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Old 02-06-2018, 03:27 AM
PATFROMSA PATFROMSA is offline
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Portrait woes

This is a first OP portrait attempt for me. I am not happy with the colours - too garish - and the finish is a bit spotty despite extensive blending with cotton buds. I would really appreciate suggestions for improvement.

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Old 02-06-2018, 01:39 PM
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tuscanny tuscanny is offline
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Re: Portrait woes

Wow! Beautiful. What op's and support are you working with? Did you try oil base cp yet for blending? Solvents?
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:26 PM
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Re: Portrait woes

Beautiful work! hair texture is awesome as is the entire portrait. I was going to ask you same question Christel did. What brand of op's and what support you working on?
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:45 PM
otherworlder otherworlder is offline
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Re: Portrait woes

Lovely portrait! The eyes and the expression are lovely. The only thing I noticed is that ears seem to be somewhat misplaced.

Last edited by otherworlder : 02-06-2018 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:31 PM
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terriks terriks is offline
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Re: Portrait woes

I agree with the others, it's a lovely portrait. The hair texture is incredible. The skin looks well blended.

What parts of the portrait are you not satisfied with? I'm curious about the op's and support you used, too.
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:41 AM
PATFROMSA PATFROMSA is offline
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Re: Portrait woes

Hi and thanks to you all for the encouraging feedback.

I am using hot press watercolour paper as a ground (forget what kind). The pastels are Mungyo Gallery and Monte Marte. I did the portrait over a watercolour painting that failed and which I unsuccessfully tried to wash off under running water, so there was a slight underpainting (of sorts) remaining.

As I am ignorant as to which are the best colours to use for portraits (since then discovered the very useful thread in the WC's OP section), the result was overly pink to my liking.

I use a piece of calico material around my finger to blend as well as cotton buds. As there was already an underpainting of sorts, I did not use an OMS wash as I often do on the under layers of a painting. In the hair I layered white first then very pale yellow and violet over the top in places then scratched back to get highlights and fly away hairs.

The finished piece looks a bit blotchy to me. Looked at at an angle, there are shiny patches which I put down to blending (a lot). I subsequently sprayed with hairspray which seems to have solved this problem.

I am wondering if I am not using too thin a layer of OP which could cause the blotchy finish? Perhaps the ground is too absorbent?

I find it particularly difficult to blend smoothly when trying to desaturate colours by applying a very thin layer of color (eg red) over another layer (eg green).

Sorry for the essay but I am grabbing the opportunity to learn from your experience.
Many thanks.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:40 AM
SarahY SarahY is offline
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Re: Portrait woes

Colour looks fine to me, the only problems I can see are the ears and the parting of the hair, which extends a bit too high.

Colour is less important than value but the colours you've used make the subject look fresh and young - which is great since the subject is a child! Maybe the colours are different to the reference (if you used a reference) but they don't look wrong.

It's a lovely painting and an unusual portrait composition and crop. I find unusual things very appealing.
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:50 PM
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tuscanny tuscanny is offline
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Re: Portrait woes

Hairspray? I haven't used that yet.
Paper sounds fine and op's are great.
Some op's have the tendency to 'blotch'. I then add a softer op and blend the 2 together, or I try a solvent. I blend in tiny circular motions for problem areas. If all else fails, I use a tiny amount of appropriate oil color - works every time.
I find adding just a bit of color to change the hue can be done successfully using cp or a glaze(some op dissolved and painted over quickly so as not to dissolve bottom layer - for larger areas)
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:26 PM
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Re: Portrait woes

I use stumps, tortillions and my fingers to blend. I find that using the sennelier colorless blending stick works great and really helps with blending and covering. I've used solvents before, but now just go with blending stick.
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Old 02-08-2018, 12:02 AM
PATFROMSA PATFROMSA is offline
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Re: Portrait woes

Thank you both for the valuable information. I shall certainly try. I wonder whether water mixable oil paints would work for touchups? Shall give it a try.
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