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  1. #1
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    TheAmazingMisha - composition 1.1

    Rembrandt's syndics of the draper's guild

    Analysis: The first thing I noticed in this painting is the strong contrast of values, such as between the dark values of the attire the men are wearing and the very light values of the mens' skins and collars. I see the painter used repetition with the shapes of the hats most of the men wear and the near square-like shapes of their collars. He also may have fit in some rhythm with how most of the men wear their hats save for one who doesn't, which creates a more interesting painting to look at rather than if they were all wearing hats. Not to mention, there is variety in their positions. Three men are sitting, one of them is in an in between position and the last is standing. Finally, the sitting positions and the ways in which the men's faces turn keeps the eyes of the viewer contained within this group shot. The bodies of the men on the left tilt to the right to guide the viewer's eyes across the canvas, and the men on the right tilt the opposite way to achieve the same affect. I feel Rembrandt did a good job to make sure that all the figures in the painting get attention.


    I feel that this study is a bit messy and I would have wished for it to be more complete, but I realized that I was wasting too much time on it when I exceeded the time limit by half an hour and still didn't feel like it was done. I believe I should work on painting faster and with more meaningful strokes, and perhaps learn to be okay with leaving some paintings unfinished.
    I am excited to continue doing this exercise. If anyone has advice for me I would be very grateful.
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  2. #2
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    Great start Misha! Your analysis of the painting is spot on and these techniques for multiple characters show up in other paintings as in Les Bretonnes au pardon.
    I would not care much about going over the time limit, at least for the first times. The painting that you chose is hard, even more when you realize that its almost 7 portraits at once. Still I would suggest, if you haven't already, to get a small grayscale pallete before starting to paint (about 7~8 values) ranging from the darkest to the lightest values of your painting. And then try to follow closer the relative values on and around your characters.
    I'm very new at digital painting, but after a couple of tries I could tell that to get those slight variations on values one has, just like in traditional media, to go over already paint surfaces with the new value: adjusting the force/ pressure on the brush so that some mixing occurs on the paint. That should take care of your very flat (~white) collars or clothes that have no depth now.
    One last heads up : heads and eyes tend to get larger as we tend to make them more expressive, fight it!
    ps. I just started doing these as well, and I read on the guidelines that we were supposed to learn from others attempts (it does work!), so feel free to use my attempts on these as well : )

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