Portrait critique please =)

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Thread: Portrait critique please =)

  1. #1
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    Portrait critique please =)

    This is my first attempt at doing portraits, I don't like them but I promised to do it to this friend, and also isn't bad to practice on something I've never done =)

    It was done with Photoshop and several photo references. The teeth were the most difficult part for me =/

    I'd love some criticism, I see a lot of failures, but I think there could be more and would like to realize them. Thank you!

    Edit: I can't see the image attached, if I did something wrong or you can't see it too here it is: http://kaelula.deviantart.com/#/d59c809

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    You don't have a good grasp of anatomy and its hurting your depiction. Everything is flat and the lighting is unflattering. You might try a three quarter view with better light and pay closer attention to proportion and planes of the head.

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    Get "Drawing Head and Hands" by Loomis and see how he does it.

    While we are at it, you ought to get "Successful Drawing" too, this shows a serious need for a better drawing method.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    Get "Drawing Head and Hands" by Loomis and see how he does it.

    While we are at it, you ought to get "Successful Drawing" too, this shows a serious need for a better drawing method.
    Thank you for the titles, I'll look for them. Usually I use tutorials, but always prefer specialized books.

    English is not my mother language, so I'm not understanding what do you mean with changing the drawing method =/

    I'm a beginner on my first year at a serious art school, so I guess I had to find a good drawing method but I'm not sure on how to do it exactly. I'm a bit lost =(

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelula View Post
    Thank you for the titles, I'll look for them. Usually I use tutorials, but always prefer specialized books.

    English is not my mother language, so I'm not understanding what do you mean with changing the drawing method =/

    I'm a beginner on my first year at a serious art school, so I guess I had to find a good drawing method but I'm not sure on how to do it exactly. I'm a bit lost =(
    Your drawing method is just something that you'll learn over time from experience. As you go through your school, the way you approach your drawings mentally will change as you gain a more concrete understanding of the fundamentals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scrt_AgentMan View Post
    Your drawing method is just something that you'll learn over time from experience. As you go through your school, the way you approach your drawings mentally will change as you gain a more concrete understanding of the fundamentals.
    Oh, I was thinking about it would be something like that but when I read that "change your method" I was thinking on something more "actively" xD

    Well, thank you everyone for the tips. I'll dedicate this vacation month to draw basic anatomy =)

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    also alot more reds, yellows and purples in your skintones

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    Quote Originally Posted by moltazia View Post
    also alot more reds, yellows and purples in your skintones
    This time I used the color picker tool on a photo of her to be sure to use the same skin tone, but forgot about the red,yellow and purple parts I saw on the realism/semirealism tutorials (In school didn't start with coloring skin yet)

    Gosh, I forgot a lot of things that I should've known when I did this. I think I should make a list of "don't forget this" when I draw and put it next to my monitor till I have them automatically on my head everytime I draw ó_ò

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    Try not to color pick so much next time then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krysjez View Post
    Try not to color pick so much next time then.
    Is it bad to do so or you just say it because this time I made a bad work using it? ._.

    Quote Originally Posted by yurlinek7 View Post
    hierarchical
    Not sure if this means the same in spanish than in english (In spanish doesn't make sense with this thread) so, what do you mean with hierarchical?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelula View Post
    Is it bad to do so or you just say it because this time I made a bad work using it? ._.
    Well, it's not inherently bad, but not resorting to the color picker helps train your eye. Also colorpicking can give you pretty muddy colors sometimes. It's just easier to make a work that ends up with dull color when you only rely on color picking instead of making your own mixing choices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krysjez View Post
    Well, it's not inherently bad, but not resorting to the color picker helps train your eye. Also colorpicking can give you pretty muddy colors sometimes. It's just easier to make a work that ends up with dull color when you only rely on color picking instead of making your own mixing choices.
    It's nice to know that, thank you. Usually I never use it but this time thought on not failing at her real skin tone >_<

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelula View Post
    Is it bad to do so or you just say it because this time I made a bad work using it? ._.
    Colour picking is of very limited usefulness because you will not always be working digitally from photos. When you colour-pick you are not learning how to make colour choices, you are taking a short-cut which will not work with real models or with traditional media.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelula View Post
    but this time thought on not failing at her real skin tone
    You don't need to get her "real" skin tone. You only need to get the relationships between all the colours right. We see people in different kinds of light during the day so we are used to skin looking slightly different from hour to hour. Your friend would still be recognizable as your friend outdoors in the sunlight, inside a mall under artificial light, on a cloudy day, with a lit candle and so on. So you don't need to worry that you get the specific shade of beige exactly correct, you just choose something reasonable and then use the shadow and highlight colours appropriate for the colour you chose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelula View Post
    Not sure if this means the same in spanish than in english (In spanish doesn't make sense with this thread) so, what do you mean with hierarchical?
    That is a spambot, not a real person.

