Portrait of a Young Woman
Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 21 of 21

Thread: Portrait of a Young Woman

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Portrait of a Young Woman

    Hi, I've been working on this face for a while now with an aim for realism, but, I'm not quite sure if I am going about this the right way. Is there a specific workflow to follow for organic work?

    Currently I've been repainting over the same layer till a good large detail base is reached then adding micro detail in new layers to be merged later on. This is a cycle and it seems not much progress is made. I just don't get how striking some of the images you guys make are and yet the brush sizes are huge, makes me feel like I am missing some fundamental skills somewhere that would help overcome problems.

    Here's a brief history;











    Thanks

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by GCMax; July 10th, 2010 at 08:58 PM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The West Coast
    Posts
    444
    Thanks
    58
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I started in graphite, then worked my way to acylics, then digital. While I was learning acyrics, and airbrush in particular I was taught to paint with as much clarity and detail while using only one color. Think of a skintone you want to shoot for, reduce the opacity/tranparency down to a very low value (10-20%), then paint the whole face as if it is the only color you will have for the whole piece. This is not necessarily what you will do for all portraits, but it is a good exercise in helping someone render a portrait. Build your skintones slowly. After you get more comfortable with the process, then branch out to other colors and tones slowly. As for the other details, like hair, the eyes, lips ect, paint them as you SEE them, not as you perceive them. Don't get hung up on brush sizes. Another good drill is to use a single brush to do a whole painting. Mastery of any particular brush or instrument is another key to success. Work with one or a few until you can achieve good accuracy: using too many different types of instruments will dilute your results until you are more practiced. I am not in any way suggesting you aren't: But these lessons helped me improve. I hope this helps.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Klaw For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,549
    Thanks
    80
    Thanked 440 Times in 287 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    impressive refining, but the facial anatomy still looks a bit off. I also think it is a bit too soon to be worrying about color. Work on structure and technique.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Bai Fan For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Near Washington, DC, USA
    Posts
    983
    Thanks
    169
    Thanked 233 Times in 193 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    When you mirrored one half to start over, the eye was too close to center, and now that you have a mirrored base, the face is too small for the head IMO.

    I'm not expert at 'realism' or digital painting in general and I've only recently been trying my hand at portraits, but I have learned that contrary to the general logic, you really don't need to zoom in or use super tiny brushes to get the realistic look. I personally can't stand using rounds, but I'd say I do 90% of my painting using a moderately sized flat brush set on a 45. It resembles a / .

    Start by blocking in the large areas of light and dark and then blend your way to smoother transitions where needed. Accuracy of those big blocks will take you further into realism than zooming in with tiny brushes, in fact i think the only place I use small brushes and that's only if I can't get the look by overlapping with larger brushes.

    Best Wishes,

    "...To spend my life relentlessly producing instead of sedately consuming..." -xkcd

    My site: www.truepinkas.com

    Slowly populating my It's Finally Finished thread!
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Truepinkas For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Klaw, thanks for the tips So far I've been using one custom brush along with some occasional smudging. Some unwanted detail builds up as the brush is quite random, might try a new simpler one on the next painting.
    Great point about painting things as you see them and not how you think they look, I'm seeing all kinds of detail that was previously invisible. Shades are becoming easier to detect and also to recreate. You know, it's a strange thing, I'm actually enjoying this more as I get deeper into it, unlike 3d art where I start to hate the subject matter the more I work with it!

    Bai Fan, Truepinkas, thanks for pointing that out, I made some changes to anatomy: when I came back to her I could see the eyes were crossed. I will try to keep detail large although this painting is at a funny stage where there is good large and small detail that I wouldn't like to alter too much.

    Some more refining...





    The bg is a temporary photo displaying the kind of theme I'm shooting for.

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Haifa, Israel
    Posts
    3,845
    Thanks
    2,294
    Thanked 2,230 Times in 1,350 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Facial anatomy is still way off. Focus on the 3-D form of eyes, nose and lips - not just the red part, the area around the mouth is undefined.

    The exact mirroring of the halves has a very unpleasant effect for me. Real faces are always a little off symmetry.

    I am not sure where the light is coming from. By the placement of whatever highlights I see, her left ear can't be this bright.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    arenhaus, when you say anatomy is way off do you mean the shapes of individual facial features? I have a reference which is by the side of this and everything now matches up in regard to size and position, although some smaller details are missing.

