Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Portrait Artists

I was looking at portrait painting at found Kyle Lambert's digital photorealistic painting on an ipad, even iphone....
I'm like, wow !!


and then I was looking at his blog
and finding more cool stuff,

I found out about Chuck Close
and I'm like double wow !!


Did he go back and forth to paint those tiny colorful shapes to make up a giant face ?
I found this other video on youtube, it kinda breaks down the painting into values, contour and adding grid, so it's like individual squares and then it's ready to be painted.
So..... it's more like, do the preparation, then paint tiny individual squares to make up a whole giant face.


or see here
Art Lesson Plan : Chuck Close Grid Drawing projects for students

Portrait painting - Little girl w Balinese Hat

Acrylic on canvas
(left) size : 30 x 40 cm
(right) size : 30 x 35 cm

The one on the left I did 3 years ago (2007)
and the one I just finished is the smaller one on the right.
Yes, there's definitely improvement there.
sorry, reference photo is not shown :)

First of all :), I don't really do portrait, I prefer painting animals, more freedom there :D
So I struggled with this painting
because I don't know how to do portraits ;p
and because I want to focus on the painting technique instead of the drawing technique, I cheated, yupppp :) I photocopied-enlarged the original photo (it's an old out of focus photo, btw) and I traced it onto the canvas.
but even then, I can't make it to look like the real person, I mean, it doesn't have to be photo-realistic, I like it better if a portrait painting is smudgy, coarse brushstrokes, loose, alla prima, etc but you know how even such "messy" paintings look like the reference photo/person ?
I couldn't achieve that, even after tracing it !!
Both paintings were done by me, both were traced using the same size enlarged photocopy but both end up looking like 2 different girl.
can you imagine the frustration ?
okay, after a comparison, the little girl's face on the right is slightly wider, that's why she looks a bit chubbier ;) but only by 0.7 cm, more or less.

I used Acrylics only, without any medium (retarder, glazing, flow enhancer, etc)
I wanted to achieve an oil-like-alla prima painting, but I couldn't, instead it's kinda rough and the color is not exactly perfect either. (no color theory here, I just any colors that I feel appropriate)
and I was searching for youtube videos on how to paint portrait with acrylic, but I end up getting a lot of oils instead, some are good though. (links below)
and I ended up always smoothing the painting out with the brush.
I dunno why I keep on doing that, I did a study to paint Bing Crosby CD Christmas CD Cover and I think I did great, but I can't re-do that technique on this portrait though.
Here's the original CD cover art.

Here's the WIP


and If my painting looks unfinished, I kinda like a painting that looks that way. and I deliberately leave the hat as it is, pink and yellow unfinished :)

close up of the face

Bottom line, I think portrait artists rocks, their skill is something I wish to "absorb" lol :)

Here are the youtube links that may be useful for you (and me)

Color Palette for portrait - wetcanvas

Portrait Painting
nice n fast : acrylic with gel medium (retarder ?)
but color palette not shown

alla prima by Robert Liberace

Jeffrey Watts

Tamara Geddes

Craig Nelson

Irv Rudley

Sharon Sprung

painting realistic eyes by Tamara Geddes

Natalia paints oprah (irudley's student)

and I think this is Acrylic :
Farsad Labbauf
This could be achieved with a computer, but a human doing this ?
If there's no initial sketch or whatever to help the artist, wow !


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Paintings

Gentle Rhinoceros

"Gentle Rhino"
Acrylic Painting on Canvas

the horn took forever and I still can't achieve the super shiny metallic result
For this I used Titanium white and Payne's grey
and a very light touch of Cadmium yellow light (super thin) on where the light hits on the horns.

just having fun with photoshop ;p

added color on rhino's face, titanium white, mars black, burnt sienna

next is adding more color in the rhino's face
It's a combination of adding color with dry brush, scumbling, anything really :)
it was all "try this and try that" to see what works.

adding wrinkle lines

after this, I used a soft round brush to soften the top part of the wrinkle lines and maybe add some more highlights underneath the wrinkle lines, when necessary
oh and I did the eyes.

and done :

closeup :

Painting Total time :
1 day + 15.5 hours
done in 9 different days in the span of 27 days

what I still want to learn : how to achieve that realistic metallic-stainless steel horn

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Learning to paint shiny objects

I've never really done still life
so I'm trying to learn how to do shiny objects,
in particular metal/stainless steel right now

I was just browsing youtube and found this video
it's a painting of jugs, not metal, but kinda shiny
it's interesting how the artist blends color by dabbing with a sponge
it's a whole lot of dabbing....but it works :)
watch here


I also found this artist who does impressive still life
M Collier (works in oil)

and here's my attempt / practice to paint a shiny metallic-stainless steel horn for my next rhino painting.

see what I mean ? I can't get it to shine *pulling hair*
I only used Titanium white, mars black or payne's gray, so.....
I so wanna learn painting shiny object.... what's the secret ?

and another artist
whose technique and color I like
Vivienne St Clair

(images belong to the respective owners)

in the mean time, I'm still struggling how to paint a very shiny metal :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ostrich & Dragonfly painting

Baby Ostrich & Dragonfly
Acrylic on canvas
"I come in peace" could be the possible title :)
Reference photo from lady_carol and paintcrazy022 from wetcanvas (thx :D)

Initial sketch and Pink background (Liquitex' light portrait pink)
Time : 3 hours

Baby ostrich's face (beak included)
Payne's grey, Titanium white
a touch of light portrait pink & raw sienna
Time : 10.5 hours in 4 days

I was gonna go for the dramatic effect, just the baby ostrich looking up and that's it, but.....

something was kinda missing, so I added a dragonfly :)
Time : 3-3.5 hours

close up of the dragonfly
wings : Payne's grey and Titanium white

Total time :
16-17 hours in 6 days in the span of 13 days

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Peacock Painting

Peacock Painting
Acrylic on 450g/m2 canvas

I really dunno the affects of the different weights/thickness of canvas.....
I saw this canvas and they're sold in different canvas weight, so I chose the "heaviest" one available just to see.
quality, durability, anyone ?

Used a pallette knife and that leftover pint of white winsor newton paint that was too dry and chunky to use with a brush.
I just pressed the paint with the pallette knife onto the canvas, kinda like using a gesso
now at least I know that my almost-dry-chunky white paints won't get wasted :)

Sadistic looking peacock, for fun ;)
Time : 1 hour sketch
then I added messy yellow+white background

Filled in the blue and did the head
Time : 2.5 hours
Blue : Ultramarine blue + a lil bit of Cerulean blue + black here and there

added more blue on the body
Time : 2 hours
did the crown (is it called the crown ?)
Time : 4 hours

started on the lower part of the body
Time : 11 hours n 40 mins
yuppp... lots of staring and wondering what to do
for the greenish feather on the upper of the lower body,
I was tempted to buy cobalt turquoise because I didn't know what color to use
but I finally used
titanium white + ultramarine blue as base
then glaze it with thin layer of phtalo green
and the yellowish highlights, not yellow, but light green from cad lemon light + emerald green



Total time :
21 hours 10 mins
done in 6 days
in the span of 10 days
(photos are a bit darker than the actual painting though)
reference photo by stalksthedawn from wetcanvas (thx :D)

Will try to improve on the technique when doing another peacock in the future.
I want to learn how to achieve that glistening glimmer shiny peacock feather.
and I really should learn the names of body parts/feathers of the peacock instead of saying the green part, the blue part, etc ;p

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