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DAK723
12-01-2008, 07:38 PM
Portraits – Lesson 1: The Eyes and Nose

Hello! Welcome to the first class in our new Portrait and Figure Fundamentals classroom! My name is Don Ketchek (a.k.a. DAK723) and I will be your teacher/host.

For those who read my invitation thread, the next few paragraphs will feel like déjà vu!

I am a firm believer in learning the fundamentals, so we will be starting with the basics in our first few classes. And hopefully, we will prove that FUNdamentals can be FUN (or at least makes a good slogan)!

Hopefully, even if you have some experience in drawing or painting portraits or figures, you will join in and participate. You might pick up a few tips, learn a thing or two that you didn’t know, or share with us some of your observations and methods. And while these classes will start with the basics, it is my hope and intent to include some painting “experiments” to enhance the basic lessons for those with more experience.

There is obviously a lot of material to cover with both portraits and figures as our topic. The plan for this classroom is to have a new “chapter” approximately every month. We will begin by focusing on the individual features of the face – eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Due to the amount of material, we will split this first chapter into two lessons – Lesson 1: The Eyes and Nose, and Lesson 2: The Mouth (and More).

Participation:

Everyone is welcome – no sign up needed. You can lurk, you can participate with posts, you can start now, you can start later, you can use this information purely for reference – whatever you want. You can do the exercises without posting, but then you will not get my encouragement or my advice! I will comment on your work only in the classroom thread so that everyone can benefit.

If you don’t do any of the practice exercises or post in lesson 1, there is no reason you can’t join in during lesson 2. Or even further down the road.

Please work at your own pace. There is no advantage to finishing first!

Materials you will need:

For lesson 1, you will need only a handful of pastels. We will be concentrating on value studies with some experimentation with warm and cool contrasts. You will need 4 or 5 different values of something in the “flesh color” range. A range of 4 or 5 values in a cool color like green, blue or violet would be helpful as well.


OK, new stuff starts now!

First Important Note:

One thing that I want to say - and I’m sure I will repeat many times – is that there are many ways to create art, many techniques, many ways to solve problems, etc. I will try to present various ways of doing things, but by no means should they be interpreted as the only way or the best way. In some cases it will simply be my way. Your way might be better, so I hope everyone will feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, opinions and (most of all) their artwork!

On the subject of different methods, this class will be focusing on values – values (sometimes referred to as “tone”) are the degree of lightness or darkness of something (imagine all the shades of gray in a black and white photo). The focus on values is often referred to as a “tonalist” approach. For those who have been participating in the most recent classroom (Still-Life the Colourful Way), you will find that this is a very different approach from the one used there. That class focused on color (or colour), often referred to as a “colorist” approach. I am afraid, since these two approaches are quite different, that this might be a bit confusing, especially to newcomers to painting. I want to make clear, that neither approach is better or worse, nor do you have to choose one over the other. The World of Art has room for many methods and approaches. I hope to try the colorist approach, now that I have learned about it from Charlie’s excellent class, but in this class I am using a tonalist approach because that is the one I know best!

Second Important Note:

In the following sections, I will be making various observations about the features of the face. Many of these observations are generalizations or guidelines. They should never supercede your actual observations of your subject, whether you are working from life or from photos.

On the subject of actual observations – let’s make some! And remember the most basic advice for all drawings or paintings – paint what you SEE, not what you THINK you see. In other words, we all have mental images of what things look like, especially things as familiar as the features of the face. Although it sounds simple, overcoming the mental image and painting what you see is perhaps the single most difficult thing to do consistently, even after many years of doing artwork.

And in portrait (and later, in figurative) work, I can not stress enough the importance of observation! You may spend MORE time observing your subject than painting. I’m serious!

Part 1: Observations

The Eye


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-01-EYE-1.jpg


My observations: The eye is close to symmetrical, but usually is not. The highest point (A) is usually inside (nose side) of center and the lowest point (B) is often to the outside of center. This is usually a very subtle asymmetry. Try not to exaggerate it!

The lower lid has a thickness and has a ridge (C) that is usually in the light. The top lid also has a noticeable overhang. (F).

Always remember that the eye is a sphere, where only a part is visible. Notice the shadow on the outside front view as the sphere starts turning away from the light. (E) Also, notice the cast shadow from the top eyelid.

In light colored eyes, the iris (the colored part) is slightly darker along the edge (D).

The white of the eye is often painted too white. Notice how much lighter the highlight is than the white of the eye.

The eye is one of the few things that is quite linear by nature, but drawing or painting eyes should be approached in the same way as virtually everything else – by representing the shapes of the shadow and light areas.

Next we move to a very non-linear feature, where shadow shapes are very important in depicting the form. I am talking about…the nose!


The Nose

Noses come in many shapes and sizes. Aside from the nostrils, there are no sharp edges or easily defined areas. The shadow shapes and any highlights will help define the form.

In its simplest form, the nose is a wedge shaped object that protrudes from the face. It is usually narrowest at the top (between the eyes) and becomes wider toward the mouth. The top of the wedge is bone, but the bottom part consists of a few areas of cartilage – the nostrils, the separator between the nostrils, and the tip of the nose – which are flexible and may move with the movement of the facial muscles. These cartilage areas tend to change with age, as well.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-02-noses.jpg


My observations: When seen from below (A), the nostrils usually point toward the tip of the nose.

As the nose turns (A, B, C) the center cartilage begins to block increasing amounts of the furthest nostril.

In profile, check the angle of the nostril. It does not necessarily follow the same direction as the contour of the bottom edge of the nose towards the tip.

Please, share any observations that you have made in your study of eyes and noses.

DAK723
12-01-2008, 07:50 PM
Part 2: Demonstrations

Here are the pastels I used for mine. As you can see, they are essentially 5 progressively darker values, all within a similar color scheme. (For the curious...they are Giraults).

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-03-my-pastels.JPG

My intent is to just lay in a basic value study, not concerning myself with color too much. When using a tonalist approach – the most important thing is to get the values right. If the values are right, you can use almost any color and things are still recognizable.

As mentioned earlier, I recommend starting every painting (regardless of subject) by mapping out the dark shapes and the light shapes. Start with the largest shapes, areas or masses. Avoid the temptation to get into details until the later stages. Simplify! When looking at the photo of the eye, I look for the very general shapes of the shadows and lights. I have outlined the major shadow shape below. This will be the general shape I paint to start.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-04a-eyes-shapes.jpg

If you are new to pastels, here are some general guidelines on pastel application.

You will probably want to use a textured paper or one with tooth (like sandpaper). That texture or tooth will hold the pastel material in place. For that reason, you do not want to fill up that texture or tooth at an early stage of the painting because you will add more layers of pastel as you go. So, in the early stages of a pastel painting, to avoid filling up the texture or tooth, you might want to use harder (as opposed to softer brands of) pastels. Also, or if you only have softer pastels, using a very light touch will help avoid filling up the tooth of the paper. For the final layers, the softer pastels will be easier to apply than harder pastels.

Now, while the usual recommendation is to use good pastel paper, in this class we will be doing practice pieces, studies and experiments, so if you have any dented, ripped, bent scraps or leftover pieces of paper, those will be perfect to use here!



My first example, on velour:

Stage 1 – establish values

Starting with a medium dark pastel (the second from the left in my pastel photo), I blocked in that shadow shape. In essence, I am starting with a one-value drawing of the shadow shapes to establish the correct size and location of the features and the shadow areas. It can be very loose, or more tightly rendered, it’s up to you. But keep in mind, if you get too detailed now, you will waste a lot of time and effort if you have to make major modification later due to incorrect placement of the features and shapes. Once, I have established my darks, I use a light pastel to block in the light areas. At this stage, I may use my lighter pastel to cover some of the darks in order to refine and make corrections. I did a bit of blending to establish a bit of the intermediate values. I might also use (but didn’t in this example) some of the intermediate pastels for the in-between values. I then added the darkest value and the highlight last, but again there is no definite order.

Now, you may have a favorite way of starting that is completely different – and that’s OK! I have art books by excellent artists that don’t start this way, so it is definitely not a rule!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-04b-eyes-both.jpg

Stage 2 – wider range of colors added

As my painting progresses, I might add more color to blend in with, or completely cover, areas that are already painted, but if I already have the correct value down on paper, it is easier to choose a color that has an equal value. Here I have added some greens to the eye. I have chosen pastels that are similar in value to the areas I am covering. I can also make value adjustments as I go along. How much you progress the painting – you could stop after Stage 1 if you want – is totally up to you.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-04c-my-eye-enhanced.JPG

Here’s another example, on Fabriano Tiziano paper. This paper is similar to Canson; it has texture, but not tooth. It is from the photo by Rod (see below) from the reference library.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-05-my-rods.jpg


Stage 1: Once again, I started with the darker value shapes, then I added the light shapes. Again, you can do these two steps in any order, or simultaneously. At this stage, I am more concerned with the larger shapes (both shadow shapes and light shapes) than details. All the shapes are simplified.

Stage 2: Lots of people dislike this type of paper because the texture is often visible and hard to cover. Personally, I almost always blend with my fingers on this type of paper, especially in the early stages, to get the pastel to cover the paper. Yes, it is OK to blend with your fingers! Just remember, if you blend with your fingers you have to wash your hands frequently to avoid transferring the wrong color from finger to artwork.

Stage 3: Using my 3 other pastels (2 intermediate values and my 1 darkest pastel), I add color and refine the shapes. At this stage, the pastel itself acts as a blender when covering over or next to an existing color.

Potential Questions:

Q. What if I have trouble establishing the shadow shapes?

I would recommend a couple things: First, try to light your subject (or find a photo) with fairly strong (but not black), well defined shadows. Lighting that is slightly (or more) from the side will usually work better than a frontal light source. Avoid multiple light sources, especially as a beginner. A frontal flash is also to be avoided, as it will probably wash out almost all the shadows. The second bit of advice is one you’ve probably heard before – squint! Squinting at your subject increases the contrast between the light and dark values.

Computer programs can also be used as a tool to help us with our artwork when using photo references. Increasing contrast or color saturation can help us identify values and colors that may be too subtle to see clearly. One can also identify colors by zooming in or taking color samples. Here are a couple examples:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-06-rod-3.jpg

(1) is a photo from the reference library taken by Rod. (2) has been manipulated by increasing the contrast. (3) was done using the Posterize command in Photoshop. Experiment with your computer programs. You may find other tools that will help you in your art creation. Let us know if you find some other useful filters or tools.

Q. I am used to drawing lines and outlines. The idea of “shapes” is giving we trouble. Can you help?

If you have trouble with the concept of shapes, there a couple tips you can try. First, use the side of your pastel instead of the point. This will automatically make you create larger shapes and keep you from making lines. (This idea may work better with a feature other than the eye, as it is quite linear.) Practice looking for shapes of similar value in your reference.

Now, if working on shapes and values with a somewhat monochromatic color scheme is all you want to practice right now, that’s fine – I worked fairly monochromatically for YEARS before I began to use a wider color palette. (OK, in all honesty, my paintings are still fairly monochromatic!)

DAK723
12-01-2008, 07:59 PM
Part 3: Let’s enter the Laboratory for our ...“experiments”:

As I mentioned in my introduction, to try to accommodate painters with different experience levels, I will try to introduce some “experiments” to go beyond the basics. Does this mean a total newbie can’t do those experiments – no, of course not! While I recommend starting simpler for the beginner, you can approach these exercises any way you want! Feel free to skim, or skip over the next part.

Here is where I become “host” as much as “teacher”, for I hope to learn as much from these experiments as everyone else! Again, remember, these are just practice exercises. So feel free to experiment as wildly as you want!

Rather than painting the facial features with a limited color palette as in my first examples, let’s try using the approach of using warm colors (colors predominantly in the yellow-orange-red range) in the light areas and cool (greens/blues/violets) in the shadows. This approach of using contrasting colors (warm vs. cool) is a popular approach in landscape and still life painting as well as in painting portraits/figures.

Here’s mine, done on Fabriano Taziano with Prismacolor pastels. Once again, I started with the medium dark value, in this case the blue in the middle. Then I worked in the lights, and then added the violet and the darker blue and brown (furthest right in the photo). The eye highlight is done with a very light green which I forgot to include in the photo. The other greens are a mix of the yellowish flesh color and the blue.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-07-warm-cooleye.JPG

Now, once again, one can take the painting further if one desires. If the complete division of warm and cool is a bit extreme, one can always add in more flesh tones or other colors, blend them in or cover what is there. I’ve tried to let some of my cools show through, blended others and covered some as well. Since the basic values are established, it will be easier to add colors that have a similar value to what is already on your painting.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-07b-warm-cooleye-continued.JPG

In my second example, I started with the painting of Rod that I did earlier and added the blues and violet to the existing somewhat monochromatic colors. So my cools colors are blended with the browns and reds that were already there.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-08-rod-warm-coolcorrected.jpg


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-09-COLOR_WHEEL.jpg

Note about warm/cool and contrast in painting:

The subject of warm and cool colors can often be very confusing, not just to beginners, but to all artists. I think that this is because the terms are used in two separate but related ways. In a general descriptive way, warm colors are usually described as the range from yellow to red on the color wheel and cool colors from green to violet. In a relative way, any color can be warmer and cooler when compared to another color. So the same terms (warm and cool) are used as a general description or as a relative comparison. In this lesson, I will be using the terms in the general description way only. Another point of confusion is that the terms are not that precise and subject to some interpretation. Some artists consider green to be neither warm nor cool, but neutral. Others consider red to be a neutral color also. For the sake of simplicity, in this classroom, we will consider yellow to red-violet as warm and yellow-green to violet as cool.

We will discuss contrasts more in subsequent lessons, but contrasts are used to increase the vibrancy or intensity of colors and values. They are one of an artist’s greatest tools. The contrast between light and dark is probably fairly obvious – if you place a light value next to a very dark value, it will look lighter than when placed next to a medium value. A warm color will seem warmer and more intense when placed next to a cool color. The most intense contrast of color occurs when using colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. As most of you know, these opposite colors are called complementary colors. We will do some complementary color experiments in upcoming classes.

OK, enough technical stuff...

DAK723
12-01-2008, 08:10 PM
Part 4: Let’s Paint!

Now it’s your turn! Use any of the photos above, or the photos that I have picked out from the reference library (below). Or grab a friend or family member, or use yourself as a model! Have fun! Don’t worry about the end result – after all, it’s just a nose, or an eye - not a finished portrait!

Exercises:

If you want, you can do monochromatic value studies (similar to my Stage 1 painting).

You can take it to Stage 2, by adding a fuller range of color.

You can experiment using a warm/cool palette.

Remember, for this lesson, we are doing eyes and noses (or both)!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-10-sample_portrait-terence_p.JPG
Photo by terence p

Link to full size image:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=76010&size=big&cat=

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-11-sample_portait2-terence_p.JPG
Photo by terence p

Link to full size image:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=57471&size=big&cat=

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-12-sample_portrait-rod.jpg
Photo by Rod

Link to full size image:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=15304&size=big&cat=

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2008/82335-13-sample_portrait-devymarie.JPG

Photo by devymarie

Link to full size image:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=84812&size=big&cat=

Thanks to Anda G for the eye photos from the reference library.
Thanks to terence p, Rod, and devymarie for their photos from the reference library.

Let's Paint!

Post your examples here in this thread. It is OK to combine more than one practice piece in your post. Ask any and all questions you may have.

Share your observations. As I mentioned before, we can all learn from one another.

And don't hesitate to ask questions. If anything is unclear or needs further clarification, let me know!

Don

DAK723
12-01-2008, 08:23 PM
Let me start the posting by thanking everyone for their patience! I said I would start Dec. 1st, but forgot that the internet goes all around the world :eek: and for some of you it is already Dec. 2nd!

Don

Sonni
12-01-2008, 11:16 PM
You should be given a medal just for putting this much together.:clap: :clap: Who cares what day it is. What you have begun with is a little different from the process my portrait instructor started with. She began with the basic egg shape of the head and had us draw a skull in the second class! So it will be interesting to put what I learned from her with what you have here.:thumbsup:

maw-t
12-02-2008, 03:35 AM
HI..Guess I will start us off... I agree with sonni.. wonderful what you are doing.. I have been wanting to work on features for quiet some time.. and hope to do lots more... Thank you!! this one I started with the darks.. then lights, lastly middle tones.. then back to darks, middle. lights.. trying to think about value shapes & cool & warm.. the first one I blended with finger (I dont usually blend).. the next photo I took one step further..I took a hard pastel stick(sort of a light golden color) & cross hatched to blend, as I felt the darks were too dominant....Now I feel I should go back and re-establish the darks & highlights, especially in the eyes??... I want to try and do each ref..Next time trying to stick closer to instructions.. I got a little carried away with color I think? I see lots I could work on, & I wouldnt call this finished, but a sketch/study..( an overworked sketch, in my eyes)Please comment .. crits is how we will all learn & grow!!...I am excited to see everyones work!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/76639-eyesno.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/76639-eyesnose.jpg

Colorix
12-02-2008, 06:55 AM
Don, great class!

Allow me to underline, support what you said, and say something more on the tonalist vs the colorist approach. Especially for those participating in both classes.

The biggest difference I see is that in the colourist approach, plane changes are indicated by colourchanges. In most of the cases, there is a tonalist approach hidden underneath, if I may express it that way. Tonalism is a gradual shift in value using the same 'colour', or pigment (with white added, or with thinner layers). Colourists change colour too, but if one gets the colour right, one gets the value right. That is the 'hidden values' part.

Both approaches, tonalist and colourist, may enrich each other.

And I'll definitely follow Don's instructions and paint tonally in this class (at least in the beginning :) ).

Don, thank you again for a superb start of your class!

Charlie

On the subject of different methods, this class will be focusing on values – ..... a “tonalist” approach. For those who have been participating in the most recent classroom (Still-Life the Colourful Way), ..... often referred to as a “colorist” approach.

I am afraid, since these two approaches are quite different, that this might be a bit confusing, especially to newcomers to painting. I want to make clear, that neither approach is better or worse, nor do you have to choose one over the other. .....

Mette Rörström
12-02-2008, 07:56 AM
Don..Thank you for doing this!:clap:
Sorry for the red words....something happend :eek:

I think this was difficult...I have a tendency to overwork...To hard hand...And I did not have the correct colors. I am not satisfied with this one but hope to get better.
Here it is...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/130835-studie_eye.3.JPG

DAK723
12-02-2008, 08:06 AM
You should be given a medal just for putting this much together.:clap: :clap: Who cares what day it is. What you have begun with is a little different from the process my portrait instructor started with. She began with the basic egg shape of the head and had us draw a skull in the second class! So it will be interesting to put what I learned from her with what you have here.:thumbsup:
I will admit that we will be doing things a bit backwards. I thought it would be more interesting (and fun) to do the features first, so that's what we will do in the first 2 classes. Then we will step back and look at the whole head and discuss measuring and laying things out. That's the plan, anyway! Thanks for the medal!:)

Don

DAK723
12-02-2008, 08:14 AM
Maw-T,

Not surprisingly, having seen your portraits in the past, this is excellent!

I think you are correct in wanting to go back in with a bit more dark, but it is really a minor issue. Color is good! I don't think there is too much at all.

The only thing that I notice right off is the eyes slant slightly downward toward the outside. It looks like his eyes should be very straight across.

Nice work!

Don

HI..Guess I will start us off... I agree with sonni.. wonderful what you are doing.. I have been wanting to work on features for quiet some time.. and hope to do lots more... Thank you!! this one I started with the darks.. then lights, lastly middle tones.. then back to darks, middle. lights.. trying to think about value shapes & cool & warm.. the first one I blended with finger (I dont usually blend).. the next photo I took one step further..I took a hard pastel stick(sort of a light golden color) & cross hatched to blend, as I felt the darks were too dominant....Now I feel I should go back and re-establish the darks & highlights, especially in the eyes??... I want to try and do each ref..Next time trying to stick closer to instructions.. I got a little carried away with color I think? I see lots I could work on, & I wouldnt call this finished, but a sketch/study..( an overworked sketch, in my eyes)Please comment .. crits is how we will all learn & grow!!...I am excited to see everyones work!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/76639-eyesno.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/76639-eyesnose.jpg

DAK723
12-02-2008, 08:19 AM
Thank you Charlie! I am really glad you are participating, because I know you will add much to this class! I look forward to seeing how you will blend your colorist approach to my tonalist approach doing portraits and figures! And thank you for any further clarifications and discussion on the differences (and similarities) between the two approaches.

Don

Don, great class!

Allow me to underline, support what you said, and say something more on the tonalist vs the colorist approach. Especially for those participating in both classes.

The biggest difference I see is that in the colourist approach, plane changes are indicated by colourchanges. In most of the cases, there is a tonalist approach hidden underneath, if I may express it that way. Tonalism is a gradual shift in value using the same 'colour', or pigment (with white added, or with thinner layers). Colourists change colour too, but if one gets the colour right, one gets the value right. That is the 'hidden values' part.

Both approaches, tonalist and colourist, may enrich each other.

And I'll definitely follow Don's instructions and paint tonally in this class (at least in the beginning :) ).

Don, thank you again for a superb start of your class!

Charlie

DAK723
12-02-2008, 08:22 AM
Mette,

Thanks for joining us! This is excellent! You must have done portraits before! Don't worry too much about the colors, these seem to work just fine!

Don


Don..Thank you for doing this!:clap:
Sorry for the red words....something happend :eek:

I think this was difficult...I have a tendency to overwork...To hard hand...And I did not have the correct colors. I am not satisfied with this one but hope to get better.
Here it is...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/130835-studie_eye.3.JPG

Mette Rörström
12-02-2008, 01:53 PM
Thank you,Don!:)
I had to do another one...I used the same pastels/colors that I used for the first one. And still they are so different.:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0580.JPG

robert_n
12-02-2008, 02:22 PM
here's an effort at the teen in blue hat. critique, por favor
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/158744-IMG_0332.JPG

Paula Ford
12-02-2008, 03:53 PM
HOLEY MOLEY DON!!! I've never done this before, but it looks like I'm going to try. Thank you for all your work you've put into this!!!

DAK723
12-02-2008, 04:21 PM
Nicely done! Your shapes are very clearly defined in both of your pieces!

Don

Thank you,Don!:)
I had to do another one...I used the same pastels/colors that I used for the first one. And still they are so different.:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0580.JPG

DAK723
12-02-2008, 04:26 PM
Hi Robert, welcome to the class! This looks good! You did a nice job catching the light hitting that lower eyelid! One thing I noticed, you might put a bit more cast shadow under the top eyelid, slightly cutting down the size of the highlight and then as it nears the outside of the eye.

Nice job!

Don

here's an effort at the teen in blue hat. critique, por favor
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/158744-IMG_0332.JPG

DAK723
12-02-2008, 04:30 PM
Thanks Paula!

HOLEY MOLEY DON!!! I've never done this before, but it looks like I'm going to try. Thank you for all your work you've put into this!!!

Mette Rörström
12-02-2008, 08:09 PM
Don...."my shapes are wery clearly defined In both of my pices"....Is that ok or is it something I have to do differnt?Does it look better if it´s not so clearly defined?

DAK723
12-02-2008, 08:31 PM
Don...."my shapes are wery clearly defined In both of my pices"....Is that ok or is it something I have to do differnt?Does it look better if it´s not so clearly defined?

It's good!

Don

CrookedLine
12-02-2008, 08:48 PM
Hi Everyone,
This looks like a great opportunity to learn. Thanks Don.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/152195-Pastel_ProtraitClass_Joe_progress1.jpg

mrking
12-02-2008, 08:51 PM
How long do we have on this lesson before you move on?

DAK723
12-02-2008, 09:00 PM
Hi CrookedLine! Welcome! You must have some experience with portraits because this is great! Very clear depiction of the light and shadow!

Don

Hi Everyone,
This looks like a great opportunity to learn. Thanks Don.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/152195-Pastel_ProtraitClass_Joe_progress1.jpg

DAK723
12-02-2008, 09:06 PM
How long do we have on this lesson before you move on?
My original thought was to kind of see how quickly people were getting done with (and tired of :)) lesson 1, since lesson 2 is a direct continuation of this lesson. With the holidays, and with lots of other pastel participatory threads going on at the same time, it will probably be better to just go with one lesson per month. If people think this is too fast or too slow, let me know! I think that if the lesson 1 thread is still getting a fair amount of posters, it might remain a "sticky" thread, even after lesson 2 begins.

Don

Cindy234
12-02-2008, 09:57 PM
Hi Don!! Help!! This is Nupastel & Sennelier on the dreaded Mi Teintes, rough side. I tend to be pretty colorful w my pastel choices, like it that way. I got stuck at this point trying to get more detailed, feel like I wd need to break out the pastel pencils to go further.

Cindy234
12-02-2008, 10:00 PM
Oh man, my mac takes the pics backwards, I thought I flipped it before I posted it, and let's just go w it this way, it is beyond me to fix this now! :confused: Thanks!

robert_n
12-02-2008, 10:08 PM
Hi Robert, welcome to the class! This looks good! You did a nice job catching the light hitting that lower eyelid! One thing I noticed, you might put a bit more cast shadow under the top eyelid, slightly cutting down the size of the highlight and then as it nears the outside of the eye.

Nice job!

Don
Don, Thanks for the feedback. Here's a try at making your changes. Did I catch what you were getting at?
Also, do you think the high point of the upper lid is at the right spot? It almost seems like it needs to move a hair to the right.
Thx
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/158744-IMG_0340.JPG

DAK723
12-03-2008, 08:08 AM
Cindy,

I think it looks good! You have the basic light and shadow shapes, which is what we are after in this lesson! It doesn't matter if she is flipped around!

Don

Hi Don!! Help!! This is Nupastel & Sennelier on the dreaded Mi Teintes, rough side. I tend to be pretty colorful w my pastel choices, like it that way. I got stuck at this point trying to get more detailed, feel like I wd need to break out the pastel pencils to go further.

DAK723
12-03-2008, 08:15 AM
Yes, I think that broader cast shadow helps make the lid more 3-dimensional, don't you? And you might be right about the high point being just a touch further to the right. It's so close, for this exercise you might not bother to change it. Great observation!

Don

Don, Thanks for the feedback. Here's a try at making your changes. Did I catch what you were getting at?
Also, do you think the high point of the upper lid is at the right spot? It almost seems like it needs to move a hair to the right.
Thx
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2008/158744-IMG_0340.JPG

christinemlr
12-03-2008, 10:28 AM
Thank you for this brilliant class. The work posted here is aspirational/inspirational. Good rich pastel strokes. I have a way to go on this one...
and how strange to do an eye in isolation - very difficult with no reference aroun it. Shows up errors nicely|

Picture uploader seems to be crashed so have to send by attachement.

Xina

christinemlr
12-03-2008, 10:34 AM
Sorry, meant to send the ref pic, but can't find it in browser. Will send when I find it then you will see how wrong these are.
Xina

robertsloan2
12-03-2008, 10:51 AM
Xina, I went back to check right before doing my exercise, and you've got the likeness better than you think -- if your reference was the first blue-green eye that Don did in his example and not one of the examples below. It looks good to me.

christinemlr
12-03-2008, 11:22 AM
This eye is from a family photo of my little grandson. Thats why its so wrong its supposed to be an eye of a 4 yr old| I can't seem to get it uploaded yet- still trying
Xina

robertsloan2
12-03-2008, 11:32 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/70184-EyeNoseStudy.jpg

Eyes-Nose study, from the first reference for the exercise. I don't really like the way the blue worked and I gave up on values and added black and white to it because I was not working on toned paper. This is on white sketchbook paper primed with clear Colourfix primer in the color Conte Portrait set, with black and white added because I needed white as a lightener -- my lightest value was not strong enough for what I was doing and my darkest dark wasn't strong enough. Hair is sketchy.

It looks awful to me, but part of that is that the face and edges trail off like that and it's not the whole face. My mind keeps wanting to complete it with her smile and she's placed on the page so that I won't be getting the side of her head or her hair. This is it side to side and I can't really go higher on her forehead because that's where the primer runs out.

I'm too used to doing the whole face or just the eyes, not eyes and nose together and then not finishing. My usual method is to block in all the proportions lightly and then work my way through the values, but constantly keep going back and blending lighter or darker as I go. I was used to working on nonsanded Canson Mi-Tientes during my street art days, so I blended a lot in order to allow plenty of mixing and then would do the last couple of layers looser. I also stuck a lot closer to local color than the strong blue thrown into the shadows -- that's disconcerting to me. But it worked well mixed with white and yellow respectively in the eyes.

Some of what bugs me is that the blue isn't the right value. I might try other pastels next time where I've got more of a range of blues.

christinemlr
12-03-2008, 11:35 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/151368-Dylans_eyes__portrait_ref.jpg

helenh
12-03-2008, 11:51 AM
Here is my attempt. I always have such a hard time with facial features, so I'm very excited about this class. Not sure if this one is succesful. I'm struggling with the warm/cool balance. Your feedback please. And thanks so much for doing this.

Helen

418402

DAK723
12-03-2008, 12:13 PM
I, too, have found it difficult to do just an eye or nose in isolation! But these are well done. You have used values well to show the forms, especially getting the light and shadow of both upper and lower eyelids.

Looking at your reference, the only thing I noticed was the real eyes are a bit more "open" and rounded than your versions, but that is a minor refinement. Nice use of some cool colors in those shadows!

Don

Thank you for this brilliant class. The work posted here is aspirational/inspirational. Good rich pastel strokes. I have a way to go on this one...
and how strange to do an eye in isolation - very difficult with no reference aroun it. Shows up errors nicely|

Picture uploader seems to be crashed so have to send by attachement.

Xina

DAK723
12-03-2008, 12:21 PM
Nicely done! As I mentioned in my last reply, it is difficult working on features in isolation! This looks good, there is a definite definition of light and shadow. Using black and white pastels is perfectly fine to help you get the values you want. The only thing I notice on first impression is her right upper eyelid could use a bit more cast shadow underneath.

Don


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/70184-EyeNoseStudy.jpg

Eyes-Nose study, from the first reference for the exercise. I don't really like the way the blue worked and I gave up on values and added black and white to it because I was not working on toned paper. This is on white sketchbook paper primed with clear Colourfix primer in the color Conte Portrait set, with black and white added because I needed white as a lightener -- my lightest value was not strong enough for what I was doing and my darkest dark wasn't strong enough. Hair is sketchy.

It looks awful to me, but part of that is that the face and edges trail off like that and it's not the whole face. My mind keeps wanting to complete it with her smile and she's placed on the page so that I won't be getting the side of her head or her hair. This is it side to side and I can't really go higher on her forehead because that's where the primer runs out.

I'm too used to doing the whole face or just the eyes, not eyes and nose together and then not finishing. My usual method is to block in all the proportions lightly and then work my way through the values, but constantly keep going back and blending lighter or darker as I go. I was used to working on nonsanded Canson Mi-Tientes during my street art days, so I blended a lot in order to allow plenty of mixing and then would do the last couple of layers looser. I also stuck a lot closer to local color than the strong blue thrown into the shadows -- that's disconcerting to me. But it worked well mixed with white and yellow respectively in the eyes.

Some of what bugs me is that the blue isn't the right value. I might try other pastels next time where I've got more of a range of blues.

christinemlr
12-03-2008, 12:31 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/151368-PICT0562.JPG

Just had to try again, the photo made it much more yellow than really is. Did this before getting your response Don. I think I opened the eye up a bit more here. This has been fascinating. I might try and get 2 eyes together tomorrow.

Til then
Xina

DAK723
12-03-2008, 12:33 PM
Hi Helen, glad you could join us. This is nicely done. Another good example of good light and shadow definition. I struggle with warm/cool balance, too. I'm not sure there is a right answer for how much is just right!

While the values are good, I would observe a bit more closely some of the shapes around the eyes, especially the width of the light shape at the top of the nose which seems a bit wider on the ref photo. The eyes in the photo seem narrower (more squinty) too. In lesson 3, we will discuss measuring and laying out the features in more detail.

Nice first effort!

Don

Here is my attempt. I always have such a hard time with facial features, so I'm very excited about this class. Not sure if this one is succesful. I'm struggling with the warm/cool balance. Your feedback please. And thanks so much for doing this.

Helen

418402

DAK723
12-03-2008, 12:36 PM
Xina,

This is excellent!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/151368-PICT0562.JPG

Just had to try again, the photo made it much more yellow than really is. Did this before getting your response Don. I think I opened the eye up a bit more here. This has been fascinating. I might try and get 2 eyes together tomorrow.

Til then
Xina

Judibelle
12-03-2008, 01:23 PM
Wow, such beautiful eyes so far. I have never done this before, so I decided to start with just one eye, til I get comfortable with it. Then I'll try the 2 eyes and the nose...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/103700-scan0004.jpg___eye_study.jpg
Looking forwad to improving....
JB

robertsloan2
12-03-2008, 03:38 PM
Thanks for pointing out that missing shadow, Don. I meant to do it and forgot to when I drifted off into doing some other shadows first. I fixed it with a touch of blue and a touch of dark brown to mute it.

robertsloan2
12-03-2008, 03:42 PM
Wow, such beautiful eyes so far. I have never done this before, so I decided to start with just one eye, til I get comfortable with it. Then I'll try the 2 eyes and the nose...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/103700-scan0004.jpg___eye_study.jpg
Looking forwad to improving....
JB

This is looking interesting, JB. It's a little hard to tell which reference you used. The eye looks real, it's open very wide though -- when the white (sclera) shows under the iris that's usually a wide-open "wild take" type of eye expression unless the subject is looking up.

One of my tricks for getting the eyes right is to very carefully spend a lot of time getting the odd shadow and light shapes of the eyelids perfect -- the exact crooked little line, exact proportion between the crease and the shadow, shape of the shadows, fuss over those lines before even filling anything -- and sometimes complete the entire portrait before putting in the iris, pupil and catchlight (catchlight = the little bright reflection of the light on the glossy surface of the eye, it helps get attention to the eye especially when it's overlapping or touching the black pupil, making that pupil the strongest contrast in the painting).

Other than the color of the iris, the shape of iris and pupil is the same on everybody's eyes. It's a round circle cut off by the eyelids with a centered smaller dot of pupil and a catchlight off in the direction of the angle of the light. I barely look at the reference to do it because they're all structured about the same. Eye likeness is in the eyelid shape and so is eye expression.

When I did salable portraits in under half an hour, I spent a good quarter to a third of the time getting the shape of the eyelids exactly right, and another nice chunk of time getting the facial proportions right to place the eyes and size them perfectly -- using the first eye I did as a measurement for every other feature, where is it and how big in relation to that eye?

Even if I goofed up the mouth or nose or something, I would still have the likeness once I got the eyes. Also the tourists would be fascinated watching it come to life slowly, and once I put the eyes in last it would seem to come to life by magic. That started partly as a showmanship thing to make tourists happy but it also became a good way to tell if I had the likeness right -- if it looks right when it looks like a marble statue of that person, it'll pop and be alive once the iris, pupil and catchlight are in. Sometimes I put the shadow of the eyelid before detailing the rest of the eye. Very eerie effect!

MJGresko
12-03-2008, 07:01 PM
Well here's my 2 attempts. Found a tera cotta colored piece of Canson that was gridded off already. Must have been planning on using that for something. The first one looks like a troll. Oh well it is a learning experience.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/130483-100_0934.jpg

MJGresko
12-03-2008, 07:02 PM
Here's the 2ndhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/130483-100_0935.jpg

Mette Rörström
12-03-2008, 08:16 PM
hi!
I have done just eyes so far... here is one with eyes and nose...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/130835-studie_eye-nese.1.JPG

robertsloan2
12-03-2008, 09:51 PM
Nice, Mette. You have a strong personal style. The dark shadowy eyes work well in this, they look shadowed more than anything else. The lines of the man's eye wrinkles are very expressive too. I like the way his merriment shows -- you caught the smile in his eyes.

One of the things I love in classes like this is seeing how everyone does the same things so differently, the better any of us get, the more pronounced individual style becomes -- without working at it. It just grows out of being who you are and liking what you do and the more knowhow you have, the easier that shows to other people.

DAK723
12-03-2008, 10:11 PM
Judibelle,

Thanks for joining the class! Your pic is a bit small so it's hard to see, but it looks like you are getting a good division between darks and lights. Your blue areas, though, seem like they are in shadow, but the blue is pretty light in value. I'm guessing (I'm not sure which reference pic it is) that a blue that's darker in value might work better.

