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Old 03-03-2013, 09:43 PM   #1
Iguess
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Alexis Bledel

Hey everyone, I'm new here, actually this is my first Digital painting in the forum.
This is gonna be a Digital painting of the lovely actress (Alexis Bledel), I love her blue clear eyes, so I'm gonna try to catch that.
this are just quick studies, I like the one on the right, so it's the one that gonna make it

 
Old 03-03-2013, 11:42 PM   #2
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Great, look forward to it!
 
Old 03-05-2013, 11:27 AM   #3
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First Step

Thanks 6foot5.
So this is the first step of this painting, just laid the main tones, but there's a lot of work to come |
haven't do much with the eyes yet, and the line work is still showing.
I'm looking for a realistic look, so it's gonna be a lot of layers
C&C are most welcomed.


 
Old 03-06-2013, 04:07 PM   #4
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Good progress!

Don't be afraid of using really big brushes starting out and then scaling them down as you start working on fine details.

One good way to tackle projects like this is to just focus on painting the planes of the face starting out.

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Old 03-07-2013, 12:09 PM   #5
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Thanx ZombieMariachis, yeah, I love this technique I kinda started with it, but now I'm more in the details phase.
So I worked more on the eyes, eyelashes, nose and lips.
I noticed that the shadows were a little bit off, and worked more on the chin.
Hope you like it, C&C are most welcomed.



 
Old 03-09-2013, 12:03 PM   #6
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So I moved on to the neck, added some details and shadows to the face, the line art is gone now.
The neck was a quickie, some brush strokes, and some highlights and freckles.
worked also on the ear, I forgot about it , hope you like it.
C&C are most welcomed.


 
Old 03-11-2013, 01:16 AM   #7
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What I always encourage people to do when doing something like working from photo references, is to try to inject more artistic sensibility into their effort instead of just technically copying the reference.

Think about how some of the greatest portrait painters in history used artistic interpretation and presentation such as expressive brushwork, artistic usage of values, tonal composition, edge qualities, colors, selective detail, simplification, idealization, etc.

Analyze painters like John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Pino, Richard Schmid, Jeremy Lipking, Susan Lyon, Daniel Gerhartz, Morgan Weistling, Gil Elvgren, etc. You don't ever see them obsessing with tiny details like each eyelash or freckle, yet their portraits are far more expressive than the paintings by artists who do obsess with the micro-detail instead of the overall artistic sensibility.

It's easy to just render a lot of micro-detail and eventually snuff out all the expressiveness and spontaneity from a painting, but it's far harder to artistically interpret a subject so that it truly lives and breathes as a "painting" instead of a technical exercise.

Last edited by Lunatique : 03-11-2013 at 01:21 AM.
 
Old 03-11-2013, 12:28 PM   #8
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Thanx Lunatique for your comment.
yeah sure, and me myself is a big fan of the Impressionism school, like Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir and Paul Cezanne, but like I mentioned before, I was looking for a realistic look, plus I'm working on my digital painting techniques.
and all of the biggest names in the history of art had started with old school realism and academic studies and painting from life and nature, I actually find it strange that some new artists start drawing with Impressionism or even abstraction-ism !!
I believe I still need some work, and time, before I can call my self an fully-functional-ready-to-go-artist , but hopefully I will get there eventually.

Thanx again Lunatique for the reply, it's great to find that there's artists that are ready to help others, I really appreciate it
 
Old 03-11-2013, 05:50 PM   #9
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So I'm working on the hair now (she's not bald anymore ), the project is almost done, just some touches here and there, and of course the hair still needs work, hope you like it, C&C are most welcomed.




 
Old 03-12-2013, 02:39 PM   #10
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Really good. I really like how you rendered the skin and got rid of the plastic look.

I would suggest playing around with the background though. You went with the same color as the skin. It might be worth it to try a complementary color or some gradient to add depth in it.

But really nice job. congrats.
 
Old 03-12-2013, 07:01 PM   #11
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Thanx FarisB, glad you like it.
yeah, I know what you mean, I'm still playing with the Background, I might use a grungy texture with a darker color, or maybe a gradient one like you said.

thanks again, glad you like the skin.
 
Old 03-13-2013, 09:41 PM   #12
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So this is the finale image, put it in the gallery, hope it get accepted , hope you like it, thanks for all the feedback, have fun.


 
Old 03-14-2013, 12:02 AM   #13
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As a technical exercise, this is pretty good. As a portrait, it doesn't really work for a few reasons.

The "unfinished brushwork" look at the bottom feels arbitrary and inconsistent with the rest of the image. If you're going to incorporate that look into your artwork, then integrate it into the overall style organically instead of as an afterthought. This is why I said to look at works by guys like Richard Schmid, Pino, Jeremy Lipking, etc. They are really good at incorporating that partially finished look into a painting and make it look natural and artistically appealing.

The lighting is very flat, looking like the dreaded "on-camera flash photography" look associated with paparazzi photographers and unskilled photographers who just blast the flash at the subject without any artistic lighting. There's no modeling of form, no tonal composition, and even as a technical exercise, you're just practicing rendering micro-details like skin texture and hair strands, but you don't get to practice your ability to convey form and value accurately.

The hair looks stringy and has no sense of mass. The values are off too, making the hair appear flat and limp. I'm not sure why you deviated from the original photo if this was a technical exercise. Generally speaking, you don't want to just render hair with a ton of thin strands of similar values--it's too much visual noise that doesn't contribute to much; micro-detail is meaningless without the more support of the more important context of the overall management of values, shapes, forms, composition, etc.

