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Old 02-28-2012, 09:02 PM
dannimac dannimac is offline
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Just discussion... a poll....

Hi, I don't have a work to post, nothing new anyway. I'd just thought I'd take a poll to see "what captures a good likeness"?

While all anatomy is important, for looser sketches and works, what do you think 'captures' a likeness? Is it the eyes? The nose and mouth? The angles around the face and underlying bone structure?

Or does it vary with the subject?

I've been focused on doing children for a while (ok, that is three portraits in two years!) and I find the shape of the lips is more critical than any other feature on the face though the shapes of the head and brows have to be right.

What are your thoughts?

Last edited by dannimac : 02-28-2012 at 09:03 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:08 PM
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lovin art lovin art is offline
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Re: Just discussion... a poll....

Hi Danni , I was reading this and while I certainly agree here , I think Anatomy is most important in both - Just a sketch and a complete studied drawing or painting as well . . and as to what I think captures a Likeness , is all those things you mentioned , yes the eyes are important to me in that they are the most unique feature we carry I feel , and being able to convey a persons expression from their eyes is not an easy thing to do , but then that could be said of the nose and the mouth also ... all very unique but all very necessary in the buildup of the structure of these to capture a Likeness I feel ... you can also develop a said Likeness in just a few well placed gestural Lines .....

Or does it vary with the subject?

what vary's for one , ' might not for another!
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:32 PM
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berningc berningc is offline
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Re: Just discussion... a poll....

Well, I'm what one may call a beginner. But I think it's a little bit of everything you mentioned. I just completed a series of self portraits--in charcoal, pastel, and oil. In all of them, I had somewhat of a likeness. But when I showed them to friends who knew me, I got a variety of comments. They all agreed that I had somewhat a likeness, but there were "issues" with all of them.
The neck too narrow--the nose too long-- the eye lids didn't droop enough--the smile wasn't my big smile--the cheeks weren't warm enough. And if you combine enough of those issues in one painting, you aren't going to have a likeness. Ultimately, the measurements have to be right.

Great question!

Thanks for asking it.

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Old 02-29-2012, 02:30 PM
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mnsrc mnsrc is offline
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Re: Just discussion... a poll....

I would say that the biggest factor is correct placement of the major "landmark" features of the face relative to one another. Correct size of those features, i.e., proportion, although important, flows from correct placement.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:43 PM
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mollerman mollerman is offline
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Re: Just discussion... a poll....

Ok. So why does everyone look so different? We mostly all have the same stuff but different? To me what seems most important and, I do not consider myself to be an authority on portraiture, is having a strong sense of light and shadow. When it comes to painting children I tremble at the thought!
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:00 AM
kentiessen kentiessen is offline
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Re: Just discussion... a poll....

All parts of a portrait- anatomy, proportion, forms, characteristics, individual features, color, edges, expression- work together ideally to express your personal vision of a portrait. Some may carry more weight visually, but all are important in my view.
Ken Tiessen

Comments or Critiques welcomed...always!
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:19 AM
dannimac dannimac is offline
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Re: Just discussion... a poll....

I agree completely that all are important- but you know how sometimes a caricature can capture a likeness as well as a true to life portrait? That's what I mean- what people's experiences lead them to view as the essential element or elements of a likeness.... it might be an unanswerable question but I like the response about the shadows in particular.... I saw an image that was purely the shadows on a white background and it definitely captured a strong and detailed likeness.

But am interested in all thoughts...
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:12 AM
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AndyfromVienna AndyfromVienna is offline
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Re: Just discussion... a poll....

hi, very interesting question ... aside from good proportion and exact measurement the keyfactor for a good portrait is capturing the personality of the person, i.e. one eye slightly bigger, more smile on left side, one wrinkle more above one eyebrow and so on ... I think the later is the more difficult step to achieve a good portrait ....

interesting topic!!

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