View Full Version : Portrait of someone well known in certain circles

05 May 2007, 08:01 PM

I'm working on a portrait from several photos. He's well known in certain circles ... I wonder if anyone here recognises him. If not, the name doesn't matter anyway and I would be happy about general feedback on anatomy and perspective, anyway ;)

05 May 2007, 04:08 PM
At first I couldnt figure it out but after staring as for a minute I think I got it. Is it Vince Vaughn? If so I think you need to exagerate a few tings to make it more apparent. Check out this pic.
His chin is a bit bigger, maybe pull the hairline back a tad more and extened the nose so it longer and more angular. One last thing, Vince has gained a bit of weight since swingers so keep that in mind.
Keep it up!

05 May 2007, 04:27 PM
He could use some more texture, but this is looking good so far - great work on the proportions. I don't know him so I can't say much about how it resembles him ^^;

05 May 2007, 05:45 PM
MirMarg: I can see why you think it could be Vince Vaughn. There are similarities in the shape of the eyes and nose. But no, sorry :) This guy is not an actor.
Thanks for the comment.

Maidith: Thank you :)

05 May 2007, 07:49 PM

Hmm, lost something along the way, looks too young now.

05 May 2007, 05:41 AM
Nice work

could use more shadows... would be a good idea to determine the main light source at this stage.

adding texture to the skin will make him less younger: facial hair, wrinkles around the eyes and on forehead,etc

the white of the eyeballs is too white.

great start though
keep going

05 May 2007, 09:04 PM
Thanks, NR43. I want to keep a rather diffuse lighting and plan to add some tricky backlighting later on (not sure if I pull through 2 versions, yet).

05 May 2007, 08:56 PM

The hair is no good, I know.

Since I guess few have him on their radar here and the web isn't exactly plastered with his face and since it's less embarassing now I made some progress: It's supposed to be Mark Shuttleworth ( :)


Otherwise one often finds images from his space mission or with long hair.
My single best reference however is a video interview (

05 May 2007, 09:38 AM
really nice...u need to work more on it..blending the colors all together.

:) ..otherwise good effort!

05 May 2007, 12:18 PM
good painting make it more realistic,smoothen up the shading.and create some solid highlights and some textures like texture of hair strands,etc...

06 June 2007, 08:00 PM

Finaly made time to work on this again :)

06 June 2007, 04:47 PM
Nice, the portrait is getting better... but as someone said before... pay attention to the eyes, don't seem to integrate well with the rest of the painting...

06 June 2007, 07:59 PM
Another update:

06 June 2007, 09:47 AM
Nice work:) I wathing it!

06 June 2007, 10:19 AM
Check the perspective on the face. The mouth gets too small too quickly and looks off-dentered, and the eye on our left looks too small. Also, considering that the main lightsource is on the left (our left), the bright reflection should be bigger in that eye.
I recommend repainting the eyelashes. They're too short and too straight. Eyelashes curve out vertically, and because the eye opening is curved like a ( in relation to the viewer, some will seem to curve to the side as well. Right now it's as if the eye is flat to us |. You could also skip drawing the eyelashes completely and just suggest them with some darkness and a few of them somewhere xP

06 June 2007, 12:34 PM
eishiya: Good points, thanks! I knew something wasn't right regarding perspective, but wasn't sure what. Seems I still fall for drawing-the-eye-frontal to some extent :rolleyes:

06 June 2007, 04:52 PM
Edite eyes and mouth. Will likely repaint the eyelashes again.

06 June 2007, 08:04 PM
And another update:

06 June 2007, 08:42 PM
I really liked the painterly feel of your first post. It had a lot of energy and was very personable. Portraits when developed too much can start to look frozen and less human. Just out of general critique, I would suggest throwing in some light rough strokes and unusual color to bring back the emotive qualities of his face.

06 June 2007, 09:21 AM
Duchamp42: I see what you mean. A rough look wouldn't work with what I have in mind, though. Lets call it modern iconography :)

06 June 2007, 02:30 PM
Uh, that kinda looks like my brother if he was thin and had a full head of hair.:eek:

Looks good though.

