Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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 !


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