View Full Version : Finished alla prima portrait

07-21-2013, 08:45 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2013/29244-130716_-_Asis_portrait_by_tayete_-_small.jpg I was trying to post in the critiques forum but to no avail, can someone please move it? Thanks.

Allright, some info:

This is my first alla prima portrait. It was done in three sessions of two hours each, though based on a photo. The picture was quite bad so I had to take care of all the blacks and burnt parts of the photograph and avoid them with the oils (I think I quite succeeded). You may take a look at my step by step process at http://tayete.blogspot.com.es/2013/07/alla-prima-retrato-de-asis-asis-portrait.html

It was done in oils on canvas at A3 size. I was requesting some critique because I think the drawing is fine, the likeness is right, the colour is correct, the values are easily readable, but...the edges, ah! the edges! what's wrong with them?
I think there's something wrong with my edges I am not able to grasp.

May someone please shine some light about my edges? Thanks a lot!

Deborah Hern
07-21-2013, 03:50 PM
Well I think it is really lovey. My only thought is that the facial profile should be a soft as the back of his head!

07-21-2013, 07:39 PM
I'm happy with your edges. There is some overworking on them that I think is bugging you. Try to limit yourself in the future, but for this painting I'm okay with it as is; I think that if you continue working the edges you'll have more problems.

Some of the stroke in background and around and not including the subject are needlessly complex and drawing the eye away from important detail. I think I'd like to see a background that was built for this subject as well.

07-22-2013, 10:48 AM
You are right about your edges. Generally speaking, all of them are too hard or sharp. One thing you can do when painting something like this is to soften all of your edges at the end of your painting session. On a small work like this, use a nice little soft-bristled flat and lightly soften all of your edges. It is much easier to sharpen edges later than to soften them after the paint dries. A second thought is that photos automatically boost values. That is, cameras/film tend to clump values and in many instances, make them quite a bit darker than they appear in life. You will have a more lifelike painting if you lighten values in the shadows, and conversely, darken them a bit, and make them a bit more chromatic in the middles and lights. Finally, it's a good idea to gently brush some of your background color into your figure, and conversely, brush a little of your figure into the background. This will give the appearance of your figure being a part of the scene instead of cut out and plopped into place. You've done a fair job of this in the hair, but it would help to do a little of this in the flesh . . . but carefully.

07-22-2013, 10:58 AM
I agree with what is being said, but the eye has me saying something needs to be done there. All I see is a black hole. Nice work though.

07-22-2013, 05:32 PM
Well done Tayete. I see there's a small edge by the forehead that either needs covering with the background colour as it appears to be part of his head. It's difficult to read since the rest of his profile is very sharply defined.

07-29-2013, 09:59 AM
I like that he seems sad and lost in thought. I agree that the "hint' of his eye should be showing. One thing I'd like to see you paint out is his dark jacket behind the scarf. I'd rather see the scarf as the profile at the lower front.

07-30-2013, 07:06 PM
The edge of the nose, mouth, chin, and forehead are delineated in black. Some of this is good. But you may have overdone it a little (ie, your black lines are too bold/broad).

A great artist (Renoir, Rodin, Michealangelo) might do this and make me think it's an artistic effect. Your painting does this a little. But by and large your bold lines appear unmotivated to me. They say "hey look what I can do". This is similar to a mediorcre actor, who merely tries to create strong effects on the stage, with no sense of contributing to the artistic whole of the play and no sense of sympathy for the audience members.

Try painting everyman. Try to make the dark haired man a portrait of the eternal human condition (unavoidable tragedy like Shakespeare, or comedy like Austen, or the crushing of sympathy by social forces like Dickens). Give thought to the possible shortcomings of your viewer -- don't leave things too subtle.

The above said, I envy your draftmanship and painting technique, and sense of portraiture. You leave me in the dust.

08-05-2013, 02:03 PM
Aside for a little touchup of the ear, I think you have done a very good job and I see no reason to fool with the edges. This is a strong face and softening the edges will weaken the character that you have painted in. Nice job.

08-17-2013, 06:41 AM
DEBORAH: Thanks a lot! My concerns about your suggestion is that maybe it gets too "softy" and loses all character, though maybe I could do what you say in some zones...maybe under the nose, chin, etc...

BOCOTE: Now that you mention it I have to agree about the background. Next time I'll try to be simpler or more complex as you suggest. Thanks!!!

BUDIGART: That's the kind of advice I was looking for! Thanks a lot, I will try your generous advices in my next try!!!

GEBHM: Maybe the photo doesn't show it, as now that I watch it in another pc even the shadow of the eyebrow mixes too much with the eye. In the real one the shadow is lighter than that... Your comment opens a new debate for myself: I have to learn some monitor calibration and how to post images that have color profiles embedded so they show as they really are. Thank you!

OZIAFRICANA: You are completely right. I forgot to refine that!!!

GOULIGANN: I thought what you mean, but I was a bit scared there would be a too big blue mass dominating everything, though you are right and maybe the scarf is distracting...food for thought.

HWARD: Your comment relates again to the photo. In the reality that contour it is a deep warm reddish brown, lighter than what appears. I agree about being too broad lines! Thanks for your advices, you look like someone who has thought a lot about art!

EYECANDY2: Thanks!!! Hahahaha, the ear...he was a former rugby player and his ear is like a culiflower because he broke his cartilagues! I didn't want to hurt him more as I knew he would be worried about his baldiness ;)

Thanks a lot to all of you for your kind words and your interesting advices. I hope I'll put them in good use and improve as a painter.