edge. Some sort of a dual brush might fit the purpose, but so far haven't figured that out.
Chose this Bouguereau mostly just because I like it, but also for the almost glowing quality of the woman. This was slooow to do, but quite enjoyable. Didn't get nowhere close in one hour and the two hour version has some structural flaws on head, shoulders and feet. Took so many breaks while working, that don't exactly know how much time I spent, but my best guesstimate is roughly 9,5h. Yeah.. next one I'll try to do faster or at least leave it be a bit sooner. There's still all kinds of little differences, but...
Great studies samwaulu! Really like how you utilize the angle relationships
when analyzing your painting choices. The eyes are getting better, too
Your Bougeureau is fantastic, really amazing to see all the progress images
of your chosen paintings, too.
Wonderful job with these and looking forward to seeing the rest of them!
The key is to start doing. The rest falls into place eventually.