View Full Version : Lesson 2 - Tonal Portrait WIP

05-30-2017, 09:16 AM
Hello Everyone!

So after receiving my Rembrandt set and your encouragement I am going on with the classes, I have done a new study of facial features that I uploaded in the old thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=21111072&postcount=12 ).

And then I tried the whole face portrait with purple and blue tonal values from Lesson 2. It's still WIP cause it was 1 am and I was almost falling asleep :D

Huuuuge problem with the girl's right eye (on the left for us). It was not like this in the beginning, it has degenerated somehow :D

I'll try to correct, not sure if it's better to erase or to work on it!
Also the teeth are not good and the whole face alignment is not correct.
Also the nose was more defined but I believe it got a bit lost, I'll try to fix it too.

I actually used some black too cause the blue was not that dark but it's my darkest in the set, I should have choosen a lighter purple perhaps.

C&C's welcome, especially suggestion on what to improve and correct.

I would also like to understand how does Don go from the tonal value to the full colours version. It seems to me that something magical happened in between! You just paint over the tonal painting? Not sure to try to colour this one however, it has already too many problems like this.

Here's the portrait:

Thanks :)

water girl
05-30-2017, 02:08 PM
I'm not an expert in facial features, but maybe this will help. If the angle of the eye is off, compare that to photo by using a small ruler to determine one eye's angle compared to the other. Start there.

05-30-2017, 03:24 PM
Hi Nat,

I wouldn't worry too much about how the entire face looks as Lesson 2 was still concentrating on individual features. I did do the whole face, but the purpose of that particular experiment was to concentrate on values. By using 3 colors of different values - without being skin colors - the artist could concentrate more on the values and not worry about the colors!

In lesson 3, I explore many different methods that artists use to measure and place all the elements in the portrait. So, until you read lesson 3, you wouldn't be expected to do the entire face accurately in terms of the positioning of the features and the angles of the eyes, nose and mouth!

In terms of values, your work seems good! You have clearly defined the cheeks, nose, mouth and eyes in terms of light and shadow!

To answer your question about the full color version in Lesson 2 - Yes, I just painted over the top of the "gray" version. The paper I was using easily allowed that to happen, but it does depend on the paper. Please note that I would NOT usually do a full color portrait by doing a "gray" version first. It could be done that way - and it is a very popular method to do a monochromatic or gray underpainting in oil paints before applying full color on top - but I think it is more rare in pastels. In pastels, I would start with skin tone colors right from the beginning, as I do in the demo in Lesson 3.

Hope this helps!


06-05-2017, 06:13 AM
Thanks to both Karen and Don for the suggestion. I'm correcting it, I'll repost it when it's finished (now I'm focused on the June Spotlight :D )

Don, thanks for explaining your process, though in lesson 3 you start the girl's portrait with a warm red/brown and a blue, that I would not exactly associate to skin tones, but then you layer other colours and they work perfectly! So many things to learn :)

06-09-2017, 06:21 AM
Ok, I tried to correct it but I still couldn't get the right proportions and distance of the eyes, even though they look a bit better.
I am not going to continue working on this one, I've been working a lot on the paper and I'll better leave it like this!
I'm going to lesson 3 on measuring and starting a new portrait after the lesson :)

So if you prefer you can change this thread in "finished".

06-09-2017, 09:30 AM
Nice adjustment. I was going to say something about this being more about values than exact placement, but Dak had already addressed that and then you fixed it anyway. the tones look good to me.

06-12-2017, 03:58 AM
Thanks DSPIT. I know it wasn't on the measurement, but that right eye was too ugly to be left like this :D I also tried to add more highlights in some point, and to correct values on both eyes, on the nose and on the cheeks.

I'll go on with the next lesson on measurements so I'll have no more excuses for eye alignment :D