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DAK723
01-01-2009, 08:50 AM
Portraits – Lesson 2: The Mouth (and More)

Hi! And welcome to Lesson 2 of the Portrait and Figure Fundamentals classroom! My name is Don (a.k.a. DAK723) and I am your teacher/host.

It’s time to move on to lesson 2, but if you are still on lesson 1, that’s OK.

Here’s a link to lesson 1, which focused on the eyes and nose:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532971

Remember, you can work at your own speed. Lesson 2 will focus on mouths, ears and hair. Once again, let’s start with some observations.

Part 1: Observations

The Mouth

“A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth.” Quote attributed to John Singer Sargent, one of the greatest portrait painters in history.

I think the reason for the frustration painters feel with painting mouths, is due to the flexibility of the mouth, and the variety of expressions that are possible due to that flexibility. So let’s start with the mouth without much expression. In other words, just the lips...without much expression!


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-01-MOUTHS.jpg



My observations on the lips:

Seen from directly in front (A) the top lip is usually narrower than the bottom lip. The top lip is often shaped like a flattened “M”.

The top lip is usually in shadow when lit from above because it slopes inward toward the bottom lip (D).

The lips follow the curve of the face and the teeth, so when seen from above or below (B) they are curved.

The philtrum is the central depression above the top lip. It is more pronounced in some people and more noticeable with side-lighting (compare B and C). It is useful in locating the lips in relation to the nose (and vice versa)!

One common mistake is to make the lips too red. Unfortunately, my examples are all women with lipstick, but the lips can be almost as pale as the flesh tones. Judge the color carefully.

Now, beyond the lips are the...teeth....

I spent a lot of time looking for portraits with teeth visible and just couldn’t find much. Now, most of my art books are of past masters like Renoir and the previously mentioned John Singer Sargent. They did a lot of portraits, but they probably didn’t paint a lot of teeth because:

A) They painted from life and the sitter couldn’t be expected to hold a smile for a few hours.

B) Portraits had to be respectable and serious.

C) Even the great painters couldn’t or didn’t want to paint teeth any more than we do.

D) All of the above!

Of course, using photo reference allows us to freeze the smile in place for all eternity.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-02-smiles.jpg


My observations on teeth:

Depending on the lighting, much or most of the smile is often in shadow (A & C). As the teeth curve back into the mouth (arrow) the shadow becomes deeper and more pronounced. So don’t just make all the teeth light. In example (B) the teeth are in the light. Notice that the top teeth are essentially one shape (the bottom teeth would be too if they were visible). The value change in-between teeth is almost, or entirely, negligible. My advice on painting teeth would be to think of the row of teeth as one shape, not separate teeth. Look closely at the values for that shape. Add a suggestion of the individual teeth with a small value change between teeth here and there, if necessary.

The Ear


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-03-ears.jpg


The ear usually has fairly well defined light and shadow areas so there is no reason to try to memorize the individual pieces. Because the ears are usually of secondary importance in a portrait, the main question that the artist needs to answer is – how detailed or how simplified (or abstract) do I paint them?



Hair

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-04a-hairphotos.jpg

My observations on hair:

The dark haired model on the left has very little variation in value, aside from the highlights. (The highlight - directly above her hand - is similar to the way a highlight appears on a ribbon and is detailed below.) There are some middle values, but for the most part, the dark hair can be almost one large shape. The light haired model shows that you still need dark values, even with light hair. Even the hair that is in the light has some suggestions of dark hair beneath, since the hair beneath is in shadow.

Painting hair follows the usual procedure of starting with the big shapes, identify the light and dark value areas, and think about details last! Don’t worry about individual hairs although at the end you might want to put in a few strokes that represent the direction and movement of individual hairs or groups of hairs.

Borrowing a concept from James Gurney, famous illustrator and painter (author of the Dinotopia series of books), we’ll think of an area or group of hairs as a ribbon. The highlight will go across the hair, roughly opposite to the hair direction.

Here’s what I mean:



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-04-hair01-ribbon.jpg


Add a few strokes that go with the hair direction and you are done.


Here is a little hair demo to illustrate the concept just described.



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-05-1-hair-stage1-4.jpg


Step 1: I just block in the darkest hair color.

Step 2: I add the band of lighter valued hair. The direction of the light shape is across the direction of the individual strands of hair. I have, however, painted in that shape with strokes that run with the direction of the hair. I do not make the light band as solid as in the ribbon example as there will be strands of hair that are in shadow running through the light area.

Step 3: Blend and soften the two values, if desired. I have also softened the outer top and side edges of the hair all around, as this part of the hair is “turning-away” from my eye. Surfaces or planes that turn away have soft edges, a term and concept that are important in creating roundness to your forms.

Step 4: Add a lighter highlight.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-05-2-hair-stage5-6.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-05-3-hair_stage_7.jpg

Step 5: Blend and soften the highlights, if desired.

Step 6: Add some additional strands of hair with a middle value. I have made these strands longer and in some cases taken them through both the dark and the light areas.

Step 7: Hair has lots of colors – often reflecting almost every color in the surroundings. They could be added as additional strands. In this case, I have added some contrasting cool greens to add a little zing! A few light green-yellow strands in the highlights and a few dark green strands in the dark areas. I have created the strongest dark and light contrast in the area closest to us which brings it forward. The sharpest lines are also in the hair that is the closest to us to help bring it forward. The parts of the head that are rounding away from us (as mentioned earlier) are softer with less contrast.

For more on the hair as a ribbon concept, here is a link to James Gurney’s blog:

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2008/04/hair-ribbon-secret.html

My hair demonstration is actually fairly detailed as far as hair goes. Hair can often be represented with far less detail. Let’s take a look at how some of the Masters painted hair.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-06a-masters_hair1.jpg

These are from Mary Cassatt. (Although Cassatt was a very fine pastellist, these examples are all oil paintings.) Notice in the first painting, the hair is almost one dark value with just a hint of lighter values. The middle painting has hair done fairly simply – perhaps no more than 3 or 4 values. The light haired child has some very dark values in the hair. The dark haired woman has a nice example of the “ribbon” highlight. The third example also has a nice “ribbon” highlight (actually 3 separate highlights) and has more colors mixed in.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-06b-masters_hair2.jpg

Here are two Renoirs (also in oil). These represent a fairly simple application using one dominant value (and color) and a fairly simple suggestion of detail. The long red hair has basically 3 values – hair in the light, hair in shadow, and the highlight. A few longer vertical strokes of dark, and the directional strokes for the highlight, are all that is needed to represent the hair direction and give the feeling of long hair.

One more, more detailed this time, by Bouguereau (oil):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-06c-masters_hair3.jpg

DAK723
01-01-2009, 09:07 AM
Part 2: Demonstrations

OK, let’s move on to my demonstrations. Last lesson, I mentioned the importance of values. The term value refers to the degree of dark or light. If the values are right, you can use almost any color and things are still recognizable. I recommend starting every painting (regardless of subject) by mapping out the dark (shadow) shapes and the light shapes. The fact that I begin with the dark areas does not mean they are more important. The light areas are not just “filling in the space” between the dark shapes. The shapes of the light areas are just as important as the shadow shapes. The reason I begin with the dark shapes is that it seems easier and more natural. Like most people, when I began to draw (in my distant past!) I used pencil on white paper. On white paper, you only draw the darks. When painting in pastel (or anything but watercolor, where the white of the paper is often left untouched) the shapes of the light must be painted. For many people who began their art studies by drawing dark on white, accurately depicting the light shapes can be more difficult and requires more concentration. (It does for me!)

Start with the largest shapes, areas or masses. Avoid the temptation to get into details until the later stages. Simplify the values!

Once again, in these examples I started with a medium dark pastel (the second from the left in my group of pastels that I used) and block in the dark values. Then using a light pastel, I block in the light areas. I blended or used some of the intermediate pastels for the in-between values and added the darkest values. I then added the lightest lights last. You can use any order, but I would recommend doing the lightest lights at the end. As my painting progresses, I might add more color to blend in with, partially or completely cover areas that are already painted. If I already have the correct value down on paper, it is easier to choose a color that has an equal or similar value.

The above examples are done on gray velour using Girault pastels. The photo of the ear is more reddish than in real life!

My pastels:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-07-my-pastels.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-08-both_MOUTH.jpg

The highlights on the lips were painted last, on top of the darker color that was there. Lights, in general, and especially the highlights should be done last for a couple reasons. First, you want the lightest lights to remain un-smudged, or uncontaminated with pastel dust from colors you apply later. Secondly, lights and highlights are on the topmost or uppermost layer of skin and should appear to be “on top.” The best way to create that illusion is by literally placing them on your topmost pastel layer.

Notice that the “line” separating the lips is not solid from one end to the other. Although we are concentrating on areas and shapes rather than lines, there are times when you have a thin linear shape! And, of course, even though we are not using that approach in this class, pastels can be used in a more linear, drawing-style way. Having line variation, and including areas of “lost and found” edges (where the line disappears, or where similar values meet without a defined edge) give a more realistic and less “cartoonish” look to your work.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-09-both_ears.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-10-both_nose-mouth.jpg

A couple more examples. These are taken only to the point where the shapes and values are established. Additional colors and more refinement could be added in additional stages, if desired. Looking at them side by side with the reference, I see a number of things that could be corrected, but my intent is to show the basics of using values to model the shapes. I suppose it would have been a good idea to have the photo next to my artwork while I worked, too, but I did my examples looking at the computer screen. Notice how I have at least a couple “excuses” ready for anyone who might comment on the lack of accuracy!

Feel free to share your best excuses that you have used when your paintings don’t work out as well as planned!

Part 3: Let’s enter the Laboratory for our ...“experiments”:

Here’s our first experiment for this class. Choose three (3) pastels – one light, one middle value, one dark. Avoid “flesh tones” or earth colors. Using just those three pastels, paint any or all the features that we have covered in our first 2 lessons. Questions we will discuss include, can you use any color as long as the values are right, and can we blend pastels to create additional values?

Now, the reference you use will play a large part in how difficult this might be. A photo with fewer intermediate values (check out the man with the black jacket below) might be a bit easier than a photo with lots of subtle values. I will try the woman (from terence p) from the reference library, which does have lots of subtle values. But as I have mentioned, we always want to simplify. Since I have only 3 values, I have little choice!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-11-value-step1.JPG

Stage 1 – Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of my pastels at the start, but you can see them later! I am using my middle value pastel, a dull, grayish purple pastel. I am blocking in the shadow shapes in a fairly general way. By varying the pressure of my strokes, I can create some variety of values already. I am using velour paper, which allows a wide variety of pressure of my strokes because it is soft.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-12-value-step2.JPG

Stage 2 – Here you can see my pastels! I have blocked in the lights with my light value pastel. For the most part, since my paper color is a value between the shadow and the light, I am letting the paper show through for now. This is one reason that a mid-tone paper works well with portraits. If you have thin layers of pastel, which might be somewhat transparent, or no pastel at all in particular spots, the color and/or value of the paper might be just right!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-13-value-step3.JPG

Stage 3 – I am now adding my darkest value – a dark blue. I happen to notice that her left eye was too high. I lower it fairly easily because I do not have much pastel on the paper yet that I have to cover. At this stage, I also begin refining and blending, using all three pastels. My dark blue pastel is a very intense blue. This is making my shadows look wrong – because shadows are almost always, not just darker, but duller than light areas. So every place I add my dark blue, I also put in a touch of my middle value purple-gray, which is dull, to make the blue less intense. Normally, of course, if I wasn’t restricting myself to 3 pastels, I would choose a duller (less intense) pastel for my darkest darks.

Please be aware that the refining stage, between photo 2 and 3, is far more complex than it may appear. The tip of the nose and the nostrils, for example, has about 11 stages! I added a little dark, didn’t like it, modified with a touch of medium value...oops, too much, a little more dark, darn, too much, more middle –no not quite right, a little more light....nope, more dark, etc. I hope this gives you a better idea of how it really works, at least for me!

Things I learned:

I can use non-flesh colors to do a portrait. It is clearly recognizable because the values model the form.

By using a light touch, intermingling strokes, and blending, I can create intermediate values.

I can, if desired, let some of the paper show. Many people don’t like to do so – it is very much a matter of personal preference. But the paper color and value will influence your painting in many cases.

There is more to color than the hue (red, yellow, green, etc.) the value (degree of dark or light) and, as we discussed in lesson 1, the color temperature (warm or cool). There is intensity (often referred to as chroma). The degree of intensity (from intense to dull) is the 4th element of color that needs to be considered.

Note about the 4 aspects of Color:

Lots of people (myself included) find it difficult to judge the value of colored objects (including pastels). This is really at the heart of the “tonalist” method that I am using in this class. By beginning with fairly monochromatic stages, as we have done, we take color (hue), intensity and color temperature out of the equation while we work out the composition, placement, and three dimensional modeling of whatever we are painting. We can concentrate on just one element (value) of the color, which should make it simpler. Once we have our “value underpainting” in place, we can now concentrate on the other aspects of color – hue, intensity and color temperature – while our values are already in place.

We have briefly discussed contrast, light versus dark and warm versus cool, and shown how areas of greater contrast are more noticeable and often come forward in a painting. The same is true of intensity. An intense area of color will seem even more intense if surrounded by duller areas. It will also come forward. So one must be aware of the intensity as well as the value of the pastels you use. For the most part, as mentioned, shadows are usually darker and duller than areas that are in the light.

Just out of curiosity, I wondered if I could take my pastel painting experiment and add more flesh colored pastels to it. The values and features are in place, so I can concentrate on the other aspects of color. With my value underpainting reasonably accurate, it should be a fairly simple matter to choose pastels of a different color, but with the matching value. I did lengthen the nose, moving the nostril and tip down slightly, but mostly it was a matter of blending and overlaying color over my underpainting, making small refinements as I went. Here is the result (I got carried away and added forehead, hair and neck!) The reds are a bit stronger in the photo than in real life:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-14-francie.JPG

Experiment 2: Use 3 pastels and – use them only on their sides! Do not use the point! This will emphasize the blocking in of the large shapes to start our paintings. This might be a good experiment for hair, as well, so we don’t dwell on the individual strands. We have also been concentrating on the features and haven’t discussed the head in general. Using the side of the pastel might be a good exercise to concentrate on the planes of the face – the change in angle of the cheeks and the sides of the face. Here is my example:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-15-3sides.JPG

This was kind of fun! And it only took a few minutes! A good exercise for blocking in the basics! Try some of these!!

OK, enough of my stuff – time for your paintings!

DAK723
01-01-2009, 09:18 AM
Part 4: Let’s paint!

Now it’s your turn! You may recognize these pics from our reference library from Lesson 1, but it seemed easier to include them again for your reference. I’ve added a couple new faces, too. You might want to use them, or grab a friend or family member, or use yourself as a model. We’ve done all the features now, so do as many together as you like. Have fun! Don’t worry about the end result - we are just practicing!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-20-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-Jan-2009/82335-21-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-Jan-2009/82335-22-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-Jan-2009/82335-23-sample_portrait-devymarie.JPG
Photo by devymarie

Link to full size image:

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

Here are a couple new images from the RIL:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-24-sample-russ-terence_p.JPG
Photo by terence p

Link to a full size image:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=59516

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-25-sample_portrait_kid-terence_p.JPG
Photo by terence p

Link to a full size image:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=59639&size=big&cat=

And one more:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jan-2009/82335-26-model1.JPG
Photo by me.

Exercises:

You can do monochromatic value studies of a single or multiple features. Combined with lesson 1, we now have done all the features, so you can do any and all of them!

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

You can experiment using only 3 “non-flesh color” pastels. Feel free to do more than one of these with a different combination of 3 pastels.

You can experiment by using 3 pastels and only use the side of the pastel, not the tip! Try these - they're fun!

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.

Thanks to terance p, lisilk (one of the smile photos), Rod and devymarie for their photos from the reference library.

Next class: The long awaited class on...measuring!

Deborah Secor
01-01-2009, 11:15 AM
Wow--I can't wait to have time to digest this information! Thanks for all your work, Don.

Deborah

Lisa Fiore
01-01-2009, 03:24 PM
Wow--you have pointed out things that probably would have taken years (if ever) to figure out on my own. This is so wonderfully informative and your examples make it look easy! I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate you taking the time to teach this class. Thank you and happy new year!! (I hope to get started on the experiments soon...:) )

DAK723
01-01-2009, 04:17 PM
Deborah and Elizabeth,

Thanks for the nice comments. I hope the information is helpful and easy to understand. That is one great thing about WC and, of course, the wealth of information available in books and DVDs, etc. - we don't have to figure it all out on our own! I guess I have been around long enough to have accumulated enough information about art that I can be useful to others!

I think the experiments should be fun, and look forward to see everybody's paintings. If there are ever questions or things you wish to discuss, that can be part of our classroom, too. I know there are many different ways to approach the creation of artwork. Hopefully, these lessons will give everybody some new ways or some options they hadn't thought of before.

As an admirer of Renoir, I have always approaches art with the realization that the learning never ends. On his deathbed, he reportedly said (about painting) "I think I am beginning to understand something about it."

Don

Colorix
01-01-2009, 04:36 PM
Don, great stuff! Especially on that tricky and difficult hair... Trying to paint hairs or strands just doesn't look right, so I have high hopes for this method!

Charlie

grekslay
01-01-2009, 05:18 PM
Hi Don:wave: :wave: :wave:

Wow--I can't wait to find time to give all this information a go.
Thanks for all your work, Don.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

kadon
01-01-2009, 08:59 PM
Me too! I have already posted this on last thread, but here I go again...I have been following this thread with great interest so much so that I have ordered some soft pastels. But they will take about a week to arrive :( so am very impatient....... grrrrrrrrrrr. Kathy

Potoma
01-01-2009, 10:23 PM
Wow, this looks like a party I'd like to join. Need to look through the first thread, then get started.

BANfear
01-01-2009, 11:51 PM
AHHHH! THE LIPS! The hardest part of the face for me to draw. I am very scared and extremely nervous to even start because the lips I usually attempt to draw always end up looking so ugly and then it makes me regret even trying or starting. But this time I'll try really hard not to give up.

Thank you so much for this opportunity, Don! :heart:

BANfear
01-02-2009, 04:34 AM
Here is my first attempt at drawing lips with soft pastels (the whole thing is a little slanted).

(based on the picture of your first demonstration)


421618


:mad: I hate it so much. I keep on erasing and adding and replacing and fixing and I am officially gonna go crazy. I cannot draw lips at all. They look so... lifeless. I feel like I got the shape wrong. The shape is so simple yet it's very hard to make it look "natural" and realistic. :(

-Joelle

Colorix
01-02-2009, 06:15 AM
Joelle, beautiful lips, they're quite good and realistic, really! This is Don's class, but if I may suggest anyway?... I'd recommend darkening some of the values to the left, on the mouth, so those values are as deep as the cast shadow on the left cheek. Don't be afraid of losing edges there, our brains will fill it in. I think that would take your lips from very good to fantastic!

But listen to Don, I'm just being rude by butting in, he's the expert.

Charlie

christinemlr
01-02-2009, 07:04 AM
Don,
Back from my Christmas holiday, but still too busy to do any serious art yet, I have looked at this class 2 and can't wait to get going on it. Its all wonderfully explained and I have especially enjoyed the master painter examples you have found for us. The hair on the Bougereau portrait is phenomenal.

I was sorry not to do more of class 1, it just came at the wrong time of year for me, I would really like to do more eyes and noses. I hope I'll be able to catch up soon.

Xina
Xina

DAK723
01-02-2009, 09:30 AM
Joelle,

You are too hard on yourself! These lips look good! The shape is very natural looking. You have nice subtle curves - the usual mistake would be too make them too angular - and you have nice value variation. You have done a very nice job on the lower lip highlights.

Charlie has given you good advice. (Charlie, your advice is always welcome!) If you squint at the ref photo you will see that the shadow on her left side is essentially one big shadow shape all the way to the bottom of the jaw. In this particular photo, you may notice on the grayscale, that the top lip on the left side (our left) is darker than the shadow on the left cheek. Top lips are often mainly in the shadow, when the light is from above.

[ I notice that on my demonstration, that I could have gone a bit darker on that upper lip, too!]

But really, drawing one part of the face in isolation is difficult because we see it in relation to the other parts. One part alone always looks a little bit odd!

This is really good. You should be happy with it!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jan-2009/82335-lips_1revdak.jpg


Here is my first attempt at drawing lips with soft pastels (the whole thing is a little slanted).

(based on the picture of your first demonstration)


:mad: I hate it so much. I keep on erasing and adding and replacing and fixing and I am officially gonna go crazy. I cannot draw lips at all. They look so... lifeless. I feel like I got the shape wrong. The shape is so simple yet it's very hard to make it look "natural" and realistic. :(

-Joelle

DAK723
01-02-2009, 09:38 AM
Xina, I hope you had a nice holiday and look forward to seeing more of your work.

Charlie, Your advice is always welcome! Looking forward to seeing your hair paintings!

Potoma, Come on in and join the party! We look forward to your participation.

Kathy, Welcome! Hope those pastels arrive soon!

Graham (Grekslay), Thanks for the nice comments! Can't wait to see your work!

Don

BANfear
01-02-2009, 02:49 PM
Thank you for your input, Charlie! :) Trust me, I appreciate it. Any help or advice, no matter who it's coming from, is always welcomed!

Thank you for your reply, Don! I will either restart or try to continue fixing it, while focussing on what Charlie and you have mentionned. I will keep on working on it.

Thank you both! ;)

maw-t
01-02-2009, 05:14 PM
Well here I am again starting off with the first one.. The holidays were wonderful with a housefull.. but it sure feels good to be back to painting:p I picked the guy with the most shadows.. makes it a bit easier to see.. hmm I think his lips are to low?? & ugh that nose! also the shape of face is not acurate.. I did this just looking at the pic right here & went straight to painting without a sketch.. guess I should start using a grid.. just to lazy to take the time, thus I always end up with somethings "off".. many times alot of things off. I think my main question is how could I make him have more form.. I see portraits that look as if they are so solid.. even though loosely done..(which is what I admire) So any help .. I feel I might could get the nose right if I spent a little more time...

Don thanks again for the GREAT thread.. I see you have put much time into this...What a wonderful generous thing for you to do! I am excited to learn!!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jan-2009/76639-pman3.jpg

maw-t
01-02-2009, 06:05 PM
Well, duh me.. I am NOT the first! Joel, I dont now how I missed those lips! Yes you r definately being to hard on yourself.. they are really good!! I bet if you softened the lines around edges & center just a smidge you might be happier.. but very nice as is! I cant imagine hating them, I would be pleased if it was mine!

DAK723
01-02-2009, 07:46 PM
T,

This is great! This is exactly the type of result I am looking for! Great shadow and light shapes! The forms are nicely blocked in. And I like the loose handling. No sign of fiddling around!