Don


Wow, such beautiful eyes so far. I have never done this before, so I decided to start with just one eye, til I get comfortable with it. Then I'll try the 2 eyes and the nose...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/103700-scan0004.jpg___eye_study.jpg
Looking forwad to improving....
JB

DAK723
12-03-2008, 10:27 PM
picksbugs, welcome!

Nice effort! One thing that struck me was the amount of really light values you have, especially right above the eyes. While there is a slightly lighter value there, it is not nearly as light as the lightest areas on the nose and cheek. I took our friend into photoshop to take a closer look at a couple areas. This is another way computers can help us - we can see and compare areas of color. You'll notice that the value above his eye, while lighter than the shadow, is quite a bit darker than the lightest light on his nose and also lighter than the light areas just under the eye.

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/82335-rod_croppeddak.jpg

Well here's my 2 attempts. Found a tera cotta colored piece of Canson that was gridded off already. Must have been planning on using that for something. The first one looks like a troll. Oh well it is a learning experience.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/130483-100_0934.jpg

DAK723
12-03-2008, 10:31 PM
I like this one a lot! I'm glad someone has done the profile view!
You have done a nice job depicting the shadow and light shapes!

Don


Here's the 2ndhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/130483-100_0935.jpg

DAK723
12-03-2008, 10:36 PM
Mette,

Very nice! I especially like your transition from light to dark on his right cheek!

Don


hi!
I have done just eyes so far... here is one with eyes and nose...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2008/130835-studie_eye-nese.1.JPG

DAK723
12-03-2008, 10:42 PM
Nice, Mette. You have a strong personal style. The dark shadowy eyes work well in this, they look shadowed more than anything else. The lines of the man's eye wrinkles are very expressive too. I like the way his merriment shows -- you caught the smile in his eyes.

One of the things I love in classes like this is seeing how everyone does the same things so differently, the better any of us get, the more pronounced individual style becomes -- without working at it. It just grows out of being who you are and liking what you do and the more knowhow you have, the easier that shows to other people.
Yes, I agree! Even when I try to imitate another painter's style, it ends up looking like my style in the end.

On the oil painting forum, a new painter asked "how do I get my own style?" and I replied, "your style will be what your paintings look like when you stop worrying about having a style!"

Don

Mette Rörström
12-03-2008, 11:22 PM
robertsloan2..Thank you!
Don...Thank you....Is it ok to do more than one of each,and post them?( one eye..one nose and eye..and so on..)I´d like to do just a nose...and the profile..

MJGresko
12-03-2008, 11:30 PM
Don, thank you for showing me what was wrong with the first one.I knew it was off but wanted to post it anyway. I felt much better with the second one.

DAK723
12-04-2008, 08:21 AM
robertsloan2..Thank you!
Don...Thank you....Is it ok to do more than one of each,and post them?( one eye..one nose and eye..and so on..)I´d like to do just a nose...and the profile..

Yes, you can do as many as you like. The more practice, the better!

Don

christinemlr
12-04-2008, 09:10 AM
Hi all,
I wanted to have a go at this young man, I love the soft expression in his eyes in the photo, but I just couldn't get it in my painting.. I spent a LONG time trying - his left eye (right one in the painting) was a devil to do, I put so many layers on it then gave up when the paper couldn't take any more. But what a great exercise. I will try again on this one.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2008/151368-PICT0564.JPG

This photo close up actually looks better than IRL - but how sad his expression seems to be, not my intent at all.

Xina

christinemlr
12-04-2008, 11:54 AM
Don,
I've found some photo portraits in the image library that I would like to work with, but don't know how to link their references/ images into a post for viewing here. How is this done?

Xina

DAK723
12-04-2008, 12:56 PM
Xina,

Very fine work! I'm at work and have just a minute so I didn't take time to compare this to the reference, but it looks good! I can tell that eye is a little blurry from overworking, but it seems like it is mostly in shadow and with the head turning away, there is probably a limited amount of reference to see. You obviously have a great eye for portraits!

There are probably a couple ways to get the photos from the reference library. You could link to them, but then we won't see them in the thread. If you right click over the photo and save it to your computer, then you can load that image into your post just like your paintings. I hope I have made sense.

Don

Hi all,
I wanted to have a go at this young man, I love the soft expression in his eyes in the photo, but I just couldn't get it in my painting.. I spent a LONG time trying - his left eye (right one in the painting) was a devil to do, I put so many layers on it then gave up when the paper couldn't take any more. But what a great exercise. I will try again on this one.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2008/151368-PICT0564.JPG

This photo close up actually looks better than IRL - but how sad his expression seems to be, not my intent at all.

Xina

Judibelle
12-04-2008, 02:48 PM
don, here is my 2nd attempt at the eyes (and nose, this time). but I cant seem to get rid of that 'wild' look. she doesntlook wild at all..(the girl with the blue eyes...)
I see a lot wrong with it....my hand is not real steady for 'close details'
work...
But i intend to keep trying...
JB

Judibelle
12-04-2008, 02:49 PM
ooops...forgot to post the pic...!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2008/103700-scan0007.jpg___eye_study_2.jpg JB

DAK723
12-04-2008, 08:32 PM
Hi Judibelle,

Well, this is a bit on the wild side! One thing I would suggest is using a mid-value or lighter paper. White would be fine, too. Working on a darker paper is (in my opinion) much more difficult. In fact, it is one of the upcoming advanced experiments that I have planned - to work on a dark paper and only use lighter value pastels. Most people are used to using lighter paper, therefore the marks they make and the areas they paint in represent the shadow and darker tones. It is hard to reverse the thinking process. Try to paint in areas of shadow and use a dark pastel to create that shape. The same for the light shapes. It is almost like putting together a puzzle - one shape next to another, some light, some dark.
Don't worry about color at this stage. And yes, keep trying!! That is all any of us can do!

Don

ooops...forgot to post the pic...!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2008/103700-scan0007.jpg___eye_study_2.jpg JB

DAK723
12-04-2008, 08:39 PM
Since people are hard at work on their practice pieces, I have a moment to say what a great job everyone is doing! As in any class, we have folks of different experience levels, so if you have been lurking and unsure if you want to join in - please do! And remember, even if you are not posting any pieces, if you have questions, please ask. You do not have to post paintings to be involved in the class. If someone's post, or my reply to that post, brings a question to mind, let me know!

Don

Lisa Fiore
12-04-2008, 11:34 PM
Hi! I've finally finished this exercise and am very excited about this class--portraits are one thing I really hope to learn to do better! THANK YOU, DON, FOR THIS CLASS!! I sort of cheated, because I'm extremely challenged when it comes to seeing values, so I did an "underpainting" in charcoal. It's just so much easier for me to work this way. I still tend to lose a lot when I go from the charcoal to pastel, but am trying to learn... First is the charcoal drawing:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2008/133545-wc.por.cl.1.JPG

Now with the pastel on top:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2008/133545-wc.por.cl.2.JPG

I used a scap piece of some sort of fabriano paper--I think it may have been watercolor paper. It was very textured, and I'm not a big blender--hence all of the white spots. I think I probably could've done better with more time, but I'm TIRED and wanted to post it for feedback. Are his eyes out of proportion? (Heck, is ALL of him out of proportion?) Are his skintones somewhat believable? I often end up with "cartoony" paintings... I very much appreciate hard, honest critiques--I can take it!! :thumbsup:

Also, I hope you don't mind my posting this here, but I've been working on a portrait of my daughter and would love some feedback. It's still in the charcoal stage because I can't seem to get the eyes to line up right and want to correct that before I attempt color. Any suggestions? The weird things behind her are leaves--she was standing in front of my magnolia tree in the photo--should I lose them? Also, she's only 12, but I'm not sure she looks that young in my painting. Thanks for any feedback!!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2008/133545-wc.por.cl.3.JPG

(Wow, sorry for the blurry photo, not sure why it did that...)

PaintingMum
12-05-2008, 04:30 AM
Since people are hard at work on their practice pieces, I have a moment to say what a great job everyone is doing! As in any class, we have folks of different experience levels, so if you have been lurking and unsure if you want to join in - please do! And remember, even if you are not posting any pieces, if you have questions, please ask. You do not have to post paintings to be involved in the class. If someone's post, or my reply to that post, brings a question to mind, let me know!

Don

I've been lurking and practicing but I've not worked with pastels much at all and only have a cheapie set. I normally work in acrylics. Portraiture is something I've been working on but struggle with likeness so when I saw this class I was very excited. So a very big thank you for giving freely of your time and putting this valuable lesson together.:clap: :clap: :clap:
Anyhow here are my efforts so far. C&C please.
Thanks heaps,
Jaana

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2008/88188-pastel_eye_2_100k.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2008/88188-pastel_eyes_nose_1_100k.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2008/88188-pastel_nose_1_100k.jpg

DAK723
12-05-2008, 12:23 PM
Wecome Elizabeth. Thanks for joining us! First, your charcoal drawing is not cheating at all. In fact, it is the same principle that my lesson is illustrating - starting with a value study to simplify the initial process of composing the painting. Feel free to continue starting with a charcoal drawing, or if you want to get out of your comfort zone a bit, substitute one fairly dark valued pastel for the charcoal. In essence, that is how I start.

Your pastel looks very good! You have a good delineation of forms by using differing values, which is the primary purpose of this 1st lesson. The only thing you might look at is the value of the "whites" of the eyes. They might need a bit more of some darker values. His left eye might be a tad too small as well. The nose is very nicely done!

You might consider posting your daughter's portrait in the Soft Pastel Studio & Gallery. That is the forum we use for current works and critiques. That way you will get a lot of critiques from everybody in the pastel forum, not just me. Since I haven't done my lesson on measuring and laying out yet, I don't really want to jump the gun! (Her left eye looks lower than the right, but it might be that way - eyes rarely are completely even.)

Don

Hi! I've finally finished this exercise and am very excited about this class--portraits are one thing I really hope to learn to do better! THANK YOU, DON, FOR THIS CLASS!! I sort of cheated, because I'm extremely challenged when it comes to seeing values, so I did an "underpainting" in charcoal. It's just so much easier for me to work this way. I still tend to lose a lot when I go from the charcoal to pastel, but am trying to learn... First is the charcoal drawing:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2008/133545-wc.por.cl.1.JPG

Now with the pastel on top:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2008/133545-wc.por.cl.2.JPG

I used a scap piece of some sort of fabriano paper--I think it may have been watercolor paper. It was very textured, and I'm not a big blender--hence all of the white spots. I think I probably could've done better with more time, but I'm TIRED and wanted to post it for feedback. Are his eyes out of proportion? (Heck, is ALL of him out of proportion?) Are his skintones somewhat believable? I often end up with "cartoony" paintings... I very much appreciate hard, honest critiques--I can take it!! :thumbsup:

Also, I hope you don't mind my posting this here, but I've been working on a portrait of my daughter and would love some feedback. It's still in the charcoal stage because I can't seem to get the eyes to line up right and want to correct that before I attempt color. Any suggestions? The weird things behind her are leaves--she was standing in front of my magnolia tree in the photo--should I lose them? Also, she's only 12, but I'm not sure she looks that young in my painting. Thanks for any feedback!!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2008/133545-wc.por.cl.3.JPG

(Wow, sorry for the blurry photo, not sure why it did that...)

DAK723
12-05-2008, 12:29 PM
PaintingMum, welcome!

These are very nice efforts! You have done a nice job of finding those shadow shapes! You might, as you continue practicing, increase the contrast a bit between the light and dark areas and see if that add a bit more punch. But these are great for the initial stages!

Don

I've been lurking and practicing but I've not worked with pastels much at all and only have a cheapie set. I normally work in acrylics. Portraiture is something I've been working on but struggle with likeness so when I saw this class I was very excited. So a very big thank you for giving freely of your time and putting this valuable lesson together.:clap: :clap: :clap:
Anyhow here are my efforts so far. C&C please.
Thanks heaps,
Jaana

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2008/88188-pastel_eye_2_100k.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2008/88188-pastel_eyes_nose_1_100k.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2008/88188-pastel_nose_1_100k.jpg

Lisa Fiore
12-05-2008, 03:07 PM
Thanks, Don! I agree that the whites of his eyes are too white--funny how I didn't notice that until you pointed it out!! And I thought his eyes were out of proportion size wise--but I kept measuring and couldn't pinpoint the problem. I'll just have to take another look. Thanks so much for your comments!!
As for my the drawing of my daughter--it's making me batty! I have measured so many times, and I can see that her eyes look out of line (not in real life), but I just can't get it right. I tried raising the one eye and that was a disaster!! :( She sort of has a tilty head in photos, which may be the problem. Anyway, I feel "funny" posting it in the pastel gallery, as it isn't yet a pastel. Heck, it's barely a drawing. Some advice, please? (Shhh--I promise not to tell! :p ) I understand completely if you'd rather not jump the gun, however. I appreciate all of the effort you're putting into this class!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Lisa Fiore
12-05-2008, 03:23 PM
Sorry Don, one more question--if I were to skip the charcoal altogether and start straight away with a dark pastel--what sort would you recommend? Hard, soft or medium? ( I have rembrandts, great american--my favorite--and I just bought a set of nupastels.) And should I spray with fixative after completing the "underpainting?" How do you generally work? Thanks again!!:o Lisa

CrookedLine
12-05-2008, 04:11 PM
I am having serious problems with this picture. I have completely lost perpective on it. Help from anyone appreciated! Thx - Mark

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2008/152195-Pastel_portrait_2.JPG

DAK723
12-05-2008, 05:04 PM
Sorry Don, one more question--if I were to skip the charcoal altogether and start straight away with a dark pastel--what sort would you recommend? Hard, soft or medium? ( I have rembrandts, great american--my favorite--and I just bought a set of nupastels.) And should I spray with fixative after completing the "underpainting?" How do you generally work? Thanks again!!:o Lisa

It depends on how much you layer and what type of paper you use, but generally speaking I would recommend medium or harder pastels for the initial layer. I would use the pastel just as if you were using charcoal, so if a harder pastel feels more like charcoal, go with that! Spraying is very much an individual preference, but I never spray until I think I'm done, and only when I feel I need to. If you feel that you are "smudging" your underpainting when you apply the next layers, try spraying.

Don

WC Lee
12-05-2008, 05:21 PM
Here's a little eye and partial nose sketch on a small recycled piece of wallis :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2008/122017-sketch01475.jpg

DAK723
12-05-2008, 05:39 PM
CrookedLine,

The values, and general shapes and forms are very well done! You obviously know your way around portraiture.

In lesson 3 we will be discussing guidelines, angles, centerlines and measuring. So, I wouldn't worry too much about those things yet! But since you asked, and Elizabeth had some issues with measuring, too, I'll give a little preview!

I put your work into photoshop along with the ref. I then drew in some guidelines:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2008/82335-152195-Pastel_portrait_2dakrev.JPG

As you can see, you have drawn the eyes at a sharper angle. And then your angle of the nose is steeper, putting the nose too far to our left. That's why it looks a little out of kilter. But again, we haven't gotten to this part of the lesson, so I'm happy with your work!

Don

I am having serious problems with this picture. I have completely lost perpective on it. Help from anyone appreciated! Thx - Mark

DAK723
12-05-2008, 05:42 PM
WC, Thanks for joining in! I always like your work and this is no exception! Very fine modeling of the forms. That eye is a nice example of keeping the values and forms fairly simple and yet being very clear and effective.

Don


Here's a little eye and partial nose sketch on a small recycled piece of wallis :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2008/122017-sketch01475.jpg

DAK723
12-05-2008, 05:46 PM
As you can imagine, things can get pretty confusing as I try to reply to each post, especially when the new posts are on one page and the post I am replying to is on the previous page. I don't think I've missed anyone yet, but if I do, don't hesitate to let me know!

Don

robertsloan2
12-05-2008, 06:35 PM
Thanks, Don! I agree that the whites of his eyes are too white--funny how I didn't notice that until you pointed it out!! And I thought his eyes were out of proportion size wise--but I kept measuring and couldn't pinpoint the problem. I'll just have to take another look. Thanks so much for your comments!!
As for my the drawing of my daughter--it's making me batty! I have measured so many times, and I can see that her eyes look out of line (not in real life), but I just can't get it right. I tried raising the one eye and that was a disaster!! :( She sort of has a tilty head in photos, which may be the problem. Anyway, I feel "funny" posting it in the pastel gallery, as it isn't yet a pastel. Heck, it's barely a drawing. Some advice, please? (Shhh--I promise not to tell! :p ) I understand completely if you'd rather not jump the gun, however. I appreciate all of the effort you're putting into this class!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

You might want to wait until he's gotten to the point of measuring and laying out. What I saw with her eyes is that her head seems slightly tilted, but they are on a line with each other and her nose and her mouth. You may have been following the photo well and distrusting the results. The shape of her head also seems to tilt generally to the side (my right, she'd feel like she's tilting her head to her left) except for the area of her cheek right by her mouth.

So hold onto that and don't make changes yet, because you might be correcting the part that's good and then distorting her face. It can be a major conundrum and I did it hundreds of times while learning to do portraits before my street portrait years. The main thing to remember with that is that if her head is slightly tilted, make sure the guidelines for mouth and nose are either parallel or perpendicular as the case may be -- so that all features are tilted to the same degree at the same angle.

It's actually a little more dramatic a portrait to tilt the head slightly, it can look very cool. I like your magnolia leaf background, doing that loosely once she's done could be very beautiful.

I can tell for sure about the angle of her eyes if I have the photo to compare, so if you do post it in Studio/Gallery I'll check on it and see if I can help.

Lisa Fiore
12-05-2008, 08:07 PM
Robert, thanks so much for your insight!! And Don, I will try to wait patiently for your lesson on measurements--I'm sure it will help me with this!! :)

DAK723
12-05-2008, 09:10 PM
Elizabeth,

Check your private messages:)

Robert, thanks so much for your insight!! And Don, I will try to wait patiently for your lesson on measurements--I'm sure it will help me with this!! :)

CrookedLine
12-05-2008, 10:20 PM
Don,
That was a great idea with the photoshop lines. I'll remember it. Thanks!
-Mark

Mette Rörström
12-06-2008, 09:11 AM
Hi!
here is 2 I did today.....nose..profile...


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/130835-studie-nese.JPG







http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/130835-Profil.JPG

DAK723
12-06-2008, 12:01 PM
Mette,

These are very nice! The first nose has very nice depth. Very 3-dimensional due to the wide range of contrast between the highlight value and the dark shadow values. I really like the profile. The light and shadow are nicely done and those touches of cool blue-green really add a nice touch!

