Portrait Artist Forum    

Go Back   Portrait Artist Forum > Oil Critiques


Reply
 
Topic Tools Display Modes
Old 09-08-2004, 10:09 AM   #1
Carol Norton Carol Norton is offline
Juried Member
 
Carol Norton's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2004
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 281
My Teddy




After a steep learning curve, much help from the Mac sector, maybe, just maybe, this picture will post. If it does, I welcome and value any and all critiques.
Thanks to the whole cheering squad who tutored me in this process.
Attached Images
 
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2004, 10:10 PM   #2
Leslie Ficcaglia Leslie Ficcaglia is offline
Associate Member
 
Leslie Ficcaglia's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Port Elizabeth, NJ
Posts: 534
Hooray, Carol - you got it posted! Nice painting; I really like your use of light and shade in the background and in his shirt. The hair is beautifully rendered, too. I think you need more tonal variety in his skin, though, especially in the legs although the face and arm could use some too, as could the hand on our right. And although I'm sure that that's what it really looks like because his other hand is pushing up his cheek, that eye on our left is too small. Even if it means being less true to your reference I'd make it the same size, or almost the same, as the eye on our right. It's not only narrower top to bottom, but also smaller in width, which doesn't feel right.

What size is this and is it a commission? Very appealing concept.

Glad to be able to see your work!
__________________
Leslie M. Ficcaglia
Minnamuska Creek Studio
LeslieFiccaglia.org
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2004, 12:42 AM   #3
Jane Bradley Jane Bradley is offline
Juried Member
 
Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Arizona
Posts: 94
Carol,

I really like the design of this - and I love the attitude you have so very successfully conveyed. Very nice!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2004, 02:25 AM   #4
Garth Herrick Garth Herrick is offline
SOG Member FT Professional '09 Honors Finalist PSOA '07 Cert of Excel PSOA '06 Cert of Excel PSOA '06 Semifinalist, Smithsonian OBPC '05 Finalist PSOA
 
Garth Herrick's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,445
Welcome, from yet another Mac person!

Hi Carol,

I really like this a lot. I like the concept and the attitude and I really like the Manet-like painterliness and your use of color.

One thing that bothers me on first impression is that the boy and the Teddy seem to be floating a little. I don't fully sense their weight upon the seat cushion. Seeing how you have carefully rendered the shadows makes me question my own first impression, and I am trying to figure out what the phenomenon is behind my impression.

I think there may be several factors contributing at once. One has to do with the way the color turns so consistently blue in the shadow, and I sense you are deliberately striving for this color effect. Another factor is that the orange trousers and yellow shirt maintain full intensity right to the blue shadow edge, making what is probably an unnatural color transition, since there is no hint of warmth reflected in the shadow where the orange meets the blue. A third is that the rendering of the shadow itself suggests the boy is floating an inch above the cushion surface; perhaps there are more subtleties in your reference image as to how the intersecting shadow turns and breaks in the light.

Tweaking any one of these possible factors will probably resolve this floating issue.

I hope this helps. Again, welcome, and I look forward to seeing more of your works.

Garth
__________________
www.garthherrick.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2004, 10:50 AM   #5
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
Juried Member
 
Linda Brandon's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2001
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,734
Hi Carol, glad you finally made it on the Forum!

I think that you have a strong, individual painting style and a bold color sense. If you don't get too many comments on this painting I suspect that it may be because many of us on the Forum are striving for photographic realism, classical realism, or Sargentesque bravura painterly realism. (Have I forgotten any 'isms? here?) It is sometimes hard to cross over into another style when it comes to articulating thoughts about a painting. You lean toward Impressionism here and I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.

Remember that the Critiques section is for nitpicking - lots of opinionated artists out here - and the Unveilings sections is for when you just want to display.

