There are some great work in here and people seem to learn a lot, so I thought I would try it out.
Here's my first study, Black Bashi-Bazouk by Jean-Léon Gérôme. I spent one hour on it.
About Gérômes painting:
First I just thought this portrait seemed interesting but I didn't know really why. Now that I've been watching closer and trying to take in Jasons video, I'll try and say something. I like the continuty into nice curved shapes. The curved hat continues into the mans cheek. The details hanging down from the hat in curves. The hat also creates an interesting S-shape together with his profiled face. The rifle in the back creates a curve with the arm towards the right bottom corner. In fact a lot of movement seems to be going down to the bottom corner, but Gérôme balances that out with a pair of (what I think is) pistols that protrude behind his arm. Emphasis seems to me (judging from the level of detail) to be almost as much on his costume as on the warrior himself but the contrast of the heavily shaded face towards the background keeps focus on the portrayed.
I will sugest you go back on it and refine the all piece for another hour.
Try to bring the little change of values, and push this study a little more.
Be careful on your values, your big shapes are almost right, but some values need more love.
Nice work. You are on the right path for sure. Your shapes and values are coming along well. Be sure that you are keeping a close eye on your edges. Note where the sharpest sharpest sharps and softest soft edges are and use them as guideposts/landmarks for the rests of the edges in the image. Edges are important to space, form, and focal areas, so getting those in there will help the piece a lot. Once you do, you will see quality improve a lot. Keep up the great work. -jm