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Old 02-19-2012, 02:49 PM
dustonpaper dustonpaper is offline
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First oil portrait from live model!

Today was the big day and I invited a model to my home studio for the very first time. Said home studio is worked out in this thread:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...readid=1008672

First of all, I am sooo happy how my poor mans home studio works. Without even one adjustment I had nice sort of Rembrandt lightning, with light triangle under the eye on the shadow side ... as far as my amateur knowledge goes I really set up a nice portrait corner there with simple means (the picture in above thread doesn't do it justice ... with the dark background the model really looked fantastic).

I have not done that much work from life yet, only thursday nude drawing group since 3 month or so (2 hour, ten minute poses). Regarding portraits this was my first in oil from life and I did one single portrait drawing from life before. Other than that only from photo or other stuff, landscapes ... rarely still lifes (still life would he good practice though)

I know it would have been better to do a drawing instead of complicating matters with color and paint handling ... but I was really excited and since I just love oil color I could not resist . Basically I know my drawing skills are not good enough to go to oil yet ... I'll promise to work on that.

Working time were about 4 or 4 1/2 hours plus pauses of various length (5 to 15 min). I finished working on it when the time I agreed on with the model was over.

There are many failures in the portrait ... the likeness is not that good as I's liked it to be (she looks so much older in the painting). But I am happy and had a wonderful day to be repeated every 2 weeks now at least (with different models).

I hope you like some of it and of course every comment and critique is much appreciated.
I learned a lot today, it was a good and happy day.


High Resolution: http://dustonpaper.smugmug.com/Art/Portrait/19438152_g4N8pb#!i=1717445183&k=dS2cd4f&lb=1&s=O

I didn't get to the hands, but maybe I will finish them another time or just leave it as study.

A closeup:

High Resolution: http://dustonpaper.smugmug.com/Art/Portrait/19438152_g4N8pb#!i=1717445748&k=2QhNtJP&lb=1&s=O

I thought the oil painting forum might be best place to post it.


Thanks to all who gave me tips over the last week about painting from life on the Studio and Portrait forum: Sandra, libby2, Kevin, Bethany, Clive , Carol, Bethany, Dana, Ed and all I forgot to mention.


Thank you for looking and sorry for so much words in the thread ... I'm still feeling really enthusiastic about all day and just wanted to share. Though above mentioned enthusiasm: please do not hold back with critique so I can learn better.
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Last edited by dustonpaper : 02-19-2012 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:12 PM
lovin art lovin art is offline
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Re: First ever oil painting from life

Ok WOW , iM IMPRESSED HERE Duston , Im so thrilled for you , its buzz isnt it , theres nothing like painting from Life , and it forces you to really look and see what it is your painting , I wont go on and on but about to many things , I read your thoughts , and I totoally agree , drawing comes first , but I understand when you say you love color too , me too , but in order to understand color better working with less of it will only sever you better as you progress...

as to the Portrait itself , Its nice and strong and has some great voluminous elements to it , and it shows your love of Paint the beautiful rich thick textures , ok here comes the more stern stuff , Im not sure if I like such a strong dark bg , a more earthy red in tone would enhance her tones more I think , but This is all learning right , and her eyes well Im seeing discrepancies in the placement of them , and that comes back to drawing structure again right? ... and you know all this so , all I can really say is

Well done my dear man , and fab of you to share in your learning I admire that greatly, and I look forward to all your work Duston ...
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Last edited by lovin art : 02-19-2012 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:18 PM
dustonpaper dustonpaper is offline
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Re: First ever oil painting from life

Thank you so much Sandra . I really really enjoy watching your learning progress as well . And yes ... painting from life is what gets me going more and more ... I think we both feel much alike regarding that. Photos just dont cut it ... I began so many paintings from photos, much often lost interest during the process and have them laying around unfinished.

Yes, the background is totally black, actually it is a special cloth that reflects no light (for theatre stages and stuff). I bought it before You all said in the other thread to use another color. I just had no time to fix that for today.

I'm so glad you like it even though its problems. Thank you !

Gotta wash the brushes and eat something now ... laterz all !
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:37 PM
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Re: First ever oil painting from life

Very expressive What size is the painting?
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:53 PM
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Re: First ever oil painting from life

First time from life ? This is pretty good stuff!!!!

