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  #46   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-05-2009, 09:27 PM
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Mette Rörström Mette Rörström is offline
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

I did this with 3 colors.blue, gray and light pink (almost white).



The photo is mutch darker than in real life and to pink...( I painted on cream colored paper)
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:55 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

Mette,

This is excellent! You have achieved lots of values and nice, smooth transitions despite using only 3 pastels! Great!

Don

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mette Rörström
I did this with 3 colors.blue, gray and light pink (almost white).



The photo is mutch darker than in real life and to pink...( I painted on cream colored paper)
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:40 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

Thank you,Dan, for your nice words on this, and the lips I painted before this one.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:28 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

Yay!! More pics! Charlie wowzers, girl you are GOOD!!! How inspiring! How long does it take you to do that???? & Mette.. really reallly nice, I was looking through the last lesson & yours blew me awaaaaaay!... Mike, just paint as if you r painting one of those gorgeous apples or glass jars... I heard somewhere it is all the same..a tree, a face, an apple... Well I felt my last one was way washed out.. so went for the darker study of nose & lips.. eh...
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:22 AM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

T, Very nicely done! Lots of form and depth!

I agree with your comment about it being all the same - regardless of subject matter. Of course, we are all better at what we have the most experience with, be it landscapes or still lifes or people. But in this lesson, I hope that I have instilled the idea that it is light and shadow that we draw and paint - and we depict the light and shadows by careful observation. In that sense, no matter what the subject - a tree, or apple or nose - the approach is the same!

Don

Quote:
Originally Posted by maw-t
Yay!! More pics! Charlie wowzers, girl you are GOOD!!! How inspiring! How long does it take you to do that???? & Mette.. really reallly nice, I was looking through the last lesson & yours blew me awaaaaaay!... Mike, just paint as if you r painting one of those gorgeous apples or glass jars... I heard somewhere it is all the same..a tree, a face, an apple... Well I felt my last one was way washed out.. so went for the darker study of nose & lips.. eh...
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:27 AM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

Don, T, Michael, thank you!

Michael, I see you're working on the structure of what builds a face, and it is looking good. When Don gets to measuring, you'll find it much easier to get the likeness.

Mette, looking good!

T, wondeful 3D feeling of the dark boy's nose! All yours are looking great, you have such a wonderful way of weaving lights and darks. I'm a slow painter, so I think each mouth took me about an hour. Lost time a bit, as Hubby invited a buddy when he learned I was going to work on doing class tasks all evening. I started to paint at about 7 pm, then had dinner with the boys, painted a bit more, and had coffee with them. I finished shortly before 10 pm.

Don wrote:
Quote:
So I wonder what the advantages might be for starting in the middle.

I'm replying rather extensively to this, including historical methods. If you want the gist without having to wade through it, scroll down to the two last sentences, under Short answer.

Don, I think it is a tool for unity, unifying the colours and values. A simplifying method. Very similar to mixing a pile of general 'flesh colour' on the palette, and then using it to unify the lights and darks. Main difference seems to me to be that in one case you mix on the palette, and in the other you mix on canvas, if you've started with a midtone 'face colour' and then paint in darks and lights into and over it. Starting in the middle, going towards the extremes.

Painting in pastel is (if you layer) similar to mixing on canvas, and to glazing and scumbling.

Though, pastels are versatile, as they are fairly opaque, so you can cover up previous layers, in some cases completely, depending on pastel and paper.

Pre renaissance painters often used egg tempera, and premixed tints and shades of a pigment. (Clearly seen in folds of fabric from that time.) They laid strokes side by side, and blended smoothly. Then somebody discovered that if you laid in a green earth under the fleshcolours, you could brush the latter in lightly and acheive shadows, and opaquely and acheive lights, and as they used lead white, the lights were opaque and luminous. This is the starting with a midtone, and working over it with colours going towards dark and light. Often results in rather weak contrasts.

When oilpaint was rediscovered (attributed to van Eyck, though he actually discovered a varnish), they could paint transparently with glow in the colours. (Tempera is more opaque even when thin.) Often working on a quick-drying ground of tempera, they first still used the Verona green earths for flesh underpainting.

Later again, they started to make a tonal painting on a brownish red tempera ground. They painted in the lights with lead white, thickly for lights and thinly for darks. But there were always at least a thin 'veil' of lead over the darks, so there wouldn't be dark 'holes' or 'caves' of shadow. Over this monochrome underpainting, which was very elaborate, they then applied oil and pigment glazes, as this method made the colours pop and glow. We can say they unified the painting with the deep reddish ground, and then painted the whole scene meticuously in white, resulting in a red and white underpainting, which set the bookends.

They kept shadows thin and transparent, and layered up to 30 or more thin glazes to get the right colour and depth of the shadows, and the light was reflected back by the thin veil of lead white, resulting in fantastic shadow colours.

Pastels are more like working with oils in a more modern way, as alla prima, that is, finishing the painting in one sitting, no elaborate underpainting, no glazes, but relatively thick paint that mixed on the canvas. In a way, I'd say it is similar to the egg tempera manner, especially if you start on a wet canvas grounded with a mid-tone. Though pastels are fairly opaque and have covering power, very often the underlying layers with shine through, and/or mix with subsequent layers, thus affecting the look of the whole. A bit like the midtone Verona green underpainting of tempera and early oils.

To acheive luminous but dark shadows in pastel, we need to work a bit more like the painters from the 1600s, who glazed 20-30 layers. If pastellists underpaint, or start, as you've taught, Don, then lights will be more luminous, and darks will be deep enough, going more towards chiaroscuro than towards midtones with puny darks and weak lights.

