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Old 09-14-2003, 08:54 PM
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ShellyF ShellyF is offline
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Wow, Joss! What a great demo! I don't work in acrylics, but I am definitely bookmarking this for when I do get brave enough to pick a brush. This will be a great lesson!
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Old 09-14-2003, 09:39 PM
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Thanks All

Oh you guys are welcome. It is actually a good experience for me too. I am learning how to put into words what I do, how I paint, plus.....learning to follow my own advice and not contradict myself! lol
The hardest thing is to try and summarize painting into words and to try and make it make sense to others.
I will be working More Opaquely in the next stages. Now that the tones and colours are established, I should not run into too many problems and have to fix any large areas.
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Old 09-15-2003, 03:26 AM
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Thanks Joss! Great to see and read through this.
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Old 09-15-2003, 08:21 AM
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Hi All, hi Shelley, hey Soap: Thanks!
I see someone added an icon on the thread for me. Thanks! It is alot of reading.
I see one big area that needs work to correct the shape. Her jawline is ending too short. Alot is due to the unfinished shading too though.
I will do some this morning and then have to drop it till tomorrow to work on a commission.
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Old 09-15-2003, 08:54 AM
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Felica Keech-Smith Felica Keech-Smith is offline
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Excellent!.. I'd say this deserves a great rating... everyone else game?

Felica
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Old 09-15-2003, 11:21 AM
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More Progress

Here is how far I got today. The face is about 3/4 done.
Basically I am using semi-transparent washes in the cheeck area to blend areas together or lighten and change vibrancy or tones of those areas. I am keeping the colours still warm but trying to avoid that pink/beige look. Her skin is a bit cool in the lighting in the photo as it was out of direct light and in subdued light. However, I am working slightly warmer than that.
I am getting into using the colours a little thicker, less water. I drag the brush from the area I want the most colour towards where it will end and leave a thinner coat. When it comes from the starting point and goes into an area beside it, I want it to be a thinner glaze. This blends the areas without having an abrupt dividing line between them. This is especially important in the different tonal areas on the cheeck, from the highlight on her cheek to the area towards her hollow in the cheek and then onto the cheek bone. Dragging till the paint is no longer coming off the brush will give a nice faded gradation and leave no edges. Just drag it and smoosh it around until it has the right shape and intensity. You can always drop in more opaque paint in the small, specific spots where you started, ie: the lightest area of that highlight on the cheek before the crevice it makes by the mouth.
This paint is opaque in alot of strokes now. I am dropping in the defining paint strokes in the creases of her lid, behind the nostril, under the nostril, in the mouth corners, etc. I am also defining the shapes and the highlights around the eye and eyebrow. Highlights I adjust as I go, like the ones on the part of her face that sits against the background.
Dabbing paint just with one brush drop works well for small little details like the highlights on the lid creases. You don't always need to Move the brush, dropping in works well and leaves pleasing natural shapes often. Adjusting odd shapes slightly can be done once the paint is dropped down with the tip of the brush.
Below this post is a close up and specific notes.
The more finished you feel an area is, the more opaque you can go with the final paint application.
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Old 09-15-2003, 12:40 PM
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Details

Ok, here is the closer look.
Alot of these little things are done so fast as I work that I have to stop here and think about them and try to put them into words. You don't need to follow anything verbatum, it is just to give you a starting place. It is more the beginning steps that will help. These later steps can vary greatly between painters. You are basically just continuing to build on what is already there in your first layers. No large areas should be that out of wack colour wise, value wise or tone wise that any major going back over and beginning again should need to take place. You can go on and play with anything your own brush stroke way. Just try and do things in slow steps again, build up darkening and lightening in as many steps as it takes to keep it balanced. Trying to follow instructions step by step will be too hard. Just take the general ideas that you want to try and practice things. Your own strokes, shapes, blending techniques, painterly or more tight, more glazing thinner layers instead of opaque applications; these things will all develop and fall into place uniquely to you the more your paint.
People also tend to get used to what their palettes do and what colour combinations they use do and build up a memory source for themselves after time.
Here you can see closer the style of my paint application. You can see the opaque layers now too. I still glaze over where areas meet to blend and reduce hard separate shapes that I find I don't want there, as I go.
One other thing I try not to do is have any continuous lines. For instance. The shadow inside the crevice of the smiling cheek should be treated as made up of shapes and planes that define it as opposed to running a dark line down the inside. There will be a bit more shadow definition behind the mouth, less in that fatty part in the center and more nearer the nose. This is because of spaces being larger and smaller between the surfaces. Also, the light area can come right down over the rounded edge, breaking that line at the fatty part. There is no darkness there, only a slight jump in value on that space above the lip that comes under the smile crevice.
I tend to drag skintones into the hairline and the eyebrow (as mentioned before) to create hairs that reverse way. This causes the hairline to be more unsymmetrical and realistic like it appears in life; hair emerging form skin. I also tend to allow skin to be seen through the hair closest to the hairline as hair then has deoth and thickens as it moves back further from the hairline. Painting some hairs in roughly afterwards will help visually create the illusion of individual hair strands. You don't want to pepper the areas mentioned, brow and hairline with painted in single strands too much. Otherwise she will look like Barbie! lol

