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Thread: [UPDATED 12/14/10] Portrait Studies! Help me as I move along!

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    [UPDATED 12/14/10] Portrait Studies! Help me as I move along!

    First real attempt here.

    Ref pic
    [UPDATED 12/14/10] Portrait Studies! Help me as I move along!

    im still not done, but this is where im at, any suggestions appreciated

    [new images at bottom!]
    Last edited by Havok Reed; December 14th, 2010 at 11:31 PM.
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    A good start.
    You should look into structure and shape. Her proportions are off in your drawing. Try and Get the basic shape of the head first. Simplify and dont add to much detail until the structure is well thought through and correct. By doing this often and taking your time with your studies youll soon be able to draw faces that looks realistic without reference. There is alot of good books on drawing techniques and structure. Look into it and keep on.
    hope any of this is helpful and that you feel fuled to do your next drawing.
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    Björn Silfverberg


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    Turn the photo upside-down and try drawing it again.

    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Turn the photo upside-down and try drawing it again.
    I really don't know how this should help you, if you want to learn drawing (not succeed on a drawing, but learning it for future drawings) proportions, anatomy, gesture (porraits), line placement (stroke forms included, as they depend on what they actually illustrate) and everything, because you wont concentrate on those facts anymore. When I want to find proportional issues, I try mirroring the picture. Upside down I'd lose track of it.
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    Hmmm yea, just flipping it upside down I can see most the problems with it. Well when I get home from class tonight I'll fix it and post an update. The problem I had was that I didn't start out like I normally would. I know where everything is supposed go on the face, I just ended up drawing the entire thing when I originally just wanted the mouth expression. Yea it may sound dumb but I just got cArried away with it without checking if the features were placed correctly. It was an experiment anyway, I'll redo it so it looks like the actual person. Btw, by flipping it upside-down, it's not any different than mirroring the image In Photoshop
    Last edited by Havok Reed; November 30th, 2010 at 05:24 PM.
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    flipping upside down = your character stands on his head. Based on the "theory", that you forget about forms, using you right brain half.
    Mirroring the picture = another perspective of your picture, a common way to find anatomical issues.
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    lol.....after looking at my original, it looks like a caricature. Alrighty. I went back in, erased all the bits of shading i did and honestly there were very minor things that needed to be done. The chin was too far down, so I brought that up a bit. The cheeks were too rounded out, so those got brought in. the mouth had a slight angle adjustment. The eyes had to be pushed around a tiny bit along with the eye brows. And the nose was widened.

    overall, was about 15 minutes of damage. After the adjustments, I went to see how it lined up with the ref in photoshop, and it all fits pretty good except her left eye is off by a tiny bit, but meh. Not too bad for my first portrait drawing. Most of my stuff is illustrative/comic book style, so this was fun. Will be doing more portraits to get better =D.

    I will attempt to do some rendering to this and see how it turns out.
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    Well, seems like you learn pretty fast.
    I will attempt to do some rendering to this and see how it turns out.
    Definitively. Right now, just with the lines, even if you are close to a 1:1, the portrait will hardly look like her, as the shadings give all the elements (face parties) a form, making the whole face change. Just stick with the reference, use the same light source, place shadow and stroke intensity equal too. Maybe it can help, if you put a filter (Cutout or Poster Edges, if you have photoshop) so you can spot the shadow/light intensity easier.
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    well, like I said, I got carried away with it ignoring the basic rules...anyway, that's a good idea, ill try that out considering that I haven't worked with lighting on faces much at all. ill post some progress later.
    Last edited by Havok Reed; December 1st, 2010 at 11:30 AM.
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    Faces are my area of expertise so let me give you a few hints:

    In stead of telling you what not to do, I'll tell you what you can do:


    Start with straight lines to "block out" the face, hair, and overall composition. This forces you to look at the big picture.

    USE GUIDELINES!!! SO important!
    When drawing faces, proportion is everything..as human beings, our faces are unique. If when drawing faces, the proportion are off on your subjects face, they can end up looking like a totally different person, or just looking deformed or uneven.

    When drawing eyes, you can use spheres in stead of drawing almond shapes to block out the eyes. Then on top of the sphere or circle, draw the iris, then pupil, then draw the eyelids covering the sphere etc. This will force you to think of the eyes in a different way. Eyes are not 100% white and devoid of shadow! You can add value in the eye to give it a more spherical shape. However, the eye does have extreme highlights because of its liquid surface.

    When drawing guidelines, place "landmarks" to map out the features. These can simply be scribble marks telling you the positions of the eyes, nose, and corners of the mouth in relation to one another.

    If you draw the corners of the mouth first then draw the shapes of the lips, its easier to render the mouth. This works best when the mouth is closed..you can see the line between the lips that connect the corners of the mouth easier.

    Its good to know the planes of the face!!
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    Well, I dont think this does justice for the ref, but its my first render anyway. What adjustments should I make before I put this one away? I never get to work on this stuff during the day when I'm more awake...so fresh eyes are appreciated.

    everytime i look back at my original i laugh....hehe

    Thanks =D
    Last edited by Havok Reed; December 5th, 2010 at 12:52 AM.
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    maybe I have too much value down on the face? should I lighten some of this up?
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    That's some good shading! And regardless if whether the proportions are 100% exact or not, you've captured the cuteness in your subject.

    But so far I have been displeased with the mouth area every time. It looks too outlined. Think of lips more in terms of shading. The teeth are quite nice, though.
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