View Full Version : August Monthly Portrait Challenge 2009

08-03-2009, 12:10 PM
A note to all. I am swamped lately with life and stuff but will be setting up the monthly challenge by Thursday latest. It'll be photo refs, sorry all :-)
Actually, anyone who has what they deem to be a great ref, natural light, etc., for coming months, feel free to PM it to me. I would consider it too, along with what I may have.

(Dana, your message thingy is full)

08-03-2009, 12:46 PM
The Images:

There are 2 images I have, from my own files. One is a man from Chicago, who did a tour bus there. He was funny. Caught him in a serious, candid moment. The other is my son, with some beautiful light. The red top is a challenge though, one suggestion is to leave it with unfinished edges.

http://aportraitbyjocelyn.com/boy.jpg My Son



http://aportraitbyjocelyn.com/tourguy.jpg Tour Guy

Anyone who has images we would love to have them for next month, or the following one if we are doing Masters next month again!!!


08-03-2009, 11:38 PM
Ok, the tour guy was a little difficult for me. It seems any portrait with there head turned at different angles presents a challenge for me. I attempted the pencil at arms length guide and thought I had it but later started messing with it because it didn't seem right. This one took an hour and twenty miniutes. Still not right. I will try it again sometime soon.

I'm still not crazy about this paper. :evil: :lol:
I like the stonehenge but thats more expensive.:rolleyes:
This photo


Tour Guy
10" x 8" Willow Charcoal hard and soft on Cansons 80lb pure white drawing paper
By Kirby

08-04-2009, 12:28 AM
At least I am still looking in on these wonderful projects. Kathy

08-04-2009, 12:38 AM
Great graphite work Kirby :thumbsup:

Here's my try at the handsome young man , love his hair ( maybe because it looks the same as my youngest son's hair :D )

this is a digital painting done with Painter 11 ,

1. tracing (maybe someday I will be able to draw :p )

2. painting

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Aug-2009/36920-joss_son_1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Aug-2009/36920-joss_son_2.jpg

08-04-2009, 08:04 AM
Nice work Kirby and Jean.

08-05-2009, 12:10 AM
How in the world did you do that Jean? Thats really good. You know if you print that underdrawing out and transfer it to watercolor paper you have a nice drawing to do a watercolor painting.

Jean I suggest you get to work on sketching. One thing you can try is get a magazine and draw all the faces in there. Just sketch them and don't worry if they come out decent, they probably want, mine are still off. :D


08-05-2009, 12:28 AM
Kirby :lol: I have just tried drawing the tour guy and here he is,

done on the computer (I find I do a better job on here than in my sketch book) with Painter 11 using the pencil brush , missed his face and a few things are wrong but I'm happy with it :D I maybe I'll try shading him in also


08-05-2009, 01:01 AM
Good job, Jean. It looks like real oil painting.

08-05-2009, 07:28 AM
Yes, wonderful work Jean.

08-05-2009, 10:48 AM
I am submitting my entry MPC for the first time. WIP.
This will be a digital portrait done in dots - color . I have used grid to get the proportion right. The size is 8x8 inches , software Photoshop.
I have attached a screen shot of my first day's effort -1 hr 45 min
C and C welcome.

08-05-2009, 10:59 AM
Sorry-what I posted earlier is not the screen shot which is now attached .

08-05-2009, 12:41 PM
These computer renditions are interesting.

Jean Have a go at doing your sketch with continuous line, meaning don't pick up your mouse button:lol: . Oh, you probably use some sort of drawing tablet though right. Ive been doing continuous line drawings and it seems to come out better not sure why, than sketching it.

That dot portrait looks interesting, Venkat that looks very tedious:) .


08-05-2009, 01:09 PM
Good for you Venkat! Will be watching...

08-05-2009, 01:59 PM
Kirby : the lines were not continuous initially but i rubbed off the erring lines.
now it looks continuous . I use a tablet . Drawing lines is much easier with grip pen on tablet.
The work may look tedious . It is not . I do not put individual dots.

Kenny Chaffin : I shall post periodic updates

08-05-2009, 02:02 PM
Heck Kirby I'm just happy it was even close to the original I'd never get there with continuous lines with all the rubbing out I do :lol: and yes I use a stylus and pad :D

These computer renditions are interesting.

Jean Have a go at doing your sketch with continuous line, meaning don't pick up your mouse button:lol: . Oh, you probably use some sort of drawing tablet though right. Ive been doing continuous line drawings and it seems to come out better not sure why, than sketching it.

That dot portrait looks interesting, Venkat that looks very tedious:) .


