View Full Version : a play with light

09-15-2004, 07:27 PM
I'm learning that one thing I really like most about painting powerful portraits is having strong light and shadows. Unfortunately I didn't get to sit quite as close to this model as I would have liked so that the weaknesses are many.

Feedback would be appreciated. On wallis of course.

(PS running around like a chicken with it's head cut off but having great fun in the process)


Kathryn Wilson
09-15-2004, 07:34 PM
Looks very dramatic to me Barb - I think the lighting is wonderful. Looks like an actress on stage, or waiting off stage for her cue.

Pinecone Conniff
09-15-2004, 09:02 PM
Wow!! This is awesome!! :clap: ...and that's the best I can do as far as feedback goes :wink2: ...I love this! :D

09-15-2004, 09:23 PM
Reminsicent of Deborah Deichler- stunning and boldly whimsical.

09-15-2004, 10:09 PM
Barb, the pose is great and the placement, but it seems more about the clothes than the face...you know what belongs there without 'seeing' it, it's timid for you, though great for anyone else. A couple 'Barb' signature colors will pump this up some I think :D
(ducking quickly)

09-15-2004, 11:06 PM
I think it's great! I love your spontaneous look in portraits...you make it LOOK effortless, tho I know it's not. I love the expression in this one...she looks nervous, perhaps with stage fright...very colorful outfit too, must've been fun to do!

09-16-2004, 12:48 AM
Hi Barb, Very dramatic painting! She does look somewhat timid yet is dressed and surrounded by such boldness, her expression really draws me in and leaves a mystery as to what is going on here. I love how you are able to use such a wonderful variation in colors in your skin tones. I'm not portrait painter so I hesitate to comment, but just a tiny little question...the sleeve in front seems lighter in value than anything else, (cept the earrings) that it draws my eye, but maybe that is what you intend with the lights and shadows here.

09-16-2004, 03:23 AM
this painting is very dramatic, it has so much expression.
:clap: :clap: :clap:
Stop running around and only have joy :)


09-16-2004, 06:27 AM
I know exactly what you mean about the lights and darks...add a certain drama and emotion. Love the colors!! :clap:

09-16-2004, 08:38 AM
Well..this is just spectacular. Love the way you positioned the subject on the paper slightly to the right. The costume and colors and just so dramatic.

09-16-2004, 09:43 AM
This is great! Love the perspective, love how you've placed her to our right. I think the colors are just fine! I like the timidity she shows; it makes it appear she is in a costume, not in "native dress," for instance, and waiting to go onstage, perhaps.

09-16-2004, 09:53 AM
I looked at it again: Maybe she doesn't look too timid to be in native dress... :D

09-16-2004, 10:00 AM
Good job! This is very strong and dramatic.

The eyes look a bit flat in colour. I'd love to see some darks in them, though. Flecks of deep purple might make them seem a bit more real.

Just my 2 cents - so take it with a grain of salt.

09-16-2004, 10:55 AM
Terrific! Wonderful, bold colors. Yes, it is more about the costume, but that is fine...unless you didn't mean for that to be the case.


09-16-2004, 11:36 AM
The headless chicken has returned....

You all win gold stars... :clap:

Paula - the lights and darks are not consistent completely and I'll have to work on that. It's interesting - and a good example of how just darkening the background a little bit really causes the "lights" to be more subtle and lose their punch. I'm sure the chin needs some lighter areas and I will compare it with the photo I took.

Have you all noticed that you can make things lighter with pastels by building but the minute you add light to a dark, it's really difficult to bring back that rich dark color again without it getting muddy? That was part of what happened here.

The costume - well take a caucasian woman who is fair and place her in a traditional Mongolian costume and this is what you get - someone out of character and yet in role.... I think I felt the strange choice of costumes more than any one else and perhaps that comes through.

Khourianya - you are absolutely correct about the dead eyes - they are just not vibrant and yet I didn't see well enough to put in what I wanted. I'm going to look again at the photo I took and see what I can get out of it.

Truthfully - I don't think this is anywhere near what I like in a portrait so it may end up getting a tiny bit of work and then stacked in the closet with the others.

Thank you very much for all your help and advice. I'll post it again for final version.


09-17-2004, 05:38 AM
Great work again..I like the way you depict skin tones

09-17-2004, 11:45 AM
Thanks Martin - this one wasn't one of my more successful skin tone projects. In fact I chased the color around and re-painted it many times. I'm not used to such cool light.


09-17-2004, 02:07 PM
Barb, I really like the pose and lightening on this. And, of course, I love your use of color!!!


09-17-2004, 11:16 PM
I would never have guessed this as being yours. Don't you hate it when forced out of your comfort zonefor the purpose of growth as did your instructor... :D

09-20-2004, 03:23 AM
Thanks Martin - this one wasn't one of my more successful skin tone projects. In fact I chased the color around and re-painted it many times. I'm not used to such cool light.


OOh come on Miss understatement :D