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  1. #1
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    what's wrong? (except everything haha)

    My first portrait painting, yay!
    Doesn't look much like me, but it was fun (especially that it was my first try at oils, before I painted in acrylic but now there's no going back haha!).

    I know that the composition is just urgh, but what's off about the face? :<
    I know I have problems with colors (practicing!), but that's not it... When I look at it just like that it's ok (given my "skilz" ), but when I put it in front of a mirror it looks like an alien (confirmed by my friend so it's not just me xD).

    Name:  zdjęcie(65).JPG
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    Thanks in advance! *A*

    PS. linseed oil smells like fish.

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    I've been drawing for: half a year!
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  3. #2
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    Great job for your first portrait. It is essential to measure proportions when doing portraits if you want an accurate depiction. Yes it is boring but after a while it becomes second nature and you will be measuring in your head without even thinking about it. That way you will always see where things are off. Think about where lines intersect if you were to draw angles and horizontals.

    I've done a quick paint over. It looks to me like the mouth is slightly off center and one of the eyes is too close to the nose. When doing eyes pay careful attention to the area between the nose and each eye and also the brow ridge. These are key areas, often beginners don't see this area and make the eyes too close to the nose.

    If it were me, I would not worry too much about colour and just practice the drawing and construction aspect. Believe me, it doesn't matter how good the colour is if it is a bad drawing. But if you have a good drawing with solid values, it will still look good no matter what colour it is.

    Anyhow it's a great start keep practicing and you will be super awesome in no time

    Oh yeah I always paint necks really long so don't pay attention to that

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  4. #3
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    You also could move the top of the nose to the left slightly to compensate and this would make things look better. However it is best to try and be true to what you see in the mirror. Good luck! \o/

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  5. #4
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    Thanks so much Bri!
    I was afraid to add the neck (not to mess things up, the brown thing is a carton I was painting on xD), but I added a hand just so it's not that boring xD.
    I tried to kinda repaint the eyes so that they're not that close to the nose... I don't know if I succeded tho haha. I also made them a bit bigger, as I realised that the nose is too big and the eyes were too small when compared to my real face... Here's the result so far:
    Name:  zdjęcie(66).JPG
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    (It's not that yellow in real life, bad lightning)

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  6. #5
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    The eye placement relative to the nose looks much better. The jawline on the viewers left hand side looks too small, have another look in the mirror and note the distance from the jaw line to the corner of the mouth. Remember the jawline is not a sharp line but is actually a planar curve and if you make the value transition it will look better. Although it is probably pointless as most of the jawline is obscured by the carton? xD I thought it was a table at first and you were peeking out over it, but since you added the fingers it now reads as a drawing board.

    Don't be afraid to paint the neck. Fear is your biggest enemy as an artist, it will hold you back if you do not conquer it. Think of every painting not as your masterpiece that needs to be perfect, but as one of many hundreds of practice paintings you will do to become better. Just try and learn stuff and never be afraid to make a mistake. We all make lots of mistakes and bad paintings that is how we learn. Even the master painters of yesteryear would have made loads of mistakes early in their journey to becoming super awesome.

    Anyhow I guess it all takes time, there is no point in me telling you about the importance of composition and stuffs if you are just getting the hang of the medium. But yeah composition If you want to make it more interesting add something to the back of the board, at the moment the canvas is just sliced in half.

    Good luck Alicja, keep motivated, never stop and stay awesome! Make lots of art stuffs \o/

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  7. #6
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    Haha yeah, it's the painting I'm holding (I paint on thick pieces of carton grounded with gesso).
    I'm glad it looks better ^^ I'll think of what to add to the brown-and-nothing-besides-that part of the painting, right now I have nothing in mind... And I'll try to fix the jaw (or rather, the visible part of it xD).
    My next painting will have better composition, I swear, I'm gonna paint more than just the head xD
    Thanks for your help, I'm super grateful! /*A*

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  9. #7
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    It's not bad actually, especially considering you've been doing this for such a short time. I think your colors look quite bland and muddy and I think you should focus on that as well. You can get such a more interesting result by hitting the right values with the right mixture of cool and warm hues and nice graying colors. This is incredibly daunting when just starting out, but it will come with experience. A book I find very useful on this is called "Color Mixing Recipes For Portraits" (google it) It contains actual recipes for mixing pretty much any skin color. You can use it for acrylics and watercolor, but it's especially useful for oils. I use it all the time when setting up my palette.

    When setting up a sketch and/or underdrawing keep a mirror at hand and constantly check your drawing mirrored to see if anything looks of. You want to get it right before you start blocking it in with paint.
    Don't do an underdrawing with graphite/lead pencil as this can show through. Instead use charcoal or colored pencils or set it up with a very lean thinned down paint (acrylics might be the safest to go with at first) Raw Umber is great for this.
    Once the proportions and composition is correct and to your liking get to blocking in shapes and values. You can do an underpainting in earthy or gray tones for hitting the right values and build up your painting with glazing layers (remember to paint fat over lean) or go full Alla Prima (wet on wet)
    Either way, just have tons of fun! It'll come with experience and from the looks of it, you're well on your way

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  11. #8
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    Fantastic advice Rudeone. I would take note Alijca And yeah considering how long you have been practicing, it is really good. Way better than my early efforts for sure. Keep at it and like Rudeone said, have tons of fun \o/

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  12. #9
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    Sorry for responding so late! I got so worked up about trying your tips out that I forgot to thank you, Rudeone xD So, thank you so so very much! ^^
    I once tried sketching with thinned out umber, but I feel a lot more confident when holding a "pen" of some sort... Pencil was sometimes a pain, and charcoal turned out to be perfect! ^O^/
    I started sketching with a stick of willow charcoal on my A3 carton grounded with gesso, and after I finish (slightly busy since I'm doing Loomis studies at the same time) I'll try working with values only as you suggested, mixing black and white tempera paint. Then I'm gonna introduce color with oils!
    I'll upload the results, I hope, shortly ^^

    Bri, fun is one of my main priorities since it's summer vacation haha (and after less than two months I start art high school, so 4 instead of regular 3 years of painting and sculpting and drawing await me )! ^^

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  13. #10
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    Underpainting in tempera on charcoal, portrait of my baby sister Milenka:
    Name:  Beztytułu.png
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