View Full Version : 1st Portrait WIP
07-06-2008, 09:17 AM
I had this thread in the Oil Painting Forum but I think it belongs here.
This is my first ever portrait and it is the first time using the grisaille under painting method to achieve the correct values. Big thanks to Marty C who has offered guidance in this process. Since joining this site I feel my painting has improved in leaps and bounds. But a long way to go yet!
C & C welcome!
My Cheeky Son 30" x 20" (76cm x 50cm) Oil on Canvas
07-06-2008, 09:25 AM
Grisaille Under painting:
07-06-2008, 10:08 AM
This is a great first grisaille! I notice some subtle things by holding a straitedge against the curves: the baby's left cheek should be a bit fuller; the curve of the right undereye is not so pronounced; the upper lip is not as concave as painted--it needs to come down a bit at the front of the mouth. (Hold a straightedge across the upper curve of the mouth to see the curvature) Check the curve of the bottom of the right cheek between earlobe and chin by holding a straightedge up to it. The curve is a bit fuller, and more continuous. These are all easy to fix! The curves are everything here. There's my picky 2 cents worth!
07-06-2008, 10:19 AM
I echo what karenlee had to say. This is an ambitious project to paint and getting the curves correct along with rather soft colors will be most important to this painting. He's as cute as a button and you want to maintain the 'cuteness' throughout the process.
also, check your values between the two eyes. The far eye has darker values than what is presently showing here and additionally, the far side of the forehead. The grisaille should determine and be a pathway to values for the overall painting.
07-06-2008, 10:40 AM
Karenlee:- do you mean the bottom eyelid? If so, then I see what you mean. I'm not sure how to make the cheek fuller as suggested. Perhaps more curvature in the smile line and more highlight on the cheek??
Dana: My aim was to practice determining values,.. maybe I should have picked something more simple to start with. I will have a go at correcting those faults tomorrow. Thank you both for looking.
It is funny how once you reduce the size of the pictures all the imperfections are pronounced and easier to see. The grisaille is more green I used a 50% ivory black and green mix and then mixed up 10 values. I also had to angle the camera to reduce the glare from the flash.
07-06-2008, 11:07 PM
Yes, the bottom eyelid. And, I was referring (sorry for my unclear note) to the outline of the baby's left cheek. If you hold a straightedge to the cheek, viewing the cheek's outline from the top of the cheek to the bottom, you will see a little more fullness is needed. Once the outer cheek curves are plumped out, the baby will look a year younger!
07-21-2008, 08:15 PM
Had some time away from this piece,.. been too busy with work.
I tried to address the constructive comments with the second layer of the grisaille. C & C welcome please!
07-22-2008, 03:42 AM
Hi Steve .... :wave: . Oh my goodness your little son is sooooo adorable ...:heart: I know very little about portraiture (I hardly even know how to spell the word!) but you are off to a great start with this one .....you have certainly captured his cheekiness ... :clap:
07-22-2008, 04:21 AM
Your doing such a fantastic job on your very cute and cheeky son!!!
The likeness is great , and the compostion is very appealing.
The only thing that stood out to me is the right eye, ( our right)
I would maybe just round the upper eye lid a tad so it was not so sharp a point in the middle,
Keep up the excellent work, and looking forwards to seeing this one finished.
By the way,
what is grisaille ??
07-22-2008, 07:00 AM
Thanks mooz, he is very cute and he knows it.
Netty, thank you for looking. This is my first portrait so I appreciate the C & C. As you can see I fixed his right (our left,.. the main focal point) and now the correction has highlighted the mistake in the smaller left eye. That eye has been annoying me, thank you for the advice.
Marty C put me onto this method of painting to teach the importance of establishing value and so far it has been the best art lesson I've done. A fancey word for monochrome under painting!
The Wikipedia def is:
Grisaille (grĭ-zī', -zāl'; French: gris, grey, French pronunciation: /ɡʁi.zaj/) is a term for painting executed entirely in monochrome, usually in shades of grey or brown, particularly used in decoration to represent objects in relief. Italian examples may be described as work in grisaglia or chiaroscuro, although this term has other meanings as well. Some grisailles in fact include a slightly wider colour range, like the Andrea del Sarto illustrated. The photographic equivalent would be a Sepia Tone.
07-23-2008, 02:11 AM
ok here is my opinion for what it is worth..even though the eye are swinging hard to the left...bring them around a bit...there is to much white of the eyes showing.
a show judge once told me that not all aspects of photos translate well to a portrait..she said think about the one thing that needs to change.
very nice job...keep up the good work
do you use a grid? Deborah
07-23-2008, 05:16 AM
Thanks Deborah. I not sure what you mean by swinging them back to the right a little more. I think that would be changing it a little much for my experience level. I think the shading needs to be corrected because the whites aren't exactly white.
I used 4" grid squares to draw from which in hindsight was probably too large allowing some of these problems come in. The little errors appear to be exacerbated or highlighted when the photo is reduced again.
