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jbeau
05-24-2012, 05:20 AM
Here is the beginning color laydown before I start blending.

The third Image is a couple of hours messing around. I'm still working in lots of details...

jbeau
05-25-2012, 12:31 PM
Another approach, after a few hours of noodling around...

jbeau
05-25-2012, 03:31 PM
I may have her blouse be semi transparent, so I'm going to paint her topless first. I'm trying to stay with a directional brush theme. I roughed the way I want the strokes to flow, seen by arrows, but that may change. Still need to fix lots of stuff on the face, but it's good to work on different areas at the same time. This gives me a fresher look on areas I've worked. Sometimes I get tunnel vision...

limey-g
05-25-2012, 11:49 PM
Nicely done, always a pleasure to see another persons work in progression, always looking for ideas.
Look forward to the conclusion.
Geoff

Strandy
05-26-2012, 12:12 AM
I noticed, that women you paint, always know, what to do with their hands. ;) I'm looking forward to the final stroke as well.

jbeau
05-26-2012, 05:02 AM
Thanks for the comments guys! The hand gesture speaks when no words can be said. The face and hand must compliment each other or the composition will fall apart.

Strandy
05-26-2012, 06:29 AM
One question more. What do these arrows indicate? :confused:

jbeau
05-26-2012, 04:31 PM
One question more. What do these arrows indicate? :confused:
My plan for the direction of the brush strokes.

jbeau
05-30-2012, 04:00 PM
another_update...Still working on details...

screenpainter
05-31-2012, 08:27 AM
jaw dropping... stunning!

jbeau
05-31-2012, 05:53 PM
Thanks Screenpainter! I'm softening up the hands, adding more yellow tones to everything below the neckline. Still working on the hair.

Speaking of hair, and blendmodes:
I want to share how I setup the hair to blend with any background.
I painted the hair on a white background. I duplicated the hair layer and set the lower layer to multiply. Then the upper layer, I soft erased out the hair tips. This made the tips multiply with any layer underneath. It's not 100% clean at the moment, but it's working. Next, I will merge the background and both hair layers. From there, I can use the flat knife and make the transitions of color smoother between hair and background. I'm also going to try a couple of other setups. Maybe there a better way?

The direction technique:
I basically ended up painting her twice. Once smooth with color blends, then again to put in the brush work... There is probably a simpler way, but I needed the practice :)

Caesar
05-31-2012, 07:49 PM
The last one is practically finished. A really masterfully executed portrait.

shadowslake
05-31-2012, 10:34 PM
Nice work. Amaizing really.

shadowslake
06-01-2012, 02:16 AM
Here is the beginning color laydown before I start blending.

The third Image is a couple of hours messing around. I'm still working in lots of details...


What method did you use to blend with?

I am concidering trying this method tonight. I have struggled with faces a bit and have use the method of filling in with a base color and adding colors to produce the shading effects seccondary. I like the method you used here beter. I think it produces beter results. What was your blending tool and settings so I can try this myself?

jbeau
06-01-2012, 08:42 AM
Thanks Caesar and Shadowslake!

@ ShadowsLake
I use a similar method.
I create a new layer and fill it with a midtone value, the base color you mentioned. There was a bunch of pink in this image so I filled it with that color. Then I make a new layer and start to apply colors from my palette. My color application method is using a mix of oils and flat pallete knife. The oils brush is set to thin and dry with default settings. Palette knife is set to flat with 50% pressure, 65% load. Sometimes I end up merging the base layer, pink in this case, with the layer above with all my colors. In this case, I didn't do that... I ended up deleting the base layer and kept the colors that you see in the first image.

My blend application method is with the flat pallete knife.
Load is set to 0, start with low pressure and increase the pressure until the paint moves and starts to blend. There is usually a gap between colors and finding the proper pressure to fill that gap depends. I usually start with 4-6% then work my way up to 55%. The blending is also dependent on how much pressure you apply with your wacom. I typically have a light hand, but thats my traditional drawing style. Light first and heavier after...

I also found that if you want highlights or adding colors that you missed with the initial color application, its better to create a new layer, apply your new colors and then merge down. Then blend accordingly, I find it blends much cleaner. If your colors start to muddy then undo and try this immediately as you add new colors over existing ones.

