View Full Version : Newbie WIP: study of girlfriend

01-29-2007, 02:36 AM
Hoy! I'm a complete beginner to acrylics, and so far have just been goofing around and trying to get a handle on things. My plan here is that I'll conjure some sorta (largely figurative) illustration of my archaeology major girlfriend, dressed up with a fedora, leather jacket, bullwhip...

All advice would be greatly appreciated.

Gotta get some sleep, so all I have so far is this sketch and original photo. To start, I'm doing a bit of a study, with acrylic on drawing paper. I failed to stretch the paper properly (first time trying), so that's why there are those folds... It's not as bad as the lighting makes it seem, so I'm going to go ahead and use it, seeing as it's just a study.

http://xs511.xs.to/xs511/07051/P124.JPG (http://xs.to)
http://xs511.xs.to/xs511/07051/tnystdy2.jpg (http://xs.to)

I wasn't sure where to put this thread... I hope the acrylics forum works.

01-29-2007, 04:24 AM
NM, my browser is doing weird things. For a little while there I couldn't see your sketch!

Anywho.. I think this is a good start. :) I would watch out for her right arm though, it's behind her, but there isn't any space between it and her jacket like in your rough sketch.

Also, when you start doing a nice finish, be sure and shoot some close-up photos of her face and hands especially. It'll help you lots with the details. :D

Good start though! I'm looking forward to seeing the progression!

01-29-2007, 09:23 AM
Hi Dueck, Welcome to the Forum! You are off to a good start and have a lovely subject which helps. :) The one area which I think you need to look at is her eyes. Her right eye appears larger than the left and also, in the photo, the sides of the face by the eyes appear to curve in a bit, so you might check that too. As you work, I hope you share with us.

01-29-2007, 11:34 AM
portraits and figures are a couple of the hardest things to paint or draw. I have a lot of respect for anyone who tackles them, especially a beginner. Its really difficult to comment on a rough sketch, best of luck to you and please keep us informed on your progress

01-29-2007, 03:41 PM
So... I tried to soak it and stretch again, 'cause the warping turned out to be too much. However, when I picked it up, I wasn't being careful enough, and managed to put a massive tear in the sheet.

Now I am waiting for my newly soaked and taped-down sheet to dry...

Leslie Pz
01-29-2007, 04:23 PM
Wow! Good luck and eager to see where this goes! Your girlfriend is very pretty and I am sure the piece will turn out well!

01-29-2007, 08:17 PM
I learned yet another lesson... masking tape still doesn't work for stretching that paper, or at least I should let it dry just a bit before trying...

So, here's another sketch on an only slightly buckled sheet. I'm kinda skipping the study part and going all-in. The theme is Mayan ruins, 'cause she's a Mesoamerican prehistory major and likes that kinda stuff. I'm itching to start painting, but I gotta teach soon so this is it...

http://xs311.xs.to/xs311/07052/tnystdy3ps_sm2.jpg (http://xs.to)

I worked the face too hard :P it looks all grubby. No matter, though. I'm planning on doing a rather opaque underpainting with much less detail (fudge factor).

01-29-2007, 09:13 PM
Ive never painted on paper so Im no good for advice there, the background will definately be interesting AND a lot of fun to paint.

Your figure has some minor perspective issues, the crotch seems a little to high and the upper arms seem shorter than the forearms. Her smile should be more in line with the outer edge of the eye iris. When it comes to hands I tend to find a way to hide them so I don't have to paint them:lol:

Have you considered getting a photo of her of the proper size/posture and tracing? It's NOT cheating to use ALL the tools at your disposal! A tracing would also come in handy once you have the basic shape painted in to reorient details

01-29-2007, 10:36 PM
I can't get a picture of her :S this is kind of a cheesy Valentine card. Thanks for the tips on perspective - everything is greatly appreciated (don't worry about sounding like you're thrashing it, 'cause there's surely a lot of things that can be changed).

01-30-2007, 03:28 AM
Here it is at the moment... I did a burnt umber underpainting, and then started a white-umber-red glaze... not sure how this will go, 'cause I've never done this before.
http://xs511.xs.to/xs511/07052/tnystdy4.JPG (http://xs.to)

01-30-2007, 08:51 AM
One of the difficulties in commentings is a difference in styles, I would have tackled the background 1st, a personal preference, where as another artist will do as you have and tackle the figure first. And I very, VERY seldom do an underpainting.

That being said... it's looking very good, nice shadowing and folds.

If you can't get a photo use yourself and a mirror as a model, look closely at how the arms and hands fall in the pose your after.

01-30-2007, 08:53 AM
I didn't think to mention that applying a coat of gesso to the front and back of the paper will help to keep it from buckling. I'm enjoying your updates. :)

01-30-2007, 04:03 PM
The camera's charging (again), but all I've been doing was layering more light washes on... some of it's working, and some of it's really really not. Part of the problem seems to be that get small enough, so the whole face is kinda mucking together. My small brush is a filbert 4... maybe I'll go get a smaller one :P

By the way, the paper is 18x24".. I think I forgot to mention that.

01-30-2007, 05:36 PM
The camera's charged again! I think my charger is broken...
Here's more stumbling through scumbling.
http://xs411.xs.to/xs411/07052/tnystdy5.jpg (http://xs.to)http://xs411.xs.to/xs411/07052/tnystdy5det.jpg (http://xs.to)

I'm going to have to get around to the eyes, 'cause they're really starting to bug me :S

How can I do a gesso coat on both sides when I'm stretching it? Or would I just pick one or the other?
Thanks for all the advice, guys.

01-31-2007, 05:47 PM
I think for you, maybe working on your drawing would help you a lot before venturing into painting.
Also, the reference is very difficult to work realisticlaly from as it is very blurred, in tungstun lighting and has dark shadow areas in the eyes. Unless, you have it blurred here on purpose for privacy reasons, then ignore that comment.
Otherwise, I think your stages are at a good start for acrylic. You want to do a value building layer as it makes it go better and you'll struggle less with the coloured layer when you get to it.
Hope that helps; Jocelyn

01-31-2007, 07:10 PM
Heh, zing!

Um. I was loaded when I did the first drawing :S It was too late to edit my post the next morning.