View Full Version : Sasha Sleeping
11-03-2002, 06:26 PM
Title: Sasha Sleeping
Year Created: 2002
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!
Sasha is a model in our class. As you can tell, she had trouble keeping her eyes open. But sometimes I like to paint a subject with closed eyes and her face with the eyes closed was very distinctive. I've been staring at this so long, I can't tell what's wrong, although I know a lot must be.
This was done in a little under 3 hours.
MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
Any constructive feedback that I can take to the next class is appreciated.
11-04-2002, 02:48 AM
She looks like a fun subject to paint.
The first thing I noticed was the shoulder on the right side (my right). She may have her shoulders hunched forward, but that shoulder looks like it doesn't have an arm attached to it.
Looking at it in a mirror may help. A flipped image can reveal problems with symmetry that you have conditioned yourself not to see over time. I have found this helpful with my own work.
The entire image has a color cast of red, which isn't surprising considering that red dominates the background and shirt. Still, I'm wondering if the real piece has this red color cast. The camera/scanner may be the cause of this and the general lack of contrast. There are bright speckles in the center, on the shoulder, collar, and neck. Are you using a flash? If so, I would try to find another method, like using a tripod or shooting the photo outside. If you didn't use a flash I would try using a light source that doesn't rake the surface of the painting, or possibly multiple light sources. If you didn't use a camera I'm not sure what would have caused the speckles.
You have turned the form pretty well on the face. It has a good three-dimensional feel. There is a bit of flatness on the jawline by the ear. I little more modeling there and under the chin might help.
The hightlights on the face look chalky and opaque, like you've been using white to lighten up the colors. You may not be doing this, but that's what it looks like. The shirt appears to have a similar problem. You might try using lighter reds for the hightlights on the shirt, instead of white. The same goes for the colors in the face - use lighter colors instead of white to bring up the hightlights. Using white for hightlights and black for shadows takes the transparency and life out of things.
I did some tinkering in Phoshop. I started by bringing up the shoulder. I also punched up the contrast and removed the color cast. This really separated the figure from the background and gave it a more three-dimensial quality. I darkened the ear just a little to push it back, added some warmth to the highlights and added some shadow underneath the jaw and chin.
11-05-2002, 06:44 AM
Your rendition looks good Russ. Good catch about the shoulder. I knew something was wrong but when I sighted the angle it matched.
I like what you did with the highlights in the face. I'm having trouble getting the lights light enough without using white. I tried Cadmium Yellow Pale but it looked too artificial - as if she had mustard on her face!
11-05-2002, 06:37 PM
Let me make an amendment to my earlier post. You can use white, but not as the only color to bring up the highlights. If you do it's going to look chalky, cold, and unnatural. Remember that even white has a temperature - usually cool. A friend of mine taught me to look at the color wheel. If you want to lighten red, for example, start moving up the spectrum to orange, then yellow - white can be used in this process. With blue you can lighten it up by moving toward green and yellow. It's hard to explain, but it works. Even hot highlights tend to have something other than pure white.
Using white to lighten up your shadows is going to destroy the transparency - not good. This is where you will want to use other colors and no white. Transparency is good in shadows.
Since getting out of school I don't paint much so I'm sure there are others that can explain this better than I can...., but they didn't, so I took my best shot at it. :)
11-05-2002, 07:01 PM
Russ touched on the subject of using white. Now, I don't know if it is the photo, but too me it looks like the highlight areas are too big. It sort of looks like being lit by a very strong spotlight at a position close to her face. You should reserve the brightest lights for the true highlights.
To me it looks like you are struggeling with a problem I have had for a long time - running out of values - like the darks are not dark enough, and I can't get the highligts in because I already used the brightest value for the most lit areas. (I hope you understand what I am saying...).
So,,, attached is a version where the value scale is compressed and the highlights are removed. I also sculped the green headdress to make it 3D. (I will post additional makeovers... so hold on..)
11-05-2002, 07:03 PM
From there, work up contrast, and add the highlights. Then it looks like the attached. Here I also made the sweater darker in front to balance the dark shadows on head a bit.
11-05-2002, 07:08 PM
And finally, if you wanted to have that "strong light" hitting here, features would start to "burn out" and cast shadows would be stronger - but now the lighting conditions starts to get extreme. (The edits are no longer really good looking either).
11-05-2002, 07:10 PM
I forgot earlier, It is important to get red reflected light into the face. I did that on the shadow side.
11-05-2002, 07:23 PM
Here, from somewhere in the middle of this series,,, some touch up on her right side - I thought it turned too dark at the edge. I made it brighter, and then made the background brighter as well to give it more contrast. Her right eye also started to look a bit weird after me other tweaks, so I modified the highlight.
I also removed the black line separating the lips.
11-05-2002, 09:50 PM
Thanks, guys. I can't wait to get to work and print this out as reference for the next class!
russ, thx for clarfication on using white in the lights. In pastels, I've had a problem transitioning through the orange and yellow through to white because for some reason I need to see the full value range even at the beginning or I get stuck and don't know what to do. I'll try it again in oils and see if its any better.
henrik, as always, you're right on the money. I was wondering when someone was going to mention that headdress. After I posted the photo, the flatness of the headdress screamed out at me. The highlight areas on the face were too big, again, probably because I felt I needed to get the light and dark shapes AND the full value range at the beginning.
This isn't going to be easy to solve because I tend to have to give myself certain things at each stage so I can progress to the next (if that makes any sense) but at least I have a new way of looking at the problem so I can get a better handle of different things I can try.
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