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Old 02-23-2010, 07:29 PM   #1
Dianna Fish Dianna Fish is offline
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Sweet little Katie




I've been a member here for a while, but haven't posted anything new. I just somewhat finished another portrait of a little girl. I'm not too pleased with it, so go ahead and critique away...please.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:21 PM   #2
Mary Cupp Mary Cupp is offline
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Hi Dianna,

Could we have a larger photo? It is difficult to comment on such a small image.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:58 PM   #3
Dianna Fish Dianna Fish is offline
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I would love to, but I'm having lots of trouble with uploading it in its original size. I will try again this evening.
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:50 PM   #4
Eileen Claire Eileen Claire is offline
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Hi Dianna,

She is a lovely child, and you have done a great job painting her. I would suggest lightening the value of the background, and putting more color into it. The dark background deadens this otherwise lovely portrait. I would also throw more variety in the skin colors to bring more vitality to the painting.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:08 AM   #5
Dianna Fish Dianna Fish is offline
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Thanks for responding. I actually messed up the background so I just did it all black to cover it. Then I didn't know what to do with it. I'll try to add some color to it, but I don't know if it will cover. I'm really not very happy with it at all. I wanted to just throw it away, but she's my boyfriend's granddaughter and he loves it. Just thought someone might have some solutions. I'm actually really tired of looking at, but it needs to be done a little better. Thanks again!
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:17 AM   #6
Terri Ficenec Terri Ficenec is offline
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Hi Dianna,
It looks like you're working here from a photo taken with a flash - which is washing out and flattening the subtle contours of her face; and even her shoulder appears on the same plane. . . not the best reference to work from!

In terms of improving this particular piece, i'd suggest a few quick changes:
1) I don't mind the black background so much, but find it disconcerting how the top of her head is 'cut-off' - the pony tail could help somewhat to suggest that there is more head there, but even that reads a bit too low to me? In terms of improving this piece, I'd suggest you consider indicating somehow the overall shape of her head in the darkness there. . .

2)You might consider pulling that shoulder a little more forward & giving the shirt a more saturated color besides the near-flesh tone that it is... also the bulge in the shirt at the front of her neck isn't flattering - somehow it makes her neck look thick?

3) (this one isn't really a change suggestion - more of an observation!) You've handled her features very delicately, though, rather than reflecting the varying colors of skin in light & shadow, the contours of her face (on my screen anyway) read in shades of black & flesh tones and somehow gives the overall image a feel like an old 'colorized' photograph, or a drawing with color added in... (does that make sense?) almost nostalgic - but not sure if that's a look you were going for?

So anyway -- i'd suggest just those couple quick changes to polish this up a little, but then that you consider doing another portrait of this little cutie but start with a reference in natural light & with a more directional light source. (There's whole discussions about this in the reference photography section) You've obviously got a very delicate hand and good eye, and I'll bet starting with better reference you could produce something really special! You might also consider doing a couple of quick color studies of her while she plays as you'll likely get a different sense of her coloring working from life than you will from a photo. . .
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:52 PM   #7
Dianna Fish Dianna Fish is offline
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Thank you so much for your critiques. I had so much trouble with the pony tail. The background was so black (in the photo) that it was very hard to see, but she looked funny without it. I know the placement is wrong and I will work on it. It's very difficult to change things with all the black that I've already put on it. I also agree totally with the roll in the front of the shirt. I will also try to fix that.

I've posted my latest portrait of Katie when she was smaller. I like it a lot better. I was a pic taken outside in natural light and I enjoyed it much more. Please take a look at it as well and let me know what you see wrong that I don't.

Thanks again!
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