Violinist Portrait

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  05 May 2013
Violinist Portrait

Here's a gift that I'm working on.
I was inspired by this great piece of work by Ruan Jia:

And here's my piece:

Any crits so far?
  05 May 2013
What was it about Ruan Jia's (he's a friend of mine) painting that inspired you? Was it the color palette? The lighting? The pose/gesture? The brushwork?

What exactly did you want to achieve in your own painting?
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by Lunatique: What was it about Ruan Jia's (he's a friend of mine) painting that inspired you? Was it the color palette? The lighting? The pose/gesture? The brushwork?

What exactly did you want to achieve in your own painting?

What impressed me was the brushwork, how it made fine details in the face and hands, but kept the texture in the rest. That was what I was trying to achieve. The delicate pose was something inspiring too, but I wanted to work with another theme, the violin, and the model didn't have good pose references with the instrument. The lightning was something that I couldn't figure out properly, it seems, mainly because I was limited by my references and I'm not in a level where I can paint a person with photo references but with different lighting...
  05 May 2013
In Ruan Jia's painting is the hand to small? On yours RoBsOn You did a nice job on the face but it looks like you went in and did the details right away. Nothing looks like it was blocked out first.
example look at Jia'a hair it looks blocked out in basic shapes. Yours looks like you drew in every hair.

Also jia's has this really nice integration with the background. You didn't do that.
  05 May 2013
In order to achieve the same type of feel as his, you have to pay attention to the elements that actually matter and reproduce them.

-Use brushes that have texture like he did. Yours is way too smooth.

-Differentiate your edge quality so they aren't all just hard edges. There should also be firm edges, soft edges, and lost edges. Variety of edges gives paintings a more expressive and dynamic look that has a sense of dimension.

-Selectively detail--don't just render everything to death. Some areas should be simplified and more impressionistic, while some areas can be more detailed. Study painters who are very good at that--masters like Richard Schmid, John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Pino Daeni, Susan Lyon, Daniel Gerhartz, etc. In the digital realm, masters like Craig Mullins and Jaime Jones are some of the best.
  06 June 2013
Thanks for the feedback, folks!
It really helped me.
I pushed a little more far, and here's my last attempt:

  06 June 2013
It's more expressive than the previous version.

One thing to learn about brushwork, is that expressiveness and that painterly look isn't just randomly making things look more messy or unfinished. It's more to do with how much you can convey with each brushstroke. For example, when you look at Sargent's paintings, you might notice that he would paint the sash on a dress with one single brushstroke, instead of rendering it with many brushstrokes. Same with the patches of value shapes he paints. A specular highlight might be just a single dab of the brush, with no blending. If you break all the values down into distinct planes and patches, then you can paint them with a lot more simplicity, which is also very important. Try to describe as much as you can with each brushstroke--that's part of the secret to that painterly alla prima look.

You might also want to read this thread on brushwork:
  06 June 2013
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