View Full Version : Man on black

Merethe T
03-24-2008, 11:17 AM
Poor man in black disappeared with the WC-downtime, so I'm gonna re-post him...
Like I said in the original post, portraits ain't my thing, but I'd like it to be.... ;) This is #1 in a series of 4 great guitarplayers, me trying something new.

I'd like c&c very much on it, trying to simplify techniques to create mood and energy.

On Canson 30x40 cm, FC and pastel pencils



CM Neidhofer
03-24-2008, 11:30 AM
Hi Merethe,

I mentioned before how wonderful this is. But someone else thought the jaw line was a little too sever and I think I agree. Maybe softening the collar line a little would help? Not sure.


03-24-2008, 11:31 AM

I imagine this was extremely difficult working on black. I can't say I've ever done it but someday maybe...

Just a thought or two since you asked... I find the collar of his shirt so strong an edge It may be that way - but perhaps a little softening will help.

I'm also wondering if the back of the hand needs a bit more definition. Right now it reads as a shape - I know what it is but it's not as defined.

I love the profile - the shirt and the guitar!!! Was the ear that light in color?

Wow - this must have been a challenge alright! Barb

03-24-2008, 12:08 PM
I am still such a beginner I hesitate to comment, but this one is such a pleasure I can't resist.
The play on words in the title amused me. I really like the blue-blacks on the warmer background black. Did you use black in the portrait or let the ground show through? Did you lighten every so slightly, the background on the right? It looks like it. Such a subtle detail and just right.
I agree that the collar line might be softened, and maybe even some of the edges in the more distant shirt, but the fade-out on the back left adds to the piece for me. Really a beautiful piece. I look forward to seeing the others in this series.


03-24-2008, 12:19 PM
Love the way the light catches his face

03-24-2008, 12:22 PM
Like I mentioned before, portraits maybe aren't your thing but it looks like they should be. This is wonderful!


03-24-2008, 01:18 PM
i think its very effective:clap: , and only one thing caught my eye - the hand.
it does need more definition, especially since there is so much of it in the face and he sure needed that hand to play the guitar:D
did a great job!

03-24-2008, 01:29 PM
Cravia, this is sooo good.. You captured him so well!!

Pat Isaac
03-24-2008, 04:56 PM
I think this is a really great image. Working from dark to light like that is very effective but often hard in that where do you stop? I do think the jaw line is a little too severe and I agree that some areas need to be defined a little more as they fade into the background, i.e. the hand, the hair and the eye on the right of the viewer. Great series.


Merethe T
03-24-2008, 05:13 PM
Thank you all! I think you're right, this piece need more work. I'll soften some edges and do a bit more defining in the areas you've mentioned - thanks for pointing it out for me!

I was struggling with the hand, wasn't happy with it but the ref is so small it's hard to see what's going on there...gonna have to have my guitar-playing man sit for me to get it right! :)

Sandra, this is done on black Canson, and I've let the ground show as background, with just a little hint of pastel to indicate the direction of the light.

Thank you all, I appreciate your comments greatly!


08-10-2008, 04:00 PM
:wave: I love this, althought maybe after you do your changes and soften some area, I will love it more! I adored Johnny Cash my whole life, and this work is such a wonderful tribute to the man in black, way more than that movie they made recently was! You do wonderful work on Canson, and show its good quaities well. I like it , too. You are a masterful artist.

Paula Ford
08-10-2008, 05:19 PM
Fabulous work Merethe! This is so dramatic...beautiful!

08-10-2008, 08:43 PM
No softening required here. Having worked under stage lights for 30 years I'm used to seeing very crisp lines in odd places, and believe me I have played in some odd places lol So it looks fine to me and the overall piece is well worth the repost and much appreciated here

08-11-2008, 08:37 AM
Nothing to add as far as crits or suggestions, but this is a wonderful likeness. I've just started doing portraits in pastel (as of yesterday), and, when I'm not doing live subjects, I'd like to try working from photos of famous folk, as you've done here.

Four great guitarists, eh? The Man in Black was a great one to start with. I'm very curious to know who the other three will be!

08-11-2008, 10:26 AM
Less is definitely more! A strong feeling of stage-light, and I can 'hear' the silent and rapt audience -- in other words, it works!

08-11-2008, 12:54 PM
Merethe this is so good!! you should do more portraits! It's lovely and full of emotions. woho!