Week 1: Master Studies – Noah’s Art Camp

Week 1: Master Studies – Noah’s Art Camp

– Welcome to week one of Noah’s Art Camp. I am of course Noah Bradley. Let’s go ahead and get
started with Art Camp. I’m really excited about this. I think it’s going to
be a wonderful summer. It’s gonna be 12 weeks of
really good education, I hope. So this week we’re gonna
start with master studies. Master studies are probably
my favorite exercise and I think one of the best ways that any artist could improve. Now when I say master
studies I basically mean taking the work of some sort of master and doing a study based off of it. Now it can be a little
tricky to figure out exactly how to do that. A lot of people, they
see this wonderful work but they won’t know exactly what they’re supposed to do, how they’re supposed to study from it. It’s a little confusing
and it’s not really well explained very often. And so during this demo today I’m gonna walk you through the three ways that we’re gonna try for doing studies. We’re gonna start with
compositional studies move on to color studies and
then lastly do full studies and kind of talk about the way that each of those have their own advantages. A couple little general guidelines you’re gonna be pulling masters, master paintings master
drawings to do studies of. A little advice on doing that,
pick artists that you love. Try to find really great reproductions and in general, I’m gonna suggest that the masters that you study from are really, really old. As in if all the artists
you do studies from are dead, that’s great. It’s not to dismiss the
currently living artists but I would suggest sticking to guys that are long, long dead and the reason for this is that history has kind of filtered out a
lot of the mediocre stuff and by focusing on artists that are really historically great, like for
instance John Singer Sargent you can’t go wrong with him because we all know and we’ve all accepted that he’s a wonderful, amazing artist. So the problem with picking
currently living artists is that you can be a little too
influenced by current trends or maybe you’re picking
an artist that isn’t necessarily that technically good and so I would say in
general stick to ones that are really, really old
slash really, really dead. I think that would be a better thing. Hopefully that doesn’t offend anyone. So yeah, start downloading images and get a good pool of images. Try to download 50 pieces
that you really love that you really want to do studies of and then we’ll go ahead and go through all of the assignments. So I’m just going to be talking about how to do all these demos and of course in the email and on the Facebook group you’ll see the actual numbers I want you to do for each of these. So thank you, welcome to week one and let’s go ahead and get started. Alright, so let’s get
started with doing some compositional studies. This is the first thing
we’re gonna focus on and in some ways it’s the most important thing for us to focus on. Composition is incredibly important for pretty much any
type of art you wanna do so it’s a worthwhile pursuit
to do master studies like this. I consider actually this
to be one of the best ways to learn composition. I’ve read all of the great
composition books out there but really the best lessons I’ve learned have come from doing
master studies like this where you break down the image into a very, very simple
valued composition and kind of figure out how they arranged the shapes. Now when I do these I
like to break them down into either two values or
maybe three or four tops. I wouldn’t go more than four. Any more than that and you’re probably just overdoing it. You can generally communicate any good composition in three or four values. If you have to use more than that then you’re probably not seeing
it as simply as you should. So I would go back and try to see it as simply as possible. Break it down into very simple shapes and try again. So here is just sort of a demo of how I would go about doing this. This is a fantastic painting
that I absolutely love. This one’s by Mead Schaeffer. For doing this compositional stuff I really do recommend looking at some of the great Golden Age illustrators. They all had really, really
fantastic compositions and they’re really good ones to learn from so that would be a good starting point for looking for good artists to use. Now I’m doing a little
bit of rendering slash detailing in here but I’m not gonna focus on doing like a really detailed study of this piece. That’s not really the
point of a study like this. I’m just focused on
getting the composition. This is a really bold gutsy composition, full-center, really strong but it’s interesting seeing how he’s used his values to really
make it a striking image. It’s mainly dark values and then just these little hits of light
right around his head and that’s really how the
composition is arranged. The thing about these is that you’re not always necessarily focused on what things are in compositions. When you’re dealing
with thumbnail sketches it’s more important to have a really good arrangement of shapes than necessarily to know what’s going on. So I always tend to start
with shapes for my pieces and so goes for master studies like this. We’re gonna break them down into the absolute simplest form first and then as we do more studies we’ll work up into color
and then rendering. But first let’s try to nail these really, really basic compositions. So this is about as far
as I would go with this. Any more than this and you’re gonna start getting into rendering but here you’re getting
the basic gist of it. You can tell this is a figure more or less and you can tell how he’s arranged this and the proportions of it and whatnot. Do try to be fairly accurate with this. It’s not essential that
you’re like 100% accurate. I’m not gonna shoot you
if you get it slightly off but do try to be as accurate as possible. I wouldn’t recommend tracing. I talk about that at some point. There is some merit to tracing but just try to eyeball
it, it’ll give you some other good fundamental skills if you focus on doing that as well. So this is about as far
as I would take this. So I’ll go ahead and do maybe a couple more of these and show you some other examples. So here’s another really, really fantastic Golden Age illustration that I’ll use for this next one. So again with doing master studies you do want to really focus the study. You want it to be as focused
on the study as you can because a lot of people
just get into master studies and they’re not really sure what to do. They know they should do master studies but they’re not really sure
what the point of them is and it’s a pretty natural
reaction to it oddly enough. The purpose of course
is to learn from them and you’re probably gonna learn the most if you know what you’re
after before you even begin. So if this, obviously we’re
focusing on the composition later we’ll focus more on the color and lastly we’ll do some studies where we focus more on the rendering and the finish and the
textures of the piece. All of those different studies have merits but it’s a good idea to know exactly what you want
to get out of a study. And certain pieces will have more things to learn about one thing than the other. Some pieces will have great composition but you know, kind of boring color. Others will have gorgeous color but not much in the way
of a good composition. So it’s good to really
analyze the work that you love and find out what it is about that stuff that you really love. Again, download like a
ton of different images from a bunch of different artists. Don’t focus too much on any particular artist or time period
or anything like that. Really try to vary it
up as much as you can so that you don’t get in the rut of being a knockoff of one particular artist. That is a problem that I see a lot of people running into that kind of become those knockoff artists and it mainly comes down to not looking at enough art so I encourage you to look at as many different artists as you can. There’s a lot to learn from
a lot of different artists so try to diversify as much as you can. Now this one has a lot of
complicated shapes going on. It’s a really action-packed scene. There’s a lot going on in here. So it’s important when you’re
doing a study like this where you’re trying to simplify things as much as possible to squint a lot. Really squint down your eyes and break it down into the absolute simplest possible shapes you can. Even then, there’s a lot of
complexity going on here. There’s a lot of small broken-up shapes. So as you’re working in here kind of identify the largest shapes first and then break it down from there into smaller and smaller shapes. For these compositional studies even if you just get
these major, major shapes you can learn a whole lot from
how they’re arranging them. Like for instance in this one it’s really interesting how they’ve got sort of this diagonal grouping of figures making this nice dark form throughout it. There’s lots of really nice diagonals just in the value arrangement here. Of course when you’re trying
to get an action-packed scene having as many diagonals as you can is generally a good idea, so. And again I’m not going to
try to be perfect with this. I’m not gonna try to get
every little detail in there. I’m really just shooting to
get these major shapes in here. I’m trying to get the general idea of this and then from there I’ll
probably go on to the next one. Again you’re just shooting
to get the composition. You know we can get into drawing and really perfecting these things later but right now just focus
on this composition. Because if you can get
a good start like this if you can get a composition
that really works it’s just an interesting
dynamic grouping of lights and darks it’s a lot easier to take that and then do a really good
painting based on it. If you start with a
really messy, confusing disorganized value
arrangement to begin with no matter how well you
draw, it’s really hard to make that look like a really
good painting in the end. So focusing on this early
stuff is extremely important. When I was trying to learn composition I did a ton of these and
they were incredibly helpful. It’s a rare master study that I do that I don’t actually gain
a lot of knowledge from so no matter what point you’re at continuing to do these master studies is a great way to learn because with composition especially we sort of get into this rut of doing the same things again and again. If you ever put a bunch of your work next to each other you’ll probably see a few things that you
sort of do every time and you do them again and
again and again and again. So by doing these master studies it helps you break out
of that and sort of try some new techniques, try
some new compositions try some things we wouldn’t otherwise do. So that’s another thing that I really love about doing these, and the reason I try to
do them periodically. So again I’m not taking a
lot of time doing these. I mean don’t try to rush on them but also don’t get to a point where you’re clearly overworking them. Be really crisp with your values, really clearly delineate them. Have again three or four values and that’s about it. Do not ever go much above that because you’re gonna really
just start rendering things and that’s not the point
of doing these exercises. Again these are exercises and they’re designed to teach you so as you’re doing them really focus on getting the shapes right. Really focus on getting
these value shapes right. Because you’ll learn just
from abstracting this stuff how to arrange your compositions. Again all of this knowledge
is extremely practical and when it comes down to
making your own thumbnails you’re gonna be applying a lot
of the knowledge you’re doing you know, when you’re learning these in doing your own stuff so keep that in mind. Another thing to think about is that it’s totally permissible to occasionally flip the whole thing vertical and even flip your reference vertical and start doing studies like that. Sometimes by flipping it like this it’s easier to see it as just an abstract and you can more easily see like oh yeah, there’s a white shape down there and it kind of extends up there. It’s easier to see this as purely abstract rather than a scene of a bunch of guys fighting. All of a sudden it’s just this abstract arrangement of shapes and colors so that can be a really helpful thing especially if you’re just starting out. Go ahead and flip it upside down and see what you can do that way. Alright, moving on to the next one. I’ll do another one of these
grayscale ones for you. This one looks really good. This is first an N.C. Wyeth it’s a really fantastic one. I’m focusing I guess on some of the Golden Age illustrators for these value compositions but of course you could
do any artist you like. It’s just that the Golden
Age illustrators tended to be really fantastic
with their compositions. They’re really clear-cut, they have really fantastic silhouettes and they’re really, really good ones
to learn composition from. Some fine art paintings can get a little weaker in the
composition from what I’ve found but these guys, they
really focused on clarity in their compositions because they knew they’d need an easy read so it’s worthwhile to
study those compositions. Fine art can get away with a slower read because it’s you know a slower format than an illustration is. And there’s nothing
wrong with that of course but if you’re trying to get that fast read for your illustration or your concept artwork it’s worthwhile to study the guys who were really, really dedicated to doing that. So just some things to keep in mind as you’re picking out pieces
you want to do studies of. You’re of course welcome
to do the studies of the stuff that I’m
showing here in this video or to pick whatever
favorite artist you have. One thing I do recommend
with master studies is to pick artists that you
really just love yourself. If you’re doing studies of
artists you don’t really like you’re not gonna really
respect it quite as much and you’re probably not gonna
get quite as much out of it. There are times when you want
to force yourself to sort of do something that you’re
not as crazy about because sometimes by doing a master study of an artist you’re not the biggest fan of all of a sudden you can gain a whole new appreciation for their abilities. So just something to think
about as you’re doing this. But when in doubt go ahead and pick an artist that you really love and you’d really like to
learn how to paint like. By doing these studies you’re really getting into the head of the artist and you are picking up
some of their secrets picking up some of their skills. Again like squint your eyes a lot when you’re doing this. Don’t try to draw things. Don’t try to draw a
figure here for instance try to draw the shape that it’s creating. Look at the dark and light shapes and try to draw those. Draw the negative spaces and draw those light shapes behind them. Now if you have to flip
it go ahead and flip it there’s nothing wrong with doing that. You can still learn a lot by doing that because again you’re just
looking at shapes here you’re just focused on getting
cool interesting shapes and a nice arrangement of them. And oftentimes once we
do abstract it like that once you do break it
down into those really basic shapes, by the end of it you’ll actually have a
pretty readable thumbnail. You might be a little surprised just how readable the whole scene is. Like for instance you can kind
of tell on this one so far that there is sort of
like this staircase and you can almost tell there’s a figure there so it’s worth thinking
about that kind of stuff just how abstract you can get with it all and have it still read. You know with this he really
focused his light values to get this light to shine here. Just a little tricky there
with the, just soften it a bit. Again talking about mediums any medium is okay with this. I’m just doing digital
because it’s a little easier to demo this sort of stuff. I’ve done a lot of these traditionally. It’s actually fantastic practice. I love doing them in
acrylics of all things. I find acrylics are great for this because you can cover up what you’ve done really really quickly and easily. They’re also cheap and
easy and easy cleanup. They make for a really good medium for studies like this. So I would hesitate to tell you any specific medium but go ahead and try acrylics for these. Probably most of the compositional studies like this I’ve done have been in acrylics. But again, these exercises are great for learning a new medium because they let you focus on
studying other artists rather than coming up with
stuff out of your own head so you’re more focused on learning and less focused on completing
a nice finished painting. I just flipped the image and
that’s another thing I do both when I’m doing studies and when I am doing my own work and
it’s just a great tool for getting a fresh eye on the whole piece. It gives you just a fresh
