View Full Version : My first attempt at portraiture....help
08-07-2006, 04:33 PM
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This is something Ive been working on and working, any advice to help me improve it would be great, I want a modern feel with a likeness to it.
But im struggling technically and how to do the values, still a way to go but I think its going ok for a first time.
08-07-2006, 08:11 PM
L- I think you are off to a great start! I'm not qualified to offer technical assistance but I am digging this a lot.
08-07-2006, 09:22 PM
Thanks Ronda, just the fact that you like it gives me a boost.
08-07-2006, 11:29 PM
Next time, try giving the face a lot more room. Giving a subject lots of room lends importance to the subject. When a face covers most of the surface, the feeling is that the viewer is standing nose-to-nose with the model.
A good rule of thumb for a head-and-shoulders portrait is to have the chin at or above the middle of the support, and to have at least "one nose" of headroom at the top. "One forehead" is probably better. The less room there is at the top, the more the subject will appear to be looking down his nose at the viewer. The face will occupy no more than perhaps 1/5 of the surface area, perhaps much less.
08-08-2006, 04:47 AM
Laura, this is really a great beginning. I like the different view of the head. It looks like you have a reference clipped to the canvas--check the proportions. I think that you've made the head itself too small. Too little forehead and skull above the hairline. Also, the hairline on the viewer's right seems to be too tilted--it looks to me like it's more vertical in the ref photo. But that's reeeeaaaly hard to see! It's hard to comment on the likeness, because the ref photo is toooo tiny.
Check the proportions, though, and the symmetry of the face--the cheeks don't look the same to me. The viewer's right cheek looks a lot fuller and rounder than the other one.
I like the approach you're taking with this, carving out planes of the face. For me, it's all about value and shape. If those are right, then the color almost doesn't matter!
I'll look forward to seeing the next steps on this one.
08-12-2006, 03:53 AM
Thanks Kate and Jive, I really value the help and advice and will take it to my canvas, Yes Jive i see what you mean, while paiting I kinda wished I had a bigger canvas to give the head more room, the head just seemed to take over, for some reason I find it it difficult and less pleasing to paint small.
08-14-2006, 05:45 AM
Personally, I love the placement of the head and I love the way you are painting it! Sandra
08-15-2006, 10:36 PM
I like the the painting too as well as the cropping. To me it gives a bold statement.
08-16-2006, 06:48 AM
Being doing a little work, thanks for your postive views it all helps, I must admit I likethe boldness too but do wish Id left slight wider edges.And The forehead should have been a little bigger but the space to adjust is gone but its all lessons for next time.
I added the original too that Im working from as he wont sit still for me.
08-18-2006, 11:20 AM
For the first portrait, you are doing an amazing job - honestly.
Just a few observations you may or may not want to consider:
- it appears that his eyelashes are non-existent in the painting
- it may just be the photo of your painting, but the flesh tones seem to be disconnected. Laying an overall darker flesh tone may help unify
- the shape of the eyebrow on the right should be a bit fuller
- laying down a warm color on the flesh of the nose will help it protrude rather than recede (the general rule of thumb is that cool colours - i.e. blue make objects appear in the distance while warm colours make objects appear closer). This will help the highlight of the nose "pop" or push out. Additionally, darkening the definition of the nose tones would help it appear less flat as well.
- the top of the head should be extended (common anatomical error amongst budding artists)
- the shape of the lid to the left side of the painting should extend a bit further left
- the angle of the eyeglass frame to the right of the painting should tilt upwards instead of down. If you hold a pencil directly in front of the ref. photo straight in front of you with your painting arm extended, this will help you determine angles clearer.
- the brow furrow does come together but not completely, and does not form a darkened tent-like shape. If you examine it closely, you will notice the lightest skin tone of the portrait is on the nose bridge, the second lightest is the subtle highlight of the forehead in this brow-furrow region, which give it it's definition. Generally speaking, in beginning a portrait it's helpful if not absolutely necessary to indicate your lightest lights and darkest darks to help determine the value range inbetween.
- the mouth part whould be extended to the right side and then disconnected
rather than carried on to the bottom of his face.
With that said, you've done a wonderful job in just about nailing proportions correctly. If your aim was to stylize the portrait by creating hard edges and anatomically creativity, please disregard the aforementioned advice.
Looking forward to seeing the final product.
08-19-2006, 04:03 AM
Thanks for the help, and thanks for putting it in such a great way,(see structed critiques) I do want to stylize but I also want to try and get some accuracy and likeness and anything that makes my work better, this is a learning piece more than anything. Ive printed off your advice and will take it into my studio and apply some of your suggestions. Sometimes you look at something so much you stop seeing it, and it takes fresh eyes to see what you cant.
09-01-2006, 07:03 AM
Been doing a little work so far I have moved up the forehead and a fe wother small touches, still a bit to do but I think its nearing the end, my B/f says it freaks him out seeing himself..is taht a good response?
Yes that's good, it means he can see himself in the image which can be a freaky feeling. If I may suggest that you darken the area ever so slightly below the nose and cheeks so that it recedes more as it does in the photo. It will carry the downward slant of the face a little further for an even more convincing pose. I really like your style and I think you've done an excellent job.
09-17-2006, 05:32 PM
Finally finished for now, as I have one to do for a friend, Im quite pleased for my first attempt. but next time i think I will leave a little more space at the edges. And thanks for all the help I have taken it on board and hope to use it in my next one.
I think you've done an excellent job of presenting your unique style in portraiture. As you evolve I think you'll treasure this first attempt as you should! Well done!
09-18-2006, 06:21 AM
I love how this turned out. I especially love the size. I am doing a commission now, head and shoulders, on a 24 x 36 canvas. I love working large. Sandra
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