Decided to try painting a face

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  09 September 2007
Decided to try painting a face

Hi everyone, today I decided I'd try painting a face, starting from scratch with no references.

I've previously done mainly 3d work (plus textures and fairly abstract 2d stuff) and now as I've begun working on this face I feel there's something (or several things) that doesn't feel quite right about the painting.

I'm looking for constructive criticism on what I'm doing wrong in achieving realism so feel free to point out any and all problems.

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  09 September 2007
While I applaud your tenacity at going at this piece without much experience or reference I feel it'd be an injustice for me to comment on the piece in the standard critique way as it'd be a quick-fix when there's something bigger.
I have some comments that hopefully will save you even more effort in the long run. If 2D work isn't your forte and portraiture in particular, I'd strongly urge you not to work without references. There's a number of great artist out here that produce wonderful work without refs but that's because they've spent a boatload of time sketching and studying the real thing. They have a mental library of thousands of drawings and paintings to fall back on. If you don't know "what I'm doing wrong in achieving realism" than study realism and see what makes it that way. The best way is drawing from life, drawing from photos is good too. Take the time to look over some books on portraiture and learn from the effort others have gone through. If you don't and you continue on without aid or input your mistakes will grow into habits which will hard to break later.
Please believe that this is meant as constructive critisism, not critisism. Keep at it and enjoy the journey. -thePoet
  09 September 2007
I think that thePoet's comment covers just about everything you need at the moment, however, I do want to say that going at it grayscale is a good idea to get the tonality correct. Keep at it....also use your 3D work to help you. Make a head, light it and then draw can see how light and color work in different situations that way.
  09 September 2007
thePoet: You have a good point and the next thing I paint will most likely be done with some form of reference. I did decide to steer clear of references for this first painting partly because I wanted to have something to compare later paintings with, if I had started with references then it would have felt more like I was just making a bad copy of something and that's not really what I'm trying to do (even though the end result would probably be better than this first piece ).
Don't worry though, I started doing some studying even before your reply although the book I have is from the 50's and has a nasty tendency to over-explain the obvious and then leave it to the reader to figure out the trickier parts (like, eight or nine pages dedicated to explaining that the average human is seven or eight heads tall, three pages on how to position a standing person in a scene and then on to poses.), guess I should get another book.

  09 September 2007
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