Peter's Sketchbook
(06-27-2018, 08:34 PM)Matthew M Wrote: Hey Peter. Glad to see you're giving gouache another shot. Colour can be pretty intimidating, especially if you're new to it or haven't touched it in a while. Don't be too afraid of just jumping in. You'll learn an awful lot about colour mixing just by doing it, and over time it will become a bit more intuitive. I think I've written a bunch of random things here before, but at the risk of repeating myself, here are a few things that may help.

To make things read, you need to get your values and their relationships right.
Gouache dries lighter than when wet, and you can only get so dark. (I've actually put black back on my pallet because I can't get as dark as I need otherwise)
Your eyes will lie to you. If you're having difficulty with a colour, try isolate it. I look through my fingers, but you may like a paper cut out or just to squint.
If you thin your gouache down with lots of water, it will dry even lighter.
You'll have difficulty getting very saturated very high value colours. Aim for the right value rather than saturation.
You can go over dry paint repeatedly. Just remember to touch it once, otherwise the paint beneath will reactivate and become muddy.
You can prime your paper with gesso to increase the drying time. Your paper will buckle less as well.
Try masking your edges with low tack painters tape. It adds a lovely finish.
If the light moves too much, come back anther day, or take a photo and some notes.
Take all of the above with several grains of salt.
Really glad to see you're putting in so much time. Good luck and enjoy yourself.

Hey Matthew how's it going? Yes I remember actually, you left me some feedback a few months back. Thanks again btw, you know a hell of alot more than me when it comes to painting so I welcome all the feedback. :)

I'll refer back to your notes next time I'm painting, my aim now is to paint for atleast a couple of hours a week just so I don't get rusty. :)

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Here's another plen air painting form last night, finished it off tonight since the light changed too much yesterday. In all around 2-2.5 hours over the 2 nights.

I think the most difficult thing I'm experiencing atm is lookign at a colour, say tree bark in sunlight, and determining what colour it is and how to mix it. Not sure if that is something that improves the more I paint or if I need to read up on colour theory or create a colour wheel with the pallette I''m using?

I was hoping to get more painting done this week before I go back to drawing next week but it's been a consistent 30c+ the past week and..I...am....drained of energy, I could not survive in a hotter climate.

Also the new live streaming classes have been posted for the Watts Online, since the Summer term is shorter than usual I've signed up to 2, Head Fundamentals and Head drawing, both start end of July so I'll be looking forward to that.




Apologies for photo quality, had to zoom in abit on my phone.



Some notes I made to go with the painting.


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take your photo of the scene and put the painting of yours next to it in photoshop and color pick the roof for example and see how different it is in hue/value/and saturation from the other. Sure photos arent the most reliable source, but they are a starting point to what you could aim for.Try digital as it could help you learn the principles of painting actually faster and more efficiently since most of what youre gonna be doing is finding color and value.

After you picked all the swatches from the photo, print them out then try and manually mix the colors with the paint right next to the swatch, that outta help ya ;)

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
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(06-30-2018, 06:48 AM)Fedodika Wrote: take your photo of the scene and put the painting of yours next to it in photoshop and color pick the roof for example and see how different it is in hue/value/and saturation from the other. Sure photos arent the most reliable source, but they are a starting point to what you could aim for.Try digital as it could help you learn the principles of painting actually faster and more efficiently since most of what youre gonna be doing is finding color and value.

After you picked all the swatches from the photo, print them out then try and manually mix the colors with the paint right next to the swatch, that outta help ya ;)

That's a really good idea! It never crossed my mind to try that so thank you, I'll give it ago with some of my previous paintings. Should prob use my camera for ref rather than my phone just so I can get a higher quality photo.

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Stuff from yesterday. Printed off one of those coloured cubes that I mentioned, there's also cones and cylinders so I'll have to give them a try aswell. Painted one using my direct light lamp and another using an old regular lamp which produces yellow light. Wanted to see how the same colour looked under different lighting conditions but don't really think I was able to capture it. Finding it hard to mix the colour that I see (such as the lightest plane) while still maintaining it's correct value.

