View Full Version : TUTORIAL: Ingres - Walk Intervain

01 January 2007, 05:28 AM

Rebeccak suggested I create this thread and share my thoughts about how I painted those two images. Hope it will be helpful!
This is by no means a tutorial! I have only started learning how to paint myself and I would not presume I have the solutions to anything... I will only give you my insight into the 2 weeks of experiencing Ingres first hand and some tips on how to paint them dresses .... ;)

When working in b&w I always begin with a black canvas. I first set my brush to HARD, opacity around 20% and smudge around a little with white paint... This gives me a wide range of values to work with - from now on I simply pick from that mess :)
I start with a small brush and draw basic shapes for the head and the rest of the body [you can see that stage in the middle of the image]
To get the proportions roughly right I always set the original master image and the study canvas at the same sizes - this way I can put them side by side and use my eye instead of a grid - obviously this is less exact [as you can see on your left, her hand is way too big now :)] but much faster than using the grid...

now I have the rough shape I can correct those things which are visibly wrong - here I'll use a few guide lines - a mock grid just for the places I need it... that's where the exact size of the canvas is handy :)
I also roughly paint in the placing of the important parts of the painting - here you can see the placing of the laces and ribbons for example...
I also started roughing in the shapes of the dresses... for that I zoomed out quite a lot [so as not too see the details] and used a hard brush to paint only the bright parts first. Once you've got those laid down you can zoom in and start painting the detail around them.

01 January 2007, 05:30 AM
now the fun part begins - the details... lots of them
I usually jump around since I don't have the patience to concentrate on one area for a long time... So you can see I did a bit of a face together with parts of the dress :) A big mess...

more detailing - and obviously lots of corrections [thanks to the great crits from the Forum participants!]
I also flipped the image horizontally at one stage and discovered that the face was quite a bit disfigured. I like to use the liquify tool to correct things like this and then paint over the blurred part! This way you see the change instantly :)

with this second painting I was being a bit less meticulous + I also discovered that I can paint most things with the hard brush and blur the edges instead of using the soft brush. It's a good method for doing those cloth folds in particular. As you can see from the closeup, they're rather rough - only when you zoom out the fabric looks good
the pearls are a nightmare and I haven't though of painting 1 and duplicating it over and over again :blush: [I should have, being a 3d person] so I painted a strap of dark and then made little circles across it - that's it... but still quite time consuming...
As for the lace - just imagine the cloth without it first and then use simple white, around 20 % opacity to draw some swirlies or mock up flowers... As you can see it's a mess in close-up as well

01 January 2007, 05:30 AM
final grey scale images are by no means the end of the road :( - I discovered that there's a lot of detail in Ingres' paintings that has similiar values but different hues - so you just have to paint it in colour... That applies to the different shades in the faces and some subtle cloth patterns in particular...

to make the coloured version I used a layer with COLOR MODE on and just slapped basic tones on... the way it works is really satisfying...
then I just painted on some details and corrected things I did not like
finally I did some colour corrections and saved the final version - which is more red and blue than the first attempts :)

with the experiences of the first image behind me I was more adventerous with the second one and felt more confident that when I messed up I could just paint over it and the world would not end ;)
I think I ought to mention that I don't work in layers - I just have one layer and paint everything on top of each other [except for the lace which did get it's own layer]
sometimes I'll make a layer to experiment but usually I'll just go berserk and paint on top of what I've got... [perhaps that's careless but I like it that way]
So as you can see I went crazy and started painting the face without looking at the original any more. I also made some colour adjustements and changed the brightness and contrast of the image
at the end I decided I wanted the face a bit more similar to the original and the image a bit more yellowish after all so I made the necessary adjustements and merged the layers
Well that's it! I haven't discovered America - but I have learned a lot! First and foremost patience and respect for the masters:) Good luck with your studies!

01 January 2007, 05:37 AM
Awesome, thanks a lot! This is really nicely put together, and much appreciated. :)

01 January 2007, 05:40 AM
:) well hope it'll be of use :) Like I've said before my way of working is rather messy ;) and not exactly methodological...

01 January 2007, 04:09 PM
Thanks Intervain for sharing your techniques! :)

01 January 2007, 05:30 PM
That is some accurate technique you got there! Would this B&W to Colour work on personal projects like the pieces you see in the 2D Gallery, or does this only apply to copying masters?


01 January 2007, 05:58 PM
hey guys thanks very much - I'm glad it can be of some use :)

Catherine - thank you :)

Fl3wk - oh it can be applied to any painting :) Stahlberg describes this method very well in his great tutorial you'll find here: painting tutorial (

Like I've said I did not invent the wheel :) or discover America - I learned from my betters and Mr. Stahlberg's tut was one I came across quite some time ago os it's only shameful I tried it so late :sad: !

01 January 2007, 07:58 PM
Most important thing I'm learning from doing a simular study is what you said in your last sentence:

value and hue are 2 totally different things :)

Thanks for sharing Magdalena!

01 January 2007, 05:54 PM
Thanks so much for the tutorial. I can't believe you did pretty much all of it on one layer. I'll have to keep your advice in mind when I do my own studies.

01 January 2007, 06:00 PM
Johan - thanks for visiting :)

Asatira - well I really do not like layers :) I realize I would probably save myself a lot of time by using them and could also make the thing better but it's just personal preference... if you like layers use them by all means! thanks for visiting :D

03 March 2007, 06:27 PM
Hey Magdalena,

How are u ?
Thanks for sharing your technique !! it help a lot..=) i am gonna practice now !!
I have a question that maybe people would be interested, How big was your image when you started to work on it ?

03 March 2007, 04:55 PM
Thank you for sharing your process! I really admired seeing these pieces come together during that workshop :D

04 April 2007, 02:16 AM

What truly excellent use of this technique! I'm so glad you explained your approach to painting b/w to color mode. When some one freshly learns a method, it's dispersed more completely because you describe the little snags and workarounds that you experienced.

I was always curious as to how certain effects are achieved in photoshop. The satin is so tangible.

Great paintings and great thread.

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04 April 2007, 02:16 AM
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