Does that mean there aren't a few things that could be redefined? Sure, there are. Usually the likeness will be improved step by step, so often it is a matter of adding more stages, although the likeness is already there in this one. But any corrections needed are minor compared to the positive things that I see here. And most of those corrections are measuring issues, and we haven't done measuring yet, so I'm not too concerned about them. We'll discuss them in the next lesson. As for grids...I wouldn't recommend them. We will look at measuring techniques that will help train the eye so that you can measure when painting from life as well from photos.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say you think it lacks form. I think there is a nice solidity to the man. Usually, a more linear approach might create a feeling of lacking solid form, but I don't see that here. Looks like he has mass!

I'd be real happy with this one!

Don

Well here I am again starting off with the first one.. The holidays were wonderful with a housefull.. but it sure feels good to be back to painting:p I picked the guy with the most shadows.. makes it a bit easier to see.. hmm I think his lips are to low?? & ugh that nose! also the shape of face is not acurate.. I did this just looking at the pic right here & went straight to painting without a sketch.. guess I should start using a grid.. just to lazy to take the time, thus I always end up with somethings "off".. many times alot of things off. I think my main question is how could I make him have more form.. I see portraits that look as if they are so solid.. even though loosely done..(which is what I admire) So any help .. I feel I might could get the nose right if I spent a little more time...

Don thanks again for the GREAT thread.. I see you have put much time into this...What a wonderful generous thing for you to do! I am excited to learn!!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jan-2009/76639-pman3.jpg

maw-t
01-02-2009, 10:40 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jan-2009/76639-pm.jpg Thank you Don ...
About form... I was looking at my paintings from the past(Charlie's thread made me do it:D ) & seems they lack form /substance.. at least that is one thing they lack in my view.. I hope to improve on that. I did a little more on this one... not sure it helped much.. but a question I have is.. about the BG.. should I have left the tree out? I put it in early on to help me with placement of features.. just another reference to use when blocking in shapes etc.. but now wondering if it would be better gone...?

DAK723
01-03-2009, 10:32 AM
T,

I have no problem with the tree. It adds some secondary interest and places the man into his environment. The bark is well done, too!

Of course, the computer has given artists a tool of unbelievable power. With an art or photo manipulation program, we can help answer our "what if" questions. On the other hand, after trying out all our color choices, or background alternatives, or a dozen different crop choices, we can be overwhelmed with indecision! Here is the tree removed. Is it better, worse, different but no better or worse....hmmmm. I'll let you decide! :angel:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jan-2009/82335-76639-pmnotreedak.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jan-2009/76639-pm.jpg Thank you Don ...
About form... I was looking at my paintings from the past(Charlie's thread made me do it:D ) & seems they lack form /substance.. at least that is one thing they lack in my view.. I hope to improve on that. I did a little more on this one... not sure it helped much.. but a question I have is.. about the BG.. should I have left the tree out? I put it in early on to help me with placement of features.. just another reference to use when blocking in shapes etc.. but now wondering if it would be better gone...?

Colorix
01-03-2009, 12:35 PM
T, it is gorgeous! Both solid and atmospheric at the same time! Really, I "wow-ed" when it scrolled up. And fwiw, I prefer him sans pole.

Charlie

maw-t
01-03-2009, 02:01 PM
Hmm, I thought about going into gimp & smearing it out .. but then my dizzy blondness set in & I forgot all about that..LOL! OK, teach, no fair... gonna make me think, eh? Well, I kinda like the tree.. in facto.. I think I could add more.. & have him in a garden, maybe close his eyes a bit more as if praying & call it "In The Garden". SOoo I went into Gimp & played n played... Now mind you I probably could never get it to look like this IRL, even if I wanted to..but had some fun, & thought I would post it just to share what kind of ideas one can get with gimp even if as computer challenged as I am.. Oh for those that might not know.. it is FREE!

Is it better? worse? or just different & no better or worse? Gee I dunno, guess I will leave that for the TEACH to decide (hee-hee).
I think I might have liked the first sketch better than all of them..:rolleyes: :p

Oh & CHarlie.. what is sans??? ditch da pole??

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jan-2009/76639-mangarden2.jpg

Colorix
01-03-2009, 02:25 PM
T, oh, sorry, been reading too many British books, and they strew in French now and then. "Sans" means "without", so yes, "Ditch da pole" is right! Though, your Gimp playing is great. While one pole growing out of his shoulder is one too many, (imho) a whole copse of them is just fab!

Charlie

DAK723
01-03-2009, 02:28 PM
T,

Isn't the computer fun...and annoying at the same time! You could create many different versions and then have to decide which is best! Your entire garden background could work - but does it enhance or distract from the artistic statement you want to make? That is the major question about backgrounds, which we will discuss in a future lesson. And no, there is no easy answer to the question!

Don

maw-t
01-03-2009, 04:10 PM
Charlie, I should read more!! & I tottaly agree with you about one pole being "one too many" especially growing out of his shoulder:lol:

Don, YES! One could go mad with so much info! Anyway, I feel I have hi-jacked this thread & cant wait to see some of the others posting... but since it was kind of quiet, I hope you dont mind too much? Sorry for getting off subject too... backgrounds are definately a whole other "show"... ANyway having said all that,http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jan-2009/76639-mangard.jpg I wanted to post my latest progress .. This is on my paper with no manips except for some fill light to make it appear more like the one IRL. No need to comment, unless of course you want to.... Now, I am sure everyone is about as sick of this one, as I am.. so
some of you others get busy & POST your pics!! I am moving on to the next one.. no more of this one..honest!:cat:

DAK723
01-03-2009, 04:24 PM
T,

I like it!! Don't worry about jumping ahead to backgrounds. We haven't done measuring, yet, but it has been the topic of much discussion anyway! I think you have done a really nice job on this one and I think the background gives a nice sense of atmosphere and is still subdued enough so that it does not compete with the man. It is hard to do a background that meets those requirements, and this one does!

Nicely done!

Don

christinemlr
01-03-2009, 05:34 PM
I've really enjoyed your posts T, and the gimp play and your imagination has been fun. Its a terrifc portrait, how I wish I could do that loose AND solid style. You've got it here.
Xina

robertsloan2
01-03-2009, 06:36 PM
T, yours is so beautiful. I love it. You have the depth and modeling perfect and the likeness is there.

I'm excited about this one and going to be doing them, the one that'll give me the most trouble though is trying to use just the sides of sticks. I can't work very large for logistic reasons, so I'm trying to figure out which ones to use that'll give me small enough pieces to use that technique on something I can still hold in my lap. Or I'll just try it on larger paper with Senneliers anyway.

I think the Sennelier half sticks are probably the best ones to try that with, don't have many small pieces in the others because my usual technique is using the tips (but not always the corners or edges). I'm used to being able to get thinner or thicker, lighter or heavier application by angle.

DAK723
01-04-2009, 12:05 PM
T, yours is so beautiful. I love it. You have the depth and modeling perfect and the likeness is there.

I'm excited about this one and going to be doing them, the one that'll give me the most trouble though is trying to use just the sides of sticks. I can't work very large for logistic reasons, so I'm trying to figure out which ones to use that'll give me small enough pieces to use that technique on something I can still hold in my lap. Or I'll just try it on larger paper with Senneliers anyway.

I think the Sennelier half sticks are probably the best ones to try that with, don't have many small pieces in the others because my usual technique is using the tips (but not always the corners or edges). I'm used to being able to get thinner or thicker, lighter or heavier application by angle.
Robert,

I look forward to seeing your "side stick" efforts. As you can see, I used sticks that had been broken or were worn down to a small size. I also used them at different angles, moving the stick in the lengthwise direction for reasonably thin strokes. I don't expect any type of accuracy in those exercises - they are an effort to see the big shapes and get away from the linear approach. Mine took less than 5 minutes - so they can be quick and dirty!

Hope to see everybody try these!

Don

maw-t
01-04-2009, 08:51 PM
Well I tried the lil boy.... first he looked much older (still does) but not as much... I will post some pics in progress so yall can see how bad he was to start! This is about the 2 1/2 hr mark (where I am now)... painted off n on today... I start out thinking I am going to do a small lesson.. but get carried away... ANyway any & allhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2009/76639-lilboy.jpg
comments/crits welcome... I feel like I am hogging this thread.. where IS everbuddy???

maw-t
01-04-2009, 09:22 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2009/76639-boystart.jpg
YIKES this is the beginning..

maw-t
01-04-2009, 09:36 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2009/76639-boystart2.jpg
Then I did some blending & correcting..

Nexthttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2009/76639-boystrat3.jpg

Then went back in & played with bg to lose some edges & still correcting for about 15 more minutes to get to where I am now( other post)....

Mette Rörström
01-04-2009, 09:52 PM
Hi!
I started with lips....to morrow I will try a painting with 3 colors...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2009/130835-studie.munn.1.JPG

DAK723
01-04-2009, 10:08 PM
T,

Thanks for posting! Another very fine effort! Some very nice delicate shadows on this one. The color choices are wonderful!

As far as the likeness goes, I think there are a couple reasons why he looks older. Some have to do with measurements, others with the value shapes. Its the value shapes, specifically the shape of his nearest cheek, that I want to emphasize. I took the boy into photoshop and used the posterize filter. I know that I repeatedly mention the value shapes as if they were clearly defined - and they are not, especially in the transition from light to shadow. The posterize filter will take away the gradual transition and allow me to see more distinct divisions. (Of course, the transitions still need to be painted smoothly!) I think you will notice that the cheek is much more rounded and fuller, spreading more toward the ear and jaw than in your painting. While your painting has a very nice delicacy to it, you might consider a few darker darks - I see an area under the chin, the eyes, and some areas of the hair - that could go darker.

I'm sorry to be so picky, because this is a real nice painting, as is!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2009/82335-76639-lilboydakrev.jpg



Well I tried the lil boy.... first he looked much older (still does) but not as much... I will post some pics in progress so yall can see how bad he was to start! This is about the 2 1/2 hr mark (where I am now)... painted off n on today... I start out thinking I am going to do a small lesson.. but get carried away... ANyway any & all
comments/crits welcome... I feel like I am hogging this thread.. where IS everbuddy???

DAK723
01-04-2009, 10:14 PM
T, Thanks for posting the stages! You say yikes for this stage, but you are mapping out the shadow and light! Great!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2009/76639-boystart.jpg
YIKES this is the beginning..

DAK723
01-04-2009, 10:16 PM
Mette, Nice lips! Well done!

Don

Hi!
I started with lips....to morrow I will try a painting with 3 colors...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jan-2009/130835-studie.munn.1.JPG

maw-t
01-04-2009, 10:37 PM
Don, thanks so much... boy I can sure it in the blk & wht posterized one... I see the nose is curved too much too & his left eye is a smifge high maybe.. & some other stuff also. This is just what I needed.. I am very tahnkful for your help! I may go back in & see if I can get a better likeness.. thanks again!

Colorix
01-05-2009, 07:52 AM
Don, yet another excellent lesson!

Hair, now... we all (at least women) have bad hair days, and the portraits I've tried have all had bad hair days when I've finished...

I'd like to show a picture of how hair is treated as masses of light and shadow, that is, values. The artist's wife Karin, painted by Carl Larsson, in watercolours:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/117343-Carl-Larsson-Karin-och-Suza.jpg

I'm highly impressed! Not one strand, not even in the curly wisps surrounding the face, they too are broken down into masses. His rival of fame, the contemporary Anders Zorn, painted hair in the same manner.

Zorn has painted a reddish blond girl plaiting her hair. The girl is very fair, but there are still deep 'low-lights' in her hair:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/117343-Zorn_Margit_igen.jpg

Don, couldn't resist your invitation from the previous month to share observations, and to show off two of Sweden's greatest painters.

A question:
I've noticed that you do starts by blocking in the darks and the lights that are near the 'book-end' values. Other schools advocate starting with more mid-tone darks and lights, and working towards the extremes. I like your method, so I'm not questioning, but asking: What is, in your opinion, the advantage of your method?

(Yes, I'm about to paint excercises, too. Not just talk.)

Charlie

DAK723
01-05-2009, 04:43 PM
A question:
I've noticed that you do starts by blocking in the darks and the lights that are near the 'book-end' values. Other schools advocate starting with more mid-tone darks and lights, and working towards the extremes. I like your method, so I'm not questioning, but asking: What is, in your opinion, the advantage of your method?

Charlie
Lesson related discussion for everyone:

Charlie,

Thanks for posting the examples by Larsson and Zorn! I do invite everyone to share observations, examples, etc. Your question is a good one, so I'm inviting everyone to listen (and join) in!

As far as the initial block in of darks and lights, I don't know of any particular advantage to using more extreme values or starting more with the middle values, in all honesty. Many artists that I have read or seen on video, advocate starting with the darkest dark to establish your dark limit right away, so that you can than compare the values you subsequently put down. Others say put down your lightest light, too, for the same reason. I suppose this is a good idea to try!

I, personally never feel comfortable doing that. In my examples, I started with a mid-dark - not my darkest, but it could have been ANY shadow value, as far as I'm concerned. To a certain degree, the value of the paper comes into play as well. I know that when I use a lighter valued paper, than my initial shadow value is lighter, too! So, as long as my shadow value is darker than the paper, it works for me.

Daniel Greene, famous contemporary artist, uses an approach that begins with a medium value to draw in the portrait. He then goes to a slightly darker value and essentially redraws - refining and tightening up the drawing. Sometimes, he then redraws it again, in an even darker value. Again, one could try that method in comparison.

In other words, I don't think it really matters, as far as the darks go.

Now, the lights are a different story - even though this is something I personally forget to do many times (nor did I do it in my demonstrations)! I would recommend that the initial lights be put in with a value a little darker than your final light value. Putting subsequent lighter layers over the top will give a more transparent and textured feel if their is a bit of darker value underneath. (This is one good reason to work on a mid-value toned paper). And you always want to leave room for a value for the lightest highlights. In other words, you highlight won't be visible if you try to place it on a value that is already too light.

I have read those that say the difference between the light and shadow must be at least 40%, in other words, on a value scale of 1 to 10, the shadows are 4 values darker. I have read those that say all lights should be lighter than a mid value gray and all shadows darker than 50%. I would say that these might be helpful guidelines, but they are not rules, by any means. The last example by Maw-T has very light, delicate shadows that are not that much darker than the lights. But they work just fine. Changing color (and color temperature) can create a clear difference in the light and shadow areas, without that much value change. It is creating a clear difference in the light and shadow areas that is the most important part, at least as far as my lessons go. That is the goal!

So feel free to try out you initial block in of the values with different methods. See what works best for you.

Don

Colorix
01-05-2009, 05:10 PM
Don, thank you for your info packed reply!

I may put down the darkest dark, and the lightest light, as small marks, just to give the bookends, especially if I do a low or high key painting. Helps to have sorted my Rembies in values, too. (I start with the Rembs.) Then I go with slightly lighter darks, and more mid lights, exactly for the reason you mention about highlights.

Class:

Working on what is left of the gray velour.

I experimented a bit with the starts of two mouths. I separated them into one darker value and one lighter, taking your shape-method to the extreme, with two flat values.

Here's the demo mouth, at four different points in time:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/117343-Demo-mouth-girl-comp.jpg

And the boy's (with the blue cap) mouth. Here I went wild with green and violet:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/117343-Mouth-bluecap-comp.jpg

Don, I'm having such fun, and I've learned tons already! Thank you!

Charlie

mrking
01-05-2009, 08:43 PM
I feel like a clumbsy fool after looking at your stuff Clorix! Great stuff.

Here is my attempt at a full face. I think I'll stick to details for now and work my way up.

She looks like a guy. :D :D haha

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/108995-woman-half-face-jan5-2009.jpg

Mike

DAK723
01-05-2009, 09:03 PM
Charlie,

These are great! There is so much life and subtlety in them. Incredible! Thanks for showing the steps!

I have a question regarding the previous discussion. I was in kind of a hurry (I teach fitness classes on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings) and forgot to ask it then. You mention that some "schools" advocate starting with the middle values and working towards the extremes. I found that comment interesting, because that is how I worked for years, but almost every resource I found always advocated starting with the darkest darks. So I wonder what the advantages might be for starting in the middle. Maybe I was on to something all those years ago!

Don

Don, thank you for your info packed reply!

I may put down the darkest dark, and the lightest light, as small marks, just to give the bookends, especially if I do a low or high key painting. Helps to have sorted my Rembies in values, too. (I start with the Rembs.) Then I go with slightly lighter darks, and more mid lights, exactly for the reason you mention about highlights.

Class:

Working on what is left of the gray velour.

I experimented a bit with the starts of two mouths. I separated them into one darker value and one lighter, taking your shape-method to the extreme, with two flat values.

Here's the demo mouth, at four different points in time:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/117343-Demo-mouth-girl-comp.jpg

And the boy's (with the blue cap) mouth. Here I went wild with green and violet:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/117343-Mouth-bluecap-comp.jpg

Don, I'm having such fun, and I've learned tons already! Thank you!

Charlie

DAK723
01-05-2009, 09:20 PM
Mike, Looks good! I see a lot more blocking in of bigger shapes of shadow and light in this one compared to your previous efforts.

You actually bring up a good point in your comment about "looking like a guy." There are differences that need to be kept in mind when doing portraits when it comes to the lower half of the face of men and women. You have just a bit of shadow area that is a sort of grayish blue (or perhaps green) just above the edge of the lip. Lot's of portrait books will mention that, in order to indicate the bearded area of men (even when shaven) that a slight grayish cast be used to indicate that 5 o'clock shadow. So, there may be times when indicating shadows in that area of a woman, that one has to avoid creating any type of grayish colors that might be interpreted as a bearded area.

Aside from that, this is a good start. I think a little more blending where some of the different values meet will help create a smoother look to the skin.

Nice job!

Don

I feel like a clumbsy fool after looking at your stuff Clorix! Great stuff.

Here is my attempt at a full face. I think I'll stick to details for now and work my way up.

She looks like a guy. :D :D haha

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/108995-woman-half-face-jan5-2009.jpg

Mike

Mette Rörström
01-05-2009, 09:27 PM
I did this with 3 colors.blue, gray and light pink (almost white).

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/130835-DSCN0673.JPG

The photo is mutch darker than in real life and to pink...( I painted on cream colored paper)

DAK723
01-05-2009, 09:55 PM
Mette,

This is excellent! You have achieved lots of values and nice, smooth transitions despite using only 3 pastels! Great!

Don

I did this with 3 colors.blue, gray and light pink (almost white).

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/130835-DSCN0673.JPG

The photo is mutch darker than in real life and to pink...( I painted on cream colored paper)

Mette Rörström
01-05-2009, 10:40 PM
Thank you,Dan, for your nice words on this, and the lips I painted before this one.

maw-t
01-05-2009, 11:28 PM
Yay!! More pics! Charlie wowzers, girl you are GOOD!!! How inspiring! How long does it take you to do that???? & Mette.. really reallly nice, I was looking through the last lesson & yours blew me awaaaaaay!... Mike, just paint as if you r painting one of those gorgeous apples or glass jars... I heard somewhere it is all the same..a tree, a face, an apple... Well I felt my last one was way washed out.. so went for the darker study of nose & lips.. eh... http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/76639-nose.jpg

DAK723
01-06-2009, 08:22 AM
T, Very nicely done! Lots of form and depth!

I agree with your comment about it being all the same - regardless of subject matter. Of course, we are all better at what we have the most experience with, be it landscapes or still lifes or people. But in this lesson, I hope that I have instilled the idea that it is light and shadow that we draw and paint - and we depict the light and shadows by careful observation. In that sense, no matter what the subject - a tree, or apple or nose - the approach is the same!

Don

Yay!! More pics! Charlie wowzers, girl you are GOOD!!! How inspiring! How long does it take you to do that???? & Mette.. really reallly nice, I was looking through the last lesson & yours blew me awaaaaaay!... Mike, just paint as if you r painting one of those gorgeous apples or glass jars... I heard somewhere it is all the same..a tree, a face, an apple... Well I felt my last one was way washed out.. so went for the darker study of nose & lips.. eh... http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2009/76639-nose.jpg

Colorix
01-06-2009, 09:27 AM
Don, T, Michael, thank you!

Michael, I see you're working on the structure of what builds a face, and it is looking good. When Don gets to measuring, you'll find it much easier to get the likeness.

Mette, looking good!

T, wondeful 3D feeling of the dark boy's nose! All yours are looking great, you have such a wonderful way of weaving lights and darks. I'm a slow painter, so I think each mouth took me about an hour. Lost time a bit, as Hubby invited a buddy when he learned I was going to work on doing class tasks all evening. I started to paint at about 7 pm, then had dinner with the boys, painted a bit more, and had coffee with them. I finished shortly before 10 pm.

Don wrote:
So I wonder what the advantages might be for starting in the middle.

I'm replying rather extensively to this, including historical methods. :rolleyes: If you want the gist without having to wade through it, scroll down to the two last sentences, under Short answer.

Don, I think it is a tool for unity, unifying the colours and values. A simplifying method. Very similar to mixing a pile of general 'flesh colour' on the palette, and then using it to unify the lights and darks. Main difference seems to me to be that in one case you mix on the palette, and in the other you mix on canvas, if you've started with a midtone 'face colour' and then paint in darks and lights into and over it. Starting in the middle, going towards the extremes.

Painting in pastel is (if you layer) similar to mixing on canvas, and to glazing and scumbling.

Though, pastels are versatile, as they are fairly opaque, so you can cover up previous layers, in some cases completely, depending on pastel and paper.

Pre renaissance painters often used egg tempera, and premixed tints and shades of a pigment. (Clearly seen in folds of fabric from that time.) They laid strokes side by side, and blended smoothly. Then somebody discovered that if you laid in a green earth under the fleshcolours, you could brush the latter in lightly and acheive shadows, and opaquely and acheive lights, and as they used lead white, the lights were opaque and luminous. This is the starting with a midtone, and working over it with colours going towards dark and light. Often results in rather weak contrasts.

When oilpaint was rediscovered (attributed to van Eyck, though he actually discovered a varnish), they could paint transparently with glow in the colours. (Tempera is more opaque even when thin.) Often working on a quick-drying ground of tempera, they first still used the Verona green earths for flesh underpainting.

Later again, they started to make a tonal painting on a brownish red tempera ground. They painted in the lights with lead white, thickly for lights and thinly for darks. But there were always at least a thin 'veil' of lead over the darks, so there wouldn't be dark 'holes' or 'caves' of shadow. Over this monochrome underpainting, which was very elaborate, they then applied oil and pigment glazes, as this method made the colours pop and glow. We can say they unified the painting with the deep reddish ground, and then painted the whole scene meticuously in white, resulting in a red and white underpainting, which set the bookends.

They kept shadows thin and transparent, and layered up to 30 or more thin glazes to get the right colour and depth of the shadows, and the light was reflected back by the thin veil of lead white, resulting in fantastic shadow colours.

Pastels are more like working with oils in a more modern way, as alla prima, that is, finishing the painting in one sitting, no elaborate underpainting, no glazes, but relatively thick paint that mixed on the canvas. In a way, I'd say it is similar to the egg tempera manner, especially if you start on a wet canvas grounded with a mid-tone. Though pastels are fairly opaque and have covering power, very often the underlying layers with shine through, and/or mix with subsequent layers, thus affecting the look of the whole. A bit like the midtone Verona green underpainting of tempera and early oils.

