Mas­ter study in Procreate

Gavin O’Don­nell ex­plains how analysing the work of the Old Masters is a good way to im­prove your artis­tic abil­i­ties

ImagineFX - - Editor’s Letter -

I won­der what the Old Mas­ter artists would make of a dig­i­tal paint­ing on an iPad? The mind bog­gles.

As we de­velop in life, one of the many ways we learn is through the em­u­la­tion of oth­ers. Em­u­lat­ing and study­ing from suc­cess­ful pieces of art is a way to con­nect with the thought process, the tech­niques and choices his­tor­i­cal artists made. Through this process we can grow as artists.

The great thing about mas­ter stud­ies is that both ama­teur artists/ il­lus­tra­tors and ex­pe­ri­enced in­dus­try- work­ing pro­fes­sion­als can ben­e­fit from them. There’s al­ways some­thing new to learn from the Old Masters, whether it’s com­po­si­tion, light­ing or even a sto­ry­telling tech­nique.

What’s most im­por­tant while do­ing these is to be present; it’s very easy to fall into a trap of just mind­lessly copy­ing. I made this mis­take when I was start­ing out seven years ago. Ask as many ques­tions as you can while study­ing from the im­age, such as: how is the com­po­si­tion de­signed; why are the shapes ar­ranged in this way; why did the Mas­ter use this group of val­ues for this part of the im­age; or how did the artist draw your eye to the fo­cal point.

Study­ing the Masters is a great way to im­prove your skills. How­ever, the real magic is when you ap­ply a new trick or method that you learned from an old paint­ing. By tak­ing this new-found knowl­edge into your own imag­i­na­tive work, you’ll re­ally find your­self grow­ing quickly.

1Choos­ing the right Mas­ter

I’d sug­gest look­ing for an artist from the past. One thing to be aware of when look­ing for ver­sions of Mas­ter paint­ings on­line is that they’re not all ac­cu­rate to the orig­i­nal. Some­times the colours might be off or the im­age isn’t crisp. Do your re­search to find the best one be­fore com­mit­ting to an im­age. I’ve cho­sen the im­age Paint­ing of Na­tive Amer­i­can (see left) from one of my favourite artists, NC Wyeth.

2 Set­ting up Procreate

I use the split screen func­tion on the iPad when do­ing these stud­ies, putting the study im­age on the Im­age Viewer on the right-hand side of the screen as I’m left handed. You’ll also need a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent ver­sions of the im­age in your viewer: one flipped hor­i­zon­tally and an­other in greyscale.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.