View Full Version : My portrait of R. Lenkiewicz

Caroline P
12-02-2008, 09:20 AM


Title: My portrait of R. Lenkiewicz
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 50/40cm
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Inspired by Robert Lenkiewicz self portrait, a challenge I set myself.

Still unfinished as yet, I think the hair needs more work?

12-02-2008, 09:33 AM
Your skill is way advanced and I'm sure you'll fix up the hair. The image seems to need more contrast but I bet this is an issue with the digital post rather than with the painting. I offer a critique only on the choice of subject in that I feel the expression is overly dramatic. It will be interesting to see if other viewers like this extreme display as it's a subjective choice; there is certainly no defect in how you've painted this emotion.

12-02-2008, 10:28 AM
Hi Caroline! Welcome to WC!
I'm glad you found us here. I know you will get some great critiques. One rule we have is only one new thread per day. I'm going to take the others down and hope you put one back tomorrow and the other the next day.
Of course you can comment on as many others as you want!

Caroline P
12-02-2008, 10:42 AM
Whoops, sorry Kathleen, still trying to find my way around!!

12-02-2008, 10:53 AM
No problem... its a huge site and it takes a while to learn it all.
The portrait really captures complex emotions. The detail is great. I'm assuming the second is closer to real life in color.

12-02-2008, 11:25 AM
it is superb ... the way you painted hair with single hairs (though you might consider giving them a warmer glaze), the beard, the eyes, the emotion ... problem of course is that we dont know the person. his right eye (from us) seems to look inward but i might be mistaken, maybe this is the way he looks.

a very, very promising and well executed portrait! :clap: :clap:



12-02-2008, 01:21 PM
Caroline! Welcome to the WC! A very intense and emotional work! Very well presented. I am though, not so sure of the strands of gray. They seem very random and unconvincing. particularly on the shadow side. They are like a scratching technique floating on the surface, unrelated to the underlying reality. The idea is of course valid and the quality of the portrait as a whole is excellent. I think the idea of this 'gray shot' depiction is sound. It is just that it might be used more locally and according to the flow and pattern of the hair masses themselves. This has been done well on the light side, it could perhaps just be more descriptive as to placement and less of it...the edges of forms quite often will tell the tale as it were for the form as a whole. Not to 'busy' up the shapes with too much 'contrasty' inner detail.

12-03-2008, 02:49 AM
Well, let's start with getting better contrast and brightness:


It's a strong and lovely depiction with wonderful expression, character and nuanced painterly detail. What more could one ask of a portrait?

Caroline P
12-03-2008, 07:46 AM
Hey thanks all, great to get such constructive criticism. Thankyou, and Allan, it looks a lot better there, thanks. Still working on this painting though.

12-03-2008, 08:04 AM
Caroline, what a great character study. I think a creative, deeply passionate, self tormented man who seeks wholeness and truth through his work.

12-03-2008, 10:53 AM
I love this.

And i just want to say you made me research this guy because of your painting...his eyes, I had to know more.



Becky Foster
12-03-2008, 10:56 AM
I love this.

And i just want to say you made me research this guy because of your painting...his eyes, I had to know more.



me too!

Thanks for sharing, great work,

Caroline P
12-04-2008, 10:16 AM
I'm so glad Becky and Jaymee, his work is awesome, and a close friend of mine knew him well, he was an extraordinary man.

12-04-2008, 12:03 PM
I just want to add that your portrait has the same feeling for me as when I see a photo or a painting of Kris Kristoffesen an amazing country singer and I think the best song writer to have lived.

I would love to be able to say I knew personally someone like this. Your friend was very lucky.


12-04-2008, 01:15 PM
This is really beautiful. Very impressive!

Caroline P
12-24-2008, 03:32 AM
Thankyou all for your great comments and support. I have now finished this painting, though could possibly have gone on "tweeking" it for longer, but fear of completely ruining it stopped me!! Here it is, and a detail also. Thankyou once again all of you.



01-03-2009, 07:39 AM
All in all, this is a wonderful expressive portrait. The detail is very well done, the form convincing and realistic, the light is also done beautifully. The composition might have been thought out a little more. As it stands the negative spaces on either side of the subject are almost identical. Doing little thumbnails or playing with the cropping in Photoshop might have brought out a better arrangement. In my opinion the composition is the only real flaw in the painting, thought I found a few little things that you might want to look at. The eyes seem very slightly crossed, but maybe they are in your subject as well? When having a model look straight at the viewer, you sometime have to stretch the truth a bit my aligning the irises. Look at the “whites” of the eyes on either side of the iris in the viewer’s left eye and compare them. To me, it looks like that iris is drifting a little toward the nose. I believe this is what Andy was addressing also. The bottom of the nostrils also seem to need a little adjusting, but this is very minor. The strands of gray hair that seem to be the same value both in shadow and in light have already been addressed by Andy and Corby and I agree with their evaluation there. The highlight on the eye in shadow should be a little bit darker in value than the highlight on the other eye. But these are such little nit-picks for a painting that is quite skillfully executed. :thumbsup:

01-03-2009, 08:25 AM
ok, I found the his original portrait online for comparison, and I am even more impressed with your painting! Though I'm not sure how this fits into copyright laws as his work is still under copyright. I understand why you did the gray hairs the way you did. So now the biggest problem, and probably why you're not completely happy with this, is his eyes. They are crossed in comparison, and the eye in the shadow is supposed to be larger that the eye in the light, where you have them reversed. Also, as Rembrandt was a great influence, RL was very expressive with his brush, and I don’t see the large brush strokes in your painting as I do in his. (Maybe it’s just the photos of your work?) I think this is an important aspect to his personality and style. The light seems painted in heavy and very yellow impasto, literally breaking off the canvas. If you did this with your painting it would give it even more depth. Again great painting on a passionate human being.

Time for me to get a little sleep, it's close to 3:30 a.m. here!:eek:

Caroline P
01-03-2009, 09:51 AM
Tali,thankyou so much, I really appreciate this. Unfortunately it is now too late to do any adjustments,as this already has a new owner. I gave it to a great friend of minewho has given me much support and encouragement. She new RL well, she used to do his framing for him in Plymouth, she is also a member of his trust. It is not going any further than her wall, and apart from showing it here I don't think there is a problem with copyright. It was a real learning curve for me doing this, I admire his work so much,and the way in which he worked, and it is not meant to be an exact copy, just my version of, to see if I could!! I am still so new at the portrait thing, and haven't worked with oils in years, just started again recently. I really appreciate all the feedback here, it is always so constructive, so thankyou again, I really value your opinion. My usual painting work is murals, I have posted a couple in the decorative section, so you can see what I normally do. Thankyou again to everybody.