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MollyUnlimited
09-11-2004, 09:30 AM
Hi guys,

I'm doin' another portrait. Another daughter (I have 3 beautiful daughters - how lucky is that???). This time I thought I'd try a background instead of letting the paper do that for me. Oh my. This is where I can really tell I'm not so artistic! I have a foreground I like (hands, pillow, edge of couch), but what to do behind the subject?

BTW, after I took the photo I realized I have a few things to correct, e.g. shadow on ear. Also not done with hair yet - any tips? I'm not worried about minor differences in expression here, but if your detect any painting errors or things I can improve, PLEASE let me know. Thanks in advance!!! I included the reference photo.

I call this "Day Dreaming"

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Sep-2004/49177-Kasey_portrait_and_photo_2_005_sm.JPG

meowmeow
09-11-2004, 10:17 AM
And this shows you're not artistic because......?!!!!

It is lovely. WHat I would do for the background is maybe use some of the lovely blue in the pillow and maybe not do the dividing thing, or maybe more subtly. I think adding another color, like the green, is not such a good idea..unless you want green. In that case you would need to add some green to the portrait somehow...maybe in the pillow. But I would go with that nice blue. Blend it in with the orangey you have there.
This is well on its way to being a beautiful portrait.


Sandy

K Taylor-Green
09-11-2004, 10:29 AM
I think Sandy has the right idea. This is going to be gorgeous!

Khadres
09-11-2004, 10:44 AM
Wow! Can sure see the family resemblance here, too! I agree...that soft blue just seems to go with her lovely, fresh look! Can shade it to a bit deeper colour, but keep the hue? This is very gorgeous work!

MollyUnlimited
09-11-2004, 10:49 AM
Oh thank you, thank you Kate, Sandy and Sooz! I am SO glad you're here. Using the blue is (of course) the perfect answer. I hope I haven't mudied it up too much in the process. Can't wait to get my Wallis paper (it's in the mail) so I can wipe things out better!

Here's what I've done with it. Let me know what you think. Is it too muddy?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Sep-2004/49177-Kasey_portrait_3_sm.JPG

khourianya
09-11-2004, 11:31 AM
I think it's breathtaking. I don't feel any muddiness to it. You have your daughter likeness captured brilliantly and I think this is a really stunning piece :)

MollyUnlimited
09-11-2004, 04:41 PM
Cori, Thanks SO much for the wonderful words. I do these things around here and people say things like "Gee, her hand looks really strange" or "I think her eyes are more green than blue, really". The good news is that the family usually picks up on things that actually need attending to. :rolleyes:

I went ahead and modified the background a bit more to bring it together a little. I am mostly done now (about 6 hours work - not counting the photo session!), and so I'll leave it hang for a few days so it can "steep". With any luck, I'll keep my hands off it. :wink2:

Thanks you all for your help!
PLEASE, if you see anything that sticks out or could be changed to improve the work, TELL ME. I want to get better. :p
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Sep-2004/49177-Kasey_4_sm.JPG

meowmeow
09-11-2004, 04:44 PM
THis looks much better Molly! YOu've done a super job with it. I might tone down the little bit on the left because it seems a little distracting but I would just maybe smudge it out a little...or not. Looks good!


Sandy

MollyUnlimited
09-11-2004, 04:53 PM
Yep, Sandy, I think you're right about a little smudge over there. I layered on a little extra color and it's louder than it needs to be. The idea there was to point to the eye, but it will still do that just fine when muted.

Thanks for holding my hand on this. Maybe I can get into the swing of backgrounds. This is literally my first one. Perhaps eventually, I'll have a background that looks like real things! What a concept!

bit by bit . . . :)

Dark_Shades
09-11-2004, 05:25 PM
lovely portrait Molly, I especially like the delicacy of her hand ...... the background is greatly improved, think Sandy is leading you in the right direction here...... becareful of making lines, as they can read as movement..... perhaps try blocking in colour using the flat width of the pastel, dragging downwards, and then another colour crossways, picking out the colours that you have already used within the portrait....... maybe not on this one, but just on a new paper, you can get a great many effects, see how you like it ...
Backgrounds are always a challenge, and a natural progression...... so you are making really good progress...... well done

As for the hair, would like to see more darks behind the neck, surprisingly dark greens, purples, blues work very well within hair

MollyUnlimited
09-11-2004, 05:32 PM
Thanks Dawn,
I totally agree.
I actually have green, umber, purple and dark blue all in the hair behind the neck, but am puzzling over it still. It just lacks dimension. It doesn't look any better in real life, either - can't blame this on the computer! I'll see what I can do. Maybe buy more darks??? hehe. Another excuse to buy more pastels . . . They ARE addictive!