I was getting close to the actual colour but the value was too dark and if I lightened the value the colour was way off. Also did the last h/w assignment for Watts Online, I'll post the crits for the past 2 weeks tomorrow. I'll get back to my regular schedule this week and get the ball rolling again for the 2 classes that I'm taking at the end of the month. :)








I'll try using my camera instead of my phone for shooting the ref, hopefully my camera can achieve more accurate colours as the second cube ref seems really washed out compared to how it actually was.

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yea better cameras will capture the subtelty of color better, cheap ones will usually blow out contrast, but you can always try to lower the contrast digitally to get it closer to what it may really look like :). These are good attempts imo, just make sure you add that little white outline on the edges of the square as that can affect your color choices :D

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
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(07-02-2018, 05:55 AM)Fedodika Wrote: yea better cameras will capture the subtelty of color better, cheap ones will usually blow out contrast, but you can always try to lower the contrast digitally to get it closer to what it may really look like :). These are good attempts imo, just make sure you add that little white outline on the edges of the square as that can affect your color choices :D

Could try lowering the contrast on those last few images and see if that helps at all, think I'll just make sure to have my camera handy in the future haha and save myself the trouble.

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Work so far from this week. Went back to my usual life drawing and portrait classes as I couldn't find anything else in my city which is very odd since we are a decent size. They offer a wide array of classes in the next city over which I'd love to try but it's virtually impossible for me to be able to get home since the trains are so shit.

There are 2 guys there that have both trained in the Ateliers in Florence, one at the Angel Academy and not too sure which one the other guy went to, they usually have workshops on during the year and weekly workshops in the summer and winter so I'll definitely have to give them ago.

From tonight I did some gesture drawings of the head (gonna start my days with gesture drawing from now on), Loomis/Watts head lay ins and lastly some eye studies from Loomis.


















I've planned my week so that I can work through the entire drawing course of Watts and basically for a month I'm going to focus on one area from each phase and once the month ends move onto the next area in the phases e.g. head lay-ins - skull drawing.

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I think youre doing good peter, just work on sharpening that pencil well and drawing using the side more like getting a nice fill with the side; it's like a big gradient instead of individual lines; that also helps with getting looser before you lay lines down which i think your stuff could benefit from a bit of looseness ;)

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
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(07-05-2018, 07:50 AM)Fedodika Wrote: I think youre doing good peter, just work on sharpening that pencil well and drawing using the side more like getting a nice fill with the side; it's like a big gradient instead of individual lines; that also helps with getting looser before you lay lines down which i think your stuff could benefit from a bit of looseness ;)

I always keep my pencils well sharpened but for the past few weeks I've been using thelittle nubin pencils, past few months whenever I've bought new conte pencils they have all arrvied broken, even the replacements!

I agree about the stiffness of my work, not sure if I'm spending way too much time on a drawing perhaps? maybe I should try and be quicker and see if that helps at all.

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Update for the last few days. Changed my practice scheduele around abit again, I originally planned to to be able to do work from each drawing phase but struggled on the head lay-in below. My original intetion with it was to complete a fully rendered drawing but it took me round an hour just for the lay-in since I struggled alot with the forshortening on the nose.

Decided to not work from phases 4 head/fig and instead just focus on phases 1/2 and work on my fundamentals instead which will be my plan for the forceable future.

Didn't get a chance to do a plein air study this week, had family over all of yesterday when I had my painting time alotted.










Re watched one of the fig lay in videos and also looking at some Watts drawings and it suddenly clicked in my head about what everyone has been saying about me needing to go softer. If I think about using the pencil as a paintbrush that seems to help me haha. Not sure if it shows in the drawing below but I tried using the side of my pencil more.






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yea you got that side of the pencil thing right on the 40 minute lay in. Theres one thing Jeff talks about that after getting my Masters of Anatomy book and that's idealization. You want your drawing to be a better representation of the subject matter, you gotta push and pull things to your liking to go above and beyond. 

I remember that drawing i freaking love how Jeff cuts the torso WAAAY in, you have the workbook right? I'd reccomend copying his drawing directly and get the feel for how he stylizes, that's what ive been doing at least. Its helped me figure out the whole idealization concept which is very deep and fascinating. I probably would have learned slower if i were just copying the photos only. 

