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Assignment 1 for Composition 1

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1. Choose 20 of your favorite paintings from art history. Be very selective. Choose images that have qualities you admire and you would most like to see rub off on your own work (in a good way). Be very aware of the list of design principles in your notes when you choose them. All chosen images should contain the principles you are studying.
2. Convert those images to black and white in an image editor installed on your computer. If you do not have an image editor you can download the free trial of painter on www.corel.com . Do not change the values. Simply convert them to gray scale.
3. Create 20 black and white thumbnail studies, one of each masterpiece you selected. Spend a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 1 hour on each one.
4. Create a thread with the title structure as shown below and upload your works to the forums.

“Your Username – Composition 1.1″

5. List one observation you discovered about each painting in the post you make.
example: 1. Rembrandt emphasized the left eye more than the right, because when we look at people eye to eye, we rest our vision on only one of the person’s eyes, and this allowed him to make the piece have focus in the same way the eye sees.
6. Upload your work directly to the thread you make so they can be easily viewed. Do not post links. Submit your thread. 

***Important: be sure that your study and the masterwork is placed side by side in the images that you upload. It is impossible to critique your work if you do not do this. Make both the study and the masterwork the same size and put them right next to each other.

Below example to illustrate placement and size example only, not an actual painted study:
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Tips:

-Focus on capturing and recreating the largest shapes of value first, so that you are working from broad strokes.
-Do not waste time in the details. Purposely avoid rendering the “fingernails and eyelashes” or insignificant details which distract you from paying attention to the design principles.
-Work small. The studies should be approximately the size of a playing card.
-Be very careful to match the exact shape and format of the image you are studying from. If you draw out the shape of the image and it is longer or taller than the original, then you will struggle. This is a fun assignment. Don’t make it hard for yourself 
-Match the values and shapes, and edges of the shapes, as accurately as you can within the time allowed.
-Number the images you upload with a small 1, 2, 3 etc…in the upper left corner, so that it is easy to discuss them when critiques are given.
-Think through the list of principles as you work. Look for Rhythm, emphasis, variety, economy, repetition, balance, continuity, and unity. Keep these concepts in the front of your mind as you study.
-You may do more than 20 if you wish. Do not do less than 20 if you can help it. It is your work and art, and investing minimal time will only take you so far.
-You may use any media you wish. Regardless of what you choose, remember to try to match your values and shapes the best you can in the time allowed.

Example artists to look for: Rembrandt, Velasquez, Van Dyck, Gerome, Church, Bierstadt, Frazetta, NC Wyeth, Klimt, Corot, Degas, Cassatt, Repin, Mucha, or even google for “animation background paintings” and find backgrounds from the 1930’s animated movies. Not all artworks chosen need to be western painters. You can find examples of the design principles in artwork from all over the world, and many different time periods. Choose masters that inspire you.

Resources:
Tumblr
Pinterest
www.artrenewal.org

Purpose: By studying the works of the great masters, you can pick up on methods, concepts, and theory which you would not get from any demonstration or lecture. Through the act of studying the greatest works in art history, the lessons from these masters will sink in very quickly and your work will improve. Over time you may do as many of these as you can, and the more you do, the more you will learn. This method has been used for 100’s of years throughout art history. If it is good enough for John singer Sargent, it is good enough for us.

It’s time to rock and roll. Bring on the masters!

Start Assignment:

  • Post your Composition 1.1 Assignment here.
  • Critique other Composition 1.1’s here.
Assignment 2 for Color Theory 1 - The Properties of Light/Value

“It START’s with YOU” is your assignment. 

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1. Your assignment is to create a self portrait in black and white. You will be working from life and give it at least 3 hours (or as many as you can spend, but it will take a good 3 hours to observe all properties of light). You will use all the discussed properties of light, and choose which key you work in (low key, middle key, or high key).
2. Set up your area to work. Use a mirror. Place it so it is comfortable to look and see your screen/drawing surface and the mirror at the same.
3. When you set up your light, use only one main light source (spotlight or clamp light is preferred). Block out the window light or turn off secondary light sources so you have one key light only. Put the light in a way that you get very clear definition of mass light and mass shadow shapes. See Rembrandt and Velasquez portraits.
4. Create a thread with the title structure as shown below and upload your works to the forums.

“Your Username – Color and Light 1.1″

5. List one observation about each property and light and shadow, which you gained from doing the assignment, in the post you make.
example: 1. I learned that the mass light is directly related to the direction of the planes of my face, and only hits the planes which face the direction of the light source.
6. Upload your work directly to the thread you make so they can be easily viewed. Do not post links. Submit your thread. 

Tips:

-Focus on capturing and recreating the largest shapes of value first, so that you are working from broad strokes.
-Do not waste time in the details when you are getting started. Purposely avoid rendering the “fingernails and eyelashes” or insignificant details which distract you from paying attention to the design principles.
-Create a few sketches or thumbnails to work out the composition before you do the actual image.
-Match the values and shapes, and edges of the shapes, as accurately as you can within the time allowed.
-Think through the list of principles light as you work.
-You may use any media you wish. Regardless of what you choose, remember to try to match your values and shapes the best you can in the time allowed.
-Choose some music that matches the mood of the piece you wish to create.

Example artists to look for: Rembrandt, Velasquez, Van Dyck, Gerome,Van Gogh, Zorn, Degas, Cassatt, Repin, Mucha…there are many.

Resources:
Tumblr
Pinterest
www.artrenewal.org

Purpose: By creating a self portrait we are able to work with a simple light source and study something we are familiar with at the same time…ourselves. By studying light and shadow we can better create from imagination and improve our process working from life. You have to fill up your creative gas tank with information from nature, and there is no better place to start.

Looking forward to seeing what you create!

Start Assignment:

  • Post your Color & Light 1.1 Assignment here.
  • Critique other Color and Light 1.1’s here.
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