View Full Version : Portrait of a Somber Nathan Gill

09-27-2001, 08:52 PM
I used the reference photo that Nathan posted in the Portrait Project thread for this.

Pastel, 16 X 20 on Black Mi Tientes paper.

I'm at the stage where I'm not sure whether it is finished or not.

Any ideas?

09-29-2001, 07:15 AM
You have a wonderful base here, and although some would consider it finished, I think you need to do a couple of things. Even if you like the soft, sketchy quality of this piece, the right side (side in shadow) needs to be developed a bit further to go with the lighted side.

There is lots of detail in the shadows, bring up the shadow area more and then determine if you are finished. A painting can be considered "finished" at any stage if the painting as a whole is at the same level of "doneness" as you go.


09-29-2001, 12:05 PM
Thanks Diane

That is exactly where I was hesitating with this. Should I leave the shadow side alone....or not.

I have ruined more than a few things by not knowing when to stop...and have become very cautious now.

Your comment about something being finished if there is the same amount of "doneness" throughout helps me a lot. I am also starting to find that taking a break from the piece helps too. Seeing it after a few days of not working on it....sometimes what needs changing just jumps right out at you.

(Or even better, have someone else...like my friends at WC look at it too!)

Thanks a lot


10-01-2001, 11:44 AM
Hi K,

So glad the info was of help to you.

Yes, I think working on the shadow side is needed...the nose and mouth on the shadow side is fine for the time being. The eye however, needs further development to match the one on the lighted side of the face.

Just as in the lighted areas, you have mostly light with key darker areas, the shadow side is reversed...mostly darker with a few hints of light. But the lighted areas will never be as light as on the lighted side. The way you have rendered this piece the right side is in total shade, but reflected light will get in there. Raise the value on the cheek, reflected light behind the base of the nose.

Then you should have it.