Around 1.5 hours
The first I chose was an Arrow advertisement by JC Leyendecker. I chose Leyendecker first because I like his brushstrokes and shapes that he uses within his pieces. What I noticed about this work, was that while the eye is drawn to the light values in the figures, the detail in the bottom of the image lends weight to the composition, your eye eventually falling down to the brand name.
Around 1.5 hours
I chose this piece by Gabriel Von Max because it caught my eye when I visited a museum. I thought the mood of the painting was extremely well done because of the value. The name of the painting is called the Anatomist, but the Anatomist hangs back in the shadows, the obvious center of the painting being the dead young woman. I found that the shapes and lines around the woman's head lead up the the hand, which then draws your eye toward the second figure.
Mucha is one of my favorite artists, specifically for his paintings. I really love his series Le Pater, which I thought were more easier to complete in an hour than his Slav Epic paintings. The balance of this image is pretty good, the top right-hand corner balancing the bottom left hand corner. The strong triangle shape points up toward the angel, the emphasis of the painting.
I chose this painting by Delaroche, because I think the composition does it's job to tell a story in order to win sympathy for Lady Grey. I spent a little bit more time on this one, because each figure is interesting, and I wanted to explore the shapes further than I had in around an hour.
The center of the image is obvious, lady grey stands out in the image as it's emphasis. However her shape is repeated in other places in the painting, such as the maid in the background, the block in front of her, and even in the executioner standing above her. While your eye pretty much stays around lady grey because of the contrast in the middle, islands of light value keep your eye moving throughout the piece.
I chose this painting because John Singer Sargent is one of my favorite artists. I enjoy his simple brushstrokes and shapes. He puts enough detail in the right spots in the composition to draw your eye. In this painting, the shapes and lines of her dress all point up to her face, the area with the most detail and contrast.
3 Hours (for some reason I flipped the painting and my copy for this one... >_>; )
On this piece, I decided to buckle down and really try and get the shapes right early on, making me spend a little bit longer on the piece in general. I like this image because I noticed the balance within it. Like the scale she holds, the top left and bottom right of the painting balance each other out in level of detail, as well as shape (large, dark, square shapes, which are also a repeated pattern on the floor). The figure has a lot of contrast, whereas the table below her balances that out with sharp detail.
Used a grid on this one, and spent more time figuring out forms than rendering.
I love NC Wyeth and this image struck me as beautifully done. The rhythm of the vertical and horizontal lines crete a wonderful composition, that cut the image into 3rds, like a grid. Triangle shapes in the trees are also used to frame the characters, and the characters themselves have strong, triangle silhouettes.
Last edited by caitlynpatten; July 31st, 2014 at 02:59 AM.
I wanted to do some quicker studies so I could move through these quickly and focus solely on blocking in forms and value.
I chose Van Dyck because I'm a huge fan of his portraits. I generally love portrait artists like John Singer Sargent, Van Dyck and Valasquez. In this image, I was drawn to the different materials in the scene. The hair, cloth, metal, and skin are all great challenges to have in a portrait. Sometime portraits can get a bit dull to recreate, but armor is awesome!
The emphasis in this image is the face, hand and shoulder armor. In the color version, the red cloth on his arm also draws the eye to the shoulder area with saturation. The rhythm that the armor creates really helps the eye move around, repeating "C" shapes all down the torso, in the cloth, and even in his hair. You eye bounces from the face, shoulder and hand in a V shape.
I love still lives, and while looking for something that wasn't human to draw I found this image. I enjoyed the values in this image, especially the different types of grapes. While painting this image, I found that there seemed to be an "X" shape made with value. Light value ran from the top right to the bottom left, and darker values fell from the top left to the bottom right. The obvious repeating shape is a sphere, but it's interrupted in the image by the straight branches.
I love Waterhouse, and I really wanted to do a mastercopy of his work. Here, I found that there was repetition in the image, specifically with triangle shapes (her head, the shoulder strap, her skirt) and circular shapes (window, her hair, floor designs, step). There is balance in this image between the contrast and light spots in the area of emphasis and the large light area in the bottom of the image. The main parts of the image are the figure within the window, the bottom half of the figure, and the ground below the figure.