    Update: Redoing the eyes and working on the lips also...



    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to GCMax For This Useful Post:


  12. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, Uk.
    Posts
    79
    Thanks
    43
    Thanked 32 Times in 21 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Woah, hold on there, is that the grass brush I see used for eyelashes? Looks very strange indeed, I say erase that part, and paint the eyelashes individually. I normally do this with a small hard brush on 20-70% opacity, gradually working up the colour on them. But everyone has different methods, you could use a softer brush if you felt like it. Just lose the grass brush, I don't think it's working out, hehe.

    As for the skin, I think you have a pretty nice colour pallette going on. Infact, I liked the second to last example (in your original post).It had nice shadows, looked like a traditional piece. I think the last example is a tad on the over exposed side. This brightness could work with flawless skin and I often see portraits of asian woman this bright, but I don't think it suits this portrait too well. However that's just a personal opinion of course. I like how you've painted her cheeks, they are quite lifelike indeed. Under her eye's is looking too over detailed, she looks very tired, and I don't think this would be the case if she's at a stadium. Her forehead could do with some smoothing out, mainly around the temples and above her eyebrows, yet that white blob on her head is too harsh. Her head looks like a bowling ball. Try blending the highlight in more, or paint over it with a medium skin tone of low opacity.

    Now, this isn't the case for everyone, but I actually find Marta Dahligs brushes extremely useful for painting skin. http://www.imaginefx.com/02287754332...-and-hair.html (There's one in there which is round with jagged edges, I think, my damn laptop isn't letting me open the .pdf right now to see if they're the correct brushes. )You mention you're painting over and over layers alot. Well, this is common practise in traditional and digital work so I wouldn't worry about that. I'd suggest leaving fine detailing until later, when the skin is polished and ready.

    As for the anatomy of the face, I think we're seeing too far up her nose at the current angle. I also think the nostrils should be a touch wider. Eyebrows are looking un-eyebrowy. I'd suggest redrawing them, with a hard/ medium hard brush in light, feathery, hair-like strokes. Even if her eyebrows are supposed to be thick, they still should have a bit of shape. see here;


    (This picture could also be a great reference for you, for the eye colour, eyelash shape and eyebrow shape. )

    Ears are looking good, they stick out, but so do a lot of people's. Was this your intention?

    Eye's are looking O.K. so far. Don't forget to add a bit of glossy wetness to the whites of her eyes. Good luck!

    Last edited by meirou; May 4th, 2010 at 04:01 AM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  13. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to meirou For This Useful Post:


  14. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    meirou, thanks for your advice I watched a youtube tut which mentioned using shape dynamics with a standard round brush to create lashes. This didn't quite work as expected because my canvas size is too small lol, BUT, I did realise as you mentioned that it looked bad - direct result of trying to do too much in one go!

    Here's some more progress...



    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to GCMax For This Useful Post:


  16. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    172
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 37 Times in 36 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    the eyes are too identical - I think it would be better if you drew them individually (because no eyes are exactly the same). If you don't want to draw it all over, maybe you could add a few different eyelashes and wrinkles next to the eye.

    I like the color palette, it's warm and the skin color looks good. Also, the hair is rendered much better now. You should maybe check the nose, is it really that skewed?

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  17. The Following User Says Thank You to Minelo For This Useful Post:


  18. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Minelo, thanks for your comment, I really did go about this the wrong way to begin with by leaving shadows as an afterthought. I'm currently building them up in the upper face, hopefully they will compensate for some of the mirrored details.
    Ah, the nose! I still don't quite like this part either despite the dislocation being purposeful, maybe it's too extreme? I've been working on the end of the nose but it's still looking strange.
    Will keep at it and pay attention to adding some asymmetrical details along the way.




    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  19. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The West Coast
    Posts
    444
    Thanks
    58
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Nice progress! You are learning more and more. When you are having a problem with nailing down something that doesn't look quite right to you, change your perspective. Flip your image upside down and study it. If you are using a reference, flip that too. You get used to seeing what your working on, and your brain starts to "tune out" details. Changing perspective helps you see it objectively. When I'm doing portraits, and especially commissioned pieces, I always do this: it helps a lot. Hope this helps you out.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  20. The Following User Says Thank You to Klaw For This Useful Post:


  21. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,159
    Thanks
    138
    Thanked 418 Times in 398 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    This all feels like a digital plastic surgery procedure done in stages. As in real life, the end result looks like something that has been worked over and over and doesn't look quite right.