Your loomis heads are looking good, i think the stuff that'd help you the most is focusing on stylization and making things look attractive. I mean proportion is a part of that and your proportions are in the ballpark, its just you know making an eye look like a nice eye. Getting those "dancer feet" I remember in jeffs drawing of that layin you did he had the legs waaay longer with the heels up.

I will give you a pat on the back Peter you're doing some tough shit and youre growing fast even if it doesnt feel like it. I think your lay in is on the right track just note, those legs could be longer, that stomach could be sexier, that torso could be longer, those feet could be higher, that arm could be less bulky, the face is not bad but its a poor likeness, looks like a completely different even older woman. 

Now here's the kicker, for this portrait the head lay in, I want you to after you do the study and photograph the pic, take the reference and overlay it in photoshop and see how different yours is from the other. For instance, the head has more of a tilt up, the mouth indents into the face, the neck is wider, the nose overlaps the cheek, you know the contours should line up with the reference like 90%, there is room for stylization. If Jeff issues a sketch of something, copy that first, then do from the photo. Good Stuff peter keep truckin

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
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(07-09-2018, 05:17 AM)Fedodika Wrote: yea you got that side of the pencil thing right on the 40 minute lay in. Theres one thing Jeff talks about that after getting my Masters of Anatomy book and that's idealization. You want your drawing to be a better representation of the subject matter, you gotta push and pull things to your liking to go above and beyond. 

I remember that drawing i freaking love how Jeff cuts the torso WAAAY in, you have the workbook right? I'd reccomend copying his drawing directly and get the feel for how he stylizes, that's what ive been doing at least. Its helped me figure out the whole idealization concept which is very deep and fascinating. I probably would have learned slower if i were just copying the photos only. 

Your loomis heads are looking good, i think the stuff that'd help you the most is focusing on stylization and making things look attractive. I mean proportion is a part of that and your proportions are in the ballpark, its just you know making an eye look like a nice eye. Getting those "dancer feet" I remember in jeffs drawing of that layin you did he had the legs waaay longer with the heels up.

I will give you a pat on the back Peter you're doing some tough shit and youre growing fast even if it doesnt feel like it. I think your lay in is on the right track just note, those legs could be longer, that stomach could be sexier, that torso could be longer, those feet could be higher, that arm could be less bulky, the face is not bad but its a poor likeness, looks like a completely different even older woman. 

Now here's the kicker, for this portrait the head lay in, I want you to after you do the study and photograph the pic, take the reference and overlay it in photoshop and see how different yours is from the other. For instance, the head has more of a tilt up, the mouth indents into the face, the neck is wider, the nose overlaps the cheek, you know the contours should line up with the reference like 90%, there is room for stylization. If Jeff issues a sketch of something, copy that first, then do from the photo. Good Stuff peter keep truckin

As usual thanks for the crit man! :) You make some really good points, espeically about focusing on stylization my plan this week was to actually study and copy his drawings and get a sense of how he tweaks the ref and make it look x100 better.

I think overlaying my drawings is a really good idea, as you said it will help me where i'm going wrong rather than me agonizing over it afterwards and moving on without analyzing where I went wrong. I'll start doing that on the weekends when I have more time.

.........Likeness.........yh I'm really, really realllllly bad at getting a likeness, it's been annoying me for ages! I'm not sure if there is something specific I can do to help me improve, maybe do a portrait from the ref, compare it to Jeff's, copy Jeff's drawing, and then do the drawing again looking at the ref and seeing what I can remember from Jeff's study?

It's really hard to see your own improvement since your looking at your work constantly but if you can see improvement I'll take your word for it. :)

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Update for the week so far. Life drawing and portrait from life as usual, I finally have a new phone so I can take pics of my head lay-in in class before I start rendering! I usually go to a life drawing class on a Monday but was thinking of going to the one they hold on a Thursday night next week since I'm getting fed up with the longer pose always (and I mean always) being a lying down pose. I'd like to be able to work longer on a sitting or standing pose so I'll see what the poses are like in this class.

