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Hi! Newbie here. I finally worked up the courage to post because this seems like a fantastic place to learn to improve.
I am not very practiced in digital painting (or painting in general) so I thought I'd attempt a self-portrait; I've used the photo attached as well as a few other photos as references (hence the differing colors). I'm aware that the composition isn't fantastic and that I'm just kind of... well, staring. xD I hadn't thought about that when I sat down to practice, to be honest. Obviously this is still a WIP... Feel free to critique anything and everything.
well, are you going for total realism? because if so, I'd say the colors are a bit off from the ones in the picture, but anyway.
the colors you picked for the shading/lighting (assuming you're not going for absolute realism) are very good, though a bit hard to tell since it's not smoothed over. I'd say the lighting on the upper part of the nose is a bit over done, because, going according to the picture, its not as bright there. I think the jaw should be a bit more defined, and the light in the eyes should just be a small round circle in the center, since that's where the pupil is, which is where the light is usually reflected.
also, the picture itself (the one you're using as a model) seems a bit blurry/out of focus, so it might be a good idea to sharpen it, but if I'm wrong, sorry, it's just the way it seems to me ^^;
No, I am not going for total realism. The room that the picture was taken in turns everything slightly yellow, so the colors were actually chosen based on several other pictures.
And yes, that picture is quite blurry. xD I guess that's what I get when I take horrible pictures on a whim.
Thanks so much for the tips!
It's a good attempt, but there are a few problems.
If you're doing this as an exercise with using a photo as a reference, you should try to take a picture with a more defined light source. In the photo you seem to have dim indoor lighting (scattered weak light), coupled with what looks like the flash from camera, and with reflected light from the mirror. That = non-existent shadows and flattening of form. Using a single strong light source usually yilds much better pictures with strong shadows and forms.
As far as the painting itself - it's a pretty good likeness, although a few proportions are off, and the shapes are even less defined than in the photo. The left (as you look at it) eye is a little too large and is too far to the left - flip the painting horizontally to check for errors. The brow ridge (the area between the eyebrows) is not sufficiently shaded, on the photo the points where eyebrows originate are clearly defined planes. The chin is not sufficiently defined either, especially right under the lower lip. Just keep at it, it's a good start.
Thanks, that's very helpful!