View Full Version : portrait of a girl

12 December 2003, 02:18 PM
Just finished this illustration for my GF on her birthday. I intended it to show several things about her, that we both know, but i want to know what does it communicate on its own. Please feel free to speak your mind.


Sir Patroclo

12 December 2003, 07:42 PM
well she's definately in heaven with her mind :) Thinking about something that happened, whatever.

Her pose is rather insupportive though. She sites or stands straight up. Maybe lie her down or do something with her hands?

I like your style of painting. though I don't like the colours of the face. Can be a little more "alive" and make the shadows darker/highlights stronger. These can all be done by filter layers I guess...

I could fall in love with her definately :)

12 December 2003, 11:47 PM
hi garma: you were right, shifted the hue values and it looks better... maybe I started the painting process with the wrong choice of skin tone as base. Changed the hair too but still not happy with it.

Yes you're right about the feeling, peace of mind. The main concept, amongst other things, is "balance". First time i use surounding tones on a skin, to integrate them. Hope it achieves that. Does the black zone do the trick on evoking intimate quietness?

Well, that's it for now, bye

Sir Patroclo

12 December 2003, 06:35 AM
Originally posted by Sir Patroclo
Does the black zone do the trick on evoking intimate quietness?

In my humble opinion .... The color clouds behind her are too busy to suggest "intimate quietness".

Her facial expression ALMOST does that on it's own, however...her smile is almost a bit TOO amused.

In other words..the painting is really good, but it has too much ENERGY flowing through it to convey the serenity, or quiet intensity that you are looking for.

On it's own it is quite good, but as a contemplative piece I think it is too bright and fuzzy.

Just my opinion of course :)


12 December 2003, 06:37 AM
oops!! I almost forgot...

The skin tone around her clavicle (shoulder/neck) is a bit too blue and splotchy. Every time I look at it my eye sees a bruise or discolored unhealthy skin.

I would warm that area a slight bit.


12 December 2003, 07:59 AM
I feel this really should have been in focused instead of here. this kind of portrate is more interesting as an illustration than as a "fine work of art", and there are aspects of the comp that could use help from that perspective (especially your use of shadows is too weak and needs help).

the expression is peaceful and the colors are basically "non-threatening" instead of seeing what people think they see, it would work a lot better to say, "I want to this pic to convey <message and/or emotion> to the viewer" and see what people say.

12 December 2003, 01:13 AM
Sorry for the long reply time I took, have been very busy. I thank a lot the advices posted. She loved the picture and I got lot of kisses :)

The specific concept behind the image was "inner balance", the quietness of thoughts between the things that change and those that remain the same. Mostly find a cozy place to rest peacefuly within yourself.

During the painting process I realized that I'm sorta scared of using color, need to loose up with practice. For this image in particular just wanted to know what it communicated, but surely will appreciate the feedback on specific threads for upcoming projects.

Can't agree with Drakaran on the "fine work of art" thing. Thoug I don't consider myself an artist, because of the pragmatic use that my work as a graphic designer has (and thus my interest on achieving certain range of interpretations), it doesn't mean that (and let's agree, it may be an illustration for this matter) this kind of work doesn't evoke things. Or that only fine art is meant to be evocative. Even that an illustration can't be fine art. Lautrec's, Cheret's and Mucha's art noveau posters were meant to promote things initially, but aren't less of fine art pieces for that. Or in the traditional concept of "fine art" that people have, Kandinsky's and Moholy-Nagi's abstract geometric paintings weren't less of a painting because of the primitive forms used. Not to mention Piet Mondrian work. Didn't quite understand what you meant by that Drakaran, actually. Or maybe it was that it isn't a "fine work of art" beacause is crappier than a work of art, but again, bad art isn't called "illustration", just "bad art".
Besides that, I'll be very thanfull if you could point out the wrong composition elements, and give me some advice on bettering those shadows.

Well, greetings to all

Sir Patroclo

12 December 2003, 06:33 AM
I think the background colors being too busy is only part of the reason people are seeing more energy than serenity. You need to use even more reflected light in order to blend them better. Aside from the yellow in the hair on the right, all your shading uses a pure white light source. If the blue patches were reflected light, it would be evenly distributed, not just in certain spots. The rim lights around the shoulders and cheeks would also match the colors in the background.

12 December 2003, 08:51 AM
Hi pyraxis: I see your point about blending the background on the reflections... now I realize that it seems like a studio take with a white spot light against a painted background. Thanks for the help, I'll try to improve that.

Sir Patroclo

12 December 2003, 05:30 PM
Your changes are great! Her face is totally awesome now, nice warm colours... Though I have to agree with tex3D about the background colours.

1 crit left (sigh): The blue spots on her shoulders (shadows) make her look sick. The face doesn't have this problem. Maybe you should make the shadows more black.

Have you thought of making a B&W version? I think it would fit this piece very nicely

12 December 2003, 09:23 AM
I don't think it's crappy at all, but that 1) there are so many technical things that can be done to help this work that I am not even getting to the emotive aspect of this work, and 2) this is a portrait of a person (and nothing at all wrong with that), it's not really necessary to convey a message with it for it to have purpose. Portraits are portraits.

you also totally ignored that 2nd part of what I said, which is, if you want help in conveying a message, it'd be more helpful to explain what message it is you are trying to convey and have people give suggestions. right now, the portrait really doesn't convey anything... but then portraits don't need to, and THAT is why I was suggesting this thread might be better off in focused.

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