View Full Version : portrait of Rita

01-31-2012, 05:09 AM
an artist friend from JKPP portrait party. I have been working on it for awhile now. maybe two weeks total all totaled over a period of months. just kept leaving it in frustration. here is the latest version.
please click to enlarge.

01-31-2012, 05:13 AM
I LOVE this, what is frustrating you?

01-31-2012, 05:27 AM
Margi, thanks very much... you haven't seen the other umpteen versions. :) Was having trouble with the recognition factor. It took quite awhile to get it to look like her at all. That and I was never happy with the background. This last background was added and it took a total of probably five minutes to paint this background. go figure. :confused: I am okay with it now and I think she will like it.

01-31-2012, 05:49 AM
very nice portrait,,I especially like how the background on the right hand side blends into the face and figure..reminds me of the way John Singer sarjent used to paint

01-31-2012, 06:04 AM
thanks John, and that was a happy accident that just happened when I added the new background and I liked it that way too.

D Akey
01-31-2012, 06:24 AM
Hey, I think the background rocks. I usually look at the pic first before reading the artist's comments. So that you had trouble isn't something I could tell looking at it.

What I like at the colors and the paint chops you are using are really well educated. I can see any number of things you did on your odyssey with this pic. As you went through all the versions, they seem to have gotten all combined in a sort of array of styles. And there's nothing wrong with that. It merely speaks of time being part of the process and thus the style changed during that time as opposed to someone with a sharply defined technique that they never deviate from where all the marks are predictable.

Her face reminds me of the style of an illustrator you probably heard of called Brad Holland. He did a lot of Playboy illustrations and was particularly hot and visible in the 70s. He may have gone the way of Marshall Arisman since I think he was a big influence on him (as I recall), which means he may have gone a but Francis Bacon with a twist. So that later period I am not talking about. I mean when he painted not unlike what I see in the handling of her face.

Working from somebody else's photo can be a dicey thing. At least I found it to be so. I need to control my lighting in my photos. I can tell from that if it's going to translate into a painting well.

A lot of photos are sort of ambient lighting and as a result, the things that make it read crisply are ill defined. Plus they may be using a wide angle lens and thus distort scale relationships. In this case, the photo needs to be re-translated based on what the artist knows about form, and proportion and so forth. So the artist is having to invent with exactitude that which he has no way of knowing more than the skimpy photo tells him.

It's a tough slog, whereas using a good photo makes one's life infinitely easier and the results are better. Not always possible to get.

And of course, portraits are a bugger when the people in them and those anticipating it to match their own vision are all in your head kibitzing at every little decision the artist is trying to make. . . especially if the artist cares a lot. . . or if they're a perfectionist. As the old saying goes: "Analysis leads to paralysis."

Of course, if one is off on a stylistic jag, then that may or may not have anything to do with the artist's process. But you clearly are after a likeness here. And I think there are a lot of really great things happening.

So hang in there.

I will make a little observation about the structure of your facial forms other than the sharply defined eyes mouth and nose which were probably very clear. But those features are really informative and I get the idea of what she looks like from what would show up if the photo was posterized. It's the secondary lighter value areas, like from the corner of the mouth on our left up to the corner of her nose that gets a little vague. And those are the kinds of areas that usually drop out of the photo. And the ear etc.

But you knew that.

Anyway, overall it works nicely, and it had to be a very great opportunity to learn a lot. Bravo!

01-31-2012, 07:05 AM
SP, I think she will love this portrait, it shows even better enlarged, no need to be frustrated with this turnout, great job:):):):):)

01-31-2012, 07:46 AM
thanks for the crit Dave Akey. :)
I think I may have to start working larger and then reduce when doing portraits I think that hides a multitude of transgressions. one thing that would have probably helped a lot also would be canvas texture that would have aided the blending process to avoid having stark lines lying on the surface so to speak and trying to get them to blend or absorb into the canvas. so yes, a learning process here. and funny how the things that happen easily are often the best parts and the laborious reworking yields little. the photo reference was small and a night shot so yes that kind of leaves you hanging out there exposed for what you lack in knowedge about color that the photo is not providing. add a flash and that will wash out the color and deeps of the shadow areas. you did hone in on a problem area which is the upper lip and facial crease that leads from the nose to the corner of the mouth and beyond. it's a bit chunky in there and the lighting is not convincing. Also the black of the nostrils and eyebrows and around the eyes seems to lay on the surface instead of sinking in to the canvas. I do think in this case that perseverance has led to a few happy accidents in the end that may have reinvigorated it for me.

