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  1. #1
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    quillworth – Composition 1.1

    I tried to finish the painting as quickly as possible, working small, with broad strokes. Most of these I had to make myself finish early, or else I would have been sucked into the details. I stopped when I felt I had learned from the piece's composition, so some of them are still rough. I think that was the point of the assignment, though.

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    Name:  Van Gogh Thumnail study.jpg
Views: 371
Size:  164.1 KB

    I noticed that Van Gogh is using the dark rock, thick lines, and a dark spec in the atmosphere
    to balance out the dominant tree on the right. The focus seems to be the horizon, where most of
    the linework is done. Maybe that's because the thick lines draw the eye? About 40 minutes.


    Name:  Velasquez Thumnail Study.jpg
Views: 291
Size:  110.4 KB

    Although I originally thought that this piece was straightforward, I actually found the highlighted variety of the upper and lower garment to be fascinating. The economy used in the background really showcases the details on the figure, and the contrast of such dark shadows with the bright collar draws the attention instantly to the face and hands, as it’s much harder to focus on the darker colors of the garment. 38 mins.

    Name:  Gerome Thumnail Study.jpg
Views: 288
Size:  223.5 KB

    34 mins. Two things stand out to me about this incredible piece of art: first, the rhythms. They are so varied and interesting, a mixture of artificial and organic. Second, I appreciate the creation of focus through a contrast of spacing. The eye rests on the two figures addressing each other because they alone stand apart from the rest of the people. In particular, the approaching figure is starkly outlined against the stairs like a single music note on a staff. Tremendous. 34 mins.

    Name:  Hiroshige Thumbnail study.jpg
Views: 286
Size:  209.4 KB

    What I really noticed here were the rhythms and variety of the piece. The repetition of the tree lines is staccato against the flowing hillsides. Almost everything is balanced against another element of the painting, as well; in particular, I noticed a nice offset of Fuji done using the snowy mountains at left. Great variety there, too. Hugely changes the piece.

    Name:  rembrandt thumbnail study 1.jpg
Views: 289
Size:  198.3 KB

    This piece has always been one of my favorites, simply because it seems to capture the subject’s personality so well. While reconstructing it, what I discovered was the remarkable way that Rembrandt places seemingly haphazard strokes in order to create focus. The eyes and mouth are edged quite precisely, although somehow in the original they still seem as though painted by afterthought. Finally, I greatly admire the balance of the piece which is achieved through shadows on either side and highlights on the teeth, nose, and ear. 50 minutes.

    Name:  degas thumbnail study.jpg
Views: 287
Size:  186.2 KB

    This painting truly took me by surprise. I was initially interested in it because of the rhythms and variety, which are excellently done. Reconstructing it was more difficult than I expected, and I think that’s because the amount of detail that my eyes keep projecting onto things. Degas uses economy here to great effect, then, I have to conclude. So far this has been my greatest challenge to speed paint, as it keeps sucking me in and keeping me from using broad strokes (somehow even more than the Gerome piece). 47 mins

    Name:  cassatt thumbnail study 1.jpg
Views: 286
Size:  235.6 KB

    Cassatt was able to suggest dress folds with simple strokes, and I think that’s remarkable use of economy. The faces are so expressive and lifelike, and the focus created through highlights really draws the eye to them. I wish I could keep going, but I'm afraid of getting sucked into replicating details. 40 mins.

    Name:  homer thumbnail study 1.jpg
Views: 286
Size:  164.5 KB

    I absolutely love this piece. The primary, secondary, and tertiary focuses are all well established using edging, and draw the eye naturally to the two central figures. Shadows are balanced nicely at the middle right and bottom left. Smooth and scattered rock creates nice rhythms in the foreground in the background. Having the figures faces obscured and placing the framing rock at bottom left gives the impression of a chance observation instead of a posed portrait. Finally, I think it’s great that the white sail on the horizon is a highlight, but such a simple shape that the eye leaves it alone, instead opting for the figures. 45 mins.

    Name:  nc wyeth 1.jpg
Views: 288
Size:  165.8 KB

    As for design elements, it seems to me that this piece has amazing unity, and its biggest strength is its variety; the variety of rhythms, of poses, even of cloud types, is stunning. Balance is key to this piece, as well, and accomplished to great effect with beautifully-placed shadows at top, middle, and bottom. Finally, the children are the obvious focal point, but all of them are turned away…the viewer’s gaze is drawn with theirs to the secondary focus, the giant. In this way the viewer witnesses the faraway behemoth with the children, and so is made to feel a part of the scene him or herself. Fantastic. Gah! So good. Okay, done gushing. 47 mins.

    Name:  church thumbnail study 1.jpg
Views: 288
Size:  142.6 KB

    This piece really inspires me because of how it communicates scope and size. The iceberg dwarfs the ship through Church’s very careful composition. I noticed that the area of the iceberg behind the ship also has very little detail, allowing the ship to emerge as a primary focus. 31 mins.

