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Thread: Third portrait in progress. Ideas on background please?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2020

    Third portrait in progress. Ideas on background please?

    Still a work in progress and going quite slow. Its my third ever portrait, as I usually do nice easy animals :-)))

    I have actually used the oils for the first time ever!!! Usually go with the pencils as they seem easier to control, but I found my perfect brush in the sparse bristles. Hopefully more brush strokes visible and less airbrushed looking.

    I love the way the picture appears like magic.

    Will post more as they progress.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Hi Kate good to see you working on another portrait again
    And itís looking good so far, has a certain oriental feel about it to me at the moment.
    Canít wait to see how this one develops!

    As for background I might be tempted by some form of drapery behind her perhapsÖ?
    And maybe up the lighting contrast to get some more darker areas with some lost edges in there. Though you would want to be trying that stuff out on some small thumbnail versions of the painting first. Just a thought.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Thank you. I could try some dark red drapery. I want to go a bit old masters with it but not sure if a modern twist is possible. I will experiment Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Rochester, New York
    Depends on what message of expression you would like to convey to the viewer of the painting.

    If your goal here is to create a likeness portrait of someone you know personally you might want to try something for the background that identifies with the personality of the person in the portrait, objects that carry the message. Another alternative would be to finish this work the way a professional portrait painter would create the background. Your current solid brown is okay yet you might want to lighten the brown surrounding the portrait object as you get closer to the focal point object. Maybe even add a bit of yellow to brighten up the color as it gets lighter?

    If this is something created from imagination and you want to identify with oriental culture, some type of objects in the background related to that culture would be a way to carry the message. You might even find a way to place the objects in the background so they do not interfere and/or collide heavily with the foreground portrait when reducing opacity of the foreground to 60%. Place the background on a lower layer and erase around the portrait image of the above layer so the new background takes it's place.
    Last edited by Stephen Lo Piano; 06-24-2022 at 06:47 AM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Aotearoa/New Zealand
    Oh my, I hadnít seen this before. Itís really beautiful.

    "You do not suffer because things are impermanent. You suffer because things are impermanent and you think they are permanent." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    I think I'd like a traditional painted background. like old masters ones, but I've not had time to work on her for ages and sort of lost the plot a little ! The dark hair though would disappear into a dark background, so I think lots of experimenting when I revisit this lady.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Thank you Brett :-) I've sort of lost interest in her and am dithering about finishing or doing the background. Life got in the way for a few weeks so my enthusiasm needs rekindling. I have form for this kind of laziness!!!

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