Dark_Shades
09-11-2004, 06:03 PM
..... I think from what I can see, you've used those colours all over in that section ..... so, then I would perhaps just use the pure black in block by her neck... which would give it more depth and defination, then working outwards into lighter colours you have already used - then can go back in with either dark or lights using thin vertical lines to give the impressions of tresses or hairs...... hope this makes sense..... and lol, dont try it unless you are sure :)

... but what ever method you used for the hair at the side of her head, works, so try and repeat that by the neck - but not for all over

MollyUnlimited
09-11-2004, 06:14 PM
Okey Dokey - here goes.

I used more colors and I used my pastel PENCILS this time (which is what I used on top of her head) and I think I got some darker area and also a hint of strands. It came out a bit light in the photo (had to use flash - UGH), but I think it looks much better now. I also defined the line between the hair and shirt more.

Thanks for all the help! Little things make SUCH a difference!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Sep-2004/49177-Kasey_portrait_6_sm.JPG

Dark_Shades
09-11-2004, 06:15 PM
Im not very good with words at the best of times, does this help? .... just roughly used PSP comp programme.... exaggerated more so you can see...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Sep-2004/12116-M.jpg

Dark_Shades
09-11-2004, 06:17 PM
Okey Dokey - here goes.

I used more colors and I used my pastel PENCILS this time (which is what I used on top of her head) and I think I got some darker area and also a hint of strands. It came out a bit light in the photo (had to use flash - UGH), but I think it looks much better now. I also defined the line between the hair and shirt more.

Thanks for all the help! Little things make SUCH a difference!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Sep-2004/49177-Kasey_portrait_6_sm.JPG

Ha!... we posted at the same time......... much better, well done indeed, and that background works really well now too :clap:

MollyUnlimited
09-11-2004, 06:29 PM
HAHAHAH!

I saw yours, too and liked it better, so I made some minor changes. Here's the detail:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Sep-2004/49177-hair_detail.JPG

binkie
09-11-2004, 06:56 PM
Molly, I think it is wonderful. :clap: I like the background. Wish I could do backgrounds even half that good. Your daughter is beautiful. Hope you're going to frame it and hang it on a wall.

gwen

MollyUnlimited
09-11-2004, 07:26 PM
Thanks, Gwen, you're very sweet! Now that I've done a background, maybe I'll do more. It wasn't SO bad, other than the cold sweat I broke out into and the stomach ache I got thinking about it . . . :wink2:

I think I do like having a background. A couple of months ago, I was doing faces and necks. Then I branched out to include clothing. Then a hand, now a foreground and a background. What's next??? I'm breaking out of "the box"! Look out world! :D

meowmeow
09-11-2004, 07:45 PM
Breaking out of the box is good...you seem to be doing it very well! Keep working...and posting....we all learn from this place.
You've done an excellent job here. Good for you!


Sandy

Branco
09-11-2004, 08:24 PM
Wow...You have a worderfull tallent ....beautifull portrait so much definition, and you can do what I consider the most dificult thing in painting people ...the hands.

As for the Background for future reference, I think you should use darker areas near the face and then ligther near the hair...it gives the face more dimension...

But I wish I could do half of what you did with your painting.

Good work

P.S. I hope you understand my English. :)

MollyUnlimited
09-11-2004, 10:44 PM
Thanks again Sandy! I am SO glad to be able to learn from you all.

Hi Branco, Welcome and thank you. Your English is perfect! I saw your tiger in the other thread. It is GORGEOUS!