The underchin and the undernose area I always add that shot of glow. This is due to the fact that they are rounded surfaces and continue on the other side, 3 dimensionality. Think light, shadow then midtone glowing light area. This creates 3 dimensionality. It'll be a more subtle graduation the less contrast the lighting is creating. Therefore, steps between value will be little here. This is true for any rounding surface such as shoulder tops, bottom and top of arms, necks, cheeks, etc. Just watch the shapes you are creating is all. Keep them soft and organic as opposed to hard, divided and graphic for human bodies. Unless of course, you are working in a stylized way :-) This is basically geared towards more of a realistic representation.

Ok. You also do not want to have solid defining lines as shadows in the eye lid crevices. Define edges using the plane beside each plane. Here I have her front of her lid to flat. I need to break up that line there and create more 3dimensionality where the lid turns around on the other side. Lashes, I also drop in solid shapes and drag skin tones of whatever value and tone I need back inbetween and drop in a few individual hairs. Generally, I play back and forth with eyebrows, hairlines hair at sides of faces and eyelash areas tll I get a pleasing visual balance of space versus hairs. You also want the hairs to have depth so I tend to vary the darks. I start lighter and drop darks overtop in the strongest dark areas. This works also for the pupil. You can start with one dark shape and drop in mids to lights to give it form. Here her eye is cast down and we won't see alot of light areas in the pupil or the highlight. But, I still drop one spot of a slightly lighter value, a reddish brown gold maybe, to emphasize 3dimensionality even in a shaded or dark eye.

Basically, the more you work, the tighter it will get. Here this is in a looser style of painting. If I did more thin glazing and blending, it would get more highly realistic in rendering and tighter, more detailed. This is all in personal preference and personal style. From here, I could go tight or I could just finish up in the loose style it is in now. Also, I can glaze thin washes of pure colour ontop of areas to alter their hue. IE: If something is too pink, I can wash over and get it more yellowey or orangey. I can wash cool colours like greens and purples and blues over any area that I want toned down and not warm colours. IE: the temple and the cheek bone coming from the hairline. Inside the eye in that area where the nose starts, I can see alot of relected colours. That is why I dropped in the blues and purples. They are great shade creating strokes. Warm glow I have in areas where more light is hitting or the skin is more thin on the body. IE: The nostril area and the thin skin in front of the eye, below the brow.


One thing I try never to do is put a shot of colour in the face that is no where else in the portrait. The only time you may want to do something like that is if a specific object or clothing colour is reflected. But, visually balance it to work.

Here is the close look. It is a bit too pinky for what I want, in some areas, so I will be using some glazing when I go back into it tomorrow.
Joss
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Last edited by jocelynsart : 09-15-2003 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 09-15-2003, 01:00 PM
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hey, can tell you are really passionate when you work, in the way you verbally describe things....and you really are being super descriptive on all the little details with good reasoning behind everything you do...this is really a good workshop thread...going to go rate it now!
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Old 09-15-2003, 01:00 PM
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A Bit on My Style

