View Full Version : Gibson Girl

02 February 2006, 09:51 PM
This portrait grew out of my fascination with victoriana and art history, so I thought I would try my hand at a Gibson Girl in that stiff rennaisance portrait style (with a little Mark Ryden influence thrown in for good measure). I deceided I wanted to try and do with without any refs (though I did have to look at a gibson sketch for the hairstyle). So I've gotten this far (she still needs some fine tuning) and now I'm feeling slightly disenchanted with the whole thing and I've been banging my head against a wall a bit trying to figure out why it's not working quite right. My initial thoughts are that the background isn't quite working (too busy? too boring? I'm thinking both at the moment) and the lighting is a little off. Any thoughts?

03 March 2006, 01:54 PM
I agree that the background is highly detailed, which makes the soft-shadowed portrait seem out of place; one or the other needs to change in order to flow together. Let me rephrase that, nothing needs to change if this is simply a styling choice of yours. Maybe you're making a statement about social culture in which the environment is a solid unchanging entity while people come and go. That's up to you.

The anatomy of the chest looks unrealistic. Even though this is not supposed to be photorealistic it just seems like the top of the breasts are not squeezed up against the clavicle but rather grow out from it in a way that suggests the corset is unnecessary.

Now for the praise: I love the hair and I really think you've captured that interesting far-off look in the subject's eyes. Great introduction to your work.

03 March 2006, 04:21 PM
Worked on this a bit this morning.... I tried to add some more dark areas and toned down the background.

I think you're right on about the chest, I didn't even notice that before you pointed it out! I did a google image search on corsets and found several women with very unnatural chests in even more unnatural poses... but I did find one image to work from though and redrew the chest a bit... I think the drawing is a little better now, but it needs more rendering..

I also smooshed up the corset because I think I'm going to try and add some sort of fabric pattern. I've never really attempted a detailed fabric pattern, so it will definately be a learning experience.

03 March 2006, 07:37 PM
I think the hair looks really good. The anatomy needs some work however.

The eyes & brows should be a bit lower. The left edge/side of the face looks a bit too curvy, I would work with that a bit after you lower the eyes to see what it looks like.
The neck is a bit too small, widen it more to the left. The arm pits are up WAY too high, they need to be lowered.

Just take a look at some photos and see if you notice these things in order to fix your anatomy.

03 March 2006, 01:59 AM
I think I finally got the chest to be closer to where it needs to be, turns out I needed to lower it quite a bit more than I thought. I think it might still be a little high... what do you think? I also started in on the bodice pattern a bit. Definately need to go back and fiddle with the face a bit as well as bring back the color and rendering in the chest.

Any thoughts on her eyebrows? The seem to be looking a little pasted on.... I'm thinking they need more shadows.

03 March 2006, 11:59 PM
Been having a hard time finding the time to work on this! But here we are....
I started in on the rendering of the chest and the fabric, I deceided to completely change the pattern to a larger pattern so it wouldn't be as busy.

I think I'm going to have to go take some pictures for refs if I'm going to finish this.... :argh:

03 March 2006, 11:18 AM
I hope you don't mind... I went ahead and drew over your image. I'm no means good or a pro, but I also thought the eyes should be dropped a tad, the left side of her face was too curvy, made the eyes a tad smaller, and since she is facing off to one side... the ear may be shown more? and the hair perspective should be changed or altered a bit.

But these are just one man's opinion :)

I love the hair and the details in the dress... :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 01:36 PM
of course I don't mind! I'm here to get all the input I can :)

I'm going to go ahead and start messing with the anatomy a bit, as a few folks have already pointed out strange things that are happening with her face.

I'm afraid I didn't make something clear enough in my first post which was that this started out as more of a caricature of a friend of mine (which is why the anatomy is so wonky) because I wanted to challenge myself to work on this piece with no refs. Yes, it's true... the cariacature thing was a bit of a cop-out for not having proper anatomy as I knew it was going to be tricky without refs.

So now I'm having a bit of a conundrum... it seems to me this piece is kinda floating between cartoony and realistic and no one can really deceide where it fits in. I probably need to push it one way or the other in order to make it make more sense. I'm thinking right now about playing around with the eyes a bit..... perhaps some serious overexagerration..... I'll fool around with it and see what I come up with.

03 March 2006, 10:06 PM
I really like what you are doing here. Shadytree is probably very right with the overpaint - I thought from the beginning that the area where the hair parts (sorry I don't know the word in English) seemed a bit off. Now with Shadytree's overpaint, you will perhaps be able to get it right.

Personally, I wouldn't go for the completely photorealistic style with this. Make it very realistic, but with "a grain of salt".

Anyway, lovely picture !

EDIT : PS: you may want to correct her left eye a bit and I also think you could make her nose a bit more "cute". Lovely work on the dress so far.

03 March 2006, 09:27 PM
Any reason you're trying to do this without a reference? One is need for a realistic portrait. The eyes, nose, and mouth must flow with the shape of the skull. Try bringing the lips over to the right more. Again, I would need a reference for an accurate representation of features. The blue hues of the eyes seems unnaturally brilliant. A touch of darker blues would help there. Also note the dark green smudges on the lower left arm. (Her right.) That should be more consistent with the rest of the skin tone. The other arm could also be shaped more realistically. It seems too wide. The neckline to the right shoulder is blurred. Use a brush that is crisp, but may have an opacity of around "8" and strengthen the difference between the figure and the background. I hope that's helpful. Good luck with it.

03 March 2006, 09:58 PM
I think she looks great, and like everyone else I'm in love with the hair, it's cute.

On the right side of her face where her eye ends, it looks weird that you would be able to see the end of the eyeball like that...ugh, I guess what I'm trying to say is that it seems like there should be some skin on the right side of her face, not just the eye fading into the background.
I also think the eyes look like they're facing a different way than the face, like they're looking straight forward when the face is looking slightly to the left.
The dress pattern looks great like you can feel the pattern, but since you've fixed her chest the dress looks a size to big for her.

03 March 2006, 12:30 AM
Ok, I got a few minutes to work on this today.... found some refs of folks in a similar pose, and started the painful process of mutilating my image :) I think I need to still work on the drawing but I was hoping to get some input so far. I think her shoulders are worlds better, and the addition of larger eyelids seems to help a bit

aldog: You're completely on track with her dropping off eyeball, adding more of her face on the opposite side of the eye really helped in shaping that whole half of her head.

MegaData: I started this off just as a bit of a challenge to play around without a ref. In all honesty, I never really imagined it as a finished piece but it just started to snowball a bit I think so here we are... found some refs, ready to finish!

I still want to maintain a bit of the cartoony quality of the image, so I don't want to go really crazy with the realism for now.

So the hair still needs some redrawing I think (ugh) but here we are (and it seems to me that her chest and her shoulders are facing different directions.... I'll fix that :)) I'll post my refs next

03 March 2006, 12:46 AM
ok, here are the refs. Two are just headshots I found online and the last is the Gibson illustration I used for the hairstyle

03 March 2006, 12:49 AM
Now you're on the right track... keep it up

only crit is I still think something is wrong with her chest...

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