Don

Hi!
here is 2 I did today.....nose..profile...


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/130835-studie-nese.JPG







http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/130835-Profil.JPG

Cindy234
12-06-2008, 12:02 PM
Mornin' Don! Just wanted you to know we really appreciate you doing this for us!! :clap: Here's this morning's masterpiece. Unfortunately, I've made him look like he just woke up after a few too many happy hour drinks! Not the effect I was going for! Nupastel, Sennelier, Mi Teintes.

snowfall
12-06-2008, 03:32 PM
Hi there

This is my first post to the class and my first go at portraits. First of all I tried to copy your first two demonstrations. The first eye didn't turn out too bad for a first attempt. I can see straight away that the lower eyelid should be higher up. I'm still finding values hard to get right as well.

The two eyes and nose portrait I found very difficult. I'm glad that I managed to recognise it as a face but I couldn't get a likeness at all, and the eyes are too close together.

The nose (and lips - an added extra!) I also struggled with. This is the last reference photo of the side profile of the young girl with her eyes closed. I couldn't get the shading right around the nostril area and the end of the nose.

Overall, I'm really pleased with these as my first attempts and I'm sure that a likeness of the subject will come with practise. Sorry, I used a sand coloured paper, I think a different colour of paper would have been a better choice. Hope this doesn't make it too difficult to see certain marks/colours.

I await your expert guidance.

Pam

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/142898-eyes_and_noses_001.jpg

DAK723
12-06-2008, 03:40 PM
Cindy, Nice job! Those shadow shapes, especially around the eyes, are well done! Your definitely finding the basic overall shapes of the shadows very well. His nose is a bit narrow, but we haven't gotten into the measuring lesson yet, so I wouldn't worry. The shapes, both shadow and light, will always help in measuring, too, but it harder for most people to see the shapes of the light areas - probably since most people start doing artwork with pencil or charcoal on white paper. The light shape of the nose will fit into the shadow shapes on each side of the nostrils, for example, almost like pieces in a puzzle.

Don

Mornin' Don! Just wanted you to know we really appreciate you doing this for us!! :clap: Here's this morning's masterpiece. Unfortunately, I've made him look like he just woke up after a few too many happy hour drinks! Not the effect I was going for! Nupastel, Sennelier, Mi Teintes.

DAK723
12-06-2008, 03:49 PM
Pam, Welcome! I'm glad you are trying portraits for the first time! I think you have definitely gotten the basics of using value shapes. All 3 of your pieces have some nice values, and yes, practice will help you refine those shapes more accurately. There will be a lesson (lesson 3) on measuring, so we will get into figuring out the distance between the eyes and stuff like that. Noses are hard because they usually have subtle value transitions, especially around the tip and the nostrils. Observation in that area is critical!

Sand colored paper is fine. It goes well with portraits, as the sand color often blends right in and you don't have to worry about covering it all.

Don

Hi there

This is my first post to the class and my first go at portraits. First of all I tried to copy your first two demonstrations. The first eye didn't turn out too bad for a first attempt. I can see straight away that the lower eyelid should be higher up. I'm still finding values hard to get right as well.

The two eyes and nose portrait I found very difficult. I'm glad that I managed to recognise it as a face but I couldn't get a likeness at all, and the eyes are too close together.

The nose (and lips - an added extra!) I also struggled with. This is the last reference photo of the side profile of the young girl with her eyes closed. I couldn't get the shading right around the nostril area and the end of the nose.

Overall, I'm really pleased with these as my first attempts and I'm sure that a likeness of the subject will come with practise. Sorry, I used a sand coloured paper, I think a different colour of paper would have been a better choice. Hope this doesn't make it too difficult to see certain marks/colours.

I await your expert guidance.

Pam

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/142898-eyes_and_noses_001.jpg

christinemlr
12-06-2008, 04:30 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/151368-PICT0579.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/151368-17813WDESCARF_edited.jpg

Have just done an experiment, trying to use principles of colour as value as I'm trying to learn in Charlie,s still life class. I know the drawing is all wrong, but it was interesting because most of the face is in shadow with strong sunlight just glancing onto the face.

The photo of the pastel has not got the colours I used right at all but the principle holds.

Portrait is from ref library.
Xina

DAK723
12-06-2008, 05:40 PM
Xina, Interesting experiment! I hope you don't mind, but I put these into photoshop and turned them into greyscales. I was curious to see how close you came to the values in the photo.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/82335-151368-PICT0579dakrev.JPG

As you can see, your values are very close. The biggest difference is in those small areas of direct light, which are much lighter in the photo. The forehead over her right eye is also lighter due (apparently) to some reflected light, which you have captured well between her right eye and eyebrow. Your shadow values are very good, including the subtle darker shades on the side of her nose and under her left eye.

In my opinion, this type of lighting is very difficult, since the "shadow shape" is almost the entire face. It has subtle variation, which is harder to define.

Nicely done! Please feel free to share any thoughts you have on using this different approach.

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/151368-PICT0579.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/151368-17813WDESCARF_edited.jpg

Have just done an experiment, trying to use principles of colour as value as I'm trying to learn in Charlie,s still life class. I know the drawing is all wrong, but it was interesting because most of the face is in shadow with strong sunlight just glancing onto the face.

The photo of the pastel has not got the colours I used right at all but the principle holds.

Portrait is from ref library.
Xina

Cindy234
12-06-2008, 06:24 PM
:) Thanks Don! On to the next one...

maw-t
12-06-2008, 07:06 PM
I am learning so much.. one thing is that I have found I have a difficult time painting a portion of face... I think because I normally paint as I go.. like one thing in relation to the next & I correct as I go.. sooo focusing on just the nose or eyes is difficult... ANother thing is I am SO impressed with all the studys!! Here are 3 sketchs.. good practice that I need to do ALOT more of.. I see many errors but I dont want to spend the time trying to correct since they are not full portraits.... or perhaps I should try to correct? or just move on?? anyway I think it will be interesting to post each time & see how/if I improve..http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/76639-noses.jpg C &Cs always welcome!

DAK723
12-06-2008, 07:35 PM
T,

I've seen your full portraits in the Studio and Gallery, and they have been very well done. It is hard to do just an eye or nose - because your right - everything is done in relation to the other parts. In next month's lesson, we will do all the other parts of the face (including hair) so full portraits will be OK!!

Your sketches are nice, especially the top one. Nice values! You can correct or just move on to the next sketch. It's all practice one way or another!

Don

I am learning so much.. one thing is that I have found I have a difficult time painting a portion of face... I think because I normally paint as I go.. like one thing in relation to the next & I correct as I go.. sooo focusing on just the nose or eyes is difficult... ANother thing is I am SO impressed with all the studys!! Here are 3 sketchs.. good practice that I need to do ALOT more of.. I see many errors but I dont want to spend the time trying to correct since they are not full portraits.... or perhaps I should try to correct? or just move on?? anyway I think it will be interesting to post each time & see how/if I improve..http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2008/76639-noses.jpg C &Cs always welcome!

Cindy234
12-06-2008, 07:48 PM
This is so much fun!!! It is seriously keeping me from doing Christmas things I should be doing... I'm okay w it!!

DAK723
12-06-2008, 09:25 PM
This is so much fun!!! It is seriously keeping me from doing Christmas things I should be doing... I'm okay w it!!

That's the spirit!!:clap: It should be fun! That's one reason I'm not that worried about likenesses so far - we should all be having fun just practicing and experimenting! "Play time" is the best time for learning!

Don

Mette Rörström
12-07-2008, 06:22 AM
painted after ref.photo from RIL....
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/130835-scaneyenose3.jpg


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0609.JPG

Mette Rörström
12-07-2008, 08:11 AM
Hi!:)
her is another one....photo from IRL.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/130835-shaunaeyenosestudy.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/130835-studie_eyenose2.JPG

DAK723
12-07-2008, 09:45 AM
Mette,

You are doing excellent work! This is very well done. The values are good and the face recognizable! We haven't done any lessons on measuring, yet, but since there are a couple things I can point out on your painting, I hope you don't mind!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/82335-130835-DSCN0609dakrev.JPG

The face, as I said, is a good likeness, even though you have painted him with his head less turned than in the photo. I drew I few guidelines in photoshop so that you can see. The slope of the nose (in the photo) is at a bigger angle, and you can see less of his far cheek. We will discuss using guidelines and angles and measuring in lesson 3, but this is a little preview!

Don

painted after ref.photo from RIL....

DAK723
12-07-2008, 09:48 AM
Mette,

Beautifully done! I like the cool touches of blue!

Don

Hi!:)
her is another one....photo from IRL.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/130835-shaunaeyenosestudy.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/130835-studie_eyenose2.JPG

Mette Rörström
12-07-2008, 09:59 AM
Hi,Don!
no I don´t mind...I know it is wrong ...but if I had try to fix it, it had ended up as a mess.I saw the things you pointed out.but I desided to post it anyway.to see if you saw the same thing as me.I was not absolutely ....(I don´t remember the English word)...if what I saw was right.Thank you, for doing this.It is so fun.:clap:

Deborah Secor
12-07-2008, 07:17 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/23609-eye_practice__1.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/23609-eyes-nose.JPG

I decided I would start with pencil just to see what happens. I need lots of practice! Measuring will be my most needed lesson, I think.

Your help welcomed... Once I can see more clearly I'll try the pastel, which has to be easier!!!

Deborah

DAK723
12-07-2008, 09:48 PM
Hi Deb! Welcome to the class! Glad you could join us, although it will feel odd, me teaching the "teacher"! If you've scanned the posts, you probably have read that we will do measuring in lesson 3, although I have done a few measurement previews on a couple people's posts. This lesson is all about observation and values, and you have certainly captured the basic value patterns in these. I especially like the eye. It is very "clean" and defines the forms clearly. No. 2 is good, too. One little thing I notice is his right eyelid does a little dip just after the high point towards the nose. Although there is a lot of shadow there, I think you will notice that the eyelid is one smooth curve.

We had someone else start with charcoal, so obviously pencil is also a good way to practice values without worrying about color.

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/23609-eye_practice__1.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/23609-eyes-nose.JPG

I decided I would start with pencil just to see what happens. I need lots of practice! Measuring will be my most needed lesson, I think.

Your help welcomed... Once I can see more clearly I'll try the pastel, which has to be easier!!!

Deborah

Deborah Secor
12-07-2008, 11:03 PM
I see that now. Thanks! I have a lot to learn...and here YOU're the teacher, Don, not I! (Oh my, how they would laugh if I tried to teach this!! :lol:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/23609-eyes-nose2.jpg

This may be a bit better, but I need to move on as the paper is worn out with my changes. :rolleyes:

Deborah

DAK723
12-08-2008, 08:22 AM
Deb,

Yes, you got a nice smooth curve now, and I see you also added that little curved area of lighter value at the inside corner of that eye!

Don

I see that now. Thanks! I have a lot to learn...and here YOU're the teacher, Don, not I! (Oh my, how they would laugh if I tried to teach this!! :lol:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2008/23609-eyes-nose2.jpg

This may be a bit better, but I need to move on as the paper is worn out with my changes. :rolleyes:

Deborah

BANfear
12-08-2008, 01:03 PM
This is my first ever attempt at drawing a colored portrait in pastels, so I don't know if it's any good or not.

(based on http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=76010&size=big&cat= )

419041 (http://wetcanvas.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=419041&stc=1&d=1228759211)

Also, I need to say that I focussed more on being inspired by the picture, instead of drawing exactly what I saw. So the colors might not exactly be right.


Please, share with me any tips or comments you might have! :)

Judibelle
12-08-2008, 01:23 PM
I hesitate to post, as I know there is so much wrong with the drawing, but guess I'll take the plunge anyway...it seems the colors I see in the photos, are not the colors to use in drawing, necessarily...they just dont come out right!
Here is the one of image #2http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/103700-scan0013.jpg____dark_face.jpg
JB

Deborah Secor
12-08-2008, 02:30 PM
Man, noses are hard! :lol: I have to shoot these pix and post them right now or you'll never see them... I'll end up deleting and slinking off. At least I feel I improved a bit!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/23609-nose_practice_page.JPG

Once I finished the third one I noticed the tilt was wrong. I had my paper at an angle, but I can see it needs to be framed more like this:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/23609-tilted_nose_3.jpg
These are all done from the noses you showed:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/23609-82335-02-noses.jpg

I'm totally hooked now, however! This is a fun exercise, even if I do feel like a third grader again. I'm going to just keep on practicing. I may break out my pastel pencils so I can sit here in the afternoon sun and just draw. Thanks, Don!

Any comments and observations welcomed--from Don or anyone!

Deborah


Oh, and look at the 16 year old up there who can paint rings around me! :lol: You go, BANfear!

JLMTD
12-08-2008, 02:56 PM
Hi,
I haven't read past the first few pages...have a lot of catching up to do, but will be gooing at a fairky slow pace with the holidays, but I started! Yay! It's been a long time so I have a lot to learn. Here's my first attempt of an eye. I've chosen a spontaneous pis of my grandaughter, Caroline:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/140260-s_Face_1.jpg
And I did one eye so far:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/140260-Cals_Eye.jpg
Janis

BANfear
12-08-2008, 03:01 PM
Oh, and look at the 16 year old up there who can paint rings around me! :lol: You go, BANfear!

hahaha, oh, Deborah, it's all about practice though. I've been drawing eyes for so long. Every other facial structure is much harder, in my opinion, and that's because I'm not used to them enough.

Simply try to get to the point where you're feeling comfortable with all the facial structures, one at a time. And that usually happens by practicing a lot. So go slowly, carefully, don't worry about doing anything wrong. Just let go and draw what FEELS right. Already, you're doing a GREAT job! You understand the proportions of the face and you know where the light comes from and where the shadow will appear.

Never stop; just keep going. :)



-Joelle

robertsloan2
12-08-2008, 03:56 PM
Man, noses are hard! :lol: I have to shoot these pix and post them right now or you'll never see them... I'll end up deleting and slinking off. At least I feel I improved a bit!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/23609-nose_practice_page.JPG

Once I finished the third one I noticed the tilt was wrong. I had my paper at an angle, but I can see it needs to be framed more like this:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/23609-tilted_nose_3.jpg These are all done from the noses you showed:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/23609-82335-02-noses.jpg

I'm totally hooked now, however! This is a fun exercise, even if I do feel like a third grader again. I'm going to just keep on practicing. I may break out my pastel pencils so I can sit here in the afternoon sun and just draw. Thanks, Don!

Any comments and observations welcomed--from Don or anyone!

Deborah


Oh, and look at the 16 year old up there who can paint rings around me! :lol: You go, BANfear!

Deborah, that third is lovely. Once you tilted the drawing it matched the photo, but even untilted it read true. It just changed the angle of the head. You're getting it.

One of the things I found in street portraits was that if I got the angle of something wrong, it was easier to just keep going and keep the angle consistent on all the other features -- and people did not notice or mind that the tilt of the head was different as long as the features were more or less proportioned right and the eye likeness was there.

Some features are more subject to change than others. I could make all kinds of mistakes on mouths and feel awful, then realize all I did was change the expression and the lips were still shaped accurately for the changed expression. It happened all the time. I suspect in the life drawings with unpracticed models that I was averaging a variety of expressions anyway.

robertsloan2
12-08-2008, 04:00 PM
Hi,
I haven't read past the first few pages...have a lot of catching up to do, but will be gooing at a fairky slow pace with the holidays, but I started! Yay! It's been a long time so I have a lot to learn. Here's my first attempt of an eye. I've chosen a spontaneous pis of my grandaughter, Caroline:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/140260-s_Face_1.jpg
And I did one eye so far:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/140260-Cals_Eye.jpg
Janis

Janis, your shapes are good and angles are right. What I see here is that you have the eye likeness but it's become stylized by darkening the eyebrow more than it is, using dark strong lines to define features and not getting the areas of value the right values. It'd be easy to fix.

My suggestion is to turn it upside down and start looking for areas of value -- turn both the photo and the art upside down so you're not as distracted by knowing "thats the eyebrow" and "that's the shadow under the eyebrow." That way you can darken the shadow under the eyebrow to what it is and lighten the eyebrow a little -- the transition from eyebrow to shadow is very gradual and soft, not hard.

Also, the nose is defined by a strong dark line when it's a broader area of mid-value shadow. Picking up some of the dark with a kneaded eraser before going over it with a mid-value pastel could help a lot with that.

Good start. This is a great photo and I hope you'll continue working with it, you'll have a great portrait of your granddaughter when you do. Accurate lines and proportions this soon is a huge leap in itself.

christinemlr
12-08-2008, 04:13 PM
Having done a child's eye and 2 youthful eyes its time for a pair of old eyes.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/151368-PICT0608.JPG

sorry this is so yellow, thats my camera and lamplight. IRL skin is much paler, but wanted to get this posted.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/151368-Mom.jpg

Sorry these have come out a bit large, I'm not clever at computerworks its a miracle I'm managing to do this.

Photo is from Ref library

Xina

DAK723
12-08-2008, 04:30 PM
Joelle, Welcome! Thanks for joining the class!

To answer your question...Yes, it's good! You have captured the shape of the eye perfectly. And you have also captured the small value shapes immediately around the eye as well.

This would be a perfectly fine work of art as is, but for this class I will ask you to try to take it to the next level, and that is to start looking at the values of the shadow areas a bit more as we move away from the more linear parts of the face. I have attached your work next to the ref and put a few arrows at areas that are fairly dark in value. Around the nose especially, these darker values will help make things stand out more 3 dimensionally. I think you'll notice that the shadow on the side of her nose (forgot the arrow there:angel:) will help make give more depth to the nose, too.

Very nicely done...and for a first effort in pastel - exceptional!

Don



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/82335-Image1dakrev.jpg

This is my first ever attempt at drawing a colored portrait in pastels, so I don't know if it's any good or not.

(based on http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=76010&size=big&cat= )

Also, I need to say that I focussed more on being inspired by the picture, instead of drawing exactly what I saw. So the colors might not exactly be right.


Please, share with me any tips or comments you might have! :)

DAK723
12-08-2008, 04:32 PM
Lot's of posts coming in, but I got to run for now! Will be back later this evening to comment. Keep up the good work!!

Don

maw-t
12-08-2008, 04:37 PM
Xina, I knew what ref this was from BEFORE i saw it.. really good likeness ! & nice soft touch withe pastels too.. but those EYES say it all!

