I stumbled upon this workshop by accident while searching for art classes and thought the formula was great. This is my first time on a forum but I really wanted to give it a shot. This is my first study, Rocks at Nahant by William Stanley Haseltine.
Unfortunately, I don't believe I have captured my main observation which is the continuity. The line created by the rocks at the bottom left leading into the painting is stopped by the curve coming from the top of the rocks on the right, leading to the 2 figures. It is also aligned with the main wave coming from the direct opposite...I think this helps sell the impact of the wave. I spent most of my one hour trying to get the right proportions but I realize it would have been much easier (and more accurate) if I had started with the main continuity lines. I hope I posted this properly.
Here is my second study, Venetian Interior (I believe) by John Singer Sargent.
I really like the lighting in this image. I first noticed the rhythm created with all the varied rectangular shapes, mainly the frames on the left wall. I think this also ties into the variety and repetition of all the various rectangles like the cabinets and doors. I also like how he used economy (am I wording it right?) around the main figures on the floor and walls, even on the black sweaters of the figures, to contrast the detailed dresses, which seem to be the focal point.
Here is a third study, A Street in Venice by John Singer Sargent. I took more time with a sketch to focus on the proportions and placement. I spent 2 hours on this one.
I chose this painting because of the how the silhouetted figures stand out in the simple composition. I noticed the balance of the image. It is almost symmetrical with a figure and the lightest shape of the painting splitting it in the center. The second person on the right could cause the balance to shift to the right of the image but it looks like the detail concentrated on the left side pull it back. It's mainly on the stone wall but even on the ground.
As with the previous painting, the simple ground and walls around the figures contrast with the details in the dress and help draw attention to them.
Here is number five. Another one by Mead Schaeffer. Not sure what the title is but it's one of my favorite paintings.
I really like how it could be broken down to 2 simple values and the light shape in the center. What strikes me the most is the continuity. The wooden detail at the bottom follows a path up to the space between the couple on the right even into the dragon in the background who's looking towards the woman...the path mimics the dragon as well so even though it's a little faint it kinda runs through the whole image.
This one took me two hours. It took around forty minutes just to block in the right proportions (which are a little off). I'm wondering if I should stick to getting it all done in one hour or taking more time trying to get it right?
Here's number 6. I can't see my 4th post...I'll wait a while and see if it shows up, if not, I'll try again. Anyways, this one is Fuji from Funatsu, a woodblock print by Hiroshi Yoshida. I like the overall look of his works with the thin outline and flat colors. Elements at different distances are very often grouped together, I find it simplifies the composition and creates a nice sense of depth.
Here's number 6. James Abbott McNeil Whistler by William Meritt Chase. I'm not sure it was a good piece to do a study so small because it's hard to see all the subtleties. I really like when a large part of the figure is blocked out and his expression and pose are cool though.
My main observation is the emphasis on the face. There was talk about the falloff of focus in the lecture and I thought this was a good example. The silhouette gets more blurry as we get farther from the face, especially at the feet. Even his cane is sharper near the hand and there is very little detail anywhere else in the painting.
Here's number 8, Study of Rosina Ferrara by John Singer Sargent.
My main observation would be the rhythm in the brush strokes. He used economy in the whole piece to highlight the face but the brush strokes in the background define the rest, going up the v neck and around the head, even down her left shoulder.
It looks like my fourth study didn't show up. Forbidden Lover by Mead Schaeffer (if the internet is correct).
I like the repetition in this piece. The half circles in the arches create a rhythm along the bridge and the same shapes are repeated, upside down, on her dress. The overall dress shape in also a half circle and is also repeated in the large arch framing the piece.
Here's my ninth study. A painting by Carl Spitzweg. Sorry, I couldn't find the title. I chose this piece because I like the looseness of it all, how the figure is framed and though you can't see them, the colors.
