Normal Portrait
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    Normal Portrait

    Hey guys , I come with a simple portrait that i think is alright.
    I really have a problem with backgrounds connecting to object in the foreground. In this case, I try to use contrast to bring out the lightside/ darkside of the portrait but it just doesn't look pleasing. I must be missing an important step


    Name:  Portrait 11 copy.jpg
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    Well there's a lot that doesn't work in this, everything from the anatomy/form (dude has nonexistent shoulders and seems to be having a huge gap between his eyes, ear is painted on, no form to the clavicle area...) to the colours and values, but generally the idea of black and white separation of the background is to create a contrast between the bg and the subject and now you're putting the light face and light background together which doesn't create a contrast.
    Overall currently you don't really even have a "real" background, just couple abstract gray blocks so there really isn't much the face could really connect with (like for example a wall that catches his shadow, which would indicate he's somewhere and that he's separate from the wall.)

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    Ditch Photoshop. Learn to draw the human head (and figure) in pencil. You don't have enough understanding of light and values to pull off color, yet.

    In fact, learn to draw a cube in correct perspective and correct lighting, in pencil. Then proceed to learning to draw an egg...

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    I won't go so far as to say ditch photoshop (although I am old enough that I do think pencil is easier!), but I think you are trying to accomplish several things here at once without knowing how to do each separately - e.g. learning to draw facial anatomy, doing it in an odd perspective, picking/blending color effectively, and composing an interesting image with values. Pick one :-)

    D'Arcy

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    The constructive criticism is strong, Thank you guys

    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Well there's a lot that doesn't work in this, everything from the anatomy/form (dude has nonexistent shoulders and seems to be having a huge gap between his eyes, ear is painted on, no form to the clavicle area...) to the colours and values, but generally the idea of black and white separation of the background is to create a contrast between the bg and the subject and now you're putting the light face and light background together which doesn't create a contrast.
    Overall currently you don't really even have a "real" background, just couple abstract gray blocks so there really isn't much the face could really connect with (like for example a wall that catches his shadow, which would indicate he's somewhere and that he's separate from the wall.)
    I misunderstood what I thought was the correct way of bringing together the background and portrait. Im going to come back with corrections of what you've mentioned as incorrect anatomically.

    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    Ditch Photoshop. Learn to draw the human head (and figure) in pencil. You don't have enough understanding of light and values to pull off color, yet.

    In fact, learn to draw a cube in correct perspective and correct lighting, in pencil. Then proceed to learning to draw an egg...
    Good grief, just how off is the head and face that saying ditch photoshop was necessary.I must be off in ways I simply cant understand. In regards to me not having enough understanding, I guess its perfectly fine for you to say that since this is all that has been presented to you.Maybe im just being stubborn when I say this but going back to basic shapes?? How humiliating

    Quote Originally Posted by justa View Post
    I won't go so far as to say ditch photoshop (although I am old enough that I do think pencil is easier!), but I think you are trying to accomplish several things here at once without knowing how to do each separately - e.g. learning to draw facial anatomy, doing it in an odd perspective, picking/blending color effectively, and composing an interesting image with values. Pick one :-)

    D'Arcy
    At what point in time does one take all those things and incorporate it into one picture? I ask this because every time I come with a "work in progress" I get the same response of " go back to the basics ". This repsonse makes me think that I've learned nothing since last time I posted but i guess thats up to me to determine that. Maybe I should post some before and after pictures.

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    Going back to basics is not humiliating. In fact everyone should be doing it more often. Even experienced artists practice basic lighting, composition and forms.

    That's why you see so many sketchbooks with just gestures, thumbnails and basic anatomy studies and shit like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William Scott View Post
    Good grief, just how off is the head and face that saying ditch photoshop was necessary. I must be off in ways I simply cant understand. In regards to me not having enough understanding, I guess its perfectly fine for you to say that since this is all that has been presented to you.Maybe im just being stubborn when I say this but going back to basic shapes?? How humiliating

    At what point in time does one take all those things and incorporate it into one picture? I ask this because every time I come with a "work in progress" I get the same response of " go back to the basics ". This repsonse makes me think that I've learned nothing since last time I posted but i guess thats up to me to determine that. Maybe I should post some before and after pictures.
    Sadly, it is "off". For one, you are coloring without thinking about the light sources. That alone is enough to go back to black and white and study just the values first. There can be no color without a foundation in value. Photoshop is doing you a major disservice here.

    But there are all sorts of other things besides lighting and color: perspective flaws, anatomy flaws, structural wobbliness... where is the person's braincase, for example? Why is the ear painted onto the cheek, instead of being volumetric? Why are the two lenses of the shades twisted around the bridge by at least ten degrees? I could go on and on and on. Which means: stop trying to run before you can walk, and practice structural drawing. In pencil.

    As for at what point in time does one take the fundamentals and incorporate it into one picture... if you ask this question, then you don't understand how the method works. You aren't supposed to use the fundamentals as tricks or techniques you can "incorporate". They are fundamentals. Basics. They should be present at EVERY stage of your workflow. If you lose sight of them or use them as a tweak, you're doing it wrong. You have to be aware of the structure, perspective, anatomy and lighting at EVERY moment as you work.

    You do exercises to learn the fundamentals, but you should never stop thinking with fundamentals as you go from exercises to work. In fact, treat every drawing you do as an exercise; never think you know enough and can stop practicing. So no, it is not humiliating to "go back" to basics - an artist should never leave the basics in the first place.

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    This thread by Ron Lemen might help, I'm reading it right now.
    This anatomy hub might help, it links to the above and others. Good stuff!

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