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  1. #1
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    aqweibue - 1.1 Composition

    I'm really excited to start doing these composition studies on masters but had some troubles on the first one. Generally, I've been kind of slow when it comes to painting things since I started doing art, and that wasn't an exception here, it took me two hours before I decided I should probably stop there. Overall this tends to be because I end up painting over things many times, instead of getting them right early--which is something I want to learn from this. Also I have a question for how to approach painting more generally, should you block in each value (no changing opacity) from large to small until getting into finer details and edges, or can I use brushes that don't have solid opacity, and use pen pressure? I really like using softer brushes with some variance on opacity, rather than a hard edged brush that only does a singular value at a time.

    Name:  rem1.jpg
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    Here is my study of Rembrandt's The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, I think I had the most trouble on getting the values down for the boat and the people on the boat. It ended up being really time consuming for me. I think I was concerned about the small details too much, and making sure that the shapes could be understood as people, rather than making the people into bigger shapes themselves. For instance, with the people in the light, it was hard to differentiate them from the wave crashing into the ship. I think I'm going to keep doing more of these and hopefully after a while I will be much faster and more accurate, even if I end up doing more than 20 of these studies, this exercise seems really beneficial to me. Also, I appreciate any advice that is given.

    Forgot about the analysis part so here it is: In terms of continuity, I noticed that there are two implied curves in the piece. Firstly, a 'C' shape from the clouds, into the curved sail and through the figure holding the sail. Secondly, there is a sort of curve from the wave and figures at the bottom of the piece.
    Last edited by aqweibue; March 12th, 2018 at 01:11 PM. Reason: forgot to put in analysis


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  3. #2
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    For my second study I used Howard Pyle's An Attack on a Galleon. I feel my second attempt went much smoother as I decided to do some rough sketching of the big shapes before starting to add any values. Also I stopped myself at an hour this time instead of going for two hours. I did have some trouble getting the ship to show at the top of the piece. I think a big part of the problem was that my values were quite off in many places, which I noticed right away after putting them side by side at the end.
    Name:  howard pyle 1.jpg
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    As for analysis, I like how Pyle uses the main point of emphasis also as a way to direct your eyes toward the ship in the background. The main point of emphasis being the sail in the foreground because it contrasts heavily with the waves nearby and also has hard edges. Plus, the curvature of the sail sends your eyes along it and toward the ship that is getting surrounded by smoke.

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    For my third study I chose Manet's On The Beach, it also took an hour. I feel that my values were more accurate this time; however, I noticed some major errors in terms of the shapes and proportions. I think I'll utilize the grid technique next time in order to nail the sketch first and foremost. Also, I ended up adding some details that were not needed, when I should have fixed my shapes or looked to improve my edges. I think this is happening because I end up zooming into the piece too much later on in the study, and end up focusing on the detail.

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    Overall I really like the simple composition of this piece. The figures are just two triangles facing opposite directions and balancing each other out. They end up balanced because the smaller triangle is much darker to make up for its size.

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    Fourth Attempt: Rembrandt's Girl with a Broom (1hr)Name:  rem 2 girl with broom.jpg
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    I used a grid this time, which actually made it hard to see the details of the background, until I stopped using the grid, because there isn't much contrast in the background. The grid was also a bright green color, so it took attention away from the minor variations in value in the background. I also tried flipping the piece vertically after a while to see things more as shapes, and less as objects.

    Overall, painting the clothing taught me the importance of which direction my brushstrokes should be going in. Following the contours of the form seems like a pretty good rule, so I'm gonna try strictly following this for a while.

    My favorite part of this piece has to be the economy used, especially in the shirt, and the lighting. I really like the dramatic lighting that Rembrandt seems to use frequently.

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