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Old 03-03-2012, 12:00 PM
dustonpaper dustonpaper is offline
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Today's portrait from life, complete fail :(

Hello,

didn't produce anything worthwhile today, despite the exceptionally beautiful model

After 30 minutes it looked horrible like this:



At that stage I already knew I already had a bad feeling about it, but thought I could save it ... actually I knew I couldn't save it, but had hope in doing so.

Of course I could not ... like Sargent said: "It is impossible for a painter to try to repaint a head where the understructure was wrong." ... well, it is indeed impossible !

After 5 of six hours with me having a bad feeling about it all I did what I should have done right after I got above mentioned feeling and scraped it off:



Then worked on it for an hour more (minus a pause), resulting in this waste of a canvas:



The photographs failed as much as the painting, sorry camera refused to get a good photo if it. I spare you any links to Higher Resolution images this time.

And now also I know that it really is important for me to have model I pay. If I had a friend sitting for me I would feel really bad for him/her wasting their time.

By the way two questions:
1.
How do you professionals deal with a south light window with the sun shining in it and, stupid as the sun is, moving around and changing the light ? Damn thing wont stand still.

2.
My homestudio is somewhat limited ... the canvas can only be right from the sitter ... you can see it a bit in the first picture with part of the chair to the left. Also, the light, when I use daylight comes from the left (southside window). What other poses could I try in that setup ?


The good news: after eating nothing all day I now have a chicken in the oven ... that'll lift my spirits in no time ... and tomorrow another sitter will be here.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:55 PM
lovin art lovin art is offline
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Re: Today's portrait from life, complete fail :(

Some days things go together really well and some ' well we just want to bury our heads and never speak or look at the daylight again .... its just all part of what we struggle with, as artists , the road is never easy , nor would we like it as much if it was ?!.... then all the doctors and Lawyers and Dentists etc walking around would be artists too.....

When at home and painting from Life , i tend to paint mostly in the mid moring through to about 3 in the afternoon in summer, - in winter its different again , its not really something I try to dwell on , I think you have to learn to deal and struggle on as best you can in these things ... sorry Im not much help in this regard but for whats it worth to you , I think your doing grand and your spirit is in the right place .... Smile eat some chicken its all good !!
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:14 PM
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Re: Today's portrait from life, complete fail :(

Its all good for the growth duston...
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:45 PM
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NancyMP NancyMP is online now
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Re: Today's portrait from life, complete fail :(

Yeah, Dust! Since the sun is standing still and the earth is actually doing the moving, somebody should put on the brakes for us artists!

Since you don't have north light, the best thing to do is close off the window and use artificial light...at least it won't move! Try getting a model, too. It's very hard to see the basic structure of the head and face without seeing it in person.

I'm in the same place, only I'm making a head out of my imagination. My model doesn't want it to look like him, so I look at the basic structure of his, and change the fleshy features. I still don't know how well it's going to work out, but it exercises your brain!

Oops, I just looked again, and you said you had a model! So my advice is, go back to where it was when you had scraped it down, then do not put in hard lines for the features. Instead, since the whole facial structure is softened, put shapes instead of features in. Imagine the eye socket that holds the orb of the eye, and add a soft blended-in dark to define it. With your smallest brush, add only the most important details, like the darkest spot in the pupil, edges of iris and eye corners.

Treat all of the features, hair and shoulders, with the same careful build-up of tonality before adding any very light or very dark spots.

You need not be in any hurry if you use your own light source!
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Last edited by NancyMP : 03-03-2012 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:02 AM
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Re: Today's portrait from life, complete fail :(

I would disagree that this is a complete fail- this is what happens when you can see where you want to be and are not there yet. You may have even been quite happy with this a while ago- but as your learning progresses, so does your demand on yourself!
(down here in Australia, south light is perfect! ha!) If I am having a model session- I have a fixed light source. You can get light bulbs that mimic daylight if you want.
It is difficult enough to get the face correct- without the light changing!
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:11 AM
dustonpaper dustonpaper is offline
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Re: Today's portrait from life, complete fail :(

Thank you all very much for the helpful tips ! I will reply at lenghts later ... the sitter will be here in short time and I'm kind of busy right now preparing, sorry that I do not reply longer right now.

And there is no sun today, all nice and cloudy, just the way I like it . I hope for a real bad cloudy cold and rainy summer .

I plan not to go into oil paint at once this time ... we have 6 hours (I hope, unless the sitters plans changed), so I will use the first part to make one or more drawings and then in the second part do a little oil study.

