Greetings Concept Art community! A few things about myself. I am a full time animator for a medical illustration company. I've been looking to brush up on my illustration skills and broaden my horizons. Feel free to be as brutal as possible, I would greatly appreciate any feedback.
These were all done in about an hour.
John William Waterhouse - A Mermaid
So on my first study I think I totally missed the point of the assignment. I initially tried too hard to draw the mermaid instead of concentrating on the whole painting. In hindsight I think one of the reasons why the original painting is so successful is it's contrasting textures. There is so much texture in the background. You have these long vertical lines in the cliffs and short horizontal strokes in the ocean. There is all this nice texture and then on top of it he's placed this bright, softly painted mermaid. She really pops out nicely from the background.
Rembrandt - Man with Golden Helmet
For my second attempt I picked a Rembrandt painting. High contrast, chiaroscuro. It is so much calmer compared to all the texture in A Mermaid. So much of the figure is loosely brushed in and suggested and most of the detail is reserved for the highlights on the helm and gorget. This time I made sure to work the whole painting before working on any of the details.
John Singer Sargent, Elizabeth Winthrop Chanler
I love this painting. I've seen it quite a few times at the Smithsonian. This is a simple Triangular composition. The super contrasty Elizabeth in a black dress is counterbalanced by the two wall dealies. There is also a nice contrast in brush work. Most of the unimportant details are roughly brushed in, the dress looks like it was worked with a deep wet black paint and the skin is a thicker creamier layer of paint as opposed to what looks like scumbled paint on the walls in the background.
The Swing - Jean-Honore Fragonard
So I spent a little over 2 hours on this one. I was gonna call an end to it sooner but I wanted to push it a little further. One art principle that came to mind was the windmill principle that James Gurney has mentioned before.
The edges of the figures in the scene seem to have all of the 4 tonal conditions. Light/Dark, Light/Light, Dark/Light, and Dark/Dark. This method of tonal arrangement seems to lock the figures in with the rest of the scene.
Stars by Maxfield Parrish
Another 2 to 3 hour study. I was still playing around with some more textured brushes in order to match some of the texture in the painting. I usually just use a hard round brush.
Your copies are awesome, especially Fragonard and the last one!
Thanks McCloud! Hopefully in my next couple attempts I can complete them in the hour time limit.
So I went back to trying to keep my studies under an hour. One problem I have with painting that I struggle with is that I take a long time to complete work when I don't hold myself to a deadline. I tend to get picky and rework stuff to death. Then when I do try to work stuff quickly I tend to not think and make poor use of my time. On these I've been very careful with my values but I've been neglecting the under drawing. On the Bierstadt study I just did, it wasn't until the end that I noticed that the horizon line was much lower than the original and I should have noticed it from the beginning.
Billybones NC Wyeth
In this composition Wyeth has placed a pirate with a strong silhouette on a light background. Wyeth's characters are always interesting to look at but I like the silhouette on this pirate. His cape curves around his shoulder and curves around over his shoulder almost in the shape of a sea shell.
Looking down Yosemite Valley Albert Bierstadt
I think the thing that helps this painting work is that instead of letting the mountain line split his composition through the middle. Bierstad has used the haze on the horizon to break up the horizon and bring some of those values down into the river.
Last edited by Rassy; May 22nd, 2014 at 08:54 PM.
very big improvement here.
I think the values are well respected in this last one and the shapes seems very good as well to me.
Probably the original has more brightness behind the mountain in the right and you can see as well the sun rays. I think you respected very well the atmosphere of the painting. Good job
I didn't even notice that. Thanks for pointing that out to me Andrea. I did a quick update where I brightened that area and the lake beneath it a bit.
Great improvement!!! it was already very good before, but now the sun is really shining back there. Good job
All of these were done in an hour or less.
I came across this painting by Delaroche on Art Renewal. I'm not too familiar with his work but I really like the vertical stripes of the pants on the center figure that draws the eyes up through the center and then around the faces among the crowd.
