View Full Version : WIP - Character portrait

02 February 2005, 08:46 PM
Well i finally decided to post it here since i found myself in a trap for some time now.
Been working on this for too long for my taste and most of the time it was 10 minutes here, 15 there, not a good way of working, i know.. :sad: But it all started when Enayla posted "Eloquence" with a little skintone tutorial (used too much of her colors :/) and i wanted to try it out. So i started to sketch a face and for about a month, i had only a face "to play with". Then seeing that it wasn't coming along too badly (but maybe because i simply passed too much time on it? :shrug: ) i decided to turn it into a portrait of a character i've been playing for nearly 4 years so i added more of the neck and part of her torso... But since i did that long after i started the face, it is very inconsistent right now, well to me at least.. =-.-=;; I have been working and reworking some parts over and over again and i am just becoming sick of this...

A fellow artist ever told me that if you don't work on a piece for a month, forget about it and start a new one. But... Being me, i WANT to finish it, even if it takes 2 more months... :P

So here it is.

The nose will be changed a little bit and the ear too. I had a hard time with the ear actually... Even if i asked my brother to pose for me in about that angle i haven't been able to do it right and to paint one i am pleased with.

There is something wrong in the neck area too but i am not sure about what it is... I guess it is too long? Not sure about the shoulders either.. Particulary her left one (our right).

But i think that the worst is probably the lighting. Since it was only a simple try-out-doodle in the beginning, i didn't care too much if the lighting was fancy or not and if i had more than one lightsource when painting the face but then when i decided to bring the picture to another level, i really started to have more trouble with it... Should i simply change it completly? I do kind of like how it looks on her face but... Overall maybe way too much highlights and not enough color variation? (i always had troubles to work in low contrast.. :sad:) And thing is, she will need a background and i am still unsure of what i wanted it to be... I wanted first some sort of sky with some vaporous(sp?) clouds and mountains (character is related to the air element a lot) but then the lighting i started with could not work with it and at first i didn't think i could change it all but now, i pretty much don't care, i want to get it done, purely and simply. :P

A lot of stuff is missing too: jewelry, some other details and veiling on the dress, obviously her hair (but didn't find a hairdo yet that i liked with the headpiece i plan to paint). But before adding anything else, i guess the fixing the lighting would be the smart move.

So.. this is it. I'm open for any critics and suggestions. You can paint over it if you want to to explain better what you mean...

Sorry about the text that is so long.. I always write too much, write 25 lines when i could only write 3... :s And also sorry about the bad english in some places.

Thank you vey much for taking a peek. :)

05 May 2005, 05:24 PM
Yes yes, an update my dear! 2 months late, but still an update! (Long story short, I could not work on it anymore because cpu died, other one did not run Photoshop, could only work on it on my boyfriend's computer... So this is why i did no do any updates since then.)

After the too-long-description-of-the-first-post, i'm going to be a little more concise this time.

As you can see, she was flipped, changed composition since the first one was a ''doodling for fun'' one... I worked more on her nose and now i'm thinking that i might keep those lips. As for the ear i couldn't paint right, problem solved, it is covered by hair! I tried to tone done some of the plastic looking highlights too.

I know there is a lot of ''empty'' space in the upper part, but i wanted to have her hair all flowy and going up in the wind (the character is very related to the air element.) and then i was gonigto add some hints of a big white bird like creature, her familiar. But the hair did not work and i am considering to paint it in a more ''conventionnal'' way... Maybe tied in some ways, greek style maybe?

I'm also thinking of changing the part of her dress we can see to a more veily and light fabric... Or just add it over this...

In the background, i also planned to add mountain peaks surrounded by mist, and she would too have some mist around her. More clouds too. Probably some white birds or feathers.

So still, any C&C or suggestions would be very appreciated. Composition wise, lighting (i know there is still something wrong with it..) colors etc.

Thank you!

05 May 2005, 08:14 PM
Hi Amelie,

I think it's turning out beautifully. What strikes me after looking at it for a while is that one eye is more shut than the other. And when you get to painting it again, you could try and paint all the elements on a separate layer.

