Portrait Updates

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  10 October 2012
Smile Portrait Updates

This is the first time I share my work on cgsociety. Below are a few of the portraits that I painted. They were done by looking at reference though the goal was not to copy anything over exactly as it is, I amonlyusing the pictures for lighting reference and reference for the basic human proportions. I am also working on improving my painting speed therefore all of these were completed within one day. Any advice on how I can improve will be welcomed.

  10 October 2012
I suggest you work on developing your artistic sensibility and expanding the range of your brushwork expressiveness.

Think about edge variants and hierarchy. Some edges should be sharp, some should be firm, or soft, or lost, and you strategically use specific edges either according to the logic of the focal plane (such as how camera lens works), or according to artistic license (such as using sharper detail in areas you want the audience to pay more attention to).

Think about brushwork and the range of expressions you can create. There are lots of different types of brushwork you can use in a painting, such as bristle marks, speckled brushes, dry brushing, texture brushes, soft brushes, hard-edged brushes, impasto brushes, etc. If you look at the works of master painters, they use brushes very expressively. I highly recommend you study the works of these painters:

John Singer Sargent
Richard Schmid
Anders Zorn
Daniel Gerhartz
Morgan Weistling
Scott Burdick / Susan Lyon

In the digital realm, look at works by artists such as:
Craig Mullins
Jaime Jones
Paper Blue
Ruan Jia

When you have gotten an overview of the works of those artists, you'll realize how limited your current approach to brushwork is.

Beyond edges and brushwork, there's of course also composition, values/lighting, colors, etc.
  10 October 2012
Thank you so much for the advice, I will definately go find out more about those artists. I have only recently really started working with different brushes in photoshop and I will most definately try and add more variety to my brush strokes ,once again thank you so much.
  10 October 2012
I have made a new portrait, this time I took a little bit longer and played around with more brushes to add texture to the painting.

  10 October 2012
Much better.

Another exercise you should do, is to do master copies of painters whose brushwork you really admire. This forces you to walk in their shoes and try to figure out why they deployed specific brushwork at specific spots, and it'll help you build up your own brushwork sensibility. You need to try to replicate the brushwork of the master copies as closely as you can, so you can learn their tricks.
  10 October 2012
Thank you again for the advice, I will definately try making time to try that out.
  11 November 2012
I have been busy with college work lately so I didn't have a lot of time to work on new paintings but I finally finished one . Here so is a portrait I painted that represents 'Winter'.

  11 November 2012
Her nose needs a lot more refinement--it's currently vague and flat, lacking a sense of dimension and proper structural form.
  11 November 2012
Here is an update of my last portrait. I added more depth to the nose and then the rest of the face looked strange so I also added some more shadows to the rest of the face and more detail to the eyes.

  11 November 2012
Thumbs up

Wow, you've improved a lot since the first post (and you posted that one not long ago at all, impressive).

Hmm... For some reason I prefer the first version of your 'Winter' (except the nose part), and I don't know why. I'll ponder about it and see if I come up with an answer later on.

Also, I want to thank you for starting this thread. I'm inexperienced when it comes to using different brushes etc. in Photoshop so the reply you got from Lunatique is something I need to try doing too.

Keep up the good work!
  11 November 2012
Thank you so much for the compliment . I am glad to hear that my thread has also helped you.
  12 December 2012
You need to be clear in how you are depicting details on the face. For example, the wings of her nose doesn't seem to connect to the face at the bottom. You should study the anatomical structure of the nose, and look at how the wings are attached to the face, as well as how the columella attaches to the nose.

Also, her nose is crooked. Don't know if that's intentional. If not, you need to flip your images horizontally (along with the reference image, if you're using one), and then analyze. By looking at the mirrored version, you will override the bias from your brain (we all have it), and see all the proportional mistakes you couldn't see before (due to your brain bias). Make this a habit. Flip the image whenever you feel like you've lost objectivity and can no longer see your mistakes.

Last edited by Lunatique : 12 December 2012 at 12:01 AM.
  12 December 2012
Hey there, its been quite a while since I have posted anything. So here are three more paintings that I have completed. I used reference for the faces and added different details and tried new things. I am also trying to understand facial anatomy better so any advice would be welcome.

These three paintings represent the three seasons; Spring, Summer and Autumn.

  12 December 2012
You need to convey the structure of the face not only at the macro level of the overall skull shape and the muscles under the skin, but also the micro details.

For example, you are painting the eyes as if the eyelids don't have any thickness. Eyelids are fleshy, thick skins that have thickness, and they also cast shadows too.

Eyebrows have very defined and specific growth direction, and it changes throughout its length (growing upwards at the inner corner, then turns horizontal, then at the outer 1/3, turns downwards at an angle). You can't just paint brows as if they are tattoo on or painted on--brows are made up of lots of hair strands.

You also have to convey that eyes aren't just pasted on a flat face. The skull structure has eye sockets, and the eyes are set inwards. The rim of the eye socket will usually be visible in many lighting situations.

You need to learn proper lighting and consistent/logical value coherency. You can't just slap on a dark, hard-edged cast shadow under the nose and then we don't see the same corresponding lighting elsewhere in your image. When you break the laws of physics like that, your images will not look credible.

You also can't just arbitrarily decide not to put any structural detail on a body part, such as the hands of the second image (looks like Gumby's hands). That is not how you use selective detailing. Your image must always be sound structurally.

What you should be doing right now, if you are serious about your development as an artist, is to do some basic technical exercises that trains your ability to depict accurate shapes, forms, lighting, value coherency, anatomy/figure studies, still life, etc. Trying to do your own images right now will just result in you repeating the same mistakes over and over, because you don't even have the basic training necessary to do them any justice.
  12 December 2012
Thank you once again. I will definately keep all of that in mind.
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