    ---

    One more tip: teeth. You have drawn them as though the mouth is flat and outlined each tooth so that it is perfectly separate from the others. This usually makes the person in the portrait look like a serial killer in a horror movie. Don't do this. Make the lines between the teeth have less contrast, and shade the teeth so that it's clear that the teeth in front are in front and the teeth at the sides are curving back, towards the inside of the mouth which is dark. Here's a portrait from some random artist on dA that shows this effect: http://browse.deviantart.com/digital...er=11#/d59lm1g

    Pay attention to your reference photo. And choose good reference photos, ones that have a good balance of light and dark so that you can see the curvature of the head and eyes and teeth in the highlights and shadows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    That is a spambot, not a real person.
    Ouch, I feel stupid now xD

    Thank you so much Vineris, especially the teeth part =)

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    That's not how noses work.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    That's not how noses work.
    How do they work? (Not trying to be harsh, it's just that saying something is bad... well, doesn't help a lot without saying how to do it good xD)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelula View Post
    Ouch, I feel stupid now xD
    Don't worry about it. They're sneaky. I thanked one once.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelula View Post
    How do they work? (Not trying to be harsh, it's just that saying something is bad... well, doesn't help a lot without saying how to do it good xD)
    Or you could try to figure this answer out by yourself now that you have been noted about that there is some problem in the nose. Consult anatomy books you may have, look how other good artists have drawn and painted noses in portraits etc and compare those to real noses (photos, look at your own in a mirror), try to identify problems you have in the construction, form, go back to the sketch stage, do more nose studies, etc...

    Just saying that, us telling how to do something will not teach you to learn to find and fix your own mistakes, you'll have to do work on that and also learn on your own and take the initiative to do so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Or you could try to figure this answer out by yourself now that you have been noted about that there is some problem in the nose. Consult anatomy books you may have, look how other good artists have drawn and painted noses in portraits etc and compare those to real noses (photos, look at your own in a mirror), try to identify problems you have in the construction, form, go back to the sketch stage, do more nose studies, etc...

    Just saying that, us telling how to do something will not teach you to learn to find and fix your own mistakes, you'll have to do work on that and also learn on your own and take the initiative to do so.
    Well, for me it's a bit obvious that I'm looking also at books (Another user recommended me some I'm looking at, for example) but if I made a post was for having some tips apart from what I can learn from books. What to prioritize, what type of books, what to go after first, etc... that sort of things.

    I already knew that the nose looks awkward, just like the teeth and everything else, but at the moment I don't know if there's a book specializing on the face parts or in noses specifically. That would be a nice advice to get if someone knew one, for example. Just googling "nose books" can get me a huge list of books but I can't exactly know which one of them would go better. And well, I'd love to, but I don't have the time to look at all them =/

    I'm not trying to come here and say "Hey, you guys, do it all for me!". Already googled, also googled while doing the portrait. It's just I prefer some human interaction in this things, that's why I asked in a forum. Sorry if just asking makes me look like I have no initiative, but actually I have a lot. I like to have information from all type of sources: books, tutorials, forums, other artists, streams, etc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelula View Post
    I already knew that the nose looks awkward, just like the teeth and everything else, but at the moment I don't know if there's a book specializing on the face parts or in noses specifically.
    Well, books aren't the answer to everything, though they're always helpful. But like I also mentioned:
    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    look how other good artists have drawn and painted noses in portraits etc and compare those to real noses (photos, look at your own in a mirror), try to identify problems you have in the construction, form, go back to the sketch stage, do more nose studies, etc...
    So you have a book (Loomis, Bridgman or Bammes I'd guess?), now would be when you start to learn how to construct the nose. And don't just Google, actually pull out a mirror and start looking at your own. It's always better to use a real 3D object that you can turn when trying to figure out the construction of something. Take the method of drawing/construction in the book and try to apply it to a real nose. Again, if you don't succeed first, do more studies until you get it to work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelula View Post
    I already knew that the nose looks awkward, just like the teeth and everything else, but at the moment I don't know if there's a book specializing on the face parts or in noses specifically. That would be a nice advice to get if someone knew one, for example. Just googling "nose books" can get me a huge list of books but I can't exactly know which one of them would go better. And well, I'd love to, but I don't have the time to look at all them =/
    The fact that you are thinking of the nose (and other features) as something separate from the face is part of your problem.