perspective on the whole thing so I recommend doing it. I do it almost too much. It’s a bit of a habit for me at this point but it is a really,
really good tool to use. You know it’s also good for
kind of picking out where I’ve gone a little bit
off on the composition where I’ve gotten a little bit off and I’m seeing now that you know some of the proportions are off and some of the shapes aren’t
reading quite right so it’s a good way to draw your eye to those sort of things. Try to be as accurate as possible but don’t nitpick it to death. If you’re not 100% accurate at this stage that’s kind of okay. 100% accuracy will come when we do a full master study. It doesn’t necessarily need to happen when you’re doing the early stage stuff. The early stage stuff
is gonna be really rough and sometimes you’re gonna
miss it by a little bit. You know if something’s a
smidgen off that’s okay. If it’s drastically different
then you’re not really probably learning as much as you can so do try to be accurate. And again simplify the values. All these pieces are color and I haven’t switched
them to black and white. I could, I find that translating the color into black and white yourself is actually a really good exercise as well because it does force you to see it forces you to see how
these color arrangements convert into black and white yourself and will probably help you a lot later on. So there’s a few of the
grayscale thumbnails for the composition. From here we’re gonna go on to color but I think that about wraps up the compositional studies. Alright now let’s talk about doing some of the color studies. For the last thing we were focused mainly on composition, mainly on values mainly on breaking down the
image to as simple as possible and getting the general arrangement of the shapes about right. Now here we’re gonna be
focusing more on color. Now first thing that I wanna talk about with color and doing
especially digital studies is do you color pick? Do I go over here to
the piece and color pick and put it down on here? And I’m gonna say no, don’t do that. And the reason for that is that you’re mainly doing these
to focus and train your eye to see better color
and to use better color and in the case of the people
doing traditional studies you’re focusing also on
how to mix those colors. By color-picking and kind
of cheating like that you’re losing out on some of the ability to train your eye like that. It’s not a terrible idea to actually open up the color picker and go around the piece
and see what colors are actually being used. Like for instance you
can use it on this piece. Typically when people will paint a sky they’ll paint it blue, because
they think the sky’s blue. But let’s take the color
picker on this sky for instance and see what colors are
actually showing up in here and you’ll find that even the colors that look pretty blue up in here are really just desaturated
yellows and oranges. There is no blue in the entire sky. The bluest things up here are
simply just grayish colors. There is no blue up there which is an interesting thing to find out and this I think is the
main use you should have for the color picker, is finding out color relationships like
that and unexpected things. So for instance down here in the building you see how orange and
yellow this bright side is and of course naturally those are just bright yellows and oranges and red colors and really saturated, really
bright, really intense. And then you see as it gets into shadow it almost looks like this
almost greens and blues this really nice cool color and so you can color pick those and try to find out what those are and you’ll find out they’re basically the same hue. There are no greens or blues down in here. All that’s happening is that things are desaturating a little
bit so the relative color looks kind of green and blue when in fact it really just is all those warm colors. So this whole piece even
though it looks like it has this nice range of greens and blues and of course the yellows
and reds and oranges really the whole thing is put
into a warm color palette. So I think that is the main use you should have for the color picker. I wouldn’t use it when you’re
actually doing the study. I think it’s a better idea if
you actually just go in there and start working out how to do this. It’s gonna take a fair
bit of trial and error and I think that’s actually
kind of an okay thing so don’t be afraid to mess
around with the colors. I’ll probably do the exact same thing. But you’re really just focusing on how to get these colors and how to come up with the general color scheme that he’s got here. This is one of my personal
favorites for landscape painting. This is Thomas Moran. He’s a great American landscape painter and I think he’s a really
good one to look at because his colors are really vibrant he’s got this really intense lighting so they’re a lot of fun to do studies of. So I’d look at checking him
out if you’re interested in studying some colors for landscapes. So again just kind of messing
around with the colors laying in big blocks. I’m not too focused on actually painting the piece accurately here. The last studies were really focused on getting a good composition. Here I’m mainly focused
on getting good color. If I get good color but the piece doesn’t look exactly the same, that’s fine as long as the colors are pretty much the same. So again just trying to
put in some of those grays up there into the sky to get
that blueish color that we saw. We saw it in the color picker. And then if I start picking
some of the ground colors and again just trying
to eye all this stuff trying to figure out where it’s at. Be sure to try to get
the values right as well because that’s really
a part of the colors. Value is really just one element of color so do focus on getting those just right. You do want all the values if you are to shift this all to black and white to be pretty much accurate
to the original piece. So again be a little bit messy be a little bit loose with this don’t be too precious with anything. And I suggest in general
kind of laying down what you think is a color that’s pretty close to that whole field of color and then going back into it and adjusting things and shifting things and getting it just where you want it. So again I think, you know,
some of the proportions will probably be off on this
and I’m kind of okay with that because I’m not, again, focused on getting a perfect representation of this painting, I just want to go through this and see what colors he’s using because it’s a really gorgeous painting it’s really gorgeous colors and so that’s what I really
want to learn from this piece and it’s fascinating how he’s got you know, these cool shadows but I mean they still are pretty warm colors. And then he just goes
all out with these lights that I’m gonna put in
here and really, really strong saturated colors. And he can get away with these such strong colors because it’s not competing against an
actual blue in this case. If I were to actually put blue down here what you might think, it
looks way out of place it looks way too blue. It’s way too far away
from these other colors. So that’s why he can get away with looking like he has blue colors by just using these desaturated colors and relying on relative color instead. So that’s a good lesson to learn. And again we’re doing this stuff to really learn from these masters to learn their techniques,
see what they were doing to get all these gorgeous paintings. Do stay zoomed out for these as well just like the compositional studies. I don’t know if I mentioned that but don’t ever really zoom in and use a tiny brush and get really
nitpicky with this stuff. Use a big brush, you know
if you’re going traditional get a really big brush to
do all this stuff with. If you’re doing it digitally don’t ever go down to a super tiny brush to do all this little detailing stuff. If you find yourself in
a case like this piece painting individual bricks you’re probably not doing it right. You need to focus more
on the overall image and less on the little details,
the individual elements. This is probably one of the best ways that I learned color. I learned color a few different ways. I learned a lot from painting from life which we’re gonna do later and I learned a lot from doing master studies just like this. I did quite a few of them. I did them traditionally,
I did them digitally and every time I learned something I learned something new about color. Because it’s fascinating as you kind of work through this challenge to get into their head and get how they picked all these colors. You’ll find yourself as you
start to apply this knowledge, which we’re gonna do some next week and all the weeks following. You know as you pick up all this knowledge and start to apply it to your own work it’s amazing how quickly it
really does directly apply. It’s all very useful information and will do wonders for your color. Anyone who emails me and
asked me over the years you know, how do I get really good color I will usually tell them
to do master studies because it is an almost failproof way of improving someone’s color sense. It’s a rare day when you can do tons of master studies and
not learn something from them. But do be active with your
brain when you’re doing these. Don’t just show off and
try to just copy things. Really think about the colors, think about the colors you’re picking think about the colors
that are in the piece. Check out all the different transitions and really try to get
into the artist’s head and figure out what they were
doing and how they did it. Like here I was noticing that I’m missing some of the really really
intense red colors in here so I’m going back in here and lightly putting in some of these reds. You know as you do more of these you’re gonna get more and
more comfortable with them, develop a color sense
that’s faster and faster. But I do want to show you, you know working through this, keeping
fiddling with the colors until they’re just right is really good and it’s totally normal. If you don’t nail a color the first time, you know what, try again. Another thing you can
do is color pick here and color pick here on the piece and see how far off you are. I don’t recommend you know doing your whole painting that way by checking every single brushstroke but it is okay to
occasionally check yourself make sure you’re in the right ballpark. Or if you’re really really
struggling with something try to check out the piece,
see how it was constructed and then try to do it on your own. These are learning exercises and anything that’s gonna help you
learn faster or better is totally permissible. Cheating really doesn’t exist in this case as long as you’re learning something and ideally learning a lot you can kind of do whatever you want. My personal recommendation for not using the color
picker most of the time is again mainly just to focus you more on the learning process and less on the perfect mindless copying. Mindless copying won’t get you very far. Really just mindless art in general won’t get you very far. It’s only when you really
pay attention to things it’s when you really activate your mind and think about these things that you can get the most out of it. So another thing to look at is look at how he’s done the sunset down here and you’ll notice how the values actually darken down as they get closer to the sun. This is something that will happen during sunsets if you
ever go out and look. There’s actually a kind of a darkening near the horizon and it kind of darkens and reddens just a little bit and another reason he’s doing that is so he can make this
little sun down here (mumbling) just do a
little cheat marquee tool allows that to pop out a little bit more because even though the
values are really really tight it still has a fair bit
of brightness down there. You can also see how he’s kind of reddened it around the thing. So just try to start picking
up some of these techniques. You know the next time that I do a sunset scene for instance I’ll probably start looking into this and how it’s arranged. It’s also interesting to note now that I’m really looking at this piece and doing a study of this piece that the lighting is wrong. If that’s supposed to be
the sun in the background which I’m guessing it is then it doesn’t make too much sense how this front building is being lit. So that’s just an
interesting lesson to learn and I probably never
would have noticed that had I not been doing the study not been thinking about it but the sun’s back here but it looks like that front building’s being front-lit, so doesn’t making too much sense, so you know here’s an example of a amazing artist extremely successful, amazingly
skilled landscape painter and he’s totally cheating
with the lighting. Unless that’s supposed
to be a moon back there which I really doubt it. That is way too bright to be a moon. So I’m not taking too long with this. I’m not trying to get
it absolutely perfect, I’m just trying to learn
as much as I can from it. And you know you can get more and more and more specific with this
and more and more refined and get every little
color transition in there and that can be a good idea and we’re probably gonna do more of that when we do the full master study I’m gonna try to get as
close as you possibly can but when you’re just doing color studies even just getting the
general color arrangement is sometimes good enough. It’s sometimes enough that you’ve kind of learned the lesson from the piece and you can go on to doing more different color studies. So there’s an idea of
how to do one of these. I’ll go ahead and start in
on another one probably. So I just clean up the edges there and move on to doing
another color study here. Let’s see here. I’ve got a bunch of illustrators. Well, let’s, doo-doo-doo. How about this? This is an interesting arrangement both compositionally and it’s got a nice variety of colors going on in here so I think this’ll be a fun one to do. You can be perfect with
getting the proportions right and if you’re doing like a long study it’s probably a good idea
to like measure out the proportions of the original piece so that it’s exactly the same. If you’re just doing a quick study sometimes that’s not quite as important. Here I’m gonna do like
a really really quick few lines just to lay down
what the general shapes are so that as I’m picking the colors I don’t have to think about that as much. It’s not a terrible idea to
lay down a few of these lines just to break up the general shapes give you an idea of where stuff should go so that you can lay down the colors a little more confidently now that they’re gonna be in the right place without you worrying and constantly moving them around. Again so you can just focus on the colors. For me I think I’m gonna
start up in the sky. It’s a really fascinating sky up there. It’s got a huge value range, it’s got this crazy storm cloud on the right which is one of the rare instances when skies get really, really dark. Most of the time skies tend to stay as a very, very light value, even the darkest clouds up there will. So I thought it was interesting how pursuing that, you know if you look at the underside of some of these clouds the shadow sides, they’re really just kind of grayed-down blues so it’s important to learn that and realize that sometimes
the value differences between them and the sky aren’t huge but it’s just a case of
the saturation changing. He’s got this deep, dark cloud over here I’m guessing the
saturation really kicks up that’s this deep, dark blue. Now when you’re doing colors something I guess I haven’t mentioned yet is you have to keep in mind the accuracy of the reproduction you’re working from. It is a danger when you’re
doing master studies that the reproduction that you’re working with isn’t
accurate so you’re actually you end up copying colors
that aren’t perfect. Like for instance these really
deep dark colors in here are probably gonna have a bit more light in them than it shows because a lot of times when people photograph art incorrectly they’ll darken down the darks a little too much. They won’t have quite the
range of the original. So you can also go online and you might find half a dozen
different color reproductions of the exact same painting but each one has radically different colors. So which one do you use? Which one would I recommend
you doing a study of? It really depends. Obviously it’d be great to
do the most accurate one but sometimes it can be hard to know what the most accurate one is if you’ve never seen the piece in real life. So if you can go check out the real piece and then do a study of it so you kind of know which reproduction is most accurate. Alternatively trust other people. Or just mainly focus
on trusting good sites. Sometimes a Google search
that’s just general like looking for paintings can lead to some really,
really terrible reproductions but if you stay on the sites that seem a bit more focused on the
quality of reproductions it’s sometimes a better source
of reference for this stuff. One of the best places to get great, great color reproductions of
