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[Noah's Art Camp] AC Group of supreme organization.

IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
Herein lies our platform of excellent organization and reasonable posting structure. Take solace in it. Revel in it.
Would you like to join us? More info about the class is here:

A WORD OF WARNING: Please do not post links to any of the videos in this thread. I don't think Noah has any protection on them other than them being private links. No mentions of sharing class materials with non-registered folk in here, I'll consider it piracy talk.

I will Update the OP with the weeks assignment. Please feel free to post and discuss.

Week 9
Figures are some of the most difficult and most beautiful things you will ever paint.

They are an incredible challenge, but immensely rewarding. I hope this week as you approach these different studies that you begin your journey towards even better figurative work. You won't get there in a week's time, but I hope to set you going in the right direction.


50 gesture drawings - Don't take more than a minute or two for each of these. Focus on movement. Do not focus on details.
5 full-figure studies. Full-color or grayscale, painted or drawn, it's entirely up to you. Study the figure. Break it down into simple shapes and learn the forms of the figure. Work from either good reference or from life.
4 pages of drawings of strangers. Draw in a coffee shop or a bus or a train. Observe those around you.
8 hand or foot studies.
5 full-color master studies of figures. Don't worry too much about painting the whole piece, but rather focus in on the figure itself.
4 imaginative sketches. Try to invent a figure from your head. See what you've learned and what you haven't.

Week 1
Studying from the masters.

50 3-value compositional master studies
50 color studies
3 full-color finished master studies


Noah's Suggested artists:
Albert Bierstadt - John Singer Sargent - Thomas Moran - Frederic Church - George Inness - bouguereau - Howard Pyle - NC Wyeth - Frank E Schoonover - Harvey Dunn - Mead Schaeffer

Week 2
Week 2 Demo & Assignment:

Get creative.
Last week we were 100% focused on looking at the work of artists we admire. Now we're going to start working on our own stuff. It might seem a bit early or a bit out of place to be doing work from imagination, but only by continually working from imagination and pushing our creative abilities can we test ourselves and see what we've _really_ learned from all of these studies. So this week, in addition to doing more master studies, we're going to flex our creativity.

I encourage you to do imaginative work in whatever genre, style, medium, or subject you prefer. Do the work you want to do. It might not be great and you probably won't be happy with, but that's ok. We're doing these so that we know what we need to study. We're doing them so we can take the theoretical knowledge we're learning and start to apply it.

- 1 full-color finished master study
- 25 color studies from the masters
- 25 imagined full-color sketches

Week 3
Odds are you're surrounded by countless objects you've never _really_ looked at. Only by drawing and painting them can we fully understand and appreciate their visual characteristics. So this week we're doing still life studies.

Pick a few objects from around you, arrange them, and do a painting. Simple as that.

While doing your imagined sketches this week, try to use some of the shapes, textures, and colors from your still life paintings in them. Take the things you're learning and apply them to the work you want to do.

20 still life color studies. Not demoed, but set up a still life and do a quick, simple painting of just blocking in the basic colors and two values per object. Try to train your eye by observing the right colors.
8 full-color still life paintings. Fully finished paintings.
8 imaginative sketches.

Week 4
It's vanity week.
This week we're looking at ourselves. Self portraits are one of my favorite exercises and probably the easiest way to improve your figurative and portraiture skills.

The trouble with drawing portraits is that it's hard to find models. The beautiful and wonderful thing about self portraits is, of course, that your model is always around and willing to help out.

So we're going to spend a lot of time this week drawing and redrawing our face. So get used to looking in the mirror, y'all.

20 quick block-ins. Take 15-20 minutes and do a block in of the whole face. This can be done in black & white or in color--your choice. The focus is mainly on getting correct proportions and structure in the beginning. Also begin to establish the light and dark shapes on the face. Don't worry about rendering these. Just block in the shapes.8 full-color still life paintings. Fully finished paintings.
4 full-color, finished self-portraits
10 color studies from the masters. Pick figurative or portrait pieces. Even just focus in on a section of a painting to try and observe the colors in skin tones.
5 imagined sketches. Let's see some portraits of characters/creatures!
Get to work!

Week 5
Go outside.

And bring your paints with you. This week we're focusing on plein air work--that is, painting outside. Landscapes, cityscapes, whatever is around you. We're going to break out of our comfort zone and go somewhere else to get our work done.

This is probably going to be hard and uncomfortable for a lot of people. Plein air painting is a foreign experience to a lot of artists, but it's one I think that all artists should experience. It's the reason I'm a landscape painter today and I hope it has a similarly inspiring effect on you.

