View Full Version : Christmas Girl

09-02-2004, 05:24 AM
HI Guys

I know, I know, you don't want to hear me talk about Christmas just yet.......wwwaaayyy too early. But this morning I got the National Trust home shopping catalogue and was surprised to see christmas gifts and cards and though it is about time that I come up with some new designs.

So I worked on this this morning. It is an idea for xmas cards.
What do you think?? All comments welcome!
It is on Canson mi-teintes (blue) and about 10x12 inches.

Any tips on how to improve?


09-02-2004, 08:27 AM
What a cute idea, Sophie!
Just check the eye on the left (her right)..I think it is off, but not sure.
Very nice! Glad to see you are feeling up to working.


09-02-2004, 01:13 PM
She's a cutie! I think her eyes are a bit too far apart, tho...it's easy to wind up with a child that looks to be suffering from that syndrome babies get from alcoholic mums and ya don't want that! The eyes are beautifully done, tho. I'm a bit confused about her hat or whatever that is on her head... I'm also a bit unsure about the linear color strokes in her skin tones...that kinda makes her look older to me, but that's probably just me. She looks like she's pining for some toy or other, maybe a doll she sees in a shop window? Or maybe a display of Xmas candy? Wonder if there would be a way to convey that? Sheesh, you guys pick such CHALLENGING subjects!

Can't wait to see the final on this! Nice work, so far!

09-02-2004, 01:19 PM
Love Christmas lol ... so never too early for me....... Still Love your Santa... :D ... Great Idea Soap ... love this, but agree with the others about the eyes being too small (you know me and BIG eyes) .... and too far apart.. Id also perhaps think about the strokes, as can seem like wrinkles with in the skin with the lights...... and perhaps work some more on the nose

..... am sure you will work wonders with this one

09-02-2004, 01:28 PM
She looks like she's peeking into a big box :) Something I would do.... :angel:

I love it for a greeting card....is she a family member? that would make it even more special.

and...don't think it's too early for Christmas. I'm knitting those long scarves for all of my daughter's friends and have two finished already....would have had three, but Jessica grabbed the first one because she thought it was so "purty"....and it was a big hit with the friends, so now I have a lot more to do!! But what else are Mom's for :D

09-02-2004, 05:00 PM
This is super cute!! Will make a lovely christmas card.

09-02-2004, 05:25 PM
Hi Sophie,

Well you are thinking ahead and for that I'm envious and in awe.

I agree with what most of the others said... take a look at that eye especially her right one.

I'm wondering if a ribbon over the box would help define it better. More red in the hat please!!!

ARe you sorry you asked?


09-03-2004, 03:31 AM
Thanks for all the lovely replies guys! Really appreciated.

Sandy - thanks, yes the right eye seemed too wrinkled to me as well. Also I knew the eyes were too far apart but I also know it is a lot of a work to change it so am trying to see if I can 'cheat' my way out.....I might end up fixing it of course....
Yep, I feel up to working. Feel much better, a lot of the tiredness is gone and one can step foot in our house without tripping over rubbish and boxes and tools.

khadres - thanks. I don't have a clue what children of alcoholic parents look like but as I said, I know......I know........sigh......:D

Shades - thanks girl! I am hoping to make a xmas card set this year, with Santa in it of course! Will check your pointers.

Carly - no, no family member (no small kids in our family just yet :D) but from a photo - forgot where I got the photo from, but it was copyright free and I changed it immensely anyway. Kid looks nothing like it and I added xmas hat ofcourse.

David - thanks! :)

Hiya Barb! - no, not sorry I asked at all!! Ribbon might be a good idea....

Well, I'll go on with this one, checking things and working more on the eyes (as this piece is all about the eyes ofcourse)

this is what I did yesterday:

09-03-2004, 12:00 PM
Ok since you are feeling better and since I know you are talented and up to it.... Bite the bullet Sophie and move the eye. You'll be much happier.

She's so cute and it's such a fabulous piece that eye is going to bug you.

(Ok I'll go hide now ..... but I wanted to say my peace).


09-03-2004, 12:06 PM
:D I'll go hide with Barb! It's so nice Sophie and has so much going for it. The unwrinkled eye is much better...but there is still way too much space between the two eyes...makes her nose look strange.

