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Old 12-31-2017, 03:08 PM
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Herm Rediess Herm Rediess is offline
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Marco and Maria - WIP

Pastels and pastel pencils on white paper - 14" x 10

This is a pastel painting I am doing for our part-time handyman, who has worked for us for almost ten years, based on photos he gave me of his In-laws. It is very challenging because I'm using two separate photos to combine in one painting, don't know what the two people sizes are relative to each other and the photos have different lighting.

The first image attached is a copy of my current WIP based on the two photos. I could use help. Marco is wearing a very nice white shirt in the photo but I'm concerned there is too much white in the painting and is unbalanced with all the color on the right. The second image is a quick redo on Marco with a blue shirt (not finished). Do you thing it would be better with the white or blue shirt? Or some other color? Please comment and make suggestions. Thanks.

Herm
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Old 12-31-2017, 06:19 PM
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Re: Marco and Maria - WIP

Would you consider a light blue shirt? I agree the white is a bit strong. Thank you for taking the time to post your WIP's. It gives us a glimpse into your process.
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:28 PM
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Herm Rediess Herm Rediess is offline
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Re: Marco and Maria - WIP

Thanks. So you agree the dark blue is too much as well. Might try a light blue-green.
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:46 PM
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Re: Marco and Maria - WIP

Yes. A value in between the white and dark blue. I always suggest trying a small swatch first before changing the whole thing. Some members know how to photograph your painting, upload the photo and in Photoshop, adjust a section at a time so you can preview any changes. I'm not that techy myself. That being said, you always have a great sense of knowing what to do.
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:41 AM
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Re: Marco and Maria - WIP

It looks really great. It is difficult to do even one portrait, let alone two. You did a great job. They look very lifelike.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:10 AM
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Re: Marco and Maria - WIP

very nice work!
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:59 PM
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Re: Marco and Maria - WIP

On the nice white shirt, look closely at white objects in full sun. The shadows are surprisingly dark and varied. There's too much white in the shirt rather than a white shirt being the problem. Reflected light from the sky tends to turn the shadows blue-cast, sometimes reflected greenery shifts that over toward aqua. But mostly it's the reflected light from the sky that hits the shadows on a white object.

Only the actual highlights, smallest highlights would be white. The rest are grayish blues and hints of other colors as reflected light from other things goes into shadow.

try it from life. Put a rumpled white napkin on a table in full sun and try to match the real values with your pastels, look close at where the highlights are and how they form on folds of cloth. It'll make all the difference. The blue shirt, bright blue, would have shadows as strong and color shifts within shadows too, so that wouldn't really change what the problem is.

On a ten value system with white as 1 and black as 10, your deepest shadows would go to a six or maybe even seven. I am not kidding, test this with a white napkin or handkerchief or piece of Kleenex in bright white light outdoors like that. Also the highlights are sometimes warmed a little, just to a near-white yellowing, by the warmth of direct sun.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:32 AM
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Re: Marco and Maria - WIP

Thanks again Karen and to Julia, Jussica and Rob. Karen, I haven't tried Photoshop but sounds like a good idea. Rob, thanks for the tutorial on white cloth shadows. The photo I'm using has blue tint to the shadows as you mention. I'll try a grayish blue for the shadows. Also I'm considering splitting this into two portraits in stead of both on one painting.

Herm
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