Hope this helps.

jbeau
06-01-2012, 09:30 AM
Softened the hard brush work of the hands(used wet palette knife), played with the clothing, added yellow undertones with an overlay layer using an airbrush, reworked the hair tips and blending(still not happy with them, may need to redo the full left side to make the hair wrap around).

limey-g
06-01-2012, 09:43 AM
An amazing portrait, you are so talented, I can only dream.
Geoff

screenpainter
06-01-2012, 10:58 AM
I think you will find this airbrush preset called a soft shader...very useful indeed for portraits. I am not sure if it comes with artrage or it is one I dialed up, (a mind as sharp as jelly) but I think you will find it invaluable for blending in portraits. I hope you enjoy.
I also added a fairly generic wet palette knife called a portrait blender, but it works really well for blending portraits as well. enjoy.

limey-g
06-01-2012, 11:12 AM
I think you will find this airbrush preset very useful indeed for portraits. I am not sure if it comes with artrage or it is one I dialed up, (a mind as sharp as jelly) but I think you will find it invaluable for blending in portraits. I hope you enjoy.
I also added a fairly generic wet palette knife, but it works really well for blending portraits as well. enjoy.
Well I will certainly have a look tomorrow when I get on the desktop, much appreciated.
Geoff

shadowslake
06-01-2012, 11:35 AM
I used your general tecknique and experamented. This is nowhere the quality or close to a finished product but here is my attempt. Hope you dont mind me posting the results. If you desire I will post the face as I progress?

67374

shadowslake
06-01-2012, 11:49 AM
Just read this. Might help me keep the color true during the blending process. Thanks a ton.


Thanks Caesar and Shadowslake!

@ ShadowsLake
I use a similar method.
I create a new layer and fill it with a midtone value, the base color you mentioned. There was a bunch of pink in this image so I filled it with that color. Then I make a new layer and start to apply colors from my palette. My color application method is using a mix of oils and flat pallete knife. The oils brush is set to thin and dry with default settings. Palette knife is set to flat with 50% pressure, 65% load. Sometimes I end up merging the base layer, pink in this case, with the layer above with all my colors. In this case, I didn't do that... I ended up deleting the base layer and kept the colors that you see in the first image.

My blend application method is with the flat pallete knife.
Load is set to 0, start with low pressure and increase the pressure until the paint moves and starts to blend. There is usually a gap between colors and finding the proper pressure to fill that gap depends. I usually start with 4-6% then work my way up to 55%. The blending is also dependent on how much pressure you apply with your wacom. I typically have a light hand, but thats my traditional drawing style. Light first and heavier after...

I also found that if you want highlights or adding colors that you missed with the initial color application, its better to create a new layer, apply your new colors and then merge down. Then blend accordingly, I find it blends much cleaner. If your colors start to muddy then undo and try this immediately as you add new colors over existing ones.

Hope this helps.

jbeau
06-01-2012, 03:43 PM
I think you will find this airbrush preset called a soft shader...very useful indeed for portraits. I am not sure if it comes with artrage or it is one I dialed up, (a mind as sharp as jelly) but I think you will find it invaluable for blending in portraits. I hope you enjoy.
I also added a fairly generic wet palette knife called a portrait blender, but it works really well for blending portraits as well. enjoy.

Thank you for sharing! I'll give these a try as well. I do some airbrush with these but not to blend. Only to introduce tonal value changes. I like using the overlay blendmode when using this method, as it applies color without destroying the brush work:) I have used a round airbrush with 20-30% opacity. I've also noticed that the stoke you apply to color and blends works better with a circular pattern vs a straight line.

I'm also experimenting with this brush pack to blend:
http://photoshop.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=37427&afterinter=true

jbeau
06-01-2012, 03:48 PM
I used your general tecknique and experamented. This is nowhere the quality or close to a finished product but here is my attempt. Hope you dont mind me posting the results. If you desire I will post the face as I progress?

67374

I don't mind at all. We are all learning and experimenting:) maybe I can send you my artrage file with the colors applied in the first image. From there, you can try and blend it. Just post your email if you want to give it a try.

I'm sure looking at my work, one may think I trace. I'm thinking of doing a quick video to show my pencil work. The setup is simple. I recommend lots of reference. My screen is filled with all kinds of stuff. Anyways back to the pencil topic. I take my reference and create a grid. Lets say my image is 1000x1000 pixels. For every 200 pixels I create a straight line vertically and horizontally. Then I create my AR version @ 4000x4000 pixels. Then in AR, I add my reference image, the 1k version in this example. I import my grid only, as a layer and set that layers blend mode to multiply. Then I create my sketch layer and place it under my grid layer. I have dual monitors, I place my reference image on my left monitor, on my right monitor I have my AR grid ready to sketch. I recommend that your ref image and your AR canvas be the same size when you start. From there it's just a matter of training your eye to draw each smaller section in proportion. The more smaller sections you create the easier it is, as long as you don't have too many lines blocking your view. I've use this technique for over 20 years, and now I can do it without the use of the grid with a high level of accuracy. It's really about training your eye to find common points of measurement.