08-05-2009, 02:06 PM
thanks for your support Kenny and Brant :wave:

08-06-2009, 03:53 PM
What a great thread! I've been wanting to practice my portraiture but can't get anyone to sit- so this is perfect!:clap:

I'm having a shot at the bus guy. I love the angle of the head and if I can try to capture something of that facial expression I'll be really happy.

Here's where I'm at after an hour and a half-ish
This is in pastels 16x12inches -Murano paper

At this stage I've only used sanguine pastel pencil trying to get the drawing right and the values. I've lightly indicated the highlight areas with white conte.

Now that tricky colouring in bit!:eek:


08-06-2009, 04:00 PM
Nice work Ryan!

08-06-2009, 05:14 PM
Thanks Kenny:thumbsup:

OK I've now re-enforced the darks now with an almost-black pastel pencil. Might leave it there tonight and come back with fresh eye to see if there's anything not right so far
C&C welcome

08-07-2009, 02:12 AM
Your portrait looks really good, but you know as well as anyone else that if you want it to be right on you got to get the features mapped out correctly first, its the foundation. This is where I struggle. It can deffinitely reduce the amount of time you work on a portrait. I just started reading some of drawing on the right side of the brain which seems right down everyones ally if your going to draw a portrait. I seen this book before but never looked at it until today.

If your looking for critiques on why it doesnt look like the photo read the following. Otherwise skip it.:D Your portrait looks great especially if no body has seen the photograph.

One thing to note before drawing is to right down or mentally take note of his expression. One thing I missed is his drawnd out face. The one I did was too short and trying to do adjustments this late is hard to impossible in my opinion.

He looks sad, he needs to lookhis face is drawn downward, that he has a ball of something in his left and barely noticeble right cheeks neer the corners of the mouth, serious looking eyes like hes saying huh as being somewhat surprised at something he saw, almost ready to smile, his eyebrows are to scrunched in, his left lower eye( not sure what you call it) the sagging part is angled down to much it needs to be curved up, looking at his right eye the saggy part starts behind the bridge of the nose, hie right eyebrow towards the outer portion needs to be lowered and blurred more, you got his bridge of the nose thats what I tried to get in but working small hard to adjust sometimes, his right cheek is not pointed its rounded off, his left top eyelid needs to be leveled off more straight less eye showing is what I mean, his left ear needs to be moved up, his left cheek line near nose need rounding out not in, lips are off the corners need to be moved up one of the reasons he looks sad, thicker upper and lower lip, more shadow under the lower lip, this is a tricky one but his right eye note the space between it and the rihgt side of his face its too big, which I think would mean an alteration with his whole nose and less right side showing thats where I had my problems. Thats where everything starts to get muddy.

The key is getting the parts mapped out correctly the first time. That pays big dividends. For example I got lucky with a portrait I did on my website you can see it here (http://kirbysart.blogspot.com/2009/08/portraits-noticing-something.html). It came out pretty good, to my eye, but there are things I see now that are still off. Can you tell what they are?

One thing to remember is keep on drawing and study how to map it out.:D Try to do better next time and draw what you see, which sometimes is difficult since so many thoughts enter the brain. Like I see a nose i'lljust draw a nose well if you dont have it in proportion to the features aroun it especially the negative shapes it wont look like the person.


08-07-2009, 05:15 PM
Sometimes you get the advice to first do the overall shape and when done correctly the features will fall in place automatically, sometimes you get the advice to start with the features ...... maybe they are both wrong and you have to do it all at the same time? I like the drawings, regards walter

08-07-2009, 08:20 PM
"The key is getting the parts mapped out correctly the first time. That pays big dividends. For example I got lucky with a portrait I did on my website you can see it here. It came out pretty good, to my eye, but there are things I see now that are still off. Can you tell what they are?"

Kirby..if it's the girl's face you are talking about then her right side seems skewiff. Her right eye is too low particularly her left corner and the lip whilst most expressive, her right side is a tad too low....I think it's mostly the tonings causing this effect. Overall effect is that her right side is out of kilter.

I think your advice is very sound and, if heeded, does indeed pay big dividends. And it is generous of you to give us the chance to critique your own work. I particularly am grateful for good critiques.

Indeed I think the drawings, as such, are very good....and it's also good for us to help each other improve.


08-08-2009, 12:12 PM
Good stuff going on here , well done everyone .

Ok this sennilier pastils on Daler ingres smooth side , gave up on the hair time was against me, anyway quite happy with the likeness:D

08-08-2009, 06:04 PM
Hi Kirby thanks for commenting I'm going to try to take some of those points on as I work it up.

