Saturday, March 21, 2009

A portraitist, I am not......... But I finished it.

c&c welcome of course.

The painting is not finished, and I don't know if I have the heart to finish it. I guess I could finish the shirt, but I wont subject you to another photo lol

I painted this on a canvas 10"x12" I told Ree off for painting hers too small, (you can growl at me Ree-I think hers is 7" x 9") and then I go paint mine too small. That was my first mistake. Second is painting it in acrylics.
I should have started it at the beginning of the week and painted it in oil, or watercolour, for that matter. Not that it would have looked much better mind you, but at least the oils don't dry so fast, and the watercolour is manipulable. But, having said all that, I have to admit, this is the most dreadful painting I have painted in a long time. :-D ........... that is ok though, as I have gotten portraiture out of my system for awhile.

Another should have; I didn't even glance at my portraiture colour mixing book I have here, and I should have! sheesh. I stayed up until the wee hours of this morning painting this mess :-D
I really admire the portraitists on wc like Tali.

So. I hand drew this and painted from a photo on my laptop (printer was out of ink) I had taken with my webcam earlier last evening.

I hope this makes you feel much much better about yours Bruce!!! hehehehe


  1. Well!!!!! I made up a mixture of the colours someone told me to do for my portrait!!!! ....just sayin'
    I think if you had some of those colours in your face it would warm it up a bit ....
    You have that "Don't you dare mess with me look" ....that explains why we are so scared of you! .....LOL ....but you do have a lovely sparkle in your eyes ....or is it a glare?
    Nice red hair!

  2. The colors of the face aren't bad, JJ. i went to a one hour demo by artist Anne Olwin and Portraits
    She said that the colors don't matter so long as you have cold colors going back, warm colors going forward and the darks where you need them. She did a bunch of demo faces using totally strange colors. And she was right, they all looked pretty good.
    The asymmetry is what is killing this cheerful portrait.
    Did you draw this first? I always draw some lines, one from the center of the forehead to the middle of the chin, the other through where the eyes are and maybe a third through where the mouth is. I do this stuff to ascertain that my face stays even. Ok, sometimes I do it after the fact to FIX the crooked faces.
    Remember there is a space of approximately 1 eye width between the eyes. That's the danger of us all painting our eyes too big, it makes our faces look funny because they don't fit anymore.
    I took your painting and lengthened your nose
    and put your mouth where it should be and it looks a lot better. (I did this on paintshop pro)
    Painting a portrait is a series of painting a thousand of them. Thanks for getting me to do this. My last portrait was plug ugly.

  3. So show me your photoshop? I did draw it, I said up there woman!! I used a grid maker on my paintshop pro, and drew the grid on my printer paper. Then I drew my portrait on the paper using the grid for a guide. I then rubbed graphite on the back of my drawing and traced it onto the canvas. I did this, as when I started to draw on the canvas, I found I needed to erase a couple of lines, and found it darn difficult to rub out on the gallery wrapped canvas.

  4. Well, be careful what you ask us to do in the future, you never know how much grief you can cause yourself. Kudos to you JJ for doing this anyway even if you don't like it. It was terrific learning exercise, which is the point of the group, eh?

    You needed to draw this out first, without grids and tracing paper etc. You have to work out the details first. Each eye is critical to the work. Then the nose, then the mouth and measure measure measure.

    You should look at a portrait basics book and see how the head is symmetrical and at the very least use your pencil or brush handle to get the propottions right.

    I was staggered to see that my assumptions about perspective were wrong when working out of my head. Just holding up a pencil at arm's lenght to the subject, even a photo, helps keep the perspective correct.

    Paint what you see, not what you assume. (some one named JJ I think, told me that was a good saying to live by)

  5. JJ is famous for saying stuff, and not doing it, don't you know!!!!!!!!

    I got bogged down in trying to make the darn thing look like me.

    I did draw it out first in graphite. That drawing is in the bin!

    I am going to do this again, but I have to be honest and tell you, I doubt that portraits will ever be my forte.

    I thought this was going to be quite easy to be honest, and I had intentions of painting it more impressionistically. I was going to use the primary colours and viridian and paint the brush strokes in, I had high illusions, as one can't do any of that until one masters a realistic portrait first.

    I am not frustrated with my work. I have it sitting here on my desk and I keep looking at it. The chin is correct. The cheek bones are correct. The hair is pretty close. (I straightened it a little in the painting) The lips are pretty close too.

    I can't find my portraiture book I had. I have looked and looked. I have either lent it out and forgotten to whom? or, I have put it somewhere to read and have no idea where. argh. I will have to buy another one, as I am not stressing over a lost book.

  6. You may have the pieces right but you didn;t follow the basics of art, paint what you see not what you assume. measure measure measure, Try again, you will see.

  7. Yes i will measure in future!!

    I can't find that missing post anywhere Bruce. I have been through the entire blog. I wonder if you posted it on Anne's portrait in the OC Forum?


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