Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about how to use this forum.

DMP number 2 - Ken

hi this is my second attempt or just about to start this portrait of ken Dodd - ken is an old comic from my hometown liverpool UK I will post my progress and would ask for all positive and negative comments 
i also just got my first set of Geneva oils and I am really excited to be using oils again



  • "What a wonderful day for picking up a brush and painting Ken Dodd!"

    Be careful - although you have measured carefully (eyes, for example), the drawing goes over the lines, a little, which would enlarge the eyes unless you're careful.  Ken's right ear is not in the photo, which means you don't need to paint it either.  But you drew it.  The shoulder slopes need adjustment.  There is a neck bulge below his left ear you need to capture.

    I look forward to seeing this develop.  Go slowly!
  • alsart

    Looking good. You will need to adjust the lower eye lid shapes or the portrait will no look like Ken Dodd.


  • @PaulB love the comment "what a wonderful day" 
    his right ear just about shows peaking through his wild hair I will go slow thanks 
    @dencal you are both right about the eyes I will labor over this 
  • Laying the dark down now 
  • Hi - I have added the face tone but it came out to bright I will need to bring it down a little -any feed back as I am not sure if I have lost my way a little with the eyes & nose  etc,...
    The masking tape just covers up some oil I laid down to early, school boy error.

  • @alsart are you color checking?  I would say that is the most important thing - especially with this type of photograph.  Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can help you with the process because I an no portrait artist.  The values seem off but that canvas tone could be throwing it off - I think you bit off a very difficult challenge with this - I personally feel like a monochromatic painting could be quite lovely with this type of subject matter.  I see a lot of white in your progress photo and no white in your reference photo that is why I suggested going back to the basics like Mr. Carder says about values.  Hopefully, some of these fine portrait artists will chime in to help you proceed.  Thank you for sharing your progress.
  • @Julianna - yes my values are off, you are right i need to go back to the mixing table, I am finding it very hard to get that old "cream" off white look of the photo I will re-watch the mixing video again - thanks
  • Ok - Now this is looking a bit scary, i got the value down a little but still can not match the photo with my mixes, maybe I took on too much for a first timer ?

    Thoughts ?

  • @alsart, I think the best plan is to put this one aside for now, and take on a simpler exercise (not monochrome, not a portrait), that will get you practising with your color checker and color matching.

    I would suggest some fruit that doesn't rot quickly (no pear/peach/banana/berries).  Perhaps a wine bottle and an apple or two.  Arrange it to your satisfaction, put a plain background in place, and get an accurate drawing of it based on use of a proportional divider, then mix up a color group and lay in the first colors.

    This is just a standard DMP approach, but the color mixing and drawing practice will be valuable to you.  Watch Mark's videos and observe in particular the slow care he takes in getting the drawing right, then matching colors.
  • @PaulB I think your right, I only have a small place to paint on my balcony (lanai as we say in Hawaii) so still life is awkward and I prefer reference photos  - i will take a step back and try some simple fruit - good solid advice thanks

  • Hi @alsart, that is one wild photo! @PaulB's advice is sound - you will likely gain more from something with a simpler form and some colour, and where the accuracy of the drawing and rendering is less critical. If you do carry on with this one a bit more, try just focusing on one small area at a time, concentrating of getting the values right there, and trying to forget about what the subject actually is. My favourite comedian from that era is Tommy Cooper. He can reduce me to tears.
  • So what started out as a "wonderful day to paint ken Dodd" finished with a terrible day for Edward scissor  hands, or as my wife said father jack from the father ted series! Funny but good fun

  • Father jack for those that don't know 
  • I don't think I will ever live this down, that's it,.. I am leaving Maui and going to Craggy Island - Hic,..
  • alsart  Have you ever considered that you are on to something?  You could paint from any reference photo in the world and never have to get copyright permission because your unique interpretation is not only not recognizable from the original photo but is a highly desirable masterpiece in and of itself.  I envy your talent and position.  Summer 
  • @Summer - So if i go back and replace the Ken Dodd photo with Father Jack - then I AM A GENIUS!..
  • SummerSummer -
    edited September 2017
    alsart You are clearly already a genius.  You have created a face that has never seen the light of day before--even unlike the ones you had in mind.  It's like what Michelangelo used to do with marble--he liberated the figure from the marble that imprisoned it.  Sometimes, it was even a surprise to him.  It's like when you are brainstorming and idea and three ideas come to you all at once.  You have to write them down quick before you forget them.  But you still go with the one you were after in the first place, and complete your original goal, but re-visit the other two ideas later.  Hope this makes sense.  Summer

    P.S.  I don't mean this in any disrespectful way, but it is like your end result of the painting above had a mind of its own.  And, it is good. in my opinion.  Not what you intended, but that will come later.  I painted the same way for many years.  I used to ask myself:  "I wonder what's on my mind?"  Then I would begin and let one thing lead to another and work with it until it became something.  Sometimes I used a point of reference, like you have here, other times, not.  I hope you won't throw these away.  Sign them and think of them as the result of tapping in to your higher self as you learn the DMP method.  Just a suggestion.  Summer 
  • @Summer - just brilliant, thanks on-wards and forwards

  • Ken - Sadly gone last night
  • I thought of you when I read about his passing!
  • Richard_P said:
    I thought of you when I read about his passing!
    Same here
  • Sorry to learn this news.
Sign In or Register to comment.