Leigh thats pretty good!
- I've just bought some new sennelier pastels that I'm going to try out on this

08-08-2009, 09:04 PM
Leigh....love it!


08-08-2009, 09:34 PM
Leigh that's a great portrait , wonderful colours

08-08-2009, 09:36 PM
Great work VENKAT :thumbsup:

08-08-2009, 10:17 PM
ryester007 he looks great

08-08-2009, 10:23 PM
People are jumping right in here with some very interesting portraits.

I decided to try the boy. I'm made a start in coloured pencil in an Earthbound sketchbook by Daler Rowney 8 x 10 or thereabouts.



08-09-2009, 12:12 AM
Wow, good job Leigh. You got his likeness for sure.

His exprssion is a little off if thats what you were shooting for, but you probably noticed that right?

Kadon not sure which girl your talking about. Oh now that I re-read my post yes I agree with your critiques. I dont think I ever got one portrait to look right on. Im doing all mine free hand some with using the pencil technique. I think I started doing that about 3 or 4 portraits back. All the rest Ive done just by doing the circle method sort of an outline and trying to place the features then there would be adjustments here and there, etc.


08-09-2009, 02:21 AM
Here is an update midway through. My original intention was to do with color dots which I had not attempted before . But I abandoned the idea because I was not happy with the outcome . I therefore reverted to monochrome.
I would welcome suggestions indicating improvements which will make it more presentable. I stand to benefit by your judgement.


08-09-2009, 08:26 AM
I am glad to see the varied techniques and materials and come really good work :-)
You all seem to be capturing my son's unique eyes, those who are working with his ref.The tour guy is one of my favourite candid portrait shots.

08-09-2009, 09:01 AM
Fabulous work so far Vencat. I love pointillism and am working on a large piece using it myself.

It captures the subtle value changes so well.

08-09-2009, 10:37 AM
I think this could be the final update unless some changes are called for.


08-09-2009, 03:31 PM
I think its perfect as it is.

08-10-2009, 08:05 AM
Some great portraits here. Jocelyn, the resouce photos are great. Your son is, of course, gorgeous (I speak as the mother of a red-head!), but I think your shot of the tour guide is a work of art in its own right.

Jean - brilliant. Looks just like an oil painting and the likeness is really good.

Leigh - its so easy to spot one of yours now. You put your mark on it and its fab.

I agree with Jeanette, Venkat, its great as it is.

I had a go at the tour guide too. Getting a likeness wasn't my primary aim. I have just got hold of Harley Brown's book Eternal Truths and I wanted to put some of his gems of advice into operation. Putting yellows, greens and purples into the skin is new for me. I think it gives depth and movement and I shall be doing this in future. I know there is plenty wrong with this (eyes aren't right) but I'm moving on as this was an opportunity to try something new.



08-10-2009, 10:53 AM
jeanette and jools ; Thanks for your appreciation
Jools ; are you not intending to put the final touches to reach the level of finish
which I see in your other pastel works.

Lauren F-M
08-10-2009, 11:30 AM
I'm finally checking in.... sorry for the delay, but was away camping, and then dealing with mundane stuff after I returned... :rolleyes:

Joss has provided two excellent references, & I will be printing them out and doing something during this month (unlike last month!). :o

I agree that the tour-guide photo is wonderful just as a photo -- also a great ref to work from and take in many directions, as has been done on here by many of you.

The photo of Joss' son is wonderful. I've met him & he is a handsome young man & at an age where one wants to capture some of that fleeting stage in teenagehood. I look forward to trying something with it.

So, bravo to all of you who have been working and showing your work here, as well as encouraging and helping each other. :thumbsup:

08-10-2009, 11:52 AM
Yeah, I really was happy to get that shot of that guy. He was hysterical and so bouncy around that it was hard to just get one of him sitting and candid. He just had that Chicago look to him, in my mind, and I finally grabbed an opportunity as he rested. I did it too fast though, and I unfortunately clipped his fingers out of the frame. I'd probably also like it a little more if the depth of field was a tiny bit shallower, for the background to take a bit more of a back seat in the photo, but not too much. Easy enough to incorporate into a painting though, as an artist can control the background in their painting.
Really nice work going on.

08-11-2009, 06:14 AM
It is a good way of improving and I am willing to join in.

08-11-2009, 07:38 PM

Finished- I think;)

THis is only my second pastel portrait and learned loads in doing this, so thanks for posting the challenge thread.
I am a bit happier with my skin tones this time around. I tried to fix some of the critique comments previously made. Made the ear bigger and higher- I think it looks better.