What I noticed in this painting was the primary emphasis on the character. He is a relatively dark, standing in front of the lightest wall (which I believe is the secondary emphasis) in the painting, which is bordered by darker elements. To add even more focus to the figure, his shadow side is against the lightest part of the wall and his light side is against the dark part of the wall.
Looking for paintings could be very time consuming if, like me, your knowledge of art history is limited. I found a blog that has a large library of really nice paintings here http://greatilluminators.blogspot.ca/
It made things a lot easier for me and that's even where I found out about this painter. Hope it can help someone out there.
Here's a study of a painting by Mark Tennant. I chose it because I like the use of the brush strokes and how they give so much volume to the figure. I worked a little differently because I wanted to try and get the right value in one stroke to match the feel of the painting. It didn't always work as planned so I had to go in with a hard brush and adjust it.
Here's number 12, a painting by Abbott Handerson Thayer. It was a challenge trying to match the shapes because they are very organic and very close in value. It seemed every time I looked at the original, my brain was cutting the shapes differently. I added a noise layer on my study and that helped with my attempt in matching the values. I also sharpened certain areas.
I like how the painting is balanced. The mid range values are concentrated along the horizon and separates the image in two, a light sky and a light ground. The darkest values overlap the horizon and are all in the figures. There are two large ones on the right but against slightly darker buildings. Emphasis is given to the character on the left by being slightly larger and having the brightest values of the painting (on his shirt). I believe that the many smaller figures behind him makes it so the image doesn't lean to the right and also give the main character more importance through scale contrast.
Here's number 15, Fumée d'Ambre Gris by John Singer Sargent. I chose this because I like how he handles the whites.
My main observation was the economy. The architecture is very simple but is maintained in the outer edges of the figure's costume, with most of the detail in the upper body. I like how the detailed carpet leads to the incense burner and follows the smoke across a less detailed robe up the figure and the shape of the hood seems to stop the smoke from escaping. There always seems to be a contrast of simple vs detailed along the path of the eye.
Here is number 16, a study of Gustave Boulanger. This took way too long and I got pretty overwhelmed with all the figures and cloth. I couldn't help but get the feeling I'm not going about this the right way. Hopefully I'll figure out a faster way.
Thanks antomio, your comments are very encouraging (and reassuring)!
Here is number 18. I chose this because I like the dynamic created by the diagonal lines and I love to see the variations in white. This one was very challenging...in fact, there doesn't seem to be an easy study. The variations are very subtle and sometimes real hard to see what's going on...struggled with the face as well.
Here's number 19. I chose this image because I like how the bold cut out shapes stand out. I also like how the detail is along the horizon and contrasts with the large masses above and below the details.
Here's number 20. I really like the lighting on this painting and the shape the figure occupies. I really struggled with the head again...the next assignment is going to be a challenge for sure.
I have a new found appreciation for all the works I like to look at. By analyzing all the composition elements, I understand that a lot of thought goes in to making a beautiful image and it isn't just a question of tastes or chance. I especially appreciate the skill of these artist after struggling to reproduce their images...Imagine that in addition, the artists had to start with a blank canvas and figure it out for themselves! It's pretty inspiring to see how much there really is to learn out there.
Great job! I think you made the right call to focus on shapes first - it's something I struggle with to try and not get too detailed too fast. As a result your studies look pretty darn close. After a while you stopped posting times... did you feel yourself getting faster?
No, unfortunately, I wasn't getting faster, I stopped posting times because they usually took me the same amount. The two first ones took me an hour but then I really started focusing on putting things in the right place. I would usually stop my timer after 2 hours and mess around with my image for another 10-15 minutes. The more complex ones like 10 and 16 took around 3 hours each.
wow. your analysis is excellent and very thoughtful. LOVE that. you are doing a nice job on the studies too.
You are getting about 90 percent there with the three most important things...shapes, values and edges. are you flipping your images horizontally and vertically every minute or so to check accuracy for each of these?
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 in a quality control pass...so to speak.