View Full Version : Portrait - And someone's going to PAY me!

04-09-2005, 06:30 PM
Well here it is. The value "patches" on the face are exaggerated in this photo of the painting, but I do see that I really need to do some smoothing. But am looking for suggestions and comments before I turn this over.

I had two pieces at the framers - you may remember the Son in Iraq and the My son and his baby. You know - portraits for in-home use only! Someone saw the paintings and was having some photos framed and told the framer - "have her do a protrait". Yow.

So I had one color reference 3" x 4" that was not the same shot at all and a sepia photo for the actual reference shot. So that made it hard...

Please - let me know if anything looks "off".




04-09-2005, 06:51 PM
THis is great!!!! The only thing that I see is the left cheek looks to be alittle too rounded, as compared to the photo. I love the horixontal planes that you had placed on her face just beautiful.


04-09-2005, 06:52 PM
This is Beautiful Johnnie...... and not to mention impressive.... love the hair and detail in the bonnet..... its going to be stunning and the customer will love it...... yes, do keep going with the skin, adding some warm tones too .....
great job...... Love it :clap:

04-09-2005, 09:25 PM
jOhnnie, this is lovely, You've caught her expression beautifully and don't you feel great to have been commissioned in this way? congrats. I second Dawn's suggestion of warming the skin just a touch.
PS There is now a working link in the thread for Link for Hard White Eraser.

04-09-2005, 09:34 PM
This is gorgeous, Johnnie! Third vote, here, for warming up the skin.

I would also say that the light spots in her eyes should be slightly smaller. They currently make her look like she is looking a completely different direction than she is in the photo. Just my nit pick there, so ignore it if you want...the portrait is gorgeous as is anyway.

04-09-2005, 11:30 PM
Whoooo Hoooo!!!!!! A commission!!!!! :clap: You go girl!!!!!

I bought my first pastels almost a year ago.... then I just stared at them in their precious glory lying in their boxes for over 4 months before I had the nerve to put one to paper!!! The reason I wanted to try pastels was to try to learn to do a portrait of my grand-daughters... still haven't tried that yet! So I will be watching this closely to observe and learn... ('course Dawn could aways do a step by step of one of her portraits, too... then I could learn twice as much twice as fast!!!! :D )

This is a real cutie pie and you are doing her justice for sure! The crocheted hat has blown my mind... and now I eagery wait to see what you do with that delicate skin.

04-09-2005, 11:44 PM

Don't forget your mates here when ya gonna get famous :D

Best regards,


04-09-2005, 11:56 PM
You've caught a very good likeness. You might check the shape of the shadows running from the corners of her mouth down to her jawline. I agree that her left cheek is a little too full, the contour seems a little off. Very minor nits, a lovely drawing.

04-10-2005, 12:22 AM
Goodie Goodie Goodie - thank you. There's Hope!

Ben and RT - I see what you mean about the cheek - I think it is HER left one?

Dawn and TJ - I need more warmth but this picture is really cold and will try a new shot tomorrow - that will help some.

Cori - I can try that on the eyes - thanks.

Tammy - woo hoo is right! I am tickled pink and now the heat is on!

Bringer - No chance... still figuring out what's going on with these dusty sticks!

Thank you all soooooooo much....


04-10-2005, 12:25 AM
This is a very good start. I understand you will work some more on skin tones. I like the diagonal strokes. Just wanted to bring to your attention the area around the mouth right now creates a tention in her mouth. I like to apply shading from the beginning but you can do it as you go. My favorite part of drawing portrait is building the face with values. Good job!

Paula Ford
04-10-2005, 11:13 AM
She's beautiful!! :clap: :clap: :clap:


04-10-2005, 11:15 AM
Lovely, lovely! I think I'll just sit here looking at this awhile, then the blizzard outside awhile, then sip my sugarless mint cocoa awhile, then look at this awhile, then.....what a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning! :D :wave:

04-10-2005, 11:15 AM
lookin' good, and I would think that the parents will like it a lot. They probably wont expect it to be exactly ike the photo, and in a few months, this gorgeous little face will have changed a lot anyway.

Just out of interest, this is what happens when you overlay the photo and the portrait:


as you can see, you have made the whole face a little wider than it should be, and perhaps not as long as it could be. But you have still captured a likeness, so perhaps this doesn't matter too much.

I would certainly try to soften off those horizontal pastel strokes. You dont have to always use the tip of the pastel when you work; using the side will give you a more painterly effect, less "sketchy". Have a look at thisportraits by Denis Frost (cover of an old book ), he has used the side of the pastel :



04-10-2005, 12:49 PM
What a cute little girl! I have a soft spot for children's portraits in case you haven't noticed :wink2:

I think you have done a great job at capturing a likeness, My suggestion would be to check the shape of our right cheek, and Our right eye seems to be a bit more open than it needs to be. Smooth out the pastel a bit, and punch up the deeper values some and it will be great!

Congratulations on your commission! It feels great getting paid to do what you love.

04-10-2005, 01:19 PM
Paula, Jackie, Mary and Sooz - thanks for looking. I'm liking it esp after a few more tweaks.

Jackie - I learned it here! ... checking the art on the computer with overlays... so I will show you what I had - took awhile to get the right % together and many trips back to the computer and making some printouts. But I don't think the face is quite as far off... at least from my reference here. Help if I don't have this right.

I notice I don't have as much hair in the back and this was taken before the hat was finished, as you can tell. And the chin is ever so slightly off - some of these things I have fixed since this overlay...

But ALL suggestions help - don't stop.



Mikki Petersen
04-10-2005, 06:14 PM
Johnnie, this is looking really good now! What a charming subject. Getting paid is nice but also stressful in my opinion.


04-10-2005, 08:53 PM
Coming along so beautifullly....not surprised someone wants to pay you for your work!
Looks like you are getting good advice from people who know what they are talking about when it comes to portraits.


terence p
04-13-2005, 01:53 AM
a beautiful job - great likeness and the hair and knit cap are terrific. If you havent done so already, you should also post this in the portrait forum. Im sure they would all love to see it as well.

I think doing childrens protraits are especially hard, one wrong line and the child age 5 years. You do seem to have have problem in this area.

Jo Castillo
04-13-2005, 02:14 AM
She is a cutie. Makes me smile.

04-13-2005, 06:19 AM
This is lovely! Congrats on the commission as well
I think overlaying on the computer sometimes helps, but very often I end up spending more time getting the scaling right and I am better off just putting the two images together and look. Also - asking somebody else helps. The key question is always 'is it her?'
Anyway - just a few niggles - I think you could add some shadowing on her right cheek, where the hair starts. It will add to the depth and it seems right as the light comes from the other side.
You might want to add some more variety to that shadow side of her cheek. See how her right eyebrow shows a darkish patch near the end of it? And then just above it, it is slightly brighter and then it goes dark again.
Also her left eye lid could maybe do with some adjusting. The thickest part is on the level of her eyebrow in your painting - but it is lower in the photo - it is the actual eyelid that is the thickest bit.
You could check the highlight in her left eye - it seems slightly too big.

It's a gorgeous painting and a gorgeous girl - lucky you to have the opportunity to work from such a lovely reference image as well!