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WIP - 2nd DMP Portrait - finished

A self portrait (of sorts) -- our wedding pic from 4 years ago.  Two days of painting so far.  Day 1 (1st photo) and Day 2 (2nd photo) and represents about 2 hours each day. Trying to start with subject instead of background for a change and working on color blocking. First time painting teeth.  They need to be smaller and a bit less white. Eyes are also too bright still.  Will tone down tomorrow and work on the features on the other face (I'll let you guess as to which one is me!)

All comments welcome!



  • Bancroft414

    Looking good.


  • I can’t guess, but I want to know!
  • @Boudicca here is a hint, I don't play sports!
  • @Boudicca here is a hint, I don't play sports!
    Those tanned feet from an earlier painting could only belong to one of these ladies.

    The photo is more smiley than the painting.  Nice painting - I look forward to watching you tweak it to perfection.  Welcome back @Bancroft414.
  • oh, I’m just gonna guess-50% chance of getting it right - Dark haired woman?
  • Nice photo to work from, @Bancroft414. You've made a very good start.
  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited September 2017
    Welcome back. Great start. what are you "blocking in". One on the right looks like Dinah Shore.
  • I'll say the lovely lady on the right;-) 

    great photo BTW!!
  • BOB73 said:
    Welcome back. Great start. what are you "blocking in". One on the right looks like Dinah Shore.
     My probably inaccurate way of saying I'm trying to work from shapes to detail 

  •  Mostly painting it upside down today. Trying to fill the canvas at this point. Lots lots lots yet to do to get the likeness right. This is definitely at the ugly stage but I've been here before so pushing through. 
  • edited October 2017
    Looking good, @Bancroft414. The background is really taking shape. This is going to be a lovely portrait. 
  • I think the likeness is very good! This is going to be a wonderful tribute of your nuptials  
  • Looks like two of the best smiles to grace the canvas at the same time. Great progress, keep going.
  • Here is a peek at a bit more progress. Planning to work more on it this afternoon. Still lots of adjusting to do to every part of it...I'm waiting to hear back following a job interview and painting is a great distraction from the stress of waiting!

    I will post questions seeking advice when I get the canvas covered. 

  • Nice work.  Fantastic color matching.  That dress/shirt pattern is really well done.  Your eyes are more open in the painting.

    Oh, and your easel is upside down.
  • PaulB said:

    Oh, and your easel is upside down.

    @PaulB Thanks for the other critique points!
  • PaulB said:

    Oh, and your easel is upside down.

    @PaulB Thanks for the other critique points!
    Oh, I was just teasing, since I was already being super critical.

  • edited October 2017
    Looks great, @Bancroft414. Just minor details to adjust. For example the teeth on the lady on our right should get slightly darker to the left. Also her right eye looks slightly too big. And there are a few highlights to go in the hair. Apart from that I can't see anything left to do. It's a very nice portrait. Thanks for letting us watch it progress. :)
  • This is going to be just beautiful. You’ve totally captured the happiness of your special day.  Those beaming smiles say it all!  :)
    I’m guessing you’re the lady with the dark hair ? 
    Don’t keep us in suspense any longer !  :)

  • Thank you! @PaulB, @tassieguy, and @Hilary  -- I'm the blonde one. PaulB guessed correctly earlier, the feet painting as a clue.  Good sleuthing @PaulB

    Question, is there anything about the background I should adjust because it distracts or doesn't work?
  • Hi @Bancroft414 ;
    I think your background is nice but perhaps if you blur it out a little it might work better. 
    As the focal point is the two of you , I don’t think you need such a detailed and strong background. 
    It IS competing for attention and you don’t want the viewer’s eye to be distracted. 
    Maybe just blur it out and soften it and see what you think. 
    I’m looking at it again and I think that massive palm tree behind you is too dominant. 
    Would be interesting to know what others think. 
  • The palm had a subtle presence in the photo, but with the wider scope of the painting, it becomes a giant venus fly trap.  The color of it is a little lighter and greener in the photo, perhaps lightening it would reduce the doom aspect?
  • edited October 2017
    Thank you @Hilary and @PaulB  - Here is the broader photo I am working off of on my laptop... If I soften the lines of the background and add more fronds and soften them it may not stand out so much like a venus flytrap.

  • Help me play "find the difference!" I'm happiest with the background on the right, my shoulder and the noses. Least happy with rocks on the left, my hair (looks frizzy) and my left eye (on our right) still too big! I'm going to do one more sessions of edits and then declare this done. 
  • This is definitely better , whatever you’ve
    done with that palm tree has worked. 
    I agree about the might need a bit of taming and the right eye a fraction reduced.  
    You’d swear I knew what I was talking about :)  but I have a suggestion regarding the rocks on the left. 
    If you were to just have fewer bigger rocks , I think it might be less distracting to the viewer’s eye. They’re too fussy. I’d soften them out a bit , too. 
    As it is , my eye is going straight to them and then on to the two of you. Not what you want to happen. 
    But it’s a truly gorgeous painting of you both and nothing can detract from that. It just exudes happiness , it really does. 

