Monday, 28 September 2015

Photoshop Class: Master Study Warm-Up

Old Masters:
  • Joseph Wright - 1734-97, UK
  • Frederic Edwin Church -1826-1900, USA
  • William Stanley Haseltine - 1835-1900, USA
Studying paintings and other wall artworks from Old Masters [pre-1800/Europe], analysing colour, shape, contrast, tone and composition carefully. Recommended by tutor as most efficient way to warm up digital painting each time before starting:
Layering negative space first [e.g. sky], before adding background, then foreground. Continuing to use eye drop tool to mimic colours from original paintings, whilst continuing to be aware of pressure of brush and composition. 'Seeing forest for trees' by often zooming out to see where my outcome is going [simple shaded blobs, before finer detail], recognizing always more complex colours in materials and objects than simple assumption - e.g. purple rocks, brown sea and teal cliff. Also often confirming proper tonal range match by layering in black-and-white, looking at correct contrast, etc.
Noticed in particular that I accidently continued to brushstroke in particular zig-zag direction for second-to-bottom painting [Iceberg], therefore blurry composition up close, but colour locations start to bind together once seen from far distance. Really enjoyed exercise that I should try such exercises with searched paintings from museum and gallery websites - National Gallery, Tate Britain, etc.


  1. Hi Robin. You're getting the colours roughly right and while I understand that at this stage things will generally look blocky, you could do more.

    I sense that you're trying to paint with a similar-sized brush each time. Even at the blockout stage you can get much closer to the original image with the final brush. Picture four sticks out particularly as the distant island on the left is much larger in your blockout.

    Your sense of colour is good for the most part, So keep up the master studies and don't be afraid of playing about with the brushes.