07-24-2008, 08:58 PM
your doing so well here..I think the white of the left eye is still a bit big...keep working Deborah
07-25-2008, 04:42 AM
Thanks Steve for the meaning of the word Grisaille. I have been aware of this approach to painting ( just didnt know its name :P ) and it is a great way to learn the tonal value without being caught up with colour. I did a drawing of my son with pastel pencils using just two colours, indian red and white, and the grey pastel paper was the mid tones. It really is very affective.
Your portrait is lovely...
I am a Gill too :) My great great great grandad immigrated to Aussieland from the united Kingdom over 100 yrs ago , The meaning of Gill is "Dweller of the glen" so maybe our distant relies were neighbours :)
or dwellers of the Glen, hehe.
08-15-2008, 10:03 AM
After some time off, I've come back and finally started to add some colour! So far I'm happy with the results and a little surprised, it's just like colouring in, once the ground work of the under painting is done, almost feels like cheating!
C & C welcome at this stage
This is going great! Your family will treasure it I'm sure.
08-15-2008, 07:45 PM
This is so well done! Hard to beleive it is a first! I am curious about this method.. when you lay in the colors, is it thinned real thin so you can still see the underpainting or opaque? what do you use for thinner? This is facinating to see someone do this so realistically for their first time to paint... Great job!
08-15-2008, 08:52 PM
Well done, Steve, You have done a great job on your first grisaille. :thumbsup:
As in all things, practice makes perfect. But you now know the value of this method, and how easy it is to glaze on colour. The real time and effort should be applied in the grisaille stage.
There is software available which enables you to break down a reference into the various values. It's a great aid when you are just starting to assess values.
08-15-2008, 10:49 PM
Nancy: Thank you for looking, yes my wife is happy with it, I'm a little disappointed I didn't do it on a better canvas:(
Maw-t: Yes maw-t this is my first ever portrait I always steered clear of them, the whole skin tone and faces thing! Never felt confident to do it right. This is the ninth oil painting I've ever done over a ten year period, no lessons just picking things up along the way. This painting has been a lesson in establishing the tone / values. Sorry I don't know the proper terminology.
The grisaille was done with AS number 1 (lean medium) and the first layer of colour was done with AS number 2 medium. AS is an Australian brand and info about them can be found here: http://www.artspectrum.com.au/oils_mediums.html
The final couple of layers will be done with the glazing medium number 4 and will be done really thin. I mixed the skin tones and made sure their values matched what I had done on the canvas and then started applying very thin. In some places I wanted the green under painting to come through because his green shirt reflects off the right side of his face and I've read that green gives a warmth to skin tones :confused:
08-15-2008, 10:59 PM
Marty C: Thanks Marty I'm glad you came across to have a look. I value your opinion and your assistance has made the difference. I've learnt more here in the last few months than from any art teacher. 3 years ago I went to an artist who gave lessons and after an hour of insults about my work I walked out the door. The sad thing is I now recognise he had a grisaille under painting on the easel and I didn't under stand what he was going on about. Couldn't get past his rudeness and arrogance! Next painting I'll be back at Marine Forum!:wink2:
08-16-2008, 03:05 AM
Steve, this is look very good and you have been given great advice. I'm not a painter, just graphite drawing. The only suggestion I have is to try to soften the edges of the mouth. It seems to have a little too much of a hard line.
08-16-2008, 05:48 AM
Thanks Charles, I'll look into that. It's great to have other comments, I'm still having problems with his left (our right as we look at it). Just a strange angle and trying to get the shadow right!
08-21-2008, 07:39 PM
Second Glaze Layer!
Time for the 2nd layer and adding the colour to the mouth. It's not quite right yet but I'll adjust it in the 2nd mouth layer. The burgundy / Maroon needs to be a shade or two darker in some places.
As always C & C welcome!
08-24-2008, 07:25 AM
More highlights and the 1st layer for the shirt painted. No eyebrows yet, and some artistic license taken for the flash highlights in the left eye and visible teeth. C & C Welcome! Thanks for looking.:)
08-26-2008, 02:17 PM
hi , i hope you dont mind a comment from a pencil artist but, the first thing that struck me about this otherwise superb portrait is the lower lip is a lot thinner in the painting than the photo, i just thought id mention it . great piece though,regards...:thumbsup:
08-27-2008, 09:55 AM
Thanks Russell. It's good to come back to the forum and see someone has responded. The comment is welcomed and straight away I saw what you pointed out. I'll make an attempt to correct ASAP! Thanks for the advice and comments. Cheers
08-29-2008, 01:08 PM
Hi Steve ...... I just slipped away from the Marine Forum to have a peep at what you are up to here .....:wink2: This is looking terrific and I am really really :envy: of someone who can do a portrait so well .... :clap:
I will call back again to check up for any updates ...... :wave:
08-29-2008, 01:16 PM
Thanks Anne. I'll let you know when the final glaze is done and its hung on the wall! I've seen your paintings there is no reason you can't do them as well! For me it was finding the one shot that inspired me to paint it. I may even do this reference picture again yet because I learnt so much from this attempt.
08-29-2008, 01:21 PM
Actually a friend asked me just yesterday if I could do a portrait of her father-in-law. :eek: ........ I said I would give it a go as long as there was plenty of time and no pressure ..... I might just be calling into this Forum for help soon....... :D
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