Bring whatever materials you've got to work with and get out there.


20 pages of plein air drawings
10 plein air paintings
5 imaginative paintings
5 color studies from the masters

Week 6
Photos are your friend.

And your enemy. This week we discuss the pros and cons of working from photos as well as some of the best practices when learning from this pervasive resource. Avoid the pitfalls and maximize the potential of photography.


30 photo studies. Mix it up. Do some regular studies, do some specific object/element studies, do some memory studies. Do figures, do landscapes, do anything you can find.
10 imaginative sketches. Apply the knowledge you're acquiring.


Week 7
Your days of monotonous rendering are over.

No longer will everything be painted the same way with the same edge.

Learn how to add character and texture to the elements in your work. And start to learn what to look out for when you're painting different materials like metal or fur.


10 metal studies
5 fur studies
5 full landscape studies - focus on rendering different elements with unique edges to convey what they are.
5 your-choice material studies
5 imaginative sketches

Week 8
Figures are some of the most difficult and most beautiful things you will ever paint.

They are an incredible challenge, but immensely rewarding. I hope this week as you approach these different studies that you begin your journey towards even better figurative work. You won't get there in a week's time, but I hope to set you going in the right direction.


- 50 gesture drawings - Don't take more than a minute or two for each of these. Focus on movement. Do not focus on details.
- 5 full-figure studies. Full-color or grayscale, painted or drawn, it's entirely up to you. Study the figure. Break it down into simple shapes and learn the forms of the figure. Work from either good reference or from life.
- 4 pages of drawings of strangers. Draw in a coffee shop or a bus or a train. Observe those around you.
- 8 hand or foot studies.
- 5 full-color master studies of figures. Don't worry too much about painting the whole piece, but rather focus in on the figure itself.
- 4 imaginative sketches. Try to invent a figure from your head. See what you've learned and what you haven't.


AC class roster:

If anyone else joins, feel free to jump in the thread.

Iruka on


  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2013
    I'm cheating and posting this thread before I have any art in it, to get the discussion out of the chat thread, and to give people a place to post if they start finishing things before me.

    I am going to try and do 10-15 of the composition studies tonight.

    Also Google plus maybe?
    If people want to hangout

    Iruka on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    What are you slackers doing, huh?


    I'm going to start off slow. 50 of each may be a little much for me, I want to do a bunch of them and move fast, but not so fast that I stop learning. I'll go at it on full blast this weekend.

  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    I did what I could this morning, but had work all afternoon. I'm going to be plodding away til midnightish :D

    I can't wait to see your color studies iruka

    ninjai on
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    In order of appearance:

    Jean Leon Gerome: Arabs Crossing the Desert
    Jean Leon Gerome: Memnon and Sesotris
    Jean Leon Gerome: Selling Slaves in Rome
    Jean eon Gerome: Pygmalion and Galatea
    Frederick Leighton: Invocation
    Frederick Leighton: Nausicaa
    Frederick Leghton: The Nymph of the River
    James Jacques Tissot: Hush

    Am I doing this right?

    Mine is done with brush and india ink. Oh god, some of these compositions are complicated :O Most of these (except hush and selling slaves) are about 3x5" is that too small? It's really taking about half an hour for each one. Getting some proportions wrong, and I'm noticing some value differences (selling slaves, the podium) IDK if I'll be able to swing all 50 AND color studies AND 3 complete studies. :O

    Critz if you got em please :D

    edit: On memnon and sesotris I was wondering why all the placement was off when the centerpiece was right, I just made all the camels too big.

    edit 2: I suppose I need to simplify more? I sort of forgo about the 3 values (white being a value :O) It's hard to get a consistent value though with ink. I'll mix some, but over time water changes the value. I mixed 3 values to begin with but they all washed out over time. I'll try to do more focus on 3 values tomorrow. I'm going to do 25 ink, and 25 oil monochrome. Should be fun! Off to bed now.

    ninjai on
  • jwaddjwadd Registered User regular
    hmm interesting. this is formatted as part of a fine/art drawing course I had.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    I'm in too. I hope I can keep up and put in work, there's so much to get through. @ninjai, if the value sketches take 10 mins a piece, it'll take 20 hours before even going for master studies. I really think those numbers are a goal more than a benchmark, because it's going to be very difficult to get all of that done while working full-time.



    heads up: portraits are a total bitch, getting a likeness alone takes up 10 mins, so I'd try to minimise portraits for colour comps

    Does anyone know how Noah selects work to critique? Does he crawl through each of the subgroups' picture folders, looking for something interesting, or do we have to do something special?