art is auction websites. Stuff like Sotheby’s and whatnot. They are really, really good
at photographing the art accurately and perfectly and clearly and usually pretty high resolution. Sometimes they’re strict about like you can’t download the images and whatnot but it’s not a bad place to look at for some good color reproduction stuff. They do a really good job with it and they often photograph
some really good art so that would be one
of the other resources I would check out, in addition to some of the other ones I’ve listed like Google Art Project
and Art Renewal Center. They’re all pretty good. Even Art Renewal Center can get a little bit off on the
values sometimes though, so. And you know keep focusing
on the value arrangements keep focusing on this composition because even though you
are focusing on color here it doesn’t hurt to
occasionally think about what’s the value arrangement here? You notice it’s got this
great little dark line here right along the horizon so
it really pops out this spot right down there. Really makes that horizon
line super intense but of course breaks it up with
some trees and other shapes so it’s not just this solid line. And then he’s using
this river to bring down some of that sky color into the foreground to help brighten some of that up. And then he’s got just this gorgeous range of color in this landscape. He’s got all this
different range of greens and he’s got reds and
oranges in the landscapes and some yellows and some
of the sand and dirt. It’s a really, really gorgeous piece. It’s got a really full range of color and it seems worth just trying to get all of those different colors in there. And lay down some general
colors just to lock it in and then start fiddling with it and getting a little more accurate and a little more accurate until you’ve kind of got a pretty good handle on the whole color arrangement. You know this wouldn’t be a bad piece to do a whole painting of. You know, a full-length master study. There’s enough here, there’s
enough nice technique going on that’s really nice and different elements
all handled differently. It’s a really fascinating piece. One thing about doing master studies is you will gain a whole new
appreciation for the painting. If you really love a painting and you do a master study of it all of a sudden you’ll
have this totally new appreciation for just how amazing it is and why it’s so amazing. So that’s one more reason why you should be doing a lot of these. Check out how he’s got
these nice warm colors here in the landscape. Sometimes when you’re doing a landscape it’s really easy for
things to get too green because oftentimes things are just green on green on green on green and so he’s finding ways
to break up this landscape and introduce some other colors and even his greens are this nice wide range of colors. He’s not just relying on pure green he’s relying on yellows,
greens, reddish greens and desaturated and saturated ones. He’s got this gorgeous range of colors. So these are all lessons that you can take and then when you’re
painting your own landscape you won’t just rely on
painting things solid green. All of a sudden you’ll know to introduce all of these other colors in there. That’s the total purpose
of doing these things. You really are trying to take this stuff so you can apply it to
your own, I don’t know, these studies are never meant to be gorgeous in their own right. It’s always so you can take this knowledge and apply it to your own work and make your own work a lot better. I do promise you that
if you keep doing these and keep paying attention to them you’re going to learn a lot and you’re going to learn very quickly. These are great ways to learn and it’s amazing how quickly people learn when they start really focusing on these. It’s a little bit of a shame that more people don’t do these. Master studies are really just one of the best ways to learn. Even I wish that back in my school days I had done more master studies. I did quite a few but I don’t know just realizing how much I got out of them it makes me wish that I had
done a lot more of them. It’s just such a fast way to learn. You know as much as you can just pick the color manually. Actually go into the settings and pick out a color and lay it down. I do color pick somewhat just because of speed and whatnot but it’s not a bad idea to just mix
a color and lay it down and then you mix the next
color and lay that down because that way you’ll manually learn how to do all these things. It’s probably not the fastest way to paint but it probably is the
fastest way to learn so these really are learning exercises so don’t focus too much on efficiency and fast painting here. If you do them quickly, woop-de-doo nobody really cares. If you’re not learning something if you’re not learning a lot out of these then you’re not really using the exercise to its fullest extent. So take your time with it do a lot of them and really
try to get accurate color. Like there I was doing way
too saturated with that green and it totally looked out of place. So you’ll find that oftentimes
in landscapes like this the artist’s great about
keeping the saturation very much in check. Never going too far out of that range because it’ll feel a lot more
natural to keep the colors really, really desaturated. And while you’re doing these there are a hundred and one things
you can also be focusing on. You know I can focus on of course the composition as I mentioned but I can focus on edges,
I can focus on actually painting the elements in here. I’m mainly doing this demo to show you how to focus on colors right now but if you did want to start diving into actually painting the things that’s fine. But I will say that the main time we’re gonna focus on that is when we do the longer extended paintings of the master studies. This is about as far as I’d go again with this color study. Is it a perfect representation
of the painting? No, but does it have the
general color scheme? Yes, and have I kind of
learned something about how he arranged all these colors and how he arranged all these values you know he kept this foreground area really dark, really close in value yet had plenty of range
for all the different forms and then kept this sky
nice and light in general. So yeah there’s a new idea
of doing a color study. I’ll go ahead and do one more of these. Let’s see here, let’s
pick one different color. This is actually a pretty
gorgeous one as well. So this is another of
my favorite, favorite landscape painters, I’ve posted a list with the assignment of all the artists that I would recommend. They’re just personal favorites of mine. If you have your own favorite go ahead and do studies of them there’s nothing that’s wrong with that. Just to give people a starting base on artists that would be good to look at I went ahead and did that. Again I’m just starting
with a quick line drawing just to get things in their general place. So I know it’s more or less accurate and not perfect. We’ll go ahead and be perfect later on when we’re doing the other master study but for now let’s just
try to get it pretty close so that we can put in these colors and learn how to do those. So this is another piece that has a lot of complexity to the color. There’s a lot of color going on in here. There’s a lot of different hues a lot of different values and so again just lay down some really basic blocks of color and then we’ll go back into those and pull out some other colors. It’s amazing how much
range he’s got in here. It’s a hard thing to appreciate unless you’re doing studies like this. A lot of times you’ll
just look at a painting and it’ll have a great
mood to it and stuff and you’ll think, “Oh,
that’s some gorgeous color.” But unless you really good study where you’re really taking
the time looking at it you won’t learn nearly as much. Looking at art is great
but you don’t actually retain nearly as much unless you do the studies of it. So that’s a large part of why
you’re doing these studies is to really see the art
that you’re looking at and see the art that you really love so that you can pick apart
why you love them so much and why they’re working so well. Really love this, there’s so
many gorgeous colors in here. You know, for this I’m
gonna go ahead and show you like down in here these
rocks that look pretty gray are in fact really just
yellowish greens and stuff. Most of these shadow colors really are these greenish rocks. So as I’m doing the stuff over here I’ll go ahead and shift all of my stuff more towards a yellowish green now that I know that he’s
mainly focusing these shadows on these greenish colors which is a bit of an unexpected color use for a bunch of rocks. I would not have necessarily painted a bunch of green rocks had I not looked at this piece and seen it and analyzed how it was done. He’s got this little hit
of blue up in the top that’s kind of saturated and it’s really the only hit of the
sky that you’re getting and then you’ve got this kind of warm clouds up there that’re taking over most of it. A lot of nice clouds in here it’s really fascinating to see all the value arrangements in there. There’s a lot of transitions
up in these mountains. So I’m gonna try to at least
get some of the major ones to show you that. Do try to bounce around with these. I wouldn’t try to focus too
much on one spot for too long. Do try to move around. Don’t get stuck on one thing making that one little spot perfect. Try to bounce around and establish all of the colors at once. Because all of the colors
are really interrelated as we saw earlier with the first study. I had those cool colors in the shadows. They only looked cool because they were surrounded by all of the warm colors those really saturated colors. So by kind of going over the
whole piece at the same time it lets us have a lot easier time establishing those value arrangements and color arrangements, rather. It makes a lot more sense. Because just picking color out of the blue without any context isn’t really the same exercise as
establishing color schemes for a whole painting. And for your first one or two you might wanna start
with paintings that have relatively basic color schemes. Like the first piece that I did it’s got gorgeous color but it’s basically an analogous palette. It’s basically just got
yellows, oranges, and reds and various desaturated
elements based on that. But really it’s a pretty
simple color palette and it’s not a bad idea to
start with something like that because it’s a lot
easier to get the proper color relationships in a palette like that than starting with something a bit more like I’m doing right now that has a lot of different colors in it a lot of different hues in it a lot of really interesting relationships. It’s a much more complicated study than doing one of those
analogous color palettes. So we’re gonna go ahead and block in this whole foreground here just to get rid of some of the white. That’s usually both when
I’m doing studies and when I’m doing my own work. Probably one of the most
important things to do because you want to get rid of that white so that you can really
see a piece as a whole. White tends to really throw off your values and your colors quickly. It’s pretty dangerous that’s why when I’m doing traditional art for instance I’ll tone my canvas completely before I ever get started because otherwise I do
run into the trouble of mixing the wrong values because you’re comparing it to this bright, bright white that doesn’t have a real place in your piece. So as soon as you can, get away from that. You could even start these studies on like a toned surface. It wouldn’t be a terrible idea. A lot of the paintings
originally were done on a toned surface. Like this painting in particular I would not be surprised in the slightest if this artist had started
with a toned canvas before he ever got started and worked from there. So same goes for you. If you want to start with a toned surface when you’re doing your studies that’s absolutely alright. I kinda had some of this
top area a little bit off so I went ahead and stretched
the canvas up there to make room for some
of these things up here. (tablet clicking) One thing to think about
when you’re doing these is to think about where the edges meet and making sure that
those value relationships are just right. Like here when you’ve got these two layers meeting right there make sure that you’ve got
this value arrangement where you’ve got this dark rock here and then behind it even though it’s also a pretty dark form you can see how down here at the bottom where it’s getting closer to this edge it sort of lightens up a bit. It kind of gives it a
clearer relationship there so that that silhouette
isn’t lost in there. Yeah I kind of didn’t make enough room for the mountain up here. Screwed up on that. But that’s why I’m not too precious with the format, moving it around a lot. That’s another reason why
you might want to do a slightly tighter line drawing if you’re really concerned with getting the whole thing accurate because when you’re doing these you can be focusing on
the composition as well. Alternatively you could even take your compositional studies and do the color studies right on top of them because you know if you want to do the same study of the same piece you’ve already done the work of getting that value arrangement just right and getting all the
placement of things right so now you could just go ahead and with opaque color start going in there and applying it on top of it. (tablet clicking) Just putting a nice border on it clean it up a little bit. Sometimes it can be easier to see things when you’ve got a clear
border on something. So I’m now going back in here and realizing that this
foreground isn’t nearly as green as it should be. It’s really really green rocks up in here, just bringing back in some of that green, spreading around some of that red over here on the left. It’s really interesting
if you look in there you can see a nice relationship of some really intense reds right up next to the greens. So there’s lots of dynamic
color relationships in there. So I’m starting to work in some of that. (tablet clicking) So when you’re picking your artist for what you want to do studies of pick the artist not only based on the artist you really love but again also on the artist that is gonna be best for what you’re focusing on. So if you’re focusing on color pick the artist that you
really love their color sense that you really admire
how they work with color. If you’re doing compositional
focus on composition if you’re just general painting skill focus on your really favorite artist that you’d love to be able to paint like. As we get into the
full-length master study we’ll go ahead and see like how they paint individual elements. You know if you’re doing these digitally you’re gonna have to replicate some traditional methods with digital media so it’ll take a bit of a translation there but it’s a good exercise to learn how to mimic those techniques mimic those shapes that they were getting with traditional media in digital. So here I think I was getting a little too bright there, I’ll go back. So I’m getting close to I
guess done with this study and from here we will actually move onto the full-length study. So hopefully these color studies make sense to you and you
get a lot out of them. I love doing them. I highly recommend doing a bunch of these. I think they’re really useful. So with that said let’s go ahead and get onto the full-length master study. Now let’s get onto the full master study. This is gonna be the
longest, most in-depth master study that we’re gonna do. The other ones are pretty quick exercises mainly focused on really specific things about the pieces we like. This is gonna be sort of all-encompassing. We’re gonna cover really every aspect of the painting that we’re studying from so make sure you pick a painting you really, really love that’s a really high-quality good painting that you’re gonna enjoy
looking at for hours on end. I’m only gonna do probably
a shortish demo on this. You know if you spend eight
hours on this master study that is definitely okay. Really getting a master
study to look just perfect can be a great exercise in of itself. So let’s go ahead and
get started with this. I went ahead and made a new document here that is the same proportion as of course the piece I’m working from. It’s a little more important
to be precise with this than the quick little studies because you’ll find since we’re gonna
take so much time on this one that if the canvas is slightly off all of your proportions are also gonna be slightly off. So do take the time to make sure it’s the right ratio. And then just start diving in. Fairly similar to the way
we did the shorter studies it’s just we’re gonna
take it a bit further. I’m just gonna start with
a quick line drawing here. Really, really basic. Just a lot of the big forms just so I get those in