Thanks Pat. glad you liked it. Much appreciated.

01-31-2012, 08:23 AM
Wow Albert, a stunning portrait, great job!

01-31-2012, 09:21 AM
I know what you mean by being frustrated. I think all Artists at some point go through this,but you pushed on and finished a wonderful portrait .Great job mate!:):):):)

01-31-2012, 11:44 AM
I think it is wonderful. For those that don't think digital is real art, they should take a look at this.

01-31-2012, 11:48 AM
This is really great Albert and so lovely to see your work once again. Bet your using those great brushes. :)

D Akey
01-31-2012, 12:42 PM
All to the good. The D doesn't stand for Dave, though. . . :D

01-31-2012, 01:54 PM
Thanks kindly everyone.
Sandy, Much appreciated.
Scott, I am glad to hear it happens to all of us at times.
Shibui. Much appreciated.
Katie I am glad you liked. I have been battling with some kind of virus for
a month and a half. I have several paintings that have to do with antibiotics
which I will not show. :D But yes, it is good to be attempting portraits again.
Thanks Mr. Akey.

02-01-2012, 04:58 AM
It's wonderful:):):)
Lovely dark background brings out the light of the face and the red jacket.

02-01-2012, 08:05 AM
Beautiful Painting Albert! I love the dramatic use of contrast and her pose is good. On the other hand I think I know what it is you don't like about it because it hit me when I looked at the whole pic when I clicked on it. Too me (and I could be all wrong here) her head is too small in proportion to her body. Not much, maybe 10 to 15%. It may be correct in reality but to me it looks small. Just something worth looking into if it still doesn't look quite right to you. It would be an easy fix.

02-01-2012, 01:56 PM
Thanks Silvy very much for your kindness and comment.
Thanks Neal for the comment. I think we may be dealing with the distortion of the camera here? since nowadays on digital cameras the hands sometimes look way bigger in the foreground due to the small curve of the lens. the foreground stuff then looks way big. like hands and stuff. kind of like those funny mirrors at the carnival and fun houses. That may be what caused the illusion, but I will also take a look at the reference and see if I lost some
area to the head in my drawing. also her hair in the pic I noticed gives the illusion of a small face due to it falling in front of her face in some places. that is also quite possible. the rest may be my not getting the drawing right. thanks again for stopping by and for your comment. I really do love having things pointed out. that helps me see things and make improvements. much appreciated.

02-01-2012, 03:19 PM
Mr sp a lovely painting of a lovely lady , wonderful rich colours :):)

02-01-2012, 09:56 PM
This is a masterpiece in my opinion, both as style and as, I suspect, likeness of features and of character. Congratulations! :):):):):):)

02-01-2012, 10:08 PM
Thank you Jean. glad you liked.
Thank you Cesare that coming from the maestro of the portrait means a lot.
Of course nothing quite reminds us of classical paintings as an ipod touch in her hand.
I suppose I would like to take it a bit further and maybe address some of the things brought up. I hope to do so.
Thank you both for the comments.
Much appreciated.

02-02-2012, 11:53 AM
Albert.. I have been busy with work but have dropped in a bunch of times to see and relish the wonderful work and read the well deserved comments. and delightful crit and comment by our friend "not Dave" Akey.. sorry to hear of your viral issues and from your post on PD's thread your family losses and challenges lately.. so great to see you posting new works to thrill and educate us..;);):):):)

02-02-2012, 01:59 PM
Thanks Gary for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed that crit by Doug Akey. Isn't it wonderful to get a crit from Doug. :)