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Natalie NZ
08-26-2004, 03:07 AM
I have been exploring the WC site for a week or so now and this is my first post. I am a late starter learning to draw and paint, mainly with pastels so far and am enclosing a portrait of my granddaughter that I am doing and also the photo I am working from. I feel it is very wishy-washy at the moment and would welcome some criticism and advice. :confused:

Natalie

Kathryn Wilson
08-26-2004, 07:44 AM
Hi Natalie! Welcome to the Pastel Forum - aren't you glad you at least started to paint? Better late than never, I say!

I think you are getting on with this really well. I am not a portraitist, so can't help much on facial features - but if you are feeling it's too wishy-washy, you may be offi in your tonal values. Most of it seems to be in the medium value, so your lights and darks need to be pushed a bit more. It is a bit scary at first to put the darks and lights in, but I think you'll see a big difference when you do.

I'm sure some of our portrait people will be along to comment and help out.

karenlee
08-26-2004, 09:14 AM
Wow you sure are starting out with a bang! I wish my first attempts had been this lovely! Let's see more!!! My suggestions for what you call the "wishy washy" look is to pose your daughter at a window so that some shadows show up on the side of and below her nose, and around the corner of her forehead, cheekbone and chin. Make some quick pencil tone sketches of the tone changes you see as the colors go from light to dark where the face curves around. Adding these shadows will punch up the picture. Working from a photo that is taken with frontal flash is tough becuse the flash wipes away all the shape defining shadows.

ThomasM
08-26-2004, 09:47 AM
You really have a great start to this, very nicely done, what has already been posted to you if great advice. The basic shape is good, highlights on the hair and face, shadows for the face provide the depth to bring it to life, might consider a bit brigther Brown orange mix for the lower portion of the eyes, look forward to seeing this. Thanks for sharing
:clap:

Dyin
08-26-2004, 10:58 AM
Natalie, welcome to WC and the pastel forum! I think you have an excellent start as the likeness is there. The hardest thing for every starting portrait artist is to increase contrast, but that is what defines the shapes of the bone structure. First look at your darkest dark, which would be under her left cheek...now what matches that dark? You started to go there with the hair, but got a little scared to continue. Then you look for things that are mid-dark, like the very nice line of her cheekbone. Let the highlights on her ear side of the face be not quite as light as the other side. The outside of HER left eye needs to come down at the bottom just a touch and lighten up those nostrils just a little bit. If you look carefully at the hair highlights you'll see it's larger strands that just get lighter in that area...you can try lifting strands with a kneadable eraser or use a still small brush to knock some pastel out and then redefine those areas. You really have done a great job with this so far and now it's all about refining. I think you'll love WC and learn lots here, just like the rest of us have!

K Taylor-Green
08-26-2004, 01:06 PM
Welcome to WC. You have definitly come to the right place for encouragement. As you have already gotten good advice, I'll just say you have a good likeness here, and the makings of a great piece.

Dark_Shades
08-26-2004, 01:25 PM
well you are off to a brilliant start........ and proving never too late to learn or try.... good for you, welcome to the forum..... you have shape and form in the face...... as your practise and learn, more things will come as you experiment..... one thing I would suggest is check her head shape.... its appears a bit to 'oval' at the top of a head .... try to get the impression of depth there on her parting as it goes back, and just bring out slightly on the right as we view it to the side

Natalie NZ
08-26-2004, 07:16 PM
I am delighted to get such a response to my first post. I am also getting totally addicted to WetCanvas and finding it hard to find time to do housework and other things, let alone painting, just as well my husband can cook!!. This is my first portrait but I have also done several animal studies and am attaching my latest one which is of my daughter's dog who was a big soft teddybear. :)

K Taylor-Green
08-26-2004, 07:37 PM
Wow! Gorgeous. The eyes are great, and the fur has depth. You should give him his own post, so more people will see him. And the animal and wildlife people would just eat him up. ( Not literally, of course.) Beautiful work.

Dark_Shades
08-26-2004, 07:46 PM
I am delighted to get such a response to my first post. I am also getting totally addicted to WetCanvas and finding it hard to find time to do housework and other things, let alone painting, just as well my husband can cook!!. This is my first portrait but I have also done several animal studies and am attaching my latest one which is of my daughter's dog who was a big soft teddybear. :)

Dont worry, this IS a Very NORMAL reaction :)
....... indeed he does look like a teddybear all that lovely soft fur.....
grrrrr its coming up to Midnight here, so had better get off to bed lol ..... will have to look that word up in the dictionary you used........ hmmmm housework ..... wonder what that is :confused: ;)

Natalie NZ
08-26-2004, 08:00 PM
Wow! Gorgeous. The eyes are great, and the fur has depth. You should give him his own post, so more people will see him. And the animal and wildlife people would just eat him up. ( Not literally, of course.) Beautiful work.
THANK YOU KATE Can you please tell me how to do this.
To everyone who has replied, this is all so exciting and encouraging, thanks.
Dark Shades - My husband has learnt the meaning of that word :D

Natalie NZ
08-29-2004, 02:16 AM
I know I will love WC Dyin, thanks for your suggestions - I think I have done them all and it's definitely looking better. :clap: :clap:
Thank you to Dark Shades :wave: , yes her head was a bit oval and I have altered that also.
Kate you are so encouraging and I have worked out what you mean by giving Cracker his own post :cat: - will do that.
Kyle, I don't really understand about tonal values unless it is another way of saying contrasts :confused: .
ThomasM, I hope you can see an improvement :) and karenlee, if I get to try any more portraits I will take a special photo instead of using an existing one. :D

Natalie NZ
08-29-2004, 02:37 AM
I know I will love WC Dyin, thanks for your suggestions - I think I have done them all and it's definitely looking better. :clap: :clap:
Thank you to Dark Shades :wave: , yes her head was a bit oval and I have altered that also.
Kate you are so encouraging and I have worked out what you mean by giving Cracker his own post :cat: - will do that.
Kyle, I don't really understand about tonal values unless it is another way of saying contrasts :confused: .
ThomasM, I hope you can see an improvement :) and karenlee, if I get to try any more portraits I will take a special photo instead of using an existing one. :D

DGrau
08-29-2004, 11:13 AM
Welcome to the pastel forum. Your painting looks much better now.
You are doing wonderfully for just starting out. Did a great job with your dog also. Hope to see more of your work.
Yes tonal values are contrast..the relative darkness or lightness of each color in greyscale.
Best wishes
david

Khadres
08-29-2004, 09:15 PM
Welcome to the forum! These are great pastels, ESPECIALLY for a beginner! Looks like you're a natural for this medium and can't wait to see more of your work!

gnu
09-06-2004, 04:33 AM
OK that does it You GOT TO enter the Kapiti Art show now! you'd do very well.. :clap: :clap: