View Full Version : Redhead

Deborah Secor
02-23-2008, 03:26 PM

I'm trying to practice portraits and kinda liked this one. I guess the rather dramatic uplighting interested me, not to mention her complexion and hair color. It looks a bit spooky but not unappealing to me.

It's life-sized here, 4x6" on blue-gray La Carte. Above it is the drawing I used.


02-23-2008, 03:47 PM
I really like it! There is a mystery about her gaze and expression, and the lighting and colors add to that effect. (I'm partial to redheads because my daughter is one too.) Nice job!

Deborah Secor
02-23-2008, 04:00 PM
I love her red hair and had the most fun painting that part. Thanks, Mary!


02-23-2008, 04:39 PM
I find the eyes to close in the painting and her mouth swisted a little.

Great colours!

Deborah Secor
02-23-2008, 04:41 PM
I do too but for now I'm living with it! Hope you can too! I decided to enjoy the color and skin tones and stroke work and light and shadow and shapes and forget that the eyes are wrong. Otherwise I get depressed and don't try to paint these portraits cause the eyes are always wrong! :lol:


02-23-2008, 05:00 PM
Lol Deborah, that was a cute and funny answer.
I love the eyes, almost get lost in them looking at the face...beautiful :) And of course the red hair lets them stand out even more. I think you did a great job and would like to see more of your portrait work in the future.

Deborah Secor
02-23-2008, 05:22 PM
Thanks, sonita.

Well, I didn't mean to be rude at all... LOL I went and tweaked the eye. Is this better?


A little smudged but maybe in a better place. :D

THIS is why I love doing landscapes and not so much portraits. [Where is that smacking head icon?]


02-23-2008, 06:17 PM

I really like this. I applaud you for doing portraits. I have such meager drawing ability that I don't even try. I know someday I will have to try it though. I have watched you really go for the portraits and they keep getting better and better. It hasn't taken you very long to improve so drastically. This is really good!!!

02-23-2008, 06:23 PM
Looks much better. I approve now. :D :D :D

Deborah Secor
02-23-2008, 07:23 PM
Thanks, Shari. I can use all the encouragement (as in COURAGE) I can get!

Thanks Mike--good eye... :wink2:


02-24-2008, 01:45 AM
Hi Deborah,
I really like both the pencil drawing and the painting. I'm glad you fixed the eye though as I looked at it and could see something wasn't quite right. The whole look of the left side of her face is improved by your minor tweaking. It shows how just some small changes can make such a big difference to the look of a piece be it portrait or any other painting.

Tracy Lewis
02-24-2008, 08:09 AM
It looks great. I am pulled towards portraits too, just to try and perfect one, even though there is often so much wrong with mine at the end, but I can alway's see something that has improved.

02-24-2008, 12:48 PM
Glad to see you doing portraits again, Deborah! You have a gift for them. I had the same feeling about the eyes and mouth not being quite right, but at the same time, responded strongly to your wonderful use of color and shape and shadow to convey not only a personality but also some interior process reflected in her features.


Dayle Ann

Tracy Lang
02-24-2008, 02:16 PM
The colors and shapes in this are just wonderful and your sense of enjoyment shines through!!! Keep the portraits coming :)


Todd Flaming
02-24-2008, 04:02 PM
Your portraits are definitely getting stronger. The adjustment to the eye really makes it work. The looseness of stroke on her hair is really really nice. Really awesome piece and a tough one too, considering the composition and lighting.

Pat Isaac
02-24-2008, 04:08 PM
I love the color and lighting in this portrait and also the mood of the person. Your portraits are definitely getting better and I am impressed that they convey a feeling or emotion. I'm glad you moved the eye too......


02-24-2008, 04:14 PM
Wow! Deborah I love this one it is great, love the red hair and those beautiful blue eyes. The colors you used are exquisite. I find myself looking for new threads of yours when ever I'm here because I learn alot and your work is truley remarkable.

02-24-2008, 04:14 PM
Eyes much better now. Funny, I don't usually visit here, but was doing a pastel portrait of my daughter and thought I'd stop by. Still working on it, and when one thing gets fixed something else goes awry. Got the eyes, now the mouth looks oddly odd. Just ordered 100 Sennelier portrait in wood on sale at Jerry's with a 20% discount. AWS has the same deal in Senn darks and a 15% discount for 100. Both expire on Friday and was torn. May still get the Aws, but Jerry's coupon G2W2 expires today. Other softies are on sale at each site, if anyone needs more (who doesn't).


Deborah Secor
02-24-2008, 08:33 PM
Oops, got behind on responding to you all, so I'll just say a GROUP THANKS, if you don't mind! I'm going to try to get a little portrait practice like this one in every week so stay tuned...


02-24-2008, 08:48 PM
From one redhead to another...I like her! The mystery in her expression leads us to make a caption ...or create a story! I like your color choices. She is not a photographic rendition but an artistic one. Good work.

New to pastels and did the self-portrait challenge ...with dubious results. Will try a regular portrait soon. Keep up the nice work.

Yvonne :thumbsup::)

Smile...it makes them wonder what you're up to!

Deborah Secor
02-24-2008, 09:13 PM
Thanks, Yvonne! I appreciate hearing this...


02-24-2008, 09:17 PM
Darn. I was just working up the nerve to post a couple of portraits, but seeing yours makes me think twice. Very nice! I agree with Yvonne about the artistic rendition. Much better, in my opinion, than the tighter photographic approach (which mine would tend to be :( ). Back to the drawing board.


Deborah Secor
02-24-2008, 09:49 PM
Don, thanks...

Um, remember, artistic is as artistic does. One does tight realism and the next does loose color work. Frankly, I'd like to see yours. I have a lot to learn!


02-25-2008, 06:01 PM
I love your colors and the painterly feel you achieved with your bold strokes.. Your ability with the pastels certainly shows! Man, wish I could do that! some day ::) But yes, The eyes are looking a little in different directions,(tone down the outside white of her right eye and a have little more of the white showing on the inside of that eye ).. and the tip of nose highlight needs to be moved over a tad more to viewers left, as it is in drawing.. that would line it up more with the lips.. these are small and easy fixes. This painting has so much strength & is beautiful!!

02-26-2008, 03:11 AM
Love your portrait, and you did a great fix on that eye!

in case you ever like the idea of book to dip into , I have a wonderful book called "The Artist's complete guide to drawing the head" by William L Maughan.

His examples are mostly created in red conte, I have found them to be really helpful, particularly his descriptions of the anatomy and structure of nose, mouth, eyes, etc which come with good step by step examples. he explains the principles of chiaroscuro really well. I liked his section on "sculpting the head" and Gesture, and also his descriptions of perspective and the three-quarter view, and value pattern. There is a colour section and some info on the use of pastel too tho I dont think yuo need much help in that arena!
Here are a couple of his images:



Deborah Secor
02-26-2008, 09:20 AM
Thank you, Jackie! I'm looking for a text I can use and this is one of the books that's in the running. I really like these drawings of the eye--very instructive. Beautiful portrait, too. :)

I never should have painted this 4x6"! I can't do a lot of corrections on it that aren't gross in comparison, plus it's on La Carte, not Wallis, thus not as changeable. However, I'm soaking in everyone's suggestions. :wave: