View Full Version : WIP x-post from Portraiture

Ian Bruce
02-04-2007, 06:20 PM
Some suggestions would be appreciated. How is the likeness doing? The background is at this point an approximate color scheme--it will be a tropical sky and sea, with the sea being shallow and green (inside the reef color). My friend Doug stopped by with a painting and we swopped critiques. He suggests that I should make the foreground a pinkish beach against the blue of the shirt, changing to the aqua green higher up, next to the face, and with a high horizon that puts the blue of the sky near the top of the painting. He is generally very good with color. I did think of changing the shirt color too, but the pinkish beach color may make that unnecessary. I started with a verdaccio, intending to simply finish the painting with transparent glazes (as an experiment, I am new to all this--acrylics esp.), but things changed and I went opaque. I lost my shapes and have just re-established the nose and right (his right) eye by drawing with a brush. I will have to remodel those areas. Any advice and comments at all would be much valued--any at all!
This is the reference photo taken late in the afternoon on a overcast Maine day. I need to change the lighting to a tropical sun). PS--I know about the shoulders!

02-04-2007, 07:36 PM
Ian, you have the base of a really good painting going here. I can't offer a critique but I'll be around to see how you finish this one.

02-04-2007, 10:11 PM
OK grab big pinch of salt ;) as I really can only give my opinion which in no way resembles any proper art C&C .... but to my untrained eye, the painting certainly looks like the guy in the photo, his skin looks a little too red all over at the mo but I know it's a WIP so I'm sure you're not done there anyway....

Re the background & shirt - personally I quite like them as they are, because the colours are fairly close the focus is fully on the chaps face - I just wonder if you start putting pink in the background/shirt there might be a bit much going on & it could detract from the main focus ... :confused: ???

Will be very interested to see what others think & off to the portrait folks to see what they reckon ...

02-04-2007, 11:51 PM
I like your ideas! Definitely sticking around to see how you work it.

chammi kaiser
02-05-2007, 04:04 AM
You have caught the expression well. Rather than drawing a line down the nose (I know you say you have lost the shapes but it is important to use light and shadow for modelling), I would work a little more on the lighting down the centre of the nose and across the cheeks. The iris of the right eye is a little too large and needs to be rounded more. Whatever colour you eventually decide upon for the shirt, some of that colour would be reflected in the neck area. Hope this helps a little. The likeness is very good so keep on working and good luck.

02-05-2007, 09:49 AM
A good likeness, I think it's shaping up well.
Cheers Finzy

Ian Bruce
02-05-2007, 08:35 PM
Thanks, Chammi. I know I should have re-established the nose shape with light and shadow, rather than line, but I am more used to drawing than painting and I always have to start with line. I saw a fascinating WIP of a portrait that was painted from life, starting by blocking in the shadowed areas, moving on to painting the eyes almost to completion, then the nose, then mouth. There was no preparatory drawing at all. The outside shape of the head was only completed towards the end of the painting process. Fascinating. I would like to try to do that sometime.

02-05-2007, 08:42 PM
You're deffinately on the right tracks here.
Some careful highlighting on the nostril areas will bring the nose up fuller and I agree with Taz on the redness but believe this may be controlled once your highlights are in.
I also agree with keeping a farily simple background so the focus stays on the face.
Considering you seem to have had a bit of a nightmare with the start of this portrait I think you salvaged it remarkably. Keep looking and checking your shapes, negative spaces and details in relation to other details....10 mins painting...15 looking...That's the key IMO.
You're doing great!!! :thumbsup:

Ian Bruce
02-05-2007, 08:45 PM
Oops--looks like I double-posted somehow. :eek: I see this thread that I started further down the list.!:o

02-06-2007, 07:55 AM
Unless it's the pic, the flesh tones need to be lightened on the cheeks and nose. The nose also appears to be to thin at the base. You've done a great job with a candid photo that has a lot a noise in the background. I can see why you chose to paint this guy, his face says a lot Do you plan to keep the glasses and gold chain in the potrait? I think they give insight into the character. I'll be looking forward to your progress.

Charlie's Mum
02-06-2007, 06:22 PM
Ian - I've merged your threads :D

Ian Bruce
02-08-2007, 12:52 PM
Here he is, now, with more work on everything. Still a lot to do on shirt, cap and face. The back ground is closer to final. I am still uncertain as to the shirt color and he looks a little wooden and dull. C&C welcome!

02-08-2007, 01:39 PM
I think it looks great. I'd maybe change or tone down the color of his shirt. reddish or orangish maybe? to add contrast to the water behind him. It looks great as is too though.

02-08-2007, 02:14 PM
yep - he does look like an old salt... ;thumbsup:

02-08-2007, 06:21 PM
yep - he does look like an old salt... ;thumbsup:


02-08-2007, 08:18 PM
I can tell you are working diligently at this and are honing the values/colors as you go. The man has a very interesting face and I like how you are picking up the lighter values.

Ian Bruce
02-09-2007, 07:31 AM
Sorry about the lousy photo--I have so little time during daylight hours and not much of a photo manipulation program. This one should be closer--somewhat.

Ian Bruce
02-11-2007, 04:06 PM
Jackie, I may add the glasses and gold chain. He looks too much like a generic sailor with that cap (Hollywood and the advertising industry is convinced that all seamen wear them). Peter is the only experienced seaman that I have ever known to wear one. Keeb, I had been thinking for some time of changing the color of his shirt to red. Mind you, the blue shirt looked much better IRL than in the photo--I had three different blues in that painting! I like the changes I have made--but there is still more work to go. Unfortunately the camera insists that the sky and sea colors are almost the same--they are not! My sky is very blue with no green in it at all and the sea is the aquamarine color that you get in shallow waters in the tropics when a yellow sand ocean floor is seen through blue water--really quite green (lots of Pthalo Green in there). There is a lot of variation in the sea from the beach to the horizon and the sky has a lot of streaky cloud. The face looks about right, except for some glare. Let me know what you think. C&C's welcome! P.S. If anyone knows how to get decent colors in a photo--I'd like to know. I had much less trouble photographing watercolors.

02-11-2007, 05:41 PM
It's looking great, flesh tones are good, background is way better than photo was. There's something about the "left" cheekbone area that looks funky, but it could be the beard, perhaps giving the beard in that area more depth, like there's too much white in contact w/ the flesh tones. Do you know what I'm getting at. On the right side, same area you've painted grey next to the skin so the beard appears 3 dimensional. Sorry I express myself better 2d!

Ian Bruce
02-14-2007, 07:50 PM
Thanks Jackie, I see what you mean about the left cheekbone area. I will touch that up. I think I need to put in stronger shadows too--as well as highlights (which were already on the program). I think the lighting seems like the lighting one would get under an awning or umbrella that let some diffuse light through. I would like to get the effect of direct sunlight!

Bob Rooney
02-14-2007, 10:38 PM
This looks pretty good, Ian. You picked a great subject with lots of character in his face. Here is a quick PS of the way I see it. Yellowed highlights, with some of the same yellow added to highlights on shirt. Would also add it to where sand meets water to darken it (wet sand) and tie the color harmony together. I would also soften the horizon line and the beard. The waterline is too perfectly aligned with the top of the shoulder. I think I would bring the waterline forward or back a little so it doesn't look like it's setting on his shoulder. In it's current position it is also creating a distracting tangent where everything meets at the back of his collar. Just opinions of course.