  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Really nice work everyone! Good luck keeping up with the workload.

    Although I don't have time for this right now, I definitely want to do these exercises down the line. This looks like it could be super helpful.

    Flay on
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Great work so far! :D

  • wn.mikewn.mike archi PTRegistered User regular
    First I was sad I didn't see this first, now am completely stunned with the quality, I guess we here are in for 12 weeks of guaranteed content.

    Good luck and keep posting :)

  • skyturtleskyturtle Registered User regular
    Can I join you guys? I usually just lurk. This is the first set that I did, if this group's only for regulars I'll just keep lurking :)

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    No need to lurk, sky, welcome aboard!

    I almost want to announce that we have a forum thread in the FB group, but I don't know if that would create an onslaught of stragglers or not. The forums are better equipped to handle a group, though, and I cant imagine more than 5 or 6 people would actually sign up for the forums just for this. Maybe fug is right and the FB group will slow down when people fall off the wagon.

  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular

    Mine so far today. This was all done before work. Now that I'm home going to do more :D

    John WIlliam Waterhouse: Windswept
    Jean Leon Gerome Thebes Colosseums?
    John William Waterhouse: The Flower Picker
    Roelof Jansz, Van Vries don't know the name
    jean leon gerome moorish bath
    James Tissot on the Thames
    Thomas Moran An Indian Pueblo Laguna New Mexico
    Bruce Crane Long Island Landscape
    Turner Slave Ship

  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited May 2013

    MORE. I'm too tired to type out the original artists! :D

    My favorite so far is the 2nd one on this and on the thames from the previous post. The compositions are getting more and more difficult. The one with what I'm assuming are sirens might have been a little too heavy for how late it is. Kind of lost it on that one. Am I doing it right now?

    ninjai on
  • LexxyLexxy Registered User regular
    These look amazing so far you guys! WUUUUUGH.

    I'm gonna be out of town all weekend so I'm going to have to try to cram all these in Monday/Tuesday ahahaha 8')

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Really nice work guys!

    I was finally able to sign up and watch the first video.

    I used too many values on my studies, I can't believe I forgot about that along the way. I still felt like I learned a lot from these. Probably going to revisit this week's assignment after the camp is over and I have more time. Maybe I can get a full study done this weekend.

    Value/Comp Studies:
    Color Studies:

    Definitely need to get in the habit of doing these, it just feels "healthy". :P

    I'm excited to start the next assignment on time!

    F87 on
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    Are you guys working at the same size that you're posting these images, or are you working larger and reducing them?

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2013
    I think I may try to do them regularly, too. Possibly hit 50 on each throughout the course so I dont kill myself this weekend.

    I know that mine are on the rough side, I am trying to think critically about how I approach these. A few things I notice

    1: I always make the figure too big.

    I will try and get into some landscapes on my next 3, because its hard for me to not make faces and figures bigger than they are, even upside down. I need to learn how to treat the composition and shapes independently of the subject matter, especially in my own work.

    2: I see color instead of value

    I need to work on that. I get very focused on color relationships, so trying to pull B&W out of a color work is pretty hard for me. Its good practice.

    3: I am slow to commit to shapes

    Alot of the time, I will leave a mush blob for a long time if its in the right area. Looking back and forth, I can see shapes that I should have made but didn't take the extra leap to, rather accepting what I had already put down, leading to inaccuracies.


    @flay my canvas is big but I'm working zoomed out and rotating the canvas and such. they are still relatively small, maybe 600X600px each.

    Iruka on
  • skyturtleskyturtle Registered User regular
    I'm still in "I don't know what I'm doing" mode. I'm trying out different PS brushes for each set to try to find something that works for me. I don't see color well at all, though squinting has really helped with value comparison.

    I'm alternating between comp/value and color 3 at a time and I'm working on a large canvas but I stay zoomed out so that the picture is never larger than 2"x3" on my screen.

    I need to pay more attention to value when I'm looking at colors I kind of get overwhelmed



    I wonder if it would be a good idea for me to do a value/comp study on a set then a color study on the same set.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Is the reason so many are posting in the main Noah group because they want more people to see it, or because they want Noah to see it and pick it? It's already turning into such a crowded clusterfuck, and it's just gonna end in people posting unrelated works for self-promotion. Ugh.

