This took me about 4 and a half hours I think? and worked in middle key. I found it hard to not move and copy my face haha I get a bit dizzy so doing this self portrait using a mirror is a real challenge for me. Also I had a hard time getting only one light source due to my working conditions, so I hope that's okay.
I had fun mapping out values (which I still need a lot of practice) and cast shadows specifically the one under the nose which was (and still) challenging. Half tones and fill lights were also a challenge, I didn't want the image ending up looking flat. Highlights were abundant or my face was just oily hahaha kidding aside, it was because of my light sources, an overhead lamp, monitor light and window light; really wanted just the lamp but as I said earlier, can't cover the other light sources . . .
nice work with such a complex viewpoint and angle. Good expression happening too. Look for more accurate planar shapes, and shapes which better describe the forms. Your simplification can sometimes not accurately describe the form and I think there is room for improvement there. Take a look at 3d models...the mesh...for heads. A quick google search for 3d model head mesh will show you how modelers describe forms with shapes that accurately wrap around the overall structure.
Thanks Jason! Here's an update on my portrait. I reworked it, changing one of the eye angle and position ( I felt something was off ) and just a bit on the head area. I also looked at the 3d models mesh you mentioned and pushed it a bit further as you suggested. What do you think?
Last edited by fllamjr; September 9th, 2014 at 08:28 PM.
Reason: image re-sized
nice improvements. at this stage i want you to look at sargent and rembrandt and velasquez heads. pay close attention to the entire edge range on the outer contour of the heads...right now your edges on the outer contour are causing the overall form to flatten out...so rolling some back, softening here or sharpening there will help. let your eyes relax on the whole of the piece to see what I mean..ignore the details..look into the piece and see the form.
Thank you so much Jason! without your critiques I would have not really seen those stuff that you mentioned! I'm having a hard time with the edges eventhough I have looked at those aritsts you mentioned have done some of Sargent's works in the composition section, I guess I find it hard incorporating that to my own work, I have a long way to go in learning and observing!
Here's my current work on this, and I think I have gone a overboard with the value range, without reference I kind of just imagined the light source. Things got darker and I'm not happy with the result, so I'm going to make a new portrait for this assignment!
But can you please look at the edges on this one? am I on the right track? I'm at a loss when it comes to where to sharpen or soften edges at the moment.
Ok...good to see the progress here. I encourage you to begin working in shapes more...shapes that make up the composition almost like puzzle pieces, interlocking shapes, overlapping shapes...soft edged shapes...hard edged shapes. In this case i did them kinda like graffiti or some sort of organic pattern. you could do any shapes or the like that you feel makes the mood you want. Point is, right now your piece is very blurry edged all over and shapes can also be sharp edged, broken edged, or other qualities. In fact some shapes are best with soft, sharp, broken, or other qualities all within the same shape.
Does this make sense?
I want to push you away from being too blurry and soft edged...or too overall hard edged...and to find a right balance of the two.
If you want softer edges and a softer mood that is fine, just be sure you are observing very closely to life and really seeing what is there. This piece looks partially done from imagination as I was painting on it and had a hard time thinking through the light as if it were observed closely. Spending more time looking at yourself can help too...if you catch yourself painting for long periods without looking at the mirror or ref you know you are then observing less. Observe more whenever possible.