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Old 04-28-2012, 03:48 PM
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camton camton is offline
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Self portrait

I decided to give my hand at doing a self portrait. I went out and bought a mirror, and have it on my other easel to work from. In the future I would like to get some better lighting, or at least one that I have more control with the light placement.
I'm also trying not to go for too much detail, just want to work on getting colours better (I tend to suck getting skin tones).
I've started off only using OMS and raw umber for the sketch in, then I tried to use the paint straight out of the tube. Did this for a while, then gave up and used some OMS in the mix. I just find it so hard to do straight from the tube. I might need to get some stiffer brushes for that.

Oils on canvas paper (the practice pad stuff or waterever it is)
8x10 (think slight larger, from memory)


The raw umber sketch in.

I was playing with yellow ochre, transparent red iron oxide, alizarin crimson and viridian just to play around with the different tones. My first mistake when I started with the shadows, I went too greyish on them....so hard to get the tones..lol

I started to loose a bit on the proportions with the eye....think the right eye is a tad too low. Its hard trying to get back into the same position with the mirror.
Well, somewhat I got a likeness...but really need to work on skin tones. I want to continue doing more daily ones like this for practice. I think it took me about 4 or so hours to do. I'm not going to go any further with it....start another.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:23 PM
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Lada Lada is offline
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Re: Self portrait

Good job))
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:15 PM
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kevinwueste kevinwueste is offline
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Re: Self portrait

Klint - this is good!The eyes look fine and in good perspective to me. Liquin fine detail might be worth a try - i just tap a tiny bit into it, wip or blot and then introduce to the paint if needed. Some paint company's paints are less juicy from the tube but - especially in the lights - thin is out! ( thin is in for shadows!)

Oh - on your mirror - put a bit of painter's tape to outline your head to get you back in position.. and a tick of tape at the eye line..

-Kevin
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:37 AM
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KingCrimson KingCrimson is offline
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Re: Self portrait

Hey Klint, it's funny, everything you've written here describes exactly where I'm at with my painting.
Coming from graphite drawing, color is an alien world to me. I think you're doing a good job here, we just have to keep plugging away.
As usual, great tips from Kevin, wouldn't have thought of the tape on mirror trick.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:42 AM
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Re: Self portrait

Again, with the mirror...use dry erase markers to position your head and features. They can be easily washed off the mirror.

I'd like to see you finish this! It's a good start.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:18 PM
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Re: Self portrait

Thanks for all the help everyone. I'm gonna try the tape or marker thing on the mirror with another attempt.
I've played with another one, and it was such a long, torture session. I decided to read up on colour for a change.....and so much to take in. I have a very basic understanding of colour theory, mainly of the primarys and such. But after all the reading on skin tones, then onto an introduction about the munsell system (basically Reilly's version of it)....I see so much that I need to learn. I didn't realize much about having a warm and cool version of each colour.
So I spent so much time trying to fix everything in this one. As well, my misconception, thinking shadows are all cool (think I was thinking about things receding into background).


Another raw umber sketch in.

And this was where I started on the darkest shadows using blue, instead I should have been using warm colours. The hardest part is seeing the tones, then trying to mix them....either too light or dark in value, and the hue being so much off. Or red going pink all the time.

At this point I was ready to scape it, so I spent part of the afternoon searching for anything about skin tones. And came across the munsell sytem and various other articles. So I mixed up a new palette with hopefully neutral greys consisting of 1/2 raw umber 1/2 ivory black, then white to lighten to various levels. The other colours I was using are yellow ochre, red iron oxide, alizarin crimson (cool red), raw umber. So I spent the rest of the afternoon learning how to desaturate the colours, as well getting to correct value level. And trying to correct everything I done previously.

This was as far as I got....tommorow I'll finish the mouth, eyes, nose and ear. I wish I did the tape/marker thing before I started this one...the left cheek is slightly off (I kept losing my position with the pose)
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:05 AM
kentiessen kentiessen is offline
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Re: Self portrait

Good approach! You are juggling many concepts at once, but in this challenge are making big steps.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:32 PM
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Re: Self portrait

Thanks Ken. I feel like I'm doing small steps...lol. But at least I'm making progress in the forward direction. I've learned so much from doing this, and hopefully won't do the same mistakes over again (I seem to do alot).

