View Full Version : Help Please!

Thomas Greaves
02-21-2008, 08:56 PM
Started this tonight, and I would appreciate opinions as to whether the features are proportionally correct. I don't have a reference, this is brushed straight onto the canvas from imagination. I'm not worried at all about values yet, just the proportions.
24"x20'' stretched canvas.
Thanks in advance.



02-21-2008, 09:14 PM
I do like the proportions and I think the eyes are outstanding already...an eye catcher as to speak....wondering where you go from here?

02-21-2008, 09:16 PM
Hi Thomas, I like the blue undertones of this, will be interested to see where you take it. Just one crit - you've got the placement of nose and mouth pretty much okay, but the eyes are possibly a little too large and are too close together. There should be an eye width between the eyes. That depends if you want a realistic look of course.

02-21-2008, 09:28 PM
I just finished measuring the eyes and then read what LuLu posted. I was going to say the same thing....of course you are going the lower the lids a bit, aren't you? Unless she just saw a ghost :lol:
The blue underpainting is great to work with. Nice beginning, Thomas!

02-21-2008, 09:39 PM
The big question is, what are you trying to achieve? Some of my favorite characters on this forum have been Clem's [clementine] and she isn't trying to be photo-realistic at all (although she probably captures the person better than most :) ).

If you are going for realism, as has been pointed out, the eyes need some attention. You might ask yourself if you have ever seen any one that looks like this. Imagination is OK, but we see people all the time so if its not right, someone will notice. I would suggest looking at a few people's eyes. I think you'll see the problem.

Thomas Greaves
02-21-2008, 09:41 PM
Fainsbert, Lulu, Sonita, thanks. You're right! Those eyes are too close together! I wonder how I'm going to fix that. The size will reduce slightly when I paint up to them, but not that much :lol:

02-21-2008, 09:48 PM
Sorry if I have to go against the flow here...my best friends eyes are really close together as I see it in your work and I do not see it as a bad/weird thing....like some people have a bigger forehead. I actually like it that way...but that might be just cause of my friend :)

02-22-2008, 12:40 AM
i would also add that the part in her hair makes her head appear flat on the top to me ... i'd think a slight curve to the viewer's left might lessen that effect ...

Thomas Greaves
02-22-2008, 01:01 AM
Thanks Violet, I was centreing her hair as you were writing I believe, but it still isn't right. I'll worry about that after I get the facial features fixed.
I think the eyes are sorted now. I also straightened her nose, maybe a tad too much on the right side, but I think I now have to re-align the mouth and chin. Not much, but enough to make a difference.
I don't do portraits, and I really don't understand why I chose to do this one.....impulse i think!
Oh well.....back to it.:lol:

02-22-2008, 01:37 AM
thomas, you know you've undertaken a truly difficult thing, drawing a portrait without using any reference at all !! .... both the human face and body are difficult to proportion well without a reference ... here is a link to a site that has some guidelines you might find helpful ... http://www.tcpnow.com/activities/howdrawface.html

Thomas Greaves
02-22-2008, 04:32 AM
Well this is where I got to for tonight. I still need to lengthen the smile a little, and I'm still not 100% happy with the nose.
Thanks for the link violet, but i'm still working from my head.
As Bill said, if it isn't right someone will notice it. Hopefully it will be me, if I 'look'. This will be a good exercise in observation for me.


02-22-2008, 04:57 AM
Very nice so far, I like the way it is developing. However, I see a shadow on both sides of the nose. You need to establish a light source and stick to it. I think the size of the pupils may be a bit too large.

02-22-2008, 07:09 AM
its getting very pretty and soft--i like the movement of the hair a lot. don't forget the little pink "membrane" (i don't know what its called) at the inner corner of each eye--you probably just haven't gotten that far yet. the line of her chin and jaw are very pretty. chris

02-22-2008, 07:47 AM
I think those revisions made a huge improvement. Looks like this will be an engaging painting for sure.

02-22-2008, 11:20 AM
I had the same concern /like the others/about her eyes but now as long as you fixed the problem I like her very much.She looks soft ,charming and a little bit shy.Im looking forward to see how you will develop this painting.

02-22-2008, 01:33 PM
Her eyes look much better, although I, too, think the pupils should be a bit smaller. She getting very pretty! The nose needs less shadow on the left side. It's too even on both sides, giving the appearance of a sliding board :lol:
This is such a great idea, Thomas....making your own person :clap:

02-22-2008, 02:37 PM
Hey Thomas,
I noticed that you are drawing the iris of the eyes completely round. Generally the lids cover about a 1/4 of the top of the iris and a small amount of the lower part. Unless the person is surprised, shocked, or looking up or down. Others are correct in saying that you should only have a strong shadow on one side of the nose. You have improved your drawing, continue the good work. Colleen

Thomas Greaves
02-22-2008, 03:16 PM
Thanks to all of you for your comments and observations/suggestions.
Regarding the eyes, you might notice that she as yet has no eyelids, which will cover the top part of the iris. Her aspect then will hopefully give the impression that she is looking upwards slightly, which will then also correspond to being able to see the top of her head. This makes me think maybe the left jaw-line should be a little steeper also. The pupils are, at the moment, oversized. I have done this having in mind that the outer edges will be covered when i overpaint with colour, but I am going to have to remember my plan! Regarding the nose, at the moment I am still trying to define the form and proportions of the facial elements, and as I said before, I am not worried about tonal values, or indeed shadows, at this time. Obviously some tonal variation has been neccessary in defining those forms, but they are by no means final.
Wish me luck with this, as I am totally outside of my comfort zone. [I believe it was Violet who suggested I am crazy to undertake this without a reference :lol:] I am very nervous about the outcome!