While doing this I have thought about the fact that what I may want to accomplish in terms of a "finished" portrait may be different than what someone else would want to accomplish.
This stage above is a point where people can go in different directions. The colours and tones and structure is well established. I can continue to blend and glaze and drybrush with medium to dry wetness over the face and body. Thsi will diminish the separation between areas and give a more gradual blending of tones for the skin. Or, I can work thicker and more opaque, creating pleasing strokes and shapes that up next to each other, create the planes, lights and darks and mids. The less definition between areas the less loose and painterly. Thsi is all dependant on how much time is put into it and on the individual's style of working.
My goal is to have no hard shapes with definite edges. I want it to be painterly but also not to be choppy in brushstrokes. I am not good at Impressionistic type painting, I always end up blending the tones and creating more subtle graduation in the skin. However, I am not so tight that you cannot make out brush strokes. This will not be ultra blended with hundreds of glazing layers.
Alot of people could now go on from this stage on their own, in their own stlye.
One thing I also wanted to point out is this. Whatever medium I use, I tend to start out the same. In watercolour, I also start very monochromatic. (I have a watercolour stage portrait in my Project entries). Oils I always cover my drawing in a transparent tone of ochre/sienna washed acrylic before I start the painting. Acrylic on primed hardboard can be used liek oil. It dries slower and you can blend the paint together like oil, before it is dry. In acrylic, you also have the great option of drybrushing which is a great blending tool. It takes alot of practice to know how little or how much pigment to have on the brush while doing it.
While I paint, I now know unconciously, if I have too much paint on my brush. If I am dragging my brush and realize the feel is of too much pigment, I dab it quickly on a paper towel and I go back and coninue. I dab and paint, depending on if the balance and paint application feels balanced and is creating the effect on the surface I want it to. Less is better as you can easily do more than one run over an area. Taking back once too much of your surface was covered is harder and does not leave nice edges on your stroke shapes.
So, this demo is now becoming kind of My Style specific and you may want to keep that in mind. I don't want to necessarily mold anyone's painting style into mine :-)
Joss
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Old 09-15-2003, 01:08 PM
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Hi Dyin and Felicaks: Ok, whatever you think. I'll leave that up to others. you all can decide on stuff like it's usefulness.
I do apologize for the wordiness. i try to get across as best as possible what I did so that it can be understood. I am also not a techie. I don't know alot of the tech words for the materials, proper useage of terms like planes, values, hues, tones, mediums, etc. I long ago stopped thinking about the words and have become just physical. So, I will try to answer technical questions as best I can. I tend to describe things in everyday emotional like terms. There are others on this site who are better with the terms and are more indepth with how they prepare their surfaces, ratio of paint to water, etc.
Joss
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Old 09-15-2003, 01:12 PM
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geesh..no apologies for the wordiness...it's good to see it laid out like that...and a lot of us self-taught artists aren't all that familiar with the terminology either...this is nice plain English and I can follow along easily....
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Old 09-15-2003, 01:25 PM
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Colours Update

I use these colours in my palette becasue they all work and work often. Anyone who wants to Add a colour and a note regarding it, to this thread, is welcome to. It could help and I have not explored many colours outside this palette enough to know them.
Note: Alizarin Crimson I added a few yrs ago. It is great because it creates less Hot warms. It is a more Transparent colour too. I find the Ultramarine I use also more transparent. Anythign like Cobalt Blue and Yellow Ochre have white in them and are right away very opaque colours.
How you cause your pigments to be more opaque is to add tiny amounts of white. You may not want the white to make a difference in the lightness but you want it to be more opaque and increase it's covering ability when glazing. Transparent colour in washes will tint an area and more opaque colour washes will alter the value or lightness/darkness of an area and the tint only if you are using a different colour than what you are glazing over. This is where you can get into toning down areas with cools, strengthening intensity and diminishing intensity of underlaying colours, or warming up areas more.
Ok, all for today! Time to work on a B&W house painting.
Joss
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Old 09-15-2003, 02:39 PM
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My Old Work

Actually, while I am waiting for an area on my commission to dry, I thought I'd put up some old paintings from 1983/84. One is me, my brother and sister from a photo taken by my aunt when we were kids. The second is me, my brother and my then boyfriend, now husband at a barbecue at my step-dad's cottage in Tobermory, Ontario.
I was 17 or 18, and these were my first real serious undertakings from my own photos or photos I had. I was drawn to photos as I already showed a huge interest in photographing people and things. I had only a crappy 35mm point and shoot as a kid.
Now, I know some people will say " she was painting like that at 17?" and get discouraged. One thing that has to be taken into consideration is that I came from a very enthusiastic about the arts family. Almost every person in my family, both sides, is artistic in nature. Only one used it to make a living and she was more of a graphic artist. She also does paint and has a built in artistic passion. So, with this in mind, I have had alot of practice starting very early.
Alot of people don't spend their whole childhood drawing and painting. Some discover it as adults but if they had had the opportunity, would have been doing more of it as a teen or child.
Therefore, I had a head start that maybe others did not. So, don't get discouraged if you feel you may have a long way to go to get where you want, whatever that is. Everyone progresses differently and has different opportunites along the way. I draw and paint every day and always did.
These were before life drawing classes, I had just started, and nudes were a couple yrs away I believe. These were drawn freehand too and I cannot recall if I used grids. I don't think so. I now draw freehand on a separate piece of paper before transfering to my good surface if I am drawing it from scratch. Note how hard the edges were, the lines and the dark browns. I don't use dark brown in shadows anymore, I don't work as linier and hard edged. I also don't use white as much as I did. I tend to leave my light areas pretty much from the start.
Thought these may be of interest regarding My own progression as an artist. There is parts I still like and parts I don't, in them.
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Last edited by jocelynsart : 09-15-2003 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 09-15-2003, 02:41 PM
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They are a bit hazy from being behind glass. They are more vibrant than shown here.
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Old 09-15-2003, 02:43 PM
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Lol! I cropped my brother's head off in the one above. My light in the dining room is reflecting in the glass as well. These are all cropped for the scans from the original total paintings. They are both around 11"x14"
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