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.
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. http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...principle.html
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.
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.
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 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.
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.