the general right place. As we move along and tweak things I’ll move things around and stuff to make sure everything’s just right but this’ll get us on the right ballpark. Now the advantage to
doing the quicker studies is kind of what we’ve talked about. You can focus on the composition you can focus on colors you can focus on the individual elements and break those out and learn from them. Now if you’re doing an
extended study like this sometimes people can sort of lose the purpose of why they’re doing it. The purpose is really so that you get every little aspect of the painting and you begin to understand
every little decision. So not only are you learning
how to do the drawing not only are you learning how
to proportion these things but you’re also learning the composition you’re learning the colors and then in the end you’re also learning some painting techniques. So for instance if you want
to be a landscape painter there are few better ways to learn how to do that than to study artists that are really fantastic at landscapes. So this would of course be
a wonderful example of that. Another again one of my
favorite landscape painters Thomas Moran here,
gorgeous gorgeous paintings and just wonderful to study from and you can learn a whole lot from doing studies like this. They really are just
fantastic tools to learn from. So if you are interested in pursuing that he would definitely be a
really good landscape painter. So you know depending on what sort of art you’re interested in
pursuing I would recommend checking out different artists. Really pick artists that speak to you that you really love the work of and don’t mind imitating a bit. Like Thomas Moran here I would love to be able
to paint like Thomas Moran so he makes a really good one for me to study from. There are other artists that I might like but aren’t necessarily artists
that I want to imitate. I love a good Mark Rothko
painting oddly enough but I really don’t want to do
master studies of his stuff because I don’t really
want to paint like that I just enjoy looking
at that kind of stuff. So be sure to differentiate that and make sure you’re
studying the right artists that’re gonna help you the most and give you the knowledge that’s gonna be the most useful for you. So again I guess we’re kind
of blocking these things in. Start really loose, start really general. Don’t get too tight too early on. It’s a common problem
that I see with people and it can really get you into trouble. So start from really broad marks just blocking in really
general color spaces and then you can always
adjust, move things around change the drawing a little bit. I’m doing this underneath my line drawing just so I can keep a little
semblance of that stuff. After I get the general colors blocked in I’ll probably do away with that and just move onto just painting. Brief note on my digital method. Now of course all these exercises you can do on any medium
but just for those curious about how I’m doing digital stuff I like to work on generally one layer for most of my painting. I find it’s a bit more direct and I don’t have to think about the stuff I’m doing nearly as much. So I really enjoy the practice of just painting on one layer, I think
it’s really helpful for me and I think it’s a good
thing to at least try out. Some people can do tons of
layers and do just fine. I am not one of those people. So do whatever technique you want but at least give it a shot to paint on one layer. So at this point I’ve sort of got what I would consider a good block in. It’s generally where I want it to be. You know, it’s not at all perfect but I’ll move things around at this point. So at this point I’ll probably
flatten down my line drawing and start working all in one layer. And I’m gonna keep bouncing around all over the place like I tend to do and just start correcting things start adjusting things, start
modifying some of the colors trying to get it closer
and closer and closer to what I’m seeing over
there in the original piece. So one thing you will
learn from doing this at least one more thing you’ll learn from doing this is you’ll learn how to paint
the individual elements. So it’s really kind of like studying from life in that regard. For instance if you wanted
to paint really cool rocks Thomas Moran here is
wonderful at painting rocks. He conveys a lot of form to them and they’re beautifully painted. Really rhythmic forms,
really really gorgeous stuff. So by studying his stuff
you sort of get an advantage and learn how to paint all
of these individual elements. Another technical note,
again I do not recommend zooming in or getting too tight with any of this stuff too early on. If you’re working
traditionally use a big brush. If you’re working digitally
use a big brush on that too. Do not get too tight with this stuff. Now is not the time to
zoom in on this rock and get it absolutely perfect because if it’s in the wrong place or it’s not the right color it’s going to be a pain to sort of adjust that later on. So go ahead and stay
loose as long as you can. Later on in the process we’ll probably get a little tighter with this and again I do encourage you to take as much time as you want with this. I’m not gonna be spending you know eight hours on this demo because you all don’t wanna watch me do a master study for eight hours. It will not be that entertaining. But if you want to do that for your own that would be ideal. I’d like to see the
finished masters studies be as developed as you
can possibly make them. The closer and closer
you get to the original the better and the more you’re gonna learn from the exercise. And as I was saying with the color ones don’t mindlessly copy. That’s not really the
point of the exercise. You really are trying to
be mindful the whole time. Really think about all the
elements you’re putting in there. Think about how you’re
developing these things so that later on you
can take that knowledge and apply it to your own work. So really, really be mindful and try to pull as much
knowledge as you can. Try to think about the decisions that the artist made when
he was making the image. It’s one of the great
things about master studies is that you really get into
the mind of the artist. There’s probably no better way to really understand an artist than to study his work. When you really, really study the work and really start to copy it and analyze every little bit of it you start to pick up on some of the little decisions he makes when he’s painting, some of the little forms that he likes to use some of the things he likes to repeat and the colors he likes to use and how he’s making all of
those color arrangements and how he’s arranging
his composition for that. So it’s really fascinating
stuff that you can learn from doing these sort of studies which is part of the reason
I recommend them so much. I really think they’re
wonderful for learning. So now that I’m looking at this I realize you know all of this background stuff just out of instinct I had
cooled it down way too much there was too much blue in there when in fact they really look like pretty warm colors back in there. So I’m gonna start warming
some of that stuff up. Again really really broad brushstrokes keeping things super loose not getting too tight with it. (tablet clicking) In fact it’s really a rare master study when I don’t get a lot out of it. I almost always learn something. So they really are beneficial no matter where you’re at in your career to go ahead and do these
and to continue to do them. Now one of the reasons that I recommend doing master studies over starting from photos
or even starting from life and part of the reason they’ve been historically used so
often in similar cases is that when you’re
working from a master study all of the translation
has been done for you. When you’re out there working from life as we’ll be doing later on or working from photos as we’ll also be doing later on it’s up to you to do the translation. You’re presented with material whether it’s a photograph
or the world around you or even a figure and you’re asked to translate that into a two-dimensional drawing or painting and there’s a lot to be
done in that translation. A lot of the art comes down
to how you translate that. So it’s a huge challenge and something that we sort of spend our whole lives learning how to do. None of us take what we see and directly put it on the paper. You can’t really do that and you don’t really want to do that because that translation that you’re doing where you’re sort of
putting yourself into it is what makes your art your art so it’s that translation
that is so important. So when we’re doing master studies we’re sort of cheating a bit and understanding how
they translated the world. So in this case we’re
not presented with rocks we’re presented with Thomas Moran’s interpretation of rocks. We’re finding out the ways that he exaggerated things, the way that he stylized things to
make a better painting. And of course this applies to more than just landscape work. This definitely applies
to figures as well. When you’re painting a
figure you’re not just painting a photographic
representation of one. You’re taking what you’re
seeing in front of you whether it’s your reference
or whether it’s a live model and you’re also applying all the knowledge you know about it. You’re applying the knowledge you know about the proportions, about the anatomy and you’re using all of that to make the best figure you can. So this is also shown
of course really well in one of the books one the reading list and it’s Anatomy Lessons from
the Great Masters I think and it’s a wonderful book and what’s so wonderful about it is it takes all of these
great master drawings and shows anatomy through them because none of these
wonderful master drawings were done just so directly
and without any thought. They were all using their
knowledge of anatomy to make these drawings better. So you get to see all the wonderful ways that they pull out things that show the form better, that
show the anatomy better than just direct copying would ever do. It’s never our goal to just
directly copy anything. We’re always looking to
make that translation to make little subtle changes in there. We always do want to show
our hand in the work. It’s something that makes
it really, really natural and makes it uniquely ours. So I’m really just
continuing to work along here slowly refining forms,
adding in new colors making things read just slightly better. Again just like doing color studies I do recommend to eye all of this stuff to try work on your color
sense by eyeing all the colors. If you occasionally do
want to go over there with the color picker and start
to analyze the color palette that’s perfectly alright. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to
study and analyze the colors so that when you do go
and pick your own colors you’ve got some understanding of what you can expect to see. Now one of the concerns
that a lot of people have with master studies and
probably part of the reason some people don’t do them is that they’re worried that they’re
just gonna be a ripoff. That they’re worried that
this is somehow wrong that either you’re not supposed to be copying other artists
or you shouldn’t do this because it’s going to just
make your work look like theirs and it’s going to kill any personality you’ve got in your own work and it’s partially a justifiable fear. It’s not without some basis. In general though it’s not quite right because as far as the fear of this being cheating or anything, it’s not. Most of the artists that you look up to most of the great artists
throughout history have done a lot of their study by doing master studies exactly like this. Most of the old masters learned by studying the people before them so there’s really no basis for it being something wrong or something
you shouldn’t be doing. It’s been used for hundreds
of years to train artists so don’t be too worried about any of that it’s totally normal to do this. Now as far as being a
knockoff of other artists I think I mentioned this before but the key to avoiding that is to simply study a lot
of different artists. I have a lot of different artists that I really love their work so by having those diverse interests you make sure that you don’t ever become too much like any one artist. I’ve known some really
fantastic artists and friends that have gotten way too similar to some established professionals that are already out there and the reason they did this is they simply just loved their work so much and looked at it all the
time and studied it so much and it was the main thing they studied and so after a while they
started to look like them more and more and more and it can be a really tricky rut to get out of because if we end up just looking like some other artists we’re just the cheap knockoff of that other awesome artist. We don’t ever get a chance
to become ourselves. So sort of the keys to avoiding that are both studying from a
lot of different artists and also just understanding that we’re probably gonna look
like some other artists when we’re starting out. It’s pretty rare for you to find your own personal voice really quickly. You’re probably gonna
be doing a lot of stuff that looks like imitations
of other artists first before you ever get around to really becoming your own artist. So it’s a pretty natural
transition to go through and not necessarily a bad one. So just a couple things
to keep in mind there as far as common fears that
people have about these. I really do consider these to be some of the best exercises you can do. They really are just
wonderful training tools. And so actually if you’re ever interested in picking up a new medium or something like you’ve never tried oils a lot of the exercises
we’re going to be doing during this twelve-week course are wonderful things to do when
you’re trying a new medium. For instance if I was to
start experimenting and trying some sort of new medium I would probably start with some exercises fairly similar to this because they let you focus on your really fundamental skills and you don’t have to worry too much about producing a wonderful illustration because if you ever to go the work it’s sort of done for you. You know the composition’s
already been come up with the color’s already been come up with and you just sort of have to go along and learn how to mix colors,
learn how to see colors and sort of develop your
techniques that way. You’ll notice there that I flipped the image for a little bit. As I had mentioned
earlier it’s a really good way to check yourself to make sure things are kind of in the right place are kind of accurate and make sure you’re not missing the mark too
badly when you’re doing this. So just continuing to go
along picking out forms. The forms are getting smaller and smaller. Right now I’m gonna start to pop out some of the little dark
accents in here in the shadows just getting more and more specific as we go along. We started really, really general and now we’re starting
to get more specific. Still pretty loose, you’ll
notice I’m still not zooming in to fix things,
still staying zoomed out keeping my brush pretty
large most of the time doing some really general color
adjustments here and there not getting too tight, too locked in. This is a good working
method to get used to because this will be the
exact same working method you’ll be using when you’re doing you know illustration
work, concept artwork. It’s this general to
specific working technique that sort of everyone
uses and for good reason so start forcing yourself to do that now and you’ll be in a better place when you’re doing all those other things. Now for these really,
really deep dark areas I’m not going quite as dark
as my reference is showing because here in these dark areas it’s getting almost black. It’s really, really close to black and just knowing his paintings knowing what they look like if I go completely black on here it will not actually be accurate. As a landscape painter
you sort of realize that not a lot of landscape
painters go pure black and probably even in
the case of this piece these deep dark shadows still have a fair bit of color to them
in the original painting. So knowing that I’m gonna start actually lightening them a little bit so that they’ve got a bit of color in them and they’re not completely
dead stark black. It’s a good general rule in art which kind of relates to this study but I’ll go ahead and mention it now avoiding black, avoiding black paint avoiding super, super-dark values. It’s usually considered a
good idea to do so because black and super incredibly dark values rarely appear in nature. Usually even in the deepest
darkest place you see there will be a fair
bit of color in there. It’s rare when something is
truly, truly pitch black. There’s always some color,
there’s always some variations there’s always some other colors in there. So with that said I actually
when I do paint traditionally I like to have black on my palette. I find it to be actually a
wonderful color to paint with. It has a lot of
versatility and can be used quite effectively to