Syd Mead is an amazing concept artist and I love that he still works in gouache. I like how simple most of the background details really are but the way he uses them suggests alot of detail.
When I was copying this Tissot painting a lesson I learned from Syd Meads' painting demo came to mind. He had mentioned how he likes adding large objects or even shadows coming in and out of the background. By having something come in from outside the painting it helps establish that the subject is part of a larger environment that the viewer can't see.
Bouguereau 1 hr study
This study is a little rough. I spent a little more time with the drawing in the beginning but I still wanted to keep the total time spent under an hour.
Edwin Georgi 3 hr study
I came across this guy while browsing for some more artists to study. I was going to copy an Andrew Loomis painting when I came across this artist. Most of his paintings are really vibrant and colorful so I was curious to see how they looked in grey scale. The first version I saved out came out as a stereoscopic 3D image for some reason. I thought it looked interesting so I thought I would share that as well.
Mermaid - Andrew Loomis
I decided to change it up this time. I usually either start out with a rough value sketch or just freehand the drawing but since this was a Loomis painting I wanted to use the construction method of drawing the figure. I thought it would be good practice for building figures instead of just copying the drawing. Then I spent the last 30 minutes brushing in the values. There is a very noticable "S" shape to this composition. I don't think I've ever noticed the seaweed in this picture until today. The eye starts out at the bottom left travels along the base of the mermaid's tail and the seaweed, across the fish and up the mermaid's arm and hair. It's a very dynamic painting.
Rassy welcome to the fray. I began looking through these and collecting thoughts and every time I would have a comment...hmm..it's the edge work...or the value...the very next image would solve it to a better degree. Your ability to improve is marked. now...the key here is to be consistent. You have three key areas to focus on. A. shape and mapping out the positive and negative shapes. b. value and c. edges..the full range of soft to sharp. Keep an eye on all three things as you go along and double and triple check them before you wrap up.
Along the way I would strongly suggest you make notes of what composition elements and principles are used and really take a good hard look at the abstraction happening. It is not just about copying these well, but thinking through them so their thoughts rub off on you as much as their technical aspects.
Btw...that photoshop trick to show the small image so you don't have to zoom out. That was awesome. I can't believe i never thought of that or saw that done purposely in all my years working with artists. That was you right? It's getting late.
Anyway thanks for commenting on others and being helpful too. It is appreciated.
Thanks Jason! I definitely need to work on my consistency. I'll do my best to follow your advice and to also take note of the composition elements.
Yes, I was the one who suggested the new window option. I'm glad I was able to help out the community.
Was a busy week and wasn't able to get much work done until last night. Here are two 1 hour studies.
Room in New York - Hopper
In this painting Hopper uses mostly simple shapes with hardly any detail and leaves most of his contrast for the two figures in the scene. I think by subduing all the detail such as facial features he has emphasized this mundane life of this unhappily married couple.
Rosina - Sargent
I love how loose this painting is and how the simple brush strokes under the chin and next to the cheek are the only emphasis to the contours of the face. If it wasn't for those two simple spots of light then the face would blend almost completely with the background.
A Bedouin Arab - Sargent
Another Sargent copy where the man's face contains the darkest and brightest values in the piece and is surrounded by a loosely painted light cloak. Its a very simple but effective way to draw the viewer's eye to the man's face. One thing I found fascinating about this painting is that all the shadows are painted with very thin transparent layers of dark paint and everything in direct light he has used thick opaque paint which gives it a little more volume if that makes sense. I've heard of the transparent shadow rule before but I don't often see it applied in digital art or maybe I never notice.
Great study on this sergent, it will be my next study
The shape of the noise is a little bit off, the dark side is really almost a straight line.
And on your study, i think the lighest part of the skin is a tiny too dark.
Love the texture, was it a customize brush ?
and what is you tips on photoshop windows ?
