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Old 02-17-2005, 01:14 AM   #11
Terri Ficenec Terri Ficenec is offline
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Hi Julie-- I'm seeing some areas of concern in the updated images you've posted. There are some drawing issues. Though his nose looks to be proportioned correctly, his other features (eyes/mouth/ear) have gotten rather large for his head. The more areas are focused on, or reworked, they tend to grow or expand (in painting), it's something to watch out for. It can help to get away from it for awhile and so that you get a fresh look at it... or from further away to take in overall scale.

It also appears that the contrast between light/dark details may be somewhat exaggerated and is distracting from the sense of form. The bubbles on his lips, in particular, aren't reading well (too light?). Though this may be the quality of the photograph or just how it appears on my monitor rather than the painting?

It's clear you've been working hard on this, please don't get discouraged. Just wanted to give you an honest assessment. Hope it helps!
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Last edited by Terri Ficenec; 02-17-2005 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 02-17-2005, 01:41 AM   #12
Alice Leggett Alice Leggett is offline
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Checking for accuracy

Hi Julie,

I think you're really close to being finished, and it's looking good! I especially like the little mouth.

I sometimes use tracing paper to get an exact size outline of the features and hold it or tape it over the painting to check proportions. It's a helpful thing to do as long as you're reasonably sure your photo reference is not too distorted. Our human eyes see so much differently than cameras. However, a more "high tech" way to check your work is to "draw" an outline on the computer over the face, and print it out the exact size of the head in the painting, but on inkjet transparency film. That way you don't have the "cloudiness" of the tracing paper. See the example below. You can achieve the same thing with a Sharpie marker and transparency film as long as your photo head is the same size as the painting head. The only problem is trying not to overwork the painting with excess detail, unless that is your goal.

That said, I think the right eyelid needs to come down a little at the upper lash line. Do you like to add the highlight on the iris? I do. I think the eyes should have the most detail on the face. And this baby is all about the eyes - so cute!

Happy painting!
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:28 AM   #13
Julie Gerleman Julie Gerleman is offline
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Terri - that would figure that the nose is pretty well proportioned; it's the thing I've touched the least! I'm also used to working big and this is 9"x12" and the features are a lot smaller than I'm used to painting, so maybe my brain is trying to make everything bigger. Hmph anyway.

I'm really grateful for your photoshop pictures. Wow. Now I know I've got another tool to use to keep things accurate. Of course, I wonder if the best way to keep features in proportion isn't just to get it right the first time so there's minimial reworking of the area! If that's the case, time and practice (and subsequently confidence) will certainly contribute.

Looks like I've got a bit more work to do on this than I thought...I might not want (or be able to) to totally rework the area, as per your demonstration, Terri, but at the very least I'll bring the eyes down a bit, as per Alice's feedback. At least now I know why I'm not satisfied with his eyes!

Thanks - this is exactly the stuff I need to hear about!
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:30 AM   #14
Julie Gerleman Julie Gerleman is offline
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Oh yes, Alice -- I definitely will be adding iris highlight. It's usually the very last thing I do, though.
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:32 AM   #15
Terri Ficenec Terri Ficenec is offline
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Hi Julie--
It is nice to get the drawing right the first time... but sometimes it doesn't work out that way, and things can still turn out fine. When I'm in a hurry, tend to measure less in the flurry to get things on canvas and wind up having to go back in and correct later. (As long as ridges haven't built up!) On my recent painting of the little girl and her Dad, her eyes started way out of whack. Every go 'round kept shifting her right (our left) eye down. Probably wound up moving it the whole height of the eye by the time was finished. It happens. When I'm really careful to get the initial drawing right... sometimes it's so constraining not to mess it up in later layers that the piece can seem a little stale. But that's just how it works for me. . . depends on what mood

Like your new avatar!
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:39 AM   #16
Julie Gerleman Julie Gerleman is offline
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Yes - that's what I'm afraid might have happened that would prevent me from redoing the area -- ridges. I should be able to rework a little bit though and I can cut back the 'jarring' effect of the eyes by fudging with the color, at least in theory, even if I'm unable to redo the structure at this point.

Thanks.

Oh! Um - What's an avatar?
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:59 AM   #17
Terri Ficenec Terri Ficenec is offline
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It's a little scary to do, but often you can gently scrape back ridges with the edge of a palette knife.

Your avatar is the little picture of yourself that appears on your posts.
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Old 02-17-2005, 02:54 PM   #18
Alice Leggett Alice Leggett is offline
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Scraping ridges

A tip I learned from Richard Whitney: Use a curved-blade X-acto knife to scrape down dried paint ridges for layering over.

I do believe in getting the proportions right the first time, but I think everyone has to make adjustments along the way.
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Old 02-22-2005, 12:56 PM   #19
Rob Sullivan Rob Sullivan is offline
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Julie -

Sorry I came into this thread late, but if you are still open to some help, I'd like to share my assessments and perhaps some Photoshop manipulations to guide you further.

The advice you've recieved thus far has been spot on with regards to drawing and contrast corrections, etc. I've taken the liberty of further breaking down your latest posted image into sections in order to show where there needs to be some hue shifts and saturation changes, along with a few small things that are important to fully realizing the likeness.

But before I post these things, I'd like to ask for your permission to do so. It's pretty much for the same reason that I ask my students if I may draw/paint on their work to show them the practical application of the process - just a matter of respect for personal property, really.

So let me know - hope things are going well with this one! Scraping the work down is scary, but once you do it, it's never scary again!
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:16 PM   #20
Julie Gerleman Julie Gerleman is offline
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Post away!

Thanks for doing that, Rob, and thanks for asking. I didn't need to scrape, as it turns out, and I went ahead and re-did the eyes so that they're closer to reality. I think it looks much better now and I'm very interested in hearing your take. I'm more comfortable (and better at) negotiating values but am still pretty intimidated by hues and saturation - color, generally, still freaks me out.

So post away, and thanks.
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