To acheive luminous but dark shadows in pastel, we need to work a bit more like the painters from the 1600s, who glazed 20-30 layers. If pastellists underpaint, or start, as you've taught, Don, then lights will be more luminous, and darks will be deep enough, going more towards chiaroscuro than towards midtones with puny darks and weak lights.

Unless one prefers the understated subtility of refined and delicate tones -- then a midtone underpainting of flesh colour would be perfect.


:D It is all in the language: "midtones with puny darks and weak lights" describe exactly the same as "the understated subtility of refined and delicate tones". We all have different preferences (thanks be!), and all paint for different reasons, including different customers with different preferences. isn't it nice that there is room for all?

Short answer is:
From midtones towards both ends = subtetly.
From near extremes toward the middle = more punch.

Charlie

Mette Rörström
01-06-2009, 10:36 AM
T...Thank you! great jobb on yours!
Carlie.....Thank you!

winecountry
01-06-2009, 01:55 PM
Although I'm primarily an animal artist, sometimes I'd like a person in the work, so I'm joining this to learn, this lost the likeness, but I see that we will get to measurements and then I will learn how to get that better
soft pastel on grey ampersand board , 8x10 my 3 pastels were Unison RE 2, Rembrant Indian Red, and Art Spec green grey

I really appreciate being able to learn with such competent guidance...thanks so much for doing the class. :thumbsup:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_1970.jpg

robertsloan2
01-06-2009, 02:55 PM
It's nice though, Colleen. You did capture the feeling well.

Mette, yours is striking! The point is proved, any colors will work if the values are strong. It just looks like the lighting is different.

Maw-T, your darker one is fabulous. I love the mouth and nose study.

I took a photo of my granddaughter with my phone, so I'm going to work on that when I get caught up enough to do this. Sorry I've been slow to participate this month, the weather caught up to me and so did what else I'm doing. My website is at a point where it needs a lot of work so I'm doing a lot more with oil pastels at the moment.

I do want to do this class though and I'm still reading and lurking even when not posting. Go go go!

DAK723
01-06-2009, 04:51 PM
Charlie,

Thank you for your answer to my question! Very interesting information! You add so much to this class - thank you! :clap:

Not surprisingly, some of the basic idea of this lesson - starting with a value oriented underpainting - comes from my experience with oil painting. A couple years ago I started doing some figurative work in oils. While I successfully used a wet-on-wet "alla prima" method on my oil landscapes, trying to do a face or figure all in one session just was not working for me. As you have mentioned, monochromatic underpainting has a long history in oil painting, and the first time I tried it, I couldn't believe just how much easier it was for me. So, why not use the same basic idea in pastels!

Don

DAK723
01-06-2009, 04:58 PM
Colleen, welcome to the class! This is nicely done! As you mentioned, when we get to measuring, we will start focusing more on the likeness. As for now, we are focusing on values and form and you have done a nice job depicting them. This reference has the least amount of variation, but you have some nice value transitions and subtle value changes!

I look forward to seeing more of your paintings!

Don

Although I'm primarily an animal artist, sometimes I'd like a person in the work, so I'm joining this to learn, this lost the likeness, but I see that we will get to measurements and then I will learn how to get that better
soft pastel on grey ampersand board , 8x10 my 3 pastels were Unison RE 2, Rembrant Indian Red, and Art Spec green grey

I really appreciate being able to learn with such competent guidance...thanks so much for doing the class. :thumbsup:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_1970.jpg

*Marina*
01-06-2009, 05:53 PM
Don, once again, thanks a lot for all your efforts. Very informative and a lot to think about. Your methods are so similar to what I have been taught the last few years. (my teacher is really an oil teacher, again the parallell). I always start and try to get the values right first, then I bring in the final colours and do the fine tuning. Really should start on a portrait, but at the moment trying to get used to oil paint.

Colorix
01-06-2009, 06:00 PM
Don, thanks, I find that history contains most things. :)

OK, I'm focusing a lot on mouths, as the Singer quote "a portrait is a picture of a person with something about the mouth" is so true, so I'm trying to do various mouths, the trickiest part.

I chose a mouth on a boy in RIL, not realizing how difficult it would be with lots of reflected light from below... :eek:

On velour. Like it for faces, but don't like how it throws dust around.

First I mapped in the lights and darks.
Second I put in some colour, and started the opening of the mouth.
Third, I put on red too early, should have waited until last.
Fourth, finishing.
Fifth pic is ref photo.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/117343-Mouth-sensitive-comp.jpg

Charlie

DAK723
01-06-2009, 08:38 PM
Charlie,

Thanks for showing the steps! This is great - and you have chosen a difficult angle, as well. Your ability to judge (and reproduce) the values is top-notch!

I hope you don't mind, Charlie, if I use your painting to point out some examples of things directly related to points I have tried to make in the lessons.

Based on some of the posts and discussion in lesson 1, I think one of the hardest things for people to overcome is the feeling that it has to be correct and detailed from the start. Your first photo shows that one can start fairly rough and basic and still end up with accurate and detailed.

And you have some really nice "lost" edges, where both the top edge of the top lip and the bottom edge of the bottom lip - on the far side (the shadow side) - just blend and disappear into the shadow value of the skin. This type of lost edge really helps us get away from the linear, outlined way of approaching a painting and creates a much more realistic result, in my opinion.

Don

Don, thanks, I find that history contains most things. :)

OK, I'm focusing a lot on mouths, as the Singer quote "a portrait is a picture of a person with something about the mouth" is so true, so I'm trying to do various mouths, the trickiest part.

I chose a mouth on a boy in RIL, not realizing how difficult it would be with lots of reflected light from below... :eek:

On velour. Like it for faces, but don't like how it throws dust around.

First I mapped in the lights and darks.
Second I put in some colour, and started the opening of the mouth.
Third, I put on red too early, should have waited until last.
Fourth, finishing.
Fifth pic is ref photo.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/117343-Mouth-sensitive-comp.jpg

Charlie

JLMTD
01-06-2009, 11:26 PM
Hi!

Finally, I've made it over here! Great stuff to look at and read, thanks to all of you! I am learning and stretching out. Here's my latest effort in 4 stages:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/140260-Stage_1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/140260-Redo_Eyes_too_high.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/140260-Redo_Eye_too_far_to_right.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/140260-Young_Boy_w_Freckles.jpg
All comments are welcome!
Janis

maw-t
01-07-2009, 12:02 AM
Thanks all for the comments!

Really interesting Don & Charlie on the how to start.. thanks for all the info! Charlie another wonderful example of lips.. so much detail yet subtle & VERY realistic!.. I love your portraits... doggys r people!
Coleen very nice moody piece!
JAnis, Nice skin tones & you also have got him nearer his age than I did! Good job!

Here is one I tackled from the RIL thanks to Maria Khurram for the gorgeous photo..It was sort of a monchromatic picture very soft... I did this tonight on wallis paper using just a few sticks... I think I may try it again on softer surface to try for a softerhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/76639-rilgirl.jpg look .. fire away with crits!

maw-t
01-07-2009, 12:49 AM
Charlie, I admit... I first went to your short answer.. but just now read your longer version... I think I fall into the weak no punch subtle catagory & really not by choice many times..although I do tend to lean toward soft light colors when decorating.. so maybe it IS what I like subconcously... I watched part of a video today by Tom keating.. (the restorer/forger of the old masters).. heard of him? ANyway, it was so very interesting & spoke much about what you just wrote... he showed the techniques of the old masters ... Amazing how he fooled art critics collectors buyers gallerys into believing his copies were the real deal.... But he knew the techniques backwards & forwards from his years as a restorer... He believes that if one studys enough & with much practice.. it would be possible to produce as great of work as the masters.. which is what he was trying to prove...He believes ANYONE can be that good!! Kind of back to the question of is it talent OR simply skill??

Mette Rörström
01-07-2009, 09:42 AM
Hi!
the first one I tryed to paint with the side of the stics.It´s just the start of the painting...I think its horrible..
Then I painted more on it....:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/130835-eksperiment2.JPG




http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/130835-förste_portrett.JPG

Colorix
01-07-2009, 10:59 AM
(Don, this post will be on topic, it goes there in paragraph 3.)

T, I'm glad you brought up Keating, he is (was?) amazing! Saw a series of his demos some 20 years back... made indelible impression on me.

He was the pivotal point in making me understand that yes we can learn to paint as the great masters. It simply takes knowledge and practice, as you say, T. The old masters did have lots of practice and knowledge, gained during many years. Often they started as apprentices, sweaping and dusting, grinding pigments, learning how pigments behave from scratch. And they sketched and copied, too. It makes sense that if we repeat learning the craft (no need for grinding, we have tube paint or pastels), repeat the learning process of doing studies, then we'd be able to repeat the producing of masters too. After all, it is a proven method. Keatings copies were the real deal, in a sense, as they were produced in the same way, with the same knowledge -- the only problem was that little detail of signing with another name than his own...

The biggest problem for me has been to locate where the knowledge is. In Sweden, it is not taught in art schools anymore.

So that is why a class like this one (thank you, Don!) is so invaluable! Here, we learn one of the classical thechniques for painting portraits. Don has had us study single features, and given us of the 'secrets' of how to render them realistically and believably, and beautifully! This is the 'crafts' part of painting that enables us to do art.

Charlie


Charlie, I admit... I first went to your short answer.. but just now read your longer version... I think I fall into the weak no punch subtle catagory & really not by choice many times..although I do tend to lean toward soft light colors when decorating.. so maybe it IS what I like subconcously... I watched part of a video today by Tom keating.. (the restorer/forger of the old masters).. heard of him? ANyway, it was so very interesting & spoke much about what you just wrote... he showed the techniques of the old masters ... Amazing how he fooled art critics collectors buyers gallerys into believing his copies were the real deal.... But he knew the techniques backwards & forwards from his years as a restorer... He believes that if one studys enough & with much practice.. it would be possible to produce as great of work as the masters.. which is what he was trying to prove...He believes ANYONE can be that good!! Kind of back to the question of is it talent OR simply skill??

JLMTD
01-07-2009, 12:09 PM
Thanks maw-t! If I ever get near as good as you are, I'll be thrilled! Not likely, since I just realized that I wasn't exactly following the instruction...missed the part that said to stay away from earth tones. There's a lot of good information here thanks to Don and Charlie, but I'm easily confused. :confused: I'll try again. Meanwhle I'm re-reading and processing all the info!

Mette, please, nothing is more horrible than my first ones of the boy! :eek: And look how beautiful he came out for you! Both of you achieved an incredibly good likeness.:clap:

Janis

DAK723
01-07-2009, 01:00 PM
T, I love this one! So many great things happening! Very nice delineation of the lights and the shadows. You demonstrate that you do not need a lot of detail for a portrait to be effective.

I mentioned "lost" edges in my comments on Charlie's last post and here you have shown some great examples. Since I only mentioned "lost and found" edges once in my lesson, perhaps I should recap and elaborate a bit for those following the thread.

Lost and found edges:

Lost and found edges occur where two edges of a similar value meet. As an artist we can create these types of "meetings," or we can manipulate the edges to make the edges more or less noticeable. Where the edge is less noticeable, or disappears completely, we have a "lost" edge. Where the edge reappears, it is "found". It is not always easy to know if one should "lose" the edge or "find" the edge. In some ways this is more of an advanced topic, but important enough to include in the fundamentals! Using lost edges can create a more realistic feel, since edges of similar value occur in most settings as people and things are not outlined! On the other hand, a lost edge can make something harder to see or recognize, or make two things at different distances, seem to be at the same distance. These are things to keep in mind when they occur in your paintings. However, all that being said, the brain does a very good job of recognizing edges, even when they are not there. So, one can usually put in more lost edges than one might think!

This painting is a great example of a very effective use (IMHO) of lost edges. Almost the entire far side of the face is lost, but it works! I have placed arrows at the most obvious "lost" edges. I have no trouble recognizing the face and features where the edges are lost.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/82335-76639-rilgirlDAKREV.jpg

All comments, questions, opinions on lost and found edges are welcome!

Don

Thanks all for the comments!

Really interesting Don & Charlie on the how to start.. thanks for all the info! Charlie another wonderful example of lips.. so much detail yet subtle & VERY realistic!.. I love your portraits... doggys r people!
Coleen very nice moody piece!
JAnis, Nice skin tones & you also have got him nearer his age than I did! Good job!

Here is one I tackled from the RIL thanks to Maria Khurram for the gorgeous photo..It was sort of a monchromatic picture very soft... I did this tonight on wallis paper using just a few sticks... I think I may try it again on softer surface to try for a softerhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/76639-rilgirl.jpg look .. fire away with crits!

terri66
01-07-2009, 01:05 PM
Don,

Sorry I am jumping in midstream but could use the critique. I'm working on suede matt board, loving the way the pastels go on it but occasionally finding it a bit unforgiving for softening edges/blending.

This is a study of my son Paul of when he was 4.

JLMTD
01-07-2009, 01:50 PM
T,
Lost and found edges:

Lost and found edges occur where two edges of a similar value meet. As an artist we can create these types of "meetings," or we can manipulate the edges to make the edges more or less noticeable. Where the edge is less noticeable, or disappears completely, we have a "lost" edge. Where the edge reappears, it is "found". It is not always easy to know if one should "lose" the edge or "find" the edge. In some ways this is more of an advanced topic, but important enough to include in the fundamentals! Using lost edges can create a more realistic feel, since edges of similar value occur in most settings as people and things are not outlined! On the other hand, a lost edge can make something harder to see or recognize, or make two things at different distances, seem to be at the same distance. These are things to keep in mind when they occur in your paintings. However, all that being said, the brain does a very good job of recognizing edges, even when they are not there. So, one can usually put in more lost edges than one might think!

This painting is a great example of a very effective use (IMHO) of lost edges. Almost the entire far side of the face is lost, but it works! I have placed arrows at the most obvious "lost" edges. I have no trouble recognizing the face and features where the edges are lost.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/82335-76639-rilgirlDAKREV.jpg

All comments, questions, opinions on lost and found edges are welcome!

Don

Very interesting discussion. BTW T, I really love this one...sometimes it's hard for me to articulate why, but I think this discussion is making me more aware of what I like about it. In part it is the lost edges that contribute to the freshness or rawness of the portrait. It makes her look to feel so like the epitomy of vulnerable youth...perfect treatment for this. Adding that splotch of real pink on her cheek highlights her delicate young girl features, too, especially in contrast to the darker, more world-worn colors of her dress, and dirtied up background.

Mind you, I love Mary Cassatt and I think this is as good as any of hers!
:clap: Janis

Colorix
01-07-2009, 02:38 PM
Mette, good likeness of the boy!

Btw, Don and all, Hubby and I discussed the ref photo, trying to figure out what it is that makes this a boy. I thought it could as well be a girl, with different hairstyle and a pink t-shirt. I was looking at the brow-ridge (neutral size), and jaw-bone (neutral size too), and could see a girl, or a boy. Hubby took a glance, and said "boy!" The expression in his eyes is a boy's, he said. Funny thing is, we have a neighbour's girl who is the spitting image of the ref.

Don, I think you mentioned getting to differences between men and women, but will you talk about differences (if there are any) regarding small (up to 9-10) boys and girls too? If not planned, maybe we all could pool resources?

Janis, wow, I'm thoroughly impressed by your getting from that start to that finish, and the lovely result!

T, http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/117343-34523-53443-0_bow_down.gif that one is hauntingly beautiful, with all the lost edges. It will end up in a museum! It definitely has a spritit to it that trancends mere likeness. Thank you for showing it.

And, I'm sticking to mouths, this time with teeth. Don, this is a totally new way for me to paint features. I used to draw meticuously and then fill in colour. I'm so extatic over your teaching it! Thank you!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/117343-Teeth-comp.jpg

Charlie

DAK723
01-07-2009, 03:10 PM
Mette,

Very nice! You've really captured the roundness of a youthful face, and I like the hair very much!

The "side stick" exercise is basically an attempt to have people look at, and paint, the big shapes and not worry about detail. So, it may not look pretty, but it emphasizes to start with big value shapes. You have demonstrated that it works out well in the end!

Don

Hi!
the first one I tryed to paint with the side of the stics.It´s just the start of the painting...I think its horrible..
Then I painted more on it....:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/130835-eksperiment2.JPG




http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/130835-f%C3%B6rste_portrett.JPG

terri66
01-07-2009, 03:11 PM
Quick sketch of Missy J. Got smarter and used a more limited palett, still on suede board.

Charlie, nicely done Love how you are incorporating colour.

Mette Rörström
01-07-2009, 04:12 PM
Janis.. thank you!
Charlie..thank you! Love yours, they are so ful of life!
Don..Thank you! I love this...I am learning something eatch time I open this thread.Thank you for doing this!
I will work more on the boy...his neck and .....?....the blue thing he has on...(forgot the word).

DAK723
01-07-2009, 04:42 PM
Terri, Thank for joining us! You can jump in midstream!

If you are looking for thorough critiques, I would recommend posting this in the soft pastel studio and gallery. You will get a lot more eyes looking at it. (I enlarged your pic, but you might want to post a larger pic as well!:))

My critique will focus on what we've been doing in our lessons, for the most part.

I think you have done a pretty good job in depicting the values. One area you might want to check your light versus shadow division in the chin. I have put green lines on the ref where that dividing line seems to be. You have the light extending further to the left, making the chin seem to be sticking out more (and catching more light).

The lip (arrow) has a bit of a problem area. On the ref, the top lip seems to be a darker value than the entire bottom lip. The highlight on the lower lip seems to gently transition to shadow. On your painting, you have a dark value right above my arrow, making it look like his lip ends there.

The other adjustments are all regarding measuring which we will cover in the next lesson. Just a few minor measuring previews: The eyebrows are almost in line in the ref, more out of line on your painting. That little curly cue of hair is above the hairline, would be off your painting entirely. The distance from the shadow line on the nose to the eye (blue line) is greater on the ref - too close on your painting.

Sorry that my replies are rather blunt, but I am in a rush! Sorry! Generally, this is looking good!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/82335-Paul_with_refdakrev.jpg



Don,

Sorry I am jumping in midstream but could use the critique. I'm working on suede matt board, loving the way the pastels go on it but occasionally finding it a bit unforgiving for softening edges/blending.

This is a study of my son Paul of when he was 4.

terri66
01-07-2009, 04:53 PM
Don, that's the stuff I am looking for. Thank-you. Terri

Mette Rörström
01-07-2009, 06:53 PM
Here is a new one.....
The hair was like painting cotton..


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/130835-Portrett_av_en_mann.JPG

DAK723
01-07-2009, 10:17 PM
Janis, This one almost snuck by me!

I found this one very interesting! The blue shadow areas, very stark in stage 1, have become very subtle and delicate by stage 4. Gives a nice transparent feeling to the skin! Some of those shadow areas could be a bit darker, perhaps, but all-in-all, nicely done!

Don

Hi!

Finally, I've made it over here! Great stuff to look at and read, thanks to all of you! I am learning and stretching out. Here's my latest effort in 4 stages:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/140260-Stage_1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/140260-Redo_Eyes_too_high.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/140260-Redo_Eye_too_far_to_right.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2009/140260-Young_Boy_w_Freckles.jpg
All comments are welcome!
Janis

DAK723
01-07-2009, 10:47 PM
Charlie,

Another great painting! You have shown the shadow area of the teeth as they go back into the mouth very well, and your steps give us all a great demonstration of how you did it! Teeth are supposed to be difficult - you made it look easy! :) The rest of the painting is beautifully done, as well.

Your question regarding boys and girls is an interesting one. I must admit, that I can not recall ever seeing any discussion in any of my art how-to books regarding differences between young boys and girls, as far as facial features or the head is concerned. If anyone is aware of any information on the topic - let us know!

I will personally begin my observations on this topic now - and I expect everyone else to join me! Although there is part of me that says - that is exactly why young boys and girls have different hairstyles and why we dress them differently - because otherwise the sex isn't readily apparent. But regardless of my opinion, let the observations begin!

Don

Mette, good likeness of the boy!

Btw, Don and all, Hubby and I discussed the ref photo, trying to figure out what it is that makes this a boy. I thought it could as well be a girl, with different hairstyle and a pink t-shirt. I was looking at the brow-ridge (neutral size), and jaw-bone (neutral size too), and could see a girl, or a boy. Hubby took a glance, and said "boy!" The expression in his eyes is a boy's, he said. Funny thing is, we have a neighbour's girl who is the spitting image of the ref.

Don, I think you mentioned getting to differences between men and women, but will you talk about differences (if there are any) regarding small (up to 9-10) boys and girls too? If not planned, maybe we all could pool resources?

Janis, wow, I'm thoroughly impressed by your getting from that start to that finish, and the lovely result!

T, http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/117343-34523-53443-0_bow_down.gif that one is hauntingly beautiful, with all the lost edges. It will end up in a museum! It definitely has a spritit to it that trancends mere likeness. Thank you for showing it.

And, I'm sticking to mouths, this time with teeth. Don, this is a totally new way for me to paint features. I used to draw meticuously and then fill in colour. I'm so extatic over your teaching it! Thank you!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/117343-Teeth-comp.jpg

Charlie

DAK723
01-07-2009, 11:03 PM
The discussion in the last post regarding the potential differences in young girls and boys, in regards to painting portraits, made me think of this painting by Renoir. It is one of my favorites. Not only is it a portrait of Madame Charpentier, but also of two of her children and the dog. It also has a beautiful still life included on the back table. Amazing painting. But what has always made me curious, is that the two children of Madame Charpentier are NOT two girls - but, rather, an older girl and younger boy. In the book Renoir's Portraits, the author says that the 3-year old boy "...in accordance with the fashion of the time, wears the same blue and white dress as his elder sister." Does this mean that if you had an older sister, you had to wear hand-me-down dresses? Boy, I'm sure glad I had an older brother!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/82335-renoir107.jpg

DAK723
01-07-2009, 11:11 PM
Terri,

You have done a real nice job of blocking in the values of the hair, without getting fussy about the individual strands. This is a really hard picture to do a good portrait from, as there are almost no shadows. Front lighting (with flash, probably) are the hardest references to use. Generally though, it looks good from the nose up. There are some measuring issues from the nose to the chin. Take a look at the proportions from nose to mouth and mouth to chin.

Don

Quick sketch of Missy J. Got smarter and used a more limited palett, still on suede board.

Charlie, nicely done Love how you are incorporating colour.

DAK723
01-07-2009, 11:16 PM
Mette, Nicely done! Though the reference was very stark in the difference between light and shadow, you have found some nice subtle intermediate values. Well done!

Don

Here is a new one.....
The hair was like painting cotton..


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/130835-Portrett_av_en_mann.JPG

terri66
01-08-2009, 12:45 AM
Mette, I like how you incorporated the background colour into the shadows, it unifies very well.