Struggled a bit with the eyes

Overall I'm happy with it though:)

C&C always welcome

08-11-2009, 08:00 PM
Well done Ryan!

08-12-2009, 04:34 AM
Nice one, Ryan - well done.

08-12-2009, 06:57 PM
Kenny- Thanks!

Jools- THanks also- good work on your portrait version too! I like the expressive pastel marks. How is that Harley Brown book? it looks good


08-13-2009, 05:59 AM
Ryan - its a fabulous book and one which I know I shall be dipping into - but it is out of print and difficult/expensive to get your hands on. I was lucky in that a lady from the pastels forum sold me her copy for less than I would have had to pay for it on Amazon :cat: . But he does have a new book out which is available from the International Artist Magazine website. Its very reasonably priced. If you are interested, I would grab a copy soon as it is bound to sell out!

08-13-2009, 09:35 AM
Started with this months challenge, Acrylic paint on a small cotton canvas ...... regards Walter

Lauren F-M
08-13-2009, 03:47 PM
Ryan -- nice pastel portrait of the busdriver! Lots of character! :clap:

Walter -- this portrait of Chris is wonderful! :thumbsup:

08-14-2009, 09:03 AM
Yes, that is starting out very well!

08-14-2009, 03:26 PM
Second session, still a few things that need correction but I let it dry first ..... regards, Walter

08-16-2009, 09:05 AM
Last session, 30 * 24 cm, Cotton canvas, Golden Open Acrylic paint. Think I leave it to this, regards Walter

Lauren F-M
08-16-2009, 01:31 PM
Walter, you've done a beautiful job on this one! :clap:
Jocelyn may want this portrait for her collection -- it's lovely. :thumbsup:

08-17-2009, 12:49 AM
My (your) Son 14X11 oil

Good lighting and expression so had to do this one.
Was having trouble with right eye placement, but in comparing images it looks like the mouth is too far left, which helps age him a bit.

Thanks Jocelyn


08-17-2009, 07:54 AM
Great job Walter and Steve!

08-18-2009, 10:04 AM
I thought I'd try this month's challenge. I've not posted here before, but have looked at the excellent work on show here.
This is oil on canvas, 10 x 7 inches. I started off with a prime coat of viridian and terracotta(!) they were the colours I had available. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to start from such a ground considering the strong red tones in the subject.

Youth in a Red Top


Lauren F-M
08-18-2009, 02:17 PM
Steve & Harry -- Nice portraits of Chris! :clap: :clap:

lyn lynch
08-18-2009, 03:07 PM
Joss, the Chicago tour guy, who I call "Guido" is a good reference. He's Italian, looks like he could be my brudder. I'm going to have a shot at it too, in pastel.

for future, consider the Jazz Singer reference that you did some years ago, it's a great opportunity to try skin tones. I was telling Mimi about it the other day. If you still have it; I couldn't find it in the IRL but I wasn't looking real hard.

Roxie Real
08-22-2009, 09:10 AM
Steve, I like this. Your palette reminds me of Jocelyn's. Roxie

08-23-2009, 11:48 PM
Here is what I have done so far---need more touches.
C & C welcome!

08-25-2009, 03:40 AM
Hello every one:wave:
I am new and would like to join I can not do any thing this month but next I can i love doing portraits. See ya next month.
Pixie 63

08-25-2009, 08:23 AM
Yes, Steve, I think in yours, it's mainly the drawing that needed some attention.
Fookie, Hey :-) Nice to see you. I don't have that ref on my Cdrive anymore, no. Yeah, it would be good for a monthly challenge. I think it was a fairly small file if my mind is recalling correctly, though. I can try to hunt it down in the RIL on the weekend, if I have some time to kill.

Dana Design
08-31-2009, 03:58 PM
Hello every one:wave:
I am new and would like to join I can not do any thing this month but next I can i love doing portraits. See ya next month.
Pixie 63

LOve to have you join us in September!

I am so impressed! Some FABULOUS work here this month! I wish I'd had time to do this but perhaps next month!

08-31-2009, 04:15 PM
Just some caution I am learning about camera's, lens, digital camera's and what I can do. I am an artist. I am interested in all kinds of photography. Can any one tell me what is the best photo shop for artist... Is there any thing out there that is 3D maybe every one at WC can help me so I do not have to go into the camera shop and drive the guy who is working crazy.:eek: Angie/pixie63

Dana Design
08-31-2009, 04:37 PM
Pixie, you might ask here:


They're the experts!

Dana Design
09-01-2009, 02:14 PM
Lauren F-M will be leading the September challenge and it promises to be a very special one. Hope you all join in...!!!

It should be posted shortly!