View Full Version : first portrait see what you think

10-16-2007, 11:41 PM
this is one of my first portriats. it a pic of my daughter anna
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Oct-2007/118001-anna_pic2S6300146.JPG (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Uploader/upload_image_save2.php#)

10-17-2007, 05:40 AM
It's a fun portrait Curt.

In my opinion there isn't enough contrast betwen the subject and the background. Lighter or darker would have made the figure pop. Try grayscaling it.


Also if you choose a sun direction and add a shadow from the figure it will bring out the sunshine. I haven't time to show it on my manip.


10-17-2007, 06:04 AM
Hi Curt,
Welcome to the Watercolor Forum. I'm glad you were finally able to upload your painting.

I think this is a charming painting and a lovely little girl. I love the expression on her face. :D

Doug's advice is excellent. Right now, your values all are about the same. The contrast between light and dark as he suggests really makes a BIG difference in watercolors. Decide if you want the sunlight to be entering your painting on the upper right or the upper left and then deepen the tones on the opposite side. You can also add cast shadows on the side that is away from the light.

Try printing out a color copy and playing with adding darks and see what you think. Or, if you are good with computers, you can use a photo manipulation program to do the same thing as Doug has done here.


10-17-2007, 06:27 AM
I think your portrait of your daughter is lovely. What an impish face she has ..... she looks so happy.

Doug is right about shadows. Decide where the sun is coming from, the left or the right. say it is the left the her shadow would be showing on the jetty. Her feet would have slight shadows under them and then stretching out showing the shadow of her legs and body.

To check your values while painting, try turning your ref pic and your painting into greyscale on your computer. There is also a terrific value classroom in the Classroom sticky too by painterbear..:)

The grass closer to the jetty should be lighter and then as it recedes back make it slightly darker/blued a little. This is how you would show distance in this painting.

The front of the house would have a shadow if the sun was coming from the left and the side of the house would be really light.

Don't be afraid to make your shadows really dark and your lights really light, it really give a painting impact.

Check out the Learning Demo's, (link in my signature line) for shadows..

Have a look at Genna's Portrait Class in the Monthly classrooms in the Learning Zone Sticky for skin tones.. Genna uses a wonderful technique of under painting the shadows in her portraits first then painting the skin tones on. She under paints in a light purple wash.

She does use white paint and I don't myself, but each to his own..:)

I am really looking forward to seeing more of your portraits, you sure are on the right track!!

Cheers JJ

10-17-2007, 07:22 AM
this is just wonderful- and the background, etc. is super too... you should do more portraits for sure!!!

10-18-2007, 02:02 AM
JJ seems to have covered just about everything... and she's right...

I'll say this much... the composition itself is wonderful!! I love the impish grin on your daughter's face... and quite honestly, if I were you, I'd consider painting this again... you learned a lot in the first version... try a second...

10-18-2007, 05:24 PM
I too love her grin! She looks mighty proud of herself. You've been given great advice from the above people. THANKS for sharing and keep on painting and posting.

10-18-2007, 05:43 PM
Thanks to everyone for the advice.:clap: I did lighten up the grass and did add shadowing. I was very pleased with the results. My daughter took me to get it framed because she said that if i dont frame it i'll just keep working on it. I guess she right hope to show you how it came out. Thanks Curt:wave:

10-18-2007, 08:57 PM
Cute kid Curt and with the changes in values I know it's super!!

10-25-2007, 08:34 AM
Great picture. Well done

Doug Gulley
10-25-2007, 09:26 AM
You have received some great advise already so I will just say I like the subject.