For the future, I suggest you don't use flat-looking on-camera flash photography as your reference; pick more artistic lighting that models the person's form and features effectively.

You obviously have the technical rendering skills, so I don't think it's necessary for you to do these types of exercises any more. Start developing your artistic sensibility and paint works that are your own creative expression.

As for the Showcase Gallery, we don't accept images that are simply copies of copyrighted photos of celebrities--it's a legal issue. We also find images that are simply copies of photos without much creative input kind of iffy--they don't usually accept images like that either.
 
Old 03-14-2013, 09:34 AM   #14
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Hmm. Since I still haven't conquered my weaknesses I usually keep the following feelings to myself but I think this is a good chance to express my views.

Regarding learning from great painters, I feel like that advice is good but incomplete.

For example a lot of people advice studying John Singer Sargent. Well since so many people studied it why isn't there a proper analysis on what Sargent work is in more specific terms? I did not find any specifics on how to actually do it.

All you find is, he used expressive strokes, he moved a lot while painting, he used a lot of color on the brush, when he painted he painted quickly... nice, very nice. But not very useful. And this is one of the most talked about painters ever. Yet no one can tell you, "listen man, Sargent did 1 and 2 and 3, look here at this and I will show you step by step. This is how you would it, this is how he did it, see the difference?" It is astounding that no one can explain it that way.

Ok so someone tells me Faris don't be lazy. forget other peoples opinions, download the paintings and study them yourself. First of all I don't have a reference for the same scene he painted. No photos. So I cannot compare. The only option I have is to draw an outline, use his painting as a photo and try to paint it in my style, then see how differently he did it until I get a feel for it.

Now one thing that shows in their work is a sense of realism. Abbreviated realism, and man that is advanced. How can anyone learn how to paint abbreviated realism when they are still learning how to achieve realism in the first place?

Learning from great painters is an advanced lesson. Actually especially the ones that know what to put in and what to leave are even harder.

So in this case if I were were Pierre, I would also just try to reproduce the photo, in its micro details. Because only after I'm confident I can create any micro details, would I have the understanding, eye sight and knowledge of execution to know what to drop since I'm not worried about my technical limitations any more.

First I must succeed to copy, because that means I can analyse and execute accurately. Then I can see what can be dropped or changed or exaggerated to create a "style". It's like the comfort of having a save point that I can fall back on instead of falling all the way to the bottom.

I think doing all of it in one go is too ambitious.

Regarding this piece Pierre, I think Lunatique is right and this is more of a technical exercise. You need to focus on the hair, that is the main weakness. It sort of fell apart or was rushed through or the difficulty got to you.

I did an exercise the other day regarding skin rendering. I did it in monochrome, I ditched what is available on the net as "skin brushes" and created my own settings and it seems to have worked but only in black and white till now. So you are actually ahead of me. Hair is still a monster in the closet for me as well.

Since my eye is better than my hand at the moment though this is what I would attempt to learn to do if I was in the same stage as you:

- The hair is a lot darker.
- There are not so much highlights in the dark regions of the hair. You have highlighted hairs all over the place.
- The reflected light on the hair is more broken across the strands. In your piece it looks like a single region instead of reflecting of certain hairs in a certain angle.

The background looks good by the way.
 
Old 03-14-2013, 11:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique
As a technical exercise, this is pretty good. As a portrait, it doesn't really work for a few reasons.

The "unfinished brushwork" look at the bottom feels arbitrary and inconsistent with the rest of the image. If you're going to incorporate that look into your artwork, then integrate it into the overall style organically instead of as an afterthought. This is why I said to look at works by guys like Richard Schmid, Pino, Jeremy Lipking, etc. They are really good at incorporating that partially finished look into a painting and make it look natural and artistically appealing.

The lighting is very flat, looking like the dreaded "on-camera flash photography" look associated with paparazzi photographers and unskilled photographers who just blast the flash at the subject without any artistic lighting. There's no modeling of form, no tonal composition, and even as a technical exercise, you're just practicing rendering micro-details like skin texture and hair strands, but you don't get to practice your ability to convey form and value accurately.

The hair looks stringy and has no sense of mass. The values are off too, making the hair appear flat and limp. I'm not sure why you deviated from the original photo if this was a technical exercise. Generally speaking, you don't want to just render hair with a ton of thin strands of similar values--it's too much visual noise that doesn't contribute to much; micro-detail is meaningless without the more support of the more important context of the overall management of values, shapes, forms, composition, etc.

For the future, I suggest you don't use flat-looking on-camera flash photography as your reference; pick more artistic lighting that models the person's form and features effectively.

You obviously have the technical rendering skills, so I don't think it's necessary for you to do these types of exercises any more. Start developing your artistic sensibility and paint works that are your own creative expression.

As for the Showcase Gallery, we don't accept images that are simply copies of copyrighted photos of celebrities--it's a legal issue. We also find images that are simply copies of photos without much creative input kind of iffy--they don't usually accept images like that either.


Thanks Lunatique for the reply.
yeah, it's a technical painting, not really a character design like I mentioned before, I was looking for a realistic and natural look, specially for the skin, I hope I did that well, I do some photography, and I get what you're saying, yeah, the flash light in photography is the worst scenario you can get , when I do mine (photography) I always use side lights as well, and I consider the shadows as a great friend, and they has as big impact to the composition as the light, in some cases even more, but this wasn't really a character design like I mentioned before, or something that I'm putting all my knowledge into it, like you said it's more of a technical drawing.

Thanks again for the reply, and taking the time to analyze the work, this forum really is a great place to learn
 
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