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Thread: portrait of Rita

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    washington, usa
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    portrait of Rita

    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.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	portrait of Rita Flores.jpg 
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Size:	329.3 KB 
ID:	63614  
    Last edited by screenpainter; 01-31-2012 at 05:13 AM.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2011
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    I LOVE this, what is frustrating you?

  3. #3
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    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. I am okay with it now and I think she will like it.
    Last edited by screenpainter; 01-31-2012 at 03:58 PM.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2009
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    uk
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    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

  5. #5
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    thanks John, and that was a happy accident that just happened when I added the new background and I liked it that way too.
    Last edited by screenpainter; 01-31-2012 at 03:56 PM.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2006
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    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!
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  7. #7
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    SP, I think she will love this portrait, it shows even better enlarged, no need to be frustrated with this turnout, great job

  8. #8
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    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.
    Last edited by screenpainter; 01-31-2012 at 07:51 AM.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Sep 2008
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    Fantastic

    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!

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