Deborah Secor
12-08-2008, 04:45 PM
hahaha, oh, Deborah, it's all about practice though. I've been drawing eyes for so long. Every other facial structure is much harder, in my opinion, and that's because I'm not used to them enough.

Simply try to get to the point where you're feeling comfortable with all the facial structures, one at a time. And that usually happens by practicing a lot. So go slowly, carefully, don't worry about doing anything wrong. Just let go and draw what FEELS right. Already, you're doing a GREAT job! You understand the proportions of the face and you know where the light comes from and where the shadow will appear.

Never stop; just keep going. :)



-Joelle

Aw! You are so sweet! :heart: Thank you, Joelle. (I like that lots better than your nickname. Very pretty.) I really need the encouragement, and you are SO right!

I need to learn the rules of proportion, actually. I can so often fake that in the landscape, but in a face sometimes mere centimeters count.

Practice makes permanent if not perfect. (I have a blog entry titled that and this thread made me think of it! If you practice everything wrong you can get it perfectly wrong, however!)

I'm really glad that Don is doing this class...and it's fun to be in the seats with the rest of you. :wave:

Deborah

JLMTD
12-08-2008, 04:45 PM
Janis, your shapes are good and angles are right. What I see here is that you have the eye likeness but it's become stylized by darkening the eyebrow more than it is, using dark strong lines to define features and not getting the areas of value the right values. It'd be easy to fix.

My suggestion is to turn it upside down and start looking for areas of value -- turn both the photo and the art upside down so you're not as distracted by knowing "thats the eyebrow" and "that's the shadow under the eyebrow." That way you can darken the shadow under the eyebrow to what it is and lighten the eyebrow a little -- the transition from eyebrow to shadow is very gradual and soft, not hard.

Also, the nose is defined by a strong dark line when it's a broader area of mid-value shadow. Picking up some of the dark with a kneaded eraser before going over it with a mid-value pastel could help a lot with that.

Good start. This is a great photo and I hope you'll continue working with it, you'll have a great portrait of your granddaughter when you do. Accurate lines and proportions this soon is a huge leap in itself.

Thanks Rob. Yes, I'll keep working on it, but I better "brush" her hair or she'll be horrified. Although she's quite the girly girl, she'd been roughing it up when I caught her. In the first pic she put on this fake smile that she pulls out of a hat; I told her to ditch the fake smile and just look at her Grammy and this is the gem that I got. My son will be very happy if I end with a portrait of her, then there's 5 more to go! :)

Now, I'm going to take a look and see what everyone else is doing!
Janis

Deborah Secor
12-08-2008, 06:44 PM
Okay, whiled away the afternoon doing this:



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/23609-eyes_nose_color1.JPG




http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/23609-girl_face.jpg

I did it in my sketchbook with pencil the added some pastel pencils, all of which serves to remind me why I like Wallis paper and soft pastels! I can see things that are inaccurate, of course--in her right (viewer's left) eye the shape of the fold is off, her nose is too long and clearly all wonky, that kind of thing. But in a way I can 'see' her in it. That at least pleases me!

Decided to do my own digital "fix" just so I can see what to do!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/23609-eyes_nose_digi_fix.JPG

Open to comments, of course! Your observations all help me so much.

Deborah

grekslay
12-08-2008, 08:53 PM
Hi all :clap: :clap: :clap:

Don this looks like great fun thanks for spending the time and doing this for us.

I do not work in pastels and do not do portaits so i was lurking and reading this thread and you are all doing so well and having so much fun I thought i would set myself the challenge and have a go

here my first attemped at eyes
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/111823-eyes1.jpg
its not easy just to do part of the face

here my next eyes and nose
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/111823-eyes_and_nose1.jpg
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

DAK723
12-08-2008, 08:57 PM
JB, If the colors are giving you problems, then don't hesitate to work in pencil or charcoal on a white or very light paper. As you can see, Deb Secor is starting out with pencil drawings, and someone else (forgive me, I forgot!) started with charcoal. No colors, only values from light to dark. It might help simplify the process.

Don


I hesitate to post, as I know there is so much wrong with the drawing, but guess I'll take the plunge anyway...it seems the colors I see in the photos, are not the colors to use in drawing, necessarily...they just dont come out right!
Here is the one of image #2http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/103700-scan0013.jpg____dark_face.jpg
JB

DAK723
12-08-2008, 09:19 PM
Deb,

Noses are hard! Usually, what you are really showing is the shadow shapes around and under the nose! But these noses are good - you are being too hard on yourself. The first and third especially (I deleted your tilted version, just to save space!) are very good. The second does a nice job of showing the values, but I think the nose has gotten a bit longer and a bit narrower than in the ref. Since we haven't done measuring yet, that's not a big deal, but here is a little preview on one of the measuring techniques - using plumb or range lines to help locate things. It looks like nose #2 needed tilting as well, so I took the liberty of doing so. I drew in a couple lines on the reference to show where the width of her nose at the nostrils is, then drew the same lines on your pic. Using the eyes, whether the inside corner, or center, etc, and drawing lines straight down will help locate the base of the nose (and vice versa, of course).

Glad you are having fun! These really are good!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/82335-23609-nose_practice_pagedakrev.JPG


Man, noses are hard! :lol: I have to shoot these pix and post them right now or you'll never see them... I'll end up deleting and slinking off. At least I feel I improved a bit!



Once I finished the third one I noticed the tilt was wrong. I had my paper at an angle, but I can see it needs to be framed more like this:
These are all done from the noses you showed:



I'm totally hooked now, however! This is a fun exercise, even if I do feel like a third grader again. I'm going to just keep on practicing. I may break out my pastel pencils so I can sit here in the afternoon sun and just draw. Thanks, Don!

Any comments and observations welcomed--from Don or anyone!

Deborah


Oh, and look at the 16 year old up there who can paint rings around me! :lol: You go, BANfear!

DAK723
12-08-2008, 09:32 PM
Janis, Thanks for joining us! You are off to a good start and have drawn in the eye shape well. You have located the important shadow shapes, too. Now it's time to refine those a bit. Close observation of the photo will show that some of the shadow areas are not that dark (the shadow under the eye) and the shadow on the side of her nose is even lighter. It looks like you might have let your mental image (I must show the nose!) overcome your observation (the side of the nose is almost too light to differentiate). Robert's advice is good - turning your ref and your painting upside down will help you to concentrate on your observations and not let the mental picture get in the way. Hope this helps and hope I didn't presume too much about your thought processes!

Don

Hi,
I haven't read past the first few pages...have a lot of catching up to do, but will be gooing at a fairky slow pace with the holidays, but I started! Yay! It's been a long time so I have a lot to learn. Here's my first attempt of an eye. I've chosen a spontaneous pis of my grandaughter, Caroline:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/140260-s_Face_1.jpg
And I did one eye so far:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/140260-Cals_Eye.jpg
Janis

DAK723
12-08-2008, 09:37 PM
My suggestion is to turn it upside down and start looking for areas of value -- turn both the photo and the art upside down so you're not as distracted by knowing "thats the eyebrow" and "that's the shadow under the eyebrow."
Robert, I know that you will find this hard to believe, but I looked at this afternoon's posts, didn't have time to reply, took the dog for a walk, and thought about what advice I should give Janis. I thought, it might be a good time to introduce the idea of turning your artwork (and ref) upside down to better observe the values without being influenced by what you "know" is there. Kinda spooky, huh? But great advice!

Don

DAK723
12-08-2008, 09:58 PM
Xina, Very nice! You definitely have done a nice job with the likeness! The shadow shapes are done very well!

Two minor comments - First, you might start thinking of using a wider range of values - either the darks could go a bit darker, or the lights a bit lighter (or both). I think you would find that the forms will become a bit more 3 dimensional. The second point is also minor - the only area that needs a bit more refinement (in my opinion) in terms of the values, is the tip of the nose. I think you need a bit darker shadow on the side and below the tip. This area often needs careful observation because the artist always needs to find a way to make the nose come forward. The contrast between the tip of the nose (usually the lightest value area) and the darker shadows will help make it more 3 dimensional. I hope you don't mind, but I put it into Photoshop to illustrate:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/82335-151368-PICT0608dakrev.JPG

I didn't necessarily do a good job on the likeness, but hopefully illustrated the way to make the nose come forward a bit more.

Don

Having done a child's eye and 2 youthful eyes its time for a pair of old eyes.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/151368-PICT0608.JPG

sorry this is so yellow, thats my camera and lamplight. IRL skin is much paler, but wanted to get this posted.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/151368-Mom.jpg

Sorry these have come out a bit large, I'm not clever at computerworks its a miracle I'm managing to do this.

Photo is from Ref library

Xina

DAK723
12-08-2008, 10:02 PM
Simply try to get to the point where you're feeling comfortable with all the facial structures, one at a time. And that usually happens by practicing a lot. So go slowly, carefully, don't worry about doing anything wrong....
Never stop; just keep going. :)

-Joelle

Joelle, great advice! I couldn't have said it better myself!

Don

DAK723
12-08-2008, 10:18 PM
Very Nice, Deb! While, yes, there might be a few tweaks needed, the general shapes are right. And your digital fix addressed the one are I was going to mention - the dreaded dark nostrils! As you noticed, the value of the nostrils was too dark (a very common thing to do) and you fixed it! I would go so far as to say that it is often a good idea to make the nostrils slightly lighter than they really appear so that they do not draw more attention than you want. Dark nostrils also tend to make the nose flatter, so making them a bit lighter will help make the shadow at the tip of the nose seem darker, helping to make the nose more 3 dimensional. Hope this makes sense.

Don

Okay, whiled away the afternoon doing this:



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/23609-eyes_nose_color1.JPG




http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/23609-girl_face.jpg

I did it in my sketchbook with pencil the added some pastel pencils, all of which serves to remind me why I like Wallis paper and soft pastels! I can see things that are inaccurate, of course--in her right (viewer's left) eye the shape of the fold is off, her nose is too long and clearly all wonky, that kind of thing. But in a way I can 'see' her in it. That at least pleases me!

Decided to do my own digital "fix" just so I can see what to do!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/23609-eyes_nose_digi_fix.JPG

Open to comments, of course! Your observations all help me so much.

Deborah

DAK723
12-08-2008, 10:24 PM
Graham, Welcome aboard! Thanks for joining us! For someone who doesn't work in pastels or do portraits, you are off to a great start! You have some really nice shadow shapes, especially in eye #1. You have captured the essence of the shadow and light shapes in the 2 eyes and nose, as well! With more practice and familiarity with the medium will come more refinement to the features and shadow shapes. Nice job!

Don
Hi all :clap: :clap: :clap:

Don this looks like great fun thanks for spending the time and doing this for us.

I do not work in pastels and do not do portaits so i was lurking and reading this thread and you are all doing so well and having so much fun I thought i would set myself the challenge and have a go

here my first attemped at eyes
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/111823-eyes1.jpg
its not easy just to do part of the face

here my next eyes and nose
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2008/111823-eyes_and_nose1.jpg
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Mette Rörström
12-09-2008, 04:43 AM
Hi!
I desided to try this one again,to se if I can get it right...:)


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0615.JPG

christinemlr
12-09-2008, 05:01 AM
Thank you Don, I'll try to take your sound points about pushing the value more and yes more care on this to be taken on the nose, I must admit I do focus on the eyes and have less interest in the nose.

I have noticed all the noses I've done so far have been in same 3/4 profile, so will do more work on noses in different positions.

I have been looking at some Rembrandt portraits (in a book unfortunately) and although oil of course I think they will be great for copying in pastel. He certainly pushed the values. Do you think it was because of the light (candles/oil lamps? - I don't know how they lit the studios in those times) that these portraits have such depth of shadow? Or was it the style of the time that Rembrandt took on and used so masterfully? The book doesn't enlighten me on these questions. Will need to do more reading...

I'm so glad to be doing this class, as its a new area for me, I have never thought of doing portraits, but am finding a real affinity with it, that being said its one thing to work from a photo, another thing entirely to work from life. Sadly I don't have the opportunity to go to any portrait or life classes which is what I would truly love to do - but this class has opened up possibilities for me. Family photos will be taken with new thinking from now on!

Xina

christinemlr
12-09-2008, 05:08 AM
JANIS - speaking of family photos I absolutely love the photo you got of you're grandaughter. I can imagine she'll be horrified by the hair - but that's what makes this so natural and appealing. Look forward to the full portrait - I hope you don't 'brush' the hair, this world is too full of brushed iimages so ts refreshing to see natural.
Xina

DAK723
12-09-2008, 08:21 AM
Mette,

Very nicely done!

Don

Hi!
I desided to try this one again,to se if I can get it right...:)


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0615.JPG

Colorix
12-09-2008, 09:13 AM
Hi Don and all,

Just popping out of lurking and in to say it is a fabulous class, with wonderful studies! I want to join in, and I will, next week.

Thank you Don!

Charlie

Donna T
12-09-2008, 09:27 AM
Thanks from me, too, Don! What an awesome job you are doing! I am going to read and re-read all of the information you have provided and maybe someday actually attempt a figure ... probably in the far, far distance of a landscape. :)

Donna

JLMTD
12-09-2008, 12:21 PM
JANIS - speaking of family photos I absolutely love the photo you got of you're grandaughter. I can imagine she'll be horrified by the hair - but that's what makes this so natural and appealing. Look forward to the full portrait - I hope you don't 'brush' the hair, this world is too full of brushed iimages so ts refreshing to see natural.
Xina

Xina,
Thanks. You have a good point there, and you are a quick study on these portraits - wonderful!
Janis

JLMTD
12-09-2008, 12:24 PM
Hope I did what I needed to do. Turning it upside down was a great suggestion I'd forgotten all about! Thanks for the feedback.
Janis
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Dec-2008/140260-s_Eye_2.jpg

robertsloan2
12-09-2008, 01:14 PM
Much improved, Janis. I love the hair in her portrait, she looks so charming and real with it loose and a little wild like that. I thought her hair was one of the coolest things about that photo. So often I see kid photos with the kid's hair perfectly groomed or slicked back and it looks like they never get to play or scruff around or anything.

DAK723
12-09-2008, 06:18 PM
Thanks, Charlie! We look forward to your joining us!

Don

Hi Don and all,

Just popping out of lurking and in to say it is a fabulous class, with wonderful studies! I want to join in, and I will, next week.

Thank you Don!

Charlie

DAK723
12-09-2008, 06:26 PM
Thanks, Donna! I'm sure you'll be doing portraits and figures in no time!

Don

Thanks from me, too, Don! What an awesome job you are doing! I am going to read and re-read all of the information you have provided and maybe someday actually attempt a figure ... probably in the far, far distance of a landscape. :)

Donna

DAK723
12-09-2008, 06:28 PM
Yes, definitely improved! All this talk of hair reminds me that we will be doing hair in our next lesson!

Don

Hope I did what I needed to do. Turning it upside down was a great suggestion I'd forgotten all about! Thanks for the feedback.
Janis
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Dec-2008/140260-s_Eye_2.jpg

BANfear
12-09-2008, 06:44 PM
Joelle, Welcome! Thanks for joining the class!

To answer your question...Yes, it's good! You have captured the shape of the eye perfectly. And you have also captured the small value shapes immediately around the eye as well.

This would be a perfectly fine work of art as is, but for this class I will ask you to try to take it to the next level, and that is to start looking at the values of the shadow areas a bit more as we move away from the more linear parts of the face. I have attached your work next to the ref and put a few arrows at areas that are fairly dark in value. Around the nose especially, these darker values will help make things stand out more 3 dimensionally. I think you'll notice that the shadow on the side of her nose (forgot the arrow there:angel:) will help make give more depth to the nose, too.

Very nicely done...and for a first effort in pastel - exceptional!

Don



Aaah thank you, Don! I will try to focus more on the values in my drawings from now on.

also, I was wondering, how are you going to seperate the lessons? I mean, do you already know how you'll seperate the topics? And, it might be too early to say, but how many lessons/topics are you planning on doing?

and lastly, I never got a chance to thank you for doing this! For so long, I've been so interested in portraits and wanted to improve in that area but I never knew how and where to start. So thank you so much! :clap:



And Deborah, wow, good job on your last drawing! Color adds so much more life to a drawing. I especially love the eyes. It feels like there's so much depth in them. Keep on drawing!

We're all in this together! :)

DAK723
12-09-2008, 07:28 PM
Aaah thank you, Don! I will try to focus more on the values in my drawings from now on.

also, I was wondering, how are you going to seperate the lessons? I mean, do you already know how you'll seperate the topics? And, it might be too early to say, but how many lessons/topics are you planning on doing?

and lastly, I never got a chance to thank you for doing this! For so long, I've been so interested in portraits and wanted to improve in that area but I never knew how and where to start. So thank you so much! :clap:

Well, the next lesson is really a continuation of this lesson - we will observe the mouth, ears and hair and practice them alone or in combination. Lesson 3 will be about measuring and laying out the features in relation to the entire head.

After that I'm not sure. It will depend on how well the first 3 lessons go! Somewhere down the road we will do figure fundamentals!

Don

Striver
12-10-2008, 02:15 AM
Hi, just been refered, am away until late Jan 09 and if you are still going will be pleased to join in then.
Merry Xmas
Les

Mette Rörström
12-10-2008, 04:53 AM
This is one I did today...I used a photo that was not so good...
(oops!something wrong here! I cant upload the photo..)I`l try again later..
bad photo or not,at least I got one eye and the nose..
The other side was in shadow and wery dark and blury so it was difficult to se the details..so I painted what I could see....And I used the hole paper, and learn that it´s easyer to work big than smal as I have done before.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/130835-nina.JPG

Mette Rörström
12-10-2008, 05:05 AM
Here is the photo I used.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/130835-Nina_stor_1.jpg

DAK723
12-10-2008, 08:31 AM
Mette,

Another fine work! Even though though the photo you used was not so good, you have accurately represented the shapes and the light and shadow. You have a very strong 3-dimensional painting with very good contrast between the dark and light areas!

