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My attempt at Hopper

In this morning’s art class, I finished off my attempt at one of Hopper’s paintings (Early Sunday Morning, 1930). The original is

Hopper, Early Sunday Morning 1930

and mine is

My hopper red buildings

Not a patch on Hopper, of course, but it is better than the earlier attempt I made at the empty room, so quite pleased. I really cannot do straight lines. Have to figure out an exercise for that. Mine is also a lot brighter: need to get braver with the darker tones. Also need to get better at the detail work.

Have started an attempt at a Cezanne as well. That should prove interesting.

Just realised that the extra tones (shadows and such) ought to have been created using washes. Doh!

Tonal comparison

While writing the last post, I realised that it might be a good experiment to compare my latest attempt with the original Hopper, both reduced to black and white so only the tonal variations could be seen. So, using the Picnik plugin in Flickr, that’s what I’ve done.

Hopper Room B&W Hopper Room 2nd try B&W

The Hopper, of course, is on the left. It has much more tonal variation than mine, which really surprises me. Mine has very little variation in the shaded parts of the walls while the original is much more characterful.

I’m going to have to get some black & white glasses I think – that trick of squinting to reduce colurs to tones never works with me for some reason. Anyone have any better tricks (other than carrying camera with b&w capability!)?

Empty room 2

I reworked my attempt at Hopper’s ‘Sun in an Empty Room’ (see post from 2 days ago).

Hopper Room 2nd try

As I suggested before, this time I worked up a large batch of base colour (about 2/3rds yellow ochre and 1/3rd cadmium yellow) and another batch of grey. I then applied the base colour to each section and worked the grey into it to achieve the right tone. The grey was too light at first so I added more black to part of it. Made a bit of a mess of the trees outside the window: I’m not good at conveying leaves. Will have to have a go at that at one of the classes I think.

Most of the work involved much dry brushing so the colours that I had before were able to contribute to the final colour. The colours aren’t as Hopper had them but the tonal variation is close and that is largely what I was aiming for. I wonder if, instead of using grey, I ought to have used a brown as the adjustment colour. But since that would have been made with red/yellow/blue, it would have combined with the base colour in, to me, unpredictable ways.

Pretty happy with this. Better than the previous attempt anyway.

I’m not sure whether to try this one again with my teacher on Wednesday so I can learn how to do it properly or tackle a different Hopper. Will probably try a different one and see what I can learn from that.

Empty room

In my new art class, I’m going to be trying to copy a Hopper painting next week so I thought I’d have a go at it first. Try to make as many mistakes as possible so I can ask how to avoid them when I get into class. The one I tried today was, ‘Sun in an Empty Room’. The image I worked from was up on Flickr, I think, but I cannot find it again so have uploaded my own copy.

Hopper Room

I also have this in an exhibition catalogue from the Tate a few years ago and the colours are quite different. In fact, even the image above looks different to that which I printed out.

I slapped on a base colour and drew some of the outlines yesterday.

Hopper Room, outline

Then, today, tried it myself. Erk!

Hopper Room, 1st try

Well, at least it is colourful. Nothing like any of the colours in Hopper’s, but.

I’ll have another go tomorrow. What I think I need to do is mix up a huge batch of some intermediate tone of colour for the walls, slap that on each section and then work the change colours into that. I tried mixing each of the above colours individually, with the obvious disastrous result.

Maybe leave the light sections as they’re not too far off and just work on the darker colours. We’ll see how it goes.

It was fun though. I do love Hopper’s work.