I chose to work in middle-low key as it was more faithful to the real lighting conditions of the setting thus easier for me. I have stopped at a point in wich I thought if going further I could be overdoing it, and in fact I might have gone to far with the right eye.
It's difficult to say the exact timing I have used at the moment as I have been working on it for almost a week but I would say around 12 hours, no rush at all of course.
Setting up the work space in different days wasn't easy and took me a few minutes everyday to try to place the light and the crappy little mirror I have available in the right place and angle.I haven't been able to be totally comfortable working with it. Because of this I was worried especially for having the same cast shadow from the nose to the right side of the face and the spaces of the three points of light hitting in the mass shadow, on the cheekbone and on the right side of the mouth, but I couldn't get exactly the same spaces right from one day to the next so I had to reach a kind of agreement with myself to forgive that hoping that still the final result makes sense.
I think I talk too much .
1- Mass Light: the light source I have comes from an energy-efficient light bulb positioned almost 3/4 on the left, more closer to the side which light is kind of yellowish, not very strong light source so there is many soft transitions in the values of the mass light.
2- Transition/Half Tone: well I believe there is plenty of these. The whole middle section of the forehead has a big stripe of transition light and all the mass light area is filled with halftones and almost none highlights.
3- Highlights: a few small shiny highlights on the tip of the nose, the eyes and earring. I was looking for stronger higlights around the left eye or the cheek or maybe the forehead but due to the relatively shoft light source these are not very strong and I'm not sure if these could be considered halftone intead of highlights specially the one on the forehead.
4- Mass Shadow: not very dark due to an extended reflect light from the forniture and walls, but interesting to work because of the value variation.
5- Fill Light/ Reflect Light: in my case I have quite an amouth of reflect light as the walls and table on my studio are white, so there is an extended fill light in the right side of the face, on the jaw and neck.
6- Core Shadow: as expected the strongest dark shadows of the face are in the inner
side of the right eye, the pupils and the nose and then chin and hair. The reflect light disipates other potential core shadows between the neck and the jaw, the side of the face, under the cheekbone, on the right side of the forehead...
7- Cast Shadow: the nose forms a cast shadow that at the same time gives two interesting spaces to the light to hit slightly side ways in the right above the cheek bone and below the cheek on the right side of the mouth. The reflect light from the table and wall voids the cast shadow from the jaw to the neck.
Despite I was comfortable working with this value range, today looking at it, without having the reference of the mirror and the lighting set up, I thought it would be good to try and enhance a bit the contrast and brightness so I overlayed an adjustment layer but I think brighting it up further won't be faithful to the lighting conditions I had.
So I stop here because I think I can totally screw it up if I try to push it further
Last edited by Raúl.Arbeloa; August 1st, 2014 at 02:04 PM.
Thanks Jason. Yep, I have been thinking that instead of just adding a contrast layer I'll be more selective and try softly overlaying some light and dark values but just on the face to enhance but don't loose what I got now, and then painting to put the transitions and values in place. I think that will work well.
Hi Raùl !
I discovered your work for a few days ago and I'm amazed, especially your studies that are often very meticulous and precise. And this self-portrait confirms what I thought, you're very talented.
However,I would add a little more contrast, I say that but I could not do as well.
warry, thanks a lot! antomio thanks! yes Jason said the same and I added some more darker values but I don't have lighter values and I'm not sure if I should make that up.
In any case I'm giving it a try.
Corrected a bit the mass shadow and transition lights, overall in the forehead, and couple spots more. Slightly making up the lighter values on cheek and forehead.
And here I have added a contrast /brightness layer and painting just over the lighter areas of the mass light.
a bit more level adjustment to bring up the local value of the flesh would probably be beneficial as it is suggesting a far darker flesh tone than I think you probably have in real life. This is coming along beautifully though. Thanks for the inspiration.
My feedback should help you wrap it up and you should be very proud of what you have achieved too. Please see the attached image. A few subtle dark accents that suggest only the major planar changes in the shadows and a little more care to the abstract shapes of the background should wrap this thing up.
You have one hell of a great painting happening here man. Really good stuff.
your background composition is nice btw...just a hint more texture brush should make the shapes seem a little more organic and cared for. no need to overdo it.
all my suggests can be handled with subtle tweaks...not major redo's or the like. a few dark accents to turn the planes, a few organic edges...and good to go.
I haven't seen this term "organic edges" too much at the moment. I think it means less flat photoshop look.
I understand it's just for a few subtle tweaks but I have been purposely avoiding texture brushes (like a lazy, lazy MF) so I supose it's time to start dealing with that.
I was seeing that happening in the shadow around the eye and the nose, but I wasn't sure if I should keep it simple or brig more detail. So I waited to see what you had to say about it .
You can also try using a high res black and white texture photo...like something gritty..rust or pavement or...and turn it into an overlay and then turn down its opacity and it might achieve the same result more quickly. you can also erase off textures where it shows up too strong...or mask them out. This is something we did at mb when we wanted quick textures or some organic noise.
organic meaning natural qualities..not too smooth or too photoshoppy yes. if it looks like a photoshop airbrush mark its too digital and looks "fake" so to speak...or less cared for at the least.
Jason thank you very much for the detailed previous correction, it was really helpful, specially when you compare the areas of the image that I have right with the areas that needed some more detail.
For the texture I have used exactly what you describe in your latest comment. Usually that is what I do to deal with texture precisely because I thought that was the fastest way . I have been doing that in Compossition 1.1 too.
Hope we are getting closer
I would make another try with a different texture on that lower area.
Last edited by Raúl.Arbeloa; September 15th, 2014 at 04:07 PM.
This piece is killer. The only thing I personally would tweak is to push more abstract edges on the brush marks in the background, to push it away from photoshop (opinion only at this point). Beyond that, i think you have it. It's really great man. You can put that in your portfolio for sure.
Aaaaaawesome! Thanks Jason, I have followed your advise and I have added some textures on the mid and upper areas and a couple soft brushstrokes to break some of the outlines of the shapes in background.
Probably somebody with more experience would take it a bit further but I don't have the balls yet .
Agerkvist thanks a lot man, I'm giving all I got on these threads. If somebody else can make some use of this and learn something that makes all sacrifices much more bearable. When you start with it check spaces,distances, proportions all the time, I spent most of the time cheking the spaces I had on the mirror and spaces I had on the portrait than painting, overall at the beginning.
Please have a look at my skulls when you get there, I'm making an average of one per day for the moment so it's taking me forever but at least the results seems to be good.
Yeah thanks for sharing and thanks for the advice.
I'd really like to learn how to paint the way you do, just blocking in rough shapes and values and then refining. I often feel I need a line drawing to find my way around, but I'm trying to get a hang of not doing that.
I'll start on this assignment once I'm done with my composition 1.2 assingment, which is taking quite some time.