View Full Version : Mother and child

03 March 2011, 12:37 PM
Hello there,

I've been working on a digital painting for a total of three hours now and I'm kinda stuck.
I don't want to achieve photorealism, getting the warm feeling from the photo in my painting is more important to me.

Do you haveany tips on how to proceed?

Thanks in advance :)

03 March 2011, 05:40 PM
Very nice and I agree dont go for the realism. I would say add more warmer colors. Like on the baby. In the photo the baby has a warm reddish color that you dont have in your painting. Its very slight but will bring out the warm look you want. Over all I love the painting good work!!!


03 March 2011, 08:21 PM
I would pay more attention to your colors and shapes, regardless of the final level of detail. Your piece is looking very flat, and the contrasts need to be bigger (lighter lights, mostly). This is the problem with working from photographs, the value ranges of a phone tend to be a lot harsher than in painting, and the darks far too deep.

I would look at capturing the shapes more accurately - her pinky finger is too short, for example, and you're not capturing the 3d shape of their heads - this is all accomplished with color and lighting. Her scarf on the left does not hang to her sleeve, and more white is showing.

Also, don't use so much black. I know the photo has a ton of it, or what looks like black, but if you use the info tool in those areas, you'll see there's color, just very dark colors.

Do you work with a palette first? If not, I suggest you do that, before working on any of the characters - establish your mid tones, your highlights, your shadows, and the other colors, like the ones in her head scarf. Especially the scarf, her cheek and scarf have a LOT of light on them, that's not represented in your painting. Then work out the light and dark versions of those colors.

I can't emphasize enough, never use black, unless you have to. You can make black with all of the colors, and real shadows are rarely black, they have color in them. Learning when to use black, and when not to, is in my very humble opinion one of the most important lessons artists have to learn, bar none.

Keep going, painting loosely but effectively can be as hard, or harder, than painting photographically. I would urge you to not choose photos as dark, in the future, as they tend to obscure shapes and colors. Or, adjust them in Photoshop before you start. Really study the piece, and find out where the lightest spots are, and the darkest, and the general shapes, and how to establish them with color. Use more interesting brush shapes, maybe? Go for a Impressionistic feel with broad, aggressive brushstrokes of pure color? Play with texture from the brush strokes, to let the direction of the strokes define the shape? Use broad, defined brush strokes in the background, getting smaller as they get near the faces, which will draw the eye in if done right. Any of the above, or all. Just have fun with it!

03 March 2011, 08:45 AM
Thanks a lot! I'm going to implement your advice an repost this asap :)
I'm looking forward to more of your feedback :)

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