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Thread: Davey Jones - Composition 1.1
July 10th, 2014 #1
Davey Jones - Composition 1.1
I did this on my Ipad using a stylus and Procreate. That 'medium' presented it's own challenges, and since I was looking from laptop screen to ipad, it was even more difficult to gauge the sizes of the composition. But good practice!
What I was focusing on here was Wyeth's use of lines. I focused on that rather than the shading of tones/values and used a pencil tool. Since it was my first piece for the workshop I noticed I was operating in old habits for most of the hour and had to remind myself to consider the notes from the instructional video.
There are many things that I would improve now that I look at it side by side, but I'm trying to challenge myself to stay in the constraints of the assignment. The next few I'll do at home on my computer with my Wacom. Realizing that there's many ways to challenge myself and it's best to maybe narrow it down to just one or two per piece. That way I'm not fighting the medium WHILE working on new concepts.
Anyhow, a good excersise and a nice start..
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This was done on my Wacom w/ Photoshop in 50min. I love the mild values and the few dark lines Homer uses to define the shapes. There's a lot of sublety here. The Rythm of the small-Large-Small boats along the horizon jumped out at me as well as the waist of the sailor meeting the horizon line.
July 10th, 2014 #3
Nice start, big improvement with your second study. You were feeling clearly more comfortable with your usual work station
Your values are really close, maybe the water is a little bit more "pure white".
Also, keep an eye on your edges, yours are a little bit too blurry.
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July 10th, 2014 #4
I can't tell if it's the coffee or if it's trying to get done in the 1hr timeframe, but I felt adrenaline on that one. It's good to feel that because it was constantly forcing me to think: "Where is the primary Emphasis/Focus?"
I spent the first 30 min blocking in the values and the remaining 30 working on the detail. I'll admit, I spent 15 of those being a chicken, noodling around the frame of the high dive because I was intimidated to paint the boy. But in the end, it feels rewarding. Having these immediate goals are a reward in themselves and it's a buzz to meet them.
...Or maybe it's just the coffee
July 11th, 2014 #5
This one is great Davey, I'd spend a little more time making sure your getting the values correct, the underside of the platform value could be pushed a little bit more, and try cleaning up your edges it will help with capturing the likeness even more, Just about every edge on the platform is a hard edge. Great job on this Davey, keep up the great work.
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July 11th, 2014 #6
Portraits are hard. The nuance of an expression is just the difference of a few brush strokes.
On this I should have spent longer making sure the general shapes and feature locations were as accurate as possible. Because my version was a bit different scale, when I went for the details it ended up looking less like the original. 1hr.
If I had more time the first thing I'd revisit is the eyes size and position and make the mouth more of a smile. Corot gives off a near arrogant impression and for me, that expression is the central element to the piece.
July 11th, 2014 #7
I chose another portrait because they're a challenge. I was able to get my general positions closer on this one so was able to focus a bit more on the emphasis. I think the next piece I'll do, I'll start by studying it with my lecture notes for 5min before I pick up my brush. I'd like to think along the lines of composition rather than fall back into old habits. 50min.
July 11th, 2014 #8
Working on speed of blocking in values on this one. I like how it's balanced with the largest amount of blacks in the center. It took me a while before I noticed the man and the child in the doorway of the balcony. And now looking back at the original, the brighest light value is on the sleeve of the woman at the bottom of the steps. It's a nice hint to catch your eye. 35min.
July 13th, 2014 #9
Thanks for the welcome Carnevil~
My question for you is, what approach do you use to get your hard edges? Do you erase your stroke or paint over? I have most of my art development in pencils and ink so line is much easier there. Painting with values is a relatively new process for me so I'm open to suggestions. I've found that my edges can tend to get soft.
Thanks for the feedback!
July 13th, 2014 #10
Thanks for the encouragement. I replied to Carnevil regarding hard edges as well. You had good feedback on the values. If I had spent maybe 15-30 min longer on that Rockwell piece I could have really done well with your suggestions. I'm keeping them in mind as I'm approaching my next piece. I'm not giving myself a time limit on it so hopefully I'll be able to catch the major details.