06 June 2007, 04:14 PM
His nose is becoming too flat. The contrast front to back is so sharp it's flattening it out.

06 June 2007, 06:34 PM
Firerbert: Hmm, I will pay attention to that. Thanks!

I considered holding it back a little longer, but don't want you to get bored :) (

A little context: Mark Shuttleworth is a very succesful entrepreneur and founder of Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu ( Linux distribution. The thing behind him is the Ubuntu logo, called "Circle of Friends". Mark jokingly referes to himself as SABDFL: Self-Appointed Benevolent Dictator for Life. Now how did I go from dictator to saint ... the idea just came when I thought about things once could do with the logo :) So this is not in any way serious criticism.

I'm not sure if I have to say it, but: please don't link here, as I don't want outside attention until the image is finished ;)

Oh, and I hope I can finish it soon, so please tell me about things that really should be fixed / improved.

Some links to references: (havn't used it, new found) ( (

I have to say I had and have quite some problems due to him looking quite different on some images :)

06 June 2007, 08:53 PM
I actually think its also a little bit of the angle of the highlight of his nose. I dunno.

06 June 2007, 10:14 PM
Its too rendered for so loose a structure. The lighting is pretty ambient, which is very difficult for even experienced painters to pull off. Strong directional lighting with heavy shadows would be far easyer for you to pull off.

Overall If you are going for a 'real' look to the rendering, you realy need to define the face geometry better. Right now it has a kind of rounded 'dough' look to it. which is a style in its own right, a lot of mexican muralists paint like this.

But if you are going for likeness, and a realistic asthetic, I'd recomend you start by studying 'John singer sargent' paintings, especialy his portrait sketches.

for example:

In this painting 'Vernon Lee' he uses very few brush strokes to describe the form of the face, and to show a likeness to the subject. Sargent painted this piece in 45 minutes. He is of course a master, and it took him most of his life to get good enough to do that, but you should be able to block out the form and likeness of your subject in a very short time. Blending and rendering and smudging and tweeking can all look quite nice, but if you are not building on a solid base that looks like the person, no amount of smudging in the world is going to save it.

Sargent could come back to this piece now and blend and smudge and make it look 'pretty'. But It would not look any more like the person than it does right now. You would totaly recognise this person if you saw them on the street.

also your lighting is off. I havent even seen your source image but I know Its off. If the highlight truely is on the far left side of the face like that, there would be major shadows on the right side. Realy study your photographs, and try to look at them abstractly. To help, turn your source image, and your painting upside down, and look at the differences.

As you can see in the image above, the light is coming strong from the right, the brightest highlights are not on the right of her face, but on the center shapes, nose, forhead, cheeks, chin.... If you dont stop and observe, and just paint what you 'think' you know about whats going on, you will get realy awkward unrealistic lighting.

Heres another example of strong light from the left, and how the face carries its highlights. Also notice the color gradient shift in the face. Notice the skin gets reder around the eyes, the mouth, the nose. These are sensative areas with a lot of blood vessels in them The forhead by contrast is far more muted to a yellowish color. also the chin and jaw area on men gets even more muted and greyed because of beard stubble, (but in this case he actualy has a beard) but look at that single patch of skin to the left. even though its recieving the same light its desaturated from the skin just above it.

also notice, again, the very simple deliberate shapes used to describe this mans face. he does not look anonymous. the shapes are very specific, and carved to fit his likeness. but none of these brush strokes are rendered. nothing is blended.

blending is the easy part. It's this simple defined brushwork that people struggle their whole lives to accomplish.

06 June 2007, 02:08 AM
Give me a minute, I need to go get a beer and some chips to read this...........






yes, I agree....
whip out some Caravaggio and we'll have a good discussion on lighting.
good feedback Code. always good to see constructive criticism.
i don't think it's a matter of "what wouldn't work for what you have in mind"....
there's good stuff in this reply and you should take it to heart.

06 June 2007, 07:51 AM
Wow, thank you CodeNothing!
I avoided hard shadows to not take away from the light source behind him, but now I have to reconsider. I do not have a direct reference for this very rotation and lighting of his face. I knew this would make it harder, but wanted to get this 2 aspects right for the composition and avoid straight copying from ref.

I will look at JSS works, try to better define the face, not care about smoothnes for a while, try darker and more shadow :)

Firebert: The roughness that I think would not work I refered to was the roughness of my first post, not the roughness of a John Singer Sargent ;)

CGTalk Moderation
06 June 2007, 07:51 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.