View Full Version : Self-Critic

05-09-2009, 02:03 AM

Title: Self-Critic
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 30x40cm
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

You guys on this forum have been very helpful to me before, so I hope you'll oblige again.<br><br>This study is an improvisation from a snapshot taken in full daylight with two sources of light, warm above on her right and cool from the window on her left.<br>Small note: My goal with these studies is to improve technique, (rather than artistry or creativity), so I would really appreciate critique.

Please point out to anything that strikes you off re-light and reflective light, colors and edges.<br><br>Thank you!

05-09-2009, 04:23 AM
hi mary

i would bring some more warm light tones onto her right shoulder to emphasise the difference in light to the left side,-)
otherwise a very good painting, i am impressed!

enjoy the light

05-09-2009, 04:41 AM
I love this portrait, and the other ones on your website. Beautiful! Amazing!

Some of the photos, including this one, show the unintended background that is not completely cropped out. If you use a digital photo editing program, you can click on straighten before cropping.

05-09-2009, 04:54 AM
Hi Mary ..... this looks great to me ....I too have been to your website .....WOW! ....you are a very talented artist!

05-09-2009, 08:09 AM
I think the study certainly accomplished your goals. I note you've got a photo glare at the upper left. Were you using a flash? The way to photograph a painting is to put it out in the sun at an oblique angle and you get plenty of sun in Israel.

05-09-2009, 10:25 AM
Good expression and well composed.

light, colors and edges.

Ah.. good questions.

Here are some observations about edges, entirely subjective, that you might want to consider:

I always thought of an edge as a place where one object ends and another begins, but Richard Schmid calls an edge any place where value or color changes, and that is a helpful addition, I think.

One notion to consider is that the nature of an edge is right or wrong in the context of the other edges in the painting - like elements (importance, texture, shape, location, light, etc) should have like edges.

I think of that as applying the Aristotelean notion of unity in poetics to painting.

If that notion of unity doesn't appeal to you, skip everything below!!!

Look at the top edge of her hair on her right side and now look at the edge of her right shoulder. I think more consistency there and in similar places might pop your edges up a notch or two.
Look at the edge of that tendon in her neck as it moves from light to dark. I think that could be softer, when compared to similar transitions elsewhere.
Look at that dark line where her left shoulder meets the background. It's detracting from the consistency of your edges.
Look at the upper edge of her left forefinger. It should change as it moves from one light source to another to match similar transitions elsewhere.

05-10-2009, 12:40 AM
I think you have done an amazing painting. I would like to see the photo reference. I feel that the shadow in the neck - particularly where it creates a "v", is not transitioning well. I think you have captured the 'critical' expression in the face magnificently.

05-10-2009, 02:41 AM
Ray - good advice, thanks!
Maryinasia - I wasn't aware of that, thanks!
Mooz - thank you, I appreciate it!
Bob - I wasn't using the flash, don't quite get where the glare is coming from. I'll try in the sun, thanks!
Bill - wow, excellent points each! Richard Schmid's advice is never to be taken lightly. Thank you!
CBCarnell - good point, I'll soften that area. Thanks!

05-11-2009, 12:01 AM
I'm thinking you've nailed the tough parts - the face and gesture, and the much much easier parts might need to be tightened up.

The first thing that distracts me is the sharpness and blueness of the brush ferrels. While you were looking for cool light, the isolation of blue is distracting as it doesn't seem to appear anywhere else.

The folds in the shirt are not developed convincingly. If you get the rhythm of the lights and darks first, you can scumple or work cool or warm tones in afterward. To me, the issue here is value shapes and how they indicate folds of fabric. As yet, they are too stylized, and a little too prominent, taking away from the very skillful painting of the face. I think I'd want to make them less prominent and allow the focus to go more to the face.

This is a very nicely done portrait.

Dana Design
05-11-2009, 11:00 AM
Mary, fabulous work on the face and neck.