Typical Portrait (study)
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    Typical Portrait (study)

    Hey guys, could you give me your opinions about this portrait. I'm concerned about the general hue, but I just ''copied'' it from the original picture. Feel free to be harsh if necessary, I want to get better.

    Thanks

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    dpaint is offline Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    Where is your light source? Looks like you've copied a photo.

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    The lens distortion from your reference material is painfully evident here.

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    It's fine, do more. Use better source material.


    Tristan Elwell
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    dpaint I thought this was obvious with my second statement.
    Hexokinase Painfully evident. Mind telling me where is the evidence? I don't see, thanks.
    Elwell Yes I need reference with better lightsource like dpaint said, thanks, now let's back to work

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    Her face is big for her skull. That's a classic tipoff that a portrait photo was shot with too short a focal length.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Look up the portrait photos of Yussuf Karsh. Very effectively staged sculptural lighting and compositions in the service of a deeply empathetic response.
    To overcome photo distortions with regard to the face and head, draw from a skull to master its proportions so you can see things like an over-large face relative to the head, or an over-large nose relative to the face, etc.
    If you can't afford a skull, maybe there's a museum near you? The central campus of the University of Michigan is just 15 minutes drive from me, for instance. When I can I go to the U's Museum of Natural History to draw from their displays, which include a human skeleton. Watercolorist Tom Pohrt turned me on to the place as a resource in the eighties, when he was going there for research for illustrations for the children's book "Crow and Weasel".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cory Hinman View Post
    Look up the portrait photos of Yussuf Karsh. Very effectively staged sculptural lighting and compositions in the service of a deeply empathetic response.
    To overcome photo distortions with regard to the face and head, draw from a skull to master its proportions so you can see things like an over-large face relative to the head, or an over-large nose relative to the face, etc.
    If you can't afford a skull, maybe there's a museum near you? The central campus of the University of Michigan is just 15 minutes drive from me, for instance. When I can I go to the U's Museum of Natural History to draw from their displays, which include a human skeleton. Watercolorist Tom Pohrt turned me on to the place as a resource in the eighties, when he was going there for research for illustrations for the children's book "Crow and Weasel".
    I've been doing a lot of skulls studies over the last month 300+, and even if I try hard, I can't see the problem with my portrait. Is it really better to study from a real skull? Thanks for the Museum Idea, that's a good tip!

    I guess that I just need to do more portraits too..

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    Understanding the photography may also help. If you get the chance, try playing around with wide-angle and telephoto lenses and note the difference, or just look at sites such as this one or this. The picture you've got here looks to me around 35mm, whereas to look un-distorted you should really aim for something closer to 50mm. (This page argues it's 43mm to be precise. Which translates to 27mm on most entry-level DSLRs. If you go over that, it won't look obviously distorted, though it may start to look flat.)

    This perspective distortion stuff is a pretty unusual phenomenon created by cameras. That's why it makes sense to me to learn about how the cameras do that first, and that should get you more sensitive to these kinds of proportion differences. This will then make it easier to see things like faces being too large compared to the cranium.

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    Hey thank you Lulie, I finally understand what's wrong with my picture. By any chance, are you familiar with a good photography portrait ressource website?

    Like THIS or THIS for anatomy.

    Really usefull, thanks again!

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    What do you mean by portrait resource? Just a bunch of portraits? I mean, you could search Flickr for 'portrait', but they'd all be in copyright. Or I suppose deviantART's stock galleries for stuff you could use.

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    It seems to me that you're over-thinking the distortion thing. Just step back further from your subject and the problem is solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artfix View Post
    It seems to me that you're over-thinking the distortion thing. Just step back further from your subject and the problem is solved.
    In other words, draw from life instead of photos?

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    The problem with drawing from a photo is this. When we see something in life we see it in one or two perspective view, because we are facing it. The vertical vanishing point rarely comes into play unless we are looking down or up at something. With a camera, because the lens doesn't move(unlike our eyes) the vertical vanishing point is always in play. In your photo the top part of her head is bigger than the bottom because the sides of her head are going to a bottom vanishing point. There's nothing "wrong," its just that that is what causes people to realize right off that this is not from life. Had you draw this from life your eyes wouldn't have noticed the vertical vanishing point and you would have "corrected" that. I think that makes sense...

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    You could always fix the distortion in photoshop, though I don't know exactly how accurate that is. There's a tool for that, under filters I think.

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    You are right Lulie, Deviantart and Flickr are great ressources but I would not refuse a good website with an easier access to good photography portraits. No big deal, I'll just start looking for my own collection.

    Hey thanks MichaelHarris, before you noticed these details I didn't saw them. I really need to do more portrait from real life, to be able to see these details everytime.

    EagleGrove, I tried to use distortion in photoshop but this is not really effective without a good reference, so I'll just leave this portrait ''unfinished'' and practice with better reference in the future.

    I'm planning to buy Asaro head maybe and I saw some cheap Skull heads on some websites. There's also this great shop, but everything i wanted is sold out or too much expensive for me! I thought that you guys could be interested by these infos.. Anyway thanks for all the feedback, very usefull !

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    I don't see really any problem with your portrait but then we can't please everyone even if our art looks like a photograph straight from reality. I only say the camera maybe to close to her face but it looks like a photograph great job.

    Insolubilia Unum
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    I think Artfix means when you photograph a subject for reference you can eliminate some of the focal distortion by standing back, further away from your subject. If you need a close up it is better to stand back and zoom in than it is to be right up close to your subject. This will eliminate most of the distortion without having to get different lenses for your camera. All that aside I think this is a great portrait. Very nicely rendered.

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