Don

This is one I did today...I used a photo that was not so good...
(oops!something wrong here! I cant upload the photo..)I`l try again later..
bad photo or not,at least I got one eye and the nose..
The other side was in shadow and wery dark and blury so it was difficult to se the details..so I painted what I could see....And I used the hole paper, and learn that it´s easyer to work big than smal as I have done before.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/130835-nina.JPG

DAK723
12-10-2008, 08:35 AM
Hi Les! Lesson 2 should be going on throughout January and Lesson 1 will still be somewhere online in the pastel forum. If Lesson 1 is no longer a "sticky" thread by then, I'm sure we will have a link in lesson 2 that will take you there! And Merry Christmas to you, too!

Don

Hi, just been refered, am away until late Jan 09 and if you are still going will be pleased to join in then.
Merry Xmas
Les

Mette Rörström
12-10-2008, 09:26 AM
Thank you,Don!
I did one with open eyes to.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0622.JPG

here is the photo I used...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/130835-S5030672mammaeyestudiefoto.JPG

CrookedLine
12-10-2008, 11:09 AM
My son saw the studies I am doing here and wanted a portrait of himself in blue. Harsh critiques appreciated. Thanks.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/152195-Kris_comp.jpg

Striver
12-10-2008, 12:44 PM
Don
Thank you, looking forward will be a pleasure.
See you next year
regards
Les

DAK723
12-10-2008, 12:59 PM
Mette, You are doing great work! Those eyelids are fantastic! I had to look very closely to find anything to critique. There are a couple minor details in the eyes that are shaped just a bit differently than you have painted them. These items are almost too small to mention, as you have created a very good likeness as it is now!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/82335-130835-DSCN0622dakrev.jpg
I notice that the lower edge of the top eyelid (red arrow) is more curved and the lower lid (blue arrow) is less curved in the ref photo. The other eye is similar, but less pronounced. The outside corner (green arrow) is just the slightest bit lower in the ref, making the top eyelashes curve down just a bit more on the outside of the eye, and the lower lid is flatter and actually goes downward a bit toward the eye (orange arrow).

Again, these a very minor corrections. All in all, this is excellent!

Don



Thank you,Don!
I did one with open eyes to.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0622.JPG

here is the photo I used...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/130835-S5030672mammaeyestudiefoto.JPG

DAK723
12-10-2008, 01:21 PM
Hi CrookedLine,

Although I have done a couple measuring previews, I don't want to get too far ahead in my lessons (We won't be getting to the measurements of the entire head until Lesson 3), so I have sent you a Private message with my critique. Very nice likeness you have here!

In terms of what we have done so far (eyes and nose), your values look good. There is a little funny value thing going on above his left nostril that might need a bit of smoothing out. Other than that, looks good!

For more critiques you might consider posting this in the Soft Pastel Studio and Gallery where far more pastellists will see it and comment.

Don

My son saw the studies I am doing here and wanted a portrait of himself in blue. Harsh critiques appreciated. Thanks.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/152195-Kris_comp.jpg

JLMTD
12-10-2008, 06:00 PM
Hi,
I did another attempt, this time of both eyes:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/140260-s_Eyes_Photo.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/140260-s_Eyes.jpg
Janis

JLMTD
12-10-2008, 06:03 PM
Wow! As soon as I uploaded these I could see that I neglected to put the highlights in the eyes. And I see that the shape is all wrong on the inner part of the the eye on the left.
Janis

Cindy234
12-10-2008, 08:52 PM
Rough charcoal sketch...I mean REALLY rough

Cindy234
12-10-2008, 08:53 PM
Somehow, posting it really shows up what you did wrong!!

Cindy234
12-10-2008, 09:11 PM
Better...

DAK723
12-10-2008, 09:38 PM
Janis, Lots of improvement here! You are definitely seeing and representing the shadow areas well. Your own critique is what I noticed, too!

Don

Hi,
I did another attempt, this time of both eyes:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/140260-s_Eyes_Photo.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/140260-s_Eyes.jpg
Janis
Wow! As soon as I uploaded these I could see that I neglected to put the highlights in the eyes. And I see that the shape is all wrong on the inner part of the the eye on the left.
Janis

DAK723
12-10-2008, 09:50 PM
Cindy,

Yes, better! It looks like you are having no problem with the basic shadow shapes. It is true that looking at a photo reveals things you just don't see when looking at the original. A closer photo (bigger) will make it a bit easier to critique, but it looks pretty good so far!

Don

Better...

Cindy234
12-10-2008, 09:56 PM
Okay, bedtime!

DAK723
12-10-2008, 10:11 PM
Looking good!

Don

Okay, bedtime!

JLMTD
12-11-2008, 01:09 AM
making progress:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/140260-s_Face_1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Dec-2008/140260-s_S2_Portrait_Reduced.jpg

One problem is that my drawing makes her look quite a bit older than the eight year old that she is.
Janis

robertsloan2
12-11-2008, 04:48 PM
Great progress, Cindy!

Janis, I don't think you made her look older. You really captured her mouth expression. It's possible her dark eyelashes are distracting and remind you of a grown woman's makeup, but they really are that dark. She's just pretty!

I see one problem in your full face rendering. It was there slightly in eyes-alone but it's very dramatic in her full face. Her left eye (viewer's right) the inside corner is way too high. It slants down in the photo. The line of the eyes is an angle.

If you bring the inside corner of that eye down to where it is parallel with the darkest lowest part of the iris of that eye, or maybe a hair lower, you will accurately have both eyes aligned with the nose. Space between them is right. Shape is right. Shape of shadows is great. Everything's great except that one tilted eye -- and it shouldn't be that hard to fix in pastel where light does go over dark.

christinemlr
12-11-2008, 05:48 PM
She's looking lovely Janis. Robert got it spot on with the eye. What I've noticed is her left nostril is placed too high up , I think left side of nose should be longer. - that won't be hard to fix either!
Xina

DAK723
12-11-2008, 07:57 PM
Janis, Yes, lots of progress here! You are definitely getting the concept of shadow shapes! As others have mentioned (and you did, too) the left eye is off, but your eye highlights look great. As Xina mentioned, the left nostril is too high, making the nose look longer and pointier, making her look older (see how it's all connected!). Again, since we haven't done measuring yet, all we have to use as a measuring guide is the size and shape of the shadow and light areas. I have highlighted in blue, the cast shadow under her nose, which defines the location of that left nostril. Compare that shape in the ref and your painting. Another area that would be important in this portrait to make the girls nose look "younger" is that there is shadow at the tip of the nose - under my pink line (arrow) - (you do have a little bit of shadow there) that lets us know that the nose is not long and pointy. That particular shadow is not easily defined as it is somewhat connected to the increasingly lighter shadows on the sides of her nose. Again, without getting into the measuring lesson (and we won't do lips until next lesson), compare the shapes - specifically the angle of the shapes - for the lips in the ref and your painting.

I know I've mentioned a lot of things, but I think you are definitely doing a great job. Based only on what I've seen in the few examples here, you have made lots of progress in seeing and representing shapes rather than lines. That is huge!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Dec-2008/82335-140260-s_S2_Portrait_Reduceddak.jpg
making progress:



One problem is that my drawing makes her look quite a bit older than the eight year old that she is.
Janis

DAK723
12-11-2008, 10:01 PM
One thing that I mention in my introduction, and now is a good time to reiterate, is that no one should interpret this lesson as the only way, or the "right" way to paint portraits. There are many ways to paint just about anything. I have tried to incorporate ideas from many sources and perhaps in one of my upcoming lessons I will mention some of the books that I have found most useful over the years.

On that note, one of the participants sent me a PM with a link to a similar lesson on painting eyes from the Watercolor forum. Based on the thought that you can never have too much knowledge...here is the link:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=504465

I had not seen this before, but it is interesting that we both started with observations before we moved on to demonstrations.

Don

JLMTD
12-11-2008, 10:11 PM
Thanks Rob, Xina and Don for your feedback. I need all that I can get. I'll be back at it tomorrow and will take it all in then.

:wave: Janis

Mette Rörström
12-12-2008, 04:43 AM
Hi!
I did another eye this morning....


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Dec-2008/130835-Roberts_eye.JPG




http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Dec-2008/130835-öyerobert.JPG

DAK723
12-12-2008, 04:25 PM
Mette, Another fine work! You have lots of wonderful detail and color variation in the iris (the colored part) of the eye. Very nice!

The things I see are, once again, very small. I see a bit more shadow on the left side above the eye (arrow). I also see an interruption in the light area (arrow) that you have painted as one continuous shape going around the inside of the eye. Just small little details. Here is the ref photo:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Dec-2008/82335-130835-%C3%B6yerobertdak.JPG

Your work is definitely very well done!

Don


Hi!
I did another eye this morning....


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Dec-2008/130835-Roberts_eye.JPG

Mette Rörström
12-12-2008, 05:34 PM
I have painted in the details you saw.....


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0630.JPG

DAK723
12-12-2008, 07:38 PM
Mette,

Very nice! I didn't mention it last time, but really I like the very soft hint of cool colors in the shadows. It gives me the feeling of skin and the way it is somewhat transparent.

Don

I have painted in the details you saw.....


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0630.JPG

robertsloan2
12-12-2008, 09:05 PM
Thanks for linking to that great watercolor demo. It's brilliant and helps a lot in understanding the subtle hues and changes in values in the eyes.

BANfear
12-13-2008, 03:34 AM
Another try! I drew a little quicker this time, so it isn't as "precise" as my other one.

Ahh, I am terrible at drawing noses. They always ruin my drawings, I find. And that always makes me so scared to take my drawing one step further by adding other facial features. They never look natural, or realistic enough.

How could I fix his face, here?
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2008/160352-Image2.jpg

and I find his eye does not look realistic enough. Maybe it's the way there aren't enough colors in his pupil, I don't know.. It makes it look empty, unpassionate, I find. Still, his eyes in the picture look incredible, with so much depth in them. Where did I go wrong?

(based on/inspired by http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=57471&size=big&cat)

Mette Rörström
12-13-2008, 06:13 AM
thank you,Don!
BANfear...If it was me that painted his eye...I think it will help to put in a wery smal tutch of light blue in the pupil...under/aound the hilight.(enlarge the photo you have of the eye,on your computer.then you will se the wery smal details/colors) Or you can use the same color you used under his eye.And put in some of his skinkolors in the white in his eye.(wery gentle)I think that wil help to make the eye look more natural.I do not say that this is the right way...But you can try.. If you want to, ofcourse.Mette.

robertsloan2
12-13-2008, 11:29 AM
BANfear, while I do see problems with both the eye and the nose, I should mention right now that the eye problems are all things that look "unfinished" to me instead of "wrong." Added layers and details would complete it, more than fix mistakes. The only actual mistake there is on the nose and it'd probably be pretty easy to fix since light goes over dark with pastels.

I can see something other than the iris as the biggest problem with his eye. The iris is lovely. The pupil could stand to be a step more distinct with actual black defining its shape, but other than that it's fine -- and that's a forgivable variation in itself.

What isn't working is that the sclera, the whites of the eyes, are too stark. They need to be shaded in order to round the eyeball itself and give depth. The shading is likely to be a little cool, shadows on white tend to the blue, but it'll be a little warmed by the reflection of his skin tone.

Shade the corners of the eyes, go to a mid-value at the deepest darks on the sclera, light middle tone. The sharp white corners where the shadow under the eyelashes is the only shadow flattens the eye. That and the pupil definition would do it for the eyes, the shape is wonderful.

The inner corner of the eye has a beautiful highlight on the tear duct that might well be there, but it would be shaded right next to that. Try using a hole punch on a piece of cardboard. Print out the reference and look through the little hole at the color and value of areas on the eye, then match those values. It can help a lot because the white of the eye can get right down to middle values sometimes but "reads" as white no matter how dark it gets.

On the nose, the right hand side is a bit high and a bit small. Check the shape against the reference, I recall he had a much wider nose.

BANfear
12-13-2008, 01:13 PM
Oh, Mette and Robert, thank you both so much!

Today I will try to work on the things you pointed out and post my 2nd version of this later on.

The thing is that it usually takes me 2-3 hours or so to completely draw 1 eye perfectly. Last night, I felt very stressed and I wasn't enough in the mood to draw, so I spent only about 30 minutes/1 hour on it. I wasn't careful enough with my choices.

Anyway, thanks again!

DAK723
12-13-2008, 01:18 PM
Hi Joelle,

First let me say that this is very good! If I remember correctly, you had never used soft pastel before this lesson. You have an excellent grasp of values - which in the opinion of many - is the most important fundamental to master. If I could have done a pastel this well at 16, well, who knows, I might have become famous!

You've received some comments already, so I hate to make it seem like we're picking on you:D...And, of course, all our comments may not be the same and may even contradict each other, but that's what art is all about, isn't it?

Here's what I see. The eye - as has been mentioned - the whites of the eye are usually not particularly white at all. I think in the side by side comparison, you will notice right away that the ref has darker whites, especially on the nose side. The iris (by my blue arrow) is a bit more round, yours is already curving and becoming narrower as it approaches the upper eyelid. This is pretty minor, really.

As mentioned by Robert, the pupil needs to be darker so that it stands out. You can not really see this in the photo, but there are times you need to compensate for the limits of the camera. You have done a really good job with the small areas of highlights around the eye. Nicely done!

Your nose is actually quite good. You have done the hard part - making the nose 3-dimensional and given it form. This is what makes noses hard and you have done a really good job. You can no longer say that you are terrible at noses!!

We haven't done any measuring lessons yet, so all you have for reference is the size and angles of the shapes you are working with. Based on my green line, I think you will see that the only real problem with the nose is that the cartilage between the nostrils is angling to far to the left, so it looks like his nose in not centered. If that center cartilage moves over, then there will be more room to make that nostril wider, as in the ref.

Again, despite the many comments, you should be quite happy with this!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2008/82335-160352-Image2dak.jpg






Another try! I drew a little quicker this time, so it isn't as "precise" as my other one.

Ahh, I am terrible at drawing noses. They always ruin my drawings, I find. And that always makes me so scared to take my drawing one step further by adding other facial features. They never look natural, or realistic enough.

How could I fix his face, here?


and I find his eye does not look realistic enough. Maybe it's the way there aren't enough colors in his pupil, I don't know.. It makes it look empty, unpassionate, I find. Still, his eyes in the picture look incredible, with so much depth in them. Where did I go wrong?

(based on/inspired by http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=57471&size=big&cat)

BANfear
12-13-2008, 01:31 PM
hahahaha, don't worry, it's okay :p Anything that could help me improve is greatly appreciated. :thumbsup:

I am a little discouraged by my own picture cause it feels like there's so much to do/fix; it's endless. But I will still try to fix it. I might end up violently crumpling the paper up if it doesn't seem to work out for me though. lol

Thank you for your help, Don! I will focus on the things you mentionned and I will try to post my edited piece tonight.


-Joelle

DAK723
12-13-2008, 02:16 PM
hahahaha, don't worry, it's okay :p Anything that could help me improve is greatly appreciated. :thumbsup:

I am a little discouraged by my own picture cause it feels like there's so much to do/fix; it's endless. But I will still try to fix it. I might end up violently crumpling the paper up if it doesn't seem to work out for me though. lol

Thank you for your help, Don! I will focus on the things you mentionned and I will try to post my edited piece tonight.


-Joelle
Joelle, Please do not be discouraged! The positive aspects of your painting completely outnumber the few small "corrections. Considering your pastel experience, you are doing great. And don't forget, if you have a group of artists critiquing, they will be much pickier than most people. Believe me, we would find many flaws and "fixes" in almost every Monet and Renoir painting if they were posted on WetCanvas!!

Don

Deborah Secor
12-13-2008, 02:49 PM
Oh boy--can I ever relate to how you feel, Joelle! But as you said to me the other day:

Deborah, it's all about practice though. I've been drawing eyes for so long. Every other facial structure is much harder, in my opinion, and that's because I'm not used to them enough.

Simply try to get to the point where you're feeling comfortable with all the facial structures, one at a time. And that usually happens by practicing a lot. So go slowly, carefully, don't worry about doing anything wrong. Just let go and draw what FEELS right. Already, you're doing a GREAT job! You understand the proportions of the face and you know where the light comes from and where the shadow will appear.

Never stop; just keep going. :)


-Joelle

:D :thumbsup: Yes! I can't agree with you more, so now I'm just gonna hand your sweet words right back to you: keep going! You have a lot on the ball and we ALL have a lot to learn. Trust me, sweetie, I've been painting for twice the time you've been alive (or more :wink2: ...), but I still have a lot to learn! Isn't that cool?

Deborah

JLMTD
12-13-2008, 03:26 PM
Hi All,

Unfortunately, my computer has crashed, so my online experiences will be sporadic and as I can get to a computer until/unless mine receives a miracle conferered upon it.

Joelle, I feel the same way! lI look and look and look some more. Then I do some work and look and look and look some more. Then I erase something and repeat this process on end! LOL! This is what they call practice, I'm afraid! But...the silver lining is that when I look again, I do see what's wrong a little easier each time. I don't always know what color I need or how to make that color without having it already made into a stick, and I sometimes think I'm laying the edge of my stick down in one spot but it makes a mark in a different, unexpected spot...grrrr. If we keep on with it, though, I know we'll be doing just fine in...time.:wave:

Janis

BANfear
12-13-2008, 03:39 PM
:heart: :heart: :heart:

Don, Deborah, and Janis, thank you so much:clap: . It's much easier to become discouraged about something and give up quickly than keeping our spirits up when things go wrong, but with all of your kind words, wow, I feel unstoppable.



-Joelle

Striver
12-13-2008, 09:03 PM
Don,
Twill be the end of Jan before i will have time to join in, however your opinion will be appreciated On the type of gun for figures and portraits. There is an advert running offering Dual action, push button control, side entry gravity feed with 17c metal cup, works on 15-50 PSI. Length is 145 mm and nozzle 0.2-.3mm. New Zealand price is NZ$36 dollars.
Another local one called WOLD Airbrush Ltd offerred at $200 as above with a .5 nozzle. I understand the Wold is originally American. Have seen one and it looks well made, but what do I know!

Big differrence betweem them, and yes you get what you pay for.

Are you aquainted with the Wold? At this moment in time it is all new to me, and being a Golden Oldie the cents count. Am tempted to ignore the cheepy and pay the pipers tune.
Any comments appreciated

Les:wave:

BANfear
12-13-2008, 09:54 PM
Here is my second version.

I tried focussing on the aspects that you guys pointed out.
I hope it turned out okay.