Ingres soft rendering inspired me to copy one of his portraits. I really love the soft skin vs the sharp detail in her color and clasps in her dress.
I figured out that while painting this that the design principles were here, but difficult for me to pin down.
That being said here are some visual representations of what I picked up!
Rhythm, repetition of certain shapes/line/form:
The top has a large area of light, with small amounts of dark value. The bottom has large areas of dark value contrasted with small areas of light value. 75% 25% -ish??
2 Hours What can I say? I love pinups. Elvgren was the obvious choice, and this piece drew my eye. it was probably a combination of the clothing folds and the lovely way he draws women, but in any case I started with this one!
Some things I found along the way:
This image is balanced by light and dark, high contrast and low contrast. The top has large space of light value and high contrast. The middle has a large area of extremely dark value, with some contrast, and the bottom has a middle value, with low contrast. This balances out the eye, and also gives the image some weight.
I feel like the U shape was repeated the most here, but there were also certain angles in the limbs and elsewhere on the figure that repeated, drawing the eye back up to the focal point/ emphasis (her hands and face).
Based on amount of detail and contrast, the areas of emphasis are her face and hands and her thigh area where the dress falls around her. Which...is appropriate for a pinup.
Two things I thought that I needed to practice were environments and actually sticking to the 1 hour time limit. So I flipped through a book I had at home of Romantic art and was drawn toward Richard Parks Bonington's works. I really like the mood that he invokes, and his work are filled with lots of rhythm.
In this painting, there's a lot of vertical and horizontal lines, that create a rhythm. Interestingly, the vertical lines all come in sets of 3's:
The emphasis of the painting is the large boat sticking up out of the horizon, and the objects around it (the church in the background and the boat in the foreground) being also areas of emphasis.
I loved how some subtle aspects of the painting kept your eye wandering. The shape of the clouds and birds in the sky lead your eye down to the bottom, where all the dark value is. The dark value gives the painting some weight.
I thought it was time I did another Mucha study. I really enjoyed the contrast in this image, especially around their faces. I had so much fun doing this, and hope to do more mucha studies in the future.
Emphasis (the places with the most contrast and detail):
A lot of the repetition of shapes in this one are the small circular dots that make up the flowers and the foliage. I found rhythm in some curved lines in the image, giving the overall picture a soft feel:
The balance of values in this painting pretty much cuts the image in half from top right to bottom left.
Wow really great work! What type of brush do you use if you don't mind me asking?
Thanks! I'm currently trying to play around with brushes i might like. (I use photoshop) My favorite brushes are pretty simple round or flat brushes with opacity and minimum diameter set to pen pressure. To be honest, my favorite brush is a flat brush that I got when I downloaded a tutorial from Whit Brachna. Hope that helps!
Another Leyendecker. I really love how Leyendecker draws/paints women, so I really liked this image.
I don't have images this time to describe the design principles in this work.
SOme things I noticed in this image is that there's a diagonal slant from top left to bottom right that's really apparent because of the tennis racket, the woman's arm, golf club, woman's collar and vest. This is offset by the golf bag resting in the opposite direction. I think this helps your eyes not stay in the same place, but go from the faces, down to the clubs, up the arm through the racket, then back through to the faces.
OH wow I happened to do the same Leyendecker study this week. Yours turned out so much better! haha. Its really wonderful! I love this piece in general for the far girl's expression. Do you do anything in particular to capture the proportions? I didn't realize until I was finished the proportions of mine were off, but yours are spot on. The only thing I'd point out is that your values seem a bit darker than the original, but its a truly lovely study. Great job!
Awesome, I love Leyendecker! I took a peek at your study and I thought it was great, all of the forms seem to be super close to the original!
At the beginning of my process, I usually get a large soft brush and block out the biggest shapes, eventually making my brush smaller until I'm ready to get in there and get the rendering/forms closer to the original. I throw a grid up in photoshop and work section by section. I focus on the areas of largest detail first and then move out to areas of low detail until I'm done. After, I will take the grid away, do some touchups.