Tonight I worked on some more head lay-ins and some eye studies. Cut my practice time abit short tonight as I kept loosing focus towards the end.




Struggled with the abstraction on this one, particulary the rythm from the models right shoulder to crotch.



Shading is rather grainy on this one since I was on the last few pages of my pad.



Tried going softer and not using too mant hard lines, didn't get the likesness at all on this one .




Need to work on these looking up poses since I struggled alot with them, particulary the chin area, felt like my drawings kept looking abit short and wide.





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I think just mileage will help you Peter, youre aware of what youre doing right most the time, and yea I think copying jeff directly will help a lot, and even other arists like ones he mentions constantly and ones youre personally interested in ;)

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
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and i'd also add that studying jeffs work directly will probably make the tuition worth your money. Since you can essentially copy photos anywhere, its really tough to find quicksketch and nice workbooks like that elsewhere, so imo it actually do you more good to copy a better artist for your studies when possible, since they've done a lot of the design and thought work already

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
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(07-12-2018, 09:22 AM)Fedodika Wrote: and i'd also add that studying jeffs work directly will probably make the tuition worth your money. Since you can essentially copy photos anywhere, its really tough to find quicksketch and nice workbooks like that elsewhere, so imo it actually do you more good to copy a better artist for your studies when possible, since they've done a lot of the design and thought work already

You make some good points :) Think I'll spend this week copying Jeff's work from each phase and make notes of how he differs from the ref and makes his drawings better than the model. Don't know why I didn't think about copying the demos that are provided through the live stream, as you said I'd get more out of it by copying the demos and applying that to my own drawings for the critique. I'll make a note to do that when the Summer classes start in a few weeks.

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Sorry for not posting the last few days. Busy Thursday and was out all day Friday at the zoo as I wanted to work on my photography skills, plus see some animals. :)

Saturday morning did a plein air painting in the garden. Spent 3 hours on Sat (1 hour drawing 2 hours painting) but had to call it quits since the lighting changed too much at that point, I was going to finish it off on Sunday but the weather was cloudy so I had to complete the painting using the photo I took. In all spent 4 hours on the painting.

Think it is my best one so far, colours are more accurate than previous, think 2 hours is not enough for me atm so I'll spend longer on them in future and work on my speed. I'll post the whole process below. I really struggled on the plants and how to simplifiy them, there was so much detail I didn't really know how to apprach it. Gonna look at some of James Gurney's work and refer to his videos and see how he tackles it.

Also worked through the 2nd part of the leg anatomy class on Watts.

Tonight I didn't go to my life drawing class (gonna see what the Thursday class is like this week) so the few hours that I had I spent looking back at my previous work and making notes/corrections.

This is where I got to after 3 hours on Sat



Finshed Piece (spent an extra hour Sunday to finish it off using the ref)



Photo Ref



Compared my painting to the ref and took some colour swatches from each image. Should of gone darker in value on the brick work but overall my values appear to be consistent.



Quickly reworked my painting to make it more in line with the ref





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Looking good Peter.
Plants can be pretty tricky to simplify. Try to identify the shapes of light and dark, and keep them distinctly separate.
Don't worry about detail at first, you can paint them over the larger masses later. Gouache is opaque when not too watered down, so you can make adjustments if you like.
You don't need to paint in every leaf, only suggest them.
I know that the photo pushes the values apart, but really try to keep them separate; it's very easy to muddy them up and lose any sense of light. Perhaps try go darker than you think you need to?
When you add white to a paint mix, it raises the value, but also lowers the saturation, and shifts it cooler. This makes it hard to achieve a high value, high saturation colour. If you want to have a really high value, high saturation colour, you'll need to change other elements to accommodate. To keep your value relationship then, you may need to lower the value of other elements in the painting, even if it becomes darker than it really is. Your values don't need to be objectively true for the light to read. What you're looking for is how far apart those values are; the relationship.

Also, just by the by, be weary of painting in direct sunlight. The glare on the paper causes issues, but when you bring it out of direct light, you'll be left with a very dark painting.

Doing well, keep it up


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