View Full Version : practice portrait

05-11-2009, 01:32 PM


Title: practice portrait
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Board
Dimension: 16 X 20
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is a practice piece. It is not exact. I was working on shadows and skin tones. I’ve included the inspiration photo from the outstanding reference photo files here. I aged her a little and did a few more modifications.

I would appreciate any help, comments, or critiques. Thank you.

05-11-2009, 01:43 PM
Practice? That's your practice? Please look for all my art supplies to be up on ebay. It's very very very good in all areas. Especially the edge control.

I've tried to come up with nits. You'ld think there'd be some. Somewhere.


Patch of red to the left of her eye on the back wall doesn't seem right.

More darks in her hair as seen in the reference.

Your signature can be confused with either former President or the Westinghouse Corporation.

05-11-2009, 03:55 PM
absolutely beautiful Lunchbox...how I wish that all of those who are avid copiers of reference material would look at this and truly understand the need to go beyond and not slave over an exact representation of the image...usually 'uglies' and all...

I think tgsloths assessment of matters is very good.

05-11-2009, 04:10 PM
This is the kind of portrait I enjoy. You have a classical pose and a beautiful model.

I think you have painted the hard part - the face- very well. My suggestions have to do with integrating the figure into the composition. There is a problem with the 'halo' around her in the background. I'd paint it out, saturating the tones of the background and also darkening them to push the figure forward. I would suggest that it makes little sense to vignette her dress when the background's baseboard is fully painted to the edges.

I'd also like to see some highlights in her hair. This will also bring her forward and draw the eye to her face. Her forearm seems a little wide, particularly at the wrist, and fingers holding the ribbon. - all easy things to fix, if you wanted to.

This is a really nice portrait. Children are hard to paint, and you have done a great job.

05-11-2009, 04:23 PM
You have done a splendid job here, especially in rendering the skin tones of a young child. Beautiful!!!

05-11-2009, 05:46 PM
Wonderful job, Lunchbox. You conveyed her wonder perfectly.
Lynn's suggestions are on the money too.

05-11-2009, 06:06 PM
Beautiful work. You captured her innocense perfectly.

05-11-2009, 11:05 PM
This is really excellent. Anything that needed to be said has been done so already :)

05-12-2009, 01:12 AM
Your portrait is beautiful. Your interpretation of the reference is excellent.

05-12-2009, 01:36 AM
Your picture is absolutely adorable. I love the look on her face.

05-12-2009, 11:49 AM
I love the way you took liberties with her dress...Looks classic!!!

05-12-2009, 12:13 PM
Practice? sheesh...I gues I'll go back to painting fruit. I certainly don't dare post my sef portrait I just did. Yikes you are good at painting faces man, well done. ONe question. Why not copy her exact? Did it go wrong or was it intentional?

05-12-2009, 03:11 PM
Wow! Thank you ALL so much for your comments and suggestions. Y’all made my day, I can tell you. :o
Hope you are continuing to feel better mackb –as to your question – it was intentional, as I did not completely like her costume nor her arm placement. I also wanted to formalize her presence from the more ‘cutesy” photo - if that makes sense.
As to the W comment tgsloth– I hope my term is longer and my warranties better. :lol:

05-12-2009, 06:12 PM
What a gorgeous little girl you have painted Lunchbox. The only thing I noticed was her finger which seem a bit too big but otherwise this is wonderful ...

05-12-2009, 07:31 PM

I say that classic will always be modern.
It's a fine work of art.
I especially like the highlights. For me they are quite important in portraiture.
Those who have seen a Lacroix live, know what I'm talking about.

Kind regards,


05-13-2009, 02:14 AM
Very masterly treatment of the subject. I would make several small suggestions. I think that the eyebrows are a bit too high, almost startled (more forehead should be showing and eyebrows a little less circular). The right eyebrow (showing on the left to us) is a tad to close to the bridge of the nose. Also, the eyes should be a little less open (more relaxed). You might also want to consider slightly less space between the lips and the nose (if you change this, you'll probably want to adjust the size of the chin (lower face perspective). Agree that more highlights needed in the hair (also darker values needed there). Would also suggest a darker background.

Good luck with this, a lovely subject whose essence you have already captured.

05-13-2009, 02:24 AM
You definitely caught the innocent look of this child. No crits from me. I love her look.........Lenore