View Full Version : A greyhound WIP

06-25-2014, 11:26 PM
After the first few, I had several that JUST wouldn't work out right. I tried each multiple times, one I restarted 5 times I bet. I took a two day break and started this one...


She is pretty adorable :) But my problem is the same as most of the other ones... Not much variation in darks and lights. I get to this point with every one, I know it needs more intense darks (and some mediums too) but I'm afraid to do it. It's like I get to this point in the picture and I am paralyzed about what to do next... I did this one on a toned paper thinking it would help but no, not so much help. Anyone have any insight? Is this just me?? It's so frustrating.

06-28-2014, 08:16 AM
Normally I don't bump threads but any help would be appreciated!

Mark Szymanski
06-28-2014, 08:21 AM
What a great drawing already! I love the expression. My only suggestion is to figure out the light source. I have no idea where it is coming from. It almost looks like a wide light where the light is coming from everywhere... I think it works for this subject, if you can be satisfied with that idea.
If your looking for some help this way, use a value finder to get the value of the darker areas to give you the confidence that it will work out in the end.

06-28-2014, 08:29 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Jun-2014/115332-photo1_31.jpg Mark, Thank you this helps me a lot actually. I asked a greyhound group that I belong to for pictures and I got so many - I'm trying to do them for practice and I send the person the picture if I like how it came out. Many of the pictures are not optimal - at all. All of them are really too small for detail that I need and very few have the kind of highlights and darks that would give me an idea of a light source. I think in future attempts I will try and identify the light source - I'm sure that will help.

I did work on this further and sent it out but I think what you're suggesting would have improved it. This one is better then the first but not by as much as I would have liked.
Thanks so much for the response

07-07-2014, 03:54 PM
Hi Tracy
I would say that this looks like a very promising start on the piece, but it's difficult to comment without the original reference. Can you post that?
I agree with Mark that a value finder is a great tool to use,; you might also wish to try a red photographic gel if you can get hold of one. When you look at your ref image and painting through the gel the red will emphasise the contrasts and you will be able to see where you need to darken things.
If you use photoshop you could darken up in that using the burn tool to give you confidence and allow you to see how dark you could go.
Hope that helps.

07-07-2014, 04:27 PM
J, I've got the reference photo and can not find the one that I did that was finished - It was better then the original although not the best one I've done.


I did a few more since then though that I have worked out better I think - I'm working on the contrasts and the darks.... still not there but better.



I appreciate this feedback so much.... and I'm finding it very helpful. When I'm stuck taking a photo seems to help a lot - I can see where I'm off in a picture better for some reason....


Mark Szymanski
07-07-2014, 08:32 PM
Now that I see the original photo, perhaps there is something I can do to maybe give you the confidence to work with the values a bit more. Below is the reference photo and your wonderful artwork... which I think is very well done by the way.


As you can see the values in the photo are noticeably darker on the shadow side of the face than on the light side of the face. The dark eyelid, though it isn't black in the photo is close to it. On your drawing, the dark side eyelid is basically the same value as the light side eyelid. It looks like around 2 steps or so difference between the two eyelids in the photo.

The cheek area is even more dramatic, but I think the camera is blowing out the lights. I would suspect though we have the same relationship as we do in the eyelid area... roughly 2 steps difference between the shadow and the light side.

Further down the coat onto the shoulders, the difference in the areas I have marked isn't so great, probably about a step or so. I believe this is due to the lighter local color of the fur in this portion. If you notice the dark areas of fur, the two step difference seems to be holding.

This fits pretty well with indoor lighting, the values between the light and shadow is generally about 2 steps... unless the subject is very near a window or other strong light source.

A wide light can be a very effective method of drawing or painting a subject, so don't dismiss it too quickly. Some of my favorite works by the greats are done with this basic method. Cheers!

07-07-2014, 09:20 PM
Wow Mark this is very helpful because when I was doing this I really didnt see or wasnt looking for the light source - in fact someone asked me about it and I didn't even notice - I think I was focused on the brindle color differences not so much what the light was doing to it.... Not having any training is a huge handicap -- I know there are things that I miss, and things that are predictable but I am just not there yet. This helps, this helps a lot.

Vivien Maloney
07-07-2014, 09:46 PM
popcornfeet - You have received some wonderful advice from Mark!
This Forum is particularly good for having other members answer and help if it's required.:thumbsup:

You would find, you would get lots more replies to your posts if you entered it in the Main body of the Forum with the Lists of members posts.
This Sub-Forum is for on-going Projects which will be over a long period of time, and not a lot of members remember to check it out. But it's ok to have it here now as there have been some replies to it.:thumbsup:

I intend opening a new Project for our Animal & Wildlife Forum here in this sub-form shortly, so look out for it.
I still need to decide what the subject will be. :clap: