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Old 09-08-2008, 09:06 PM
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Poess Poess is offline
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Angry my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

so this is supposed to be my kids..its my first attempt at a portrait and 2nd attempt at painting using a reference photo. This was a pain...but enjoyable.

so...why does it suck???
help..
I attatched the painting and the photo...its a pic I really like of my kids...(don't they look sooo cute???)

thanks for looking and for any suggestions!
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:07 PM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

oh, and I had to change my kids' hair than what it was in this pic to try to make it easier..
my youngest has really, really curly hair..
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:23 PM
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Bizkit Bizkit is offline
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

Hollie-
Well, its not THAT bad.....LOL. Seriously, Its not that bad, I really wonder how much you were "Feeling" the painting when you were painting it. I have days when I try to paint and I can really feel like Im not accomplishing anything but pushing paint around. Then there are days when the Magic happens and everything painted comes to life!!!
Ive looked at your site and I think your a very accomplished artist, although, as I said, its not bad, I think......rather, I know you can do better.
Suggestions; keep working on it, youve got the basic shapes down, you just need to make them come to life now. Im not a big fan of the "Family" wording, but thats just me so if you like it keep it!!!!!!
So dont hate me, I wasnt being harsh, just trying to give you a jump to the right direction!
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:28 PM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

I appreciate you comments!!
Its so much easier for me to just paint and let it come out. This time I was feeling it, but it's hard to not just do what I want...I'm used to just sitting in front of the canvas and letting it flow..not looking back and forth and readjusting constantly..
I'm not too much of a fan of the family thing either, but my kids like it. They love the idea of us being a family and we have family day every sunday, so they said I should write that there and i did. It made them feel involved (they were painting their own masterpeices next to me)
the contrast on this pic is awful, there is more browns to their skintone..but it still sucks just as bad as it looks. eh, oh well.
I think I'll just stick to my fairies and women's faces..
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:30 PM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

I think its a great painting, very good first attempt!!
The one on the right I think the eyes are a tad bit too big and bright in color maybe a touch darker in color might help subdue it a bit.. I would only suggest some more darks to show shading around the features and jaw just a little bit. Blend in the whitish halo around the back of their heads into the background, I love how you did the blend on the bottom of their necks to the background. Sorry not intended to be harsh but think some more dark shading will help make them pop out more.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:32 PM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

not harsh at all! I need all the help I can get!!
Maybe I'll work on it some more tomorrow..4 hours this far isn't too bad, but I can't even look at it anymore. I think a fresh eye tomorrow will help me see more flaws too (although, all I see is flaws in this one..honestly I don't like it...but I had to try)
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:38 PM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poess
I appreciate you comments!!
Its so much easier for me to just paint and let it come out. This time I was feeling it, but it's hard to not just do what I want...I'm used to just sitting in front of the canvas and letting it flow..not looking back and forth and readjusting constantly..
I'm not too much of a fan of the family thing either, but my kids like it. They love the idea of us being a family and we have family day every sunday, so they said I should write that there and i did. It made them feel involved (they were painting their own masterpeices next to me)
the contrast on this pic is awful, there is more browns to their skintone..but it still sucks just as bad as it looks. eh, oh well.
I think I'll just stick to my fairies and women's faces..

Painting from reference photos are not the easiest thing to do in the world are they.. If your not really accustomed to painting photos it can be quite a daunting task. One of the really hard parts for me is keeping perspective, as well as painting eyes, ears, teeth, hair, pretty much all of those things....It takes alot of patience and a whole lot more of practice. If I might make a suggestion, take your reference photo and if you dont have a projector do the grid system to it then transfer onto the canvas. It will greatly aid in keeping everything in check. I always use a projector for my photos, Its just quick and easy and I dont have to worry about the typical artist worries. If your kids like this, give it to them, hang it in there room and be proud of it just as they are. You can always use this one as the study version and do and entirely different one with a different approach......keep up the good work!!
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:52 PM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

When I have all the time in the world, I draw everything out freehand. I can do it. It just takes a lot longer. When I don't have all the time in the world I'll use a grid.
And yes I have a projector, and yes I will use it for a difficult portrait. I only use tricks and tools to get in the ballpark, (eye location, tip of the nose, edge of the lips.)
There is good indication that Da vinci used a camera obscura (projector) for the Mona Lisa.