desaturate colors and whatnot. So for me personally I do like to do that. I can understand why teachers often hesitate to let their students do that because black can get students
into a lot of trouble. So unless you’re really comfortable with traditional stuff and really, really comfortable
with colors and values I would say to keep
black off your palette. And as that applies to digital work for those of you doing
digital studies for this try to keep your values a little lighter than you normally would. Like I used the HSB sliders
to adjust all my colors and the values go from zero to a hundred zero being complete black and
a hundred being complete white and so I actually keep all my values at a ten or higher on that scale. If anything’s going below that I’m probably just really
destroying the color in there and so for the sake of my color scheme I tend to lighten that up a bit. You really don’t need to use those last values on the value scale. You really can darken that stuff down and believe it or not you’ll
have plenty of contrast. One thing that usually
beginners like to do is they like to make things
super super contrasting and I was the exact same way. I loved when I discovered you
know you can make something contrasty, to just go all out with it. But you’ll find when you’re
doing these master studies it’s often the subtlety
that is most effective. Moran here has some really
really subtle transitions and they’re really gorgeous so just something to keep in mind there. One advantage that you’re gonna find of finding a really, really
high-resolution image of whatever you’re doing a study of for instance if you actually
go on Google Art Project and zoom into some of those paintings is you’re going to be able to get up really, really close to them and see the individual textures and you’ll get to see
these really beautiful techniques they’ve used
to paint this stuff. And oftentimes with these paintings they’re going really, really textural. So you get these gorgeous brushstrokes that all of a sudden when
you step away from them or zoom out in our case they look like these wonderful
rocks or trees or whatever. So that is one advantage of doing that or better yet seeing the original pieces. One thing I guess I’ll
recommend for everyone is to go to a museum. If you at all possibly can make a trip to a museum that’s nearby. Usually no matter where you are there’s at least one museum
somewhat close to you. Even if it’s an hour or two away try to make that trip to go see that work. There’s nothing like
seeing work in person. There’s nothing quite like the experience of seeing a piece right in front of you. They often have really, really special colors and interesting textures and you get the experience of the full scale of the painting. You know I’m looking at this on a monitor and of course like on the monitor it’s five or six inches across and in real life the painting’s
probably at least eight feet wide it’s probably
gigantic knowing Moran and so I’m totally missing
out on that experience here of seeing this piece in its full grandeur so there is a lot to be said even though we have so much access to art on the internet to actually going to a museum seeing those original paintings and appreciating them sort of the way they were meant to be seen. So as a bonus assignment if you really do have some extra time this weekend or week try to make a trip to a museum and start seeing some master paintings and if there’s a painting there that you really love, you can always do a master study of one of them. And you know, take your time and really look at it before you
go and do your master study. Really spend 20, 30 minutes just staring at all the interesting colors in there. Really get out of it as
much as you possibly can before you start that study. If you’re really, really devoted and want to seriously impress me most if not all museums have a policy where they will let artists come in and do master studies of the work in the museum itself. You can actually set up an easel right in front of a painting and actually do a master study. I have not unfortunately done this yet I’m sorry to say. But it is a wonderful experience it’s amazing that we still get to do that in a lot of museums and I would recommend if
you really love a painting and there’s a gorgeous piece nearby you to see what the museum’s policies are and see if you could do
one right there in person. Bring a canvas the exact same size and put the time into
it to really study it. It’s gonna be kind of
a pain, it’s gonna be time-consuming, it’s
gonna be a hassle to do a hassle to set up, a hassle to apply to even be able to do the study but it’s gonna be a
wonderful experience for you. It’s not something I
would push everyone to do because it is a huge, huge hassle but for those who are really, really seriously devoted to this stuff I would really recommend it. Something I’ve always meant to do myself but haven’t gotten around to yet. That said, one thing I have done and do recommend is at least doing little drawing studies or
little compositional studies of master paintings while you’re there. It’s not quite as crucial as something else might be because often the composition
are pretty close in the photo reproductions but there is something to be said for doing one when you’re right in front of it. At the very least you can
go there and do studies you know, quick little
pencil sketches or something to at least get some of that experience but if you’re really, really devoted really into it go ahead and actually do a full painting there. That’s something I suppose
worth mentioning too is that all that I’ve done here have been painting studies. You know, I’ve been doing
studies of full paintings. But it’s also a good idea
to do some drawing studies. Take a really, really
good masterful drawing and do some studies of that. You’ve gotta apply a lot
of the same principles a lot of the same approaches to that and it’s a really good way
to work on your line work it’s a good idea to just work
on your drawing abilities. I’ve done a few of those probably not as many
as my painting studies because painting is a little more both natural for me and enjoyable for me. If you absolutely love drawing and there’s an artist that really inspires
you with their drawings don’t hesitate to do some
studies of that stuff because it will really pay off. Again, just flipping the image kind of stepping back,
seeing where things are at seeing where I can adjust
some of the colors. Here in the background I
think I’m missing some of the yellowish saturation back there trying to get that glow in there. Some of the forms are a little bit off. I’m probably resorting a lot of the times to what I would naturally do and not doing what he’s done in his piece. So that’s another great
thing about master studies is they can break us out
of the habits we get into. For instance even in my own case you know when I see rocks in nature I’ll have one way that
I’m used to painting rocks and that’s probably how
I’ll approach those rocks but the great thing about
doing a master study is you’re again seeing
his translation of those and you’re seeing his techniques his tricks for conveying those forms so it can kind of break you out of your own patterns of doing the same thing again and again and again because it allows you to get a whole new perspective on things a whole new approach to it. So the next time I’m painting some sort of Western scene or something something with a lot of
oranges and towering rocks I’ll probably be applying some of this knowledge that I’ve learned in this study into that next painting. Next week we’re gonna talk
a lot about application and how to actually take this knowledge and start applying it but that’ll be for next week but for now just focus on being mindful, focus on paying attention and really trying to do the absolute best that you can. One thing you could do, I haven’t done it here
but if you’re so inclined if there’s a piece you really, really love it might not be a bad idea
to go ahead and start with those compositional value
studies we started with and then move on and sort
of paint on top of that a complete color study of it and then go on to this step and do your finished rendered study. It’s not a terrible idea
to reuse that kind of stuff so go ahead and feel free to do that or just you know keep picking new pieces. My goal is to get you to
do a lot of these studies. I think they’re wonderful and not something that you’re gonna lose the value of anytime soon. They’re almost eternally applicable no matter what level you’re at and that’s sort of the reason
we’re starting with these is that if you’re a
complete beginner to art and you only have really, really
rudimentary drawing skills these are the exercises
you should be doing. I’ve always believed in the sort of fake it til you make it advice and I think that in a lot of ways that applies to art as well just the technical side of things because by doing these master studies you really do get to act like a master. You get to act like you’re
this amazing awesome painter so it’s this great feeling. You’ll probably feel it as
you’re doing your own studies. You’ll probably get this feeling like, “Wow this is awesome, I
didn’t know I could do this.” Because you’re just sort of copying this beautiful painting that you love and odds are you’ll be
able to copy it pretty well and you’ll probably be really, really happy with the study that you did because you’re working from a great source so it gives you this sort of hope that you could do this exact same thing and if you could copy it this well maybe you can come up with the whole composition yourself someday. So that’s just one more
reason that I recommend doing these, recommend
starting with these. I’m really confident that either if you haven’t done master studies or haven’t done them in a long time or just haven’t done that many of them that you’re really gonna
benefit from this exercise. As you can see I’m starting to get pretty specific with these things. Here I’m really trying to
figure out those rocks. Notice how he’s defining all
the different planes of them how he’s really been clear
about what’s the top plane what’re the side planes, what
is falling into shadow here and I’m trying to interpret
that and make sure I’m understanding that. That’s one thing you’ll
notice about rocks is that sometimes they can be a little confusing when you’re out there so as artists we have
to simplify and reduce and kind of break them down sometimes into their really basic
forms so that we can almost exaggerate some
of the plane changes and pick out some of the
light and dark sides to them. So it’s worth thinking
about some of that stuff. And you know, also bringing
in some of the colors there adding more and more color variety. One thing you’ll notice about color especially if you’re
sort of just developing your color sense, is
that the better you get with color, the more
colors you’re gonna see. It’s really wonderful
to see in new artists because they get this experience of the more they practice with color the more they work with color the more color they start to see and it’s really wonderful because I remember the first time when I was doing a figure painting I would always have teachers tell me to notice all the green in the skin tone and I never really knew
what they were talking about because I would look at a person and I wouldn’t see any green at all but I still remember the first day when I was looking at the figure and trying to mix a certain color that I was seeing on the figure and all of a sudden I realized that it was actually this greenish color. It was really fantastic to notice that and just see all of the
different colors in nature. It opens your eyes to kind of a whole new way of seeing really becoming a lot more aware of things around you and it really starts to apply to sort of your daily life. I will often be found
staring off into space because I’m seeing some like really cool color or lighting thing and so as you develop as an artist you get to see more and more things. So at this point I’m gonna guess maybe we’re about something
around an hour into this and so at this point it’s just starting to get kind of specific. It’s more than a color study at this point but not too much more. At this point I’m gonna start
kind of rendering things out really finding the specifics,
really adjusting those colors locking in on them just right. I know this foreground looks a lot more yellow in the painting so I’ll start to bring out
those yellow tones in there. Still trying to keep the value about right but bring that yellow back in there. So this is kind of how I would continue to develop this painting continuing just to work and work and work staying zoomed out as long as I can. For the sake of example I think I will zoom in a little bit and sort of show you how I would take one area
of it a little bit further just because I don’t
want to bore you to death with taking the necessary
six or seven hours to get all of the painting
to that level of finished. So I’ll sort of take what I consider to be the focal point which is kind of somewhere around here in the middle. There’s this nice color
transition and these nice cliffs and buildings and stuff and maybe start actually
developing some of that a little bit tighter than the rest. I’m not going all out with it but showing you sort of how to take these to the next level. Just because again it
would take a while to get everything up to that and
it’s going to take you a while so just so I don’t have to bore you I will zoom in a little bit
and start to refine this stuff. I don’t have the highest resolution reference to work from but it should be enough to get the general idea. So at this point I’m really gonna start getting specific
with these rock shapes really try and copy each of
those little undulations. Try to see some of the
little colors in there and get them just right. This is the stage that sometimes makes people either a little bored or a little confused as
to the benefit of it. There are a few benefits. First of all you’re gonna get the most out of the specifics of this painting by really copying those specifics. Like for instance I love
the way he paints rocks. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that. And so I would like to
learn a little bit more about how he’s painting these rocks. You know, the forms he’s using the colors he’s putting in there where he’s putting those cracks in there how he’s defining those things and so by getting really specific here by focusing in on these tiny details I’m starting to understand
those smaller forms and not just the major
compositional elements not just the major colors but really the small
parts of these paintings. So you’re getting some of that. Another thing, and it’s part of the reason I recommend spending a long time on these and really doing those
eight, 10, 20-hour studies is that you’re also learning how to finish a painting. One thing that most artists struggle with at some point or another myself included is how take a painting to finish how do you get a painting from a pretty nice start to a clear finish? And it’s a real struggle for most of us and master studies I
think are a wonderful way to teach you how to get
that finish in your work how to make it seem like it’s
really a finished painting. It’s not just a sketch,
it’s not just a study but it’s an actual finished painting so the exercise of going through and studying someone else’s
painting can be really great for learning that ability
of how to do that. And this is something
you can do all day long. You can spend a long time on these studies and I do encourage you to. Just for the sake of the demo I’m not taking that long on it. If I was doing this just
for myself on my own time I would take as much time as I needed I would keep fiddling with it I would keep perfecting things I would keep moving things
until I got it just right. So again just getting
smaller and smaller forms breaking things up, really
painting them in there. Always be looking at
those value relationships like here on the dark side of this thing it really does get a fair bit darker than the area behind it so really make sure you do what he did here and bring out those little dark
accents right on the top so it pops against this kind of dark sky. It’s a fairly dark sky up in there so it can be a little tricky to get the foreground elements to read on that. And see how he’s got this light area being hit by light and then actually popping out in front of it
with this nice bright value. Now if I were to look at the original on this piece he would have used a lot of really cool textural effects with his brushes to get all this nice, nice effect. And that’s something you can really do when you’re studying it either from life or from a really high-resolution copy and you can see how
he’s used those effects to really convey the rock texture. He’s not going in there and
