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  1. #1
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    how to improve this painted study?

    Hey guys. I started this out as a quick photo study, but decided I wanted to take the time to make it look good. Ref photo is here. I think this looks okay, but what could I do to make it look better? I'm still relatively new to painting, so it's hard for me to self-crit. Aside from some differences from the ref photo (some of the proportions are off, and I was too lazy to paint the sweat beads), how would you guys improve this, purely in terms of making it a better painting? Should there be sharper details and edges in certain places? Is there too much texture? Stuff along those lines.

    Btw, I was looking at the ref photo on a monitor that crushed the darks, so my study ended up with really dark darks, but I don't mind that ... unless you guys think that's hurting it.

    Name:  likeness-study-001-2s.jpg
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  4. #2
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    good study!,my crit would be that his face is so chiseled looking that that I would accentuate the planes of his head with sharper edges around bony landmarks/cast shadows to add a more geometric carved out of wood
    quality to his face.
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  5. #3
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    It looks good.. Though that right ear is down farther than it should be, and I do believe the face was made thinner, but over all a heck of a job on the eyes and skin texturing.
    My commentary is a gift to you.

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  7. #4
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    ShinyGray: I repainted a lot of the light shapes on his skin to give them sharper edges and make them more interesting and clearer. I thought my earlier try looked kinda mushy, so this helps. It's not exactly what you were saying to do, but is it close? Looking at better painters' work, I see I should work on clarifying and simplifying shapes even more. This stuff is pretty fun.

    modi123: thanks, I tried to fix those. The likeness still isn't 100% there, but better.

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  8. #5
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    I would say that the first version feels slightly more relaxed and I'm able to gaze at his eyes longer before moving on to the rest of the piece. This latest version adds a bit more tension to his jaw and my eye is jumping around a bit more. I think both are beautifully done.

  9. #6
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    I think you lost little bit of subtlety and softness in the shadow side,a combination of the two would be a good balance as shape and form tends to be crisper in the light side than in the shadow side
    and it gives some variations to the edges.
    I overlayed the two images and I think it's a better balance.

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  10. #7
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    Grumpysaur: thanks!
    ShinyGray: good point again. But isn't this photo exposed for shadows? I like your suggestion mostly for the idea of balance between sharp vs soft. But I've been staring at this so long it's lost all meaning now, and I can't tell what looks good and bad anymore, haha.

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