I also added his left eye. But I don't know if it looks good enough just yet.

and I hope the nose looks at least a little better. There's something weird about his left nostril though.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2008/160352-Image1.jpg

DAK723
12-13-2008, 11:03 PM
Joelle, It didn't turn out okay...it turned out great! Absolutely top notch! Both eyes look really good, and I really like those subtle cool grays (blue-gray?) that you have in some of the shadows.

As for his left nostril, I think it is (as usual) a question of looking for the right value. If you look at the ref, there is (as you've shown) a little shape of lighter value. But it is not as light as the tip of his nose for example, it is darker. It was too light in your first version, but I didn't really notice it, but now that you painted in more of his left side, it is more noticeable! I hope you don't mind, I put it into photoshop, darkened that little light area, and here it is...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2008/82335-160352-Image1dakrev.jpg

Again, this is really terrific!

Don

Here is my second version.

I tried focussing on the aspects that you guys pointed out.
I hope it turned out okay.

I also added his left eye. But I don't know if it looks good enough just yet.

and I hope the nose looks at least a little better. There's something weird about his left nostril though.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2008/160352-Image1.jpg

DAK723
12-13-2008, 11:12 PM
Don,
Twill be the end of Jan before i will have time to join in, however your opinion will be appreciated On the type of gun for figures and portraits. There is an advert running offering Dual action, push button control, side entry gravity feed with 17c metal cup, works on 15-50 PSI. Length is 145 mm and nozzle 0.2-.3mm. New Zealand price is NZ$36 dollars.
Another local one called WOLD Airbrush Ltd offerred at $200 as above with a .5 nozzle. I understand the Wold is originally American. Have seen one and it looks well made, but what do I know!

Big differrence betweem them, and yes you get what you pay for.

Are you aquainted with the Wold? At this moment in time it is all new to me, and being a Golden Oldie the cents count. Am tempted to ignore the cheepy and pay the pipers tune.
Any comments appreciated

Les:wave:
Hi Les,

I must admit, until you wrote the word "airbrush" a few sentences into your post, I had absolutely no clue as to what you were talking about!! :D

Even though this lesson is here in the soft pastel channel, aside from some specific pastel related sections, most of it is applicable to any media, really. But I have never airbrushed and know absolutely nothing about it! Sorry. You might want to post your question in the airbrush art channel.

Don

robertsloan2
12-13-2008, 11:51 PM
Don,
Twill be the end of Jan before i will have time to join in, however your opinion will be appreciated On the type of gun for figures and portraits. There is an advert running offering Dual action, push button control, side entry gravity feed with 17c metal cup, works on 15-50 PSI. Length is 145 mm and nozzle 0.2-.3mm. New Zealand price is NZ$36 dollars.
Another local one called WOLD Airbrush Ltd offerred at $200 as above with a .5 nozzle. I understand the Wold is originally American. Have seen one and it looks well made, but what do I know!

Big differrence betweem them, and yes you get what you pay for.

Are you aquainted with the Wold? At this moment in time it is all new to me, and being a Golden Oldie the cents count. Am tempted to ignore the cheepy and pay the pipers tune.
Any comments appreciated

Les:wave:

I know less than nothing about airbrushes, but I suspect you ought to ignore the cheapie and pay the piper's tune. Mostly because it's proved true in every other medium I've ever done that the best tools and materials give better results even for a beginner. There's nothing like getting frustrated over something that's a limitation of the materials while you're at a stage where you think it's something you're doing wrong.

Joelle, this is great! You have the likeness, both eyes look good now and the nose is looking good too. Well done.

Mette Rörström
12-14-2008, 07:11 AM
Joelle...this looks great!:clap:

Punky2
12-14-2008, 04:23 PM
Some good work posted here. Thank you Don for being so generous with your time.

Here is my attempt, using my own face as a reference (too many wrinkles!).

Just ignore that mess under the nose.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Dec-2008/74403-eyes1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Dec-2008/74403-_IGP7514_copy.jpg

I might go over this again and add some different colors or maybe I'll start a new one. I'd like to try just starting with shadow shapes, like you did Don, instead of drawing the outlines of shapes first.

Terri

DAK723
12-14-2008, 11:13 PM
Hi Terry, Welcome! Nice job on this! The eyes, especially, are very well done! The only minor thing I see is perhaps going just a bit darker on the shadows under the top eyelids. You have used a difficult photo with lighting completely from the side, so where one would normally expect the lights (the front of the nose, for example) there is shadow, but you have done a good job representing the light and shadow. The nose looks a little long and a bit narrow, but those are measuring things that we will address as the class proceeds.

Nicely done,

Don

Some good work posted here. Thank you Don for being so generous with your time.

Here is my attempt, using my own face as a reference (too many wrinkles!).

Just ignore that mess under the nose.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Dec-2008/74403-eyes1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Dec-2008/74403-_IGP7514_copy.jpg

I might go over this again and add some different colors or maybe I'll start a new one. I'd like to try just starting with shadow shapes, like you did Don, instead of drawing the outlines of shapes first.

Terri

Punky2
12-15-2008, 07:56 PM
Thanks Don. Originally the nose was even longer. You can still see the marks at the bottom. I'm looking forward to your measuring lesson.

Terri

Mette Rörström
12-16-2008, 02:44 AM
Hi :wave:!
This time I tryed to do a nose without any ref,photo...
Here it is...


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0638.JPG

Mette Rörström
12-16-2008, 06:48 AM
And here is a profil...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0643.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0490mamma1.JPG

DAK723
12-16-2008, 08:32 AM
Mette,

Both your nose (without ref) and this profile are very good. You are able to show the forms very well and definitely have captured the likeness in the profile! I can find nothing to critique!

Don

And here is a profil...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0643.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0490mamma1.JPG

Mette Rörström
12-16-2008, 08:49 AM
Thank you,Don!
Is it ok to post so many as I do, or is it to mutch?

DAK723
12-16-2008, 06:24 PM
Mette,

Please post as many as you want! As you can see, there are not too many participants, so the more you post, the better!

Don

kadon
12-16-2008, 08:01 PM
Don: I am saving all these posts/thread, but not being a pastellist I know there is much to learn...so am watching on the sidelines. Kathy

DAK723
12-16-2008, 08:51 PM
Kathy, glad you are watching! Hopefully, the information supplied here can be used in other mediums as well.

Don

robertsloan2
12-16-2008, 09:52 PM
Mette, these are great. I especially love your nose from imagination, that is spectacular and shows some long practice. I think the examples of all your posts are helping me and everyone get better at shadow shapes and even measurements.

Now you're inspiring me to try drawing from imagination too. I did it once for a novel character while I was writing. I could possibly do that again.

Mette Rörström
12-17-2008, 04:13 AM
Don...Thank you! I will then post as I have done.:)
robertsloan2...Thank you!
Well...I do not have long practice in pastel painting. I use oil, and have done 5-6 portraits. But I gues that what I have learn ,painting in oil, I can use in pastel to.
If my posts can help any of you , it makes me happy.:)
I am glad that I inspire you....pleas post the result so we can see.
Mette.

*Marina*
12-17-2008, 11:20 AM
Don, I am loving this thread and soaking it all in. Great that you are doing it and thanks a lot.

mrking
12-17-2008, 03:36 PM
Alright, finally had a few minutes to get started on this. This is my first effort with this ref image.

I see already the eye could be more narrow than I have represented it. I stuck with just 5 values of brown/orange but next time I think I will get into the different hues in his skin as well.

Looks like I need a darker dark in there.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Dec-2008/108995-eye01.jpg

DAK723
12-17-2008, 08:18 PM
Mike, Thanks for joining us! You've started out well, representing the shadow and light shapes. This is a very dark image on my screen with almost the entire eye in shadow. There are a few spots that you could definitely go darker - under the top eyelid, and the large shadow shape that is above, around and under the inside of the eye. Look forward to seeing your future efforts!

Don

Alright, finally had a few minutes to get started on this. This is my first effort with this ref image.

I see already the eye could be more narrow than I have represented it. I stuck with just 5 values of brown/orange but next time I think I will get into the different hues in his skin as well.

Looks like I need a darker dark in there.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Dec-2008/108995-eye01.jpg

Mette Rörström
12-18-2008, 09:31 PM
:wave:
did this today...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2008/130835-gine1.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2008/130835-FSCN0153Gine4.JPG

DAK723
12-19-2008, 08:29 AM
Mette, this is excellent! The shapes and values are very well done!

Don

:wave:
did this today...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2008/130835-gine1.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2008/130835-FSCN0153Gine4.JPG

Mette Rörström
12-19-2008, 08:34 AM
Thank you, Don!
One more...:)


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Dec-2008/130835-gines_eye1.JPG


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Dec-2008/130835-FSCN0153Gine2.JPG

robertsloan2
12-19-2008, 02:09 PM
Mette, these are great! I love the child's nose -- you really captured everything from proportion to values to angle perfectly. Same with the eye, and from a blurred photo at that.

Mike, yours is striking. Don already critiqued and you can see that you changed the eye and opened it a little. I've done that a few times too and it is something that's not measurements -- it only changes expression slightly. In portraits some errors are real errors and others just change expression because features are constantly in motion.

It's good to get used to seeing the difference between problems and expression changes. I know when I got used to it, that helped me relax and made it much easier to deliberately change photos -- like make someone smile more, that sort of thing.

DAK723
12-19-2008, 04:07 PM
Mette,

Excellent again! In fact, there are some really good things happening in this painting that I want to point out to everyone in the class.

In the lesson portion of class, I mention that you can establish your values in any order - you can start with a middle value or your darkest dark or your lights. The important thing is using a method that is comfortable to you and allows you to judge the value differences best. Once you reach your final pastel application or layers, things do change a bit, and the order of application does matter. This is where the question of painting "dark over light?" or "light over dark?" becomes a factor.

Now, this is not a rule, but I think it is good practice to apply (or reapply or reinforce) your lights - especially the highlights - last. Whether it is a portrait or still life or landscape, wherever the light is striking, it is striking the topmost or upper surface of your objects. Even though we may think of our paper as flat, there are still layers of pastel. So it only makes sense to paint the topmost layers of your subject on the topmost layers of your painting. With any darker value underneath, that topmost light layer will create realistic texture, as well.

I want to point out how well this method is applied in this painting. The lightest areas on the skin are painted over the top of somewhat darker values (see arrows). It creates both skin texture and brings the lights to the top of the skin increasing the sense of depth and translucency. It works especially well in areas where the light is transitioning into a darker value. I will discuss this more in lesson 2, but this seemed a good place to begin the discussion.

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Dec-2008/82335-130835-gines_eye1revdak.JPG



Thank you, Don!
One more...:)

Mette Rörström
12-19-2008, 06:50 PM
robertsloan2....Thank you!:)
Dan...Thank you so mutch! :)
You both makes me want to paint even more...:thumbsup:

BANfear
12-20-2008, 01:45 PM
Wowwwwww, Mette! :eek:

You are an absolutely incredible pastel artist! Even your simple sketches are full of passion. How do you do it?! :heart:


I will probably most a little more during the following 2 weeks, since it is my Christmas break and I am planning on focussing on improving understanding of the face and my techniques.


Don, I was just wondering... when are you going to post your second lesson?

DAK723
12-20-2008, 03:07 PM
Don, I was just wondering... when are you going to post your second lesson?
I hope to post lesson 2 on January 1st. I will let everyone know for sure in advance. Lesson 2 will be a continuation of lesson 1 as we observe and study the mouth, ears and hair. Since we will have covered all the features of the face, this will give folks a wide assortment of possible practice pieces, including doing entire portraits if they want.

Of course, lesson 1 will still be online for anyone who hasn't yet begun or those who are still working on eyes and noses.

Don

Mette Rörström
12-20-2008, 03:52 PM
Banfear....Thank you! I love to paint,Thats how I do it...:D :lol:

robertsloan2
12-21-2008, 12:58 AM
Dan, thanks for posting that! I'm looking forward to Lesson 2. I have several good portrait ideas including portraits of my grandchildren for my daughter.

mrking
12-21-2008, 06:39 PM
Here is another try with just an eye...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Dec-2008/108995-second-try.jpg

DAK723
12-21-2008, 09:15 PM
Mike,

This is very nice! You have done an excellent job of catching the shape and rhythm in the curves of the eye. A couple minor things caught my eye. Her top eyelid actually disappears beneath a fold in the skin (arrow) so it is not visible all the way across the eye. It is really a minor detail, that quite frankly, I almost didn't see myself. That is one reason I am bringing it up, because it might fall into the category of the mental image of an eye being stronger than our observation. My mental image said "this looks just like an eyelid should." It wasn't until I looked at your painting next to the reference for about the fifth time before I saw the difference!

The second thing I noticed is the shadow under the eye stops rather abruptly, where it seems (arrow) to continue almost all the way across under the eye.

Both of these things are really miinor, and the positives far outweigh them. As mentioned, you have caught the shape very well, the lights and shadows are clear and give lots of depth to those eyelids, and the iris with highlight is well done!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Dec-2008/82335-108995-second-trydak.jpg
Here is another try with just an eye...

mrking
12-21-2008, 09:54 PM
Mike,

This is very nice! You have done an excellent job of catching the shape and rhythm in the curves of the eye. A couple minor things caught my eye. Her top eyelid actually disappears beneath a fold in the skin (arrow) so it is not visible all the way across the eye. It is really a minor detail, that quite frankly, I almost didn't see myself. That is one reason I am bringing it up, because it might fall into the category of the mental image of an eye being stronger than our observation. My mental image said "this looks just like an eyelid should." It wasn't until I looked at your painting next to the reference for about the fifth time before I saw the difference!

The second thing I noticed is the shadow under the eye stops rather abruptly, where it seems (arrow) to continue almost all the way across under the eye.

Both of these things are really miinor, and the positives far outweigh them. As mentioned, you have caught the shape very well, the lights and shadows are clear and give lots of depth to those eyelids, and the iris with highlight is well done!

Don



Yeah! Looks like I am on my way. :D Now lets see if I can do a nose and eye and keep everything in proportion. :D:D

Mette Rörström
12-22-2008, 05:05 AM
Hi! :wave:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Dec-2008/130835-jonatan.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Dec-2008/130835-S5030825jonatan.JPG

mrking
12-22-2008, 12:58 PM
I'm no expert by any means, but what I see right away is:

a) a lack of depth in the eyes: I fixed this by adding more shadow to the whites and the iris, making sure to keep the iris lighter opposite the highlight
b) the nose is too long, thus making him look older than he really is: I brought it up more
c) the nose is too narrow: I widened it more

I did a photoshop change for you to see the difference. I hope it helps.

Mike

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Dec-2008/108995-130835-jonatan2_copy.jpg

Mette Rörström
12-22-2008, 01:57 PM
Mike... Thank you!
But I am sorry but I will not do this canges if it makes the boy loock like your photoshop pic. Because on that pic. he looks like a baby, I think. He is not. And I can not recognise him. The boy on the photo is my brothers child.
I will paint him so I can recognise him.
I will loock at the painting again.:)

Mette Rörström
12-22-2008, 02:46 PM
Is this better?

Mette Rörström
12-22-2008, 03:11 PM
Sorry for duoble posting, but something wird happend here :confused:. I had to start all over....:)
is this better?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Dec-2008/130835-DSCN0661.JPG

jmfletch
12-22-2008, 04:06 PM
Just stumbled on this thread and I have to say...This is a great thread!! :clap: :clap:

And one I could really use it. Problem is with the holidays upon us.:eek: ..no time.

Will we still be able to participate in this thread after New Years?

hmmm...this could be my new years resolution...pastel portraits.:cool:

Joe

DAK723
12-22-2008, 04:16 PM
Hi Mette,

As always, this is nice. I think you may notice one thing about painting children - they are much harder! The give us so much less information to draw - no wrinkles, smooth skin - it is hard!

I took your latest version and compared it to the reference. Some of these differences are extremely small and they are all differences in measuring. We haven't done measuring, yet, so it is hard to critique that subject! I hate to use your paintings as a preview for the measuring lesson - I hope you don't mind!

As far as the nose goes, I have drawn a blue line that goes from nostril to nostril. The line below that on the ref shows the bottom of both the area around the nostrils and the bottom of the tip. This is now very close on your painting - but, if you wanted, you could shorten the tip even a little bit more. Again this is so close it may not make a difference. The blue box, you will notice, is a bit different in the reference, and it represents the highlight on the tip of the nose. As you can see, it could be a little higher in your painting. Again, a very small difference, but the tip of the nose and the highlight that is often there are very important in defining the nose shape!

The width of the bottom of the nose looks good, but drawing lines straight up to the eyes shows me that the eyes might be a little too close together. The width of the top of the nose (the green horizontal line) is also a little wider in the ref.

The only other thing I see is the boy's left eye has more white showing on the inside (nose side) of the eye and less white on the outside. Again, a very small difference which probably makes little difference.

Again, we haven't done the measuring lesson yet, so I am not really looking to critique measuring. But your values and general ability to show the shapes are very well done, so I have nothing else to critique!

Otherwise, the eyes are very nice and what is extremely well done is the skin tones and values, especially on the nose and the sides of the nose toward the cheeks. These areas have subtle changes in value that are not easy to see or define, but you have painted them very well!!

Again, I am sorry to be so picky with your paintings.:)

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Dec-2008/82335-130835-DSCN0661dakrev.JPG



Sorry for duoble posting, but something wird happend here :confused:. I had to start all over....:)
is this better?

Mette Rörström
12-22-2008, 06:46 PM
Hi!:wave:
Don I do not mind.Thank you!
I Have done the canges that you pointed out....
How is it now?
I have been stearing at this painting so I have gone "blind" :)
Here it is again...


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Dec-2008/130835-jonatan.JPG

DAK723
12-22-2008, 09:12 PM
Mette,

Yes, I think it is better! I hope you do, too. I think the most important change was to the highlight on the tip of the nose. Now it definitely looks like a boy's nose, and not someone older. The dark shape that curves from the nostrils down under the tip of the nose looks excellent, too.

This is very nicely done, and again, I am especially impressed with the skin tones on the sides of the nose towards the cheeks. You have created the texture and the shine of real skin. This is very impressive!

Don

Hi!:wave:
Don I do not mind.Thank you!
I Have done the canges that you pointed out....
How is it now?
I have been stearing at this painting so I have gone "blind" :)
Here it is again...


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Dec-2008/130835-jonatan.JPG

DAK723
12-22-2008, 09:23 PM
A note about posting

For those following the last few posts, you will notice that Mette's original version of her painting in post #214 has changed to her latest version of her painting!

