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Old 08-06-2019, 05:40 PM
TomMather TomMather is offline
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Dutch Girl

MY IMAGE(S):







GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: Dutch Girl
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 11x14
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
I paint mostly landscapes and haven’t painted a portrait in probably 25 years. Lately I decided to paint some portraits as a way to improve my skills and simply paint something different. This is my first attempt. The young lady just happened to be standing in the background while I was photographing the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, so I am calling her a Dutch girl — but she could have been from just about anywhere. The painting was done with only three colors, bu<br>t umber, titanium white and Prussian blue.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
Was my process okay for painting a portrait? Are the eyes too large? Does she look like a real person? (The painting resembles the women in my photo, but is not a perfect resemblance.)
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:56 AM
sevan sevan is offline
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Re: Dutch Girl

Looks pretty good. The figure is a difficult subject.
Main issue for me is the colors in the face are a little dull.
For your next one, consider adding to your palette just a bit. For flesh tones, i would recommend burnt umber, but sienna, yellow ochre and white. Everyone has their own way but I find these earth tones the most useful. Then a very little blue (i use prussian) and some red (I used perm red). Think of these in terms of warm and cool rather than color mixing, and if shadows are warm, light is cool, and vice versa.
Premixing the colors you will use takes less time than you think, and ive found can be a great way to ease yourself up once you start the actual painting. Premixes will look like make up. Then you can choose the mix according to the degree of light and shadow section by section.

Last edited by sevan : 08-07-2019 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:08 AM
sevan sevan is offline
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Re: Dutch Girl

Here is a premixed palette I used. This is just one way im throwing out there of many. It happened to work best for me so far for a realistic look. In this one the lights were cool and the darks were warm.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:41 AM
TomMather TomMather is offline
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Re: Dutch Girl

Thank you, Sevan. That is a great idea to premix the colors. Since I have painted landscapes for so many years, I seldom have to think about mixing colors and just work intuitively.

I can see how using more subtle gradations of color and value would make the portrait more natural and lifelike. I purposely stuck with a very limited palette so far because I was trying to nail down the composition and values. I will try your suggestions as I refine the painting.
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:43 PM
TomMather TomMather is offline
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Re: Dutch Girl

Here’s another shot of my Dutch girl after working on it today. I started adding more colors to the face, mainly burnt sienna, cadmium red, alizarin crimson and a little ultramarine blue — all blended with titanium white. I also added more highlights to her hair with burnt umber, yellow ochre and white.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:21 PM
sevan sevan is offline
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Re: Dutch Girl

She is certainly coming to life. Good work. Looks like a few other subtle changes and refinements to the features, all for the better. Amazing how relatively small changes in a face can make such a big difference.
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:20 PM
TomMather TomMather is offline
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Re: Dutch Girl

My “Girl without a Pearl” is almost done. I accentuated the shadows and highlights, and then added more colors to her face with glazes.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:10 PM
sevan sevan is offline
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Re: Dutch Girl

I would like that title
Very good improvements, it has come a long way! I like the way you handled the shirt.
only thing that stuck out to me is the hair crossing the neck. Something doesnt work, maybe its the light and shadow on the neck doesnt seem to affect the hair. Not sure.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:16 PM
TomMather TomMather is offline
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Re: Dutch Girl

I think you’re right about the hair crossing her neck. It bothers me too. I might try lightening it or just painting it out. The shadows on her neck also look too dark upon further reflection.
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:22 AM
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Shenko Shenko is offline
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Re: Dutch Girl

I agree with the neck shadows being too dark and the hair there.
I also want to point out the hair in the right side versus the hair on the left side. The left side will need some variation similar to the right side. Right now they are very different.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:58 PM
TomMather TomMather is offline
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Re: Dutch Girl

Well, I painted out the distracting tress on her neck and lightened the hair to right of her face, and I think these changes are N improvement. Here’s a photo of the latest version. I also glazed her face with more yellow and lightened the shadows on her neck.
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Last edited by TomMather : 08-18-2019 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 08-20-2019, 03:57 AM
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Beemax Beemax is offline
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Re: Dutch Girl

Great to observe the progression of this painting, Tom, and how you've reacted to the critique. The painting has come on in leaps and bounds since your first post and that is truly inspiring to see. I tend to agree about the hair on the left side, particularly the very edge, where a highlight would redress the balance. Apart from that I'd say you're just about there.

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Old 08-31-2019, 10:15 AM
TomMather TomMather is offline
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Re: Dutch Girl

OK, this is my last version of the Dutch girl — I swear! I lightened the hair to the left of her face, and it does balance the painting better. I was a little confused about the suggestions about her hair, not certain if people meant the left side of her face from her perspective or the viewers. I’m pretty sure this is what you all were suggesting though, and it does help.
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