Mette Rörström
01-08-2009, 02:39 AM
Don..Thank you! I know the shadow was darker but I painted it like this,because I .... the shaddow was "steeling"(maybe the spelling is wrong) his face.
Terri...thank you!

winecountry
01-08-2009, 03:07 AM
oh ugh! this is really hard:eek: I've never done portraits before,
My idea, since I also oil paint was to do a grisaille and then do color on top, but this likeness thing is really throwing me off. I see the shape and know where it is diffferent than is on the work, but when my hand goes to correct it, it doesn't follow my brain:mad: and try as I might I can't get the shape right.

And did I tell you about the eyes? Oh the eyes, they got all catywampus, and wouldn't stay in the facial plane, and that 3/4 view took me an hour over and over, and it's still not right,but much better than before. And the mouth, well nice mouth, too bad it's not the one in the picture:lol:

Anyway if you can draw that eye on correct please! or anything else.... I'd love to see why it's wrong...and just for the practice I'll do the color over this, just like an oil putting glazes over the values ...

I guess likeness will have to come later...or maybe I'm just not going to have that particular gift.

BTW, I'm not commenting on anyone's work right now, I don't know enough really to be of help....but know that I appreciate everyone's work and esp the wip types that let me see how something happens...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_1973.jpg

winecountry
01-08-2009, 04:11 AM
Well I should have gone to bed, but just had to see how this worked out. Here it is with the color.

I scumbled and rubbed very light color over the grisaille, and it seems to work at least enough so I'll try it again and add one more step next time.

I used some hard and two soft pastels, on the side, and blended with a piece of foam pipe insulation cut small, a color shaper, and just a bit of finger, tried to leave the underpainting to show alone in a few places. I used about 5 colors for this. Forgot to say the underpainting was done mostly with vine charchol, white and black pastel pencil and a few touches of grey nupastel, on ampersand pastel board

Looks like I'm more the soft subtle type, although I'd love to try Charlie's, style sometime of more pure color. and some velour paper.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_1974_color.jpg

JLMTD
01-08-2009, 11:35 AM
Janis, This one almost snuck by me!

I found this one very interesting! The blue shadow areas, very stark in stage 1, have become very subtle and delicate by stage 4. Gives a nice transparent feeling to the skin! Some of those shadow areas could be a bit darker, perhaps, but all-in-all, nicely done!

Don

Thanks Don. Interesting, indeed. :D He looks like a primitive caveman at first. I think I just push to get something onto the paper to overcome my fear of the blank slate. Then it takes me awhile to calm down...I spared you the ones in the middle...LOL!

Janis

JLMTD
01-08-2009, 11:44 AM
Mette, good likeness of the boy!


Janis, wow, I'm thoroughly impressed by your getting from that start to that finish, and the lovely result!
.......
And, I'm sticking to mouths, this time with teeth. Don, this is a totally new way for me to paint features. I used to draw meticuously and then fill in colour. I'm so extatic over your teaching it! Thank you!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2009/117343-Teeth-comp.jpg

Charlie

Thanks Charlie...it did take quite a lot to make the transition. I'm finding it very difficult to get these portraits right without drawing and even then, I find I have to keep changing the position of eyes and nose and mouth...a lot of fiddling that then clogs the paper. Thanks for showing your stages...it helps me alot. These are so well crafted!:wave:

Janis

JLMTD
01-08-2009, 12:03 PM
Here's my newest attempt. It's of one of my grandsons, James, just before he turned three years old a a couple of months ago. Again, I had to change the position of all of his features as I went along, so it's quite overworkes - the tooth is so filled in some places, it's awful, as in the whites of his right eye (on our left as we view it) that it's caked on. And , still, his face is too long. I have bee drawing on a different table for the last two, which I've decided is at a bad angle which contributes to extended faces. So, I've pulled out my 30 year old easel and I'm finding that to be a big improvement on a much better tilt to see what I'm doing properly...a little too late for this one.:rolleyes:
Janis
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/140260-Portrait_of_James_Stage_1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/140260-Final_Portrait_of_James.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/140260-James_portrait_photo.jpg

DAK723
01-08-2009, 12:54 PM
Colleen, Thanks for posting! This is excellent! I know you didn't seem too happy with it, but I think it's great! As far as likenesses go, next lesson will focus on measuring, so that should give us all some techniques to get closer to the likeness. But this is quite good, and the face and features are all well rendered.

It is very interesting to see a charcoal underpainting. I think, based on the wide variety of underpaintings that have been posted, it shows that if the values in the underpainting show the basic shadow and light values, then virtually any colors (or lack of color) used will still work! I like the way you have let some of the underpainting show through, and I like the green that has been added to the flesh tones as well.

Don

Well I should have gone to bed, but just had to see how this worked out. Here it is with the color.

I scumbled and rubbed very light color over the grisaille, and it seems to work at least enough so I'll try it again and add one more step next time.

I used some hard and two soft pastels, on the side, and blended with a piece of foam pipe insulation cut small, a color shaper, and just a bit of finger, tried to leave the underpainting to show alone in a few places. I used about 5 colors for this. Forgot to say the underpainting was done mostly with vine charchol, white and black pastel pencil and a few touches of grey nupastel, on ampersand pastel board

Looks like I'm more the soft subtle type, although I'd love to try Charlie's, style sometime of more pure color. and some velour paper.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_1974_color.jpg

DAK723
01-08-2009, 01:03 PM
Janis, You are definitely getting the concept of starting with the big value shapes! One thing you might watch out for, both in this painting and the last, is losing those initial shadow values when you add your subsequent layers. I would try to add colors that are of a similar value as the underpainting. In this painting, especially, your shadow values have gotten much lighter as you progressed. If your flesh colors are lighter in value than your initial shadow value, then you can try to apply the new layers more thinly, letting more of the darker green show through.

Still, you are definitely getting the concept! Nicely done!

Don

Here's my newest attempt. It's of one of my grandsons, James, just before he turned three years old a a couple of months ago. Again, I had to change the position of all of his features as I went along, so it's quite overworkes - the tooth is so filled in some places, it's awful, as in the whites of his right eye (on our left as we view it) that it's caked on. And , still, his face is too long. I have bee drawing on a different table for the last two, which I've decided is at a bad angle which contributes to extended faces. So, I've pulled out my 30 year old easel and I'm finding that to be a big improvement on a much better tilt to see what I'm doing properly...a little too late for this one.:rolleyes:
Janis
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/140260-Portrait_of_James_Stage_1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/140260-Final_Portrait_of_James.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/140260-James_portrait_photo.jpg

winecountry
01-08-2009, 02:36 PM
Don, thanks for the comment,
could you correct that eye for me?
here is another try, better, the eyes are almost in the same face, but again the likeness is kaput...how come I can't draw what I see? Or how can I draw a correction correctly?:lol:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_1975.jpg

winecountry
01-08-2009, 02:39 PM
One more thing, I hope the next lesson is SOON, before I expire from frustration:evil:

Colorix
01-08-2009, 03:15 PM
...how come I can't draw what I see? Or how can I draw a correction correctly?:lol:


Hey, Colleen, you're doing wonderfully! But, to comment on your questions I'll ask you one: Are you used to painting such small and fine detail, where anything that is off by an "atom's width" will be very off? That's the main problem with portraits. If you paint the face at least as big as you hand from heel to fingertips, even go bigger than life, then it is a tiny bit easier. The smaller, the more difficult.

And practice. And know, even good portrait painters are not able to do perfect likenesses, but they do enough of the important parts right enough for it to look great.

Charlie

winecountry
01-08-2009, 03:43 PM
Are you used to painting such small and fine detail, where anything that is off by an "atom's width" will be very off?

yes, I do animal portraits and that's the standard I set, tho mostly I never get it quite right to my eye, the clients always seem to think I got it.

That's the main problem with portraits. If you paint the face at least as big as you hand from heel to fingertips, even go bigger than life, then it is a tiny bit easier. The smaller, the more difficult.

Well this one is about that size. I'd think that a mistake on a bigger work would just be a bigger mistake:lol:

And practice. And know, even good portrait painters are not able to do perfect likenesses, but they do enough of the important parts right enough for it to look great.

Is that right???!:eek: I just thought it was some complete success, or a innate gift of likeness a painter had, by seeing and then painting it just like they see it. Often when I look up again, everything seems to have changed and what I thought I saw before looks different. But some faults show up over and over, and this not getting the eyes on the same plane is one I can see back in my student work in some old self portraits I did 40 years ago. Must be some special things needed in the 3/4 view, as I also see it other work here on WC, so I'd like to fix that issue. Maybe some of the better artists can clue me in. I suspect it has something to do with perspective of the oval shapes of the eye in the socket, that I just don't get, or can't see.

As I recall some Sargents I've looked at you can really see he struggled over the face, and scraped it off and repainted several times until the skin tones are quite muddled up.The rest of the work, the dress, the couch, the background is a bravura performance worthy of the best art of all time...(he made himself wealthy painting portraits of rich people, 500 in all and when he had enough money, said he'd never paint another and didn't:lol: I believe he's the one who said "a portrait is a painting with something wrong with the nose, since is he considered among the best portrait painters ever, this is a revealing statement.)

Thanks Charlie, I'll try to ease up some, esp since I'm new to this. I do feel I can somehow get the hang of it enough so I can add them to my animal work occasionally, I sure don't want to become a portrait artist full time, but would like to be well rounded and able to paint a range of subject matter.

DAK723
01-08-2009, 03:51 PM
Colleen,

I think one of the keys to portraiture is to not get hung up on one feature or another. If the overall look is correct - the overall proportions - then you will be off to a good start. I studied your first version carefully, and the eyes look great. I don't see whatever it is you see. The only thing that I could even remotely comment on, is that the lower eyelid on his left eye does not have quite as much light on it. The light seems to stop about half way, while you have a light ridge all the way (arrow). I don't think changing that will matter much, but it is the only thing I could find! In fact, your second version has that particular area more accurate. Again the eyes look good. What I see in version 2, is that the nose does not look like it is being seen from the correct angle. The bottom of the nose looks too much like it is being seen from the front, in terms of the size of the nostrils and how much we see of each one. But this is minor!

All-in -all I am pleased with your valyes and your depiction of form. We will get to measuring soon - but probably not until Feb. 1st or so. Just keep practicing and don't forget the many other wonderful threads here in the Pastel Talk forum. They should keep you busy until then!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/82335-103030-IMG_1974_dakrev.jpg


Don, thanks for the comment,
could you correct that eye for me?
here is another try, better, the eyes are almost in the same face, but again the likeness is kaput...how come I can't draw what I see? Or how can I draw a correction correctly?:lol:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_1975.jpg

maw-t
01-08-2009, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the lovely comments on the girl.. I liked it too.. a bit rough so worked on it a LITTLE bit more. Charlie your little graphics are SO cute & thoughtful! :heart:
Good work all.. Terri, that second one is a much better likeness.. excelent work & great advice from Don.. I am learning alot with each of his crits..
Another nice one Mette.. I really like his expression!
Colleen, that is wonderful.. GREAT likeness too! Janis.. yeppers, you lost most of your shadows, easy to do )especially for me)..SO just try a light coating of a bit lighter pastel as DOn suggested I believe & then blend the two areas only where they meet... I see him in your portrait though.. so that is GOOD!

Interesting about boy vs girl... hmmm.. I think the clothes tell us mostly untill "form" sets in... and about lost & found edges.. Thank you DOn for that great explanation... Even though I do put them in or out when I see them.. I have never read or heard exactly what it meant! I do agree it makes it look more realistic & not so DRAWN & then colored in..
I hvae family in hospital... & dont know when I will be painting again... keep up the good work all!!

Colorix
01-08-2009, 04:16 PM
yes, I do animal portraits and that's the standard I set, tho mostly I never get it quite right to my eye, the clients always seem to think I got it.


Oh, ah, yes, you are used to it. Actually, your first portrait of the dark boy was excellent! Come on, it was freehand, and *that* good.


Well this one is about that size. I'd think that a mistake on a bigger work would just be a bigger mistake:lol:


Proportionally, no. :) A millimeter off in a miniature is a *huge* drift...

Is that right???!:eek: I just thought it was some complete success, or a innate gift of likeness a painter had, by seeing and then painting it just like they see it.

Goodness gracious, no, no innate gift. Just good measuring systems with plumblines etc. Some do have the gift to get it almost right just by sight, and almost is usually enough, as human faces (and animal one's too) are mobile and *do* change from second to second, reflecting thoughts and emotions. Only the camera can freeze features in time, and when we work from photos, we work from patterns on a 2D object. No, what is needed is to capture the essence, the personality, the spirit, and they are in the large shapes, the typical angle of how the head is held, or the usual scowl/smile/etc that the person wears. Heck, even some of Picasso's portraits were recognizable as the model, although they had one frontal eye on their profile cheek, and the other eye in profile on the frontal forhead... :D Just because he caught something typical of that person, and it was enough.

Maybe some of the better artists can clue me in. I suspect it has something to do with perspective of the oval shapes of the eye in the socket, that I just don't get, or can't see.

The forshortening increases on the 'other' half of the face, and as the eye curves away. Measuring, measuring, and did I say measuring? Draw a line with the right angle showing the alignment of the eyes. Upper and lower lids to touch these lines, but not cross over them. That should make them be level.

Um... I figure that if we pester Don about this, he'll post Measuring Lesson next week, and not make us wait for a whole month, when we need it *now*!. :lol: (OK, in fairness, he's got an 'unreal' day job, and can't devote all time to the *real* work of painting, and teaching us.)

OK, I'll stop talking (=procrastinating),

Charlie

winecountry
01-08-2009, 06:43 PM
Oh Don, please please please( she's on her knees) post a measuring lesson if you can, we can do lesson one and two together, or maybe you are telling me to go somewhere else and not bother you will all my whining:lol:

Charlie thank you for procrastinating, this helps me a lot,

as for the measuring, I did lay a straight edge on the eyes, and in the photo at least they are not lined up. probably people are like that too.

what is bothering me is 1. they are different sizes, 2 the painting right side, the eye is not sitting in the curve of the face. I think I'll take some time and do some anatomy studies of that area, in perspective. Now if I did soft focus and more loose style I could fudge this area, but I'd like to know how to do it tighter as a discipline, and a way to understand this crucial area. Eyes window of the soul stuff.:D If I get it once, I'll have it for good, and how to fix it if it gets out.

JLMTD
01-08-2009, 08:10 PM
And did I tell you about the eyes? Oh the eyes, they got all catywampus, and wouldn't stay in the facial plane, and that 3/4 view took me an hour over and over, and it's still not right,but much better than before. And the mouth, well nice mouth, too bad it's not the one in the picture:lol:

Anyway if you can draw that eye on correct please! or anything else.... I'd love to see why it's wrong...and just for the practice I'll do the color over this, just like an oil putting glazes over the values ...

Collen,
I see the problems in others' work easier than I see my own. I do see what you're taliking about, but it's not your problem; you ARE drawing what you see. I suspect the subject has a slightly lazy eye or perhaps it's just an odd angle (which I also found true with my grandson's). Don't stumble here...move on. Your work is excellent!
Janis

DAK723
01-08-2009, 10:24 PM
Thanks for the lovely comments on the girl.. I liked it too.. a bit rough so worked on it a LITTLE bit more. Charlie your little graphics are SO cute & thoughtful! :heart:
Good work all.. Terri, that second one is a much better likeness.. excelent work & great advice from Don.. I am learning alot with each of his crits..
Another nice one Mette.. I really like his expression!
Colleen, that is wonderful.. GREAT likeness too! Janis.. yeppers, you lost most of your shadows, easy to do )especially for me)..SO just try a light coating of a bit lighter pastel as DOn suggested I believe & then blend the two areas only where they meet... I see him in your portrait though.. so that is GOOD!

Interesting about boy vs girl... hmmm.. I think the clothes tell us mostly untill "form" sets in... and about lost & found edges.. Thank you DOn for that great explanation... Even though I do put them in or out when I see them.. I have never read or heard exactly what it meant! I do agree it makes it look more realistic & not so DRAWN & then colored in..
I hvae family in hospital... & dont know when I will be painting again... keep up the good work all!!
Good luck with your hospitalized family member. I hope it is nothing serious. We'll be thinking of you.

Don

DAK723
01-08-2009, 10:32 PM
No, what is needed is to capture the essence, the personality, the spirit, and they are in the large shapes, the typical angle of how the head is held, or the usual scowl/smile/etc that the person wears.
For the most part, I agree with this assessment. I usually think of it as "capturing the most typical expression" of a person. If you can catch, let's say the smile correctly, then nothing else has to be "perfect" for it to be recognizable.


Um... I figure that if we pester Don about this, he'll post Measuring Lesson next week, and not make us wait for a whole month, when we need it *now*!. :lol: (OK, in fairness, he's got an 'unreal' day job, and can't devote all time to the *real* work of painting, and teaching us.)


Unfortunately, the measuring lesson is not done - I hope it will be ready by Feb. 1st.

But, I will be giving another preview in a few minutes!

Don

winecountry
01-08-2009, 11:05 PM
Mawt going to miss your beautiful work...hope all comes well
Don, maybe you can post a link that has some of the measuring info somewhere else I can look at.

Janis....OMG I think you're right, I looked close at the ref and I did get it very close, it's just off, I suppose it could be a camera error too...thanks for pointing it out... I went over to the portrait thread today...and got some good hints about ways of working, I haven't posted there tho.

DAK723
01-08-2009, 11:24 PM
Oh Don, please please please( she's on her knees) post a measuring lesson if you can, we can do lesson one and two together, or maybe you are telling me to go somewhere else and not bother you will all my whining:lol:

Charlie thank you for procrastinating, this helps me a lot,

as for the measuring, I did lay a straight edge on the eyes, and in the photo at least they are not lined up. probably people are like that too.

what is bothering me is 1. they are different sizes, 2 the painting right side, the eye is not sitting in the curve of the face. I think I'll take some time and do some anatomy studies of that area, in perspective. Now if I did soft focus and more loose style I could fudge this area, but I'd like to know how to do it tighter as a discipline, and a way to understand this crucial area. Eyes window of the soul stuff.:D If I get it once, I'll have it for good, and how to fix it if it gets out.
Colleen, As I just answered in reply to Charlie, the measuring lesson is not done - so not ready to post...BUT...There are many ways to measure and we have been using one of the methods since the start of lesson 1.

SHAPES: The shadow and light shapes are one of the methods of measuring. Judging them accurately and piecing them together like pieces in a puzzle are one way to locate the features and the shadow and light areas.

I went back to your first painting and compared it to the reference. Your eyes are located so well you could not have located them more accurately if you traced them! First, I outlined the eyes and the shadow shapes above the eye, including the eyebrow.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/82335-bluehatdak.jpg

I then copied the red and blue lines and overlayed them onto your painting:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/82335-103030-IMG_1974dakoverlay.jpg

(Disregard the blue lips - I used them purely to help align the two images in case they needed to be rotated.)

The eyes line up almost exactly. The only possible adjustment is the iris of the right eye, which doesn't quite line up. What I did notice is that the shadow shape above each eye is not that accurate - one eyebrow comes over further, the other too far. Looking carefully at those value shapes is an important measuring tool. This is why (surprise, surprise) I started my lessons with observing and practicing locating and painting in value shapes.

Now, in all likelihood, everybody is doing some measuring already - judging distances, comparing how one thing lines up with another, etc. That is what the measuring lesson will be all about. Here is another preview:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jan-2009/82335-bluehatmeasuredak.jpg

Let's say we are ready to paint those eyes! First question might be - are they straight across the paper or at an angle? Let's draw a horizontal line from the outside corner of the near eye (cream colored line).

(Now with a photo ref from your printer, you can draw on it with no problems. An old photo that is a one-of-a-kind original, maybe you want to scan it and print out another copy!)

If you are drawing from life, or if you feel comfortable "eyeballing" it, you might just visualize the line, or hold up your pastel or a ruler as straight as possible.

I'll draw a line form the outside corner of one eye to the outside corner of the other (red line). OK, the head is tilted slightly and the eyes are at a slight upward angle. Draw in that light line if you want, or make some indication of the angle on your paper. At the same time you can draw the angle of the nostrils and the lips to see if they are at a similar angle. If they aren't, double-check! Notice also that each individual eye is tilted downward toward the center. In other words, the inside corner of the eye, is slightly lower than the outside corner. This angle is one of the most important to judge!

I want to locate "landmarks" - in this case, the landmarks I personally look for are each corner of each eye, and the edges of the face. I put blue horizontal vertical marks at each landmark. Now I can visually judge the distance between each line or actually measure them if I am working from a photo. Personally I advocate making as many visual judgements as possible in order to train your eye. When drawing from life, you can not make these marks on someone's face! However, you can always check your visual estimates with a ruler before you start painting in earnest, if you are using a photo for reference. I have represented each distance with a horizontal line of a different color. Look at the five lines - How would you judge them in comparison with one another? Look at the top of the hat to see them in relationship with one another.

On your actual painting, judge or measure those 5 distances, making a small mark for each distance, locating the 5 landmarks.

In real time this would go much quicker! We now have the eyes located at the correct angle and the distance apart.

Charlie mentioned "plumb lines" in her last post. Horizontal and vertical plumb lines (or range lines) are probably the measuring "secret" you will use most. We already used one to judge the angle of the eyes (and nose and mouth). In my example above you will see vertical lines drawn down from the eyes to locate the width of the nose and mouth. Hopefully, you get the idea that these plumb lines can be used to check and double check the location of all of your landmarks.

I hope this helps!

Don

winecountry
01-09-2009, 02:00 AM
thanks Don, not that I got the full understanding yet, but I'll re read more.
I guess I already do some ie the plumb lines to find out where things meet, and last night I was so frustrated I used a method of putting the ref in PS and cropping exactly, then putting in my sketch, and cropping it the same and overlaying by copy paste, lining both up at the eyes, and using layers with the opacity slider, up and down so I could see my sketch and the ref and where the shapes are different then I can correct the sketch on my easel from that,( in this case I redrew the eye much closer in, as I had it spread too far) glad to know it's so exact, I never checked it out like you did here. here is a thread that explains that
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/2921/521/
You may know this already, I learned it a couple of months ago and use it a lot now. I did try the way you showed and Charlie used but was completely unsuccessful , I don't seem to see the shape flat like you show. Maybe I need to squint more.

I went to the portrait forum today and joined the weekly class here are some eyes, I'll do the rest of the features, but wanted to do that 3/4 view eye again...her's are "off" too but I was ready for it this time...look how different each eyelid is. Don't have it quite, but this sketch took only 20min, and I got it closer maybe even close enough:lol: I'll do the full features in color, this is greyscale underpaint.

ArtSavesLives
01-09-2009, 03:02 AM
Here is my attempt at the lips of the first fair maiden:
http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii267/art4now/100_3832.jpg

winecountry
01-09-2009, 03:26 AM
somehow the attachment didn't load, here are the eyes
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_1979.jpg

excuse the crumbs:lol:

JLMTD
01-09-2009, 03:46 AM
Janis, You are definitely getting the concept of starting with the big value shapes! One thing you might watch out for, both in this painting and the last, is losing those initial shadow values when you add your subsequent layers. I would try to add colors that are of a similar value as the underpainting. In this painting, especially, your shadow values have gotten much lighter as you progressed. If your flesh colors are lighter in value than your initial shadow value, then you can try to apply the new layers more thinly, letting more of the darker green show through.