July 14th, 2014 #11
Ok great to see where you are at. When you are first getting started it is very important to really focus in on the mapping out of your shapes as accurately as you can possibly get them. If you put a shape in the wrong place and commit you end up having the other shapes off and require fixing, which increases painting time. By taking just a few extra minutes early on to measure out your shapes, to compare your shapes, and be sure they are placed and drawn accurately will make the rest of the painting process, working out your values and edges, much much easier.
You should flip the images horizontally and vertically so that you see the shapes with fresh eyes. This should be part of the process and if you are already doing that, keep doing it more. The professional artists will often flip images or use a mirror to see with fresh eyes as many as three or four times a minute as they are working when things really get flowing. You can also back away...actually get up and back away...and doing this works for shapes as well as checking values and edges.
The boat piece is the closest shapes wise but you seem to have not focused on value as much. Keep a close eye on your value relationships as well.
Keep up the good work.
July 14th, 2014 #12
Thanks for the tips Jason. I'll try that image flipping suggestion. I haven't done that so far. Quick question, are the main goals for this assignment general shapes and values? If so, I feel like i've been spending more time on the details where it's the basic composition that needs more of my attention.
Also, I see many folks are going over the 1hr mark and I'm sure that's fine. Is it something that I should be doing as well? I've been trying to follow along with the instruction suggestions as close as possible, but I also want to be learning rather than spinning my wheels so to speak.
In any case, thanks for the feedback and I'll keep at it.
July 14th, 2014 #13
shapes, values, and edges, along with analysis of the principles of design in the piece. The goal is to get your process down pat, which means some details but also lots of things like flipping the images, doing shape/value/edge/texture quality control passes throughout the painting periods etc...
You are on the right track. Just get those shapes down first and the rest will fall into place quickly.
July 15th, 2014 #14
I didn't worry about time on this one. I think I came in at around 3.5 hrs, just trying to focus on that shape/value/edge/texture list Jason suggested. Flipping the canvas was very effective as well. It felt like cheating at first but then I started to notice how I'd pick up on the shape and placement and things sort of 'clicked'.
Obviously I'd like to get quicker and maybe start building my own brushes for texture. But you've gotta start somewhere! More to come~
July 16th, 2014 #15
Around 3hrs. I used Painter for this and like the brush textures. It's a bit harder of a program to pick up, so that was a bit of a challenge. Painter has a different Color Profile so when I saved it out to jpg the blacks were harsher than when I was painting. I pulled it over to Photoshop to try and get it to how I had it.
Anyhow, here it is. I'm going to bed
July 19th, 2014 #16
I chose this Mucha piece because of the repeating patterns as well as organic flow in the lines. This artist must be an inspiration for many comic book illustrators. His line weights are awesome.
Anyhow, this gave me tons of shapes to practice and helped develop a steadier hand for long, sharp lines.
Last edited by Davey Jones; July 19th, 2014 at 01:10 AM.
July 20th, 2014 #17
I know this guy is a bit of a mixed bag as an artist, but I've always liked this piece when I've seen it over and over in friends bathrooms.
I like the motion of the dance. The perspective is fun with closely arranged figures in the foreground and with clouds like look miles away over the horizon.
With composition, I'd say the primary focus goes to her shoulders and his face, secondary to the maid on the left with her hand on her hat, and third, you look at the butler's awkward stance with kerchief flowing in the breeze.
Around 3-4 hours.
July 20th, 2014 #18
The Mucha's study is really well done.
Vettriano look good, but a little bit more texture will bring this one next level.
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July 20th, 2014 #19
Thanks for the encouragement! I'm trying to get the process down bit by bit, working on getting quicker and developing better use of texture. It's easier to get texture in Painter, but I'm not as familiar with that program yet. I do most of my work in Photoshop, but really love the way Painter 'feels' when you paint in it.
Thanks for taking the time to look and comment~
July 20th, 2014 #20
I too struggle with textures, I have created a few texture brushes in Photoshop, but as soon as I start blending tones, all the texture disappears really quickly so I have to then come back over it with texture brush again. I will probably try painter eventually to see if it's easier as you say - nice texture in Van Dyck study !
Very nice work and progress overall.
July 21st, 2014 #21
You should try Painter. I know you can get good textured look in Photoshop, but it's a bit of a different approach to digital painting in Painter. I guess see if you like it. On this next piece I used both programs and it gave some natural look to the background in painter but sped up the process doing some detail work in Photoshop. Let's keep at it!
July 21st, 2014 #22
i agree with Faun on the van dyck study. Awesome work.
These are all coming along very well. You are just about there on each one and installing a last quality control checkpoint should resolve any remaining issues.
Make a pass at the end where you double check the following, in this order.
At this point all I think that is needed is double checking things at the end and you are good to go.
Keep up the great work.
July 21st, 2014 #23
I like how Corot draws the Focus to the girl with his clear edges and detail compared to the background. Her figure also fits into a diagonal 'line' slanting down from the upper-left corner.
I used both Painter and Photoshop on this one to try and gain experience with both. Really trying to speed up my process without losing quality.
This was close to 2.5 hours.
Last edited by Davey Jones; July 21st, 2014 at 05:25 PM.
July 21st, 2014 #24
Thanks for the tips, every bit helps~
Do you have a recommendation for some Photoshop brushes I could use for added texture? At this point I'm leaning toward using Painter for most of the heavy lifting. I've been sticking to the oils section and pretty much just using the round/flat smeary brushes and the detailed oils brush. But I'd like to develop in the area of making my stuff look as natural as possible.
I'll go through that checklist as well. I just posted a new piece before I saw that you just posted, so I'll keep that in mind for the future. I Appreciate your feedback.
July 21st, 2014 #25
Here's a refined version of the piece I just posted. This is just taking 20min to go through the checklist Jason mentioned. It shows how just a bit of time can spruce up a piece.
Last edited by Davey Jones; July 21st, 2014 at 06:04 PM.
July 21st, 2014 #26
yep. google photoshop brushes for kekai kotaki, james kei, whit brachna and jaime jones. They have a bunch of great brushes among them and you can find their brushes online.
Beware being a bit too blurry! Keep an eye on those edges.
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July 21st, 2014 #27
You're right on the edges. I'm looking at the last piece and although the background has less detail, I probably could have used a harder edged brush and made it resemble the original more. I was trying to go a bit quicker on that one, but I think with the right brush I could get closer to the source image with not much added time.
I'll try keeping that in mind on my next one.
July 22nd, 2014 #28
Love me some Norman Rockwell. It's a very flat composition as far as distance is concerned, but it lends itself to focusing on the faces. The focus is between the driver and the female, love the expressions.
This took 3.5hrs. I'm getting frustrated that I can't keep this level of quality at close to the 1hr mark. So, these feel like false victories a bit. Still, I'm happy that I'm progressing.
I suppose getting to the 1hr mark is a combination of knowing what brushes to go to immediately, and nailing the shapes and values right off. Then I guess it's a matter of edges and placing detail where the eye should be drawn. I tried to do that on my last Corot piece but lost the edges when I went for speed.
Anyhow, thought I'd share thoughts on the process.
July 23rd, 2014 #29
I chose this painting because of the haggard expression in the character. There's a story behind this man and this type of stuff is what I really get stoked on when it comes to concept art. It's about the feeling you get from the piece.
The composition centers around his fierce eye not only in position, but in stroke. Repin has alot of movement in this piece, almost like a whirlwind around the head, and the eye is the calm.
I wanted to stick to an hour for one again to compare improvements. I'm starting to be able to pick out shape quicker at this point. It's not an exact copy, but at an hour I had to make choices of what to render. Shapes, Value, Edges... But I was surprised by how quickly I was able to shape in the figure with close values.
Anyhow, curious for feedback on this one.
July 23rd, 2014 #30
Around 3 hrs.
I picked this because I love the girl and pose. Wyeth's characters have such dramatic poses.
The distances in this piece are interesting, by placing her in the upper left, it raises the drama and scale. With her being close but allowing the viewer to see for miles you wonder what she's trying to spot.
There are diagonal rhythms drawing our attention to her face as well as giving the feeling of a windswept peak. This serves two purposes, good composition and giving realism to the piece.
I had most of this blocked in at the 30 min mark, but hit a wall wrangling brushes. That added a bunch to the time. I'll put up where I was around the 35 min mark.
Still trying to make the most of some Photoshop brushes. Not getting the texture I'd like. Anyhow, feedback on this or any of the others in this thread is appreciated. Thanks~