I´ve been watching many progresses from many people here for quite some time and I think it´s time to participate
I decided to paint from Bouguereau´s self portrait. I like the contrast between light and dark in his picture and how he emphasizes the light on the face. Took me one and a half hour to paint. Crits are very welcome.
This was a hard one to paint. It took me an hour to paint just the shapes correct and still the water dragon seems to be way too big compared with the original. I like how Frazetta brings dynamic in his picture with the water. Also I think the water arranged in a diagonal way emphasizes the focus on the main shapes,the man on the boat and the water dragon.
Took me 3 hours...
Original:John Singer Sargent
This picture has a very good contrast between light and dark to emphasize the face of the Arabian man.I had some problems to capture the expression of his face because I first started with the main values instead building up the shapes of the face. Therefore I later had to fix the lips and the nose many times... I can´t imagine how people can paint such pictures in an hour. I needed 2 and a half for this one...
So my question: Which is the best way to get faster? What are the best steps to paint from old masters or life, what ever you want. I think my problem is that I haven´t got a good structure to build up my pictures. Your help is very welcome guys (and girls) and sorry for my bad English
You have a really painterly stroke, whatever tool it is you are using - gives the pieces a great feel. I wonder myself, which is better to start with - I'm always tempted to sketch first (years of pen on paper, I imagine, shaping that preference), but am finding that for these studies, blocking the picture out with bigger chunks of value/shapes allow me to get away from the "edginess" of the drawing sooner. Have you tried it both ways?
Hey Kashboom, thank you, nice to hear that it doesn´t look too "photoshopish" (does this word exist??). Most of my pictures are done with the normal round brush and a chalk brush. But for the last one I used a texture brush which I found in the internet (I think it was from Daarkens website if you know him). Now that I´ve painted the last picture I would say it´s better to start with a sketch (I´ve tried both, value and sketch first). I think if you start blocking first it´s fine but also hard to find out the right position for the right value. If you position your shapes precisely you have a clearer look for value/colour blocking. But the negative side is that you´re always tempted to go too far into detail (see my shape progress above;too much unimportant details) which takes a lot of time...May be a good balance between building shapes (not too much details) first and then blocking would be a fine way.
Hope it was clear to understand
It's great seeing your progress with your shapes. The first was off quite a bit, which is key to avoid when doing portraits. It really requires double checking and triple checking before rendering any details. The latest Wyeth is much closer and some more focused attention on values would tie it together even more. You are working with a little more contrast than the original so be sure you are getting up and backing away from it to view it from afar or zoom in and out more so you can keep an eye on that better. Great work btw...you are on the right track.
Thank you jason I´ll try to follow your advice but I´m still not sure which is the better way to start. First the shapes and then the values or first capturing the right main values and then the shapes. I´m confused...
The more detail you put in the under drawing the easier the values are to handle. However, for some it is easier to work with shapes. I am one of the latter but even then, putting in more time in the early drawing makes for an easier life down the road.