Still, you are definitely getting the concept! Nicely done!

Don

Don, thanks - I see what you're saying. I'll be more conscious of this on the next one. I also like Colleen's approach of drawing it in with charcoal and adding color to that. Experimenting is what's it's all about for me at this point.

Janis

DAK723
01-09-2009, 07:58 AM
Maybe I need to squint more.
.

Yes!:)

In lesson 1, I mention a few other ways to better see those shadow shapes by manipulating the photo in photoshop (or similar program). There are no "clean cut" edges to the value shapes, in most cases, so when I draw a shadow shape (as I did with the blue lines around the eyebrows in my example), I am just making a visual approximation.

Don

DAK723
01-09-2009, 08:00 AM
Excellent!

Don

Here is my attempt at the lips of the first fair maiden:
http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii267/art4now/100_3832.jpg

DAK723
01-09-2009, 08:30 AM
Colleen, you have done a nice job creating form with values! Nice shadows under the top eyelids, a nice shadow shape under the near eyebrow which gives nice depth to the eye socket. Your eyes are very accurately shaped, as well. And yes, you captured the differences in the two eyelids perfectly! I know I keep repeating myself, but it is the interplay of light and shadow that defines the forms - regardless of subject matter. Defining the forms is what makes something recognizable. And you have done a fine job, with the near eye, especially!:) Looking at the far eye, it looks like there is a bit more shadow on the eyelid and right next to the nose under that eyebrow. Putting that in will give more depth and roundness to that eye socket and eyelid. I put a couple arrows to indicate where the light hits the eyelid (yellow) and where there is a shadow shape (blue).

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jan-2009/82335-107353-4_Validah_001dak.jpg

I may be wrong, but you seem to be somewhat of a perfectionist :cat:, and kind of hard on yourself. I assure you, you are doing a great job! Portraits are hard and take a lot of practice. Your paintings so far have demonstrated a very fine ability to render values and forms. And that is a KEY fundamental!

Don



somehow the attachment didn't load, here are the eyes
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_1979.jpg

excuse the crumbs:lol:

winecountry
01-09-2009, 04:09 PM
Thanks Don,
I darkened that area, I see what you mean. About the measurements, I don't see how I can get a likeness if anything is off, even small changes make it really different. so besides the PS thing I dug out a tool I got when I got the Carder Method DVD for still life, see attachment, with this I'm measuring from a full size print, if I was doing it from life, my painting would be in a fixed spot to the model and I would be able to do the same thing. Also I seem unable to keep the features from migrating and so I'm having to keep my center line and tilt lines always visible as I work. Is this normal I don't see it on other works?

Right now it seems my "method" if you could call it that is to rub in values and keep mushing around until I find the right edges, keeping it all soft until it's close to right then adding hard edges here and there. I think this is coming from my oil painting where I can keep the wet paint moving around and adding tones to create form , Im not and have never been that draughsman type with lines, which I cant see and so don't know where they go, it's easier to see shifts in value by edges and put that in.

So do you mean put it in PS and use the brightness contrast to find those "value shapes?" I did read it but not sure what it means, I'll try one more.

DAK723
01-09-2009, 04:48 PM
Thanks Don,
I darkened that area, I see what you mean. About the measurements, I don't see how I can get a likeness if anything is off, even small changes make it really different. so besides the PS thing I dug out a tool I got when I got the Carder Method DVD for still life, see attachment, with this I'm measuring from a full size print, if I was doing it from life, my painting would be in a fixed spot to the model and I would be able to do the same thing. Also I seem unable to keep the features from migrating and so I'm having to keep my center line and tilt lines always visible as I work. Is this normal I don't see it on other works?

Right now it seems my "method" if you could call it that is to rub in values and keep mushing around until I find the right edges, keeping it all soft until it's close to right then adding hard edges here and there. I think this is coming from my oil painting where I can keep the wet paint moving around and adding tones to create form , Im not and have never been that draughsman type with lines, which I cant see and so don't know where they go, it's easier to see shifts in value by edges and put that in.

So do you mean put it in PS and use the brightness contrast to find those "value shapes?" I did read it but not sure what it means, I'll try one more.
Colleen,

I know that this sounds odd, and it is my opinion, but you can get a likeness where most things are off, measurement wise. Caricatures are totally NOT accurate, but are recognizable. Obviously, we are not doing caricatures, but you can capture the essence without total accuracy. At this stage in the lesson, likeness is not important.

If you want to, or feel you need to keep your guidelines visible, that is no problem, nor unusual.

Things will migrate and change as you progress. Dennis Frost, in his book Capturing Personality in Pastel, describes the portrait process as "making a series of diminishing corrections..."

Your method of working with values is what these lessons are all about - we do not want lines, nor are we looking for lines.

The computer can be used, as you mention, to push the contrast, or manipulate the picture in other ways to help you see the light and shadows. Often the photo we are using does not have the value range or contrast to see the differences well.

Your examples so far have been good. Don't worry about the likeness!

Don

winecountry
01-10-2009, 01:11 AM
Thanks Don, I'm beginning to see now and work my way into this. Good thing you are patient, this is the first figure work I've done in 25 years, and I've not tried a portrait since then, and I've never done one in pastel, so I was on overload switching gears from the last 3 years of all animals. Now I'm beginning to see planes and feel my way into the structure, and figure out how to do it in pastel. I think I'd have a much easier time with paint because I could mix colors, but the pastel is perfect, it makes me think in larger masses. I did a grisaille first then worked the color over.

I know you said likeness is not important for now, but since my goal is to have enough skill to add a person to my animal portraits, thats the only thing that matters to me. I will never be a figure painter, tho I may do some, my real passion is for the animal work. So I may as well get the chops for some likeness enough to get by with, I had lots of figure drawing as a young art student, hopefully that will come back with some practice.:lol: I notice you get the likeness quite nicely, and it's a mystery to me how you do it, I mean it looks great and is unmistakably the person in the photo, but it doesn't look like the photo exactly, it looks better!

here is the weekly portrait woman...I just did her features for this exercise, and I'm not finishing it, I see that I could get to a very realistic finish with more work, just by adding smaller and smaller color and value changes, but this is enough for now, I want to try some of the others, and more work will be of greater use than hours spent in finish at this point.

Again many thanks to all who have commented, I've been a little like and unruly horse let loose on the track, running all over, but now I see where I'm going
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_1984.jpg

DAK723
01-10-2009, 09:52 AM
Colleen,

This is excellent!

And the likeness is unmistakable!

As for the degree of finish - that is always up to the personal preference of the artist. The parts that are painted are already more finished than a lot of what mine look like! You have a nice range of values (including some really nice highlights), and the forms are very 3-dimensional.

Don

Thanks Don, I'm beginning to see now and work my way into this. Good thing you are patient, this is the first figure work I've done in 25 years, and I've not tried a portrait since then, and I've never done one in pastel, so I was on overload switching gears from the last 3 years of all animals. Now I'm beginning to see planes and feel my way into the structure, and figure out how to do it in pastel. I think I'd have a much easier time with paint because I could mix colors, but the pastel is perfect, it makes me think in larger masses. I did a grisaille first then worked the color over.

I know you said likeness is not important for now, but since my goal is to have enough skill to add a person to my animal portraits, thats the only thing that matters to me. I will never be a figure painter, tho I may do some, my real passion is for the animal work. So I may as well get the chops for some likeness enough to get by with, I had lots of figure drawing as a young art student, hopefully that will come back with some practice.:lol: I notice you get the likeness quite nicely, and it's a mystery to me how you do it, I mean it looks great and is unmistakably the person in the photo, but it doesn't look like the photo exactly, it looks better!

here is the weekly portrait woman...I just did her features for this exercise, and I'm not finishing it, I see that I could get to a very realistic finish with more work, just by adding smaller and smaller color and value changes, but this is enough for now, I want to try some of the others, and more work will be of greater use than hours spent in finish at this point.

Again many thanks to all who have commented, I've been a little like and unruly horse let loose on the track, running all over, but now I see where I'm going
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_1984.jpg

DAK723
01-10-2009, 10:15 AM
A note from the teacher/host:

We are now 10 days into lesson 2 and I just want to say that everyone is doing a great job!

We've had a lot of really nice paintings posted - some of which are full portraits. I just want to remind everyone - especially those who are less experienced in portraits, or pastels, or painting in general, that everyone should feel comfortable working at their own level. If you want to keep practicing eyes, don't feel that -because others are doing full portraits - that you need to do the same!

I know from experience that this is easier said than done! I have been a fitness instructor for 19 years. By far, the biggest challenge, and the most difficult aspect of teaching, is trying to accommodate people of all fitness levels and levels of experience. I might have someone in class who has taken my classes for 10 years, while another person might be walking into their first fitness class ever! It can be intimidating for the new person. But it is my job to make them feel like they belong!

So the message I try to relate is:

Work at your own level! Don't worry about what your neighbor is doing! This is a class, not a competition! We were all beginners once! Have fun - I'm not going to be giving out prizes!

Perhaps, it is my experience in teaching fitness classes that makes me want to deliver this same message as I teach/host this class! So for anyone out there who might be hesitant to post - remember, it's a class - not a competition! All experience levels welcome! Please join us!!

Don

winecountry
01-10-2009, 01:25 PM
Thanks Don, you'll make me a portrait painter yet:lol:

One thing I noticed this AM, by using the charchol grisaille method I've been experimenting with, and not completely covering lines are left, so the result has some drawing quality to it, but the lines are not hard or stiff and they can appear and disappear along an edge, lending a nice quality that helps give some structure to the work...Maybe that's because the charchol is so loose compared to the pastels, and adheres less to the surface, it does not seem to dull or muddy the colors at all, charchol comes in various hardness, so far I've used soft and med.
this is all just for FYI

DAK723
01-10-2009, 02:46 PM
I notice it's been pretty quiet since I posted my Measuring Preview! Is this because you are all mesmerized? Or because you are so confused that you have decided to go back to landscape painting? Or because you are out at the office supply store buying rulers??

Please let me know if it made sense, was understandable, or if you have any other input that will help me as I prepare the entire upcoming measuring lesson.

Don

Colorix
01-10-2009, 03:39 PM
Awed and reverent silence, natch! ;)

I got busy, just as you'd posted it, but it is excellent, as a preview, if I'm to be honest. Step by step would be great for the actual lesson. (I know, dozens of images instead of one...)

Really cool to see how the eye-width decreased successively as you went from temple to near eye to between eyes to second eye to second temple.

I'm still digging into the pile of details and features, decided to skip ears (been there, done that), and am now at hair. Two hairs, one gray and one black. Had thought to make faces into ovals, but decided to practice mapping in tiny size. Pics are real size, and both are on Canson MT gray:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jan-2009/117343-D-Gray-hair-mm5.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jan-2009/117343-D-Black-hair-mf2.jpg

Both from RIL. Gray hair was much more difficult, as so many strands were visible. I put in too many of them, and then smeared them out. Black hair was easy, a 'helmet' of black on brown, with red-brown half-lights, and purple and blue highlights.

Should've left faces as smooth ovals, as now they catch too much attention.

Charlie

DAK723
01-10-2009, 04:12 PM
Hi Charlie!

As far as the measuring lesson, yes, there will be step-by-step procedures! I will have computer simulations and real-life photos of me measuring with thumb on ruler, thumb on pastel, etc.! Laying out and measuring with pastel in one hand and camera in the other, while sitting on the floor (only place with enough light to take the photos) was quite the chore!

First, I can't believe the detail in these tiny size pastels. :) But they capture the essence of hair. Your observation about light vs. dark hair is similar to what I have observed - light hair has more strands visible. With dark hair, there is little or no value difference between the dark of the hair, and the dark of the shadows that are between the strands. You have shown that with dark hair you can be very simplified - just dark, light and highlight. With light hair, strands of hair create shadows between strands, as well as the larger areas that are completely in shadow. The ribbon like highlight is also more noticeable (due to the greater contrast) in dark hair.

I think that your value patterns on the faces are better than blank ovals. It seems like they are good practice for blocking in those light and shadow shapes for the entire head. So far we've been "mapping" those value shapes for parts of the face, primarily. Blocking them in for the entire head is always a good exercise!

Don


Awed and reverent silence, natch! ;)

I got busy, just as you'd posted it, but it is excellent, as a preview, if I'm to be honest. Step by step would be great for the actual lesson. (I know, dozens of images instead of one...)

Really cool to see how the eye-width decreased successively as you went from temple to near eye to between eyes to second eye to second temple.

I'm still digging into the pile of details and features, decided to skip ears (been there, done that), and am now at hair. Two hairs, one gray and one black. Had thought to make faces into ovals, but decided to practice mapping in tiny size. Pics are real size, and both are on Canson MT gray:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jan-2009/117343-D-Gray-hair-mm5.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jan-2009/117343-D-Black-hair-mf2.jpg

Both from RIL. Gray hair was much more difficult, as so many strands were visible. I put in too many of them, and then smeared them out. Black hair was easy, a 'helmet' of black on brown, with red-brown half-lights, and purple and blue highlights.

Should've left faces as smooth ovals, as now they catch too much attention.

Charlie

winecountry
01-10-2009, 05:44 PM
Here is a detailed eye, thought it would be good to know what it was in detail, tho I don't think this would be needed in a portrait,
I tried to post actual size...about 3.5 inches on colorfix
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jan-2009/103030-eye_1986.jpg

and a mouth...I studied Charlie's wip and tried to follow those steps
If I ever have to do teeth, this demo does it right IMO, now I' go find some more refs and try sketching some, for me it was easier to do all the features first then come back to the parts, I'm an inductive thinker...from the whole down to the specific, most people think deductively, from the parts up to the whole, without a sort of general idea of the whole thing first, I just get lost.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jan-2009/103030-mouth_1985.jpg

DAK723
01-10-2009, 08:10 PM
Very nice, Colleen! You are correct about the eye details - in most portraits you will probably not need as much as we have been showing in our "studies." While our lessons started with "pieces," when doing entire portraits we will follow the usual procedure of doing large shapes first, details last. The whole - then the specific, as you mention.

Nicely done!

Don

Here is a detailed eye, thought it would be good to know what it was in detail, tho I don't think this would be needed in a portrait,
I tried to post actual size...about 3.5 inches on colorfix
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jan-2009/103030-eye_1986.jpg

and a mouth...I studied Charlie's wip and tried to follow those steps
If I ever have to do teeth, this demo does it right IMO, now I' go find some more refs and try sketching some, for me it was easier to do all the features first then come back to the parts, I'm an inductive thinker...from the whole down to the specific, most people think deductively, from the parts up to the whole, without a sort of general idea of the whole thing first, I just get lost.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jan-2009/103030-mouth_1985.jpg

winecountry
01-11-2009, 02:38 AM
thanks Don, glad to know that

christinemlr
01-11-2009, 01:29 PM
At last, I'm back in the class, I've been following along as best I could. The work being posted here is of such high standard.

Sorry Don, I didn't follow instructions on values on these, I was just trying to get myself familiar with working here again.

This one from RIL

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jan-2009/151368-img045.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jan-2009/151368-img046.jpg

Xina

DAK723
01-11-2009, 06:08 PM
Xina, Glad you are back! These are nice! Values look good - good lights and shadows! Some nice cool blues and violets in those shadows, as well!

Don

At last, I'm back in the class, I've been following along as best I could. The work being posted here is of such high standard.

Sorry Don, I didn't follow instructions on values on these, I was just trying to get myself familiar with working here again.

This one from RIL

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jan-2009/151368-img045.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jan-2009/151368-img046.jpg

Xina

Pippa
01-12-2009, 07:57 AM
I'm late to this, but better late than never! I started this as a sketch to participate in the class and then got carried away, so it became a full portrait. I think the left eye is too cool (too much blue) and the chin is too warm. Live and learn though! :)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jan-2009/88887-mayan_woman.JPG

DAK723
01-12-2009, 12:19 PM
Pippa, welcome to the class! You obviously know your way around a portrait already! Very nicely done! You have lots of subtle values and some nice lost edges, too. I don't know if it's the blue, or if that near eye just needs a bit more definition. It looks like that strand of hair has a "halo" where you have left space around it to make it stand out. That's OK to do, but maybe a bit more subtly, so that the eye reads a little stronger than it is now. The warm chin doesn't bother me at all - in fact, I like to put a bit of warm where the light turns to shadow on the features that come forward - the nose, chin, near cheek, etc. I like your simple but effective rendering of the hair, too.

Very nice painting!

Don

I'm late to this, but better late than never! I started this as a sketch to participate in the class and then got carried away, so it became a full portrait. I think the left eye is too cool (too much blue) and the chin is too warm. Live and learn though! :)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jan-2009/88887-mayan_woman.JPG

Colorix
01-12-2009, 12:33 PM
Pippa, it is simply gorgeous! So, just bring a bit cool out over the warm on the chin, but not all the way, and let the warmth turn the chin at the edges.

And then teach me how to paint this loosely and beautifully!

Charlie

Pippa
01-12-2009, 12:55 PM
Thanks DAK :) I see what you mean about the left eye and the "halo" around the hair. I don't have that much experience with portraits, but I have done a few. I also have Harley Brown's books, so that helps as well, although in my defense I haven't looked at his books for weeks!
And thank-you Charlie! You can do it too.. your noses and eyes and other parts have been beautiful! You just need to commit and put them together. I have no doubt that the result will be gorgeous.

I find using canson really helps a portrait as well... As long as you go lightly with the layers you can really get a lot on there! It's not super abrasive like la carte or wallis, so when you layer you can still see what's beneath - which really helps with the looseness! - of course, it also means that you don't have as much freedom to cover over mistakes. ;)

robertsloan2
01-12-2009, 01:28 PM
Pippa, that is gorgeous. You've done something wonderful here. I love the expression in the eyes. They are so much the focal point of this portrait, and the features are so strong and powerful.

Interesting that you like Canson. I did almost all of my portraits on Canson because I hadn't heard of sanded pastel paper yet, or it was too expensive at the store. Something like that. I got used to going lightly and so now when I use Colourfix primer or Colourfix paper I have yet to fill the tooth completely at all.

terri66
01-12-2009, 01:34 PM
Hi Don,

Here's another attempt. The colours are off from the original and that was a conscious choice. It's on a dark umber suede matt board. I think I need to try some lighter valued suede boards so I am not always building backwards from dark to light. The mouth reads like my grandfather, the other bits are more questionable.

I've tacked on the challenge portrait from the portrait section also. I think the one of my grandfather is a stronger drawing but I like the colour in the second better. In my ideal world, I would have a strong drawing with yummy colour.:smug: , still working on that. LOL

Pippa
01-12-2009, 01:39 PM
Robert - I like canson for portraits and that's about it! ;)

just kidding.. I do like canson for other things as well, but I find it the best for portraits. I like wallis or colorfix for landscapes, and la carte for more realistic pieces. It takes some practice though to get used to using all those papers. I approach painting on wallis totally differently from painting on canson! They all have their merits, I guess.

kadon
01-12-2009, 05:21 PM
My pastels arrived today...at last! Have to get set up somehow to get started SOMEWHERE.....see you'all later. Kathy

kadon
01-12-2009, 10:06 PM
Don, taking you up on your encouragement to post here even if starting on former link - I am posting my first attempt to use these pastels by studying your study on nose/eyes. I am not at all happy with it as my main problem is trying to use the bulky pastels. I'm used to paint brushes happily correcting things as I go along - and wondered if there was a technique involved. I didn't blend with the fingers but left it as is.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jan-2009/118422-Pastel.jpg

A couple of questions to add after the first one above is:

i) Would it be OK to lightly do a pencil underdrawing to make sure everything is in the right place to start with?
ii) To lift off areas that are wrong I am told to use a kneadable eraser....but boy...it sure gets into a mess real early....is there a technique here too?

Will have a go at this link next. Many, many thanks. Kathy

DAK723
01-12-2009, 10:28 PM
Hi Terri,

Working dark to light is a common technique in both oils and pastels, but personally I find a mid value paper works best for me. Sometimes it is hard to cover sufficiently to create nice vibrant lights when working on a dark paper. It's a little hard to comment without seeing the reference on your grandfather painting, but it is a bit difficult to read where the light is coming from. We've been concentrating on various pieces and how to map shadow and light values, but when doing the entire face, you need to map those light and shadows on cheeks, forehead, sides of the head, etc. I would check those areas to see if there are some darker values so the head has a more clearly defined form. Again, I'm just guessing as I haven't seen the ref! All in all a nice painting!

On the second one, take a closer look at the lips, especially the top lip, which seems a bit too thick. I've seen this ref, and I recall that the top and bottom lips were similar in width.

If possible, larger pics (you can go up to 800 pixels!) will make them a bit easier to critique!

Nice job on these!

Don

Hi Don,

Here's another attempt. The colours are off from the original and that was a conscious choice. It's on a dark umber suede matt board. I think I need to try some lighter valued suede boards so I am not always building backwards from dark to light. The mouth reads like my grandfather, the other bits are more questionable.

I've tacked on the challenge portrait from the portrait section also. I think the one of my grandfather is a stronger drawing but I like the colour in the second better. In my ideal world, I would have a strong drawing with yummy colour.:smug: , still working on that. LOL

DAK723
01-12-2009, 10:51 PM
Kathy, Thanks for joining us! Glad your pastels arrived! This is looking good! (In fact, it looks a lot like my demo - maybe that's why it looks so good to me! :D)

Pastels are bulky. If you are used to brushes, imagine them as a nice 1/2 wide brush where you are just blocking in shapes and not worrying about details. If you do the darks first, for example, the shapes will be wider than what you want. Then when you go in with your lights, you can start to thin down and refine. Since pastels are fairly opaque, you can cover and thin those darker shapes. When you get to details, you may have to look for a sharp corner of your pastel and aim carefully!

If you want to do a pencil drawing first, you can, of course. In some ways, though, I look at this underpainting step as if it was the step to get everything in the right place! But whatever feels comfortable to you, is fine!

Pastel, similar to oils, can be refined and corrected by just covering what is already down on your paper, for the most part. I can't remember the last time I erased - not that I don't make mistakes, but I just cover it up! My memory tells me that the proper way to use a kneaded eraser is to push straight down and then lift up - do not rub side to side. Perhaps others can give some tips on how they erase or remove pastel. I have, when I did want to remove pastel completely, used a vacuum cleaner and small brush attachment, but you need to have fairly stiff paper for that technique! In the early stages, use a light touch so you don't fill the tooth of the paper with too much pastel. I often blend lightly with my finger just to help cover the paper, but with a very thin layer of pastel.

Again, this is looking good! The underpainting stage can be very rough, as you may notice from some of the previous examples in this and the other thread.

Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

Don

Don, taking you up on your encouragement to post here even if starting on former link - I am posting my first attempt to use these pastels by studying your study on nose/eyes. I am not at all happy with it as my main problem is trying to use the bulky pastels. I'm used to paint brushes happily correcting things as I go along - and wondered if there was a technique involved. I didn't blend with the fingers but left it as is.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jan-2009/118422-Pastel.jpg

A couple of questions to add after the first one above is:

i) Would it be OK to lightly do a pencil underdrawing to make sure everything is in the right place to start with?
ii) To lift off areas that are wrong I am told to use a kneadable eraser....but boy...it sure gets into a mess real early....is there a technique here too?

Will have a go at this link next. Many, many thanks. Kathy

kadon
01-13-2009, 02:19 AM
Thank you for all that info Don. You are very clear in what you say and it solved a few problems for me. This is my second attempt.....again a study of YOUR study. Haven't been game to try from a real photo....yet. I think I've picked a paper with more tooth than I need...hence the see through dots. The paper here looks blue whereas it is a definite grey.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jan-2009/118422-Pastel_2.jpg

Kathy

winecountry
01-13-2009, 02:05 PM
mouth,
I am at last beginning to see the value patterns, the mouth is so complicated and subtle in all the value changes...still miles away from likeness, maybe one thing at a time.:lol: There is so much to see, but a lot goes away when I squint....so that helps.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_2025.jpg

DAK723
01-13-2009, 03:55 PM
Looks good! I wouldn't worry about the paper grain showing through. Lots of people prefer the smoother side of Canson to minimize the textural quality.

Don

Thank you for all that info Don. You are very clear in what you say and it solved a few problems for me. This is my second attempt.....again a study of YOUR study. Haven't been game to try from a real photo....yet. I think I've picked a paper with more tooth than I need...hence the see through dots. The paper here looks blue whereas it is a definite grey.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jan-2009/118422-Pastel_2.jpg

Kathy

DAK723
01-13-2009, 03:56 PM
Looks very good to me!

Yes, squinting helps!

Don

mouth,
I am at last beginning to see the value patterns, the mouth is so complicated and subtle in all the value changes...still miles away from likeness, maybe one thing at a time.:lol: There is so much to see, but a lot goes away when I squint....so that helps.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2009/103030-IMG_2025.jpg

christinemlr
01-13-2009, 05:22 PM
I'm starting at the beginning of lesson 2 now with the mouth and an ear.
Very hard to do, the ear was especially tough, I certainly need to do more of them!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2009/151368-img048.jpg


I cropped the ear from the sketch I did. In my sketchbook the ear looks hideous as its attached to a half missing face. Phew this looks a bit better.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2009/151368-img047.jpg

Xina

Colorix
01-13-2009, 05:57 PM
Xina, Gorgeous gold in shadow in the earing (earring?)... ring in the earlobe!

Charlie

DAK723
01-13-2009, 06:18 PM
Xina, These are very nice! The values are well represented. If the ear was tough, it doesn't show! Excellent depiction of forms and values! And, yes, that earring is sensational!

Don

I'm starting at the beginning of lesson 2 now with the mouth and an ear.
Very hard to do, the ear was especially tough, I certainly need to do more of them!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2009/151368-img048.jpg


I cropped the ear from the sketch I did. In my sketchbook the ear looks hideous as its attached to a half missing face. Phew this looks a bit better.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2009/151368-img047.jpg

Xina

kadon
01-13-2009, 11:37 PM
One ear coming up! At least I tried this from the actual reference supplied.
Still trying to learn to handle the bulkiness of the pastels.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2009/118422-ear.jpg

Kathy

Mette Rörström
01-14-2009, 01:56 PM
Hi!:wave:
Here is one I did today...
I painted her, to see if I could get the hair right. :)


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2009/130835-DSCN0699.JPG

kadon
01-14-2009, 04:09 PM
Mette,

Very nice! You've really captured the roundness of a youthful face, and I like the hair very much!

The "side stick" exercise is basically an attempt to have people look at, and paint, the big shapes and not worry about detail. So, it may not look pretty, but it emphasizes to start with big value shapes. You have demonstrated that it works out well in the end!

Don

Don, I quoted the above because I'm wondering how to get the detail over the top of the underpainting with the side of the sticks. One seems to only have two options....(a) use the edge of these (big) sticks or (b) use the side to cover large areas (even then, some parts come out and some do not..going into areas not chosen). And it seems that, in Mette's example, all the dark underpainting has disappeared...how come? and why put it there in the first place?...even though it has turned out so very well.

Do you break off pieces to get detail and very small areas of toning?

Kathy

DAK723
01-14-2009, 04:32 PM
Kathy, Looking good! Shadow and light is what we are looking for! The bulkiness of pastels is something that takes getting used to if you are used to something more precise like pencils or colored pencils. I often have to mentally accept that my pastel work is going to be looser and not as tight as some other media. For final details or hard edges, I might try to use a "harder" pastel. This won't always work if there are many layers of pastel down on the paper. Some people use pastel pencils for fine details.

Don

One ear coming up! At least I tried this from the actual reference supplied.
Still trying to learn to handle the bulkiness of the pastels.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2009/118422-ear.jpg

Kathy

DAK723
01-14-2009, 04:45 PM
How the pastels "behave" will depend a lot on the paper that is being used. Some papers with more tooth, will hold layer upon layer. Textured papers like canson will hold less pastel and you may not be able to completely cover the layers that you put down. When I work on Canson, I put down a litle pastel and then sweep it into the texture and cover the paper with my finger. I can usually work on top of these type of thin layers. Normally, I am working on velour, which allows me to work with either the side or the point for at least a few layers.

The side-stick exercise is really for the first layer or underpainting.

The purpose of the underpainting is to figure out your composition, lay out and measure, and map out the values without having to worry about choosing the "correct" color. In the next stages, you can cover, blend into, or leave some of the underpainting. When choosing color to cover the underpainting - you can evaluate the value of the underpainting, and choose colors that match those values.

I hope that explains it. If not, don't hesitate to ask more questions!

Don

Don, I quoted the above because I'm wondering how to get the detail over the top of the underpainting with the side of the sticks. One seems to only have two options....(a) use the edge of these (big) sticks or (b) use the side to cover large areas (even then, some parts come out and some do not..going into areas not chosen). And it seems that, in Mette's example, all the dark underpainting has disappeared...how come? and why put it there in the first place?...even though it has turned out so very well.

Do you break off pieces to get detail and very small areas of toning?

Kathy

kadon
01-14-2009, 04:55 PM
I thank you Don most sincerely for your patience....and your willingness to answer any questions....I am FULL of them....my final question is how do YOU get detail with the 'bulky' sticks.

kadon
01-14-2009, 07:21 PM
Don, I was fascinated by your teaching on lost and found edges demonstrating these things in T's beautiful painting. May I make so bold as to post some photos here, one of which I considered to be a poor reference due to the dark areas....but on reading the abovementioned post I wondered anew. I have seen old masters paintings that fade off into the dark areas and are magnificent. I posted the others just in case they are helpful.

If it is not an intrusion can you make some comments - at least on the contrasting one that fades into the darkness (if not the others???.)


This is the dark/light one.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2009/118422-Geoff.jpg

Then there is this one.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2009/118422-Geoff2.jpg


A really hard one with all those teeth!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2009/118422-Geoff3.jpg

My greed for knowledge almost consumes me sometimes.
Kathy

christinemlr
01-14-2009, 08:06 PM
Kathy, I think these are great images that could maker super portrait paintings in pastel. Did you take the photos? I'd like to have a go at one of these. The great thing about painting is they can be SO MUCH BETTER than photos. These photos have got the spirit of him, even if not phototechnique perfect, but they ARE perfect for using as reference in my opinion. Lets see what Don says.
Xina

DAK723
01-14-2009, 10:22 PM
Hi Mette,

This is nicely done! I think you have captured the general shape and feeling of the hair very well! One thing I would look at a little more closely would be the "ribbon-like" highlight. I put the reference photo into photoshop and increased the contrast - as if I was squinting. That highlight really stands out and is lighter in value than any other part of the hair. I wouldn't hesitate to make that highlight more pronounced in your painting.

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2009/82335-130835-DSCN0699dakrev.JPG



Hi!:wave:
Here is one I did today...
I painted her, to see if I could get the hair right. :)

DAK723
01-14-2009, 10:35 PM
I thank you Don most sincerely for your patience....and your willingness to answer any questions....I am FULL of them....my final question is how do YOU get detail with the 'bulky' sticks.
One thing I forgot to mention in my last answer regarding the ability of pastels to cover previous layers or the underpainting, and that is the softness of the pastel. The softer the pastel, the easier it is to cover. That is why lots of folks have many pastels of different brands depending on the level of softness.

Sometimes detail is suggested more than actually painted. Many details are painted as thicker lines (the line between the lips for example), and then thinned down by applying another pastel and covering some or most of the original line. As mentioned previously, I look for the sharp edge that often occurs on a used pastels. If there is no sharp edge, you can stroke the pastel against the paper at a slight angle to create a flat edge. Like sharpening a pencil against sandpaper, for example. It is easier to create a thinner line with a hard pastel than a really soft one. I have a set of harder pastels that I use when necessary.

The way I create thin lines the most often, is to put down a mark that is usually too thick and then correct and overlay a different pastel over the top to thin.

I also tend to work fairly large. However, many folks here do paintings that are much smaller than I would ever attempt and they still get details! So, hopefully some class members will chime in with their best advice on getting detail in pastel.

Don

DAK723
01-14-2009, 10:53 PM
As I mentioned somewhere in my lesson, a photo reference with a strong sense of light and shadow (and one light source) is usually best. So all of these would qualify. Lots of portraits have been done through history with strong, dramatic lighting and dark shadows that blend right into a dark background.

It may just be personal preference, but I think it is easier to paint a portrait when the light areas are larger than the shadow areas because it is easier to get the subtle changes in value in light areas then it is in dark shadow areas. For that reason, ref #1 might be the easiest to start with. Refs #2 and 3 have lots of shadow and small areas of light, so that would be the challenging aspect - handling the reflected light and other small shifts in value in the large dark shadow areas. I might add that the last reference photo in my lesson - the one Mette just painted (with the hair!) has most of the face in shadow, too!

I think I mention in my lesson that you can use your own references - you do not need to use those I've included. These would all be quite dramatic, and yes, offer some areas for lost and found edges as well. I look forward to seeing your painting of ref #1! The value shapes are very interesting and - you will notice - there is not much detail, especially around the eyes, which are almost completely in the shadow shape!:)

Don

Don, I was fascinated by your teaching on lost and found edges demonstrating these things in T's beautiful painting. May I make so bold as to post some photos here, one of which I considered to be a poor reference due to the dark areas....but on reading the abovementioned post I wondered anew. I have seen old masters paintings that fade off into the dark areas and are magnificent. I posted the others just in case they are helpful.

If it is not an intrusion can you make some comments - at least on the contrasting one that fades into the darkness (if not the others???.)


This is the dark/light one.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2009/118422-Geoff.jpg

Then there is this one.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2009/118422-Geoff2.jpg


A really hard one with all those teeth!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2009/118422-Geoff3.jpg

My greed for knowledge almost consumes me sometimes.
Kathy

kadon
01-14-2009, 11:03 PM
Oooooooooooh Now I've really put myself in the frame! Okay....I'll have a go at the first ref. I might as well, as I have to start somewhere and I have received a few tips along the way....although I do not feel very confident.

Thanks Don for your appraisal. Kathy

DAK723
01-14-2009, 11:20 PM
Oooooooooooh Now I've really put myself in the frame! Okay....I'll have a go at the first ref. I might as well, as I have to start somewhere and I have received a few tips along the way....although I do not feel very confident.

Thanks Don for your appraisal. Kathy
Don't feel pressured to do Ref #1...yet! Feel free to continue working on the various pieces (you can do pieces of ref #1, of course) and then tackle the entire portrait later. While it is perfectly OK to do entire portraits at this point since I have covered all the features in my lesson, I have not really encouraged complete portraits yet because we haven't done the measuring lesson. I have tried to leave it up to the individual to decide how much and how quickly they want to progress.

Don

kadon
01-14-2009, 11:45 PM
Oh no Don...I don't feel pressured at all:) Your thread is most encouraging and reassuring to the likes of me, a beginner in pastels. I think I put the pressure on myself to be honest.

I'm very glad you made the comment to do it in sections....that could be a possibility (for me that is.) Have to find out the easiest part to start with:lol:

Kathy

Mette Rörström
01-15-2009, 12:02 AM
here it is again...Is this ok?(The ribbon...)


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2009/130835-modell.JPG

DAK723
01-15-2009, 12:11 AM
Mette,

Yes! Much better! Very nicely done!

(Wow, either you are up very late at night , or it is already morning in Sweden:))

It is past midnight here, so I will say Good Morning and Good Night!

Don

here it is again...Is this ok?(The ribbon...)


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2009/130835-modell.JPG

Mette Rörström
01-15-2009, 12:18 AM
:) Thank you, Don...it is mornong here....But I have not been sleeping tonight...I painted, as I often do at night...
Good morning and good night to you to:) .
Mette.

christinemlr
01-15-2009, 06:53 AM
Mette, her hair is really lovely now.

Don, I finally got to following your demo instructions. Finding the value colours was exercise enough! I chose the ones on right, so only 4 colours and paper makes 5. W&N tints pastel paper, cool grey, though it doesn't look cool to me, more neutral. I used it for light on her chin. Although this is not such a great rendering of the mouth, I'm really pleased that I did it WITHOUT ANY BLENDING! Thats a massive leap forward for me. And although its left a lot of 'holes' in the paper, I'm happy to leave it in its 'raw' state.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jan-2009/151368-img052.jpg

Xina

Mette Rörström
01-15-2009, 07:27 AM
thank you, Xina! :)

DAK723
01-15-2009, 08:23 AM
Xina,

This is very nice! The rendering looks good to me. You have a nice wide range of values and the light and shadow are well defined. Even though it is pretty "raw", there is already a nice 3-dimensional quality to it!

Don

Mette, her hair is really lovely now.

Don, I finally got to following your demo instructions. Finding the value colours was exercise enough! I chose the ones on right, so only 4 colours and paper makes 5. W&N tints pastel paper, cool grey, though it doesn't look cool to me, more neutral. I used it for light on her chin. Although this is not such a great rendering of the mouth, I'm really pleased that I did it WITHOUT ANY BLENDING! Thats a massive leap forward for me. And although its left a lot of 'holes' in the paper, I'm happy to leave it in its 'raw' state.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jan-2009/151368-img052.jpg

Xina

terri66
01-15-2009, 04:01 PM
Hi Don,

Still having a bit of trouble with noses. I think I need to choose a reference where the nose is in sun and shadow to really push the planes so I can differentiate between them. I'm missing some soft edges on the edges of his head and I got a little colour happy in the shadow areas. I am seeing things that work though like his ear and his eyes. Mouth is a little off but neck is okay. Perhaps I should try a sanded paper rather than the suede board so I can blend a bit more.
Thanks for your input, Don.
Terri

kadon
01-15-2009, 06:59 PM
Mette, her hair is really lovely now.

Don, I finally got to following your demo instructions. Finding the value colours was exercise enough! I chose the ones on right, so only 4 colours and paper makes 5. W&N tints pastel paper, cool grey, though it doesn't look cool to me, more neutral. I used it for light on her chin. Although this is not such a great rendering of the mouth, I'm really pleased that I did it WITHOUT ANY BLENDING! Thats a massive leap forward for me. And although its left a lot of 'holes' in the paper, I'm happy to leave it in its 'raw' state.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jan-2009/151368-img052.jpg

Xina

Yes Xina....thank you.:wave: And I agree wholeheartedly that Mette's hair is lovely.:thumbsup:

terri66
01-15-2009, 07:50 PM
I find I start with a limited palette, then I keep reaching for colors. I think I might need to hide the rest of my pastels while I do these.

DAK723
01-15-2009, 08:41 PM
Hi Terri,

It's interesting that you have chosen this reference to paint because just yesterday we were discussing this type of photo - where the majority of the face is in shadow. In response to the Photos that Kathy posted as possible references, I wrote,

"Refs #2 and 3 have lots of shadow and small areas of light, so that would be the challenging aspect - handling the reflected light and other small shifts in value in the large dark shadow areas.
I hope you don't mind, but I have drawn a lot of arrows on your painting and will write a bit more on the topic of values in the shadow area. This type of painting - where all the facial features are in the shadow area - is very challenging, in my opinion. To help us focus on values only, I have turned the ref into a grayscale.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jan-2009/82335-P1151182dakrev.JPG

First let me say that you have done an excellent job at delineating the shadow and light area (yellow line). This area is very accurate and well handled, value wise. The hair is very well done, also, capturing the values - including the important darks - and suggesting the movement and strands of hair with out actually putting in a lot of detail. Nicely done!

As mentioned, the values within a large shadow area can be tricky. I applaud you for taking on the challenge! I will ask you to look at the following areas, and see if your value shapes could use some revision.

Red arrow on reference - are there really noticeable value changes on the forehead?

Blue arrows on painting - I would check the the level of darkness in these areas, especially the area above the chin.

Violet arrow: Check this light shape. Is it really there?

The top green arrow on the ref: I see this as the darkest value (aside from the eyes, lips and nostrils) in the shadow shape. You have it quite accurate on your painting, so I would use this value to compare the values at the blue arrows. The dark value on the cheek where light turns to shadow (other green arrow) is also important to make the cheek come forward. Between that shadow area and the "crease" is a slightly lighter area of reflected light. At the crease, it gets darker once again, but almost the same value as the dark on the cheek. That's how I see it, anyway.

Sorry that I've put all these arrows all over your painting. Once again, this type of shadow shape is difficult! You have done admirably, considering the difficulty level! And your general division of light and shadow is well done! And the hair - excellent!

It's always a good idea to try different types of paper, especially with pastel, where there are many different types of very different paper! I prefer velour for portraits, which is very similar to suede. I've never used sanded paper for a portrait, so I should take my own advice and try some!

Don

Hi Don,

Still having a bit of trouble with noses. I think I need to choose a reference where the nose is in sun and shadow to really push the planes so I can differentiate between them. I'm missing some soft edges on the edges of his head and I got a little colour happy in the shadow areas. I am seeing things that work though like his ear and his eyes. Mouth is a little off but neck is okay. Perhaps I should try a sanded paper rather than the suede board so I can blend a bit more.
Thanks for your input, Don.
Terri

DAK723
01-15-2009, 08:48 PM
I find I start with a limited palette, then I keep reaching for colors. I think I might need to hide the rest of my pastels while I do these.

Nothing wrong with your method! In my demos you will notice I start with a small number of pastels to create my "somewhat monochromatic" underpainting. Then I begin adding more color. Personally, I would advise using the fewest number that it takes to do the job - whatever that means!!:angel:

Don

kadon
01-15-2009, 11:40 PM
Thought I'd have a go at Geoff's nose.

First the cropped image.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jan-2009/118422-Geoff_4.jpg

Next my attempt.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jan-2009/118422-Nose.jpg

Kathy

PS..Said before Geoff took pic. but of course he couldn't since he is the subject...so I don't know who actually took it.

terri66
01-16-2009, 12:32 AM
Thanks Don,
Draw away to your heart's content, it helps solidify what you are writing about with visual clues.
I think I will print out a black and white reference to use in conjunction with the colour reference, that will definitely help with the value when I get too colour happy. As well I will try to remember to look at the painting in B/W in Photoshop to assess the value too. Great feedback, Don. You are doing a lovely job with all of us.
Terri

kadon
01-16-2009, 12:51 AM
Ditto to the above. Kathy

DAK723
01-16-2009, 08:37 AM
Kathy, Looks good!

You have definitely established the value patterns. Nice job!

Don

Thought I'd have a go at Geoff's nose.

First the cropped image.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jan-2009/118422-Geoff_4.jpg

Next my attempt.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jan-2009/118422-Nose.jpg

Kathy

PS..Said before Geoff took pic. but of course he couldn't since he is the subject...so I don't know who actually took it.

DAK723
01-16-2009, 08:43 AM
Thanks Don,
Draw away to your heart's content, it helps solidify what you are writing about with visual clues.
I think I will print out a black and white reference to use in conjunction with the colour reference, that will definitely help with the value when I get too colour happy. As well I will try to remember to look at the painting in B/W in Photoshop to assess the value too. Great feedback, Don. You are doing a lovely job with all of us.
Terri

Thanks Terri,

The grayscale can be a helpful tool when evaluating values. Squinting at the reference is always a good way to simplify the values patterns and is helpful as well. There are times when color intensity and color temperature influence your painting in ways that aren't apparent in a grayscale version, so it's not always the best way to evaluate a painting - but it does a good job when evaluating values.

Looking forward to your next painting!

Don

DAK723
01-16-2009, 08:44 AM
Ditto to the above. Kathy

Thanks, Kathy!

Don

kadon
01-16-2009, 09:54 PM
Another piece of Geoff....this one doesn't look so good.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jan-2009/118422-Latest_geoff_3.jpg

Kathy

DAK723
01-17-2009, 10:06 AM
Kathy, This doesn't look bad! There is a lot of shadow in the mouth area, so a detail of this area may just not look that interesting. But a closer look reveals....

...some very interesting things going on that are somewhat opposite of the normal shadow light patterns. My first impression of your painting was that it does a good job of delineating the light and shadow. The darker shape of the lips seems to be the top lip, then the bottom lip with highlight, then a darker shadow under the bottom lip. This is how things normally look. But the photo reveals the opposite!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jan-2009/82335-118422-Latest_geoff_3dak.jpg

The upper lip (top blue arrow) is actually catching reflected light from below, so it is a lighter value than the shadow shape above (yellow arrow) and the shadow shape below (partially open mouth and top plane of the bottom lip). You have painted in the highlight on the bottom lip nicely! But then another unusual strip of reflected light from below catches the bottom edge of the bottom lip (bottom blue arrow). You have suggested that reflected light slightly, but it is clearer in the ref.

These type of reversals from the norm are always tricky, and needless to say, need careful observation, because the mind's eye usually says - top lip in shadow, bottom lip catches light from above, shadow right under the bottom lip, etc.

Nonetheless, and this is interesting in itself - If I hadn't looked at the reference, and had just seen your painting, it would have looked all right! Now, if you had done the entire painting - and had included other areas of reflected light from below, then the inconsistency in the lighting might have been noticeable. So, as a general suggestion, I would always try to follow the actual value patterns.

Considering the unexpected lighting conditions, a good attempt!

Don

Another piece of Geoff....this one doesn't look so good.

Kathy

Colorix
01-18-2009, 12:34 PM
Xina, beautiful mouth!

Terri, aw, such a pretty child. The hair is wonderful!

Charlie

Colorix
01-18-2009, 12:47 PM
Kathy, he has clear strong features, and you did very well with the difficult light.

Don, I did two "broadsides". Luckily, my chunks of sticks are small and short, but I worked too small... so don't waste your time on making corrections, I know painfully well they miss the mark, or rather, the marks missed the shapes.

First is a little girl, from RIL, and I've given her silicone lips... :eek:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jan-2009/117343-D-Little-girl-broads-mmf6.jpg
Using 6 sticks, as seen. (Hope I can count...) on Canson.

