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Old 04-16-2002, 11:53 PM   #1
Jim Beutler
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Mother / daughter commission




This is a commissioned oil on canvas painting, 30" x 24". While any criticism'll be appreciated, I'd specifically like comments on how I could have made this portrait more of a painting. Any suggestions to help make a picture like this more interesting to people other than those who know the clients? Higher resolution photos of this painting can be seen at www.LegacyVisions.com

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Jim
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Old 04-17-2002, 06:23 PM   #2
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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I think it's already interesting as a painting. It has a vibrant quality that I've seen in some styles of illustration that isn't typical of most commissioned portraits. I think that effect is caused here by the saturated colors, the abstract background and the extra-brightness of the eyes.

I looked at your website and I think your terrific alla prima paintings capture a more "realistic" effect than what I see in this painting. Whether this painting succeeds in your mind and the minds of the clients depends on what level of "realism" versus "artistic interpretation" you were aiming for.

I would make one suggestion about the composition: the position of the arm of the lower figure adds a little too much complexity and confuses things a bit. I'm not sure what that arm is resting on and I had to think a bit before I figured out which arms/hands belong to which figure.
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Old 04-18-2002, 10:07 PM   #3
Jim Beutler
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Thanks Michele,
One thing among many others I learned via this painting is to NEVER paint under such good studio lighting! Under some typical residential lighting circumstances, this painting looks weak and the skin like leather. Also, the final stages were done with photo-refs. Guess I should always conclude from life. I suspect this contributed somewhat to the cartoony expressions and fotoed-up values. Do U think if the relative values within the faces were altered, e.g., skin lighter, eyes darker, etc., it would look more "realistic"?
Thanks for pointing out the mystery arm rest. I got so close to this that I didn't notice!
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Old 04-18-2002, 11:46 PM   #4
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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Jim, could you post your reference photos? That would help me give you suggestions on the values.
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Old 04-19-2002, 03:37 AM   #5
Lon Haverly Lon Haverly is offline
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Competion, competition

The title of this painting could be "Competition." It is the essence of competition in color, temperature, values and background. It seems you made no decision on what needs to stand out and what needs to be on the background. Everything grabs for attention. It is a bit unsettling. Perhaps that is the nature of this mother/daughter relationship, and the essence of this portrait.
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Old 04-26-2002, 02:39 AM   #6
Jim Beutler
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Michele: Thought I had some reference photos, but they're all deleted.

Lon: That's not at all intended. Guess I was strongly preoccupied with getting the foreground to stand out from the background. This helps to answer my original question regarding how to make it more of a painting. It seems it could use a much greater range of focus and space. Thanks!
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