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  1. #1
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    Red face Critiques needed, please!

    Okay, so I'm new here (Hi!) and joined because I've heard from a lot of other artists that it's a motivating place to work on art at. My girlfriend's birthday is on the 19th, and I'm doing a portrait of her as a gift seen as I'm penniless.

    However... it's not coming out so well. Because I'm a dog-obsessed idiot, I've mostly only drawn dogs in the past and so I haven't developed a style for people. I don't want it to be a completely realistic carbon copy. This is my sixth attempt at shading this portrait as well as with anatomy, and for putting 5+ hours into it I haven't gotten very far.

    I've been trying for a style similar to Depingo's but it isn't coming out how I'd like it.

    I'm working at a resolution of 300 dpi at 1700x2240 in paint tool SAI.

    All tips and critiques are appreciated!
    This is what I have so far:

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  3. #2
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    Hopefully this will help.
    Your drawing needs work, it is the underlying structure you will hang the color on. Basically you need to measure and get the big proportions first. So start with the outside shape of the head and hair; measure the width against the height. then start measuring the features first, for their placement and then their size. In other words the eyes are how far down vertically from the top of the head ? then their height and width is what percentage of the head measurements? Once you know those things check the shape by checking the angle.

    Color is warm in the light and cool in the shadows, so as the color changes across the face the hue shifts toward blue violet and you can actually see it in your photo, her skin tones are warmer towards the middle of her face, even her hair color is warmer on the right than the left. Its not only a value shift from light to dark of the same color. Just remember it is subtle it is only tinting the skin tone, not actually making it blue or pink.

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  5. #3
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    Is it me or is that photo slightly stretched?

    (I've yet to get anyone's likeness, so take my comments iffy.
    All my posts should be taken with a grain of salt.)
    But I completely agree with the measuring and proportions, hence the stretched question.

    -Learning to squint the values out helps a lot. Richard Schmidt blogged by Dianne Mize. (Best wishes)
    The immediate base values should reveal themselves right away, so squint and compare the values next to each other.
    -Lin Ran on my sig might kick a few starters in your brainers.
    -A nicely valued (B&W) portrait is as effective as a coloured.
    (While you're still learning colour theory, of course)

    Have fun painting your gf ... just don't screw up!

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  7. #4
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    What dpaint said.

    If you don't have a lot of experience drawing, I'd recommend doing a fairly tight underdrawing until you get everything looking good---and then start painting over it.

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  8. #5
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    The photo is stretched because I had to resize it so I could see it, the size it was when I c&p it was too small for me to see clearly.

    I did a new sketch because I decided I wanted to go bust (with some leg!).

    Thank you for the helpful comments. I'll be keeping them in mind when going over the anatomy in this sketch and painting it.

    While I'm not a beginner to colour theory (at least I would hope I'm not.. I go to a technical highschool and my specialty is graphic communications) I'm not at a comfortable level with some of it. I know some of it, but still need to learn to apply that knowledge (pretty obvious).

    I don't have that much experience drawing... I've been drawing for 4 years, but have been basically on my own for half of that, until I found deviantart and saw some of the tutorials there.

    I'll be posting the new sketch later tonight. Thanks again for the tips!

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  9. #6
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    The new sketch is looking great. I definitely think that's a superb drawing. If you color this one, please avoid using black for the shadows and white for the highlights. All that rendering effort to get the values right, and the colors themselves were the problem the whole time!

    Honestly, the drawing is sooo good, that you may want to just ink it, or leave it as it is, and give it to her as a classic black and white piece of art. Practice your painting on a picture that ISN'T going to be an important gift, you know? I'm sure she'll love it either way, but you're setting yourself up for buttloads of stress. Giving art as gifts is always scary.

    'Cuz life is full of your regrets, and I should be one...
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  10. #7
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    You do need to get in a lot of practice doing head structure to start doing accurate portraits. For this one though, since you're on a schedule, just do a crapload of comparative measuring. Like, hours if you need to. Check and recheck everything, make sure all the features are correctly spaced, width is correct compared to height, etc. Then paint over it. While painting, use bigger brushes to avoid that patchy look.

    The new figure looks pretty good too. Cant wait to see what you do with it.

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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuppyKitten View Post
    The new sketch is looking great. I definitely think that's a superb drawing. If you color this one, please avoid using black for the shadows and white for the highlights. All that rendering effort to get the values right, and the colors themselves were the problem the whole time!

    Honestly, the drawing is sooo good, that you may want to just ink it, or leave it as it is, and give it to her as a classic black and white piece of art. Practice your painting on a picture that ISN'T going to be an important gift, you know? I'm sure she'll love it either way, but you're setting yourself up for buttloads of stress. Giving art as gifts is always scary.
    Thank you! I had a little bit of trouble with the left side of the forehead and the shoulders, and the arm placement. I'm hoping I can do another sketch of this in school today on my laptop to fix those, if I have time.

    How would I ink it? I've never inked anything before (I stick mostly to digital and watercolor (when I can afford it)) would I need anything special besides a liquid ink pen?

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  12. #9
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    Well, great idea...I would say be wary of praise - people tend to offer it too easily and put way too much stake in it.

    So, the second drawing/pose is better in some ways though I would try cropping it in a bit still - maybe just below her ribs - also you've set up sort of a weird negative space in the upper right - center her a little more and actully consider shifting her to the right so she has more space in the direction she's facing. Oh here, I'll just do a quick crop to show you what I mean. I think you'll be better off not getting into doing here hands and the whole deal - less may be more right now.

    Be really careful with her features - her nose in particular look off. Concentrate more on good value structure and patterns and less on any details. I beg you. For your sake with something so important (I mean the portrait as gift thing - not her nose).

    Check out Richard Schmid's work for some nice inspiration on where you can go eventually.

    Good luck!

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