painting every little thing he’s really using those tricks to get that texture in there. And so you can kind of do the same thing when you’re doing your own study in that you can start practicing different techniques, different tricks to start applying some of this
texture that you’re seeing. The thing with texture is
you rarely want to paint every little crack, every little crevice. You really want to imply
as much as you possibly can so this is a fantastic opportunity to start experimenting
with some of that stuff because you’ve got a great example here with whatever piece you choose of wonderful, wonderful texture so this is a chance to try to translate that texture into
whatever medium you’re using whether you’re doing traditional
stuff or digital work. You know if you’re doing digital work it’s not a terrible idea to even start playing with some texture brushes and stuff like that to find some ways to mimic these textures
you’re seeing in the piece. Since we don’t have access
to traditional brushes and palette knives when
we’re doing digital work you’ve got to find other ways to communicate all these different textures. So again that’s just another benefit of doing these extended studies is that you really get into there and start to figure out how you’re gonna render these things to finish and how you’re gonna get that texture on there how you’re gonna get those
little refined elements that bring a piece to that next level. Now again I am kind of zoomed in here and probably more zoomed in than I would’ve been normally. I probably would’ve continued developing the whole piece a little
bit longer than I did but I really wanted to dive in here and show you guys how to just sort of take this stuff forward. I’m not necessarily doing as long of a study as I
hope for you guys to do but I’m sort of trying to show you little bits and pieces
of the whole process. Now just a general note usually when you post a master study unless it’s a piece that
literally everyone knows if you did a study of the Mona Lisa then you probably don’t need to but for most other cases it’s a good idea to post
the piece you did it from post a link to the image
or something like that that you studied from both for the sake of helping
to get some critiques on maybe where you got the
colors a little bit wrong whether you got the
proportions a little bit wrong or something like that but also as sort of a tribute
to the original artist. Oftentimes if you are gonna sign the piece or you can put it online
it is a very smart idea to say that it was a study
of whatever artist. It’s a good idea to tell people that it is very specifically. You might get in a little bit of trouble if you sort of forget to do that. I’ve seen some guys forget and honest mistake and people start to call them out as cheaters
and liars and stuff when in fact they were
really just doing a study so be sure you’re really specific that you’re doing a study here,
you’re doing a master study and you’re just doing it
for educational purposes. There’s nothing ethically or morally wrong with doing those so just a couple little
things to keep in mind. I’ve always been fond of the with apologies to line just a personal favorite of mine. There’s something nice about realizing how humbled you are by the master’s ability. Again there’s really no limit to how in depth you can
get with these studies. You can spend an enormous
amount of time working on these and you’ll just keep getting closer and closer and closer to it and I guess the point that I would say that you should stop at is the point where you don’t feel like you’re learning anything anymore. If you feel you’ve really used the piece for absolutely everything you can then it’s probably time to
call it quits on that study and do another one. Because if you ever get to the point where just feel like you’re doing little nitpicky work and you’re not really learning much, then it’s probably what’s gonna be best if you
move on to something else. Don’t quit too soon, but also
don’t just beat a dead horse. Perfection will not necessarily make you a better artist, only if you’re being mindful about the
things you’re learning about the things you’re copying. As long as you’re seeing
new shapes and colors and understanding forms and why the original artist had
made those decisions then you’re still getting
a fair bit out of it. So as you can see if I zoom out there that area’s getting a bit tighter. You know again, it’s not quite accurate because I haven’t put in that much time into making it perfect and so it’ll get closer
and closer and closer the more time I put into it. It’ll get more and more accurate as I continue to develop it. Never get too locked in too early on. Never assume that things are in the perfectly right place and you can just move on to mindlessly
rendering things out. Never be afraid to adjust things squeeze things around,
get them just right. Since if I squint my eye
and look back and forth I can kind of see that
this spot right here is probably a little too
far off to the right. It looks like I sort of stretched the form a little bit
and moved it a little bit so it’s a case where of course digital is wonderful because I can sort of shrink that over there and move that just a bit. It’s a wonderful way that you can cheat with digital art. Digital has its perks, no doubt about it. So just keep checking yourself like that. Make sure everything’s where it should be. Those little adjustments do pay off when it comes to figuring
out the total composition. One thing I really love just talking a bit about
the piece in particular that I love about Moran
is he is so wonderful with the way he makes a piece just glow his lighting is just gorgeous. That’s another thing I
love studying about him is just how he manages to make those effects happen how he really compresses his light so it’s so effective in those spots because the overall value control of the whole piece is
really really mid-toned. If I convert this thing to grayscale it loses of course some of the impact that’s relying on saturation but you find out how much of this is just all really mid-tone colors. It’s really just these
small transitions of tone that’re defining most of the landscape and then he reserves those few areas for his focal point where he really just goes all out with these really intense saturated colors and it’s a good lesson to learn in how he managed to do that and do it so spectacularly well. You can also see a tiny little
bird that he put down here. Always fun to notice. You’ll find in most old
landscape paintings like that that they chuck little birds in there. Wonderful for scale and stuff like that. So if you ever look at
really, really huge paintings they’ll usually chuck some
tiny little birds in there. Another good practice to get into is that you’ll find if
you do this for a while and you’re just sitting down and working on this stuff that you’re kind of gonna lose sight
of what you’re working on and it probably is a good idea to get up, take a break a little bit somewhat frequently. I’ve always been a huge
proponent of taking breaks and not just because I’m lazy but because it really does help your work. It helps you to get a fresh perspective on what you’re doing. You come back to it really energized charged, ready to work on stuff and you come back to it with a whole fresh perspective too. Just all the mistakes that were kind of hidden to you before
all of a sudden pop out and it’s a lot easier
to just dive in there and work on that stuff so just in general when
you’re working on stuff you don’t have to push yourself to sit there for hours and
hours and hours on end. I know a lot of artists
that manage to do that and do it well and I felt
bad for a really long time that I was never that guy. I was never the guy who could just sit there for 15 hours straight and do nothing but art. I really need to take
breaks, get away from it get that fresh perspective
on the piece again. So don’t be too ashamed if you go do that. Quantity of work is not
necessarily what you’re after. It rarely is. It’s more the quality of the
work you’re putting into it. So don’t be afraid to take
a break from time to time and go do something else, get your mind off your work and then get back to it. Sort of a bonus assignment that I’m not exactly gonna be demoing because there’s not a whole lot of purpose and need actually demoing that but is to do what I guess I would call an improved master study. It’s where you’re taking a master painting just like this but not only are you trying to copy it, but
you’re actually trying to make it better than it is. These are much more rarely done than traditional master studies but are actually very beneficial because you take a painting
that you really love and you think is amazing and you force yourself to try to find ways to make it better whether it’s better
color, better composition better something. They’re typically very,
very good paintings for working from and so coming up with ways to improve them is astronomically difficult. But it’s a good thing to try doing at least from time to time. Even if you finish a painting for instance and you like your finished master study but you want to go a
little bit farther with it try to take that exact same painting make a new file of it or if you’re doing it traditionally maybe paint on top of a copy of it of it or something like that or paint on top of glass and actually try to make that
painting slightly better. Do some little tweaks,
do some big tweaks that you think will improve the painting. It’s a good exercise because even though
these people are masters that we’re working from even though we just look at the paintings and are just awe-inspired by the stuff even they’re not perfect. They’re not perfect artists. They make mistakes, they have things that could have made
their painting better. So it’s worth going through the exercise of trying to look at all their stuff even with a critical eye and pick out things that you think could be improved, things that are a little weaker in the piece that you think you could
actually make a little better. It’s just a little something
to try if you’ve got time. I’m not gonna again demo it here but you know if you finish
up your master studies and you’re interested in going just a little bit further
try doing some of those where you’re taking the piece and actually improving upon it. It’s just one more way to learn, get some more knowledge because that way you’ll
have an easier time both of critiquing other people’s work but also of critiquing your own work. Developing an eye of just how to take something good and make it great or how to take something great and make it slightly greater. Another thing to think
about when it comes to how long you’re spending on this. Just think about how much time
was put into the original. An original like this,
it was not done quickly. Moran probably spent hours
and hours doing this painting. Just countless hours of painting. Of course he did it traditionally and probably very large but still he put a lot of time and effort into this and so it kind of make sense that you if you’re gonna do a good study of it that you should spend quite a while on the piece to really get it to a level where you’re happy with it. So take your time with
it, be really patient. Don’t ever try to rush. Rushing does not do you any good. It doesn’t make better art it doesn’t teach you more. Really take your time with it. Don’t try to speed things along. One common mistake that I see and sort of a problem that I see is that a lot of artists will first post how long it took them to do you know a sketch or something like that. And so you’ll see these awesome artists posting sketches that they did in like 30 minutes or something
and they look incredible. And that can kind of both discourage and or wrongly inspire beginning artists because not only can it
sort of discourage people because they just look at it and think, “Oh my God I don’t know how I could “ever do that in 30 minutes.” but it also kinda sets
up this standard for them that they should be doing something in 30 minutes that looks finished. And while there is merit to doing work that has a time limit or is done quickly by and large it’s more
important to get good first. You can always get fast later on but fast is really just kind of a trick or something that comes with confidence. It’s rarely something that you strive for or try to do. It’s one of those things that just kind of happens or doesn’t happen. It’s totally okay if you’re not the fastest painter in the world because if you’re the best painter you’re gonna be in a much better position than the fastest painter. So just something to keep in mind. I am for whatever reason blessed with being able to paint somewhat fast. Even when I try to paint slowly I sort of just paint fast but it’s never anything that I’ve tried to do or I would ever think about pushing other people to do. In general just try to work as slowly and patiently as you can. Really put the time into it,
don’t ever rush things along. Do your absolute best on the work you do because it will pay off if you do that. For this demo again I’m not doing one of those 10, 20-hour demos because you probably don’t
wanna sit through all of that. I guess I could have recorded
and sped up something but I wanted you guys to see how you would develop
the stuff in real time and how the sort of pace that I actually go at when I’m working so that you’re not just enamored by the super-fast painting recorded and sped up and makes you think that I paint insanely fast. I think it’s more important
for you guys to see how to slowly develop the stuff than to necessarily see the whole process of a 20-hour painting. You’re sort of getting
the general principles by just watching this portion of it because again I am taking certain areas a little bit further than others. There’s a lot of areas on this that’re just broadly defined and I probably won’t define them further but you see from the few areas that I kind of have spent
a little extra time on sort of the approach you would do for the rest of the painting. So when you’re doing
your assignment this week I’ve laid out a good number of the different types of
studies I want you guys to do. Sort of feel free to do them in sort of a mix-up order. You don’t necessarily need to sit down and do all of the compositional studies before you move on to the color ones. You know, do a few compositional ones do a few color ones, and then maybe start on… one of the major full studies and that way you know when you get bored with the full study and
need to take a break from it but want to keep working that way you can jump back in and do a few compositional studies to sort of freshen up, loosen up just focus on really fundamental stuff and when you feel energized
again, feel refreshed you can dive back in to your longer study. So I do encourage you to
mix up the studies like that and do them in an order that’s a little more comfortable for you. Now if you want to crank them out you know, all of the
compositional ones first and then go on to the color that’s fine. If that works for you more power to you but you do have the freedom to sort of mix and match like that and make these studies your own sort of path whatever’s going to help you the most. So I think I’m getting close to kinda calling this demo done at least. I might continue to fiddle
with this study for a bit but I think I’ve generally showed you sort of the approach I
want you guys to take without hopefully boring you too much. You know if you want to do some kind of partial studies like this where they’re not totally refined they’re not totally finished but they’re also pushed a little more than just a color study, that’s
not too bad of an idea because right here I’ve gotten a lot out of this study at
the point it’s at right now. I haven’t dived into actual rendering of really small details but you know if you zoom out of this thing it kind of holds together as a total piece. So I’ve learned a lot of things just from getting it to this point. For your full studies I do want you to go further than this but do realize that now in the future if you ever wanna do like
sit down for a little bit do a quick study, even
doing one that’s this long can be very beneficial to you and you’ll get a lot out of it. So really a study of any length whether you’ve got five minutes to do a compositional study or a couple days to do a finished one you can make it work and you can get something out of it and hopefully push your
skills a little bit further. So let’s go ahead and wrap this up. Thanks for watching this
first week’s lecture. Assignments are due by next week and I’ll sort of pick out a few and do a little critique on that. So be on the lookout for those. Good luck with your master studies. I hope you really love doing them, they’re wonderful things and I hope you sort of catch the bug for them and keep doing them as
long as you’re an artist. You’re gonna get something new out of them every time you do them. So thanks again, guys. It’s been a real pleasure
and I will see you next week. Testing, testing, testing. (snaps fingers)

