View Full Version : An Opera Star

07-14-2012, 01:54 PM

Title: An Opera Star
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Linen
Dimension: 16 x 20
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is a painting of Marcello Giovani as he appeared in the Metropolitan Version of Ernani. My source material is the photo in the Mets Season Calendar 2011-12, page 13. I have been painting a series of these wonderful people to hang on a wall in my home. The lighting is stage lighting to account for the vivid blues and magentas.

All comments are welcome. My source was a photo about 1 1/2 inches square. I've tried my best to capture him.

07-14-2012, 07:56 PM
Typically a man's hand will reach from his chin to the top of his forehead.
It's probably the foreshortening, but his hand appears too small.
I saw some of his pictures on the web, and his eyes seem more deeply set than you have them, Phil
Thanks for introducing him to me. I'll check out some of his music.

07-14-2012, 09:08 PM
Strangely this portrait looks far better if you get up and walk a few metres away from the screen. Up close the viewers left side of the face appears woebegone. The clothe is well done and the hand tho I agree with Bill as to the size but I think the fingers are right. Hairline could maybe benefit from some softening on the skinline? Good work.

07-15-2012, 04:42 AM
The face seems to be of 2 different hues. The viewer's left side of the face seems too wide, I don't think you would see that much of the side of his face. But w/o a ref I can't tell for sure.

07-15-2012, 10:39 AM
Here is the source photo for you to compare.

leisure artist
07-15-2012, 03:31 PM
Hi Phil.....looks to me like the eyes and brows need attention....i am no expert but this is my observation....love all your work by the way...Christine:)

07-15-2012, 06:47 PM
Boy, you nailed the clothing. I do think you need another go at the face. It looks to me that you've got the eyes a little too close together and the mouth a bit too small. I think you need to add the wisp of hair coming down over the forehead as seen in the reference and generally soften the edges between the face and hair and bg. You continue to get my admiration for tackling tough subjects.

07-15-2012, 11:35 PM

First up - the best part so far - the leather and the buttons have a nice feel. The tough part is that you picked a subject with VERY difficult (multiple) lighting. Some lighting show the form of objects well. Complex lighting can often lead to very tricky stuff (such as flattening of form). This is one of those. Take the hand in the photo: It is light from different angles. Combine it with the unusual long cuff and it makes for very tough work. Even super skilled artists would have some struggle with this one. Taking that into account - things are looking good. I would also add that paying closer attention to the abstract shapes in the hair - would improve it.

Disclaimer - as always it is easier to critic from the sidelines as opposed to being in the thick of things.

07-17-2012, 11:52 AM
Draw a line across his eyes.
In the ref foto, that line passes well above his ear
In the painting, it cuts across the top of his ear.
The right corner of his mouth is under the right pupil in the ref foto, but not in the painting.
Check all the measurements of his right eye and eyebrow. The ref foto has it with a quizzical look and you haven't caught that.
Recheck your values, Phil.
The shadows under his nose and under his lower lip are much darker in the ref foto.

07-17-2012, 01:15 PM
Hi Phil. My two cents worth .... I think his ear is too high, and his cheek on that side is too round. his eye on the same side is not reading well. It is too open(showing too much white) on the viewers right side of the eye and not enough on the viewers left side of the eye. The mouth doesn't seem quite open enough or long enough, and a little more shadow underneath to give the defined shape of his bottom lip. His chin could be a bit squarer and his mustache (don't know how to spell this) not curving inward quite so much. His clothes look great especially the leather and it is a fine effort considering the size of your reference! You could make a few minor changes and it would be near perfect. Cheers Debs. =))

07-17-2012, 01:21 PM
P.S.I also think the shadows of his cheeks are a little high and his hairline needs softening slightly. =))

07-18-2012, 12:33 PM
I thank you all and I'm looking over all of you comments. It is still on the easel and I'll keep working on it. I love doing portraits. They are a real challenge. As someone mentioned above, it is easier when there is only one souce of light with well defined shadows. However, I do love doinig it.

D.W. Flint
07-18-2012, 02:07 PM
The think I noticed is the the eyes don't seemed to tracking correctly. Everything else is fine...