View Full Version : #4 of 5 pc portrait commission

pastel lover
03-03-2011, 11:19 PM
Hello Everyone,

A quick post of the 4th painting of 5 pc portrait commission. Finally coming to the end (whew!) & am now waiting for the final ref. photo. This one is the result of several ref. photos so I don't have just one to post. I realize you can't C&C as to likeness - but if you have any C&C in general would love to hear them. Oh & I have already lightened the jaw & removed weird line from neck & brown line from hair. Thanks!


03-04-2011, 12:21 AM
Tanja - This is adorable - She's a real cutie! Fantastic job on her eyes & teeth, skin tones and hair! LOVE IT! Just one tiny thing... there seems to be a flat spot in the middle of the end of her nose that keeps drawing my eye right to it. ???

03-04-2011, 01:28 AM
absolutely lovely, you have real skill in this...just one thing maybe to think of, I know it must be the way the photo is, but I think it would be good to make it less obvious and with less contrast here, see the place circled, it's giving her a somewhat feral canine look.... you could soften edges and lessen contrast, round the points, I think, to calm it down.


03-04-2011, 01:39 AM
Her face is so radiantly realism, but somehow her hair doesn't quite match the level of realism of the face. Perhaps some wispiness, and maybe even punching the darks would unify it just a bit. Highlights should be lightest where the light hits, but you have placed them pretty universally throughout her hair.

I agree about the tip of the nose.

Very beautiful work. The expression is priceless.

03-04-2011, 06:37 AM
Lovely feeling to the whole portrait. Makes me smile.

03-04-2011, 09:14 AM
Wow her eyes are beautiful and so are the way you painted her teeth and lips.

I'm not an expert but the 2 suggestions to soften the hair and pointedness of the teeth seem spot on and are the only things that distract from this masterpiece.

Beautiful portrait of a beautiful child!!

03-04-2011, 09:55 AM
Hi Tanja,

This is really beautiful. The softness in her skin is wonderful. Good point about the teeth, I think keeping their shape (because that is who she is, I would think the client wouldn't be happy if you actually changed the shape), but softening the edges and contrast would probably work (an easy adjustment for you). I do see a 'flat' on the top of her nose - is it really that flat, or is the photo giving you some sort of weird shadow? We all know how photos do lie, so I would take a look at it. It's another easy adjustment for you if it needs to be done. One last thing, It seems that the light is sort of coming from the right, so I would adjust the value of her hair on the left and make it a bit darker, so it reads true to her face value.

Those eyes are to die for, so much life! And that glisten on her bottom lip, just beautiful, a great little detail!

03-04-2011, 09:17 PM
It is adorable even if you don't change a thing, although taking another look at those areas already suggested would only make it stronger. Check particularly that the value of those back teeth isn't really a bit darker, more shadowed, thereby lessening the contrast. But it's a lovely portrait, wish I could put my signature on one that appealing!

pastel lover
03-04-2011, 10:13 PM
Hello Everyone,

Thanks so much to all of you for the wonderful comments & the very valuable suggestions. I really appreciate it.

Jean - Thanks so much. Good catch on the nose. The flat spot is actually there but I have it too prominent.
Winecountry - Thank you. I agree I should soften the back teeth, however, the very pointed canines are one of her very identifying features so I have to leave them.
ArtSavesLives - Thanks so much. I totally agree about the hair & I have overworked to death! Do you have suggestions for a color for the darks?
vltz - Thanks! She makes me smile too.
NCartist - Thank you.
Chris - Thank you for all your wonderful comments - I really appreciate it.
I am keeping the shape of the teeth but softening & lessening contrast. The flat spot is actually there on her nose but I have it way tooo prominent. The only ref. I had for her hair was so small all I could tell was that is was pale blond. I have severly overworked it looking for the proper dark shade. Do you have any suggestions? I have used dark taupe, dark mauve, blue grey & purple.
NotherNan - Thank you so for your comments!


03-05-2011, 12:27 AM
Hi Tanja,

Smart move not to change the shape of those teeth. A value change is all you will probably need.

Try some greens in the hair. I know it sounds crazy, but subtle green, along with violets/lavenders/purples layered in with the golds and browns works very well. I know it sounds crazy, you have to be very frugal with the green, you don't want her to look like a martian! Almost like you really have to look for the green, it can't be obvious, it needs to be very, very subtle (I pm'd you...........).

This is looking great!

03-05-2011, 04:08 AM
I have been searching for examples. Olive or umber can work well. The trick is to follow the values of the original photo to guide you on how dark the color should be.

Do you have the photo reference for this piece?

Chris Saper does nice pastel portraits, and on this page there is one of a child with blonde hair: http://scottsdaleartschool.org/instructor/instructordetail/id/118

Here is another artist/example . . . see how the shine comes from blocks or more consolidated areas of lights and darks? http://tatumart.com/BlondGirl.aspx

Here is a study I did of a very blonde young girl in sunlight, just as an example of how hair can be suggested without doing every strand: (sorry it is so huge. . . I am terrible at shrinking images!)

03-05-2011, 07:43 AM
Tanja what a beautiful portrait of a happy little girl. You got some good advise. It will be perfect. Well done.

John Palmer Fine Art
03-05-2011, 07:56 AM
Another terrific portrait Tanja, love your style and attention to detail.

pastel lover
03-05-2011, 02:07 PM
Hello Guys,

Thank you all so much for your kind comments & insightful suggestions.

Chris - thanks so much for all your help & color suggestions.
ArtSavesLives - thanks for getting back to me with your color suggestions. Green/olive seems to be the consensus so I am going to try that. And thank you for the links & for sending your painting - it is lovely.
Marina - thank you for your comments & mentioning she looks happy as that look is one I definitely wanted to portray.
John - thanks so much, I really appreciate it. I love your work especially the owl you posted recently.