This is my first time posting on this website after lurking around for a bit. I really wanted to try out this levelup challenge, it seemed interesting and I needed a source of motivation to paint more often. I'm currently finishing my last year in high school, so I don't know how active I can be (with matriculation exams coming up, uh oh). Anyway, here's my first study!
1. I chose Akseli Gallen-Kallela's third painting from The Aino Triptych because I thought it would be interesting to study art from my homeland. I especially like the balance in the painting. The woman takes up quite a bit of the composition, but still the figure in the back balances out the painting, making it pleasant for the eyes. The balance has been achieved by several elements, such as the value range. The elements in the foreground are darker, whereas the elements in the background are much lighter in values. Also things such as the tree and the clouds balance out the composition.
As I was painting I realized I went over the time limit, it took me about 2-3 hours to do this one. I'll try to limit the amount of time I use next time. Some of the edges in my study are also a bit too sharp, and some values are a bit off--but I'm sure that if I do this exercise regularly, I'll get more accustomed to "eyeballing" things more accurately!
Here's study no. 2:
Okay first of all I had some problems with this one--I really had trouble with painting the eyes. I wasn't able to get that fuzzy look they have in the original.
I chose to make a study of Helene Schjerfbeck's "Portrait of a Girl" because I really like the use of economy in the painting. The girl's head blends in to the background, making it subtle, and the white fur shirt(?) she's wearing creates a nice contrast.
It took me about three hours to do this one, I really need to try and work looser to decrease the amount of time I use.
Study no. 3:
I chose this painting because I really like how the emphasis is being used. Velasquez used simple yet dark contrasts to really make the character pop out from the background. I managed my time better this time--it only took me about 1 hr 30 min to complete (not counting in all the breaks I took to make tea, haha).
Phew I managed to churn out the fourth study even though I've been really sick today! I consider it a personal accomplishment.
Here it is:
I've always loved J.C. Leyendecker's works. The rhythm in his works shows through the brush strokes. That's why I chose this painting, since even though it's relatively simple in composition, the rhythm makes it pleasing for the eye (and also makes the eye move around the image). His way of stylizing is also very interesting, but difficult to imitate. I definitely did learn from this study, even though it has quite a few mistakes.
Study no. five!
I finally learned how to use the attachment manager (or realized that there was one oops). I chose Van Dyck because I love the expressiveness of his work. His "Studies of a Man's Head" has good emphasis on the man's face, which is achieved by using lighter values. Also I really like the little lines in the man's beard. I tried to recreate them with a pencil-like brush but it was more difficult than it looks. I managed to cut down the time with this one, it took me a bit over an hour to complete.
Today's study. It took me precisely one hour (I think). I chose Church because of his amazing landscape paintings, and I have trouble with landscapes myself. This helped me learn a bit about composing horizontal and rather sedate landscapes. I chose this particular work because of the balance and continuity. The balance is achieved with the large iceberg in the middle and the sailboat as well as the darker ocean. It makes the eye rest on the iceberg, then on the boat, then on the waves. The continuity is implied with a horizontal line--the waves and the direction the ship is moving in affect where the eye moves around the page.
Because of kind of rushing the piece I now see tons of mistakes in it, especially in proportion and the values of the sailboat (I might fix it later).