Please keep in mind that if you post revised versions of a previous post, you have to change the name of your file that you upload. A file with exactly the same name will replace the previous version!

A note about noses

In my original lesson on noses, I mention that the nose is hard to define and the shape of the nose is indicated by the shadow and light shapes that comprise the nose and the surrounding area. The last few posts of Mette's excellent painting, show the importance of the highlights on the nose. These highlights, usually on or around the tip, need to be very specifically observed and my original lesson did not really emphasize their importance. They can be one of the most important defining features of the nose!

Don

DAK723
12-22-2008, 09:26 PM
Just stumbled on this thread and I have to say...This is a great thread!! :clap: :clap:

And one I could really use it. Problem is with the holidays upon us.:eek: ..no time.

Will we still be able to participate in this thread after New Years?

hmmm...this could be my new years resolution...pastel portraits.:cool:

Joe
Hi Joe and welcome!

Yes, you can join in anytime! Lesson 2 - which is a continuation of lesson 1 - will begin around January 1st. Lesson 1 will still be around and the 2 lessons will be linked (I hope) in some way. Join in whenever you can!

Don

Cindy234
12-22-2008, 09:35 PM
Learning alot just following this thread! I'll be back soon, we are having our Christmas tomorrow, so I'll soon be painting again!! Very nice job on the boy, Mette! :clap:

robertsloan2
12-22-2008, 11:59 PM
Beautiful painting of the boy, Mette, and your progress changing the details to refine the likeness is wonderful.

Don, I learn something from every one of these detailed critiques. Wonderful class!

Mike, the iris of the eye you did is so luminous it caught me as soon as I clicked on the thread. That is so striking.

Mette Rörström
12-23-2008, 04:01 AM
Don...Thank you!
I am so glad that you are "picky" with my paintings.Thats what I want! :) Otherwise I will not learn these important things.
When I look at the painting at short distance I can´t realy recognice him, but if I take a few steps away I can see my brothers boy.:)
And..Thank you for telling about the uploading.I will remember to cange the name next time. Computers + me = :eek:.
Cindy...Thank you!
robertsloan....Thank you!

jmfletch
12-23-2008, 09:58 AM
Hi Joe and welcome!

Yes, you can join in anytime! Lesson 2 - which is a continuation of lesson 1 - will begin around January 1st. Lesson 1 will still be around and the 2 lessons will be linked (I hope) in some way. Join in whenever you can!

Don

GREAT!!! Thanks! See you in about a week.:D

Merry Christmas!

Joe

mrking
12-23-2008, 05:07 PM
I've added the nose but the angle looks a little off. I should have brought the tip over a little to the right, IMO.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Dec-2008/108995-eyenose.jpg

DAK723
12-23-2008, 09:03 PM
Hi Mike,

The eye looks great with a clear division of light and shadow. The nose looks a little more hesitant - not quite sure where the shadow and light is. But that is the challenge of noses, which are vague and subtle by nature.

I hope you don't mind, but I put the ref into photoshop to try to give a graphic example of trying to define light and shadow shapes, not just for your painting, but as a mini-lesson for everyone.

Now, I realize that I speak of light and shadow shapes as if they were easily defined, like pieces of a puzzle that fit together. But of course, they do not have definite edges (most of the time) and have gradual transitions from light to dark. But to simplify (and help us measure the shapes as well) we have to make some decisions of where the shapes are. Chances are each of us will have differences in where we define the shapes and that is perfectly OK!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Dec-2008/82335-108995-eyenosedakrev.jpg

My green lines are my interpretation of the shadow shape that defines the side of the nose, and the cast shadow of the nose - and it continues to our left to the cheek, mouth and jaw. I would say that that entire area is made up of various shadow values. The values on the side of the nose are not as dark as your dark values around the eye, but a middle dark with some variation. My arrows point to some lighter areas in the shadow. One popular piece of advice regarding values is:

For clarity, make sure no values in the shadow area are as light as the darkest value in the light area. And no value in the light areas should be as dark as the lightest value in the shadow area. Or in other words, all values in the shadows are darker than all the values in the light.

I am sure that there are exceptions to this "rule," but with one light source, it works well to define where the shadow and light are.

More specifically, to your painting, the eye looks large in proportion to the nose. I added a couple dimension lines to show the spacing across the bridge of the nose. The length of her eye is just a little bit longer than the distance from the eye to the far side of the bridge of the nose. I think you will notice that your distance across the nose is quite a bit shorter. Again, we haven't gotten into measuring yet, so I don't want to get too picky, but these are the types of comparisons we will use to measure.

Despite all my arrows and lines, you are doing well! I look forward to your next painting!

Don


I've added the nose but the angle looks a little off. I should have brought the tip over a little to the right, IMO.

DAK723
12-23-2008, 09:12 PM
To everyone lurking, reading, posting and painting...

Have a very Happy Holiday, whether you are celebrating a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, or any other holiday in your part of the world!

Let us hope for Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all!

Don

robertsloan2
12-23-2008, 10:23 PM
Happy Yuletide and wonderful Holidays to you too, Don.

I sometimes celebrate all of them, it's more fun that way. Kitten pointed out to me that in New Orleans, The Holidays start on the 21st and keep going "For a while, for a bunch of days."

Usually till it's about time to start getting ready for Mardi Gras.

Mette Rörström
12-23-2008, 10:56 PM
Happy Holiday to you to, Don! :wave: :)

Colorix
12-25-2008, 02:29 PM
God Jul!

Charlie

mrking
12-26-2008, 05:16 PM
Let's just say I can hardly wait until you get into the measuring aspect of portraits. :D

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Dec-2008/108995-full-face.jpg

Mike

DAK723
12-26-2008, 06:55 PM
Let's just say I can hardly wait until you get into the measuring aspect of portraits. :DMike
Why wait!! In lesson 3 we will get into specific measuring techniques, but, all along, we have all been doing some measuring - you can't draw or paint without doing some measuring. I have mentioned piecing together your light and shadow shapes. Comparing their relative sizes, shapes, angles that they meet, etc. are all a form of measuring. If we pretend to squint to the extreme at our model, we might find that the light and shadow shapes are divided like this:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Dec-2008/82335-francie-measure.JPG

The arrows just represent some possible measurement comparisons. How large is the light area on the cheek compared to the shadow shape of the eye, for example. How wide is the shadow under the bottom lip compared to the light area on the chin? Then, how wide is the shadow under that on the chin? Add them together and you have the measurement for the chin. The early stages of your painting might consist of blocking in these shapes - in other words, making some rough measurements.

A similar approach:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Dec-2008/82335-franciebw.JPG

One could start with a very basic block-in of the shadow shape. If you can draw in this shape accurately, you will have the rough placement of the eye, nose and mouth!

Just a couple ways of looking at measuring! I hope this helps.:)

Don

Deborah Secor
12-27-2008, 09:07 AM
Very interesting, Don. Funny, when I start my animal portraits I measure and plot things out so that I have the features in right relationship to one another, but when I start to paint it I usually use a dark pastel on its side and scrub in a pattern of darks like the last one above, massing together all the shadowy shapes roughly, and then slowly begin to carve away at that shadow to find the specific features again. I guess with animals I'm not as 'worried' about achieving the to-the-centimeter likeness as I am when trying to paint people.

You know, I just realized this as I was typing the above, but the reason is because I feel that I have to start with a likeness and maintain it throughout the process BECAUSE it's a person. It seems somehow disrespectful or wrong not to have my painting look correct right from the beginning, as if the subject will see it and be insulted by anything that doesn't look like them from the get-go to the very end. Huh.

Okay, so now I need to rethink painting people. This is a painting, and inherently has to go through a process, just as the animal or the landscape paintings do. I don't worry that the animal will care, nor, of course, the landscape--just the people. Gotta shed that bit of baggage!

Okay, true confession time is over now! :lol: ("The True Confessions of the Maturing Artist"--sounds like a book.) But thanks...

Deborah

DAK723
12-27-2008, 11:50 AM
Very interesting, Don. Funny, when I start my animal portraits I measure and plot things out so that I have the features in right relationship to one another, but when I start to paint it I usually use a dark pastel on its side and scrub in a pattern of darks like the last one above, massing together all the shadowy shapes roughly, and then slowly begin to carve away at that shadow to find the specific features again. I guess with animals I'm not as 'worried' about achieving the to-the-centimeter likeness as I am when trying to paint people.

You know, I just realized this as I was typing the above, but the reason is because I feel that I have to start with a likeness and maintain it throughout the process BECAUSE it's a person. It seems somehow disrespectful or wrong not to have my painting look correct right from the beginning, as if the subject will see it and be insulted by anything that doesn't look like them from the get-go to the very end. Huh.

Okay, so now I need to rethink painting people. This is a painting, and inherently has to go through a process, just as the animal or the landscape paintings do. I don't worry that the animal will care, nor, of course, the landscape--just the people. Gotta shed that bit of baggage!

Okay, true confession time is over now! :lol: ("The True Confessions of the Maturing Artist"--sounds like a book.) But thanks...

Deborah
Deborah,

What you describe is quite probably what most people go through when painting a portrait. Whether it is feeling that you will insult the sitter, or just a feeling that "until I have a likeness my painting is a failure" attitude. There is a certain anxiety that exists until you see the likeness. I will admit, that in the past, I did not always measure and layout nearly enough. I wanted to see that likeness right away, too. It was never (or rarely) there at first. Even after an hour or two of work, it might be close, but not quite there yet. I often had the philosophy, "as soon as I get the likeness, it's finished!"

Your comment about "carving away" reminded me of a statement in one of my pastel portrait books - "Capturing Personality in Pastel" by Dennis Frost. He says, "Painting portraits really means making a series of diminishing corrections to an overall original statement (or map) of the head and features."

Although I will post this in a few days (in lesson 2), here is a preview of my first stage of the woman from the reference library:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Dec-2008/82335-11-value-step1copy.JPG

I have done no measuring. If any likeness exists at this stage it is due to my careful observation and placement of the shadow shapes. The left eye, you may notice, is too high, but easily correctable at this stage.

Here is a demo from my lesson 3 - measuring. The orange dots represent landmarks that have been measured. The first "painting" stage looks like this:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Dec-2008/82335-layout6copy.jpg

Not much likeness at this stage! That will come with the refining stages! (I hope)

Don

Colorix
12-27-2008, 01:42 PM
Don, great stuff! I'm scrambling to catch up, doing some noodling with your photos, and the universe has something against me, as PS died on me no less than twice -- naturally before I had had time to save anything... Oh joy.

Getting there, have not forgotten this great class!

Charlie

DAK723
12-27-2008, 02:15 PM
Don, great stuff! I'm scrambling to catch up, doing some noodling with your photos, and the universe has something against me, as PS died on me no less than twice -- naturally before I had had time to save anything... Oh joy.

Getting there, have not forgotten this great class!

Charlie

Thanks, Charlie! I hope you had a nice holiday! Sorry to hear about your computer woes. I see your class is still going strong, so don't worry too much about finding time for this one, although I am looking forward to seeing what a "colorist" approach might look like in comparison to mine!

Don

Colorix
12-27-2008, 02:25 PM
.... although I am looking forward to seeing what a "colorist" approach might look like in comparison to mine!

Don

Actually, I think the eye-demo you started with purples/blues and a peachy one would come very close!

Charlie

Lisa Fiore
12-28-2008, 11:27 AM
Hi! I've been following this thread all month but didn't have a chance to try another until this morning--I did this while sitting in the bright sunshine, which was probably a mistake because what looked ok outside looked quite different inside! I did this without the charcoal underpainting I'd gotten in the habit of doing, which made it more of a challenge. This sketch is definitely lacking depth, but I'm not sure how to fix it. Your comments are appreciated!!:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Dec-2008/133545-wcpor2.JPG

Hope all of you are enjoying the holidays!! :wave:

robertsloan2
12-28-2008, 01:40 PM
This is beautiful. One thing that might unify it more would be just a touch of that cool color you put in the background into the deepest shadows. Not a lot, just the deepest darks like the base of the eyelashes and the deepest shadow under the hair on her forehead.

Your values are fine, it's just that she looks monochrome superimposed on a cool background because the cool colors aren't brought into the darks anywhere. That's the only problem I see with it and it can be solved with a couple of touches. Her nostril is perfect and that would be warmed a little in the light, I wouldn't necessarily cool that -- just the base of her eyelashes and a touch in the deepest part of her hair.

Lisa Fiore
12-28-2008, 01:58 PM
Thank you, Robert!! I'm going to try that!

DAK723
12-28-2008, 02:12 PM
Hi Elizabeth, This is very nicely done! You have captured the shapes perfectly, and the values are very clearly stated. You mention a lack of depth, so I will suggest a couple things, although the lack of depth doesn't bother me much. You could add a touch of shadow on the eyelid (arrow). There is some shadow there under the hair. You could also darken the nearest shadow area on the closest side of the face (arrow). I would also darken some of the hair on the close side. Just as in a landscape, one can add depth by darkening what is closer.

Roberts suggestions are good ones to take this to the next stage, where one integrates the colors of the background into the portrait to unify the composition and, in this case, to add some cool shades to the shadows. In terms of a value study - this is very well done. In terms of the likeness - it is right on!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Dec-2008/82335-133545-wcpor2dakrev.JPG



Hi! I've been following this thread all month but didn't have a chance to try another until this morning--I did this while sitting in the bright sunshine, which was probably a mistake because what looked ok outside looked quite different inside! I did this without the charcoal underpainting I'd gotten in the habit of doing, which made it more of a challenge. This sketch is definitely lacking depth, but I'm not sure how to fix it. Your comments are appreciated!!:)



Hope all of you are enjoying the holidays!! :wave:

Colorix
12-28-2008, 02:47 PM
Don, this is a great class! I've already done something totally new -- starting with the shadow shape. I didn't measure, or draw, just made the shapes. :eek: Thought it would never work out... used to draw carefully, those few portraits I've ever done. More like a colouring in of a drawing. So now, I just held my breath, and made a squiggly brown shape. :D

Camera picks out highlights a tad too much, and deep brown shows up as near black, but otherwise they are fairly accurate in colour.

Your example (but I worked from the photo, glancing at your instructions), in browns, on an old scrap of velour (grey):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Dec-2008/117343-DC-Eye-br-m-f4.jpg

And then I added colour, greens, to it:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Dec-2008/117343-DC-Eye-br-gr-f5.jpg

I'm amazed! Not perfectly as the ref, but still decent enough.

Am in the midst of the wrinkled guy, on Canson, and that is way trickier.

Charlie

DAK723
12-28-2008, 03:58 PM
Charlie, Welcome:wave: and thanks for the compliments. Both the stage 1 and stage 2 examples are excellent! The values are not only very accurate, but you have done a great job of making the light areas bright and the shadow areas low in intensity, thus adding to the realistic feeling of depth and form. A nice job as well on the whites of the eye, especially on the shadow side.

Can't wait to see your next one!

Don


Don, this is a great class! I've already done something totally new -- starting with the shadow shape. I didn't measure, or draw, just made the shapes. :eek: Thought it would never work out... used to draw carefully, those few portraits I've ever done. More like a colouring in of a drawing. So now, I just held my breath, and made a squiggly brown shape. :D

Camera picks out highlights a tad too much, and deep brown shows up as near black, but otherwise they are fairly accurate in colour.

Your example (but I worked from the photo, glancing at your instructions), in browns, on an old scrap of velour (grey):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Dec-2008/117343-DC-Eye-br-m-f4.jpg

And then I added colour, greens, to it:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Dec-2008/117343-DC-Eye-br-gr-f5.jpg

I'm amazed! Not perfectly as the ref, but still decent enough.

Am in the midst of the wrinkled guy, on Canson, and that is way trickier.

Charlie

Lisa Fiore
12-28-2008, 07:44 PM
Don, Thank you for your comments!! Now I see where I missed those shadows.

Colorix
12-29-2008, 11:41 AM
Hi Don, thank you!

Rod? the smiling man with wrinkles was started in the browns, and then he got a bit of green and purple, plus a rosy red. I think his nose sort of... "well, once upon a time Rod was boxing, and... " :wink2: :lol:

Again, just by eye, not by measuring. Grey Canson MT:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Dec-2008/117343-D-Wr-man-mmm-f4.jpg

And the eye, same as before, but started in Violets, and with greens and browns added, same gray Canson (back side, both studies):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Dec-2008/117343-D-eye-V-m-f8.jpg

I've not blended, btw, I plain forgot to push the first layer into the paper.

And I've really tried to not be Colourist.... I guess it just is pure spinal reflexes. :D

Charlie

DAK723
12-29-2008, 01:01 PM
Charlie,

These are excellent! The shadow and light areas are clearly stated and the forms have great depth.

Even though I mention that my approach is tonalist - I am not really advocating that folks need to use a tonalist approach. In my next lesson (Coming January 1st :) ) I go into a bit more explanation about the method I am using. Starting with a "tonalist" or monochromatic underpainting is merely a way to simplify the process. Many folks, myself included, have a difficult time judging the values of color. Along with the color (hue), there is also the intensity of the color (chroma) that one needs to decide on when working in "full color", as well as the color temperature (warm and cool). By starting with a monochramatic "tonalist" palette, and looking only at values, I am taking three parts (hue, chroma, temperature) out of the decision making process. This allows me to concentrate on values, along with composition and accuracy at the early stage. Then, in the later stages, I begin to refine with more accurate or specific hues, intensities and temperature.

For those who can make all (or some) of these color decisions at the same time they are making value, compositional and drawing accuracy decisions, by all means, you do not need the simplified monochromatic method!

I tell you, Charlie, the more I look at "Rod," the more impressive he seems. As usual, you have made the light just shine on him! You will have to teach me how you do that!

Don

Hi Don, thank you!

Rod? the smiling man with wrinkles was started in the browns, and then he got a bit of green and purple, plus a rosy red. I think his nose sort of... "well, once upon a time Rod was boxing, and... " :wink2: :lol:

Again, just by eye, not by measuring. Grey Canson MT:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Dec-2008/117343-D-Wr-man-mmm-f4.jpg

And the eye, same as before, but started in Violets, and with greens and browns added, same gray Canson (back side, both studies):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Dec-2008/117343-D-eye-V-m-f8.jpg

I've not blended, btw, I plain forgot to push the first layer into the paper.

And I've really tried to not be Colourist.... I guess it just is pure spinal reflexes. :D

Charlie