View Full Version : Portrait with "still life" elements. Need C&C

09-19-2004, 11:53 PM
Hi everyone! I posted this in the Portraiture forum, so I'll just put a link here: http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=217419

I'd love some C&C, particularly on the furniture and still life elements. Does the composition work? It's a portrait that tells a little story. :p

09-19-2004, 11:58 PM
WOWZA! You're portraitsnever fail to blow me away...but this one is spectacular. I love the skin tones...I also think the composition works, but i am really the last person you should be asking...hopefully someone better qualifies will drpby and let you know!

09-20-2004, 12:21 AM

Another great portrait--you definitely have a lot of talent in this area.

Like Cori, I'm not as strong in composition, so I'll let others help you out there.

Excellent work. Cute looking son.


09-20-2004, 05:18 AM
I find the floral pattern of the upholstered furniture to be somewhat detracting from the elements that are used to tell the story. To me it just doesn't seem to fit a boy with a baseball delimma. But then again this is a historical family record of sorts so perhaps the funiture pattern holds more importance than I am giving credit for.

Also, I think placing his hand in the glove and the bat in front of his arms would tie it together better,,,,,sorta like he's ready to hit the fields as soon as the weather allows,,,,,,,,the portrait work if fantastic....no nit pics from me. Nice colors,.....if you change nothing, you still have a great painting here!!!

09-20-2004, 07:44 AM
Cori, Sherry and Preston,

Thanks so much for taking the time to look and comment! Your compliments are most appreciated as are any suggestions!

Preston, I totally agree about the flowers on the couch. Usually, I don't bring them in, but I guess I wanted to see if I could "suggest" the pattern without copying it (which I did successfully). Then I looked at it when it was about done and said "Ugh!". Doesn't really have a reason for being there except that is what the couch looks like. I think it would be pretty easy to change, but I can't think to what! Maybe a random blue pattern, or no pattern, hmmm. I'll give it some thought.
As far as the bat and glove go, I thought about trying your suggestion as well. I actually took the photos of the props at another time, so I'd have to re-shoot to get his hands placed differently. I'm not good enough to "invent" a hand position realistically. I kind of like that he is drumming his fingers in this pose. He was really anxious for me to stop taking pictures (in reality)! Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it. Definitely food for thought!

09-20-2004, 07:58 AM
Beautiful Portrait and skin tones Molly .... as not being really familiar with baseball.... and not reading what you read, but just viewed the pics..... when I saw the close up with which I know now is the glove.... lolol I saw it as an alien reptile face :eek: .... as it stands there is no interplay with the objects, of which are an important part of the story.... so I really Like Preston's suggestions...... I know this would be alot of hard work, but Im sure you could do it..... the couch doesnt bother me that much, and thought you did a wonderful job........ perhaps you could have the bat tucked through he's arms which may make it easier, but .... need to change that glove lol

09-20-2004, 08:41 AM
Oh Dawn!!!!

I can't stop laughing about the "alien reptile face"!!!!! It never occurred to me that there would be people unfamiliar with a baseball glove. How typically American of me!!!! Fortunately, the only international showing of this portrait will be restricted to this website, and I think that every american from about age 2 1/2 can identify even a badly rendered baseball glove in repose! LOL, I just can't get over it!
BTW, I'm also a Saggitarian - love you signature!

Well, I sure got some thinkin' to do. I could reasonably easily move the bat under his right hand, which is elevated already. I'd have to invent a shadow, but that's not a huge issue. I have the bat and the boy at home (as well as the reptile alien LOL) and could finish from life or take another photo for that bit. In reality I'd have to move the end table to get the bat near his hand, but as it doesn't appear in the portrait, WHO WOULD CARE, right? O.K. Molly, now you're ramblin' . . . Maybe I need another cuppa coffee?

Paula Ford
09-20-2004, 09:16 AM
WOW, this is fantastic. Very well done!! :clap: :clap: :clap:


K Taylor-Green
09-20-2004, 10:23 AM
Wonderfully rendered portrait, Molly. So expressive! I love your skin tones.

09-20-2004, 10:35 AM
Thank you Kate and Paula! Your comments are most appreciated!

I'm thinking about cropping the piece and changing the title to "Waiting to Play".

Let me know what you all think, o.k.? Here's my proposed crop. I may tone down the couch pattern as well.


09-20-2004, 11:13 AM
Molly - put down the ball and bat but I have to say as a well established good ol American who loves baseball... I'm afraid I had the exact same lizard reaction as Dawn. What that makes me... I don't know but I swear I'm a Yank.