One thing I notice alot, is how I struggle getting the tone being right. Either it is too light or dark, and I spend alot of time remixing to get it right. A thought occured to me, I'm not use to using white. Having come from watercolour, I always used the white of the paper for lights. And just layered the values as needed.
I'm thinking of getting a greyed sort of palette to mix on (I've been using the disposable white wax paper type). Also thought about glass or wood, as I've noticed some artists put greyed paper under the glass palette.

Anyways, here is this 2nd one now. I'm not going to finish it anymore (I could go on forever) I've really only wanted to do these, more to focus on colour and skin tones. Then I'll attempt something more complete (maybe after one more practice)

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Old 05-01-2012, 08:05 PM
Dave Johnson Dave Johnson is online now
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Re: Self portrait

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinwueste
Klint - this is good!The eyes look fine and in good perspective to me. Liquin fine detail might be worth a try - i just tap a tiny bit into it, wip or blot and then introduce to the paint if needed. Some paint company's paints are less juicy from the tube but - especially in the lights - thin is out! ( thin is in for shadows!)

Oh - on your mirror - put a bit of painter's tape to outline your head to get you back in position.. and a tick of tape at the eye line..

-Kevin

I hope I'm not hijacking the thread here, but wanted to ask Kevin about the bolded part. Could you expand on this a bit? Do you tend to use this technique for all of your portrait painting and why?
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:43 PM
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Ian Bruce Ian Bruce is offline
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Re: Self portrait

I think you are making very quick progress, indeed.

I find it helpful to think of all flesh-tones as being different greys. This may sound weird, but bear with me for the moment. As you know, if you mix all three primaries in about the same proportions, you get grey. Well, all the flesh-tones have all three primaries in them--but not in equal proportions. Your orange flesh-tones need to be killed a little with blue. Your bluer shadow tones need to be killed with a bit of red and yellow. Your red (or pink) tones need knocking back with a little blue and yellow. And so on. I find that if I keep this in mind I can mix any flesh-tone with warm and cool primaries--without having to resort to any of the many recipes that require earth colors (which are--in effect--de-saturated, or greyed, primaries).

Naples Yellow is kind of handy to lighten a color without cooling it. White has such a cooling effect that you normally need to re-adjust the temperature of the color after lightening it with White.

That is just my approach.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:03 PM
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Re: Self portrait

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Johnson
I hope I'm not hijacking the thread here, but wanted to ask Kevin about the bolded part. Could you expand on this a bit? Do you tend to use this technique for all of your portrait painting and why?

Hi Dave and to Klint - I hope this is related enough to respond here:

To a man ( and woman), my teachers have always encouraged a thin and transparent "feel" to shadows - even if you paint opaquely there - you want the impression of "air" and "less" - I try to keep the paint less/light, wash-like if I can in the shadows.

In the light as I build up toward the brightest lights, I also build up the opacity and thickness of my paint. This will give the viewer an additional, visual stimulus that what they are seeing is bright -and what is more transparent is getting less light (just like how it works in real life).

-Kevin
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:35 AM
Mares Rex Mares Rex is offline
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Re: Self portrait

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinwueste
Hi Dave and to Klint - I hope this is related enough to respond here:

To a man ( and woman), my teachers have always encouraged a thin and transparent "feel" to shadows - even if you paint opaquely there - you want the impression of "air" and "less" - I try to keep the paint less/light, wash-like if I can in the shadows.

In the light as I build up toward the brightest lights, I also build up the opacity and thickness of my paint. This will give the viewer an additional, visual stimulus that what they are seeing is bright -and what is more transparent is getting less light (just like how it works in real life).

-Kevin
Excellent point Kevin! And I know you've mentioned that you studied for Zhaoming Wu. I think he employs and explains this theory perfectly in his 'Solitude' dvd. He's such a master... So go out and buy/rent Zhaoming Wu's DVD, all of you!
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