    I think the way you mirrored a lot of the elements (eyes, ears, earrings) gives it a strangely creepy look, almost like it's an optical illusion. I personally think it's okay to do that in design work, especially if you're under some kind of deadline, but in visual art practice, it's not something that helps the picture or the learning process.
    Hope that doesn't sound too preachy, just my own opinion.

    As for specific things, I would fix her hairline stat which would fix some of the fake look, I think the middle of the hairline should come down a good bit and the sideburn part should come down further too. The eyebrows don't look right shape-wise, I would get some good reference pics for how you want them to look and base it off of that.
    Regarding the nose, her nostrils look too small right now, I would try extending the nostrils out further sideways so she can breathe better. The bridge of the nose could probably use a bit of shading inbetween her eyes.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  22. The Following User Says Thank You to wooblood For This Useful Post:


  23. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Northern England
    Posts
    211
    Thanks
    67
    Thanked 27 Times in 26 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Get rid of the background, keep it white for now as the orange gradient is only making the saturated hot colours of the woman look too bright and uncomplimentary.

    You're on the right tracks with the shapes of the woman's face as there has been a huge improvement since your first post, and if you keep on going like this you won't have problems.

    What really bothers me however is the colours. Take the cheeks for example. The general colour is great and you should stick to it, but it feels WAY too painterly and blotchy, especially when you compare them to the eyes.
    Use larger brushes to cover the general area. Look at your own cheeks in the mirror, are they as blotchy as that? Sure they contain different colours, but there isn't a whole variety. Look at the eyelids on the woman, they look real because they have a tanned colour, slightly lighter tanned colour for highlights and for shades a dark orange/brown. It's simple and in that respect less is more. The less colours you apply to the face, the more effective it will be.

    Hope that's understandable, and hope it helps too.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  24. The Following User Says Thank You to Spikings For This Useful Post:


  25. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Klaw, thanks man The canvas flipping does show a new perspective on the image, although I'm not sure how to use this method right now.

    wooblood, hairline altered but not completed, going to change those nostrils later also, thanks for pointing all that out.

    Spikings, the blotchyness is partly my attempt at style but mainly because I see so many colour gradients in real life. For instance on peoples faces due to the semi translucent nature of the skin, the blood vessels beneath and environmental effects.




    Flipped version



    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  26. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    132
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked 27 Times in 22 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    ohhh, the progress is obvious. the last upgraded work looks much much much better!!!

    you are a very skillful student!!!!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  27. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    132
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked 27 Times in 22 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    ohhh, the progress is obvious. the last upgraded work looks much much much better!!!

    you are a very skillful student!!!!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  28. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thankyou for your compliments Susan Though I'd much prefer it if you had something bad to say!

    This is definately dragging on now, so I'm trying to move on more quickly while addressing the points mentioned like the nose and blending. Clothes have been worked on a little and the earrings are being redone, apart from that little touches here and there...



    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  29. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thanks to everyone that helped, it's been a good learning experience! Since it's been a long time coming I'm calling her done...



    ps: she's probably not that young anymore

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  30. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Bologna
    Posts
    1,696
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 108 Times in 101 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I dont feel it muck confortable to watch. Not only because its centered composition and symmetry, but for the color and artifitialness of the material she looks like created from.
    It is not clear is that a painting or a photo. Even if you want photo realistic look it should still be a painting, means dont hide brush strokes and dont give so sharp details to it. Concentrate more on the form and readability of the image.
    Even the photography is a sort of painting, and a good photographer use same tools of a painter, like position light to give more intesity to the image.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  31. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Danilo, thanks for your comments, the painterly look was altered for better blending following a crit from Spikings. As for her being centered and symmetrical: there's not alot I can do now at this stage although this was the intention from the start.
    I did want it to look somewhat photographic but still recognisable as painted, I'm not sure what you mean by you can't tell which medium this is but I can tell you everything here is hand painted, am I missing your point?

    ps: Is the background doing her justice?

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 1

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •