Jean Reno Portrait wip
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    Jean Reno Portrait wip

    Hey all. I'm planning on doing an ink wash portrait of actor Jean Reno. Just want to make sure that I have the proper proportions in the lineart before I actually start in with the ink. Original reference here

    I fiddled with the brightness/contrast and made it grayscale. Thoughts on the sketch? personally I am unsure of his ear and the placement of his mouth

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    Last edited by wooden mango; May 2nd, 2011 at 07:57 AM.
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    The ear should be higher and its shape is different. The mouth should be closer to the nose and it's from a different angle, we don't see that much from the farther side in the original. The bridge of the nose should be higher and its tip/angle is a bit different as well.
    The jaw isn't clear in your sketch (and not so easy to see in the pic I think) but it seems you rounded it.

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    Hi there Matey

    Are you using photoshop, if you are put the master image/ ref over yours and whack the opacity way down so that you can see where you are off then correct your drawing. Its a bit of a cheat but it wil give you a direct comparison and show you whats different.

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    A bit lik this, though obviously you need to do this on your own machine to see it clearer.

    if you line up his nose whaich is dead on by the way, the ear is too low, the mouth is out slightly and the eyes are out slightly too.

    Sorry if I just ruined this for you, but it does show you how far out you are.

    Last edited by Lightship69; April 28th, 2011 at 05:15 PM.
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    Thanks Guys!

    @Lightspeed: that is a total cheat but an awesome one! also, ruined it for me? how so?

    So here's the updated sketch overlayed onto the original,

    have to tweak the mouth still, the bottom of the ear and hairline but once I do that and lay in some shadow as a guide with my pencil I am ready for the inks!

    I may have it a little too close to the edge of the paper though, just barely got his ear in there but I kinda like how it looks and this is more of an exercise in values for me than in composition (still something to keep in mind for the future though). Will keep on updating.

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    To be honest, as a general rule I'd avoid doing this. Not that it's a problem once in a while, but one thing you want to train yourself in is to see when things work or don't with just your eyes. I'd say check once in a while, but only that much.

    You want to measure carefully, especially when you're new at this sort of thing. Figure out your measurements and take the time to double-check them (or triple- or quadruple- if necessary) to make sure your proportions are on. More experience will make this easier, and you can be a bit more intuitive, but at the start it's worth taking your time.

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    I think a bigger problem is that you are trying to draw the outlines and contours that make up the face, rather than /construct/ the face.

    I took the same reference photo and tried and show a process - this particular one was what I was taught.

    1. draw an oval that's approx. the size of the skull/brain case. (the head is only a circle from the front and back - if you look at a skull from the side, it's longer more like an oval.

    2. One method is to then draw a rectangular encasement - it helps to give perspective and directional information. The oval should still take up 2/3rds of the area.

    3. The top of the brow is 1/3 down the skull. (you can actually start to see where I made an error, which is corrected later.) aprox. halfway down is the bottom of the brow. the lower line I added in the face is the bottom of the cheek bones - you can see it's where the oval meets the edge of the box I drew. Adding the ear was fairly easy at this point - it sits halfway back on the oval, and the top lies on the same line (in perspective!) as the bottom of the brow, and the lower ear lobe on the line for the bottom of the nose. I also defined the jawline - the order was drawing the line of the bottom of the chin, then dropping the rear part of the jaw from the ear - then connecting them.

    4. I added the small wedge going inward for the bridge of the nose, then the wedge for the nose shape itself. The curved shape I added is the top of the cheekbones, and helps me draw/define the side of the nose wedge.

    5. If you look at a skull, the teeth lie along a round shape. I just placed it in.

    6. Added the lips, making sure they lie across the rounded shape. Lips can be anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 between the bottom of the nose and the chin. I then just did some light shading.

    7. no change, just a larger version to show the next steps :)

    8. started drawing the unique features, and first pass of addressing errors made earlier. (most notably I'd squashed everything together vertically.)

    9. resolving additional issues, including needing to 'turn' the features slightly clockwise. Because I understand the underlying structure, this doesn't present a huge challenge. There's additional structure to the nose I drew, but didn't break down into steps.

    There are still some areas that have errors once I overlay it, most notably the hairline. This means I didn't properly interpret the vertical midline of the skull. I can see it now, and have indicated the proper midline in red. (looks like I didn't turn the face clockwise enough!) I also made the ear larger than it is, and slightly misplaced. Each face is unique, and all the measurements I have mentioned are merely guidelines. So I learned something! :)

    I hope this helps. Keep in mind I am /not/ a portraiture artist, so there are probably more errors present that I'm not seeing. (besides the obvious stylization.)

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    Last edited by Alice Herring; April 29th, 2011 at 01:36 AM. Reason: wrong attatchment first time. argh!
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    Wow Rabbit_run that is a really, really, good demo Thanks for taking the time.

    I would just point out to all that now hate me that I was standing back from the problem and going for a check yourself sort of pose not advocating copying, before I get hate mail ha ha ha.

    It is right thatyou construct it and go through in stages, but I would still say if you are going for realism find a way to check yourself until you are sure of the results.

