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maryyx
08-13-2009, 09:44 AM
MY IMAGE(S):
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/upload_spool/08-13-2009/193940_Shirley-complete.jpg


GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: Shirley
Year Created:
Medium: Watercolor
Surface: Paper
Dimension: 11 x 14
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
I am relatively new to painting. I've always wanted to be an artist - and finally about a year ago - gave myself permission to make my art a priority. Counting the work done when I was younger (I am now 61), I have 2-3 years experience. This is the 5th portrait I have completed. It is my first time to do teeth. The subject is a fellow artist in my watercolor portrait class. The reference photo was one with high contrast, showing every pore and wrinkle - so there was a lot that needed to be ignored. I am totally open to any constructive criticism.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
I am especially interested in tips for dealing with expression lines, and wrinkles.

crazywoman53
08-13-2009, 10:57 AM
I am not a portrait artist but I think this is wonderful and so glad you gave yourself permission to do art! The only thing that I would suggest is soften the eyebrows a bit. She might be one of those women that pencils on her eyebrows and that's how they really look though. Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

Sam_I_Am
08-13-2009, 12:39 PM
I think you have a remarkable talent with the limited experience you've had. This is a wonderful 5th portrait and I don't see any problems with it. I'm especially impressed at your watercolor handling :)

La_
08-13-2009, 03:05 PM
wow, Really nice work! i'm impressed = )

i'm a little confused by the necklace on her left side?

really wonderful attention to the light!

la

lindannemull
08-13-2009, 04:45 PM
This is amazing for a fifth portrait, the eyes are so bright and realistic.

plotinlaois
08-13-2009, 05:03 PM
Wow! I too have only been painting for a couple of years but I haven't the courage to try either water colours or potraiture. I am truly impressed by the light and shadow on this face and the way you've captured her expression. As someone else pointed out the necklace seems to disappear into thin air on our right but I'm sure you can correct that. Very well done imho (not an expert critiques). Looking at the guidelines I see that I'm supposed to think about what others might learn from my critique. I find that I want to learn from you! How did you achieve such accurate representation of the light and shadow?

DanaLJensen
08-13-2009, 06:13 PM
This is just beautiful! Love it!

Miranda_Asch
08-13-2009, 06:50 PM
Beautiful work! Nice job on the teeth, and the hair is awesome!

You could try to punch up the shadows on the left half of the face. It's looking a little flat compared to the right side. On the right side, the contrast between the highlights and the shadows give a nice round fullness. Because there are no highlights on the left side of the face, the shadows should be deeper to compensate and provide depth.

billmahler
08-14-2009, 10:08 AM
This is really good. I can feel a real person there.

La is right.. you need to fix up that left side of her neck.
This is so good that I'll pick a tiny nit:
Check the edges of her right shoulder and neck.. too sharp. They need to be softened so that they recede.

maryyx
08-14-2009, 06:20 PM
thank you all for your comments. I actually posted this to "Structured critiques" so am a little puzzled as to why it showed up on this forum.

I was also feeling that the shadows needed to be deepened on the shadow side. I was simply tired of working on it, and got lazy. You have encouraged me to get back in there and do a bit more work.

Had not thought about softening the edges on the left side of painting - but will give it a shot.

As to the necklace - in the reference photo, it fades out like this - simply does not show up because of the strong light on that side. Looking at it now - I can see that I need to perhaps paint it very faintly, or at least let it fade out gradually. It did not look strange to me - because I was looking at the photo.

Terri5
08-14-2009, 08:28 PM
This is so, so beautiful. You handle watercolor gorgeously as a medium, and I love the naturalness you bring to the expression in this portrait as well as the strong sense of unity you've achieved through, for example, scattering little touches of blue throughout the portrait. This is so good for you, too, at 61, to be following your dream! Can you imagine what your work will look like after five years of work? You'll blow everyone out of the water!:clap:

There's no auto posting to Structured Critiques any more--you have to indicate in the subject line that you want your portrait moved to Structured. It's always posted first here.

D.W. Flint
08-14-2009, 10:25 PM
Very nice, I like the bright colors...

Borum
08-14-2009, 10:56 PM
beautiful work! nothing to add here....

maryyx
08-14-2009, 11:30 PM
I posted a response to y'all - but looks like it didn't make it to the forum.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I knew, really, that I needed to darken the shadows on the left side of the painting - just got lazy. I got really frustrated as I was working on this. Actually darkened them up several times, and then as it dried, I could see I still had not accomplished my goal. I'm going to go back and work on it some more.

As to the necklace - in the reference photo, this is actually what it looks like. The light was really bright on the right side of the photo, and the necklace just faded out. I'll try fading it out gradually as it goes up over the neck, or just paint it very faintly. Because I was painting what I saw in the reference photo - I hadn't even noticed how strange it looked just stopping at the collar.

Eyebrows - yes, the woman does pencil them in now that I think about it. I'll study the reference photo some more and consider softening them a bit.

Bill - thanks for the tip about softening the neck and shoulder edge.

