Dahlia - Color & Light 1.1

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Thread: Dahlia - Color & Light 1.1

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    Dahlia - Color & Light 1.1

    I couldn't get rid of the fill light in my room so I tried to just deal with it.
    I learned a few things in particular:
    • The core and cast shadows are generally darker than I think they are
    • The light parts of the mass shadow are way darker than I think they are
    • I hadn't paid that much to the transition areas before, but they are interesting and tricky
    • highlights on skin/eyes are not that bright.
    The biggest thing I think was just seeing how the mass light and dark really separated out, and had their own set of characteristics.

    I feel like it came out okay. I have no idea if the values are right because I'm still having trouble translating color to value.
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    I tried to be super methodical about how I painted it. Mass light/mass shadow first, then core and highlights, then continuing refinement until a last fuzz over with a soft brush. I thought it was a helpful way to go about it, though my initial mass values turned out to be completely wrong.
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  3. #2
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    Hey, wonderful start. Your face is reading very solid and 3d. I like the posture and expression. It feels kind of intimate, yet distant, like I only have a few moments to catch your attention before you either dismiss me or stay. The biggest problem area I see is where the light of the neck meets your shirt. I think it could be separated in some way, because it almost looks like the neck is about to overlap the shirt. The texture of the skin feel a bit gritty, kind of like a stoneware clay sculpture, before it's been cleaned up and refined. I think if you smooth a few areas, it might read as skin a bit better.

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    Beautiful start, like Grumpy says, it reads really well. Now from the advice Jason gave me which has stuck in my head and will no doubt make your painting jump right off the screen is the 'area of focus'. Pick an area for the viewers eye to rest and render it accordingly. Try and pay attention to what is happening in your peripheral vision and what is happening in the area of focus. It's really difficult at first but the more you look the clearer it becomes. The area of focus will tend to be sharp and refined with things softening up as you move out radially. Does that make sense? Wait on Jason he'll put you right Nice work!

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    agreed...beautiful start.

    I agree with some of the comments above. I would like to see a little wetness to the eyes too as the surface specularity of different materials will help make the painting really stand out. keep up the great work. this is excellent.

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    Thanks everyone!! All great advice. I have to take a brief hiatus but when I get back I'll play around with the edges and focus and see what I can do.
    Thanks for pointing out the eyes too - I had been wondering whether I should add a little wetness there. I couldn't see any with the way the lighting & mirror were set up, but I agree it would read better with it.

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    Was looking at it again. I feel drawn to your actual left eye which feels like you have the focal point nailed without over-rendering. You know? Like you have achieved this in a subtle way without all the flashy lights and arrows pointing to the intended focus. Think maybe the hard shapes in the background could do with a soften, get them to receed a little more by perhaps breaking them up with some subtle soft texture? Right now they look like you have thrown paint all over the walls, which is maybe a good thing. Tells the viewer you are an artist! I like the horizontal line just under eye level, think this helps hold the viewers eyes with yours. All in it really is a super job, look forward to the update

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    Bri - yeah, I think focal points kind of come up naturally sometimes, like how humans always want to look at each others eyes. I'll try not to depend on that too much though.

    Arg smoothing is way harder in photoshop than I expected. I ended up settling for a scratchy texture instead of the lumpy clay. Had fun splotching up the background as per suggestion, and tried to think about focus a little more (which conveniently gave me an excuse to not do the fabric folds. I have no idea how to do fabric).
    It's crazy how just a single pixel on these things can completely change the expression. I think I spent an hour with a 1px brush on 10% opacity just trying to get the eyes to go the same direction, and the expression changed with every stroke. Could have spent days fudging with it.
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    Last edited by Dahlia; April 8th, 2014 at 10:06 AM.
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    beautiful job. this is a portfolio quality piece. a couple wet specular highlights in the eyes would likely set it off...in a good way. my only feeling at the moment is that it could use some light light somewhere, so perhaps that would be enough to do it. great work.


    jm

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    I agree, naturally the eyes tend to be the first thing we look at/into, but our attention can often be pulled elsewhere. In the case of your painting even at the earlier phase (save the background) there was nothing drawing me away from your eyes. I felt locked in, transfixed.
    Really like the soft areas that transition into texture and the gestural marks of the hair and fabric. Truly beautiful.

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