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  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-02-2009, 10:38 PM
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NancyS. NancyS. is offline
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

Quote:
Originally Posted by winecountry
Lovely color Nancy, and the velour lends a soft feel, may take a while to get the hang of it, I never really got it right,

Seems a bit off on from the nose down in alignment and placement of the features. I really love the line of the neck and back against the bg. Its only the beginning of the month and we have all month to learn from each other thanks for starting us off.

Thanks for your comments, Colleen. I really appreciate thoughtful criticism. And I think you are right, now that I look at it. I knew the angle of the face was off from the photograph but I missed that part below the nose. Thanks!

Nancy
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:41 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

Nancy, This is great! There are so many nice things happening here - the head shape is wonderful, nice likeness, nice flesh tones - especially those in shadow, I like the cool colors, the hair is wonderfully done and so is the jewelry, the background is nice, and there are definitely some nice lost (and near lost) edges (blue arrows)!

Of course, I do have a little bit to critique! Very minor things about the lips.



This is one of those 98% profiles - the head is turned just a wee bit less than exactly half way - so you can see just a slight amount of the philtrum (that little groove from upper lip to nose). You have depicted that small sliver of shadow shape that is the depression of the philtrum. But then you have an area of light value (top red arrow on your painting) that makes it look (to me) that the we are seeing the lip area more from about an 80% profile. The highlight on the lower lip (bottom red arrow) is also too far to the right, again making it look like the lips are being seen a little more from the front. My arrows on the photo are there merely to show how narrow the philtrum is and that the highlight on the lower lip is much closer to the edge of the face.

These are very minor value shape issues that should in no way dampen your enthusiasm for this painting. It is very well done. I really like it very much!

Don

Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyS.
I tried to incorporate several of the principles in the lesson: using cool colors to recede; making the background a more neutral color so that it doesn't compete with the face; repeating some of the background colors in the portrait; I had more of the "lost edges" when I was working on it, but they sort of found themselves before I was finished. I like the effect of the lost edges, though, so I think I'll try that next time. I used Velour paper which I've never used before, interesting surface, kind of suedey.



C & C welcome!

Nancy
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:56 AM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

Don thanks for the arrows, I learned alot from that critique of Nancy's work

here is the first effort. I can see I've taken a very narrow view of what this lesson is, so for my 2 cents, I'd love to have 2 months on this and I would expand to more ground, but for now this is where I'm at

I'm only concerned with 2 things, one where bg meets the form, the edges and values, and two how the BG is working as space, near, far, how the light is moving. In this first one, the part I worked on was how there is a faint shadow cast and how he used that to bring out the face. I have a lousy repro, so who knows what the colors are. I made some up. My Take Away on this one, how to modulate the tones against the edges to bring space behind the figure
I'll post these with my ref so you can see. this is Mrs W, the mother. it was done after he did the first portrait of Mr. W that got raves at the Salon when it was displayed, Mrs W however was not very well recieved. all of these hung in the dining room of the W house which was called fondly "Sargent's Mess" I'm guessing mess hall sense, not messy.

here is the link to the Wertheimer story and exhibit at JSS virtual gallery
http://jssgallery.org/Essay/Wertheim..._Paintings.htm
the pastel is not as dark on the far edge as the photo shows, took it at night on my easel and that side always goes darker, in RL it's lighter like the ref.
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Last edited by winecountry : 03-03-2009 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:55 AM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

winecountry- good for you for setting some concrete goals! great start to the portrait. looks like you have been inspired!

nancy- great job, love the hair!!! i find it tough! the cool colors and softness as well! please post the after changes if you chose to make them.

don- went into the cubby through the reno with a flashlight and dug out my pastels. have been really inspired by mary cassatt. love the color and looseness of her art. think i may try a few of hers!!! i went out and got some colorfix paper to try. has anyone here used it???

charlie- you have me looking at my pastel choices differently. thank you so much!!!!!

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Old 03-03-2009, 01:43 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

Since this is my Sargent month, I thought the group might enjoy these links, they are pictures of his studio, this is a Smithsonian collection of artists in the studio and you can click and make it bigger...just fascinating, they are so big If this is too off topic Don please feel free to delete it.

http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/se...850_6262.htm i

http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/se..._2584_8104.htm

since the same still life is on the easel in both works, I think it is the same day for each photo,... notice the piano? he was and accomplished musician and entertained his sitters this way.
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:27 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

today's study is Betty W one of the daughters? Take Away for this is where the hair is harder edged, how the reds are integrated with the hair, and how the sky has warm in it, and where the light and dark are there.

These sm studies, don't show all that I am learning, sort of like taking notes in class, not complete, but have the info I need.

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Old 03-03-2009, 05:30 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

Quote:
Originally Posted by winecountry
Don thanks for the arrows, I learned alot from that critique of Nancy's work

here is the first effort. I can see I've taken a very narrow view of what this lesson is, so for my 2 cents, I'd love to have 2 months on this and I would expand to more ground, but for now this is where I'm at

I'm only concerned with 2 things, one where bg meets the form, the edges and values, and two how the BG is working as space, near, far, how the light is moving. In this first one, the part I worked on was how there is a faint shadow cast and how he used that to bring out the face. I have a lousy repro, so who knows what the colors are. I made some up. My Take Away on this one, how to modulate the tones against the edges to bring space behind the figure
I'll post these with my ref so you can see. this is Mrs W, the mother. it was done after he did the first portrait of Mr. W that got raves at the Salon when it was displayed, Mrs W however was not very well recieved. all of these hung in the dining room of the W house which was called fondly "Sargent's Mess" I'm guessing mess hall sense, not messy.

here is the link to the Wertheimer story and exhibit at JSS virtual gallery
http://jssgallery.org/Essay/Wertheim..._Paintings.htm
the pastel is not as dark on the far edge as the photo shows, took it at night on my easel and that side always goes darker, in RL it's lighter like the ref.

