Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Dog's Christmas

A Dog's Christmas
12 in x 9 in
I couldn't resist taking a picture of our dog Tipsy with her new Christmas toy. Named Tipsy due to the white she has on the tip of her tail, not because of the way she walks. I liked how her black coat looked on top of this red comforter that she took over as her new place to sleep. Also, I liked the contrast of the light blue toy. I tried to make the background visible but not take away from the main focus. Now that I see it posted I wonder if I should tone down the table cloth.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A note to Christy Sich

The artist to who I owe the pleasure of painting is Christy Sich, see previous post. You can see the painting she did of me on the dsfdf blog. I'd like to say to Christy, you did an excellent job on getting my likeness, my daughter agrees! What medium did you work in? I know it was quite a challenge to work from the photo because the view was from slightly above me, which I know getting the perspective correct was probably difficult, but you mastered it well. I hope to see more of your work on Karin's future challenges. Also, thanks for providing me with a great reference photo for this portrait swap.

Portriat Swap Update

To help me improve on my next portrait, I plan to put down the process, and then to critique the final painting. I wish I could align the images horizontally as it would make the mistakes more visible but that could take me another hour just to figure that out, computer geek I am NOT. So, here goes...

First I used photoshop to make some additional images, one b & w, one lightened, and one narrowed down to a few extreme different colors. I do this to help me simplify the image. Which if painting from life would be akin to squinting at the person.

A charcoal drawing was done to try and get correct proportions and establish light and darks.

To this I started using color, and this is where I usually lose the initial drawing. About three hours into this stage I completely wiped out what I had done. This left me with a mid tone of muddy color but some of the dark charcoal lines of the features remained.

Now striving to keep things more simple I started again using fewer colors.

After posting the photograph and my painting, I have noticed some obvious errors, which I have told myself before to take the time to photograph my work at it's almost- completed- stage and compare it to the photograph before calling it done. OK, so maybe I'll listen to myself next time.

The errors I have noticed are as follows; the face is too long, I have lost the slight tilt of the head, which leads to the horizontal alignment to the eyes being too straight, they should have a slant down to our left. The alignment of the bottom portion of her nose, and her mouth should follow this same slant. I do not have the correct shape for her left eyebrow. I should have gone darker on the shadow side of the face.

What I will take from this is to keep adjusting for correct proportions and line-angles of the facial features before I add detail and more color.

I have to say when I paint from life I find I am better at getting the likeness of the individual. Which is why I am so grateful to have the time to go to the Atlanta Artists Center and have three hours to paint from a model once a week.