View Full Version : My Parents

10-11-2007, 01:35 AM


Title: My Parents
Year Created: 2007
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Board
Dimension: 9x12
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is my second attempt at a portrait; I did it because it seems to be getting close to the time when I am going to lose both of them. And I wanted to do this while they were still here. I have redone the faces quite a few times, and tho' I am sure it is not perfect, I felt like it actually started to look like them. (I'm including the pic I used as a baseline.)

I had a real tough time with the background, and have changed it alot too...should I leave it or keep working on it? And let me know about anything else too?

thomas w
10-11-2007, 09:25 AM
Don't be afraid to show some contrast. Highlights and shadows give a portrait its form and substance. As for the background, the door and the post would be decent enough, but don't put to much emphasis on it. Keep at it.
Thomas W

10-11-2007, 10:12 AM
I can appreciate your motivation for this painting. I wish I had done one last painting of my mom too. Portraits may be the hardest subject to paint, so don't get discouraged. I'll suggest two things. First, don't stop. Keep going with the little things. This is one subject that truly starts with the big shapes and becomes more and more refined as you go. The picture will come into focus right before your eyes. Second, try turning the photo and the painting upside down as you work. You will be suprised at how much it will help.

10-11-2007, 11:08 AM
Iliopus seems to be suggesting that you need to let the right brain start expressing itself and try not to be as analytical of the lines and what they represent. That's probably great advice for 90% of all people who pick up a pencil or a brush...the other 10% do it naturally.
Wonderful, touching thoughts of your parents seem to be what are guiding you in creating this portrait.... so show us the type of folks they are and what's inside them... your right brain is where that expression might be. Let us see that inner spirit that makes them special. Great start!
Pulling for you on this one!

10-11-2007, 09:23 PM
Thanks for the advice on the background, thomas w, I appreciate it. Still not sure about exactly where I should put anymore shadowing.
Iliopus, I had seen comments about turning it upside down before....boy does it make a difference; not sure tho' if I overdid or underdid the changes I saw.
Slurps, I am grateful for your encouragement; I just hope I can live up to the potential that I guess I got genetically from my dad...he is the first of the creative ones in our family.
I worked on it most of the day, so I will be interested to see if you all think I went forward or backwards.
Thanks again for the input !

10-11-2007, 10:30 PM
Try pretending you just told them to say "Cheese". Give Mom a little hint of a smile, like in the photo. Think about how she'll look when she sees this. Let 'er rip!

10-11-2007, 10:42 PM
Ok, thanks, Slurps..I'll go try now

10-12-2007, 01:44 AM
Well, I tried; I "stole" a smile from another photo. However, with the smile, I now had to deal with teeth, and alot more "smile lines"(she would never call them wrinkles). I find it hard to show how very sick she is, maybe for alot of reasons besides it being hard to paint. :confused: So keep going or go back to no teeth? Plus, is there a way to lighten the skin tones some, without starting the faces from scratch?

10-12-2007, 02:41 AM
Yeah, maybe a little bit too toothy...or the teeth are a bit too white and defined... but if you took the smile from another photo of her, maybe that's the real her. You know your memories will some day be of someone who was not ill and frail, and maybe you'll get a big smile when you see this...and maybe so will she and your Dad. There's a lovely light in her eyes. This is how I think any mom would want to be remembered. And there's a proud smile on your Dad's face, an optimistic look.
No matter which way you turn with this picture, if it is honest you've turned the right way. They will love it.

10-12-2007, 10:35 AM
You are comming along nicely. A series of photos from beginning to end is very useful in determing if changes have worked. My advice today is forget about those facial details for a while. Take another look at your original photo. Study the shading and shadows on the faces and the clothes. Maybe even play with the contrast on the photo in your computer to get an idea of where it may take you. Try to add some contrast to the painting by putting in the shadows. Good contrast will strengthen the likeness.