    Iruka, I think you're spot on in your self-crit, and I see a lot of those issues in myself as well. I think your comps are just about right roughness / time spent -wise, they give a good read and aren't overworked. Also, I appreciate you posting the originals; a lot of people don't and then what is even the point

    To spare the thread I think I'll only post my remaining master copies, rather than everything. There's only so many value studies you can see before you go crazy :c

    Edit: Ah sack it, I'll post another batch of value comps and another batch of colour comps - just to see for myself if they have improved slightly and what I should look out for, as it does feel less of a struggle after doing a bunch of them.


    kevindee on
  • FugitiveFugitive Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    I believe Noah said to post assignments within your group for group crit, and use the front page as a way to submit them to Noah, but again, Facebook doesn't let you filter posts from specific people or dates so I can't find it.

    I think I'll probably just post 5-6 thumbs for the value and color studies, and my 3 master studies, because there's only so much you can crit on quick thumbnails. (Though I might hide the rest of my stuff in a spoiler tag and post it anyway, just to keep myself accountable)

    [edit] ALSO someone posted these brushes in the FB group.

    Fugitive on
  • ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Man I am bummed that I can't afford this. Seeing all you guys post your (great) studies makes me want to join.

    Maybe I'll play along from the sidelines and post in here.

    Scosglen on
  • FugitiveFugitive Registered User regular
    Gonna sit down to work in a bit.

    Anybody wanna do a Google hangout in the next 45 mins-1 hour?

  • JuliodoodmanJuliodoodman Registered User new member
    I wanna! Also, I am Julio and I am part of the art camp, too. :D Fug invited me to join since I don't have a group yet. I am about to start doing my stuff, too, though I don't think I will get 103 pieces done by next Wed. I am a noob, so I need all the constructive critique and tips I can get. The stuff you guys have posted look great so far! Now for me to get my own stuff up... Then I can contribute some critiques as well, once I have a better idea of what I am doing. :)

  • ChicoBlueChicoBlue Registered User regular
    I don't have the scratch for art camp, but I figured if you guys don't mind, I'd peek over your shoulders and maybe do a few of the exercises on my own.

    Fun tip: If you want a quick way to switch between greyscale and colour while you're working, make a new layer, put it on top of the pile, change its layer setting to Color and then fill it with black. Then you can turn the layer on and off real quick like if you want to just compare values.

  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Some oil, some ink. Won't someone join me and do some traditional stuffs? I like the bottom 3 and the top 1 the best out of these. Oddly the best looking (and my favorite, the bottom 2) took the least amount of time. They were about 5-10 minutes ish.

    My worst fear came true. I had a lot of fun with the oil. I was hoping I'd hate it so that I wouldn't have to spend money on oil stuff too but now I'm going to have to give it a shot again :C


    @iruka, if I can add a critique. This is sort of a self critique also, you're missing a lot of the big light shapes, such as the face. I've noticed this in a lot of the value studies in the thread or on facebook. Faces tend to be the lightest in value, particularly if the figure in question is the focal point. Take for instance your number 4, his face and helmet are some of the lightest value in the painting, number 9 their faces almost disappear when the original has their faces in highlight, or your first post value study with the 2 little girls, the one on the left's face is in highlight, yet it's missing on your study.

    I do the same thing with big highlight shapes (girls arm on wattersons windswept). Sometimes it's because the ink gets too wet on the paper, other times I really don't see it until after I'm done. I think it might help if you shrink down the image you're copying from to a much smaller size to reduce the detail so that you can focus more on the shapes. They seem to be easier to see for me anyway.

    @kevindee I'm learning a lot from looking at others value studies, good stuff and bad stuff, i hope urrbuddy posts all their work :D

    ninjai on
  • JingissJingiss Registered User new member
    Hey guys, I singed up today and wanna join you here. I gonna watch the Video now and post some stuff as soon as possible.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    @Scosglen @ChicoBlue its awesome to have you guys unofficially participating, I really encourage all of our members to do so, if they get inspired to. All you are missing are the instructional videos, so If you keep up its like taking the course and saving 200 bucks.

    @Ninjai, thanks for the tips. I may do a few traditionally, mostly because for me it would probably go faster for me. Some of the mushiness in shape comes from drawing with the tablet, which I'm actually quite shit at, and should draw on paper more anyway.

    @Jingiss Welcome aboard. Its cool to have some of you art camp people join up. I encourage you and @Juliodoodman to check out the rest of the forum as well, and not just stay for art camp!

  • JingissJingiss Registered User new member
    Ok cool. Im watching the video right now and have a question. Noah has the Reference Images on the left side and canvas on the right. The references seem to be also in Photoshop but how can he switch to another so fast I have to open always a new file? At min 38 you can see that

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    People have been asking about it in FB, but I'm pretty sure that the illusion is coming from his cam structure and not his PS set up.