I like this pose but I agree with Garth that he appears to be floating in his surroundings. I would also like that bear to be squishier with more of a feeling of relaxed droopiness.
__________________
www.LindaTraceyBrandon.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2004, 04:14 PM   #6
Carol Norton Carol Norton is offline
Juried Member
 
Carol Norton's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2004
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 281
Photo reference for "Teddy"

Thank you Garth, Jane, Leslie and Linda for taking the time to critique. ALL of the observations will be of help with this painting. I have tried to include the photo reference from which I painted and if it doesn't show up,I'll keep working on that part of posting. I selected that particular shot to paint because it really, REALLY expresses a darling little boy WITH a whole lot of "attitude". I also tried to make his painting look a little "sweeter" than the foto (as it will go in his room...maybe..if I give it to him) but perhaps the "sweetening" undermines the original. I posted the source so that you could see his eyes. From viewing the photo, Leslie, would you still enlarge the eye beside the hand? I will experiment with that and see of it comes across better.

Garth, you are so right about the shadow. The fact is that I don't know how to do it differently. Would you follow the contour of the shirt and shorts, mix some yellow reflected into the shadow beside the shirt and orange into the shadow color beside the shorts? My photo was a candid shot so that is what I had to work with. I also obviously added the hand. I will work further on the shirt color turning into the shadow, too.

Linda, I swear I didn't mean to create an impressionistic "impression". I, too, work toward realism. Chris's class was my first portrait class and Bill's my second. What I had tried to do here was to create lost edges in the chair. Perhaps the color choice should be changed to a more neutral brown. That wouldn't be hard. ALSO, I so appreciate the nitpicking part in the Critiques secton as that is the only way I will learn how to correct my errors. I don't have a reason yet to use the Unveiling section at this stage. Getting all of this help from such experts is the greatest of all gifts. No ego has been EARNED yet, so it can hardly get discouraged by helpful comments. My whole goal - and I am a serious and focused learner - is to paint beautiful, realistic, portraits that appear to be candid - not formal - capturing a "moment in time". Is this the right place to post a painting of this nature? Should I be doing this in WetCanvas instead? I DO love Sergent but ALSO love Sergei Bongart. OH, and I do love the idea of squishing the bear a bit. Would you do that by making him furrier?
Attached Images
 
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2004, 04:40 PM   #7
Leslie Ficcaglia Leslie Ficcaglia is offline
Associate Member
 
Leslie Ficcaglia's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Port Elizabeth, NJ
Posts: 534
Carol, now that I see the reference photo I admire your treatment of the background and the shirt even more. I love the way you've pushed the darks and lights on that t-shirt. I still think the eye on our left needs to be open a bit more, and also to be wider along the horizontal axis. You lessened the distortion of his mouth as the hand affects the flesh, and similarly you should lessen the distortion of the eye even more than you already have. If you'll notice, even though it's narrowed due to the way the hand pushes his cheek up, that eye and eyebrow are still level relative to the top of his head. You've tilted the head in the painting more than it's tilted in the reference photo, but you still need to draw a line showing the tilt of the head and have the imaginary line that goes through both eyes conform to that plane.

Also, in the reference photo notice the shadow that the edge of the shorts casts on the thigh of his upper leg, and the shadow which defines the long muscle of his thigh on the lower leg. They would also give him a little more solidity. And on his arm and temple, to our left, there is a band of lighter color reflecting the light that hits that side. You've suggested it on the arm but not the temple.

I'm wondering whether making that added hand a little larger would make it a little more believable? Or get someone else to assume that pose and see how much hand would show and at what angle.

I like the blue of the chair but am finding the orange of the shorts a bit strong, both in the reference photo and the painting. Maybe bringing more blue into the shorts would tone them down and tie them together.

