Man that's good! Jeremy Mann Analysis

I discovered Jeremy's work through his paintings of city streets, but his figure work is also insanely good.

The painting.

The painting.

Lords.  I love his brushwork so much.  It is oil and not digital, but the lessons apply across techniques.  First off, check out how opaque every stroke is.  Jeremy's strokes look like PAINT.  There is almost no blending of edges in any sort of soft manner.  The only place you really see that is in the face.

This is a very muted palette, with just enough variance and saturation to draw your eye to the couch and to separate the woman.

Jeremy also wants you to know this is a painting.  There is a deliberate "flaw" in the rendering on the left side straight down the painting....it almost looks like a paper "fold" crease.  Really interesting, and it adds a level of interest I find very appealing.

2 Values

2 Values

Nothing shocking here - But look how the diagonal lines move your eye around a very flat image and direct you to the face.

3 values

3 values

The 3-value read pretty much gives us the entire image.  Note that the value shapes still all point at the face.

4 values

4 values

This is the entire painting....it's almost the same as the full greyscale version.  I think a lot of this comes from the fact that he's not blending his strokes, and he's working traditionally...there just aren't a lot of different values.  He's changing the values to show change in form, but not arbitrarily.

The Lady in black

The Lady in black

Look at the contrast in brushstrokes between the skirt and her face and arm.  The face and arm have been given quite a bit of subtle "love", and are quite smooth and well defined.  The skirt is just chunks of paint.  It works so well to draw your eye to where Jeremy wants you to look.

The dress strokes are almost entirely "with" the form, there are only a few cross-contour highlights on the ruffles directly below her gloves.  The only relatively warm areas of the painting are in the sofa, and they help bring the woman forward, even though they are almost the same value range as she is.   Note too that in the background, the strokes are almost all cross-contour....so the treatment of the woman further separates her from the rest of the image.

The wall.

The wall.

The background is painted very roughly, as we've talked about, and most of the strokes are done vertically, although there are some cross-contour ones on the drapes.  The mirror has more definite hard edges, which helps draw the eye down in an arc towards the woman.  The energy in his strokes is so fantastic, he makes a flat wall feel dynamic and full of motion!

Finally, the floor

Finally, the floor

This area is almost 100% abstract.  Strokes are a mix of horizontal and vertical, and he's varying chroma for interest, but keeping the values almost the same...it makes the colours "vibrate" a little on the painting and gives it life!

Learnings:

  • Different rendering on the subject from the background to draw attention.
  • Colour temperature to separate areas of the painting
  • Stroke direction is very important.
  • Strokes are opaque, the texture of the stroke is how blending is achieved

Thanks for reading!  I hope it was helpful :)