02-22-2008, 03:33 PM
I have only played around with drawing faces, but making them up can be fun. You can't really go wrong. You already have some nice dimension going there.

Thomas Greaves
02-22-2008, 08:58 PM
originally posted by lavenderfrost:
You can't really go wrong.
But getting it right is no mean feat!
Gee this is a whole lot more difficult than I imagined it would be. The slightest thing out of place can throw the whole thing out. Violet was right, I AM mad to be doing this without a reference. But it's a heck of a teaching tool.
Tonights progress at first seemed to be minimal, and slow, until I compared the results against yesterdays. I think I can now consider the facial features 'done'. I have the face and expression that I want. Still haven't quite decided on light-source, but I think it will be slightly left of frontal, sort of above the viewers left shoulder.
I deliberately only uploaded a facial detail, as the parting in the hair is very wrong, and creates the impression that the face is wrong also.
Anyway here it is. If you think anything is wrong, please tell me, but bear in mind that this is underpainting.


02-22-2008, 09:30 PM
Don't be nervous about the outcome, Thomas. It's not like she's a blind date. You can always change her (or put a bag over her head!). I do miss her eyebrows. Are they going in with the underpainting or are you doing them later? I think her eyes really look good now!

02-22-2008, 11:51 PM
Huge improvement in this latest update. The only thing that seems off to me now is the nose - even though we're seeing her face at an angle, her nose appears to be pointing straight at the camera.

02-23-2008, 12:35 PM
Howya, I was thinking the same thing about the top lip.

02-23-2008, 04:33 PM
This is coming along. I like the depth to her eye sockets. You might consider adding shadow to the underneath of her nose to show the depth - darker than the shadows on the side of her nose. You might also consider adding a shadow under her bottom lip.


Thomas Greaves
02-23-2008, 10:20 PM
OK! I'm still struggling with this, but I'm determined that it WILL be right before I'm done.
Fainsbert, the eyebrows are the least of my problems right now, but they will probably be a nightmare when I come to do them. Everything else has proved that way so why should they be different :lol:
Howyadoin....dead right about the nose, and LavenderFrost, ditto about the lip. Both those items have been reworked [again :lol:]...I think you'll agree they look better now. I also adjusted the line of her chin very slightly.
Eyepaint, I hadn't started thinking about shadows or values on my last post, in fact I hadn't even decided on the light source. But those are issues which I am now slowly introducing as I work through.
What I have noticed now though is that the right eye is a tad too low, so I'm going to tackle correcting that tomorrow, along with the point where the corresponding brow meets the nose.
I corrected the shape of the top of her head, and started to work the hair with leftover paint at the end of this session. I think I shall drop the front edge of that to the right of the forehead, and rework the styling over the right shoulder.
So, lots of things to sort tomorrow. Man, this is taking time!
Here's how it's looking tonight.


02-23-2008, 11:28 PM
Thomas, I don't like painting full face with a reference never mind from my head. You've chosen a tough one. The eyes bother me. They're not natural. Too symmetrical.

02-24-2008, 02:47 PM
Looks better. I'm just going to sit back and watch now. :D

02-24-2008, 02:53 PM
:wave: Such a genteel face, Thomas! I like the way you've painted the end of her nose. All the features are coming along - great advise so far. Maybe some lower lids would make the eyes less round looking. :D


Thomas Greaves
02-24-2008, 07:50 PM
originally posted by CamiTampa:
You've chosen a tough one.
Yes, Cami, I knew from early days that this was going to be tough, but I resisted referring to an on-line 'aid' that someone suggested. I decided to learn as much as I could from this experience, and to teach myself to really look at what is on the canvas. Must admit though, without a few extra 'eyes' from the good folks here at WC, I would not have gone so far as I have.
Eyes too symmetrical? I think symmetry is OK for now; before I start trying to 'bend' things first I need to learn how to get them 'straight'.:wink2:
originally posted by LavenderFrost:
I'm just going to sit back and watch now.
Unfortunately, I'm doing a lot of sitting back myself, but looking really hard. Sends me dizzy sometimes :lol:

Edtree, the lower lids are there already, just that the values are so close to the rest of the eye yet that they don't show well in photography. The nose I am still not 100% happy with, but there's still time to adjust a little.

Anyway, I completed the tasks for today, moved the right eye and restyled the hair on the right side also. I decided to do a full tonal blending job, and have made some progress with that. I might even decide to keep it monotone, rather than adding colour, if it works out OK. I couldn't work on deepening the right eye socket without risking disturbing the repainted areas, but it left me an opportunity to compare and gauge the depth of the left eye, which i think maybe a little too much.
I converted tonights photo to black and white, to help with judging the values, and I've included that image also.
Here's tonights efforts.
Thanks for looking. Serious critique and suggestions are always welcome.