View Full Version : Help on a portrait crop, please!!
02-14-2008, 04:45 PM
I would like to do a painting of this woman's eyes. I am considering this close up crop of her face and would like any comments or feedback before I start. Thank you very much!!
I'm having trouble uploading so I'll attach...
02-14-2008, 11:19 PM
Wow! Ambitious project! I'm no expert, but something about where it cuts across the bottom bothers me. As if it is cutting off right at the turning point of the lip, like cutting someone off at the ankle or wrist. Okay, that probably doesn't make any sense, but it was the best I could do! Good Luck!
02-14-2008, 11:30 PM
She looks kind of afraid in the crop...not appealing? I would like to see the whole picture as well.
02-15-2008, 01:41 AM
I think we can better help if you post the photo with the entire face.
02-15-2008, 09:47 AM
She looks startled or afraid. I don't think this is the best crop. Unless you're doing something very 'out there' with your style of painting.
02-15-2008, 10:01 AM
Thank you everyone for the advice. There was something bothering me about the crop...She has very dramatic eyes...I want to paint a serious expression but not an afraid one. It was very difficult to get a reference photo where she was not smiling/ posed...this was one of the only ones where she was more "natural". Here's the whole picture. Even this one doesn't have her whole face in it, but I like this photo because of the light.
The good thing is that this is not a commission - I'm just doing it for me - so I can afford to make mistakes and learn from it.
02-15-2008, 10:16 AM
Would it be possible to ask to reshoot her? Doing a more 3/4 pose, unsmiling. IMO, her eyes are just too wide open, her nose is too prominent and before you put paint to canvas, you just might want to make sure you've got a good pic.
02-15-2008, 12:39 PM
Hi ya, heres 2 quick general solutions I came up with might help to focus more on the eyes.... with a few tweeks from here you may be able to use the photo better, but in general the reference could be a bit better, hope this helps :wave:
as a side note: people with eyes like this, ie when thier eyes are always this pronounced, is a posible sign of a thyroid condition, ( the skin tone/appearance and hair endings also suggest this posibility). normaly you dont see the whites over the tops of eyes unless a strong emotion or obviously the person is straining to look down...
02-15-2008, 01:49 PM
Thank you all for your helpful comments!! The crops are helpful. Unfortunately, I can't ask for another photo shoot. This lady's health is not good - The first photo shoot (20 minutes) took a lot out of her. I do have some more reference photos I could use, I just liked the lighting in this one. The subject has a medical condition that would make it difficult to paint her neck, jaw, and mouth well - and this is the cause of the wide-open eyes, too. My feelings toward her are sadness - because she is sick- and admiration -because of her inner strength. I'd like to somehow capture this on paper but I'm relatively new to painting people and their expressions. That's why I'm spending so much time on the thinking/ planning stage. I do appreciate all your help!
02-15-2008, 01:56 PM
Look at it this way. Would you paint a close up of only her nostrils? Maybe points of light on the hairs nestled therein? Would you paint a close up of three of her teeth? A close up of the sworls of her ear. These things are every bit as legitimate (or foolish) as an "eye study." A human head is the sum of all its parts and requires adaquate surrounding space to make a portrait of it.
02-15-2008, 03:14 PM
I think due to how open and alarmed her eyes look it may be better to include more of her face. Her mouth present changes the whole feeling. Unless, you want that alarmed expression.
02-15-2008, 03:47 PM
Since you have the "face", It wouldnt be teriibly difficult to find someone to sit in the same general pose/lighting and "model" a picture for the chin and neck area, at least to complete more of the lower part a bit.
As far as the eyes go, you have the skull structure. its not too hard to "relax" the upper part of the eyes and eye brows a bit, you would have to slightly "relax" the cheak slightly by dropping the highlight a bit and reducing the "smile lines" intensity.
Over all its possible to work with what you have and not loose any of the personality and character of the subject....
02-15-2008, 05:35 PM
Here is another idea to consider. A full body photo of the woman sitting in a chair. Rembrandt did torso and full body drawings of his wife Saskia during her sickness that proved (and they both might have feared or even known it) fatal. Swift ink drawings that are as moving as anything ever drawn. Rembrandt is Rembrandt and you are not; nor is anyone else. Still, a study of those drawings of Saskia will open up ideas beyond the highly expressive eyes of your friend. You seem to have a solid empathy with this woman. Snap a whole roll of film of her, with interspersed facial close ups if your camera can do that, with no attempt at posing on her part. Then from the variety of those images you can create a synthesis that should be more representative of your friends suffering, and soul if you like, and a more true to life likeness than any one photo can provide.
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