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Old 07-24-2004, 10:12 AM   #1
Eileen Claire Eileen Claire is offline
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Shy Liz

This is my first time posting for critique. I would appreciate any feedback you can give! This is 9 x 12 on Canson. Thank you!
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Old 07-24-2004, 01:28 PM   #2
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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Dear Liz,

How nice to see your work here!

My first impression about your portrait is that it is well-drawn - and this is an angle that is very difficult to draw accurately. I also find the composition pleasing in that it is well-balanced without being static.

One of the most common errors I see in photos with this kind of lighting its the tendency to copy the overly-compressed darks that usually characterize areas like the shadow in the nasal labial fold. You have avoided this trap. That being said, a tiny dark note in the corner of the mouth on our left might be a good idea.

You might take another look at the forms of the hair. While you have done a good job delineating light and shadow throughout the fabric and skin, the hair is uniform in value, color and detail. Curly hair won't have as distinct a separation of light and shadow as the other smoother surfaces, but you can squint at your source, to find the shapes and planes of the hair. Here's a couple of links to curly-haired subjects: http://chrissaper.com/sarah.htm and http://chrissaper.com/lavender.htm
To keep the shadowed hair in shadow, where it belongs, you'll want to show less detail than in the lit areas.

With respect to color, it looks as if the shadowed areas of the different 'objects' are darker versions of the color in light. They will actually be different colors, affected by the temperature of your light source. For example, if your subject is lit be direct sunlight, the pinks in the fabric shadows will be cooler than in light. Color in shadow will also be less saturated than color in light. For example, you have successfully turned the form of the cheek on our right with a very subtle value change at the turning edge. By slightly desaturating the rest of the color of the cheek in shadow, you'll be able to strengthen the impression of volume. The sense of things receding into space - here the silhouette of the shadowed areas against background will work better if the edges become a bit darker, rather than lighter. Check the value of the ear in shadow - it looks too light.

The last note on color is that you might look at ways to integrate the colors in the various objects - skin, hair, fabric and background, so that they don't read as discrete islands of color. Unifiying color temperature in light and color temperature in shadow will help considerably. Gregg Kreutz in "Problem Solving for Oil Painters" - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/IS...457772-3735348 a terrific book BTW and applicable to every medium - shows how to integrate subject and background by placing notes of adjacent colors into each other.

Best wishes, and I look forward to seeing more of your work!
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Old 07-25-2004, 10:24 PM   #3
Eileen Claire Eileen Claire is offline
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Thank you so much for your reply! I appreciate the time you took to critique my work. Your explanation is very clear and helpful. I found the links quite helpful as well. I have recently bought your book, and am studying it to learn more.

I really admire your work, so I felt like I hit the jackpot when I saw that you had replied. Thanks again!
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