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Portrait Challenge BLOG

edited June 2017 in General Discussion
Someone suggested a new challenge and someone else suggested portraits.  Well I am always up for a portrait, but who to paint?  Well ourselves of course!  You can paint from life or a picture and choose the very best look you can muster.  I will just try not to break the mirror!!  Maybe we can get @some to moderate since he is so good at it.  Is anyone interested?  Whataya say?  End of September?


  • What's the time frame going to be on this? I'm up for it!
  • Can we please do it portrait or self-portrait? 
  • Great! Self portraits will be a good test for everyone.
  • edited June 2017
    I agree with the self portrait, I am going in this direction already anyhow and this will help get me started in the right direction in oil painting. I also like the end of September, that's if we get going on this soon, 4 months is good time frame. I have much apprehension, no so confident doing this in less amount of time.
  • I am fine with portraits or self portraits because some people do not want to reveal their identity on the net, for good reason.  I hope that will increase participation.  Make sure you have permission to use the image.  For the record, if you can stand it, you have permission to paint me and I will provide a photo of a model who agrees. Also, it's ok if we set a longer timeline.  
  •  With regard to the self portrait, this may be an image of younger self, yes?
  • @Forgiveness, it's against the rules to have somebody else paint your self portrait.
  • I'm interested, sounds fun.
  • I promised a subject you can paint and here she is.  I took the pictures and own the copyrights so you are free to paint it.  The model also agreed to have her image used for this purpose.  You can also use any of the photos of me that I posted in the Let me Draw your Portrait thread.  Let me reiterate that there are no requirements and no rules.  Paint anyone you choose.  I just want to make it easy for you. We can start now and the deadline is October 15.  Also, feel free to post WIP's and get help.  Its all in the family.  I promise to do my loosest painting yet for this challenge.  It will be an absolute mess I am sure :-)  I cannot wait to see what you do!
  • Thank you, October the 15th it is.
  • FlattyFlatty admin
    The flexible lead time is awesome for me:-) I'm in
  • I'm going to try. October 15 sounds far enough away to be not too scary. I've never done a portrait. The thought gives me the heebie jeebies. But I would like one day to be able to do portraits. As they say, do that of which you are afraid and you'll no longer be afraid. Or something like that. I'll give it a go.
  • tassieguy said:
    I'm going to try. October 15 sounds far enough away to be not too scary. I've never done a portrait. The thought gives me the heebie jeebies. But I would like one day to be able to do portraits. As they say, do that of which you are afraid and you'll no longer be afraid. Or something like that. I'll give it a go.
  • Sorry Mike, lot going on now. 
  • I think this is great.  We will miss you @some but you can participate vicariously through @tassieguy. I see @DawnTup has joined us.  We need more women involved.  Let's all try to recruit them.
  • One thing I must say that don't publish photos of your work more than once. If you don't like the photo that you posted earlier, you can delete the photo and upload new one in the same space. Voting gets impacted. Let it be the same post.
  • I like it.  It sounds wonderful.
  • Flatty said:
    I'm going away on vacation next week and that will give me the time to get the perfect photo to paint from for this challenge :-) I plan to paint a portrait of my teenage son Mikey . 
    @Flatty ; Will you be using your new full frame camera?  Do you mind saying what lenses you'll be using to take the portrait photos of your son?  I'm told that 85mm on a telephoto lens is good for portraits because of the slightly flattened perspective which is supposed to be flattering.  Have yet to try it though.  Summer 
  • FlattyFlatty admin
    @Summer, i believe it's a 28-110 mm lens. 
  • SummerSummer -
    edited June 2017
    @Flatty ; I ran across some good advice the other day, and I'm sure you know already, that on a full-frame camera, a setting of about 80-85mm, 135mm if you want to bring subject closer, will be best for milling around a family gathering to get some good candid shots of your son without him even knowing it at times.  I look forward to seeing how this develops when you get back to us.  50mm is good for close-ups with him posing, probably more what you are looking for.  Anyway, Happy vacation with that new camera of yours!  :)  Summer
  • Can't commit yet. But Kaustav's idea sounds good. Let participants post their portrait WIP under their own discussion and only post their finished entry under the "Official" Portrait Challenge discussion (we should wait and open that discussion later)IMO. This will reduce the confusion on comments and which portrait are they referencing. Comments can be placed on the artist's WIP discussion even after the finished portrait is posted in the challenge thread.
  • Sounds like a good idea, @BOB73. That way we can get feedback and update as often as we like before posting the finished painting on the challenge page for votes. Having never tried a portrait and feeling very challenged about it I think I'm going to need lots of help. I have no idea even how to start. I guess the best thing to do would be to watch Mark's portrait video. 
  • @tassieguy let me tell you a secret. A face portrait is the easiest thing to do. I failed only once in my 5 attempts, that too not in overall shape.
  • @tassieguy, You're really good at landscapes so just think of the face as a landscape turned vertical with skies (background) on both sides, the vegetation (hair-eyebrows) doesn't have much green, the pools (eyes) are in valleys and there is a mountain (nose) with two caves over a long trench with burms on both sides (mouth). As with landscapes, shadows and contrast make for a more interesting painting.
  • Thanks, @BOB73. That's a good way of looking at it. :)
  • @tassieguy, don't forget what a wonderful rhinocerous you painted.  That's pretty much a portrait.
  • Thanks, @PaulB. Even though it was a triceratops at least it looked like an animal. :)
  • @tassieguy Triceratops, I remember now.  I think you could win this, if you get a thylocene to sit for a portrait.
  • @tassieguy, don't paint a thylacine, paint a Tasmanian Tiger instead but not for the portrait challenge. Did you know T.T. had a pouch like a kangaroo and a large jaw which carried 46 large, sharp teeth and it could open its mouth wider than any other mammal? Unfortunately they are also extinct. The BigFoot chasers look for them in their spare time anyway.
  • SummerSummer -
    edited June 2017
    I had to look up two of the animals on Google Images and thought they would add to the conversation if I were to post images of them here.  I deleted them soon afterwards, but @MikeDerby has inspired me to post them again.  Thanks Mike.   :)