As Linda said, we can get very nitpicky in the critiques section, but on the whole this is a charming piece and I really like it. I too try to pull off candid-looking paintings when I can, so I can appreciate your goal here. I'm looking forward to seeing the completed version of this painting, and more of your work as you post it.
__________________
Leslie M. Ficcaglia
Minnamuska Creek Studio
LeslieFiccaglia.org
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2004, 05:39 PM   #8
Garth Herrick Garth Herrick is offline
SOG Member FT Professional '09 Honors Finalist PSOA '07 Cert of Excel PSOA '06 Cert of Excel PSOA '06 Semifinalist, Smithsonian OBPC '05 Finalist PSOA
 
Garth Herrick's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,445
Carol,

I love the attitude you captured in your photo, and I think you've captured that same attitude in your painting. I think you are improving the imagery beyond the photo in your painting, but as a resource the photo has some limitations, which is forcing you to invent a way to model the forms more dimensionally. Evidently your camera utilized its flash, in taking this photo. The flash is great for recording the local color, but it absolutely kills the forms! Now I understand why you are unsure how to improve the shadows. There essentially are no shadows! You have had to make them up.

I bet if you soften the contrast in the shadow on the seat cushion under your boy and the Teddy, bringing some more hint of the green upholstery lapping up closer to the most protruding edges of the orange shorts and the Teddy's foot, it will resolve the floating effect. In effect you will be flattening the contrast slightly to be a little more in keeping with the absence of contrast in the photo.

When you work with a flash photo reference, it is almost impossible to discern the nuances of form you need to interpret. Having a pattern on the chair upholstery further masks the forms in the photo. Considering the flattening in the photo, I think you have done remarkably well with your painting interpretation. If you can over-ride the flash, and turn it off in the future, you may make things a little easier for yourself when you paint. On the other hand you may need a tripod to steady the camera without a flash. In a pinch, I know it is better to capture the fleeting moment, flash or no flash. There may not be an opportunity to grab the tripod. I personally cannot produce a good portrait from a flash photo; I cannot get rid of the flattening in my painting.

Garth
__________________
www.garthherrick.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2004, 10:59 AM   #9
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
Juried Member
 
Linda Brandon's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2001
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,734
Carol, this is a terribly hard photo from which to work - as Garth says, it looks like a flash photo and you have no shadows to define volume. If you want to paint 'form and volume' portraits you should read the excellent posts on photographing your subject on the Forum.

Of course you can post casual portraits here on the Forum, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't spend a great deal of time composing and lighting your subject so that you have a much better chance of executing a good painting. Paintings done from casual flash snapshots have a slim chance of success, in my opinion. You have a good strong painting style, so give yourself a break and get better resource material - your paintings will be much better and they will be easier to paint because you will be able to see where you want to take your painting.

As far as the bear goes, it looks pretty stiff in the photo. If I were painting this, I'd pummel it until it looked droopy enough for my taste, and reshoot the whole photo.

Ruthless!
__________________
www.LindaTraceyBrandon.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2004, 05:46 PM   #10
Carol Norton Carol Norton is offline
Juried Member
 
Carol Norton's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2004
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 281
Leslie, Garth and Linda and all the computer helpers,

Well, your invaluable instruction has really made an impact: THE PHOTO REFERENCE must give the information necessary to make a strong, successful painting. I GOT IT!!! Finally. I got it. Chris Saper emphasized that point more times than I can count in her class but...I kept thinking (to myself, of course), that I would be able make those "funny fotos" work. And, further more, it appears, quality painters don't work with poor photos either. With only two portrait classes, an anatomy class and a couple of still life classes at Scottsdale Artists' School, in the period of one year, I also didn't have the depth of knowledge to make it all up. I have read that learning is "... just a matter of changing one's mind." Well, I HAVE changed my mind...a lot and with this one posting. Must be my art adolescence that created the need for so much repetition.

Leslie, the other advice that helped was your emphasis on the importance of drawing accuracy. I was shocked when you said that I had tilted the head more than is shown in the photo??? "What?" I said. "Let's go back and look at THAT again!" Lo and behold... I sure had. Bill Whitaker spent two whole days on drawing correctness in his 2004 workshop.

Well, LOTS to work on. And that gut hunger that I feel, my patient mentors, is what creates this unquenchable thirst for improvement. I WILL be back.

  Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing this Topic: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Topic Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Topics
Thread Topic Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stephanie and Teddy Michele Rushworth Oil Critiques 15 11-27-2002 09:20 PM

 

Make a Donation



Support the Forum by making a donation or ordering on Amazon through our search or book links..







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.