  • Some diffs:

    - I think your left eye is a little large, and th iris is not circular enough.
    - Your earring hangs at a different angle.
    - You have a tooth in the right side of your mouth that is not in the photo, or is dark, can't tell.
    - The eyeglasses are missing, but that doesn't matter.  It does leave the hand needing some more dark values.
    - Wife has slightly more hair behind/below her right ear.
    - At your eye level, you have painted a bit more hair volume.
    - Left eyebrow is a bit heavy, and long.

    You've done a fine job, good likenesses.  I would stop already.
  • thank you @PaulB and @Hilary for spotting issues and suggesting solutions!  Very helpful!!
  • @Bancroft414   I think you have done a fine job.  I have resigned myself to knowing I do not enjoy portraits - I think it would take me a year to get one correct unless I go for abstract so take my "spot the difference" for what it's worth.

    I think that there will always be something of tinier and tinier fractions with "spot the difference" so it could be endless.

    1. I think you caught your wife's likeness almost immediately.
    2. I think your features overall are a tad too big - your eyes are slightly more open in your painting - your face is slightly wider in your painting - if you draw a line down the egg shape of your face, you will see how your nose and mouth are not quite in sync with the midline.  
    3.  turning it upside down, it now seems that perhaps maybe only your mouth is off.  It tilts more in line with the rest of your face in the photo - your painting is a tad off.

    I LOVE your rendition of your blouse!!!  Your wife looks perfect - which is probably understandable as it is so much more difficult to paint ourselves.  
    I also wish the rocks and cacti were blurred more or not so distracting - I find the cacti distracting me more than the rocks.  The rest of the background is perfection (for my eye)

    The most important thing is what is bugging YOU?  Are you ready to frame it or do you want to perfect it some?  I think you are doing an outstanding job and I appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable and share with us.   Good job!

  • I wouldn’t change a single think about it , it’s gorgeous. 
    And adding that pink flowering shrub on the left has added extra warmth to the painting. 
    Well done , you’ve done a fantastic job with this. 
    I hope you hang it somewhere prominent so that people can enjoy it. 
    If you’d entered it in the competition, I bet it would have done really well. 

  • Very nice.  There were a lot of challenges in this one, and you are fearless about difficult portraits.  Good idea with the plant, to reduce your concern about the rocks.  Nice also to see your early succulent painting on the wall.
  • Well done, Bancroft414!  It's a beautiful portrait. I agree that adding the bougainvillea was a great idea. Those rocks on their own were a distraction. This deserves to be framed and hung. :)
  • Thanks @erg! Question, would you recommend getting rid of my hand? It distracts I think--it definitely doesn't add. Thoughts?
  • I just watched a video by Stephen Baumann about the hand. he said it is very difficult no matter how hard you try for it not to look like a claw if it is fingers flat out. if you bend the fingers a bit then it will look like a hand. He has two videos on portraits I believe it is in the first one.
  • edited October 2017
    I agree with the above, "if you bend the fingers a bit then...", I like the gesture of the hand in the photo as is, but without the sun glasses in hand if you wish. If you pay special attention to the values in there, it would work well. I would use my proportional divider to measure carefully as well. So far your physical gesture and the anatomy underneath makes sense that your hand is there, and the folds in the cloth on your wife's shoulder is formed to have your hand in place. It would appear awkward without the hand there. A wonderful portrait and amazing to see you do another since your first so quickly.
  • The hand reaffirms the left leaning slant (cuddle) composition but it needs more work, so abstract the hand or add the sun glasses - the glasses actually support the tan values in your partners face and a one finger painted grip on the glasses is stronger than a "loose" placed hand - but I like this very much, I am sorry I did not contribute to the thread sooner 
  • Thank you @Forgiveness, @Kschaben, and @alsart- I will rework rather than eliminate the hand. Your observations about the contribution to composition and suggestions for how to approach resolving are most insightful and helpful!

    BTW I smiled everytime I read the word "sunglasses" -- the glasses are actually magnification lenses so I could see the written text of the vows I had written #olderbridechallenges!
  • @movealonghome - Thank you! She didn't like it at all at first but I think it's grown on her. In the final stages she was able to point out specific areas of the left side of my face (our right) that needed correcting. 

    I am still going to paint my friend Rob holding the martini glass - that will be next after I'm done with a suculant I'm working on. I couldn't get PhotoShop to cooperate so I'm going to use the photo where his hands are together and adjust the verticle lines in my drawing. I spent hours trying to resize the hand and glass of the other photo and kept winding up with a mess. One of the issues is its not a super high resolution photo to begin with. I need to invest in a better camera!
  • its a very beautiful and vibrant portrait! you're already working on the hand so nothing else to suggest....
  • I forgot the other suggestion for painting the hand was to not paint the dark between the fingers, but tp paint the hand all one color and then add high lights on the tops where the light hits. i don't know from personal experience only from what that instructor said. if that helps any.
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