Colours are fine, you could try for more dramatic lighting maybe, a hsarp sun on her face! :thumbsup:

I love it.

05 May 2005, 09:37 PM
There is something lovely in the touch and the colors!
I really appreciate the volume of this character!
Good courage!

05 May 2005, 04:54 PM
looking nice painting.:thumbsup:
beautiful color.
good luck.:)

05 May 2005, 08:20 PM
You need more work with the figure, join a life drawing class somewhere or draw friends and family, or yourself, over and over and over and over. Don't draw from books except when you're not drawing from life, and you should be drawing from life all the time. Then you'll be more confident and that will show in your work.

Don't be afraid to fail, don't be afraid to make mistakes or commit the "wrong" lines to paper. There are no "wrong" lines. Don't try, just do. And keep doing even if you think you can't, just do. When you've done enough, do more than enough. THEN you'll have something indeed!

05 May 2005, 06:01 AM
my only crit is that you should work looser, sort of like you ahve in the hair, until you've laid down everything, then start working looks like you work details too early (like me) which can be a major pain when you realize so and so is off and you've just spent like forever working on some detail there. oh, and also, if the sky is so dark, try using moodier, cooler colors for the skin.

05 May 2005, 04:50 PM
First of all, i want to thank you all that replied, for your c&c and suggestions. It has been helpful and now i,ve made up my mind a bi more conerning what i want in the picture.

I completly changed her hairstyle, though i would have liked to be able to reproduce the almost-watercolory effect i had in the first hair sketch. But it seems like i did not find the way to do it in Painter yet. Hair is now is inspired by ancient greek hairdos, sort of, and i am liking it so far. :) I also added the veil-type of thing of her dress and let the folds under show through, but the fold on the arm will be erased, i'm pretty sure of it. I prefer to add some sort of jewelry to her arm or leave it bare. I will be detailing the veil further later, maybe some delicate embroideries (sp?). I'm not really sure here since i know that she wil lbe wearing a necklace, somewhat detailed, and i do not want to make it too busy in the area either...

I've decided to also have a change in the color scheme i originally planned (though it is not in this update yet). At first, it was all very cold and blueish-purplish-greyish tones.. Only her hair would be of a warm color but when i sketched the thing that holds up her hair, i really liked the looks it had, so i will use a soft, low saturated golden color for her jewelry and detailing in the hair and clothing i believe.

I added some very sketchy mountains with a structure on one of them. Currently the structure looks like crap, it was only the know where it was going but i know what it will look like in my head, not has light, probably murkier with some light beige color ehre and there, and i want to add some subtle green here and there to hint at some growing/climbing vegetation. Around the mountain with the structure will be various flying white birds, but not too detailed. At the top of the picture will be the characters familiar. I am still very unsure of the lower left corner.. Looks very empty to me but better looking clouds with nice highlights could do i think...

I am trying to stay away from her face, though it is getting more and more annoying to me, it's stiffness and expressionless look. And she looks too plastic to me and i agree that her skin color is not right... Ah well, i'll keep working on the background and clothing/hair for now. And will try to stay looses in my strokes as suggested.

Thank you once again for your suggestions, it is very helpful and appreciated. :)

Ack.. i've written so much.. D:

05 May 2005, 06:52 PM
a pretty crappy po, but i think the hair should have those poofy bang things in the front where it is teased back, and the body i think should be moved over a bit, the right eye (from our pov) should be moved down some and the eyebrows thickened, the nose maybe a little bigger

i woulda done a better job, but i gotta run off somewhere now :)

05 May 2005, 07:40 PM
Oooh! I think your progress is very positive! I I were to make a suggestion...I would start on build on the values a bit and do not be afraid to do so.(This is computer art and we all have expendable layers) I would also build some values into the background and give us a path to let our eyes follow.