Unless one prefers the understated subtility of refined and delicate tones -- then a midtone underpainting of flesh colour would be perfect.


It is all in the language: "midtones with puny darks and weak lights" describe exactly the same as "the understated subtility of refined and delicate tones". We all have different preferences (thanks be!), and all paint for different reasons, including different customers with different preferences. isn't it nice that there is room for all?

Short answer is:
From midtones towards both ends = subtetly.
From near extremes toward the middle = more punch.

Charlie
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:36 AM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

T...Thank you! great jobb on yours!
Carlie.....Thank you!
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:55 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

Although I'm primarily an animal artist, sometimes I'd like a person in the work, so I'm joining this to learn, this lost the likeness, but I see that we will get to measurements and then I will learn how to get that better
soft pastel on grey ampersand board , 8x10 my 3 pastels were Unison RE 2, Rembrant Indian Red, and Art Spec green grey

I really appreciate being able to learn with such competent guidance...thanks so much for doing the class.

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Last edited by winecountry : 01-06-2009 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:55 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

It's nice though, Colleen. You did capture the feeling well.

Mette, yours is striking! The point is proved, any colors will work if the values are strong. It just looks like the lighting is different.

Maw-T, your darker one is fabulous. I love the mouth and nose study.

I took a photo of my granddaughter with my phone, so I'm going to work on that when I get caught up enough to do this. Sorry I've been slow to participate this month, the weather caught up to me and so did what else I'm doing. My website is at a point where it needs a lot of work so I'm doing a lot more with oil pastels at the moment.

I do want to do this class though and I'm still reading and lurking even when not posting. Go go go!
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:51 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

Charlie,

Thank you for your answer to my question! Very interesting information! You add so much to this class - thank you!

Not surprisingly, some of the basic idea of this lesson - starting with a value oriented underpainting - comes from my experience with oil painting. A couple years ago I started doing some figurative work in oils. While I successfully used a wet-on-wet "alla prima" method on my oil landscapes, trying to do a face or figure all in one session just was not working for me. As you have mentioned, monochromatic underpainting has a long history in oil painting, and the first time I tried it, I couldn't believe just how much easier it was for me. So, why not use the same basic idea in pastels!

Don
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:58 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

Colleen, welcome to the class! This is nicely done! As you mentioned, when we get to measuring, we will start focusing more on the likeness. As for now, we are focusing on values and form and you have done a nice job depicting them. This reference has the least amount of variation, but you have some nice value transitions and subtle value changes!

I look forward to seeing more of your paintings!

Don

Quote:
Originally Posted by winecountry
Although I'm primarily an animal artist, sometimes I'd like a person in the work, so I'm joining this to learn, this lost the likeness, but I see that we will get to measurements and then I will learn how to get that better
soft pastel on grey ampersand board , 8x10 my 3 pastels were Unison RE 2, Rembrant Indian Red, and Art Spec green grey

I really appreciate being able to learn with such competent guidance...thanks so much for doing the class.

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Old 01-06-2009, 05:53 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

Don, once again, thanks a lot for all your efforts. Very informative and a lot to think about. Your methods are so similar to what I have been taught the last few years. (my teacher is really an oil teacher, again the parallell). I always start and try to get the values right first, then I bring in the final colours and do the fine tuning. Really should start on a portrait, but at the moment trying to get used to oil paint.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:00 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

Don, thanks, I find that history contains most things.

OK, I'm focusing a lot on mouths, as the Singer quote "a portrait is a picture of a person with something about the mouth" is so true, so I'm trying to do various mouths, the trickiest part.

I chose a mouth on a boy in RIL, not realizing how difficult it would be with lots of reflected light from below...

On velour. Like it for faces, but don't like how it throws dust around.

First I mapped in the lights and darks.
Second I put in some colour, and started the opening of the mouth.
Third, I put on red too early, should have waited until last.
Fourth, finishing.
Fifth pic is ref photo.



Charlie
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:38 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

Charlie,

Thanks for showing the steps! This is great - and you have chosen a difficult angle, as well. Your ability to judge (and reproduce) the values is top-notch!

I hope you don't mind, Charlie, if I use your painting to point out some examples of things directly related to points I have tried to make in the lessons.

Based on some of the posts and discussion in lesson 1, I think one of the hardest things for people to overcome is the feeling that it has to be correct and detailed from the start. Your first photo shows that one can start fairly rough and basic and still end up with accurate and detailed.

And you have some really nice "lost" edges, where both the top edge of the top lip and the bottom edge of the bottom lip - on the far side (the shadow side) - just blend and disappear into the shadow value of the skin. This type of lost edge really helps us get away from the linear, outlined way of approaching a painting and creates a much more realistic result, in my opinion.

Don

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorix
Don, thanks, I find that history contains most things.

OK, I'm focusing a lot on mouths, as the Singer quote "a portrait is a picture of a person with something about the mouth" is so true, so I'm trying to do various mouths, the trickiest part.

I chose a mouth on a boy in RIL, not realizing how difficult it would be with lots of reflected light from below...

On velour. Like it for faces, but don't like how it throws dust around.

First I mapped in the lights and darks.
Second I put in some colour, and started the opening of the mouth.
Third, I put on red too early, should have waited until last.
Fourth, finishing.
Fifth pic is ref photo.



Charlie

Last edited by DAK723 : 01-06-2009 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:26 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 2 (The Mouth and More)

Hi!

Finally, I've made it over here! Great stuff to look at and read, thanks to all of you! I am learning and stretching out. Here's my latest effort in 4 stages:


All comments are welcome!
Janis
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