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    i would personally stick to black and white value. It's like your trying to participate in a advanced course without having the knowledge from the beginner and intermediate sessions. Also extend the canvas and put the image side by side both when painting and posting up on here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    So you have a book (Loomis, Bridgman or Bammes I'd guess?), now would be when you start to learn how to construct the nose. And don't just Google, actually pull out a mirror and start looking at your own. It's always better to use a real 3D object that you can turn when trying to figure out the construction of something. Take the method of drawing/construction in the book and try to apply it to a real nose. Again, if you don't succeed first, do more studies until you get it to work.
    I'm starting with Loomis, the one that arenhaus recommended me. Also found "Figure Drawing" by him too, so I'm getting it also.

    I'll buy a little mirror to have in the PC while I draw then

    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    The fact that you are thinking of the nose (and other features) as something separate from the face is part of your problem.
    Mm... yes, never thought of that. Mentally I was thinking about were the nose was put, where the eyes were put, where the mouth was put... but had some problems with the skin between it, so I guess it was this. Thank you, I'll try to change that.

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    also for value - http://www.mediafire.com/?6a4gu147t4lmc4f try those. but i would work on your line drawing and proportions first. GL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Sanders View Post
    also for value - http://www.mediafire.com/?6a4gu147t4lmc4f try those. but i would work on your line drawing and proportions first. GL.
    Oh, never seen this, it's so useful. All I had was photographs to copy from, but this can help me making the base idea of where goes everything on the head and how it is shaded. Thank you

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    Photos, especially if they aren't very well lit to show forms, usually don't provide enough information for someone who doesn't know the anatomy of the face I think.
    The nose is very off, you should do it much better using photos alone. But a live model (you and a mirror is fine too) is even better as you see the forms in 3d. In your drawing the nose planes mostly face us (with assymmetrical illogical grooves) then the cheeks seem to appear in some distance. The human face isn't like this. You didn't positioned the crease well either.
    As Elwell said, you shouldn't think of a nose as a feature that should be drawn on the head. You can't really separate the nose from the surrounding areas as there are no definite border. Noses are kind of hard to draw in front view, especially using lines because there aren't definite edges on their side. You can't decide how the nose ends and the cheek/eye area starts. When I try to draw a nose, I almost always end up drawing the other face features as well because of it.
    The white of the eyes are totally the color of the highlighted area of the skin, there are no mascara visible - poor eyes totally lose against the bright red mouth. It's bad because it's unbalanced and less realistic this way, the eyes are more important IMO and they are better painted than the mouth. But I won't criticize the latter now.

    If you don't like portraits and have problems with head anatomy, making a caricature must be a bit too tough... I just mentioned this, you totally can learn from this painting and improve it a lot if you put more effort and attention into it.

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    I guess that while I was expanding the photo to see it better I expanded it vertically more than horizontally and copied it that way without noticing >_<

    Also, her hair originally was heaped at her right side, so that contributes to this failure.

    Looks like an alien xD

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    yes, if you remove the hair. I think its good way that you do first the head wiuthour the hair

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    Best advice i ever got so far for making studies, portraits, stuff from life etc... was: Keep looking at your reference all the time and draw/paint what you really see and not what you think there is.

    Just wanted to say this because most parts in this portrait look like generic shapes and not taken from your reference.

    When i started drawing and realized my portraits sucked i did a few with using a grid on my reference and sometimes also a grid on the paper i worked on. That really helped me to draw what was in front of me because it made me draw the actual shapes and not some i made up in my mind. But well i don't know if i should recommend doing this...probably not.

    Sooo keep looking at your reference all the time. I still struggle with it but it helps

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