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Old 04-12-2018, 05:00 PM
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readyornot readyornot is offline
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Family

Looking for input on this painting. I just canít seem to get the eyes right. I know there are probably a lot of other areas that could use some help. I generally put a painting aside when im having problems and Iím ashamed to say i dont go back. I really want to stick with this one until I feel good about it so i could use some help!
c&c welcome.

Reference photo.
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Old 04-12-2018, 05:20 PM
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Re: Family

I won't critique your work because lord knows I don't have the nerve to paint portraits. 😀

But I will say in general that as an artist, something clicked for me when I learned to include a wide range of shading and contrasts in my work. I let my darks get really dark and my highlights stand out brightly. This gave me a much deeper range to use. More cards in a deck to build a card house, if you will.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:11 AM
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Ellis Ammons Ellis Ammons is offline
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Your photos have been overliad so that you can see differences. You really aren't very far off. The biggest thing is the kid on the right is bigger in your painting and the other kid's arm and table. The other thing is to pay attention to your values. You think "whites of the eye" so you paint white eyes. But in your reference photo the whites of the eyes are barely even showing. And really dark

Don't think about what something looks like, look at your reference photo. Sometimes I will put the reference right beside what I'm working on. It really helps to have a reference in the same field of vision of whatever your working on.
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Last edited by Ellis Ammons : 04-13-2018 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:17 PM
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Re: Family

Agreed completely with both Lon and Ellis. Something that always helped me with values is to squint at the reference photo, then the piece I'm working on. If you do that with your painting vs the reference, you'll see some areas that can use a fair bit more contrast, going darker in the shadows around the cheeks, necks, etc.

Also, it might help if you put some wood grain on that table. It's a small change, but it might bring about more of that sense of completion you're looking for.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:52 PM
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Re: Family

Thanks for the comments, they are all very helpful. Lon Reams, Ive always tended to be light when painting shadows. I would make them dark and then go back and lighten them thinking they are too dark. Probably because my lights are too light!
Ellis, thats a great way to show the difference between the reference and painting! I kind of knew the boy on the right was bigger, i had a problem when i enlarged the ref photo. I had to do it in two parts to get the whole photo sized up.
I understand about the whites of the eyes, there to i had them darker and then went back and lightened them.
I will take all your comments and deepen shadows and resize the right side boy, arm and table and repost. Thank you all for your help!
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:10 PM
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Re: Family

Quote:
Originally Posted by readyornot
Thanks for the comments, they are all very helpful. Lon Reams, Ive always tended to be light when painting shadows. I would make them dark and then go back and lighten them thinking they are too dark. Probably because my lights are too light!
Ellis, thats a great way to show the difference between the reference and painting! I kind of knew the boy on the right was bigger, i had a problem when i enlarged the ref photo. I had to do it in two parts to get the whole photo sized up.
I understand about the whites of the eyes, there to i had them darker and then went back and lightened them.
I will take all your comments and deepen shadows and resize the right side boy, arm and table and repost. Thank you all for your help!

You are welcome!

I find that really dark shadows against very bright highlights adds allot to the realism of a painting.

Here is an example of it in a close-up of a piece I finished a couple weeks ago. (Of a wolf)


In nature and photography, shading runs into the extreme in both directions, except in soft foggy environments or when seeing things that are far away, and learning to allow yourself to go very dark where needed and bright where needed is a good lesson to learn.

The only rules I put on this are, I never paint something in a landscape pure black, because that is rarely found in nature. Most all things have ambient light upon their surface.

And I only ever use pure white on the very brightest of highlights, because although pure bright white light is often found in nature, once you use it, nothing in your painting can be any brighter.

I hope this helps in your future work!
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