Dereck Turner

100 thoughts on “Week 1: Master Studies – Noah’s Art Camp

  1. Darren Berkey says:

    36:00 – The "sun" in the background is actually most likely a building (or at least that's what it looks like to me), obscured by the atmosphere, with a light colored dome/roof that is reflecting direct sunlight coming from behind the artist's viewpoint, just as the lighting in the rest of the scene would indicate.

  2. Bisilius yamastakoRadn says:

    does some1 could explain why he draws tiny thumbnails as a copy of the images on the left side.??? that's a way he practise to control the composition at 1st  of every artwork or the left images are his old artworks that he made and now he explain the way he build them ???

  3. Rebekah says:

    These are incredibly useful vids sir. I know I am probably in the minority here, but for me a peeve of online coursework or demos is that people seem to feel the need to talk all the time. It is OK to talk some and then just have folks watch you work. The constant explanation takes away from the experience and I think distracts the full engagement of our mirror neurons, but I guess that is what people want if they buy a course, to feel like the teacher is working to explain everything. Some talk, some do is better but thanks for posting I just turned the sound off to watch again.

  4. Jose Velez says:

    Excuse me, I would like to know if you have any websites in which you can find good compositional and color references like those ones. I'm really new at doing this studies and I don't reall find a lot of artist that are nice.

  5. Anıl Duyal Baydır says:

    You area great man because of doing this. I am excited to start art camp! Thanks

  6. Aimee Fritz says:

    1:04:32 full master study demo
    (Bookmark for myself) XD

  7. Hassan says:

    How do you keep two windows next to each other?

  8. Pedro Mendez says:

    Can you please explain us what brushes and tools you use? Thanks!

  9. Dalibor Tomic says:

    Thank you, very helpfull indeed, you are super fantastic artist!!!

  10. jbogdan001 says:

    this isnt art. your to funny.

  11. Randyrocker says:

    At the 22:29 point in your video of the Pyle staircase illustration, a point that was missed but would be useful to explain for compositional purposes is, that the two dark protruding bricks near the top created a triangle with the black rat on the bottom stair, this triangle helps the viewer with the downward thrust that's taking place inside of the picture plane. Pyle liked to use various devices to purposely move the eye around a picture, and it's good to point those out to those studying composition.

  12. wonderland78 says:

    really really

  13. Not Known says:

    Why do you clinch your teeth, Noah? It makes you sound irritated. It surely can't be good for you!

  14. tuhina says:

    A really helpful video, I need to try doing master studies to improve my art! Noah's voice is so calming though, it makes me drowsy and i had to watch it in 20 min bursts as not to fall asleep :'D

  15. Digital Painting Tutorial says:


  16. Alice Walsh says:

    The "sun" is very likely the moon. Living at the coast you see this when the moon is full meaning the sun is directly opposite the sun so is illuminated fully. You don't always get this effect but at certain times of the year there is an incredible moment where the two create incredible mood and light – it is a special and fleeting experience and this is a great study of that.

