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Thread: Native American Girl Portrait

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Very Small town in Illinois
    Posts
    5,170

    Native American Girl Portrait

    After reading erwinsoo's portrait tutorial, I decided to give it a try.
    Actually, I suprised myself, in that it (imo) didn't end up a total disaster.

    This was my first attempt at a portrait. I slipped in alongside, the photo I was using as a model.
    I learned one mistake, in that I did the face first, then added the neck, which made it (as you can see) hard to match the colors.

    Any other suggestions?

    thanks,

    Mike
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    washington, usa
    Posts
    14,215
    Splendid work I think. Good to see you exploring new techniques.
    Darn, I was expecting a portrait of Shirly.
    Native American girl would be clearer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    22,556
    That's a tough call regarding suggestions, not knowing what you did exactly.

    I think whatever reference you are working from should be clear. At least I have found it to be necessary until I visually know the subject really well. But after I know a subject, I can complete what the photo reference lacks because I know what usually is seen there from other contexts.

    I know that's hard to get good photos from the early days of photography, which is your genre -- Frontier and all that.

    But there is the Hollywood version of the frontier and wild west. But pick good, simple shots to work from, where the information and elements are clearly defining something.

    And I'm saying this because of something I found very useful:

    The shadows are critical. soft lighting is HARD to do. When you have an image you're working from that has a clear shadow area, you are able to divide the head in a volumetric way. Plus it's often more dramatic.

    1) Structure (Get that right and you have a drawing)
    2 Shadow Design (Get those right and you have a painting).
    3) (values are important -- ie. degree and placement of light and dark -- proper transitions between) This is subtler.
    4) Color. You can get away with all kinds of color if your values work.

    If you don't have clearly defined shadows, you're having to make it work with subtleties only. Not an easy thing.

    I don't see a problem with using the trace feature to help one learn structure. The only down side is that one can become a slave to the photo. What you want to do is trace in order to learn to draw so that you can ultimately breeze past the mechanics onto having control of your overall image.

    You're doing great.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Very Small town in Illinois
    Posts
    5,170
    gzairborne - Good point about the title. I've changed it.
    Thank you.

    D Akey - Thanks for the ideas.
    I probably should have found a better picture, but I specifically wanted to try and use that particular girl, (she played the Arapaho girl "Claybasket, in the "Centennial" miniseries)"and there weren't any better pics that I could find.
    I didn't use the trace feature at all.
    I did make an eye stencil because using a mouse I was having a horrible time getting the outline right, but then to keep from making it a "copy", I altered the shape,( a little -not too much altering you can do with an eye ), and whited out the eyeball, and repainted it.
    Appreciate the ideas.

  5. #5
    irishrose Guest
    Mike, since I'm still a newbie painter at this digi stuff, I think this is awesome, you got the features just right and the colors are very native american. All in all, I think it's wonderful! Sorry I didn't see this sooner, it was hard to find!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Very Small town in Illinois
    Posts
    5,170
    Thanks Rose. I appreciate it!

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