jbeau
06-01-2012, 03:53 PM
An amazing portrait, you are so talented, I can only dream.
Geoff

Thanks for the compliment:) we all have to start somewhere and someday you'll be where you want with your art. There is no secret to getting decent at a technique. Practice, practice, and experiment. Try to make every image better then the last. Ask yourself, would this look better if... And lastly, don't give up!

shadowslake
06-01-2012, 10:24 PM
My email. [email protected] I am also interested in your refrences that help you form the face. I am struggleing and growing trying to find what works best. For so long I have said "I am not good enough to do faces." Thanks to everone here I have improved so much. Thank you for the help.


I don't mind at all. We are all learning and experimenting:) maybe I can send you my artrage file with the colors applied in the first image. From there, you can try and blend it. Just post your email if you want to give it a try.

I'm sure looking at my work, one may think I trace. I'm thinking of doing a quick video to show my pencil work. The setup is simple. I recommend lots of reference. My screen is filled with all kinds of stuff. Anyways back to the pencil topic. I take my reference and create a grid. Lets say my image is 1000x1000 pixels. For every 200 pixels I create a straight line vertically and horizontally. Then I create my AR version @ 4000x4000 pixels. Then in AR, I add my reference image, the 1k version in this example. I import my grid only, as a layer and set that layers blend mode to multiply. Then I create my sketch layer and place it under my grid layer. I have dual monitors, I place my reference image on my left monitor, on my right monitor I have my AR grid ready to sketch. I recommend that your ref image and your AR canvas be the same size when you start. From there it's just a matter of training your eye to draw each smaller section in proportion. The more smaller sections you create the easier it is, as long as you don't have too many lines blocking your view. I've use this technique for over 20 years, and now I can do it without the use of the grid with a high level of accuracy. It's really about training your eye to find common points of measurement.

Steve B
06-02-2012, 02:35 AM
Jbeau,
this is very good, as usual-- I'll be interested to see how you handle the texture of the brush strokes as you near the end. Right now, you're clearly focusing on building value and form. I like the pink-purple you've got going in the shadowy area behind the flower-- this is a nice touch--, though I find the line between the lips too aggressive currently. I wonder if that'll improve as you push the shadows more in other areas and create a greater sense of balance.....? Also, I think the hand is much better in this one. Your pieces clearly show the mark of a person who has a very good sense of what they're really doing, still (not to sound like an *sshole, but rather a helpful critic).... I felt like the hand in the last painting was way too large compared to her head. No one brought it up, which I found odd, because it seemed a relatively glaring anatomical choice in an otherwise awesome painting. I thought I'd point out the development I see here compared to that one on that point. I can't tell, is that coming off as a back-handed compliment??? LOL.

Thanks for sharing! I hope my comments come across as useful-- I only comment because I like the piece. I'm definitely waiting for the "finished" piece... :)

jbeau
06-02-2012, 04:51 AM
Hi Steve,
Thank you for the thoughtful Critique! I agree with all your comments and there are a couple of additional areas that need to be addressed. The background could use some work, as the grain of of the 'brush' strokes seem to disrupt the visual flow and distract from the main figure. I like the hues, but will probably tone the stroke down, maybe introduce more gradation? The darkness in the shadowed lips can be addressed two ways. One with introducing more shadow and contrast with darker hues in the overall image, which will balance out the luminance, as you say. Two, I may change the black value to purple and be done with it. The way the hair flows isn't natural, but I'm not sure whether to make it wrap around or keep it the way it is. What do you think? I really had no intentions of continuing on this one. I like to leave room for improvement from piece to piece, or maybe I'm just lazy. But your comments make me want to reconsider.

Regarding my last piece, my wife kept telling me that the hand was too large, but I was too stubborn to listen. After showing that portrait to other friends and family they all said the same thing. I hate when she's right, but I'm not going to fix it. Its so weird, I take criticism all day from AD's and others, but when she comments I generally brush her off. I'm going to use this piece as a reminder to be open to her views. She hates both of these portraits BTW! I need to create one of her, but that is another conversion...

jbeau
06-02-2012, 05:41 AM
My email. [email protected] Email Sent.

jbeau
06-02-2012, 08:40 AM
edited the lips. killed the harsh black line and added a little more shape in that area... Started playing with the background and but nothing I made looked good:( I've made a rough paint of the hair wrapping around, need to add detail. I think I've merged down a few too many times. What do you think, leave the hair or try this new version?

rtzenx
06-02-2012, 10:55 AM
I am awestruck! This can be done in Art Rage!?!
What a fantastic painting! This is an amazing work that you are doing!
I just got this program and I'm trying to wrap my mind around all the possibilities that are available with it.
I'm still learning the various setting controls to achieve the effects I want to get from the various tools, so I have quite a ways to go.
To see how other artists are able to accomplish such stunning works with this program gives me loads of encouragement.
You make me glad I have eyes! Thank you!