Colleen, I think this is a great way to experiment with backgrounds, values and edges, so it is a really good exercise. I didn't include any specific exercises in my lesson, so this should work out great.

It looks like you have replicated Sargent's basic background values and the edges look good, too. You have a little more contrast between the neck (her left side) and the background than in Sargent's version (your bg is lighter in that area), but I wouldn't say that it attracts my eye too much. Very nice soft edges along most of the area where sitter and bg meet!

Don
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:35 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingersnap
winecountry- good for you for setting some concrete goals! great start to the portrait. looks like you have been inspired!

nancy- great job, love the hair!!! i find it tough! the cool colors and softness as well! please post the after changes if you chose to make them.

don- went into the cubby through the reno with a flashlight and dug out my pastels. have been really inspired by mary cassatt. love the color and looseness of her art. think i may try a few of hers!!! i went out and got some colorfix paper to try. has anyone here used it???

charlie- you have me looking at my pastel choices differently. thank you so much!!!!!


I love Mary Cassatt as well and find her pastels most interesting. Many of them are very loose and unfinished letting us get a glimpse of the process! Lots of folks here have used colorfix papers, but I have only used it twice, but liked it well enough.

Don
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:38 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

Colleen, these exercises are a great idea. They are obviously more advanced than thumbnails (which was one of my suggestions) but can be done more quickly than a full portrait. You will probably learn as much from each of these as you would a full portrait, too - maybe even more, since you can concentrate on the elements you want to learn about and not worry about likeness and all the finishing touches. You are painting faster than I can keep up!

Thanks for those Sargent photo links, although I get an error message with the first one. The 2nd photo links fine, and it does show a rather roomy studio. It's bigger than my whole house!

Don

Quote:
Originally Posted by winecountry
today's study is Betty W one of the daughters? Take Away for this is where the hair is harder edged, how the reds are integrated with the hair, and how the sky has warm in it, and where the light and dark are there.

These sm studies, don't show all that I am learning, sort of like taking notes in class, not complete, but have the info I need.


Last edited by DAK723 : 03-03-2009 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:44 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

thanks for commenting Don,
there may be a little difference but I think most of it is the additional contrast that is done with the camera. I'm trying to squint the values. None of my ref are really decent, since they are off the internet, at lo res, so I'm not being really fussy, and working this small discourages the process too, each head is about 2 " in size, it is teaching me some principals tho.
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:57 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

winecountry i am in awe!!!

tried drawing on and off for 2 hours. wrecked 4 pieces of paper and had a very unsuccessful attempt. seem to be struggling a bit. will try again later tonight. portrait was i feel unsalvagable... practice is part of the process. it can only go up from here. it seems like these things have to go through an ugly phase before they get better??
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:56 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

Wow, great stuff you guys are producing! My life is hectic at the moment, but I can watch and be impressed!

Charlie
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:45 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

not so good today on the work but fabulous find on the internet, he talks to a student about how he does background and many other part of portrait painting here. I've been washing off and re using the board and painting a bit of acrylic on it each time, this one has so much I can't get the pastel to stick so I just stopped, I'll start fresh tomorrow.


here is a quote about bg, in oil, but it pertains in pastel as well, tho how you do it may differ
Quote:
Accurately place your masses with
the charcoal, then lay in the background about half an
inch over the border of the adjoining tones, true as
possible, then lay in the mass of hair, recovering the
drawing and fusing the tones with the background, and
overlapping the flesh of the forehead. For the face lay in a
middle flesh tone, light on the left side and dark on the
shadow side, always recovering the drawing, and most
carefully fusing the flesh into the background. Paint flesh
into background and background into flesh, until the
exact quality is obtained, both in color and tone
Attached Images
  
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Last edited by winecountry : 03-04-2009 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:37 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

DOnt know when I will get to participate.. will be hit & miss... family in from out of town.. then I will be leaving town for awhile..Today, maybe I can play some as I am alone in the house for the first time in a while!!

DON...I am again so grateful for all your hard work! I hav read through most of it & so enjoy seeing the masters works.. lots to take in, but eventually it will penetrate this thick skull I hope!

Nancy, I LOVE love love your work here.. I did notice the area DOn pointed out, but the overall effect is beautifully painted.. that hair, the jewels.. those strokes with the lost found edges.. wow! Very inspiring!

COlleen, Thanks for sharing your goals with us.. your studys are also inspiring & the links on Sargent, I read the whole thing.. some wonderful & informative quotes from him..!

Charlie, I hope you get some time to participate soon as I alwayslove seeing your work & learn something from you!

Gingersnap HI.. glad you are digging in.. dont be shy to post your efforts... we are all here to improve no matter our experience.. as DOn said
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:33 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 4: Backgrounds & Depth

i can not stop laughing. i worked on this piece and was very discouraged. the paper was not taking many layers of pastel. i worked and worked. it is a photo i took of my daughter. i call it "peek-a-boo". i showed my husband. i told him i didn't like the paper. i picked it up and realized i drew on the board backing of the pad. i had used all of the paper the night before!!! i drew while my 2 year old painted ( we have art time when the 1 year old is sleeping) and i didn't notice. i thought i would frame it ,but i don't know now since it is on cardboard. live and learn...... c&c welcome.

don: i did the block in method and used a ruler to measure. thank you for your support.

Last edited by gingersnap : 03-05-2009 at 07:50 PM.

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