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  1. #1
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    Anthis - Composition 1.1

    Hello fellow students!

    I've fallen slightly behind on classes. More to come!


    Gerome - Pygmalion and Galatea
    Kind of a favourite, and also interesting for artists thematically. I think the placement and use of contrast are fantastic here. The composition clearly 'leads' the eye in a curve toward the kiss (focus). The objects on the floor and elements in the back follow the gesture of the two bodies.
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    Paul Gabriël - Landscape with windmill
    Gabriël has done quite a few of these windmills as far as I know. It struck me how such a deceptively 'simple' scenery can still be so interesting. As I see it, it's a very deliberate construction of large open spaces and carefully placed (and repeated) elements. The contrasts feel stronger in the original colour version. I somehow missed the figure.
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    Isaac Israels - (don't know name)
    I thought it would be nice to study some impressionist images as well. The repetition and balance are very noticeable. Three women grouped to the left, three shop awnings (had to look that up) on the right. Groups balance each other out throughout the peace.
    I think I didn't do very well on this study. The harmony is is lost entirely.
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  3. #2
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    Here's another one.

    Johannes Bosboom - Church interior.
    It struck me how there are some strong contasts in the periphery of the piece. Especially with the dark shadowy areas below the arches. The architecture is rendered very economically which allows the smaller elements (like the figures) to stand out.

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  4. #3
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    Wow. Great start!! Welcome.

    Your value control is almost there already, which makes me happy to see. You are capturing the atmosphere very well. On the mill scene I actually like the smokier quality yours has more than the original. It's the soft edges creating mood. Now with that said, the goal here is to be as true to the original as you can be, in shape, value and edges as well as studying surface/texture when that is present in the paint.

    There are two areas for you to focus on immediately. 1. Be sure you are double and triple checking your positive and negative shapes. Figures a tiny bit small, architectural elements slightly different in shape...these little differences should be mitigated best you can. Flip the images, turn them upside down, even look through a mirror over your shoulder. Just be sure you are working on keeping accurate there.

    Secondly, is to try to capture the full range of soft and sharp edges. Your most recent did a much better job of that. The paintings do not have to be tightly rendered to note those edges, but given your affinity for rendering and polished images, I think it is something to pay close attention to right away.

    Keep up the great work. i look forward to your updates.


    jM

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  6. #4
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    Jason Manley; Thank you! Your critique is noted. Surface/texture is a struggle; I tend to lose control over the value. I'll take a look at the shapes. It's true I don't usually check the 'negatives' so I'll adjust my approach.


    Progress is a bit slow since I'm doing the other assignments as well. Here's another one.

    Ilya Repin - On a Bridge in Abramtsevo (1879)
    This one was a challenge because the value range is not so large. Woman stands out, rest seemed pretty close together. Repin did some very effective overlapping to ensure forms read well. Which is a good lesson. The contrast in shape (natural elements vs bridge) helps too.

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  7. #5
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    Beautiful study. Other than small shape differences, which is fine in these quicker studies, you are doing a great job. I have no crit on this one as it is where i hope to see these, so just keep them rolling and keep working on getting shapes, values, and edges as accurately as you can.

    Great job.


    jm

  8. #6
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    Heya Jason,
    Thank you, I find it hard to concentrate on all aspects together. I get shape errors pretty often in these studies.


    Moving on! Studies and analysis.

    Jean Baptiste Camille Corot
    I'm not so great at these environments, so I force myself to do more of them. I really like how the soft sandy road is handled. It's interesting how much it resembles the river, in both value and shape. They differ in the type of surface (matte/diffuse vs specular)
    Name:  JeanBaptisteCamilleCorot_StudyLU.jpg
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    John William Waterhouse - Cleopatra
    I can't do these studies without including a Waterhouse. I love how the face receives reflected light from the robe, creating a very strong expression that's still feminine. Not too happy about the study.
    Name:  JohnWilliamWaterhouse_Cleopatra_StudyLU.jpg
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    Albert Bierstadt - Fishing boats at Capri
    This one felt different from Bierstadt's typical epic environments. It's quite crowded without getting too busy, which is an interesting composition lesson. I lost quite a bit of contrast.
    Name:  AlbertBierstadt_FishingboatsatCapri_StudyLU.jpg
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    Carlo Saraceni - Gregory the Great
    I found this painting while looking for good Caravaggio works to study. Had never heard of the painter. The figure receives strong spotlight-like lighting. This results in some subtle value transitions where the face and clothing receive most of the light.
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  9. #7
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    More.

    Did an animated gif this time. I noticed the first sketch has some pretty bad proportions, so I'll be watching the negative shapes better from now on. Forgot to save the early steps though. I'll do a more extensive one with lots of steps later on.

    Anthony van Dyck - Cornelius van der Geest (<1620)
    Pretty traditional portrait and setup, as far as I can see. Some really subtle paint marks. I noticed I had some trouble with the forehead, which has very high key values. There's a nice article on this painting on Gurney Journey.

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  10. #8
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    The shapes differences will clear up as long as you keep focusing on getting more and more accuracy...especially early on...and then double and triple checking as you go. Measure or use plumb lines if you have to. Flip the images horizontally and vertically. The shape accuracy will come.

    with that said, a little more texture in your brushes would add a lot to the pieces, as would making sure you are getting your edges to the same level of sharp and soft as the original.

    Great job. Keep them coming.


    jm

  11. #9
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    Thanks Jason. I don't have a specific workflow yet, so I'll take a look at that.