Steve B
06-02-2012, 11:56 AM
I think the bottom image is better, definitely. When thinking of hair, I tend to think of it as a single mass first, with weight and movement as a single unit. By removing the stray strands of hair on the left, it allows the mind to pull the weight of the hair back and around to the right shoulder. IMO, some little bit of highlight on the far left, strands for instance, would be also very useful in giving the hair a sense of weight and shifting gravity around to the right side, going behind her head. It'll make it feel less like a helmet. The top image doesn't feel like a helmet at all, but the hair on the left side didn't communicate to the right as well I think it should have. In the bottom version, the two sides work as a single unit better, but its now missing that sense of movement I think some highlights in the hair as it approaches the edge of her head will provide.

Backgrounds, btw, I find very difficult, because I think they should communicate something in terms of mood or motion, but I don't always have something representational to put there. Doing a background well is a little art in and of itself.

Re: wives-- they can be very brave and truthful. Thank goodness! It took me a long time to realize my wife's critiques of my poetry are often right on the money, even though she, herself, doesn't write. She doesn't give much technical feedback per se, but she understands me well enough to be a mirror to me emotionally, if that makes any sense. I often think she knows where my writing is going, or should be going, before I do.

jbeau
06-02-2012, 04:46 PM
I am awestruck! This can be done in Art Rage!?!
What a fantastic painting! This is an amazing work that you are doing!
I just got this program and I'm trying to wrap my mind around all the possibilities that are available with it.
I'm still learning the various setting controls to achieve the effects I want to get from the various tools, so I have quite a ways to go.
To see how other artists are able to accomplish such stunning works with this program gives me loads of encouragement.
You make me glad I have eyes! Thank you!

Thank you for your kind words Rtzenx! Artrage is a fascinating application! I've been hooked from the first time I tried it! I've been able to create prints on watercolor paper and stretched canvas. With a little embellishing on these papers with additional watercolor techniques or on canvas with clear acrylics, I've had people tell me they can't tell the difference from the traditional medium counterpart.

jbeau
06-02-2012, 04:50 PM
I think the bottom image is better, definitely. When thinking of hair, I tend to think of it as a single mass first, with weight and movement as a single unit. By removing the stray strands of hair on the left, it allows the mind to pull the weight of the hair back and around to the right shoulder. IMO, some little bit of highlight on the far left, strands for instance, would be also very useful in giving the hair a sense of weight and shifting gravity around to the right side, going behind her head. It'll make it feel less like a helmet. The top image doesn't feel like a helmet at all, but the hair on the left side didn't communicate to the right as well I think it should have. In the bottom version, the two sides work as a single unit better, but its now missing that sense of movement I think some highlights in the hair as it approaches the edge of her head will provide.

Backgrounds, btw, I find very difficult, because I think they should communicate something in terms of mood or motion, but I don't always have something representational to put there. Doing a background well is a little art in and of itself.

Re: wives-- they can be very brave and truthful. Thank goodness! It took me a long time to realize my wife's critiques of my poetry are often right on the money, even though she, herself, doesn't write. She doesn't give much technical feedback per se, but she understands me well enough to be a mirror to me emotionally, if that makes any sense. I often think she knows where my writing is going, or should be going, before I do.

Thank you SteveB! I appreciate your input and honesty as well. I'm going to rework the second piece and start adding details on the hair with highlights and midtones. The second piece above was just proof of concept to translate my idea about the hair wrap around. Now its time to put in some detail!

I need to keep experimenting with the background. Its really bugging me!

Re: wives -- Its nice to hear that i"m not the only one in this situation. My wife doesn't paint, but she has a decent eye. It sounds like you have a keeper over there! Your watercolors are coming along nicely BTW! Looks like you'll be published in no time, keep it up:)
Best Regards,
Jeremy

Kris
06-02-2012, 09:32 PM
another_update...Still working on details...
I love this it is a really stunning picture

jbeau
06-06-2012, 05:40 AM
Thanks Kris!
Now if only I could find the time to wrap it up:)