-Kevin
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:05 PM
dustonpaper dustonpaper is offline
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Re: First ever oil painting from life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freesail
Very expressive What size is the painting?


Thank you Freesail. It is 50x40 cm.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinwueste
First time from life ? This is pretty good stuff!!!!

-Kevin

Thank you very very much Kevin. The thread title is maybe a bit misleading I now see: I meant to type "First ever oil portrait from life". I have done only a portrait drawing before from life:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=958358

And from life I did a few plein air landscapes and and still life, but not many. Other than that only from photographs and the nude drawing group from thursdays. Ah, damn ... I forgot the self portrait which is my avatar and one other failed self portrait I never finished, that was done from mirror. So it is the third oil portrait basically ... sorry , I totally forgot that one. But I really was the first time with a model in oils.

The likeness is not perfect and is has several mistakes .. but I'm still really happy with it. I have no photo of the model ... but to describe the likeness I guess I could say: It looks like her in the main features, but like her in 20 years maybe ... and other mistakes like the eyes Sandra mentioned. The girl is just 18 years old and I had quite some trouble with all the nice and round forms. I guess older people are a lot easier to paint, at least that was what I felt when painting from photos.
"It can only get better" I always say to myself.

Since you're a moderator, maybe you could change the thread title to "First oil portrait from life model" ? That would describe it better.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:17 PM
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Re: First ever oil painting from life

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustonpaper
Thank you Freesail. It is 50x40 cm.



Thank you very very much Kevin. The thread title is maybe a bit misleading I now see: I meant to type "First ever oil portrait from life". I have done only a portrait drawing before from life:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=958358

And from life I did a few plein air landscapes and and still life, but not many. Other than that only from photographs and the nude drawing group from thursdays. Ah, damn ... I forgot the self portrait which is my avatar and one other failed self portrait I never finished, that was done from mirror. So it is the third oil portrait basically ... sorry , I totally forgot that one. But I really was the first time with a model in oils.

The likeness is not perfect and is has several mistakes .. but I'm still really happy with it. I have no photo of the model ... but to describe the likeness I guess I could say: It looks like her in the main features, but like her in 20 years maybe ... and other mistakes like the eyes Sandra mentioned. The girl is just 18 years old and I had quite some trouble with all the nice and round forms. I guess older people are a lot easier to paint, at least that was what I felt when painting from photos.
"It can only get better" I always say to myself.

Since you're a moderator, maybe you could change the thread title to "First oil portrait from life model" ? That would describe it better.


I updated your title - no worries ( I adjusted one word - hope that's ok!))..

Likeness - really is about shapes - it is the easier thing ( just think: a caricature LOOKs like the person even when it's distorted) but to get the forms to feel like what we are seeing - that takes even more time ( typically) to sort out. Older people, yes I agree with you 100% - older people are less "idea" have things that are, ahem, shifting, drooping, wrinkling and falling. So we have more leeway to make /take artistic license ( read: mistakes ) Younger people are, mostly, much more difficult: the forms are more subtle, there are less features to show form and while all the same amount of "detail" is there - it presents itself in a much more quiet way.

I have a thought for you: setup a single strong light source at 10:00 O'clock or 2:00 O'clock (angle of source to object); Get a white or light brown egg, place it on a simple surface with a dark, low chroma ( anything close to "gray" is fine) background. Practice painting the form of that egg. You will learn a shedload ( it will not be easy). And what you learn you can apply to your pantings of people.

-Kevin

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Old 02-19-2012, 07:27 PM
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Re: First oil portrait from live model!

In help with "de-aging" your subject... Younger subject usually have less striking contrast, less nose to mouth line depth, less under-eye depth. Usually those have little to no contrast to the rest of the face. Cheekbones are also a little less strong. I hope this is helpful! Try taking your fingers and covering the chin shadow, the line from nose to cheek, and the under-eye shadows and squint.. see if that helps with the anti-aging? I agree, also that a nice, contrast-y color may help in the background.. As she appears red and there are some oranges in base-line palette maybe a dark blue would help her stand out?

As it stands alone, it is a very striking piece. If you told no one of the subject's age, it would be a very appealing painting. I like the scarf's suggestive marks, and the monochrome palette is actually very nice (other than what I said above, unless you wanted to stick with it fully with the warms).
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:59 PM
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Re: First oil portrait from live model!

