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I've been working on and off about (5-7 hours) with this painting for three days and have been stuck on which direction I should take. Im having some difficulties getting the reflective light on her forehead. Its been a little over a year since I've started back up. Last thing I remember finishing was about 7-8 years ago - I'd love for this to be my first completed piece since then. Comments and concerns are always welcome - I look forward to the inputs!
Hello and welcome back!
Taking a lot at your painting I can see several key points that I believe may be of use to you. Firstly the light on the head is more akin to moonlight, as if she is sitting in front of a window. Is that something you are going for? If not then the light hitting her face would be warmer.
I think what could enhance your painting is a stronger face brimming with some emotion. Right now it seems like a women just sitting down enjoying her evening, which is fine if that is what your going for. I think some story would add to your painting.
I am not exactly clear what you are trying to show here, if you could illuminate that, I am sure I can help you more.
On that great road, always and forever journeying forward to that shining city on the hill.
Thank you for your kind and informative feedback!
You are correct about the lighting on her forehead - This is a screenshots from the most recent game of thrones episode - the lady pictured is the red woman. The light is from the moon which is coming through a window and is being bounced off her forehead I tried to capture it as much as possible but kept coming up with more blue than anything. I do agree with the lack of being able to capture her emotion - Mainly with this piece I wanted to just figure out as much as possible to give myself an idea on what I have to work on
You're not looking closely enough at the shapes if your aim is to replicate the screenshot. Proportions and angles are completly different in your copy, which destroys the likeness. The same is true for colours. e.g. her forehead is blueish in the screenshot and neutral in your version.
You need to analyze the reference in a more abstract manner. Don't think in terms of anatomical features or labels (e.g. the nose is here, the eye is here etc.), just look at the individual shapes you see and replicate them. You might also try turning the image upside down and copy it that way, less interference from what you think you're seeing.
Thank you for your insight! I'll go ahead and start on a new one with the suggestions you have supplied - I'll report back with the updated suggestions.
Made some time for myself today on restarting this painting with the suggestions I have only spent a couple minutes on this painting but Im loving how it is coming out so far. I am really excited to see how it turns out. Really focusing on the individual shapes is helping identify the structure more comfortably.
Last edited by cjack101; June 3rd, 2014 at 05:17 PM.
Haven't been on here for a couple of months - kinda lost heart so I really admire your persistence and this new iteration is definitely better. However, I DO think you are making life harder for yourself by sticking to shapes rather than trying to break down the figure using a structural approach.
Here let me show you what I mean in case you're not familiar with what I'm talking about...
I spent about 15 minutes on this. I missed a few steps inbetween going from the framework to the render and I only concentrated on values but I hope you get the general idea.
I start out with something really well... bleugh - just some big circles and lines - but it gives me a framework to refer to. I refine this framework a bit by plotting a few of the features - it was hard because she's in silhouette so you can't reference the distance to the ears etc... when I'm happy with some kind of framework that's when my observational skills kick in.
You're trying to do both things at once and that's just loads harder... go check out Andrew Loomis' books - this is called a structional approach I believe.
Holy... man a lot of great information that I will definitely implement into my practice. I'll definitely check out Loomis's book.
Also, I'd STRONGLY suggest switching to hard-edged, non-transparent brushes. The soft brushes you've been using give the piece a blurry, messy feel.
Noted, do you have any suggestions on a certain brush pack that I can get started with? Or can I make do with the default brushes from photoshop.