    If you do Ctrl+~ you can switch between opened windows that are tabbed, and he might just have all of those references opened and is switching between them with a hot key.

  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Hey guys. Have a question. Moving on to color, having a rough time with the watercolor. Sometimes my colors are spot on, other times I can't get them quite right. And with watercolor having to work in layers to get darker values sometimes I don't find out ots wrong til later, and the fact that I'm working in thumbnail size means I either have to wait till its dry or all the colors bleed together.
    also having a hard time not using black.

    Oil was so much easier I could just whack at it til the shapes were right, but it's the exact opposite with watercolor

    What should I do? Or if you have any advice how to work with it better?

    ninjai on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I dont have an affinity for watercolors, so my first inclination is to tell you to not use them. Sometimes you realize the medium is not doing what you need it to to solve a particular problem, and its time to move on into something else. I suppose if your end goal is to increase your skill in watercolor specifically, keep hacking at it. Sometimes you need to switch media because you realize you are trying to make a painting with a mechanical pencil, it may just be one of those moments.

  • ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    The only advice I have regarding watercolor is to caution that it is a notoriously difficult medium.

  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    Yeah I figured I'd grab some primary oils and just go with that, but then it's Sunday and every art store in town is closed. Waste of fucking gas, I'll just keep doing value studies til tomorrow

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    If you have watercolor pencils, or another dry medium to compliment it, it may be a little easier.

  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    I'll still have to wait till tomorrow, art stores are closed today I guess :P thanks for the quick responses :D

  • wn.mikewn.mike archi PTRegistered User regular
    edited May 2013
    So am another "rogue participant"...
    Small background: Am an architect, who for the last 3-4 years didn't draw anything not directly related to my straight-lined now that I got some free nights I re watched PATV, Gabe stuff and ultimately I started doodling...after 2 months drawing stuff every night on my lil moleskines I ended up buying a intuos 5 on impulse.
    A week later (now) I take the opportunity of this challenge to play around with it. Needless to say I should have picked something easier to develop my skills but I kinda had a lot of fun doing it, only in the end - when I copied the originals next to my drawings - the frustration sinked in.

    Couple of 1st tries , messing around with random brushes

    The remainder of my atempts at something.

    Up to attempt 4 I had transfer on, after that I decided to go on flat colours, black and white with 2 grays... trying to used at most 3 of them, failing in many.
    Theres a couple of images (5 and 7) that I didn't draw all of them because I as I was "on a roll" I didn't notice the continuity of to the right... damn noob.

    All of attempts had a time limit of about 10 to 12 minutes, and I'm quite disappointed with my lack of proportions and perspective errors, guess theres a lot to improve.

    I accept any kind of critics, you can be harsh if needed ;)

    (in case you wonder "what or why the f**k is he doing this", well I didn't enjoy drawing or even my drawings teachers @ uni, and now I do enjoy drawing by myself. Thats why and am also looking to improve... slowly as I only have free nights and weekends.)

    Here goes nothing...! ;)

    wn.mike on
  • AgentflitAgentflit Registered User regular
    edited May 2013

    I'm putting waaaay too much time into these. Ensuing ones'll have to be faster & simpler. Don't have the originals on there 'cause I'm doing this on a netbook.

    Hey 'ruka can you add me to the list? You're awesome for this thread.

    Agentflit on
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Mike, I think you might be getting a little too fixated on some of the smaller details in your value studies, particularly that second-to-last one. Concentrate more on grouping the larger blocks of tone which communicate the forms. Good start though!

    Flay on
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited May 2013

    Ok, so since I was having a hard time with the watercolor (if nothing else waiting for each layer to dry was taking way too long) I decided to do longer studies of stuff in oil with what I had. These are done larger than all the other ones I've been doing and I would say about 3 hours for each, but both had serious problems and so I went back to fix some of those things. On selling slaves I was struggling with a few forms that weren't working, seeing it 2d I feel like the problem stemmed from her not being tall enough causing the right side to look off.


    Who's got some good resources for oil paint?

    edit: OH and color theory. When doing color my eyes sort of stop working and I stop seeing colors, or like, I just don't recognize that they're a color or what color... i can't explain. I've been doing monochromatic for so long I have no idea waht I'm doing. Anything you have would help :D


    Jesus, who knew color was so complicated

    THis guy answered most of my questions

    ninjai on
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