Thanks and keep painting ^^
Thanks for your input Madaoway. I'll try and watch my values. I always seem to neglect something.
The window tip was that instead of zooming in and out of your painting you can open a second window for your project by going to "Window -> Arrange -> New Window" in the menu bar. This way you can have one view where you are zoomed out and can see how the composition looks and another zoomed in view where you can work on smaller details.
In for a tanning - Gil Elvgren
4 hr study
I'm kind of a sucker for cheesy pin up art. Its fun to look at and even more fun to paint. In this composition the viewer's eye kinda starts with the dog, pans over to the right around the legs and then curves left and up the body towards the woman's face.
I disagree with you on the viewer eyes.
In my opinion, i think the first things i saw, was the face. Because of the contrast with the part of dark in the hair, against this light value, almost white in the hair.
You have the feature too you caught the eye.
The dog is more surrounded with a medium value.
And i think it's why you are too much dark with her light value on her face.
Anyway great work, beautiful study.
Everytime i go to your thread, he make me want to study some new piece i didn't think of.
I am in agreement that the values are the main differences...the strike of light on the hair...the luminosity in the reflect light on the face...back away from them...three meters...stand across the room and look at them from afar...you will better see these differences if you do as you wont be so close that your eyes are adjusting to the piece you are working on.
beautiful job though...I would struggle to capture that beautiful figure and you are very close. Lovely entirely. I think you may have a gift for the female figure.
Sorry for the late reply. Was a very busy weekend. In the copy of the of the Gil Elvgren painting I didn't mean to imply that the dog was the focal point of the composition. I was more or less commenting on the S shaped visual path but happened to list the dog first.
Thanks for your comments, I appreciate you guys keeping me on my toes.
Unknown title - Gil Elvgren
Another busy week. Hopefully I can find the time to get to 20 by Monday. I've done another Gil Elvgren study and one of the things I like about pinup art is how dark most the artists go with the eye lashes, eyebrows and lips while not making the subject look too cartoony. It seems like the skin tones are flattened and or simplified to help achieve this look.
Unknown Andrew Loomis
A quicker study than usual. Was trying to use episodes of Top Gear as a timer. So the focus here is the man and woman just a moment away from kissing. I like the dark shadow on the right half of the man's face that helps bring so much contrast to that area to make their faces just stand out. Since this is a quicker study there are still some areas that need work. The lights in the background definitely need to be brightened, the bricks on the left need to be darkened and the woman's face could be brightened up a bit.
watch the emotional expression on the male character. he looks more tentative in yours, like she's an ex tring to give him a smooch, rather than in that magic moment the original has. I say this because the technical aspects are coming well under control and now is when you really have to pay attention to the true art of it..which is that emotional expression and communication...the advanced stuff.
Thanks Jason! I really appreciate the feedback you've been giving me. Sorry for the late response. Its funny how you don't notice these things till later. Maybe if the head was tilted a little more and moved a little closer it would have made all the difference.
The Medicine Ship N C Wyeth
So I meant to have this one done last week but I wasn't happy with my first attempt and just decided to redo it. Looking at my second attempt I may have went too dark with some of my values. My favorite thing about this painting is how much the characters look like pixar characters or I guess I should say how much pixar characters look reminiscent of Wyeth's characters since he came first. I think the composition is interesting, your eye just kind of bounces around from face to face and each character seems so interesting and demands so much attention that it almost makes the painting seem too busy and yet it still works. I always end up focusing on the captain's face because he looks like the most interesting man in the world dressed as a sea captain. The Delaware Art Museum has a wonderful collection of golden age illustration art but this is my favorite painting there.
Beautiful job. My only criticism is on the glow in the lanterns...yours is a little soft.
Love this painting. Keep up the great work!!
Beautiful job. My only criticism is on the glow in the lanterns...yours is a little soft.
Love this painting. Keep up the great work!!