  17. Lync1111 says:

    Nice body of work Noah. On the landscape painting you mentioned something on the sun over to the lower left of the painting. I think it's more of a mountain back there. If you notice the mountain in the middle ground and how it's lit.  Thanks for these great videos. Cheers!

  18. Cram Quila says:

    Sharing this for free is well generous of you Noah!  I have gleaned so much out of this video and I am only about a third of the way through.  I am well enthusiastic to take your art camp courses!

  19. TheSeventDoor says:

    will be great if someone explain how this study thing helps you exactly.

  20. FernandoGYanesH says:

    Hey Noah, I just wanted to thank you for actually showing us how to go about studying the masters. I've been wanting to practice my art skills to get better, obviously, but had no idea where to begin or how to start practicing/learning. Definitely implementing this into my day-to-day basis! You rock.

  21. Lavellyn says:

    Hello Noah, I have a little question to you.
    My apologies if you said it before, but I'm first time at your channel. Can you please tell me, what brushes do you use and if there's a chance; give me links to download those? I'm asking because the brushes you used like when you painted those compositions seem really nice. Please, respond.
    And I'm sorry for my English. I'm learing.
    Have a nice day!

  22. WhiskeyLuke says:

    If you ever get a chance to get to Oklahoma City. They had the best collection of Thomas Moran I have ever seen. Must have been over 30 pieces. Many of them I believe are permanent to its collection.

  23. Erik Siu says:

    Does anyone else notice that the Moran landscape looks a lot like a Optimus portrait?  The lines are very similar.  🙂

  24. UltraAnalisis says:

    Best of art videos my opinion lm happy

  25. Arist Channels says:

    Youre using more than just 3 or 4 values. Id agrue its better to kep it more simple. i think your going to much into it

  26. Vaul 2501 says:

    1:10:22   give a what?

  27. The Astra says:

    I love you =3
    Totally platonic

  28. dougieladd says:

    Such a useful tutorial here… thanks.

  29. Kalit Jha says:

    please do an 8 hr long video, it would be interesting. i am yet learning to paint and i know you are the one to look up to. i had been peeping into your videos when i was practicing to draw and say to myself that i will later learn from your videos the techniques to paint.

  30. Auto Expressionist says:

    Do you use any medium in your paint or is this straight out of the tube?

  31. Jacob Elmore says:

    Are you using Photoshop for your painting?

  32. Michael Leybas says:

    what about H.R. Giger?

  33. Jacob Lim says:

    if all the master that you are learning from are dead thats great ( smirk )

  34. Sword Art Design says:

    Who dare dislike this videos? Ill find them and ill kill them

  35. Ina Lim says:

    just a random comment but i feel like he should open his mouth more when he talks…

  36. stephanie gibree says:

    This video is really helpful thank you so much for posting!

  37. Beaner McMexicano says:

    hi, do you custom your own brushes? and if do so, would u share them?

  38. Henry Lmr says:

    Bro- i thank God for this!! This has been my companion all week long, THANK YOU SO MUCH for uploading and sharing and helping us! 😀

  39. John Fisher Art says:

    I think that might be the moon. Light is deffo wrong for it being the sun.

  40. Alx Feathers says:

    He's not cheating with the lighting, it is a painting of Tatooine lol

  41. REDemomaNick says:

    what program are you using to draw in this video? do you only do online classes? or is there really an art camp with you?

  42. Luc says:

    Protip : watch tutorials at 1.5 or 2x speed for hour long tutorials like this, really helps when you watch 5-6 hours straight of theses

  43. Daniel Schmid says:

    What is the name of the first piece shown in the video?

  44. Mel Casipit says:

    Hi Noah, thanks for this video, just wondering if you are using s special brush for digital painting or you are just using the default brushes. Can I also ask if you are using Photoshop?

  45. Cameron Mitchell says:

    im going to do two hours a day

  46. Daniel Foley says:

    Dude, I learned more from you in these 2 hours than 5 weeks of art class. 1-2 classes per week 3-5 hours per session! Thank you man, God bless you!

  47. FruityLoops Pokemon says:

    Even though you said its good to study old artists, is it still possible to study new artists? The style im inspired by is from 1996-Present day

  48. Djuki Art says:

    please take a look at my iPad Pro art channel, thank you 😊🎨

  49. Djuki Art says:

    please take a look at my iPad Pro art channel, thank you 😊🎨

  50. Spesifik Brush says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I l was having real frustrations about choosing colors and values, now I will definitely do master studies. I wish I had the money to get your courses, but I am thinking to save money for it.

    Keep up the good work!

  51. ShadowMurlock says:

    what brushes are you using? I bought kyle brushes and now I have 160 brushes with no idea which one to use for these paintings

  52. Volen CK says:

    Thanks very much for sharing Noah, I've been coming back to this since the say it was released.

  53. moxistarcraft says:

    I really love this video:) thank you a lot. I agree that I really started to appreciate artists work much more

  54. joby dorr says:

    Thegoldenagesite.blogspot is no longer a working link. Is there an alternative?
    Thanks for all the amazingly wonderful info!!

  55. Sentil says:

    I was reading your article on 21 days, and I finally realized that I've seen your video on master studies before.
    I'm currently 19 and living with my parents and working 5-6 hours a day drawing and studying. I intend to eventually ramp it up to 10 hours a day.

    Thanks for all of the help and direction you're providing me.
    I don't want to blow loads of money for no good reason.

  56. MarQos MarQos says:

    Great video. Thanks for sharing. As a newbie I learned a lot.

  57. Vapor Knight says:

    might be a little late here but thanks so much for the video.

  58. Bill Gavin says:

    stop saying umm

  59. Flatland Sounds says:

    use Google art people

  60. Silke Schümann says:

    36:50 This is an early painting of an alien planet with two suns. 😉

  61. Silke Schümann says:

    57:00 The sky is eggshell and not peach. In order to check whether my brain is tricking me I used my hand to look through a peep hole and pan across the image. This way the neighboring colors don't confuse my brain.

  62. mcnulty says:

    damn so much knowledge in this video, thank you noah

  63. Ivan Ivanov says:

    I don't get the color study preview. What exactly are you trying to achieve here? Colour relations? Because it's not exact colours you paint with, for the most part they are totally wrong in fact. Or is it because of bad reproductions you were talking about and you know from the memory what colours were there on an art piece and trying to adjust for this factor?

  64. boitahaki says:

    Noah, I love your videos and this is extremely useful! I do disagree however with the part about "filters", there are a lot of overrated and underrated classic painters and modern painters, its all a matter of consuming and analizing a lot of great work and developing your eye to filter the greatest from the great by yourself.

  65. Elton Mascarenhas says:

    "Learn from the best so that one day you may be decent"

  66. Larraine Hall says:

    It would really help if the black/white grey scale is as bid as the original. I find myself squinting just following the grey scale. I got out of the tutorial out of frustration. Also, you overstate thr obvious, too much repetition. We are beginners, but intelligent.

  67. Dan 1994 says:


  68. GyariSan1 says:

    Thanks for this! Am planning to sign up to sign up to the Camp once I have free time on hand 😀

  69. Kevin Lee says:

    Hey Noah great vids. Would you be so kind and share your sketch brush and paint brush you used in the tutorial? Thanks

  70. Blake Thoennes says:

    I'm curious if also studying from (concept) artists with these methods would help improve my skills as well and maybe focus the concept art style a little more or if only doing master studies is the way to go?

  71. Aliana Jacobs says:

    wow Noah every time I hear you speak when I am drawing you inspire me to become better. You have a soothing voice I love watching your videos and I am going to lay of the games and draw more. Thank you for sharing your knowledge 🙂 greetings from Belgium if I would ever meet you in real life I would give you chocolates from Belgium!

  72. animosity IV says:

    Thank you so much!! This helps a lot! :')

  73. Zainah Sayed Hossen says:

    Learnt way more than my years in uni xD Great vid!

  74. rov. says:

    I really learn a lot. Thank you, sir.

  75. Constant Learner says:

    Is there any way to do perspective studies ?

  76. Hearty Achiever says:

    Is there a free version of all art camp videos or does anybody know something similiar like his videos. I can't afford his videos.

  77. Loli Oratoria says:

    "testing testing testing" xD

  78. Nati Lopes says:

    what brush are u using?

  79. ShawN shawN says:

    Great idea. I don't think we did Master Studies in my 3 years in a BFA. So sad. This would have been major help to get to good composition.

  80. ShawN shawN says:

    Love how you uncover that the sun lighting is completely reversed in one landscape yet looks right except for the sun placement behind.

  81. ねじゅ# says:


  82. Alex Hegarty says:

    This is amazing. I'm colorblind, but still not far off when I do colorpick (at least sometimes).

    Is the advice that "you'll see more colors" and be more accurate true for colorblind people?

    Also how in the heck is Bradley doing the side by side in photoshop? Is this a video edit?

  83. RaufossMk211 says:

    Great stuff, Noah! I've been following your work for some years now, and you've made some really inspiring paintings throughout the years. It seems like you're really into this romantic and dramatic scenery, so I figured I would mention some Norwegian national-romantic landscape painters (yes, they're are dead :)) in case you haven't heard about them; Adolph Tidemand, Hans Gude, Johan Christian Dahl, Peder Balke and August Cappelen (among others).

    Keep up the good work!

  84. Checkers BiForce says:

    "If all the artist you study are dead. That’s great."

  85. Sam Wilbur says:

    So damn good! love your videos man! just discovered them and they're still so relevant! Do you think it's a good idea or counter-productive to lay out a Rule of third grid over the reference image as well as the blank canvas to help with locating landmarks and focal points and ensure things line up in the right places? or is that going a bit too far?

  86. Star Spotted says:

    35:04 (bookmark!)

  87. Blade of the Darkmoon says:

    Someome pls recommend me some dead artist. I don't know any

  88. Conor Sullivan says:

    Any of those who are revisiting this video or discovering it for the first time (like me), I found this amazing website filled with hi res masters paintings – https://www.kaifineart.com/ or the pinterest version – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/kaifineart/old-master-painting/

  89. jérémy pajot says:

    Hello, How do you do to open this workspace in photoshop? When I am in full screen mode, It only shows me one image and I can't see my reference picture.

  90. SonnyBurnett2008 says:

    whats the brush tool you used here? Chalk? Mine is slightly different to be chalk.

  91. gearhead says:

    is there a site where all the master study refrence artist works are present ?

  92. Chris Nawara says:

    This was invaluable for me. Thank you, Noah!

  93. Krose00 says:

    is opacity on ?

  94. Paul Tudor says:

    I am interested in Art Camp and Would like to sign up but I am uncertain if I can stay awake for a whole two hours video. Passive learning does not suit me.

  95. mrebholz says:

    That’s exactly what Leonardo did, he studied the really really dead.

  96. Kenyce says:

    Back from 1 year watching this not applying the practice. I'm gonna start applying this knowledge

  97. Cathy T says:

    Thank you so much. I see this is an old post, but it's still worthy. It's something I needed.

  98. luke fiori says:

    Is the "rule" of keeping less than 3/4 values valid for colors too?

  99. 붓잡지 않는 남자[brush writer] says:

    very nice~

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *