View Full Version : Days without shadows

06-04-2003, 09:13 AM
Hi all,

this is my newest piece, my girlfriend Julia standing in front of a carpet market.
I was trying to concentrate on the different types of shadows and light reflections, the different hues and intensity of the colors.

Hope it worked.

Every comment is appreciated.


Here is a detail.

On a 17'', 1024x786, this is approx. original size.

The piece itself is acrylics and oil on canvas, 100x70 cm.

And here is the reference photo.

Cheers and 'till later

06-04-2003, 10:04 AM
I truly love the way you have caught her unique expression. So I was captivated by that detail -- the curves of her eyebrows, the blush of her cheek.

I had more trouble with the overall painting, where I felt that she aged, and that she had somewhat lost her neck, large hands, thick rubber coat (instead of the parka-like material she appears to be wearing in the pic, and which I'm very familiar with).

Overall though, a beautiful image of an expressive woman.

06-04-2003, 10:24 AM
thanks for looking

I agree that the proportions look wrong in the painting. As always I have my problems with making heads/hands too large.

The overall piece is a mess with the colors and is rather compressed, cuz you can post only 500x600 pixels here. I will try to make a better shot in a larger scale and make a link to that.

06-04-2003, 10:28 AM
Gollator says, "I will try to make a better shot in a larger scale and make a link to that."

I look forward to this :D

06-04-2003, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by Adrienne
I truly love the way you have caught her unique expression.
really great face painting!

were you in the south of france? the shop shows provencal tablecloth (i bought one in nice last valentine...;) )

ciao, rapolina.

06-04-2003, 10:33 AM
this still is not exactly it, the upper part is more brighter yellow because it is supposed to be in the sun, but I can't get a better scan.

larger version (127k) (http://www.gollator.de/days%20without%20shadows.jpg)

06-04-2003, 10:36 AM
Originally posted by rapolina

were you in the south of france? the shop shows provencal tablecloth (i bought one in nice last valentine...;) )

yep, this is either avignon or lesbeaux...

wow :)

The world is so tiny.


06-04-2003, 02:37 PM
It does help, seeing the larger pic. I still feel though that the strength of the painting is in the face. You have painted her expression with such tenderness and strength. Like you are familiar with every nuance and allowing it to flow through you onto the canvas... where the rest of the painting comes with more difficulty -- less of a natural knowing.

Perhaps if you cultivated the same tenderness with all the rest of the aspects and allowed them to express themselves in the same way you allow her face to express itself...

I'm just babbling, actually, but perhaps there'll be something for you in what I've written. It's just that the way you've portrayed her face is so compelling and idiosyncratic, and I want the rest of the painting to pull me in the same way... or at least support the emotions brought out in me by the way you've portrayed her face... but that may be my problem rather than yours...

06-04-2003, 03:05 PM
Hi adrienne again,

i see your point. no babbling at all.

which brings me to a problem how to proceed. I see the necessity of doing something, but I don't want to apply the same detail level to the rest as in the face. In spite of the reference pic, the carpets are not as plain and as unicolor as they appear here on the canvas, yet it is not my intention to make a most realistic background, but some that supports the mood. Obviously I am not there yet.

Karen (Zotma) already suggested to add something which is as detailed as the face, maybe the hands, the "cats" t-shirt in the back and the fan in the upper left, leaving the rest as is.

And maybe the problem is with the layers, too (which are some 6-7 layers in the face, compared to ~4 in the other parts). of course, this makes her a bit isolated...
I did draw a detailed female figure in front of a more abstract background once, ( Thread: morning view, scroll down for the latest pic (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=61186) ) but there the effect had more force and therefore looked like on purpose, I think, while here effect/intension is not as clearly visible.

So I think I should either integrate her or pull her more out of the rest.

Either way, now you have ME babbling.

I put this picture back on the WIP queue. But I have to wait at least 3 days before I can work further on it, it's still wet canvas.

thanks for coming back and helping

06-04-2003, 07:05 PM
I love the intensity of her facial expression!

06-04-2003, 07:51 PM
What a grand "style" of painting you have.....part of what intrigues me is the proportion (or lack of) of her hands and head.
I personally like the hands as they are. One thing I've always dug about Picasso is his unique way with hands.
I wonder what a little more detail to the rugs directly behind her may do for this?
Thanx for the look.

06-04-2003, 11:37 PM
Gollator says, " which brings me to a problem how to proceed. I see the necessity of doing something, but I don't want to apply the same detail level to the rest as in the face."

Well, I can see Zotma's and Bonn's suggestion of adding specific areas of detail...

But I agree more with what I've quoted you as saying above...

So given the alternative possibility of applying less detail rather than more in the background, I wondered if these examples might help. I love the way this portrait painter does backgrounds. The links I've been able to find don't have the most vibrant ones that he has done, but they give the general idea:



Six Harley Thumbnails:


Taxco Mother and Child:


And maybe the problem is with the layers, too (which are some 6-7 layers in the face, compared to ~4 in the other parts). of course, this makes her a bit isolated...

Ummmmmm, no wonder her face is so luminous. I think her face merits the additional layers, and the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of letting her shine and grow from the background rather than compete with it. Either way is valid of course, but her face is so lovely... it is so extraordinary in its expression -- that it really does make the painting, all by itself... and everything else there could just support her unique connection to you...

06-05-2003, 12:17 AM
The link you provided makes a hell of a difference in the way the perspective is displayed, all for the better. I understand your intentions as written and you may achieve them. If you don't will you be happy to paint to an already impressive portrait of your girlfriend?

06-05-2003, 07:21 AM
Hi Gollator

I love this, as with all your work! The colors are wonderful, rich and bright! Thanks for sharing it with us.


06-05-2003, 10:57 AM

Hi, I just thought I'd throw in my two pennies worth about where you could go from here with this painting (which is looking pretty good so far). I think the confusion arises in the stylised checkerboard kind of area just to the top left of her head and the cat vest. If you simplify the plain of your vision into steps there are three within the painting, the foreground, in which your girlfriend is standing, the middle ground, which is where the vest and the fan are and the background, which is where that checkerboard area is sitting. At the moment there's the same degree of focus on your background and the vest area of the middle ground (the foreground is okay, but Karens suggestion of a hot spot of the hands is pretty cool). The light is pretty similar too, I can see that you've already darkened it, but I think that it could be darker to create more depth in the image. Another way is to blur that area further, so that the focus falls away in the background (as it is already doing between the fore and middle grounds), a tiny bit more work on the cat vest (to bring it into sharper focus and a slightly darker tone behind it would also help to establish these plains. Hope that's some help and doesn't sound too pompus.


06-05-2003, 02:10 PM
Great capture on that expression there! The others have good suggestions, now add yourself. Play with it, listen to it. Have fun. Yah fun!


Tam :)

06-06-2003, 04:41 AM
surreal: thank you

bonn161: Hm... I will think about leaving the hands as they are now... well, maybe no more detail, but a little more light reflections on them. Yeah, picasso (especially in the blue phase) is the complete killer!

Adrienne: thanks for providing these links. I see now clearer at what you are referring to.
Though I think this handling of the background looks fantastic (and I love the intensity of the faces and the support by the emotional brushes behind them) this is not my way in this particular picture, I think. I want to keep the structure of the carpet, maybe I can loosen up their texture, but not their frames.

Hm... this is all much to think of. My fingers are itching, it is a good think I still have to wait for the drying.

thank you, again, very much for taking the time and helping me.

somerset: Ah well, I will be happy as for the face of her, because I think I am pretty close. In fact, now I look at the photo I feel that this is not so much like her as I percieve her but the painting is (kinda weird)
As for the general picture, I start to dislike my paintings very soon anyway, usually they have a approval-half-life period of 3 days/ 1 week/ and the best 3 month.

diane555: thank you

06-06-2003, 04:46 AM
short replying-intermission:
only buy these socks
these socks are good for you

no serious,
I think I might as well write what my girlfriend said about this. She is usually very critical.

She said that she likes the face, too (she was rather sceptical when it was in progress, though). Then, knowing I have been experimenting lots and lots with color theory lately, she said that it looks exactly like that: a color study. (with emphasis on the more negative implications)

06-06-2003, 04:49 AM
gareth: I agree that the colors are not yet ready, the depth is not coming out as I wanted to have it. There is still some to do, and concentrating on 3 planes might be a good idea.

I will re-read your suggestions shortly before I pic up the brushes and not comment further on them now. thanks for your time

tamana: I will, I will, that's what I am here for :) Peace, yeah, a nice wish. Thanks.

Thank you all

06-06-2003, 11:53 AM


What do you think?


06-06-2003, 11:55 AM
larger version (106 kb) (http://www.gollator.de/shadows4.jpg)

06-06-2003, 12:57 PM
! AHA! The cat sees what you're doing to promote the "come up and see me sometime" expression from your girlfriend!! This is awesome!! Such an improvement on the flow!! Well done!


Tam :)

06-07-2003, 05:09 AM
glad you like it.