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Old 12-28-2011, 10:55 PM
Newbie23
 
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Over my head

OK, so, I took a stab at painting a portrait tonight for my first painting... not so good.

Here's how i'm doing it. Starting with a photo:



Then I produced this tracing in Photoshop:



Which I projected using an art projector onto a canvas. I then traced the projection on the canvas with a graphite pencil, and started mixing colors and attempting to fill in the lines.

It's really hard!!!

I actually did ok with the hair but I'm having issues with the face. I don't really want to do something photo realistic, and I don't want to have to study painting for 6 weeks. I know I have to practice, and what I want to practice is the following:

1. Painting solid shapes including well defined edges.
2. Adding shading.

One problem is that the pencil lines are showing through the acrylic. What do I need to do here?

Also, edges are really difficult to achieve with a brush, any tips?

I'm wondering if I could do some sort of stenciling to fill in layers of one color and then let them dry and come back and do another layer with another hue. Any tips on achieving this? How would I produce the layers and the stencils?
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:09 PM
Newbie23
 
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Re: Over my head

OK, just discovered "Frisket". This could potentially be a life saver. How to combine it with the projector/enlargement though? How do I cut the frisket paper so it will have a smooth edge? I am thinking I will tape a bunch of it up to the canvas, draw the projection onto the frisket, pull it off the canvas and then cut it?
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:10 PM
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Re: Over my head

Also, say I fill in all the base areas correctly, and then it dries... how do I add shading/highlights to that?
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:56 AM
Newbie23
 
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Re: Over my head

OK, instead of frisket, I like the idea of using this "3m scotch artist tape for curves":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63LHL72w0JQ

or something similar. Do they have this at Michaels? Anything better/wider I could use?

Thanks!!
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:04 AM
Newbie23
 
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Re: Over my head

Here's a video showing shading techniques:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8XhXyWQyYU

A few questions... How does she get the shade line to be so narrow? How does she pull the shade only in one direction without spilling over the line? How does she leave a tiny bit of unblended shade at the edge? How wet/dry must the under layer be before applying the shading layer? Any other tips on optimizing the shading process?
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:27 AM
Keith2 Keith2 is offline
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Re: Over my head

I think the photo is unsuitable as the foundation for a painting. The composition is unbalanced, with most of the interest in the bottom right hand corner. The starburst effect of the light is distracting and adds nothing to the picture.

I would take a few pictures of the woman in more conventional head and shoulder poses. Arrange the lighting that it creates strong contrasts of light and shade across the woman's face. Try not to use flash, as this may cancel out the light and shade. Do some small thumbnail sketches in pencil to see what the finished pictures would look like.
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:52 AM
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arnoud3272 arnoud3272 is offline
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Re: Over my head

I agree with Keith on all points concerning composition issues.
For the techniques how to handle acrylic paint, you'd better post in the relevant forum (surprise ! Acrylics ).
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:44 PM
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Re: Over my head

I think that studying painting for six weeks would make a good start. Until they touch it, people may think that making art works like this: conceive it, buy materials, make it. As you're discovering, there are a whole lot of detailed skills and perceptions that need to be built up, to be able to move from the buying materials part to the making it part. To build the skills, you first need to encounter the problems to be overcome, which is what you're doing now. So you're making a good start. Best of luck.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:34 AM
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La_ La_ is offline
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Re: Over my head

there's also a forum for works in progress if you'd like to post it there for some help.

really, for a newbie it's looking good, i don't mind the comp - her face is in a decent spot on the canvas.

as for acrylics, layers are helpful, use water thinned paint and keep adding layers to find shadows and shapes and highlights, it'll build up to the point of covering the pencil lines, eventually, but in future - draw lightly, just enough to guide you (you're not building a coloring book, you're building a painting, right) .

oh, and put away the frisket and tape, just practice with your brushes, experiment, wash them often and back up regularly to check your progress

la
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Last edited by La_ : 12-30-2011 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:59 AM
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Re: Over my head

Graphite pencil is a bad choice. Do not use it anymore! You need a piece of charcoal to draw lines or you can also use watercolor pencil to wash it`s lines with brush and water before painting.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:08 PM
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Magical_Realist Magical_Realist is offline
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Re: Over my head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigalot
Graphite pencil is a bad choice. Do not use it anymore! You need a piece of charcoal to draw lines or you can also use watercolor pencil to wash it`s lines with brush and water before painting.
I like watercolor pencils--I can tweak the drawing to get it just right, then brush over the lines I want with a fine brush and thinned paint or medium. When that's dry, I use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess pencil (which also tones the canvas a bit). Then I paint. This works really well when I'm using a grid to transfer the drawing, as I can wipe the grid away.

Whatever you do, don't use Sharpie markers or ballpoint pens to draw on canvas--the ink always bleeds through the paint, no matter how many layers you keep adding.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:57 AM
NeilF92 NeilF92 is offline
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Re: Over my head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigalot
Graphite pencil is a bad choice. Do not use it anymore! You need a piece of charcoal to draw lines or you can also use watercolor pencil to wash it`s lines with brush and water before painting.

Why is Graphite pencil a bad choice ?
In Photoshop I use "Stylize -Find Edges " to create a line drawing of the ref photo - size this to the same as your canvas and print off - in parts if larger than A4. Tape the parts together - place a sheet of Graphite copy paper under the line image and transfer it through onto the canvas . Keep it faint though - just enough to see to paint over.
Never had any problems with this or faint pencil guides in my years of painting with Oils or Acrylics.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:28 AM
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Gigalot Gigalot is offline
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Re: Over my head

Graphite is a lubricant that protects surface material from sticking various substances and paints. The paint does not adhere to the graphite flake and it may cause paint peeling if there is a lot of graphite on canvas.
It is recommended to use charcoal only to draw on canvas under oil paint.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:33 AM
NeilF92 NeilF92 is offline
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Re: Over my head

Thanks for the explanation - I don't think that is a problem when using fine and faint lines to set out the work . I can see that substantial use of graphite - i.e. heavy lines or shaded areas is not advisable though.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:44 AM
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Re: Over my head

Well, even asphaltum is not such a dangerous thing if carefully and properly applied!

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