09-03-2004, 12:27 PM
I know......sigh........ok.....ok......no time this weekend but hopefully Monday or Tuesday I am doing it..........grrr.......I always do that you know, make either the nose too long or the eyes too far apart. With a commission there is no question of fixing it - of course I do it. But for some reason, since this is for a card there was a moment of, well er.....laziness.......:D :D......
But, point taken......I'll do it.

grumble grumble.... :angel:

09-03-2004, 12:32 PM
:D I know just what you are saying! I also know when I end up redoing or fixing the problem I am always happier. And in this case she will be a lot cuter! :D ANd frankly you have done such a nice job on the rest of it...the little cap with the white trim is wonderful. And the eyes a super...although I know you will have to rework them. But it will be worth it.
Aren't we a pain? :D

09-03-2004, 06:23 PM
lol...I found out on my Fatima portrait that you can cheat all ya want but eventually ya gotta move it and you'll be so happy you did...love the concept! I loved your Santa from last year and this is great too...can't wait to see more...and remember, you're as important to please as commission customers :D

09-04-2004, 12:40 AM
The thing that appeals most to me about this painting is your hatching technique,and how well you've rendered the skin tones with it. I've yet to do a painting with hatching that I feel to be a success,,,,guess that means I need to try more.

09-04-2004, 04:27 AM
its getting better Soap..... the skin greatly improved, but I still feel the eyes are far too wide apart...... better placement of the left as we view, would be somewhere in the dark shadow of the nose.... the bridge is very wide too...... also check the end of the nose (what IS that called? :) ) lol, added with the flatness and bend, it appears like a boxers...... sorry

09-04-2004, 11:12 AM
Sophie, If it's any consulation... I have been taking portrait classes now intensely for about 4 years. This instructor still tells me about moving eyes and it's typically about 30 minutes before the last pose of the final session. I dig in, do it and feel better about it - but can't figure out why it's always happening. I've had to come to accept it about myself and lately moving eyes is just a routine event. Everyone in class laughs because they know it's something I anticipate hearing frequently.


Mikki Petersen
09-04-2004, 12:47 PM
Hi Sophie! Everyone is concerned with the eyes which I think are beautiful. My problem with this beautiful painting is that that cute nose points down to that whitish space where I get stuck trying to figure out what the heck that is. It does not look like a table or anything expected and with the nose pointer becomes a focal point. don't ask me what to do about it cuz I haven't a clue. I just wanted to share my impression. The girl and the idea are just precious!

09-07-2004, 12:15 PM
Thanks all so much for your support. I knew I had to change it, was just too lazy to get on with it. I have this often and I always end up changing it! LOL

I think this is better - but am not finished yet. This one seems to be going in stages - far in between......
And even if you've seen enough of it, seeing it online always helps me to see what needs fixing! :D :angel:

Thanks guys!


09-07-2004, 12:35 PM
Sophie - this looks much better but I think you still need to check the irises. One of them looks much larger than the other or ... one of them looks smaller than the other.

You get to choose!!! Barb :)

09-07-2004, 12:51 PM
Lots, Lots, better...... keep going, ya getting there

09-07-2004, 01:11 PM
This looks much better, although (and it may be just me) but her eyes look like they are 2 different colours. To me, one looks blue and the other brown...

Other than that - it looks awesome. It will make a wonderful Christmas card!

09-07-2004, 01:21 PM
I have a suggestion...why not make the surface her nose is on a wrapped present? Those lines could be the ribbon and you could introduce some green to complement the red... would explain her wistful look too...just a thought!

09-07-2004, 04:29 PM
Sophie, seems like Christmas portraits are a speciality of yours - and good for you, as I expect this would be hugely marketable! You are great at capturing the shine in an eye. Love the way you've handled the fluffy stuff on the Santa hat, too. This is looking better all the time, but do listen to Barb about those irises. I told myself I could live with any flaws in my 'Babyface' portrait, but the knowledge that I COULD make it better kept nibbling away at me ... after considerable fiddling to tweak the nose and enlarge/reposition one eye, I knew I'd finally got things the way they needed to be and was really pleased that I'd taken the trouble to fix them. You're more of a pro than me so you will make this one a stunner :)

09-08-2004, 03:17 AM
Yep, irises definitely will get attention - as will all the rest! Thanks guys!
Sue, I did think about that before but the present would be really big (otherwise why would a kid peek its nose over it like this) so in reality you would only see a little bit of ribbon from the nose to the bottom of the pic. I thought it turned out too distracting - I did try it!
Now we just hav to imagine where she is peeking over, a pressie, a table, a bed (mu-um, is it Christmas morning yet?? Can we go downstairs now??), whatever.
Shame I don't seem to be able to find time to finish this thing properly - it keeps on going in fits and starts. But I'll get there.

Anybody ideas for the next one? I think I need an angel face now.....does that sound good? Or maybe a snowdrop.

I'll keep on working at it!