05 May 2005, 02:38 AM
Somehow I can't see images that are in photobucket for the past three days... :(

05 May 2005, 03:04 AM
are you talking about mine? i'm not using photobucket, but my paintover isn't very useful, i said all the stuff i drew basically

05 May 2005, 03:49 AM
Thank you for the tips hpslashluvr! I did not notice that the the eye of the right was a little too high, guess i stared at this for too long. I,ve also sarted to work a little more on the hair, to give it a look somewhat like yours, but not too much, i wanted to still keep it loose but i think it looks much better this way too.

I will also bring more colors as i gradually work, to make everything come together a little better, hopefully i'll manage to make it look somewhat good, since i did not have a good workflow since the beginning. More subtle yellows for sunlight on the character and clouds, tone down the pink of her skin, that kind of things.

There are some element missing still and some other things to try out but all of your comments are helpful and definatly helping me. :) Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.

To Oz, cannot see pictures hosted on photobucket? That is weird, maybe some sort of firewall thing, something similar ever happened to me, but here, i uploaded my last update to imageshack so you can see it.

Gosh i need to find a way to write my thoughts more concisely. D:

05 May 2005, 05:46 AM
I wanted to do a better po to show you what I thought you should do in coloring and fixing proportions...what was supposed to be a 5 minute po turned into a 30 min I prolly took the complete opposite direction that you wanted, but it was fun! I sort of want your piece now...x.x;;;

Just some color/contrast corrections mostly. I know you haven't really finished yet, but this is what I suggest:

1) fix the eyes and brows as mentioned previously
2) maybe go for more of a greek nose (straighter bridge)...I made it a little too hawkish but you get what I mean.
3) I tried to keep the reds that you had, but personally I'd go for a warmer look. Yeah yeah, I always suggest this guy as a reference, but JW Waterhouse or any other pre-raphaelite artist...check them out...Waterhouse is basically what you are drawing right now...he uses really rich colors.
4) change either the bg color, or the color/lighting of the figure, because they don't match in your picture - I mean, the blue colors and stuff match, but I think she'd be darker with your lighting.
5) I'm not sure that the hair would blow quite like that...I made the one in the po too straight but generally the hair would just fall normally, and then select parts would go flying everywhere.
6) lips should be higher up. top lip is usually, almost always, darker than the bottom I believe.
7) I think I gave her too much of a chin, but you need to make hers more apparent, and her cheek curves too.
8) Her body needs to be shifted wayyy over. I made it a little too forward but IMO something about the breast/shoulder placement is not quite right. I'm sure you've used some ref tho so I'm prolly wrong. I think you'd see her other shoulder peeking out maybe tho.

Either way, you're doing really well. Sorry that I took a little too much leeway in changing some stuff. Yours is much less static looking.

05 May 2005, 06:45 AM
Here is what I would do for the face/anatomy. ^_^

#4 is just tweaked with in the face**. *The body is unaltered*
Sorry I need to go back to my WIP so I didn't do anything mayor in the skin or the rest... :D but if you need any help contact me. ^_^

05 May 2005, 01:44 PM
This sucks people! You are just making different kinds of faces out of one kind of face. Leave the choices to the artist doing the piece. How's this constructive if two outcomes of the same effort to improve are completely different. I don't wan't to be rude hapslashluvr, honestly, but I think the girl you drew is kind of ugly. No offense, but underlines my point maybe.

Anyway to try and be constructive. Before an argument arises.

I'd say all you need to do is define things more and use reference on anatomy/structure of the kind of face you had in mind. By defining I'd say indeed just work the values more extremely until you find what you like.

05 May 2005, 02:19 PM
none taken.

i agree that it should be left up to the artist.

05 May 2005, 07:04 PM
Ack... I've had written a long reply with more information about the character and hit the back button by mistake... It's all gone! D: I'll try to rewrite it the best i can.

