View Full Version : Inspire, Need help.

04-22-2013, 10:49 PM
I have been working on this painting of my Granddaughter except she looks more like a teen than the tween she is! I love the pose but I am having all kinds of trouble with the perspective. Her Mum took the picture on her phone so probably some distortion as well to fight. The alcove by her head was an opening with all kinds of stuff including a staircase so I got rid of that and left the alcove for interest but I could probably loose it too. the cabinet is what is really bugging me. I moved the mirror up but I see it now has a bend in it and I need to ground the bottom of the cabinet! help!
the painting is on Uart pastel paper, about 10 x 9 various pastels and pencils

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Apr-2013/216461-IMG_0649Cr_Small.jpg .

04-23-2013, 02:28 AM
Jen, for starters a big thumbs up for taking on something a camera can't even get right. Wish I could help with your question, but for me without the ref I really don't know so will leave it to the experts. Hope you get the help!

04-23-2013, 05:17 AM
Hello Jen, hats off to you for taking on a complicated scene. You have a great beginning on your granddaughter. Here are a couple of suggestions for you to consider. The base of the chair needs to be centered on the vertical post. Right now the center of the oval for the base is too far left of center of the post. By the way, nice job on the seat, back and arms of the chair. Her left foot looks to be pointed too far to her right. Her right leg looks to be at an odd angle. Is she resting her foot on the cabinet? Whenever I paint anything architectural, I establish the edges with a pastel pencil and straight edge. I can soften them later if I wish. I hope this helps. Bob

04-23-2013, 06:17 AM
Jen, I'm going to give you a totally different advice: Do yourself a favour and work bigger. At this small size, a millimeter off will change things dramatically, while it won't matter on, say, a 12x16".

You've done a nice job on this small size!

04-23-2013, 07:05 AM
Hmm - I wonder if her legs are actually crossed here. The angles of the lower legs, and the details on the boots themselves, make me think the left leg should be crossed over the right. Perhaps that was hidden in the photo and you created the highlight on the left knee under the magazine yourself? If so, it would be easy to adjust that highlight, and pow, the legs are switched.

04-23-2013, 12:14 PM
Hi Jen: There are some really good things going on here. I do see some things that could be adjusted. The dresser is a little out of perspective and I see grinner's point about the legs.
How about using this as a stepping stone to a larger study like Charlie advised?

By the way, you have the "rendering part" down....values, color, etc.

Good luck Jen.

04-23-2013, 12:22 PM
Twig let, thanks so much.

Bob, thanks, yes I see the off post now and the mat has been driving me crazy and it was a compromise. The photo has a bit of a fish eye effect. I did draw with a ruler just drew it off! Then the lines have got off in the painting. I can see perspective in a box but translating it to a room I just have a lot of problems. Thanks for your help.

Charlie, you are so right! I don't usually paint that large as I paint nearly flat because of shoulder problems but I could go 11 x14,! Never hurts to start over! it did start out bigger but I got the chair right and found it was too small and got prescious with it and cropped the painting. Big mistake. Should have scrubbed it out then!

No Grinner she was definitely resting that right leg on the cabinet and not crossed. It was that casual unaffected pose which drew me to this in the first place. Thanks for stopping by.

04-23-2013, 01:04 PM
Jen, I think you're doing a great job with a difficult subject, and like Charlie said, especially at that size.

Would it help to project the photo and sketch it on some big newsprint and use that for perspective lines? Then you could block it in on your actual paper.

You did a fantastic job on the chair. And I should know, I put people in them for twenty years!

04-23-2013, 01:52 PM
Yes, you definitely captured a moment in time Jen. I think the best advice you got was from Charlie, work larger. Also, Kris' advice about projecting so you can get the perspective right is excellent as well. This type of painting done on a small scale is very difficult. Small mistakes glare because of the size. The subject is really neat, I'd love to see this one again, I'm sure you will nail it in a larger format! And that chair is extremely well done, as well as the magazine and her boots. Nice job!

04-23-2013, 02:32 PM
You guys are great!
Derek, I guess we crossed posts. Thanks for the encouraging words.

Kris, praise indeed from an expert! The chair is the one thing I am proud of except for the post! I don't have a projector so go back to the perspective book and try to get it right! Thanks!

Chris, thanks for the good words. I think I will go for a bigger size. I might even get the age right if I go bigger too. Thanks so much for all the support!

T Porter
04-23-2013, 04:54 PM
I guessing here but its probably the perspective that is troubling you if youre trying to get a real world view/perspective in this painting.

Youll need to establish a vanishing point or vanishing points to help align the edges of the cabinet and the mirror. The bottom of the cabinet will have an upwards angle of some degree, like you have shown, but the top of the cabinet will be somewhat flat or slightly angled downward. All of the angles are dependent on where the vanishing point or points are. In this painting you are going to have three vanishing points. One VP will be to the right side of the painting for the face of the cabinet and mirror and the other two VP's will be to the left of the painting. One will be used for the top of the cabinet that angels towards the mirror and the other VP will be for the wall and frame behind your granddaughter.

To help establish the true angles of your reference photo, tape your reference photo onto the drawing board that your painting is on and use a straight edge (pencil, paintbrush, ruler) to show you the true angles of the objects in your photo and transfer those angles to your painting.

Example: hold a pencil along the bottom edge of the cabinet on the reference photo and while maintaining that held angle move the pencil to your painting and draw a line. That should give you the bottom angle of the cabinet. To make sure you didnt change the angle during the move you may want to repeat the angle transfer a couple of times. To get the angle of the top of the cabinet and mirror repeat the angle transfer from the photo to the painting. Then use these angles to establish your vanishing point by projecting extension lines out past your painting to the point where they intersect.

I work on a 4 x 4 sheet of thick MDF board and I tape my support to it. This usually gives me a lot of space around my painting, which is helpful when vanishing points are used. Some times the vanishing points exceed beyond the edges of the drawing board, which mean the actual vanishing point is somewhere out in the studio somewhere. So Ill make a mark at the point where the bottom line angling to the vanishing point leaves the board and label that point as B for bottom. This tells me that the bottom edge of the object that is being drawn should line up with the mark on the edge of the drawing board labeled B and the line for the angle for the top of the object is label T for top. So if the vanishing point is out in the room somewhere you should have two marks on the drawing board one for top T and one for bottom B. All the horizontal lines below the viewers perspective will go to B and all the lines above the viewers perspective will go to T. This isnt a perfect way to handle a vanishing point but it seems to work.

A first story window frame is an example of this. The top of the frame will angle down in the perspective and the bottom of the frame will angle up. At some point between the two is the transitional point where the horizontal line(s) are flat because this will be the eye level of the viewer.

Its easier to demonstrate this in person than it is to put it in writing so Im not sure this makes any sense.

To anchor the cabinet youll probably need a dark shadow or dark line to weight the cabinet to the floor. The back of the chair is done nicely as are the facial features. This is a good challenge, good luck!

04-23-2013, 05:20 PM
Tom. thank you so much for that detailed explanation. I will have to sit down and follow step by step! Perspective and Math sort of go a bit haywire on me but I think I get what you mean. I have done it before but it just doesn't stick. :(

04-23-2013, 05:29 PM
Jen, do you have photoshop elements, or something similar? You can correct the fisheye effect in it. Or PM it to me, I can do it in 2 minutes.

04-23-2013, 08:54 PM
Thanks Charlie. I do have photoshop elements I think it is an older version I will look it over. If not I will pm you. Thanks.