a think I finally found a way to study that works for me. It is less an issue of commitment, but more an issue of organization. I started naming the file after what the study was about and not for example who I am studying from. That way I keep in mind what I am doing the study for. Also I save all the studies I do on that topic in one month in the same file. So after a month I can see how many composition studies I did in April and how many gesture studies and so on. It feels right this way and is fun (at least for me)
A quick note on gestures. I used to hate them, because they felt so difficult und unsatisfying. I never knew why I did them, because I felt like I didn't learn anything from them. But since I started walking around outside with my sketchbook and sketching people while I was walking (sometimes behind them very slowly (people don't get suspicious if you have a baby with you)), I started to like them more and more. I guess the whole thing turned when I started to do really simplified gestures of people with the least lines possible. PS is actually a great tool for this, since it lets you change brush diameter instantly. So in the first of these I brushed in a couple of guidelines with big broad strokes and after that got clearer and more detailed. But all the time the first big strokes tell the whole story. The smaller strokes help to tell more about the volumes and connections, but the big ones are the key to the pose. And also I found my perfect time for these. It's 2 min. It is the perfect timespan to check out the whole figure, do my big strokes and then add some details where I want them. It is pretty satisfying to work that way.
These ones I started after reading more and more in Richard Schmid's great book "Alla Prima 2". It helped me to get the hang of those small value comps. The key way to always squint down at the originals until I could say which values are the darkest, which one are the lightest and what are the middle tones. I tried to work only with the least values necessary, which are mostly 3.
This one is actually just part of an image. I try to focus here on picking the right colors and comparing them to each other. I don't go overboard with rendering, but look for the simple statement. In this one I actually more or less looked for the value of the colors. In future studies I will look more into the color temperature changes too. It is still a lot to handle so no wonder my focus jumpes around a bit.
This one is by my all time favorite artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau. The focus here way to render a part of the image to a more finished degree. I don't think you have to go for the whole picture, but pick out parts, that are interesting at that moment. And to me that is rendering flesh and picking skin colors. Also learning more about the shoulder girdle, the connection of the arm and the neck to the shoulder. These studies are also a great way to feel like I can paint like the old masters and get my confidence-level up after struggling with one of my own paintings. Of course I know that I can't paint like them, since I only look at the finished piece with all the problems figured out for me. But it is a nice illusion :)
In the end I won't do this in a set order, but work on what I feel like needs attention. But having figured out some of the issues in organization and clearing up the purpose of the single study, I feel like I have more focus to actually do the study.
That's it for now. And to all the German's reading this at 1st of May, enjoy your day off! :D
This is my blog.
I will share information about workflow, my insights into image-making or just general thoughts and rants about being an artist.