The portrait in close up is one of the most beautiful I've seen rendered - absolutely gorgeous and powerful and sublime. What a gorgeous model you had there and he really poses well. Your photography background comes through magnificently.

But now the glove.... I'm going to ask you squint down your eyes and see if you can tell from the photograph where teh darkest darks are in this photo and where they are in your painting? I see the back of the head and the inside of that glove.... It's only going to be a simple process to get that glove looking as fine as the boy... just a few darks placed correctly and also don't forget the back of the glove that has shadows.

Please promise us you'll post this with corrections. It's Superb!!!!

Oh - like the crop.


09-20-2004, 11:44 AM
How odd that I saw a lizard too ! See my comments in the original thread in portraiture! And I hadn't even read these comments!


09-20-2004, 01:34 PM
I like the crop too..it really shows shows your subject and portrait skills well!!!!

09-20-2004, 01:56 PM
I vote you lose the scary lizard. If you make it sharper, it will "argue" even more with the portrait face. AND I think you could lose the distracting corner of the sofa, which visually takes you down, around the curve of the white ball, and up the curtain......

Turn the pic upside down and look at it from a bit of distance. You will start to see what I mean. That hard, orange shape, no matter what it actually is, takes attention away from the softer, cooler colours in the portrait head (which, before someone bites my head off, are not all cool in themselves, but appear cool by comparison with that harsh orange.).


Incidentally, the pattern on the fabric doesn't bother me at all. It is soft in colour, echoing the gentle quality and innocence of the little lad and the colours in his skin. It is right for tone value. It has no hard edges, so it isn't distracting. It is obviously fabric, tho, under his folded arms, which is fine. It makes a nice colour accent at the base of the image, the green being different enough from the wall to bring it forward a little.

09-20-2004, 03:00 PM
Thanks Jackie, Barb and Preston!

How great to have the advice of artists I so admire! I am still cracking up over the lizard thing (and not taking it too personally!), but after three different people saw the baseball glove as a lizard, well, can't have that!!! :eek: Another person thought it was a chair. So, I guess I need to go back to the simple subject portrait for this attempt anyway. I very much like your crop, Jackie and of course I love the idea that all I would need to do is blot out a couple of things, cut it down and get it to the framers.
I really want to enter this in a local juried show, and haven't had any luck with my portraits in shows yet. I don't know if they just arent good enough or portraits aren't popular with judges, or whatever. I don't feel badly about it, just curious. This would be the first juried show I'll try for. Any sugestions or advice would be very much appreciated.
Thanks, again for all your help!

09-20-2004, 05:27 PM
Oh Dawn!!!!

I can't stop laughing about the "alien reptile face"!!!!! It never occurred to me that there would be people unfamiliar with a baseball glove. How typically American of me!!!! Fortunately, the only international showing of this portrait will be restricted to this website, and I think that every american from about age 2 1/2 can identify even a badly rendered baseball glove in repose! LOL, I just can't get over it!
BTW, I'm also a Saggitarian - love you signature!

Lolol Molly, from one Saggi to another, you will know, no insult intended :)

09-20-2004, 05:39 PM
I like the idea of the bat & glove but the the glove takes alot of attention as it looks orangey on my monitor. Great portrait.

09-20-2004, 07:16 PM
Thanks everyone for all your gracious comments and your wise advice. I am going to chop this one down to a simple portrait for sure.
My son even likes the idea of being more the "center of attention"! I have to get up the nerve to wipe out the couch and the glove (the bat was too quick to finish to get attached to!). Hopefully it won't be too difficult to get rid of and hopefully I won't cry! :( HAHAHA, just kidding!

I'm going to try it as an entry in a juried show (a drop off style). I'll let you know how I make out. I have two other entries as well. I'll know by the 29th if I'm in. Wish me luck!

If it hadn't been for you all, I would have had an entry of a "Portrait of a young boy with orange lizard". :D :D :D

09-21-2004, 01:47 AM
goo dluck with the juried show. Dont take it personally if your portrait doesnt get the attention it deserves...sometimes, portraits arent to the judges' liking, they are too personal.

Think carefully about the title of this one. He looks wistful, and contemplative. "Waiting to play" doesn't do it for me. I think it needs to be something stronger and somehow deeper, to do with his inner thoughts, eprhaps.

Whatever happens with the show...it' a lovely portrait, one to be proud of.