    Name:  frazetta study 1.jpg
Views: 288
Size:  171.4 KB

    It’s obvious that Frazetta is a master of detail, but in this piece he also clearly shows a mastery of economy. At first glance, one barely notices that there is very little background at all. The focus is placed on the figures. Variety is also key here, and plays an excellent role in balancing the piece. Finally, I noticed that Frazetta creates motion by having the bears descending while the sled-thingy is still cresting the edge of the snowbank. 36 mins.

    Name:  jss thumbnail.jpg
Views: 288
Size:  174.7 KB

    I learned so much through this portrait, and I'm most proud of this one!
    There is no question of the masterful economy used here to suggest the subject’s clothing and hair, let alone the background. The light, lacy quality of rhythms give the portrait an almost ethereal quality, save for the focus of the subject’s face, to which all attention is immediately drawn. 34 mins.

    Name:  louis study 1.jpg
Views: 288
Size:  165.2 KB

    There are several repeated rhythms and a great perpendicular “splashing” feel to this picture, and yet each component has a beautiful variety. Louis uses economy to great effect in order to create a misty atmosphere. Only a few key elements are detailed, where the mist has cleared. 40 mins.

    Name:  repin 15mins.jpg
Views: 288
Size:  150.7 KB

    This was difficult because of the sheer amount of detail present in a Repin painting. It is hard to keep working with large shapes when he keeps drawing you back into the cracks and crevices. Working with such detail, he has to use something other than economy to create the needed contrast for focus, so it seems he has used shadows and spacing here to draw attention to the two main figures. They are almost entirely in shadow, and especially in black and white it is easy to see how that makes them stand out. Very clever. 41 mins.

    Name:  dali study 1.jpg
Views: 288
Size:  185.7 KB

    The horizontal rhythms in this piece are so varied and interesting, and Dali uses them to make the perpendicular figure and scattered flags stand out. He also makes the figure pop by placing her directly in front of the shine of wet sand and sunlight on the waves. 40 mins.

    Name:  corot study 1.jpg
Views: 283
Size:  188.8 KB

    Instead of detailing everything in lifelike ways, it’s like Corot has pieced together different shapes that he sees. It gives the piece a dreamlike quality, and in the limited time that I had to reproduce his composition I learned that one can still paint with hard edges while still leaving much undefined. It’s an interesting way of putting a piece together, and makes for great variety. I don’t see any repeated shapes. 45 mins.

    Name:  mucha study 1.jpg
Views: 283
Size:  212.1 KB

    Mucha used the flowing of hair and cloth to create fantastic balance in this piece while still maintaining variety. The figure is far from centered, but taken together, all of the elements appear counterbalanced. 45 mins.

    Name:  van dyck 1.jpg
Views: 282
Size:  142.6 KB

    Although this is just a study by Van Dyck, I really appreciate the way in which he uses economy to highlight the face. The hair, garment, and all shadows are minimally detailed, fading into the background to let the face and expression emerge as focus. There is also a great deal of movement to the piece although it is essentially a snapshot of the subject’s expression. 40 mins.

    Name:  nc wyeth 2.jpg
Views: 285
Size:  200.7 KB

    I really enjoyed figuring out the spacing in this piece. I noticed a great deal of contrast pulling the attention down several horizontal lines to the figure, as well.


    Threads commented on:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=313073
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=281319
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    Last edited by quillworth; April 14th, 2015 at 11:38 PM.


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  3. #2
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    good start you could get shapes closer to original for example bush on left is little bit too high. as values goes you are overall little bit too light. try to get lightest lights and darkest darks there.

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  5. #3
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    I see that other users have been posting each painting as a reply. In the assignment it said "submit your thread" so I guess I assumed I needed to edit in the new pictures. Anyway, I finished 20!

    I feel alright about the results of these. I never spent more than 50 minutes on them, so I know that plays a big role. I think that I learned a lot from these masters but I want to keep going and do a few more. Any comments or critiques are welcome.

  6. #4
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    You shapes and values certainly improved, but on a few of them you're not observing the edges, especially the hard ones that lead the eye around a composition. It may be worth your time to revisit a couple of these to address these points.

  7. #5
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    Nice work. Great choices on your masterworks too.

    Here is what I shared earlier that will help out here.

    You are on the right path for sure. Your shapes and values are coming along well. Be sure that you are keeping a close eye on your edges. Note where the sharpest sharpest sharps and softest soft edges are and use them as guideposts/landmarks for the rests of the edges in the image. Edges are important to space, form, and focal areas, so getting those in there will help the piece a lot. Once you do, you will see quality improve a lot. Keep up the great work. -jm

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