Not on a level where I can offer helpful advice, so I'll just say:

Looks good! Keep it up!
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:02 PM
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Re: First oil portrait from live model!

Well Now Duston-- for a first right out the gate ZEwowoie !!!!!

You have afuture in this my man. You have a great feel for the medium, and with your talent and enthusiasm--- its going to go places, I can see.

I considiser everything one I do a study--- because I know that it will be a hundred more down the line to ***well hopefully almost perfection.

But this is so good for your first oil portrait. I lovehow you handled the hair and the scarf Maybe just the scarf, shoulders and head would be enough challenge for the time alloted.

I am exited for you to be havig a model ever two weeks... You are really going to advance quickly I think.

I dont feel I need to point out drawing errors** as Im sure that you are aware of this. Its just really a difficult matter to keep a handle on it all at the same time as you paint. I feel its really just in the doing it over and over again and then the drawing matters come together.BecauseI know that you can draw.

bravo !!!!
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:16 AM
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Re: First oil portrait from live model!

This is truly amazing for a first oil portrait from life! Give yourself some real credit. You have drama with that backdrop- and you have a recognisable person. You are being critical because you know the person- I see a really good portrait. Keep this as a marker- every time you do this it will get closer to where you want it to be.
Congratulations!
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:30 AM
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Re: First oil portrait from live model!

Bravo Duston,
been keeping an eye on your threads,glad to see you got on so well,.

All the best
Brian
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:40 PM
dustonpaper dustonpaper is offline
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Re: First oil portrait from live model!

Kevin - Thank you so much for your invaluable teaching here and on Wetcanvas in general. I will definitely practice with the egg.

Jess - indeed your tips are helpful. I will try to keep an eye on that the next time. Indeed the contrast of the facial features seems much less drastic with young people. I guess one has to take a really good eye on the subtle value and color changes in the face to model the painting realistic ?

Spudboy - thank you very much for looking and commenting. I'm still a beginner but I try to work as hard as my dayjob allows me to ... which is not as much as I'd like. After dayjob I am often too exhausted to practice, so it is mostly on weekends. And like you said in your introduction thread in the new-user forum: "All I need now is time to improve!" ... time and lots of practice we all need ... and here and there a tip from the pro's ... Wetcanvas is a good place to get them.

Carol - Thank you very much for your kind words. They make me feel very good. Yes, I too consider all I do a study ... and I truly hope that never ends. I've had many hobbies before and in some I reached a paint where I said: hmm, I now know all about this I would like to know ... it gets boring ... lets find another hobby. I hope and I'm pretty sure that never happens with painting and that it will stay a continuous challenge for the rest of my life. So much to learn.
Next time I will use the time to focus on the face and neck/shoulder and maybe get a little bit bigger ? Here the face is only 10cm from chin to hair line. I read somewhere that portrait works well with 2/3 head size (or was it 3/4) ?

Bethany - thank you very much for that you looked and I'm glad you like it. This sure counts as milestone and a real booster to practice. Not only do I learn so much ... also it overcomes certain flaws in my personality. Like some addictions ... no worries, nothing really serious ... but for example I'm addicted to good documentaries and good movies with great actors (currently I totally enjoy Phillip Seymour Hoffman http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000450/ ... that man is an artist, if you like the occasional movie I'm sure you will enjoy his acting, one of the best of his generation) ... so often I set out on a saturday morning with plans to paint a photo I like and then I check the news on the computer and then it gets longer on the computer and I find a good documentary and I start to watch and then say "hm ... lets watch this and then start painting" ... and then the day is over and I haven't made a single stroke. It's not lacking appetite for painting, but a kind of addiction that seems to be stronger often (I guess the brain is hungry for stimulation without acting itself ... a symptom of a sickness of the generation that was brought up by the Television I guess) ... so if I invite a model I force myself to practice and afterwards I do not have to have a bad conscience for being lazy all day long. One feels so much better in the evening knowing he has done something useful with the day. Hope this is not too much off topic.

Brian - Thank you very much ! You are more posting in the pastel forum I see and from your threads I see good progress. Thank you and all the best to you too !


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I couldn't resist to invite a model for next weekend and just did so . I think I can spare money at other, less important issues and put it into model hours.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:22 AM
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Re: First oil portrait from live model!

And don't forget to show your progress to us over in Portraits... can't wait to see your next!
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