First portrait to finish - but what next?
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    First portrait to finish - but what next?

    Hello!

    I started this the other day to get to grips with skintone, painting in general, blending, and mood. The photo reference I was working from was very high contrast, and I figured it would be ideal to try and learn how to shade the face better.
    As such, the colours and light is very different from my reference and I'm really kind of just winging it. Also, this is the first time I've gone so far in painting in photoshop, or any sort of rendering that isn't a speedpaint. I intentionally stylised it so that I could avoid relying heavily on reference.

    Anyhoo, most of it is done, I just don't know where to go to from here, so any finishing tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated. Well, crits too, I love crits, but I might not be able to apply all the changes as it's painted on one layer.

    Thank you for stopping by if you view!

    PS: Forgot to post the reference! http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o...a/fac1a0b7.jpg

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    Last edited by Nelka; April 19th, 2011 at 05:09 AM.
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    TinyBird is offline Why you gotta be an angry burd Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    How about fixing the eye positions at least? I know it's supposed to be stylized (though it's not that much stylized I'd say so the painting would look much better if you'd taken time to stick to the proportions/measurements of the original image) but that looks creepy:

    Especially because you didn't know how to draw the right side eye so now the pupil is squished unnaturally.

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    Haha! I can't believe I haven't seen that until I posted! Thanks for pointing it out, now I know why I kept getting creeped out every time I zoomed out. Fixing now

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    The image you selected isn't ideal for learning how to "shade" (I hate that word) the face, it's probably the worst one you could find. It isn't high-contrast, it's washed out, the whites blowing up so much that there's barely any visual information contained within her face.

    Where to go from here? Find a face that doesn't contain any white or black in it, with some nice rich values that reveal the form of the face and study THAT.

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    You're right Jason. I don't think I'll be making that mistake again. Part of the reason why I wanted to try it out was to see if I could compensate from imagination at all, but it looks like I need a lot more proper studies done before I try that again.
    Thank you for replying.

    Here's what I ended up with.

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    I agree with all the crits above ...
    This bad reference caused you guess value and your portrait has a very uncertain lighting, the hair doesn't show anything about it, the face is lighter in the center (veritcally)... Decide where your light source is and put your values according to it, thinking about the forms/planes of the head.

    I'm not good with skin coloring (I study it but it's pretty complicated) but I don't think her neck should be that reddish... Her cheeks seem to be flushed as well. Cheeks are somewhat red and there is radiosity but these can't be enough reason for that strong redness, even far from the hair. It's illogical to have that strong blush on her cheeks but nothing on her nose...

    {and here I realized there are an update}
    Some of the things I wrote above are still valid.
    You made the eyes much better and her base skin color is more natural as well

    The stripes (or what are they called) of the clothes flatten out her shoulders. Look at the original, their color changes as the fabric follows the form underneath and turns away from the light.

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    Reference is essential, but knowing how for instance a face is constructed can help you a long way. I took the liberty of taking your first drawing an try with my knowledge of anatomy to reshape it using only colors from your image. Now I don't know if this helps and I could be wrong with this, if so let me know.

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    JeffX99 is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Yeah...good critiques - you just need to study anatomy more and light. When I say "light" I mean how light falls on and illuminates form - that is the entire deal. And the funny thing is, the light is revealed by shadow form. So the real key (besides solid anatomical proportion and construction) is to pay attention to the shadows - their shape, value and edges (hard edge if a cast shadow, soft edge if a form shadow).

    Hope that helps for next time.

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    eye socket

    one of the things I see many times in portraits including ones I have done is the tendency to forget the eye socket the eye sits back in the skull.the bones protrude all around it if the eye is on the same plane as the forehead it seems like the person has their face pushed against something....the face feels flat no dimension to it...
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