View Full Version : Gwen's Boys ... C&C welcome!

03-17-2013, 08:04 PM
This is a commissioned piece, another for a Grandma to give to her daughter (for Mother's Day ... Or Easter! She gave me two deadlines and I've met both, wonder of wonders!)

The photos are so disparate: different sizes, the light (what there is of it) coming from different directions, both boys facing in the same direction ... Those awful school photos which are beautiful in real life but horrible to paint from! And my scanner's not working! She wanted them together in smallish size, so this is about A4 on Leaf Green Dark Colourfix, using ALL hard pastels. Never done that before, but there are Conte Carres, FC Polychromos and a couple of hard Faber Castells that are so old they have no other ID. I had to turn the little fellow in the other direction or one would have his back to the other.

Hopefully she will like it. It's not framed, so any suggestions for improvement would be really appreciated. I've included a pic with the photos for comparison.


Thanks for looking...

03-17-2013, 08:16 PM
With all those hurdles, you did a great job, Jean. The resemblance is there and the pose is believable. One thing, I know the photos show that the skin tones are very different, but are they that different in real life or was it the lighting? Great job on meeting the deadline. Both of them!


03-17-2013, 08:21 PM
Doug, they are very different, according to Gwen. She'll see it Wednesday and I'll find out if I've gone too far! Hopefully not. Thanks for the kind words.

03-18-2013, 11:15 AM
These are nice work! I see you have reversed the perspective on both of them - was that on purpose ? The viewer is more to the right of the younger boy and w/the older it's hard to tell for sure because the photo is slanted and distorted but also looks to have been straightened. Older boy's hair - too much of those tones that are close to his skin will make him seem like there are bald patches whereas his hair is very thick ( he is also tilted down slightly I think - like a tick so we wee more hair/top of head). Planes of the head ( hair shape) - getting those more correct will improve likeness, as will getting the nose and ear shapes closer. Older boy has darker eye brows..

Anyway, these are all small things - like fractions in math - but they can add up!


03-18-2013, 02:17 PM
since this is putting two different photos/faces together ,
seems okay to me to use colour and shadow in and from each
rather than try to simulate a one-source light effect .

it looks like you have done some re-positioning of the head angles compared to the photos !
if that's true , just a few checks of the proportions/adjustments of features ...

a fine work . :)


03-18-2013, 11:42 PM
Thank you both for your input, I took it on board and went back to the drawing board and found other things obviously wrong too. (Either someone chaged it overnight or the sleep and fresh eyes picked it up - All with the older boy. Like his jaw was too wide on our left, and his front teeth were off set to line up with the centre of his left nostril! And his whole face was too wide ....

Anyway, I fixed the teeth and the jaw; his face was nicely narrowed by adjusting his hair and then I added more and blocked in those skin tone colours in it with umber; I darkened his eyebrows, fixed some ear shapes and widened his mouth which was too narrow. I lightened his skin a bit then darkened little brother's just a smidgen to even them out a tad. I think it all looks much better.

The photo colours are not exact but here is end result:


Once again, thank you so very much. Input certainly helps when you KNOW there is something wrong but cannot put your finger on it!

03-19-2013, 07:21 AM
This is great Jean, very good likeness:clap:

Orchid Lady
03-19-2013, 12:29 PM
Very good likeness! It looks like in the photo of the boy on the left, that he has some teeth missing on top. I guess you decided to fill in those adult teeth? I remember when my kids had that gap-toothed look for awhile --- it was really cute.

03-20-2013, 02:00 AM
Thank you, Leesa, and Linda. I took the painting to Grandma today and she was ecstatic, I thought she'd strangle me! Then she was worried that she couldn't take it home as it's not payday till tomorrow ... Of course I let her, she's a work colleague, she's not going anywhere! And I did ask her about the teeth, and thank goodness he's grown some in real life as well as gaining instant ones in my painting!

Thanks again for all the good advice, it made the world of difference. This is really the BEST site!