View Full Version : Helen Hunt (plus revised version at end)

02-24-2010, 08:38 AM
I've always liked non-generic beauty that veers away from the typical Hollywood norm (that's not to say I don't enjoy the "norm" as well!) and feel that Helen Hunt possesses this atypical brand of lovliness. I recently ran across an unusual and, to me, highly sensuous pose that caught my eye. Although I think my reach may have exceeded my grasp here and don't believe I did the reference photo or the actress justice (hair and skin tones especially), I had fun trying.

Multiple layers, watercolor, airbrush, knife (at several settings) and liberal use of eraser (thank goodness the ArtRage eraser doesn't wear down or I'd be in BIG trouble!).

As always, C&C welcome.

02-24-2010, 09:04 AM
Great portrait work:)

D Akey
02-24-2010, 09:58 AM
Are you talking about Norm from Cheers? Never did anything for me either.

I think it's quite interesting how you have chosen to do the textures in their respective places. The brown blanket texture is very different from the rest. Were you to do it again, and give it some thought in this direction, you may want to consider how the textures play against one another. And in looking at shapes as abstract pools that you can fill with a texture of your choosing, it may work the idea of contrasting textures to interesting effect. It's a sensibility where you make the important stuff really work as expected, and them go to town creatively on the other areas. It's because the tan in the background does nothing for the picture as it appears. It's polite enough and sits away and remains quiet. But it can be used.

Think as if you just bought a home with a lot of the property being gravel and dirt. How would you landscape it, or what could you put there (in the case of a yard = pool, volleyball, flowers with the paint equivalent being anything from brushstrokes to pattern to stuff) that would add to the fun of the picture.

Every inch of real estate is yours the second you take over an image.

And work with something of a plan -- at least for now until you exploit the possibilities. But waiting for inspiration is also good. But hold an intention to own the painting in full and see where that takes you.

The other way to go is to pull it in and paint the whole picture with a unified sensibility, like in extreme cases, Van Gogh, Seurat and pointilism, Franz Hals and swashyness, tonal like Michaelangelo, mosaic deco like Klimt, etc.

Still another way to go is to go for simple volume and add garbage mattes like the goths use or some industrial design guys will put over a rendered sketch of an automobile prototype, if they want a sort of futuristic dystopia mood.

I mean to say you are far enough along to be considering some of these things (whichever float your boat), and go for a more unified look. I think you will find your work takes a jump after you get the initial orientation period over. You have an eye and a lot to work with, being how you have made a living with writing. You are at the very least an observer. And I know you're much more than that.

And if it's all for relaxation and you're doing it for the joy of pushing paint, ignore what I said and keep on keeping on. It has a nice quality at this stage that will probably evolve on its own.

02-24-2010, 11:08 AM
You have a really good eye for composition here. I think the composition is really successful. I also like the light play. Well done.
Have to pretty much agree with Mr. Akey...I think the textures that show up in the skin may be a bit disconcerting here.

Bob Row
02-24-2010, 11:37 AM
I find interesting that you choose a picture from this scene of the film (As Good as It Gets), because it's when an artist sees her by chance after a shower and she turns from a humble waitress into a Renaissance model. As such, a translucent glow shines from her pale skin (the tone you did on her shoulders).
It isn't an easy task to do, but I too think that the scene asks for a silk skin treatment with the least texture you are able to get. Perhaps, blending carefully along the paths of her muscles would help.

02-24-2010, 01:30 PM
Thank you all for your clear concise comments on this piece...and I couldn't agree more. I sometimes (often...) rush to the end of a piece through simple impatience, missing what should have been obvious. I "think" I know what you were getting at and have put a bit more time and effort into bringing this to a greater state of completion (background, canvas choice and grain, and more blending of the skin tones). While I still have not captured the luminous nature of the source, it's closer now and I thank you.:)

02-24-2010, 02:40 PM
She was so beautiful in that film, one of my favorite movies. Beautiful job JB.:)

Bob Row
02-24-2010, 03:47 PM
WOW! Certainly a big leap forward. I'd say she looks a lot more comfy now.

02-24-2010, 04:55 PM
jbyrjbyr1 Good job on HH. I like the improvements also.

02-24-2010, 07:07 PM
You always get it right on the second effort. :)
To me, Helen Hunt is that rare kind of beauty that transcends the "norm". I think it's a Mediterranian type of thing.
Wonderful work, JB, in catching the sensuality of the scene and the person.

D Akey
02-24-2010, 07:15 PM
I agree, the changes are very cool.

And as you doubtless know, there are an infinite number of possible ways to do it. And therein is a huge part of the fun. And it's a little bit of a look inside the head of a certain kind of artist.

Not having had a 'go to' style for a long time, just about every new job I got when I was freelancing was to knock off somebody else's style.

One develops a certain ability to analyze quickly under such circumstances. I merely shared some of the thoughts that would go through my head were I doing it.

Your process may be less fussy and more intuitive. But there was always a part of my art process where my head was running the show. Once the main stuff was figured out, it was time for the intuition to come play. . . until the ol' clock on the wall said I had to turn it in in 2 hours. . . YIKES!!!!!

I agree also that the selection of this scene from the movie has a literary significance - the moment of transformation. Very astute detail, Pygmalion.

Thanks for taking in all the comments to see where it went.


02-24-2010, 09:38 PM
You are so good at these JB, its beautiful:)