  • Help! Portrait painting is so  taxing..... in one inch there are like 4 different values. each face like a 50 values! how do i go about it without going crazy?
  • @anwesha. the solution to your problem is BIG canvas and Little brushes.
  • @BOB73 little brushes! that's what I like to hear  =) . Already started on a 12x16 . 

    I feel portraiture is so different from scenery paintings. more like still lifes.
  • FlattyFlatty admin
    @anwesh, I would recommend Marks portraiture lesson. Very informative;-)
  • @Flatty : Sounds like the right kind investment if i intend to pursue portraiture seriously.
    Am on my first one now, to see how much I enjoy doing it.

    To everyone who has tried it already, is it more difficult than landscape and still life? 
  • edited June 2017
    That's a very thoughtful way of  describing portraiture @BOB73 . its so much more than just the technicalities. you mentioned the pressure, but your words are actually calming. Thank you. 
  • edited June 2017
    @BOB73, I've never thought of it like that but I think you've hit the nail on the head. Your explanation accounts for my reticence to paint people. 
  • edited June 2017
    I like what BOB73 mentions above and found self portrait to be good exercise, yet more challenging than portrait of someone else, and much more satisfying. And for me I have not only the artist's curse to work with but my whole entire life flashes before my eyes, so many memories, at me until finished. And it's about working it all out to something satisfying, the technicalities are very helpful. Getting feedback from this forum is valuable help along the way. I will be taking what I have learned about portraiture here over the months and from Mark over last few years and applying it, taking it out for a test ride. And I feel very nervous at something new and ready to go at it, as I have many notes saved up to follow and much confidence with drawing skills now and mustn't forget about the fun of it, enjoying it, in the lightness. A new element since my last is, I have to live with it afterward.
  • Self portraits are giving yourself the freedom to try things you might not want to attempt with another person's image. JeffAllen's and Kaustav's self portraits I think might be examples of that.
  • I will paint a portrait. I will also fill the bill for a female in the ranks.  Can't wait to get started.  Just hope I can figure out when and where to post the progress.
  • @oilpainter1950
    Great to have you.  We will put a thread in "Post your paintings " any time now.  But we just got going so there is no hurry.
  • @MikeDerby where to submit the photos? Can you please create a thread?
  • For those who do not wish to create their own WIP thread, please use this one as the blog.  If you plan to post a lot of WIP shots and discussions it is probably best to start your own thread so it won't get lost here. For official entries, there is a new thread in post your paintings.  Have fun!
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