I'll keep you posted on how it works today .
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:54 AM
dustonpaper dustonpaper is offline
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Re: Today's portrait from life, complete fail :(

My model will be here in a few minutes ... just enough time to post a picture of the studio setup and maybe get a few tips from you if and how I could change it for portrait work:



See you all later ... door must ring in a minute
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:48 AM
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carolkay carolkay is offline
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Re: Today's portrait from life, complete fail :(

Duston-- I have great admiration for your fortitude with going forward on this process.-- If you stay at it you will improve, and we all have the mishaps along the way. But your doing good.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:13 PM
dustonpaper dustonpaper is offline
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Re: Today's portrait from life, complete fail :(

Sandra - Thank you for your uplifting comment. After the portrait last sunday (with the black haired model) which I was happy with despite it was not perfect I thought "from now on it's only upwards" .. guess I proved myself wrong. What I think I understand now is your comment about going slowly and observe the model and all that. I'm not a good draftsman enough to accomplish what I'm trying here.

Carol - Yes, indeed ... I won't give up for certain. Fails first make me a bit depressed but after I eat some chicken (the other half of yesterdays is just went in the oven) I get anylytical and try to figure out why it went wrong and what to do better next time. Usually the answer is "need to draw more".

Nancy - Thank you for your help. Next time I will use artificial light I think. My south window, even when cloudy is no good. I myself have no problem with artificial light, just thought the models might like it better with opened curtains ... some people tend to feel queasy in a closed room. Next week a model who was already here and knows she can trust me I will ask if that is OK. The last 3 models including today didn't know me before ... so I thought it might not be a good idea to lead them in a weirdo freaks room with all darkened windows.

Your tips about the painting process are spot on what I'm doing wrong. I will pay attention next time. Thank you !

Bethany - Your comment already makes me feel better. The light change is indeed annoying- It might be OK for 1 hour sketches, but over the six hours it changes like completely ... not only the light source, but also the temperature and all.
What I do not understand: They always say "cool light warm shadows" "warm light cool shadows" ... today with the clouds I thought the light was cool ... but I think the shadows where cool as well. Don't get it.

My model just left. I cannot blame her for my bad painting, but she had better days as well ... she was out partying until 4 hours before she came here and fell asleep on the chair all the time, I mean literally, I had to wake her up a few times ! But that also is something a wannabe portrait painter has to know how to handle I guess.

Not happy at all with the result, but learned a few things. I think I once and for all understood that I need to draw more, a lot more and then some more.

Next weekend I will do so !

Today I made a rather ridiculous 10 minute sketch, did it heartless and without paying attention to it , sorry that you must bear that one. Almost too ashamed to post it:



Then the oily devil in me took over. I don't know what it is and why I am doing it, I KNOW I must draw more. I also like too look at good drawings ... but if I do not draw more I will waste a lot of time and money for the models. I'm trying all the time to build a roof on an unstable house, that I must change ! I bet once I made a fine drawing it will get me hooked on it.

About 30 minutes in I made a progress photo:


And this is what came out ... the model felt like cold during the session and took a scarf on. It had no real finish. At the end, when I thought "well, that'll be another one for the trashcan" I thought why not have a go at it and added the eyes and a few more strokes.


High Resolution: http://dustonpaper.smugmug.com/Art/Portrait/19438152_g4N8pb#!i=1735355052&k=3gNhDBS&lb=1&s=O

Even though the results are nothing good I enjoyed the weekend and every hour with painting tool in my hand is good for the progress I guess.

I'll look forward to next weekend with another 2 models. And then I will draw ! One model is the black haired model I painted last weekend, I will do some drawings with really taking my time, not just rushing through them without passion.

Thank you all for commenting. C&C of course always welcome.

Edit:
Just saw your other comment Carol. Thank you so very much. It is good to have people who understand the struggle, even if at the other end of the world ...
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:34 PM
lovin art lovin art is offline
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Re: Today's portrait from life, complete fail :(

Duston , as I said you are Groovy Guy , and I was thrilled to read your pm ~thankyou that was very special of you , and Im also glad you are understanding what it was I was trying to say to last time ... I know too deep down how frustrating this can all be , and believe me even in class painting a live nude is well overwhelming at times , I dig your inspiring self very much , and I see how forthright you are in wanting to learn , we are the same in that regard , but slowing down and maybe just even focusing on drawing will be a really great thing here ... I cant give you any better thoughts then that really and thats what it will take here.... I wish you well from my ...

Quote:
I'm not a good draftsman enough to accomplish what I'm trying here.
ps you are good enough , it just take time and lots of drawing Practice my good man
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:49 PM
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Judy Manuche Judy Manuche is offline
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Re: Today's portrait from life, complete fail :(

Don't fret too much, I was catching Chris Saper's on line portraiture demo the other day, she stated for every 3 in-studio paintings that she does, she pitches 2! Good news for us amateurs who want to do better. Paint on!
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:19 PM
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kate252 kate252 is offline
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Re: Today's portrait from life, complete fail :(

i guess you know fridha kalos work? yours looks similar- id take that as a compliment
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