First of all, thanks to Jan-Mark for his input and concern about the changes, though i do not mind them actually. It sure won't all be done, because some just does not fit the character (the straighter nose bridge for instance.) but some other will be considered. Right now, i think there is a problem with mage shack, it won't show anything linked from there, but i believe that tonight it should work again so i will be able to see those po. ;)

I will work more on what has been suggested. Colors are subject to a huge change, i am not liking the way they look so of the same hue of plastic... Her eye position has been fixed in the most recent version and the brow was more a place holder than the definitive one. I agree that she would need some surgical implants for her chin and cheek bone, even if it is only a subtle change.

I am currently thinking of adding various other things related to her, i am in the ''try'n'erase'' phase, trying out different things to see what works best. ;)

i'l lbe posting the next update in about 2-4 days, when i will get back home from my boyfriend's. But while i'll be there, i will try to abuse of his computer and of his Photoshop to fix as much things as i can. (Oh how i miss Photoshop.. Working only in Painter is a pain, i tell you. D: )

So there for the quick update that looks more like a novel chapter than a real update. I still feel like i've given too much info about the character yet strangely not enough but ah well...

05 May 2005, 07:33 PM
Keep working on it lilie! <3

The face IS THERE, all I did was add eyelashes, correct the light on the eyes, move the other eye in position and correct the perspective on the lips and the cheek/chin. :thumbsup:


05 May 2005, 11:08 PM
Glad of it hapslashluvr. :)


I personnally think the outline of the cheekbone's fine. With the right shading it'll be more pronounced, I think that's all.

Good luck hijacking your boyfriends computer! :thumbsup:

05 May 2005, 06:29 AM

Sorry, I couldn't keep my pen off oz haver's paintover.
No ref... I was just bored and wanted to test is this computer was actually functional for photoshop with an intuos2.

Sorry for defacing your character's nose... just read about no making it straight.

05 May 2005, 05:22 PM

I love what you did with the thin cloth across her shoulders. Nice material look to it..(if that makes sense? :)) I also think the hair has come along very nicely.

I think her posture is a little too shy. She seems to be cringing a bit. I would think that a high elf known for her calm should have a more relaxed and set back posture with her shoulders. Maybe widen them a bit?

At any rate, it is coming along great and I'll be watching to see more for sure!
Take care,

05 May 2005, 08:42 PM
Yet another update! I did not work as much on it as i would have liked too but still, i had a good time working in photoshop again (and sure will miss it.. )

There she is. I changed the overall color scheme, thanks to hpslashluvr for her paintover, this is what made me change my mind on it. :)

I decided not to change her pose to much (i actually tried to, but it did not end up good looking, so i will keep her this way..) though i wroked on her face features, somewhat fixed the eyes that were really annoying to me. Adding some more highlights and shadows here and there but nothing crazy. Thoguh i forgot to fix her lips D: This will be in next update. Her nose got messed up somehoew, i am not sure what happened but i will have to work on it a little more.

Her brows wil lbe softened so they do not look as harsh as right now... Her hair will need more work, i did not touch them at all (speaking of the hair, sorry about the cut at the right of her face, the blowing was starting to look odd to me.).

It still needs the shadows tha tare cast why her garment etc but overall, i am liking the way it looks like. :)

I worked more on the clouds and will refine them a little more later but for now, i won't touch them anymore.

Next step is fixing her lips, working on the mountain and the temple, adding her familiar and start to work on her hair. Whee! :bounce:

05 May 2005, 09:31 PM
Very nice, I think you could dare more with the conrtast in the background. The clouds are really well done. I'm thinking that if you were to make the mountain with the tmple on it wider, it would add to realism, now it looks like you've given everything a neat place, but in real life that never happens, well not usually! :thumbsup:Real beautiful. What colour eyes does she have? I'm getting curious. :)

05 May 2005, 10:06 PM
clouds look great! i also think the bg could use some more contrast but really i guess it's atmospheric perspective or whatever where it fades into the distance...

i'm prolly wrong b/c i suck at anatomy but to me the shoulders could start just the tiniest bit higher. it'd be cool also if the sleeves on the dress were a sort of a mix between the see-thru and the opaque.

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