You guys are GREAT. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

FYI, I actually attempted to post this to the structured critique forum - so I'm a bit confused as to how it ended up in open critique.:wave:

yarddog
08-15-2009, 02:37 PM
well gee...aren't we the lucky ones.....
this is very very good....you really have "Painted the Light"......
teeth look good...no more fear there...huh...hair looks really good also....
careful about working it too much...it doesn't need much....yd

greensyster
08-16-2009, 01:35 AM
I reckon it should be a rule that portraits must be posted with a photographic reference cos otherwise I think you could have just GIMPed this photo with 'oil painting' and Voila! out pops this masterpiece! Just kidding - it really is great and if you give up your day job as an artist now you could become a dentist, those teeth are so good! Really looking forward to your future posts.

maryyx
08-17-2009, 11:57 AM
MY IMAGE(S):
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/upload_spool/08-17-2009/193940_Shirley-revised.jpg


GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: Shirley-revised
Year Created:
Medium: Watercolor
Surface: Paper
Dimension: 11 x 14
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
Well, my friends, I have taken your suggestions to heart - and pushed myself to persevere. I feel I may have lost some of the softness to her face - but I believe I have overcome the flatness on the left side. <br><br>I especially enjoyed some of the simple changes that could be made - like extending the necklace, using a bit of imagination - and softening the shoulder/neck edges on the left side (subject's right).<br><br>I hope you like the changes.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
So what do you think? Did I overdo the suggestion to deepen shadows on the right side of the subject's face (left side of image)?

Corby
08-17-2009, 12:11 PM
I think it is beautifully balanced in value. The color harmony is consistent and we get a convincing view of a beautiful mature woman.

tlmarchi
08-17-2009, 09:49 PM
Wow! Very nice!

Miranda_Asch
08-18-2009, 12:02 AM
Beautiful work!

crazywoman53
08-18-2009, 01:34 AM
I think you should frame it and be proud of it. Beautifully painted!

nic002volleyball
08-18-2009, 05:08 AM
What comes to my mind when I view the pic: - you've portrayed Shirley to be a kind, happy person...someone you'd like to know. The colours flow nicely and I find myself scrolling back up to look at it. Absolutely wonderful piece! I hope one day I can paint like you - and I look forward to seeing more of your paintings :)

Dana Design
08-18-2009, 11:32 AM
I've merged your threads, Mary. Please keep any updates within the same thread. Thanks much! :)

maryyx
08-18-2009, 03:17 PM
Thank you all for your commentary, your encouragement. Thank you for pushing me to do my best work.

Dana - thank you for merging the two threads. I figured out have I started the 2nd one that I could have added a new post with the new image.:wave:

arnieb
08-18-2009, 06:05 PM
Very good. Youve captured her perfectly. Very skillful execution.

lastborn
08-19-2009, 10:27 AM
So nice. Just really warm and light and frank. The eyebrows shape and strength are a bit much and the eys even, haven't got that looseness that you achieved on her chin.
But really, great color modeling and great mouth.

LynnDigby
08-19-2009, 09:48 PM
MY IMAGE(S):
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/upload_spool/08-13-2009/193940_Shirley-complete.jpg



GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: Shirley
Year Created:
Medium: Watercolor
Surface: Paper
Dimension: 11 x 14
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
I am relatively new to painting. I've always wanted to be an artist - and finally about a year ago - gave myself permission to make my art a priority.


Pssst....you ARE one.

This is beautiful, masterful use of watercolor and it radiates a very advanced understanding of light and human form. I think you ought to do a lot more portraits because they will be your claim to fame, if fame is what you want. If it isn't what you want, then you still ought to do more because they will be amazing.
:clap: :clap: :clap:

allanom
08-19-2009, 11:04 PM
Masterful work. The mouth is especially well painted, with depth and accuracy. And the lovely personality of the subject comes shining through.

maryyx
08-21-2009, 04:04 PM
Pssst....you ARE one.

I think you ought to do a lot more portraits because they will be your claim to fame, if fame is what you want. :clap: :clap: :clap:

It's not fame I'm after - but portraits are definitely what call my name. I would like to be able to do commissioned work to supplement our income as we head into our senior years. I'm interested in doing pet portraits as well.

maryyx
08-21-2009, 04:07 PM
I find that I want to learn from you! How did you achieve such accurate representation of the light and shadow?

What I have done is to just really study the reference photo. I see a certain shape of shadow, in a particular color, and paint it. Then I look again - and paint the next shape I see - constantly overlapping - constantly deepening the effect.

I find that the layering creates a really rich texture - very complex.

maryyx
08-21-2009, 04:26 PM
I reckon it should be a rule that portraits must be posted with a photographic reference

You're right - if one wants to tell whether or not an actual likeness was created - you need the reference photo.

This is not very clear - as it is a photo of the photo - but it will give you some idea of what I was working with.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Aug-2009/193940-shirley-ref.jpg

Wheezer1952
08-21-2009, 05:39 PM
This piece shows personality and warmth. You just want to get to know this lady. Very well done