Ref:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jan-2009/117343-D-ellie.jpg


Then I mangled the poor man with a leather jacket, Russ. I used only three sticks, on velour. He escaped me, but at one point I had Gorbachev :lol: so I'm glad I manage to push him back towards Russ, if not reaching it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jan-2009/117343-D-man-broads-mmf4.jpg

Both are roughly real size (yes, too small!), and I'm thinking of trying it large, but first I'll paint a lady I know, and the light is very difficult, in shadow, but clear sky. I want to see if I can tease out some volume.

Oh, yes, I was going to say it was easier than I thought it would be, and I think it'll work really well in a decent size. Might even get a likeness.

Charlie

maw-t
01-18-2009, 01:33 PM
Wow some really great work going on here! Had a houseful again, & loved it.. but cricumstances were certaintly not ideal. I did squeeze in a practice piece over in portrataiture class.. (i did a hack job on that beautiful girl):( ) Other than that have not had time to paint... I hope to try some more in here this coming week..

Kathy.. I am enjoying your work on those super photos.. really excellent! Terri, I love the way you captured the light on the little boy & that hair is AWESOME! Mette, Your latest is beautifully rendered! Xina, You have a wonderful eye for values.. beautiful mouth! Colleen, I think you have really got a lovely touch with the pastels & catching on so quickly! CHarlie.. I absolutely LOVE the hair on your "broad" sided little girl.. all of her really.. I love the loose impressionistic feel you have achieved with the broad side of the sticks! Keep at it!! EVERYBUDDY in here is doing SO well, I am truely inspired!
Don, I have so enjoyd reading through all the great info you have provided each one here.. you are a wonderful teacher, and I am learning so much! Thank you again!

Mette Rörström
01-18-2009, 02:08 PM
Thank you, maw-T!
I have been working more on it(now it is a finnish portrait.:) )

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jan-2009/130835-modell.JPG

DAK723
01-18-2009, 04:09 PM
Hi Charlie! I'm glad you have done some "broadsides!" They don't miss the mark, really, because their purpose is to start preparing us for looking for the value shapes for the whole head and think in big shapes. Both of these, by representing the broad strokes of value for the entire head, do a great job of giving the head volume and form. I, like most people (I think), want to get to the details too soon. By using the broad side of the pastel, we are forced to think big - and general, not detailed and specific.

Don

Kathy, he has clear strong features, and you did very well with the difficult light.

Don, I did two "broadsides". Luckily, my chunks of sticks are small and short, but I worked too small... so don't waste your time on making corrections, I know painfully well they miss the mark, or rather, the marks missed the shapes.

First is a little girl, from RIL, and I've given her silicone lips... :eek:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jan-2009/117343-D-Little-girl-broads-mmf6.jpg
Using 6 sticks, as seen. (Hope I can count...) on Canson.

Ref:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jan-2009/117343-D-ellie.jpg


Then I mangled the poor man with a leather jacket, Russ. I used only three sticks, on velour. He escaped me, but at one point I had Gorbachev :lol: so I'm glad I manage to push him back towards Russ, if not reaching it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jan-2009/117343-D-man-broads-mmf4.jpg

Both are roughly real size (yes, too small!), and I'm thinking of trying it large, but first I'll paint a lady I know, and the light is very difficult, in shadow, but clear sky. I want to see if I can tease out some volume.

Oh, yes, I was going to say it was easier than I thought it would be, and I think it'll work really well in a decent size. Might even get a likeness.

Charlie

DAK723
01-18-2009, 04:10 PM
Wow some really great work going on here! Had a houseful again, & loved it.. but cricumstances were certaintly not ideal. I did squeeze in a practice piece over in portrataiture class.. (i did a hack job on that beautiful girl):( ) Other than that have not had time to paint... I hope to try some more in here this coming week..

Kathy.. I am enjoying your work on those super photos.. really excellent! Terri, I love the way you captured the light on the little boy & that hair is AWESOME! Mette, Your latest is beautifully rendered! Xina, You have a wonderful eye for values.. beautiful mouth! Colleen, I think you have really got a lovely touch with the pastels & catching on so quickly! CHarlie.. I absolutely LOVE the hair on your "broad" sided little girl.. all of her really.. I love the loose impressionistic feel you have achieved with the broad side of the sticks! Keep at it!! EVERYBUDDY in here is doing SO well, I am truely inspired!
Don, I have so enjoyd reading through all the great info you have provided each one here.. you are a wonderful teacher, and I am learning so much! Thank you again!

T, Thanks for the kind words!

Don

DAK723
01-18-2009, 04:12 PM
Mette, This is great! And the hair is fabulous!

Don



Thank you, maw-T!
I have been working more on it(now it is a finnish portrait.:) )

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jan-2009/130835-modell.JPG

Mette Rörström
01-18-2009, 04:34 PM
Thank you,Don! :)

kadon
01-18-2009, 05:16 PM
Yes..it's lovely Mette. Kathy

Mette Rörström
01-18-2009, 06:04 PM
Thank you,Kathy! :)

kadon
01-18-2009, 06:22 PM
Charlie...thank you for your encouragement. Kathy

Colorix
01-19-2009, 02:40 PM
Hi Don, class,

I have a friend who is 95 years young, and I painted a portrait of her, as a part of this class. I guess I've sort of slid halfway into the "figure" part of it, so I show a closeup of the face too. I deliberately kept strokes jagged and visible, so I could paint an elderly profile without painting wrinkles. Not that Karin has many, and her hair is still not white, but brown and gray. Amazing. She's sharp as a knife in her head, too, but body is frail.

Meet Karin, painted on black Canson (smooth side). Size about 16x12 (40x30cm).

First, mapping in, and I happened to grab a very odd-coloured stick for some parts of the face. Sorry, the values are off in the face:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jan-2009/117343-D-Karin-1-mmf4.jpg

Finished:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jan-2009/117343-D-Karin-mmmf10.jpg
Again, values are off,night-time photo, and the lighter sticks reflec way too much.

In fact, it was the graphic form of her beret (is that right for artsy cap?) face and scarf that enticed me -- that's why I vignetted her on black paper, to really get the contrast.


Closeup of face:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jan-2009/117343-D-Karin-closeup-mmf14.jpg

She has a very interesting profile, doesn't she? Don, I take it you're familiar with the 'rules' for profiles.

Charlie

DAK723
01-19-2009, 04:43 PM
Charlie,

This is beautifully done! And portraits can be more than just head and shoulders. In many cases, including more of the figure will help "convey" the person and their personality.

Your first example of the value block-in is a nice example for everyone as to how simple you can keep this stage - basically two values, one for the light, one for the shadow. Even at this stage we can clearly see the form - especially of the beret (I hope you spelled beret correctly, because that's the spelling I"m going with!) and the scarf.

I like the loose style of the final version, especially the handling of the highlights on the face. Very nice!

Don, I take it you're familiar with the 'rules' for profiles.
No doubt, as the "teacher," I am familiar with all aspects of portraiture! I may even know what the "rules" for profiles are! But I can't remember ever coming across specific rules for profiles, at least not referred to in such a manner. So, like any good teacher does when they don't know the answer, I will throw it back to the class - and ask, "Charlie, what are the rules for profiles?" :D

I eagerly await your response!

Don

Hi Don, class,

I have a friend who is 95 years young, and I painted a portrait of her, as a part of this class. I guess I've sort of slid halfway into the "figure" part of it, so I show a closeup of the face too. I deliberately kept strokes jagged and visible, so I could paint an elderly profile without painting wrinkles. Not that Karin has many, and her hair is still not white, but brown and gray. Amazing. She's sharp as a knife in her head, too, but body is frail.

Meet Karin, painted on black Canson (smooth side). Size about 16x12 (40x30cm).

First, mapping in, and I happened to grab a very odd-coloured stick for some parts of the face. Sorry, the values are off in the face:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jan-2009/117343-D-Karin-1-mmf4.jpg

Finished:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jan-2009/117343-D-Karin-mmmf10.jpg
Again, values are off,night-time photo, and the lighter sticks reflec way too much.

In fact, it was the graphic form of her beret (is that right for artsy cap?) face and scarf that enticed me -- that's why I vignetted her on black paper, to really get the contrast.


Closeup of face:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jan-2009/117343-D-Karin-closeup-mmf14.jpg

She has a very interesting profile, doesn't she? Don, I take it you're familiar with the 'rules' for profiles.

Charlie

kadon
01-19-2009, 05:38 PM
Yes..thank you Charlie for this demo...very striking the purple on black, and the way you have used green. It always puzzles me where to put green tonings...I've seen them in oil painting portraits...never quite worked it out.

Kathy

Colorix
01-19-2009, 06:05 PM
Thank you, Don and Kathy.

Don, I PMed you about profile 'rules'.

Kathy, in a face, I use green to 'knock down' intensity of red, and brown-red (goes on top of them). The gothic and early renaissance masters made a green underpainting for skin, and let it peek throug in shadows that were brownish, for the same reason. Sometimes, highlights are greenish, too. As usual, the answer is to look and paint what one sees. (Don't you just wanna scream when people say that?!)

Charlie

christinemlr
01-19-2009, 06:19 PM
This is an amazing portrait Charlie. Its so strong, and you're portrayal shows a strong character. I would love to see this IRL. I think I like the cropped version best where the focus really is on the strength of the face and that great profile.
Xina

winecountry
01-20-2009, 01:39 PM
I love your use of color, this is lovely,
As a brand new person to portraits, I'd really like to know what you mean by "rules of profile" or a place where I can look it up

Thanks
Colleen

Colorix
01-20-2009, 03:17 PM
Xina, Colleen, thanks a lot!

Xina, I'd have painted the crop if I'd known I was giving it away when I started. Now, she'll get what is, a "realist abstract" where the pattern of light and dark is the main subject. But as a portrait, the crop does look much better, totally agree on that.

Colleen, if Don approves, it may pop up here soonish. (Otherwise, I have an item on my blog, posted 5 minutes ago, smaller, different text.)

Charlie

DAK723
01-20-2009, 06:14 PM
Yes..thank you Charlie for this demo...very striking the purple on black, and the way you have used green. It always puzzles me where to put green tonings...I've seen them in oil painting portraits...never quite worked it out.

Kathy
Kathy,

As Charlie has mentioned, doing a greenish or greenish-gray underpainting has a long tradition in oil painting. Since doing a monochromatic underpainting has been one of the aspects of these lessons, it might be a good experiment to try, rather than using "earth tone" colors. It is something I have been meaning to try in pastel, because I have recently done a few oil paintings with that technique.

Here is an example of an oil painting where all the shadow areas were initially painted with greenish-gray tones. You will see that it is fairly simply painted, with much of the greenish-gray underpainting still quite visible for the shaded areas of skin.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jan-2009/82335-verdaccio.JPG

As Charlie mentioned, it can also be used in later stages to blend with your reddish and orange skin tones to neutralize or gray them down a bit. Over the years, I have definitely used greens in my flesh tones more than any other cool color to create the shadow tones.

Don

winecountry
01-20-2009, 06:37 PM
Thanks Charlie,
I got it on your blog, very interesting....did you notice the slant of the eye is the same as that slant too at least generally from the photos you have

DAK723
01-20-2009, 07:06 PM
As a brand new person to portraits, I'd really like to know what you mean by "rules of profile" or a place where I can look it up

Thanks
Colleen

Colleen, if Don approves, it may pop up here soonish.
OK, here they are! Thank you Charlie for putting together this demonstration. (Charlie sent this to me in a private message, and I will post it exactly as received.)

First, though I want to say that I had never seen this type of information presented before. My own personal observations on the topic have now just begun. Charlie says that in her observations of 20 years or more, this holds true a high percentage of the time.

I am sure Charlie won't mind my saying this - but even if you have rules to guide you - don't neglect your actual observations of your subject. Your actual observations will either confirm the rule or demonstrate that your subject differs from the norm or the ideal. The importance of observation has been one of the keys to this lesson, and that is why, so far, I have not posted any of the "rules" for portraits that I do know! I am sure you have seen them in portrait books - the idealized face and the idealized measurements:

The eye line divides the face in half.

The head is exactly 5 eye width across.

The length of the nose is equal to the length from nose to chin.

etc,

But information like this on profiles, and idealized "rules" for proportions of the head, are useful and I will provide them in the next lesson on measuring. Because even when the rules aren't true, they give the artist a point of reference and information to begin comparisons. And comparing distances, comparing angles, comparing the observed with the ideal (or generic) are what measuring is all about!

So thank you Charlie, very much, for giving us some new information!

I already noticed that in my last post - my oil painting with green underpainting - that the woman's profile seems to follow the rules! You can be sure these nose and lip angles will be closely observed and recorded whenever I do profiles from now on!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jan-2009/82335-117343-D_MouthNose_relship_comp.jpg

Text to pic:
In the top left cluster of pics, the lines indicate that either the lower edge of the upper lip, or the upper (red) edge of the same lip very often has the same angle as the septum. This correspondence changes over the years, as the cartilage of the nose continues to grow all our lives. But, as gravity takes its toll on the upper lip too, it doesn't change as much as one might think -- not in all individuals.

This correspondence of angle is easiest seen in a neutral, fairly relaxed face. Even a hint of a smile offsets it.

The girl in the lower right corner illustrates that if the nostril has a high curve, so does the upper lip (black arrows). If the nostrils are flat, then the mouth has a very flattened M-shape (or Cupid's Bow, as we say in Sweden.)

The man in the lower left belongs to a very common variation of the 'rule' -- his septum corresponds to the angle of the lower lip, when the mouth is relaxed and slightly open. The more pronounced the beak is, the steeper the angle of the lower lip. Yassir Arafat is an excellent example. But when the mouth is closed, it looks straight, or slanted as the first examples.

I learned about this some 20-30 years ago, and have spent many hours on the subway staring at people, confirming that these parallel angles are highly common -- I'd call it "normal", in fact.

Look at people around you, when they are neutral or relaxed, and see if this is indeed true. Eventually you'll detect it in faces seen from straight on, too.

kadon
01-20-2009, 07:22 PM
Kathy,

As Charlie has mentioned, doing a greenish or greenish-gray underpainting has a long tradition in oil painting. Since doing a monochromatic underpainting has been one of the aspects of these lessons, it might be a good experiment to try, rather than using "earth tone" colors. It is something I have been meaning to try in pastel, because I have recently done a few oil paintings with that technique.

Here is an example of an oil painting where all the shadow areas were initially painted with greenish-gray tones. You will see that it is fairly simply painted, with much of the greenish-gray underpainting still quite visible for the shaded areas of skin.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jan-2009/82335-verdaccio.JPG

As Charlie mentioned, it can also be used in later stages to blend with your reddish and orange skin tones to neutralize or gray them down a bit. Over the years, I have definitely used greens in my flesh tones more than any other cool color to create the shadow tones.

Don

Yes Charlie...thank you very much for your input.

And Don thank you so much for this lovely simple oil painting and the accompanying explanation.

Kathy

DAK723
01-20-2009, 07:35 PM
And Don thank you so much for this lovely simple oil painting and the accompanying explanation.

Kathy
Before I get a swelled head, and take too much credit, the oil painting shown is my attempt to do a copy of a painting by the contemporary artist Pino. If you get a chance to see any of Pino's works (his giclees are quite popular), you will see that his underpaintings are often quite evident in the final piece. I wouldn't say that my copy resembles his all that much, but I should give credit where credit is due!

Don

kadon
01-20-2009, 07:44 PM
Before I get a swelled head, and take too much credit, the oil painting shown is my attempt to do a copy of a painting by the contemporary artist Pino. If you get a chance to see any of Pino's works (his giclees are quite popular), you will see that his underpaintings are often quite evident in the final piece. I wouldn't say that my copy resembles his all that much, but I should give credit where credit is due!

Don

Will certainly study Pino.....but still love your painting.
Kathy

Colorix
01-21-2009, 05:34 AM
Colleen, yes, it often is, but not as consistently as the nose-mouth correspondence, and I've checked that too during 20+ years. Eyebrows tend to be close too, but as we women pluck ours... Btw, cosmetical surgery, like a "nose job" can look very odd, as this correspondence to the mouth can get totally off.
Charlie


Thanks Charlie,
I got it on your blog, very interesting....did you notice the slant of the eye is the same as that slant too at least generally from the photos you have

Colorix
01-21-2009, 05:51 AM
Don, first, that oilpainting is exquisite, even if it is a study of, was it Pino? (And yes, she has the mouth-nose correspondence! First thing I checked.)

Commenting in red within quote.

First, though I want to say that I had never seen this type of information presented before.

It is older knowledge that has gotten lost, or at least is very little known these days, amongst artists. It is still painted/drawn, but from observation, not consciously been looked for.

I am sure Charlie won't mind my saying this - but even if you have rules to guide you - don't neglect your actual observations of your subject. Your actual observations will either confirm the rule or demonstrate that your subject differs from the norm or the ideal.

Gosh, yes, it only takes a few portraits to find out that people do not confirm to the 'rules'. Variations are endless. But, if you know the general *guidelines* ;) , you'll also know how much a real live person differs from it, and you'll be very sure you're spot on. (Not you Don, but you plural. You Don already said this.)

The eye line divides the face in half.

In lantern-jawed people it doesn't.

The head is exactly 5 eye width across.

Love the "exactly" :lol: No, some people have eyes closer, others wider, etc.

So thank you Charlie, very much, for giving us some new information!

You're welcome! I love to revive knowledge of the masters of older times.

Charlie

terri66
01-21-2009, 05:09 PM
WOW, miss a week and I've missed a lot of great painting and info being shared. I did this before reading all this juicy info (but I've book marked for future ref) Thanks for the compliments on the work of the little boy. That is my son Paul at about 3. I did another of him at 1 year that I should post just so someone can remind me whose work he reminds me of in colour usage (definitely not technique as mine isn't up to par but ..) This is Jillian from this summer, before I did some measuring corrections on her chin, she looked at lot like me, I usually think she looks like her dad. Sorry getting distracted. I did block in her lights on the dark green suede board but forgot to take a photo, it was ready interesting though. Take care, Terri. Thanks again for your input.

terri66
01-21-2009, 05:09 PM
Ouch, her lips really are not that bright IRL.

DAK723
01-21-2009, 10:29 PM
Hi Terri,

This is very nice! The hair is especially well done! Some very good value shapes that are modeling the form.

One area that I think you might want to look at is the sides of the face as they approach the jaw.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jan-2009/82335-P1010003dakrev.JPG

I am looking at the right side (her left) comparing the values of the cheek and cheekbone area to the area below. That area below is a different plane and is of a subtly different value - still in the light, but not in the direct sunlight. I sampled a bit of the color so you can see how much darker it really is. In your painting, the value is the same, making her lower face bulge out a bit, more like a jowl.

The jowl effect is hightened by the shadow shape that runs down vertically from the corner of the mouth. I have zoomed in:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jan-2009/82335-P8050128_2dakrev.JPG

These are very subtle value changes - but notice on the ref that the darker shadow shape lightens as it approaches the jaw (blue arrow). On your painting you have a darker value running down all the way to the jaw. Also, take another look at the jaw lines themselves. On the ref they are almost straight, with a slight outward curve. They transition smoothly into the chin.

Hope you don't mind the detailed analysis. These are pretty small value and shape issues. All in all, a nice job! Some very nice value shapes around the eyes and on the left side of the face. The reflected light value is very nicely done on that side. Again, the hair is nice, especially the shine you have created with some excellent highlights!

Don



WOW, miss a week and I've missed a lot of great painting and info being shared. I did this before reading all this juicy info (but I've book marked for future ref) Thanks for the compliments on the work of the little boy. That is my son Paul at about 3. I did another of him at 1 year that I should post just so someone can remind me whose work he reminds me of in colour usage (definitely not technique as mine isn't up to par but ..) This is Jillian from this summer, before I did some measuring corrections on her chin, she looked at lot like me, I usually think she looks like her dad. Sorry getting distracted. I did block in her lights on the dark green suede board but forgot to take a photo, it was ready interesting though. Take care, Terri. Thanks again for your input.

terri66
01-21-2009, 11:30 PM
Thanks for the detailed analysis, Don. This is the stuff I am missing to take things from pretty good to the WOW factor. I do find jaw lines challenging in trying to get the subtle changes from convex to concave along the chin to the ear. Nothing that more practice won't help as well as getting out my ruler for referencing angles as well as measuring. I may have to switch printers for my reference photos, the laser printer isn't nearly as accurate in colour as our old inkjet printer, or use the Wal-Mart photo lab more frequently. Take care, Terri

Charlie, why can't you physically crop the lovely portrait of your elderly friend? Is it because of the surface you work on? Just curious, I work on suede matt board a lot and I trim it with a rotary cutter (fabric cutter, once you use it on paper don't use it on fabric again) quilting ruler and cutting matt. It's an incredibly lovely portrait and thank-you for sharing your WIPs.

Dea
01-22-2009, 12:51 AM
I finally had time to have a look through this thread, there is some great stuff in here. Thank you Don for your effort, I hope to have time soon to have a go myself,
Deanna

DAK723
01-22-2009, 08:29 AM
I finally had time to have a look through this thread, there is some great stuff in here. Thank you Don for your effort, I hope to have time soon to have a go myself,
Deanna

Thanks Deanna!

Colorix
01-22-2009, 08:58 AM
Charlie, why can't you physically crop the lovely portrait of your elderly friend? Is it because of the surface you work on? .

Terri, :) "can't" as in "won't". Two reasons: 1) it was designed as a whole, and the figure is the main subject, 2) face is too small for a portrait, I mean, feels miserly to give away just a "miniature", when the whole thing is a decent 16x12". Sort of.

Thanks for the 'scoop' on the roller blade thingy, sounds like something to try!

Charlie

terri66
01-22-2009, 11:09 AM
Charlie, that makes sense. The rotary cutter is something that you can pick up at places which sell fabric. I did a little bit of quilting (baby quilts initially for mine) but it's not my first love in creativity. Love the colours of fabric though.

Terri

Colorix
01-23-2009, 07:25 PM
Hi Don, class,

Here's a "broadside", used only sides of sticks. Don't know if I'm to be glad :) that it actually got somewhere near likeness, or frustrated :mad: because I lost the likeness, or maybe even didn't catch it. :lol:

This ref...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jan-2009/117343-Portrait.jpg

...started it's life as a painting on lousy type of Ingres paper like this:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jan-2009/117343-Man-1-mmf5.jpg

Size is roughly 12x8" (A4). I made a very simple measuring square from jaw to crown, to have *something* to help, as I made no drawing. Only now I remembered to rub in the layer into the paper, which basically meant that I started over. The lights didn't want to go over the darks, so I dug into my Schmincke's.

After an frustrated hour, he came out as this:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jan-2009/117343-Man-4-mmmf9.jpg

Possibly I'm still working too small, as I lost it completely. And that so called paper....

Oh, well, I'll just have to do another.

Charlie

DAK723
01-23-2009, 11:46 PM
Hi Charlie!

Another very fine effort! My impressions:

Yes, you caught the likeness! It is readily apparent to me!

I don't know how you can paint so small! The usual recommendations in the portrait books I have is to work life size to approx. 3/4th life size. Of course, that will change if you are working on smaller paper. Your head size for the size of paper is very good, it seems to me.

