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Old 10-16-2006, 05:20 PM   #1
Vianna Szabo Vianna Szabo is offline
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Hannah




This is a painting I rushed to finish. It is framed, has been in a show, and is on my website, but it is not what I had hoped for and I am ready to rework it. I am thinking of softening the edge between the neck and the hair on the left and brightening the violet light that travels across the arms may help.

I selected the pose from a photo I had taken. The values were too extreme in the photo and Hannah was kind enough to sit for me on several occasions which helped tremendously with the middle tones. I have had a lot of trouble photographing it because the actual painting has many light orange tones mixed in with the blue and the area of light behind her is brighter and warmer.

I would appreciate any and all advice the forum has to offer

Thank you for looking
Vianna Szabo
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:37 PM   #2
Mischa Milosevic Mischa Milosevic is offline
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Vianna, You have a grate subject and the painting is well on its way. Since you are asking for a new eye I will be pleased to share my view. As I see it, you have tried to match what you see and you have done well. The reason your painting is not jumping of the page is because you have not established the value shapes and pushed these to perfection. Value is what makes it work not color. Establish the values the best you can, using a general color and I guaranty you will definitely see a improvement. The arms seem ok her right one could be adjusted in value some. It is the face that is patchy with incorrect values. The patchiness can work but with correct value.

I hope this helps
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:06 PM   #3
Vianna Szabo Vianna Szabo is offline
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Yikes! your right Mischa the values in the face are too spotty. I was so in love with all the reflected light bouncing around. Me thinks a little glazing is in order........
Thanks
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:18 PM   #4
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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Vianna,

I'm not sure what your concept is in this painting, so if what I am suggesting is at odds with the concept, then please disregard my comments.

I love the way you have portrayed Hannah. Though it's true the face is a little more patchy than need be, I think only a minor toning down will be fine. I like the colors and light you've found there.

The thing that strikes me right away is that it is all too pale. I wouldn't do much more than Mischa has suggested to change the figure, but the chair and background could use some work.

The wicker chair does not look at all like wicker. The chair arm-end that we see on the left especially does not read well. I'm pretty certain from looking at your work over time that you are totally capable of correcting this problem. The wicker weave does not have to be rendered in detail, but you do need to decide on a way you are going to suggest the weave, and try it. You may have to try two or three ways before you hit on just the right amount of detail and the right brushstrokes. It's worth looking at Sargent's portraits of Robert Louis Stevenson and the Fairchild boy. The shadow in the wicker is rather warm, and this is an important detail.

The background as you have it is an abstraction of a photographic blowout (especially the outside values) and as such doesn't really go back in space or enhance the chair or figure. I would suggest a plain background, slightly darker color than the chair, maybe relating to the shadow color of the wicker and of Hannah's skin tones. It could be a greyed version of these.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:17 AM   #5
Vianna Szabo Vianna Szabo is offline
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Thank you Alexandra for your suggestions. You have given me a lot to think about in the reworking of this. I agree the wicker chair is not rendered well. It is essentially a block in. Again, I rushed and it shows, I much prefer painting figures than chairs. I am hoping that deepening the shadows will help with the dimension and yes, I will look at how Sargent painted wicker. I found some great wicker painting in Burt Silvermans book as well.
The idea of a plain background is intriguing and I will play with it on Adobe. I especially appreciate your going in to detail over the tones that could be used. I love the verticals of the curtains behind her and the light coming in from the window and would like to retain those components of the composition. I think working from the photo and life confused me in that I never made a firm decision as to the value range I would use.

Thanks again for your talented eye. Your suggestions are very helpful.
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