How can I develop this much further?
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    How can I develop this much further?

    I probably won't change much to this one as it is a finished commission, but I'm hoping that someone here can spot some major flaws (or minor flaws) regarding drawing technique and general anatomy here. I don't know where the reference photo is.

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    Last edited by gfxtwin; May 17th, 2011 at 11:43 PM.
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    Looks pretty good - the only thing I'd do is take a really fine point on an eraser and lift out some parallel "glare" lines on the lenses kind of thing. Experiment to see what looks best in PS first if you want, before committing.

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    I agree that some kind of glare would seem to make sense, but there wasn't one. Also, wouldn't parallel glare lines look a bit...cartoonish? Either way, there were no glares on the actual reference photo and I tried to do what was done in the image - slightly darkening the area behind the lenses. Any other ideas?

    Sorry if I sound like I'm throwing your advice in your face BTW, but I've never seen lens glare lines like that in real life.

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    Without seeing the reference I can't be certain, but my eye expects to see just a bit more anatomy under the mouth. I like Jeff's idea on rendering the glasses. Other than that, I think you have a really nice drawing with a lot of character and life.

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    No problem - that's why I said experiment a bit with it in PS. I almost always see some reflection notes and a bit of specular highlight in glasses, but yeah, th eparallel lines may be too cartoony but some indication of glare would help establish them as a transparent lens/plane out in front of the eyes I think. Now that I look more closely it's possible that one of the two "lights" in her eyes is really on the lens of the glasses - I would soften one of those anyway and still add some note of glare. Just me - but with PS you can try all that out so easily, might be worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfxtwin View Post
    there were no glares on the actual reference photo...
    Artists are NOT copying machines! You are not bound by your references. I'm not saying do or don't do the glare thing, I'm saying do whatever looks best and don't be a slave to reference, it's meant to inform the artistic process, not control it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truepinkas View Post
    Artists are NOT copying machines! You are not bound by your references. I'm not saying do or don't do the glare thing, I'm saying do whatever looks best and don't be a slave to reference, it's meant to inform the artistic process, not control it.
    Agreed. Good advice. Considered glares BTW, but felt they would have taken away from the glare/sparkle in her eyes.

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    Hate to get technical, but back in the day, that's what artists were for, to COPY the world detail for detail. Then photography came into existence and changed everything.

    But anyway, the only thing I notice is that (her) right eye is a bit bigger than the other. Lovely tones

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwigarbage View Post
    Hate to get technical, but back in the day, that's what artists were for, to COPY the world detail for detail. Then photography came into existence and changed everything.
    only at first glance. its just that people strangely started to think that they can replace drawing from life with doing it from photos. which is of course not a good idea! we all know that . its like attempting to write a review on a book just by reading a clumsy synopsis.

    [edit] it aint a good idea trying to copy from life neither btw. making art is about decissions based on visual information in combination with knowledge and emotion, and not about becoming a slave to your subject. copied pictures suck.

    Last edited by sone_one; May 18th, 2011 at 08:01 PM.
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    I am not a fan of the texture of the background or sweater. Fixing those would be a way to advance it.

    You could also take a good scan of it, bring it into photoshop and work a digital painting of it.

    Otherwise, for what it is... it feels pretty finished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sone_one View Post
    only at first glance. its just that people strangely started to think that they can replace drawing from life with doing it from photos. which is of course not a good idea! we all know that . its like attempting to write a review on a book just by reading a clumsy synopsis.

    [edit] it aint a good idea trying to copy from life neither btw. making art is about decissions based on visual information in combination with knowledge and emotion, and not about becoming a slave to your subject. copied pictures suck.
    Great point sone_one. Also a friend gave me advice that went something like this: Sometimes parts of things we see just look /weird/. Especially on photos. When you're drawing from a reference and you come across this you have to decide if it's worth including or not. Does it add to the story of the piece or does it make the eye stick right to it. Even if you drew it "right" people may still think it's wrong.

    The example here ofcourse is more about inclusion rather than exclusion. But I think it looks alright without lens glare. If glasses were an important part of her character/how you view her. I might add them but a good argument for excluding them has also been made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sone_one View Post
    only at first glance. its just that people strangely started to think that they can replace drawing from life with doing it from photos. which is of course not a good idea! we all know that . its like attempting to write a review on a book just by reading a clumsy synopsis.

    [edit] it aint a good idea trying to copy from life neither btw. making art is about decissions based on visual information in combination with knowledge and emotion, and not about becoming a slave to your subject. copied pictures suck.
    1. I don't usually draw from refs when I make "art".

    2. By drawing from the photo, my goal was to capture her essence. I've been told that my portrait looks more like her than the actual photo, but that's just a few people's opinions.

    3. Hard to draw a person from life when they are dead.

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    I think it is easier to draw a person from life when they are dead.

    They move around a lot less.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Bai Fan View Post
    I am not a fan of the texture of the background or sweater.
    same thought with the sweater. but I think it's a good drawing, full of character.

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    the only crit i have is the texture in the hair, it makes it look too heavy.

    Try using a white charcola pencil to make quick guestural lines over the black charcoal to givve it back that thin hair quality. As people get older their hair gets thinner or has less mass.


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    I suppose you could add some detail to the sweater, but I wouldn't go overboard. You want to retain the focus on the face of the subject.

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    nice drawing. however the neck and head are very similar values try adding some highlight to emphasise the cylindrical shape of the neck. not too much that it becomes a focus. its hard to get this right when your camera flash lights up the model. which it seems it is- or shes front lit. or is she lit from the top? try to push the cast shadows more eiher way.

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    I don't want to hijack this thread, but historically, the only way that life could be recorded was through an accurate representation from an artist's hand. The only record of human portraiture was drawn or painted, architecture drawn, landscapes drawn, events drawn. The advent of photography was quick and convenient and entirely accurate, and was countered by the movement that we now know as the Impressionists to establish traditional art in the face of photography, and the rest is history.

    I feel that there is a place for being able to copy accurately, and a place for imagination. To say that one or the other is "art" is limiting. They work together, especially in this increasingly convoluted field. And drawing from life is different than using a photographic reference.


    Anyway, I agree about the sweater, I'd like to see a pattern or texture to separate it from the background and give it some character

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    the only problem im seeing is that you made her old. shes all wrinkly and close to dying right now thats gross!! giver some botox and fountain of youth water.

    j/k you did a great job man. i really dont have anything. and in high quality portrait photos glasses glare doesnt really happen that much, so adding it is up to you.

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