If it's a full face portrait like your's, I will always grid it out. Full face children are tough. Their faces are not the same shape as an adult's.

My advice. Start with a new canvas. Draw it, make it right. (Use a grid if you want) Paint it and make it yours.
Good luck.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:18 PM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

Amen to all the above! It really is not as bad as you think!
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:17 AM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

Firstly, everyone has to begin somewhere!
Secondly, Your children liked it enough to ask you to paint "Family" on it!
(tell you something?)
Every time you try another, you will get better because you know that is the only way to go no matter how good you get.
(Artists are notoriously under raters of themselves)
I can guarentee that every time you look at this painting you will see where you can make another improvement.
And, No matter how good you get, it will always be this way!
You get a 10 out of 10 for trying.
a 10 out 0f 10 for seeing you can improve
and a 10 out of 10 because I said so!
Now go get'em girl.
You can do it!
~~Kathleen
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:01 AM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

Quote:
Originally Posted by CamiTampa
Full face children are tough. Their faces are not the same shape as an adult's.
I think that's the key here. The kids in the painting look a lot older.
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:10 AM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

GOOD first try!! I would strongly advise leaving this alone; it's the only first portrait you will ever have!! Date it and don't do anything else to it. Do another try on a fresh canvas. In the future, you will be able to see what progress you have made.
I did my first painted portrait a half-century ago, and it is STILL hard work!! But so satisfying when you get a good result.
Some advice that helps me:
Don't call what you are doing a portrait; call it a study! That immediately reduces the pressure, and frees you to experiment and not be "timid."
Use the grid or a projector, and anything else that will help you get the proportions right.
Acrylics are great for breaking down a portrait -er, srudy-- into simpler steps. get your drawing right, then paint it in monochrome to get the values in place, and when you are satisfied with that, come back with color glazes to get your colots the way you want them.
Try using other photos. Natural light is so much more pleasant than flash. Also, 3/4 views are easier than full-face views to get right and look less like mug shots!
Don't equate photorealism with "quality"; a painting can capture things about a subject that photorealism cannot.
Your work shows imagination and a sense of beauty; I hope to see you continue to explore portraiture!
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Last edited by WaltWally : 09-09-2008 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:46 AM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

You've been given a lot of good advice. I'll just add that my second portrait was much better than my first . . . and the third was much better than my second. Number four was much easier to tackle. They get better and easier the more you do it. Also, if you're working from photos (the only way I do portraits), wait for one you're excited about and willing to look at a lot
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:06 AM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

Poess - I too really don't think this "sucks". Trust me portraits are not that easy to do and first time, well this is an accomplishment to be proud of!

I've been doing portraits for a long time, posted a couple in Portraitures LOL feeling fairly confident. well I was gently assured that I could get better.. Practice makes perfect they say and I think you're off to a great start, don't be so hard on yourself! Just keep going.

Elaine
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:30 AM
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Re: my first attempt at a portrait..not very good..

I agree with the others on this. Focus on the drawing. Don't see the parts as eyes, ears, etc. Just see shapes. If the grid/projection helps you see your mistakes at first then use them, but I would suggest trying to 'free hand' as much as you can. I think you will sharpen your own drawing skills by not using the grid/projector which is better in the long run. Just my belief. Practice drawing, drawing, and drawing. With that comes edges. Just see the shapes, location of the shapes, and edges of the shapes.

Most important thing is stick with it. I would suggest, as mentioned before, that you don't look at this as if it's going to hang in the Louvre. It's just a painting. And don't start with something that means the world to you like your kids. Pick subjects/people that you don't know so you don't have that pressure on yourself.

Good luck, keep painting and keep posting.
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