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Thread: Painting Closeup of Face
March 6th, 2011 #1
Painting Closeup of Face
Hey guys! Starting a new painting and I really want to bang it up good.
Basic idea: Its the biggest painting I have ever done. 6x5 feet. So I decided with such a huge canvas I would do a really close and intimate of person. I have been looking around on flickr alot, and I was really captured by the macro photography. So I want to do something similar to that. Really capture the closeness of every strand of hair and crack in the skin.
I want my anatomy and expression to be real solid. I want to the emotion to be palatable.
So yeah, this is what I got so far
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March 7th, 2011 #3
March 7th, 2011 #4
That's a woman? I think what arenhaus refers to is that the eyebrow is just pointing out way too much to the side, while being completely flat. The eye is very stylized and flat, there are no hints of eyelids, folds, tearcanals or nothing. Due to the flatness of the eye, the perspective on the pupil is wrong too.
Something like that.
It would probably help to do a smaller sketch of the whole head, sans hands and then crop that sketch to what you're looking to paint. ONLY drawing a cropped part coherently is hard unless you really, really know what you're doing.
March 7th, 2011 #5
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March 7th, 2011 #8
I would also kindly suggest studying the anatomy of the face and practise drawing different geometrical shapes to help you understand how for example a face is constructed. Especially for painting it's vital to see the paintable form as planes, so you know exactly how light behaves on the surface. Also, as has been said already it is very difficult to make a big close up piece like this just because of how difficult it is to keep the whole thing in perspective.
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March 7th, 2011 #9
Right planes. Thats really what I am trying to think of terms in. Which means getting a little further back.
So I made some progress today on eyes and getting the wonky eyeline worked out. I need to work on the definition of the forehead still and get the planes clearer.
March 7th, 2011 #10
You've defined volume now, but it's all "wrong", at least if you want to nudge at something even remotely similar to what a "real" head and face looks like. You're still just guessing. Still not working from big shapes to smaller shapes. Still not sketching out the whole piece before rendering a part of the piece.
Are we speaking different languages here? Do you understand our wording, what we are trying to say?
March 7th, 2011 #11
I think I understand what you are saying. I believe what you are getting at is that I need to start with general understructure and large shapes before I start tightening it up to the details. I think I understand but some greater precision in the language might help.
What specifically seems "wrong" about the volume of the head? What areas looks like I am just guessing on them? The forehead is still much to flat, which is wonking up the roundness of the figure. Is that what you are referring to?
March 7th, 2011 #12
It's all very rough and ugly, and I should have started out sketching the whole pose instead of just the head. But in the beginning I thought I'd just show you the basics of head construction. Then I realized I needed to show you the whole point of drawing the whole thing before cropping the piece. This way you can get the anatomy and pose right, before you start cropping.
Artistically, my final piece here is crap, and there are still anatomy issues with it. But following this process would help you get everything right from the start, hope you get something out of it! Cheers!
Last edited by Whyatt Thrash; March 7th, 2011 at 08:24 PM.
March 9th, 2011 #13
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March 9th, 2011 #15
Yeah. There is a bit of a problem here. Its a physical oil painting, not a digital one, so its a bit hard to draw the entire head and then crop it. I can't just paint and then resize canvas size. Instead I took a picture and I have been a painting over it in the computer and it looks pretty horrific. I am just going to post what has happened so far, but I think I am just going to call this a bust and move on to a different painting.
Here is the progress I made today. I tried applying the structural advice you gave, and I was able to also find some better life reference. Still not happy with it. I understand theoretically what the problems are. Executing them is the problem.
To be honest I am pretty embarrassed to even upload any of this stuff. But thats the only way to learn. Swallow my pride and eating humble pie.
Last edited by TheDonQuixotic; March 9th, 2011 at 06:47 PM.
March 9th, 2011 #16
Yeah, you'd have to COMPLETELY redo parts of the painting to make it work. I wasn't referring to cropping on the painting, more like :
- Measure the dimensions of the canvas
- Sketch on paper
- Draw a frame into your sketch with the dimensions of the canvas to "crop"
- Transfer that sketch over to your canvas.
To transfer a sketch to canvas, you could use an overhead projector or the good ole' grid method: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...&postcount=123
And don't be embarrassed! I bet you're learning tons and hopefully you'll get a much better end result out of it!
March 9th, 2011 #17
Yeah, okay I see what you mean.
I think I am going to start over, though I may distance myself from this piece so I can attack it with anew head of steam. Just for future reference, what part specifically of the face am I messing up on, and needing to watch out for in the future?
March 9th, 2011 #18
Ummm, lots of things, but it'd be more beneficial to see you try your hand on a full head/face construction and see if we can help you out with that. You made a lot of mistakes in this that I'm sure you wouldn't make if you start out the "right way", full head construction and don't obscure the face with hands and such.
March 9th, 2011 #19