Nyello- lampGuitar here- decided to start doing these assignments and stuff- So here goes!
Beatrice Townsend - John Singer Sargent; Time - 1 hour
I chose to do this painting by Sargent because I could always use practice in drawing humans, especially ladies since I'm always scared of not drawing them very lady like Another reason I chose this was because I love the super dark contrast Sargent uses here-
I noticed that one design principle he used was Economy, especially in the dog. Instead of rendering the dog to near photo detail like he does with the face, he uses brush strokes that imply what the fur looks like and how it's being held by her. He also uses economy in other areas like the necklace and the dress where there isn't as much fully rendered detail so our eyes wont have to be overloaded with detail and can rest in these areas.
I did this last night and after a somewhat good night's sleep I see now that I've painted her kinda squished horizontally haha- also my values on her face are much brighter than in Sargent's.
Moonlit Seascape - Thomas Moran; Time 1 Hour
Chose to do a study of this painting because I'm not entirely sure how to paint a stormy sea and holy shit just look at this painting it's awesome- the contrast that gives the scene a heavy mood- its amazing!
One element of design Moran uses in this painting is variety, he uses soft brush strokes mostly for the clouds to show the difference of its calm nature compared to the chaotic and hard stroke-y sea counterpart. The clouds still use hard brush strokes along with darker tones to show more variety in its makeup because just soft clouds wouldn't be as interesting and it would be pretty unrealistic. That variety also helps the cloudless center be one of the main focus points because its not the same as the sea or the outer edges of the sky, so it stands out.
I started this painting by blocking in the major shapes and started rendering the image overall but by the time the one hour was over I noticed the main focal points were not as rendered as the rest of the image and I feel like it loses focus- So in the next study I'm gonna try to work more on the main parts of the painting rather than jumping around the painting when I'm bored of rendering one part.
Also, like in the first Sargent study, I kind of squished certain areas of the painting so instead of starting by blocking in shapes I'm going to try out sketching the image first, the main reason I didn't do the sketch was because I wanted to save time.
Portrait of the Cello Player by Ilya Repin; Time taken 1 Hour
For my third study I wanted to do another person and chose this one because the guy looks nice and that stache looks even greater! I also just love doing paintings where the clothes are kind of implied- it just has a painterly feel to it when its done like that and I really want that to bleed into my own art-
In this portrait, a design aspect that I noticed was movement- There isn't much on the painting subject wise but the way the shapes and contour are set up Repin leads us throughout the painting and gives us information about the dude. Starting at the face, the part of the painting I go to at first glance, the way the head is sort of tilted downwards and with the help of super bright collar that stands out and creates a diagonal line with his right shoulder that leads us to elbows and back up to his other shoulder and from there, down his shirt.
There are other ways our eyes are led around the image but the important thing is that the journey made for our eyes was intentional not to see the details of the portrait, but to show us the kind of posture and body language this guy has.
Repin used design elements to show us what kind of guy this guy is, now that's what I call a portrait. It's way better than telling us through a fucking artist statement (God I hate those things)... Not saying artist statements are useless, just sayin'- show don't tell, and this guy did just that. But who knows, all that is just my speculation- I could be totally wrong-
Now for my self critique:
I drew a sketch first instead of immediately painting and I think it helped- I didn't flip the image while sketching and I think that hurt the drawing. My version looks a lot stiffer and the flow of the figure isn't as connected as the original. I also need to work on making my edges more crisp- I've been using a square brush that's pretty transparent- I should start using a harder brush for those edges.
All in all I feel like I need to flip the image more and check for mistakes if I want to be more accurate to the original and not rush so much.
Valley of the Yosemite 1864 by Albert Bierstadt;
I chose to do this painting cause I love me some mountain-y goodness n' I love the colors shown here... y'know.. before it was grayscaled- Also my previous studies had some really dark values and I wanted to do something bright.
One design element I noticed being used was balance- on the right side there's the darker mountain and trees, it makes that side heavier and its balanced with more trees that are closer up to the foreground and their reflection and lighter mountains on the left- without this balance I think the scene overall would look the same on both sides and it wouldn't be as interesting, it would lose depth I think is what I'm trying to say.
In this study I felt like an hour was way too short to get the overall feeling of this painting, especially on areas where the values are light. Unlike the other studies where its much clearer to see where the edges are, this lighter painting was harder to do, I had to strain my eyes a lot more haha-
Nice start on these. Watch the facial axis (eye line and mouth line) so you get the head tilt just right. Also watch the values on the face as well. The Bierstadt is close...some background simplification would help on the far off mountains. You are headed in the right direction.
When you get your shapes worked out well, pay very close attention to the values. You want to match the values you see as closely as you can. It is important to be very honest about what you are seeing. try to put the accurate value down with each stroke as otherwise you end up having to fix things along the way and being accurate will save you time. Really take the time to observe and compare and choose the right value. If you are off, adjust it, don't keep working and come back to it. You are doing great...just need to focus in on value a little more.
Keep it up.
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