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Old 04-13-2006, 02:25 PM   #1
Alessandra Rosi Alessandra Rosi is offline
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Beautiful lady




Hello everyone,
this is my first acrylic portrait , 40 x 30 cm, on stretched canvas.

It is a practice piece done at the art school, to try this medium after having worked with pencil, charcoal and pastels; the reference is from a magazine.

I have to admit that I was reluctant to try it, since acrylic is known to be a difficult medium,especially for portraits, but now i'm really happy about it, I liked it immediately and I found it almost easier than pastels!

I would really appreciate any critiques and suggestions you might have on this piece, I 'm not satisfied at all with the hairline, it seems innatural but I don't know what I should do to it ..
for this, and for any other wrong area you might see, please, let me know which corrections should be made!
Thank you
Alessandra
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Old 04-13-2006, 03:36 PM   #2
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Alessandra,
I think that you have already proved to be a competent painter.

The "problem" with this portrait is that you have chosen the wrong reference.

This is a typical fashion photo. All you see is make up, lipstick, eyeliner and powder to hide the skin colors. This outfit is then again washed out with a huge lamp ( you see the reflection from it in the eyes).

The lady certainly is beautiful but unfortunately we don
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:42 PM   #3
Alessandra Rosi Alessandra Rosi is offline
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Thank you so much, Allan, for your answer; I have to admit that, since my figure instructor keeps a pile of fashion magazines for us, to search for reference photos to work from, I have a "special eye" to choose the worst quality ones, the more retouched and unreal..

By the way, from next year I'll be allowed to draw and paint from life, and I'm really looking forward to it; for now, I'll try to follow your advice and choose to work from photos taken in natural daylight or at least showing more natural skintones...

Thank you again
Alessandra
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Old 04-15-2006, 11:52 AM   #4
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Allesandra,

The problem with working and learning from photographs is our eye does not learn to properly see.

When you are working from life you start with the bigger shapes and keep refining them. You learn to edit out the unimportant parts and keep only the ones that matter the most. This process helps not only your drawing and painting skills, but helps toward developing a unique style.

Might I ask, what kind of drawing teacher gives students pile of photos to copy?
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Old 04-15-2006, 01:26 PM   #5
Alessandra Rosi Alessandra Rosi is offline
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Hello Sharon,
the art school I'm attending is probably not the best, although it used to be very good in the past (it's the most ancient , I think, in Italy);

the program for the figure class consists of drawing from life (statues and head sculptures) during the first year, then in the second one, which I'm currently attending, painting from photos, and then in the third and fourth year, drawing and painting from life the model.

Although I understood thanks to Allan, what a poor and unsuitable reference I choose for this portrait, ( I have to say that also my instructor tried to make me choose another one), I would really know if my approach to a portrait painting (being this my first one, besides my previous pastels) is totally wrong, if I did refine it too much, if the drawing is not proportioned, etc.

I'm really open to hear any advice and suggestion, to hopefully do a better work next time!

Thank you for your answer

Alessandra
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Old 04-15-2006, 03:52 PM   #6
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Alessandra,

The drawing from sculture and the figure is fine. I think your approach to the painting shows a lack of proper instruction in painting, which in my opinion you should be getting from your school. There is no way in my opinion to help you with what you have done.

There are two books in English by Harold Speed which gives you the basics. They are the practice and Scienc of Drawing and a companion book on painting. Ne has the student start painting only in black and white and from life. Another useful book is "How to Make Living Portraits", by Laura Carter Clark. It is a nice basic book for beginners.
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Old 04-15-2006, 05:00 PM   #7
Alessandra Rosi Alessandra Rosi is offline
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Thank you so much, Sharon, for your prompt answer;

I will surely try to find those books, as well as suggesting my instructor to show me a proper painting technique, since, for this first work, he let me do it myself, to see what I would come up with...

I truly appreciate your advices and i'll do my best to follow them!

Alessandra
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