    This time I tried different approaches. Some quick, some slow. Some with a lot of construction and some without.


    Had some difficulties with the attachment manager, so these have been piling up.



    Charles Joshua Chaplin - A song silenced.
    Very moody image. My approach was slightly different on this one. I stayed mostly zoomed out and tried to drop the right values in there 'from a distance'. I also tried to do this one more accurately in limited time. Not quite satisfied.
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    Édouard Debat-Ponsan - One morning at the gates of the Louvre.
    Again, I tried to stay zoomed out as much as possible. Just focusing on getting the right values, and making the image readable without having to resort to excessive detailing.
    Name:  DebatPonsan_Louvregates_StudyLU.jpg
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    Guido Cagnacci - Drunken Noah
    I chose this one because the figure is essentially one large foreshortened shape. All the form is described by very small value shifts and edge variation.
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    Laurence Koe - Venus and Tannhäuser
    I liked the composition with all its triangles and a lot of 'empty' space. Pretty interesting picture. The female figure has a lot of tiny transitions that can make a lot of difference. I found this to be extremely tough, especially in the light areas.
    Name:  LaurenceKoe_VenusTannhauser_studyLU.jpg
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    Jeremy Lipking - Evening Light
    This one was mostly to practice blending value gradations. I'm having some trouble with that. I either end up with choppy transitions (hard brush) or a fuzzy mess (soft brush). Hence this study.
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  12. #10
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    Nice work! I don't have a ton of time but I'll try to critique each one real fast.

    Chaplin- Make sure you get the full value range. Your darkest darks and your lightest lights need to be pushed further. For instance, the highlights on the skin aren't bright enough, and the shadowed side of her hair isn't dark enough.

    Cagnaci - The values look pretty close to me. The shapes of his head are a little off though.

    Dubat - again, the biggest problem I see is that you haven't quite used the full value range. Really push those darks. Also, I know it was a quick painting/less detailed, but some sharp edges would help make the image read a lot clearer.

    Koe - this one looks mostly good except for some nitpicky stuff.

    Lipking - nice handling of the transitions. I have the worst time with those too, still haven't figured out a good way to deal with them. Just more practice, I suppose... Anyway, my only nitpick is the shape and value of the chair arm are a bit off.

    Hope that helps. Keep up the great work!

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  14. #11
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    These are looking great. I love that two of your painting choices I have never seen before. The Koe and the Ponsan. With that said I encourage you to keep checking shapes as your values and edges are pretty much where they need to be. It is subtle shape differences that you need to get under control so that you do not wrestle with shape seeing and accurate drawing later.

    Keep up the awesome work.


    jm

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    Dahlia - Thanks for the critique! Now that I look at it, I agree as well. It's strange how these things become so apparent when you take another good look.

    Jason - Cheers! I love stumbling across all these paintings I've never seen before. I've noticed the shape errors - they've gotten me into trouble pretty often now. Not quite sure how to handle it yet but I'll be working on that. More measuring and negative space checking, probably.


    20/20, Last batch! I took some extra time for some of these. It has been a great exercise and I think I learned quite a bit. There's plenty of room for improvement though. Besides the values themselves I also need to get better at handling digital painting in general. Still struggling with that.



    Caspar David Friedrich - Winterlandschaft mit Kirche (1811)
    Chose this one for the strong sense of space. Was a lot harder than I expected, the texture was especially problematic. Tried to create some textured brushes to mimic the tree and snow, but never really got close.
    Name:  CasparDFriedrich_winterlandschaft_StudyLU.jpg
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    Edgar Payne - Moutn Gayley and Mount Sill, Big Pine, High Sierras
    The interesting thing about this piece is how deliberate the values are chosen and placed. Barely any soft transitions. I thought it was interesting to think about the values in those far away mountains. In the far distance a tiny value shift can represent a 100-meter difference.
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    Pino Daeni - First Glance
    Chose this one after seeing Ashess' Composition 1.2 study. I took this opportunity to experiment with textured brushes again. Mixed results. I thought it was interesting how you have to be extremely subtle with your values in (female)portraits. But at the same time, you can't make everything soft and hazy either. The face in my version is still too harsh though.
    Name:  PinoDaeni_Firstglance_Study.jpg
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    William-Adophe Bouguereau - Love on the lookout
    I initially wanted to use this one for composition 1.2. The face was tough. Neither feminine nor masculine, and very easy to mess up. Personally, the foreshortening seemed a lot easier to pull off when you focus on values rather than shapes (like when line drawing). I felt that was an important discovery for me.
    Name:  Bouguereau_Loveonthelookout_StudyLU.jpg
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    John Singer Sargent - Catherine Vlasto
    I had to do a Sargent for this exercise. The edge variation is extremely important. I knew Sargent made good use of that but I never paid it enough attention. He's very consistent in using them as well. Really interesting, certainly something I'll be using a lot more.Name:  JohnSingerSargent_CatherineVlasto_StudyLU.jpg
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  16. #13
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    These are fabulous. You are very very close on all of them. Value differences are still present...about 3 or 4 percent off at most, the landscape being the most glaring example, given the contrast of the original. Edges could sharpen up in places, like the knees/lower legs of the bouguereau for example. For these studies though you are right on track. I look forward to seeing what you do with comp 1.2 when you can really get in there and push the remaining pixels, so to speak. You are going to be one hell of a painter if you keep this up. Great work.


    jm

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