Starting with the broadside and developing the value map for the entire head is one of the best ways to start any portrait. In my opinion, you have caught the likeness because of your accuracy of the value shapes. Every portrait is different, of course, but in this case the likeness is NOT captured because of the accuracy of the features, but rather the accuracy of the light and dark shapes, especially the the jaw, the mouth and surrounding area, the highlights on the nose, cheek and forehead, as well as the overall shape of the head and the hair.

In fact, if I had any critiques to make, it would be that the eyes seem just a touch too far apart. And yet, the dark value shapes of the eye sockets seem pretty accurate - and it is hard to tell where within those dark shadows, the actual eye begins and ends. In this case, the shadow shape that includes and surrounds the eye is more important than the specific eye shape itself. Or so it seems to me.

I might also mention, in the way of critique, that the neck, on our left side, is a bit on the thin side. It looks like there is an indication along the jaw of where you wanted to place the neck (a purple line), but somehow the neck got thinned below that. I put the photo and painting side-by side to better compare them :):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jan-2009/82335-117343-Man-4-mmmf9dakrev.jpg

So anyway, despite my critiques, and areas that could be refined, the likeness is there! But what is most readily apparent, is that this is a fine painting! The feeling of sunlight is almost so real I want to get my sunglasses!

Helen van Wyk, in her very fine book on portraits (in oil), reminds us portrait painters that in our quest for the likeness, let us not forget all the other aspects that go into making a fine painting - composition, mood, atmosphere, color choices, variety of edges, etc. Only a few people will know if the likeness was achieved, but everyone looking at the painting will judge whether or not it is a good painting.

Nicely done!

Don


Hi Don, class,

Here's a "broadside", used only sides of sticks. Don't know if I'm to be glad :) that it actually got somewhere near likeness, or frustrated :mad: because I lost the likeness, or maybe even didn't catch it. :lol:

This ref...


...started it's life as a painting on lousy type of Ingres paper like this:



Size is roughly 12x8" (A4). I made a very simple measuring square from jaw to crown, to have *something* to help, as I made no drawing. Only now I remembered to rub in the layer into the paper, which basically meant that I started over. The lights didn't want to go over the darks, so I dug into my Schmincke's.

After an frustrated hour, he came out as this:


Possibly I'm still working too small, as I lost it completely. And that so called paper....

Oh, well, I'll just have to do another.

Charlie

DAK723
01-23-2009, 11:58 PM
After an frustrated hour, he came out as this:

Charlie
An hour?...:eek:

I did a portrait a few weeks ago for my next lesson on measuring (Coming Feb. 1st). It went fairly quickly, only about 2 hours...then after looking at the photo I took to include in the lesson, I noticed a little something over here to revise and then a little something over there...

It's been revised about 4 times, so far. A few days ago, I thought it was done! Then tonight, I noticed one more little revision that was needed...

And I just spent 45 minutes working on her eyelid. 45 minutes ON ONE EYELID!!!!

And I'm still not happy with it! :D

Don

kadon
01-24-2009, 12:48 AM
Charlie: This is terrific. I know where you got this ref. Thought of trying it myself but even though it could never turn out like this one... will have a go when Don gives us a few more lessons for full face. Thank you for all your sharing. Kathy

Colorix
01-24-2009, 06:57 AM
Kathy, gosh, thanks for reminding me, I see I accidentally left out that the ref was from this week's WDE. (One stone, two birds.)

Don, thanks for your comments. And I can add, eyes too high, brow too high and wide, band of hair too narrow, and as eyes are too high, nose is too long, and his whole face got wider, somehow (just as trees 'grow' as you paint), shoulders too narrow, etc, etc, and overlapping bg and neck to the left sorta didn't work. :D Just a few minor details..... adding up to Off. :p (Yes, I have strong perfectionistic tendencies.)

OK, I did get the sunlight. :cool: More than in the photo. :lol:

The whole thing took two hours, one hour to draw the measuring square, lay in the 'map', go over it with hard pastels several times, get irritated by paper showing through, and rubbing pastel in, tryint to layer. Stomping out of studio to Hubby, complainting, getting a hug, ambling back to studio and taking out the Schmincke box, and doing one hour more.

2 hours is the mark for WDE, and my slow sketches are not allowed (by me) to take longer. I need to learn to paint more quickly if I'm going to get airs -- Plein Airs.

Thank you, and I am happy that a "broadside" without any measuring actually turned out surprisingly good (especially as it was on abominable paper). :wave:

Charlie

kadon
01-24-2009, 09:50 PM
Charlie.....Oh Charlie....you are absolutely amazing. You just don't realise how all your expressions of frustration and agony console me. If you, such a fantastic artist goes through all this....what can the rest of us expect eh?
Thank you my dear for all your generous sharing.

Quoted below are your words re measuring etc. Forgive me if I have missed something in a previous post (I sometimes get a headache perusing all the info):( ....but can you please point me in the right direction (a link perhaps?) to give the details as to how to draw the measuring square and lay in the map.? Thank you in anticipation.

"The whole thing took two hours, one hour to draw the measuring square, lay in the 'map'"

Kathy

kadon
01-24-2009, 09:54 PM
An hour?...:eek:

I did a portrait a few weeks ago for my next lesson on measuring (Coming Feb. 1st). It went fairly quickly, only about 2 hours...then after looking at the photo I took to include in the lesson, I noticed a little something over here to revise and then a little something over there...

It's been revised about 4 times, so far. A few days ago, I thought it was done! Then tonight, I noticed one more little revision that was needed...

And I just spent 45 minutes working on her eyelid. 45 minutes ON ONE EYELID!!!!

And I'm still not happy with it! :D

Don

And you too Don. You give such great example by your enduring patience.

Kathy

winecountry
01-25-2009, 02:21 AM
Thanks Don for working so hard for our class


found a quote yesterday from Van Dyke ( very famous for his portraits!)
"Be in a rush to hurry to the finish, there's lots of work to do after that":lol:

Colorix
01-25-2009, 08:15 AM
Oh, Kathy, thank you, you're too kind! I usually make 'skeleton' drawings of outlines (for landscapes and still-lifes), where I can correct things before starting to paint. Portraits used to get really careful drawings, and now I'm challenging myself to follow Don's lessons exactly. Was easy enough with parts of the face, but putting it all together by 'mapping' light and dark is totally another thing, and I definitely struggle with it. (It is Good For Me to struggle, though. :D )

Luv, I've been heartened many times during my development when I've seen really good painters struggle with something -- yes, it is such a relief (releif? releef?). Usually, we see only the finished product, but not the struggle of the process, but I've chosen to be open with my struggles precicely because I'm giving on what was once given to me -- to see the struggle and the corrections, as that has taught me more than brilliant finished paintings. Isn't the question we always ask: "How did s/he *do* it?" Another benefit is that someone might say to me "at that point, you should've done this... as that is where the problem started", and I'll learn more from it.

I guess I'm sorta dedicated to learning. :o :)

Measuring square: (you didn't miss it, I didn't write about it, except for a mentioning in the post). I printed out a smaller version of the photo on plain paper, took my ruler, and drew the square around the head so that it touched top-bottom-both sides at the ears. (Didn't want the distraction of those lines on the photo when I got to colour.) I then measured and drew the square on my pastel paper, a proportional and larger one, and looked at the lousy pic on paper to map in the darks and lights. The benefit of the square is that you also get some negative shapes to help getting stuff in the right(ish) place. Then I switched to looking at the photo, as the 'map' was in it's place (I thought...). This square was for something to 'brace' against, while still keeping to the method of mapping "freehandedly" (is that even a word?).

Charlie


Charlie.....Oh Charlie....you are absolutely amazing. You just don't realise how all your expressions of frustration and agony console me. If you, such a fantastic artist goes through all this....what can the rest of us expect eh?
Thank you my dear for all your generous sharing.

Quoted below are your words re measuring etc. Forgive me if I have missed something in a previous post (I sometimes get a headache perusing all the info):( ....but can you please point me in the right direction (a link perhaps?) to give the details as to how to draw the measuring square and lay in the map.? Thank you in anticipation.

"The whole thing took two hours, one hour to draw the measuring square, lay in the 'map'"

Kathy

DAK723
01-25-2009, 11:14 AM
One can never learn enough! And what a great resource WC is. It may just put Art Schools out of business! I have learned 10 times more here in the last 2 years than I did at 4 years of Art School.

Charlie, love the measuring square idea. It wasn't in my measuring lesson, but it will be now!

One week until Measuring!!

Don

DAK723
01-25-2009, 11:19 AM
found a quote yesterday from Van Dyke ( very famous for his portraits!)
"Be in a rush to hurry to the finish, there's lots of work to do after that":lol:

Sad but true! :)

There's also that famous adage that goes something like this - "It takes two people to create a work of art. One to create it, and the other to make the artist stop before they ruin it!"

I definitely need that someone to stop me!

Don

winecountry
01-25-2009, 01:32 PM
Don for the measuring chapter, thought you might like to put this is. It's revealing , but more than that, if you play it over an over it trains the eye.
It's called the eyeballing game herehttp://woodgears.ca/eyeball/

play the first one for fun, as it takes a bit to get coordinated with the mouse or stylus.

my first game 4.3, the second 3, the third 2.9 afterwards I was able to work more accurately on my portrait.
hope this is not off topic if so feel free to remove it, eyeballing sure seems like a skill necessary in portrait painting.

DAK723
01-25-2009, 02:58 PM
Don for the measuring chapter, thought you might like to put this is. It's revealing , but more than that, if you play it over an over it trains the eye.
It's called the eyeballing game herehttp://woodgears.ca/eyeball/

play the first one for fun, as it takes a bit to get coordinated with the mouse or stylus.

my first game 4.3, the second 3, the third 2.9 afterwards I was able to work more accurately on my portrait.
hope this is not off topic if so feel free to remove it, eyeballing sure seems like a skill necessary in portrait painting.

Wow - really cool! I got a 3.1 score. I was very good at the right angles, pretty lousy on the circle centers!

Give it a try and yes - eyeballing is important! Especially judging angles and midpoints!

Don

Colorix
01-25-2009, 06:06 PM
Hi again, Remember Randy?:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jan-2009/117343-Portrait.jpg

I decided I was going to *win*, so I did him again, on another paper I'm not fond of, Sansfix. Used mostly my Rembies.

Did the same square for measuring against, eyeballed it, and decided to check where I was off. I most certainly was...

Below pic shows my start, in four parts (yes, same paper, didn't colour correct.)
Upper left: Eyeballing the darks, and then my marks for measuring.
Upper right: Notice the red arrow pointing to my own mark showing how far the darks around the eye to our right should go. Did I paint it like that? Noooo...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Jan-2009/117343-WDE-Randy-all-1.jpg

Lower Left (pic above): Filled in midtones, corrected the eye, lights are just paper.
Lower right: One layer of colour on every mass, rubbed into paper.

Then we have two more pics showing progress, and all the rest are painted by aid of pure eyeballing. I've still not noticed that the right eye is too high:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Jan-2009/117343-WDE-Randy-2+3.jpg

Took a break, and when I came back the eye glared at me, so I fixed it first thing. Worked a bit more, and ta-da, here is a Randy I'm happy with (the glare on his forhead is *not* this hysterical IRL):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Jan-2009/117343-WDE-Randy-4-mmmf26.jpg

Hotter than real life, ladies. :heart: :wink2: :lol:

Charlie

kadon
01-25-2009, 07:29 PM
Thanks Charlie.....that explains quite a lot. Kathy

DAK723
01-25-2009, 10:30 PM
Hi Charlie!

Very nicely done!

And nicely demonstrated! :clap:

Don

Colorix
01-26-2009, 02:18 PM
Colleen, thank you. I spent half an hour totally absorbed, and finally got a score of 2.26. Let's not mention the two digit scores I got the first time, shall we... :lol:

The parallelograms were worst! Once I figured out I was doing doorways or tabletop in perspective, I could adjust my mind, and make them more parallel. (Not getting smaller as they recede in the distance...)

And sometimes they'd already placed the stuff right, and when I clicked on it to confirm, then the blasted thing *moved*!!!

So fun, and revealing, thank you, Colleen!


It's revealing , but more than that, if you play it over an over it trains the eye.
It's called the eyeballing game herehttp://woodgears.ca/eyeball/

play the first one for fun, as it takes a bit to get coordinated with the mouse or stylus.

my first game 4.3, the second 3, the third 2.9 afterwards I was able to work more accurately on my portrait.
hope this is not off topic if so feel free to remove it, eyeballing sure seems like a skill necessary in portrait painting.

DAK723
01-26-2009, 02:49 PM
Colleen, thank you. I spent half an hour totally absorbed, and finally got a score of 2.26. Let's not mention the two digit scores I got the first time, shall we... :lol:

The parallelograms were worst! Once I figured out I was doing doorways or tabletop in perspective, I could adjust my mind, and make them more parallel. (Not getting smaller as they recede in the distance...)

And sometimes they'd already placed the stuff right, and when I clicked on it to confirm, then the blasted thing *moved*!!!

So fun, and revealing, thank you, Colleen!
I did "play the game" two additional times - it can be addicting, but I pulled myself away! - and also got my worst scores on the parallelograms! Modesty prevents me from mentioning my best score was 2.21....:D

Don

Colorix
01-26-2009, 03:17 PM
As we're into shameless bragging ;-), I got one perfect score on placing the middle of a circle, once. But my mouse isn't accurate enough for anything to be by design, so it was pure chance, but hey, I can brag!.

Don, btw, did I thank you for your comment on Randy the later? (SAD makes my memory erratic, but light is returning.) Thank you! His wife expressed delight, at the WDE she hosted. She must really like Dean Martin... :-D

And, Don, did you notice that I measured for the mapping in of the darks, not for features as such?

Charlie (off to beat scores!)

Colorix
01-26-2009, 03:57 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Jan-2009/117343-33172-cheshire1-smaller.gif

2.16....

DAK723
01-26-2009, 04:31 PM
Charlie,

I did notice that you measured to the darks and not to the features. I was wondering how that worked. In my measuring lesson (so far) I have been concentrating on measuring to certain landmarks - usually the corners of the eyes, corners of the mouth, width of nose, but I wonder if I should be concentrating more on the value shapes.

Don

P.S. 2.03

kadon
01-26-2009, 06:35 PM
Regarding the eyeballing link: 'What does the point of convergence' mean?
In the correct answer the distance between the three arrows is not equal. I was trying to make them equal but that was not the case. I got 10.
Kathy

DAK723
01-26-2009, 08:05 PM
Regarding the eyeballing link: 'What does the point of convergence' mean?
In the correct answer the distance between the three arrows is not equal. I was trying to make them equal but that was not the case. I got 10.
Kathy

There is a point where all three lines are completely straight - that's the point of convergence.

Don

DAK723
01-26-2009, 08:18 PM
Here's a sight with some games - this one is like that old "compare the pictures" that we all did as kids. Some of these are tough!

http://www.gamesforthebrain.com/game/counterfeit/

Don

kadon
01-26-2009, 09:15 PM
Yes Don, it was....but I managed eleven of them. There was no stopping!!
Kathy

winecountry
01-26-2009, 11:31 PM
Don on your measuring, please include the way you decribe, as I know nothing about how to start and would appreciate the traditional as well as non traditional methods

In a way it is the old argument of line or mass approach, having both would be good:D

kadon
01-26-2009, 11:49 PM
Ditto to Colleen's request Don. Kathy

Colorix
01-27-2009, 03:57 AM
Charlie,

I did notice that you measured to the darks and not to the features. I was wondering how that worked.
Don


I did it as an experiment, as I wanted to eyeball it, but also wanted to figure out how far off I was (indeed was!) before continuing. The placement of the eye-darks was the most difficult, to me.

I think it would work well to first make marks of features, and then weave the pattern of the darks around them, then the darks wouldn't get so off.

So yes, please post the measuring you've worked on. Measuring the darks could be an extra, a "fringe benefit", if you will. Five-eye-widths etc is very good to have in your mental toolbox!

Charlie

DAK723
01-27-2009, 08:52 AM
Don on your measuring, please include the way you decribe, as I know nothing about how to start and would appreciate the traditional as well as non traditional methods

In a way it is the old argument of line or mass approach, having both would be good:D
I have looked at over a half-dozen books on portraiture and watched some DVD's as well, and I must say there is very little detailed information on measuring, and what there is, is quite generalized. In almost every case, when it comes to getting started, they write, "begin by sketching in the shape of the head," as if that was so simple. One book says, "work from inside out, the shape of the head can come later."

Nonetheless, the lesson starts out with some tips on laying out the shape of the head. The official title of the lesson is - Measuring and Laying Out, so it is more than just measuring.

Don

DAK723
01-27-2009, 09:00 AM
I did it as an experiment, as I wanted to eyeball it, but also wanted to figure out how far off I was (indeed was!) before continuing. The placement of the eye-darks was the most difficult, to me.

I think it would work well to first make marks of features, and then weave the pattern of the darks around them, then the darks wouldn't get so off.

So yes, please post the measuring you've worked on. Measuring the darks could be an extra, a "fringe benefit", if you will. Five-eye-widths etc is very good to have in your mental toolbox!

Charlie
I am glad you agree that "marking" the feature locations first, and then weaving the value shapes around them would work well, because that is the way I do it in my demos in the lesson!

I do think trying to start with the value shapes before doing any measuring is a good exercise, and I recommend to others (as Charlie has already done some!) to try doing some of those broad-side pastel value experiments, of blocking in the big value shapes.

As a reminder, the next lesson will be posted (provided I finish it by then) on Sunday, Feb. 1st!

Don

Colorix
01-27-2009, 02:58 PM
Here's a sight with some games - this one is like that old "compare the pictures" that we all did as kids. Some of these are tough!

http://www.gamesforthebrain.com/game/counterfeit/

Don

They were mean! Changing colour suddenly, after 30 images with one thing missing! Does the game ever end, btw?

Charlie (1.99)

DAK723
01-27-2009, 05:17 PM
They were mean! Changing colour suddenly, after 30 images with one thing missing! Does the game ever end, btw?

Charlie (1.99)
Charlie,

Some of these are very difficult. I have only done about 15 images. I'm not sure how much time you have for each - a couple minutes at least (there's a little slide indicator near the top, where your IQ is listed) but I had my time run out on one.

I am quite impressed with your 1.99 score. I was quite sure that my 2.03 would be a standard that would be hard to beat. With a lot of work still to be done on my measuring lesson, I know my time would be better spent on that task, rather than on a silly game - although, perhaps, not that silly - as it does work on important skills for artists, namely judging distances and angles.

And as the teacher, of course, I need to stress that we should not be overly competitive. The score is not the important thing - the learning and the experience is what we take with us on the path of life.

That being said - after an hour of trying - 1.78!

Don

winecountry
01-27-2009, 05:42 PM
you guys are a hoot! artists are a competitive lot after all:lol:

I had a feeling it would come to this, but at least we all are improving our eyeballing skills,
BTW 1.45 :evil:







( just kidding )

kadon
01-27-2009, 05:46 PM
Well Coleen...you must be the hootiest:lol: YOU started it!:p

Colorix
01-27-2009, 06:23 PM
Don: Some of these are very difficult. I have only done about 15 images. I'm not sure how much time you have for each - a couple minutes at least (there's a little slide indicator near the top, where your IQ is listed) but I had my time run out on one.

My grandfather and I used to compete every summer in Finding Five Faults, and I sort of learned where to look for them. Both him and me "fighting to death", and I loved it, as he never let me win, so I knew it fair and square if I did.

In the internet thing, I got to 600 "IQ)points, won 3 free games I wasn't interested in, and won two images (Rafael paintings -- I got to look at them, that was the 'reward'... :lol: ) Then I closed the thing, as it went on endlessly. Missed three, and clicked on the wrong thing in 2. Continued for so long as the paintings were beautiful, and I started a mental game of naming the painter, as all were old masters.



I am quite impressed with your 1.99 score.

Why, Thank You!!! kind sir! http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jan-2009/117343-making-fun-054.gif



I was quite sure that my 2.03 would be a standard that would be hard to beat.


"Vanity, vanity, all is vanity..."

With a lot of work still to be done on my measuring lesson, I know my time would be better spent on that task, rather than on a silly game -

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jan-2009/117343-Wagging_finger.gif Too right!

although, perhaps, not that silly - as it does work on important skills for artists, namely judging distances and angles.

And intelligent person always finds an excuse that *sounds* logical! :thumbsup:


And as the teacher, of course, I need to stress that we should not be overly competitive. The score is not the important thing - the learning and the experience is what we take with us on the path of life.


*Only* a (temporary, mind!) winner can say that...


That being said - after an hour of trying - 1.78!


I listen to the sweet sound of a thrown gauntlet -- watch my dust as I speed by! But not right now.... :D

Charlie

Colorix
01-27-2009, 06:27 PM
you guys are a hoot! artists are a competitive lot after all:lol:

I had a feeling it would come to this, but at least we all are improving our eyeballing skills,
BTW 1.45 :evil:
( just kidding )

Kidding!!! T'aint no kiddin' matter! :evil:

I think I very soon will come to the conclusion that this is a too silly game to waste my highly precious time with. :cool: :rolleyes: :smug:

Unless I beat scores.... :D Then I will decide that the lesson in eyeballing is invaluable and will boost my career! http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jan-2009/117343-Madly_grinning.gif

DAK723
01-27-2009, 11:52 PM
Charlie,

If this thread wasn't already rated 5-stars, I would give it that rating just for your latest replies! I haven't laughed so hard in quite a while!

Nothing wrong with a little fun in the classroom!!

Don

DAK723
01-31-2009, 03:55 PM
I invite everyone to join me tomorrow (Feb. 1st) as I begin Lesson 3 - Measuring and Laying Out. Whether you have been participating, or are visiting this thread for the first time, come on in and join the class! Lesson 3 will start in it's own brand new thread!

Don

Kathryn Wilson
02-01-2009, 08:45 AM
Hope you guys don't mind, but I had to try this game because as you get older you wonder if you are going senile.

I found the most difficult ones FOR ME are the intricate, far away landscapes. Funny, huh?

Kathryn (310)

DAK723
02-01-2009, 10:19 AM
Hope you guys don't mind, but I had to try this game because as you get older you wonder if you are going senile.

I found the most difficult ones FOR ME are the intricate, far away landscapes. Funny, huh?

Kathryn (310)

We don't mind at all! The more, the merrier! If anyone has any other "educational" art type games that they have found on the net, let us know!

Don

DAK723
02-01-2009, 10:37 AM
Lesson 3 - Measuring, is now posted!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=544390

Don

Lynn Quinn
02-04-2009, 04:57 PM
Hi there,
Here's a little test to see how well you see colour.

http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?PageID=77

My first score was 4 -- late at night, when my eyes weren't really focusing together. The next morning, I got a zero.

BTW, that game where you find the differences: no, it does not end, ever! (Not really sure, but my score was over 1200, & no sign of ending....actually, there is a little note at the bottom of the page that I should have read a LOT sooner, about never-ending games for the brain!)