    I'm going to go off and hide now, in case I get some bad press.... Lol

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    Not a useful post, just some uncertain opinion and wandering, mostly.

    I'm agree with Nezumi Works. (To me, copying is cheat enough but I must be an antitalent at some aspects of drawing.)
    Construction... I think beginners don't and can't do it right away. I got frustrated over it a lot and I would stopped the whole stuff if I didn't draw heads without much construction even if that's not the right way. Honestly, I don't know what's the ideal method for a beginner. Maybe we should do most of the silly stuff beginners do, I don't know... I'm really bad at construction, the method sounds logical but my constructed heads are usually the worst (and the ones where I don't even think just feel are the most expressive). I won't give up but I need some easier and nicer results even if they are just copywork.
    Though... I guess I keep in mind my knowledge about the head when I copy. I think one should keep learning about the head, this knowledge will show and the drawings and paintings will evolve. If the little artist don't do something totally wrong.

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    Here's some face measurements : centerline middle of the head, brow line lined up with top of the ear, bottom of the nose lined up with the bottom of the ear, end of nostrils line up with corner of the eye, dip at the top of the nose lines up with eyes, corners of the mouth line up with pupils of the eyes

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    Hey all, Thanks for the tutorial rabbit run! I actually did use a construction method I had just deleted the guide lines before posting. However now that you posted this I can definitely see a few steps that I missed. Thanks!

    And I agree Nezumi, not a method I should rely on. I will not do it in the future.

    But just so there is no misunderstanding (to anyone else who might be reading thngs), my sketch is not digital(done in pencil) and it is done in watercolour paper so not tracing involved. The overlay was done after I had edited and photographed the sketch. In retrospect I probably should have printed the reference so that I could compare them side my side instead of looking at it from my laptop.

    Thanks everyone for the tips.

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    And an update.

    Still have to put in some light shadows in alot of spots. Also, does anyone have any tips on how I should handle the hair and beard?

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    and another update

    I could probablu push the values a little more in areas like under the nose and such But I am not really sure. kinda nervous about it. Thoughts?

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    Hi there matey

    This is coming on really well keep using whatever works for you, looks good keep going.

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    And I think...I'm done.

    Any critiques are still appreciated though!

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    Oh I'm a bit late but I was on a motorbike tour, I'm still tired and slow but I wish to say my opinion.

    It's not bad at all, it's a well proportioned valid face, but of course, it could be better.
    Many of the flaws won't be flaws if it would be a different face, but I write my crits based on the reference.

    You mentioned a few posts before you are unsure about pushing the values here and there... You should have trusted that feeling... Now the face badly needs deeper shadows. You had chosen a reference with pretty much contrast, you shouldn't flat out the face.
    The bridge of the nose is weird, the nasal bone starts at eye level and there's a dip at that point. The shadows on the nose are very different in the reference.
    The eyes and the mouth causes a somewhat uncertain expression. The eyes are better but they need more shadows, even on the eyeball. His right (our left) eyelid doesn't that skewed, just the eyelashes. I can't see where his left brow is.
    Mouth. It seems he has no visible lips, just an open mouth on the painting. The photo isn't very clear, I can imagine you need some knowledge about the mouth from this angle to draw it properly...

    The blue light is a bit inconsistent, at some well-lit places you didn't used blue but it's there in the beard even where it's in shadow.

    The background shouldn't be that clear and in high constrast, it shouldn't attract our eyes, the head shouldn't lose any focus because of a mere background. Even if it does it a bit in the original photo. A studio portrait would be different. But even in the photo, the background is blurry and its constrast isn't that much as in your painting - and the face has a much more contrast so it's much less disturbing.

    It's a long list and I feel bad to tell you everything, I was told beginners are like tender plants and need care... It's natural you can't do it perfectly (neither could I) but maybe I said something useful for you. I wasn't sure you would appreciate an overpaint or redlined stuff so I didn't do it, though it would cost less time than to write it down with my not so great English and would be more clear and more useful for me as well...

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    Yeah, shiNIN was pretty thorough in his analysis. For my part, I just want to drive home the biggest issue I see in your image, which is getting the relative values right. Squint your eyes (til your vision is blurry) and look at both the photo and your drawing and see how different they look, the shapes of the shadows, midtones, and highlights. Next time, you can use that as a basic check to see if you're getting the relative values more or less the way they should be.

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    Thanks ShiNin and Wooblood.
    The blue lighting issue is unfortunately caused by the way that my white ink seemed to photographed. It's not really so noticeable in real life. As for the rest I totally see what you mean. Hmm I could probably touch up some of that but I don't know. i think I will just move on to the next thing.

    For my first ink wash painting I think it turned out pretty good, despite the flaws. But will take those notes in mind to improve on the next one.

    And no worries about the hefty list. I take criticism fairly well. And I don't mind over paints if you find them faster and easier.

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    "This is a paint and pixel-splattered furnace that forges the swords of artistic mastery. This is a place where swarthy and belligerent dwarves drink turpentine mead, berate their apprentices and slap the trade into their skulls. It's where the anvils are made of graphite, the hammers are as true as rectangular marquee selections and the fires burn with the light of a thousand lensflares." --Jason Rainville
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