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 5 - Gorilla help



  • alsart said:
    Yes move on - any suggestions for my next attempt will be most welcome @PaulB
    Okay, I still feel you're going extremely quickly on these.  As Mark says, your first DMP should take two weeks, and your biggest problem should be paint drying on your palette.

    So choose a simple picture, such as a piece of fruit and a cup, on a simple background.  Plan to make an identical copy.  Is it artistically sophisticated?  No.  Is it going to produce a masterpiece?  No.  Willi t make you famous?  No.  It's all about practising on simple stuff first.

    Make a drawing that is perfectly proportioned.  Prove it to yourself with calipers, precision is important.  But I think your drawings are good, the color mixing is good, and the problems are putting paint on the canvas in the right place.  I can see it in the painting.

    Stop between steps, talk to us, show us.

    alsart said:
    One main issue - I find it very hard to paint fine detail with Oil - I actually think it is the tooth of my canvas, I have painted many fine works with Acrylics and have never had this issue before.
    Is it your brush being too big?  Probably not, Mark paints the dots in the highlight of an eye with a filbert.  Not sure how big your brush is - what are you using?  Put that fan brush away.

    Is the paint sliding around all over the canvas as you paint?  Paint on something with more tooth/pull, or use thicker paint by letting the palette dry a day or two first, like Mark does.

    We've seen your acrylic work, it's good.  I know you can do this.  But oil and DMP are different animals, so it must be like starting from scratch almost, which must be very frustrating.
  • PaulBPaulB -
    edited October 2017
    Hilary said:
    Would Paul consider giving his thoughts on how he would  proceed with this painting now were he to finish it ?
    I don't know how to proceed from here.  The drawing is good, the features are in the right place, but the color is not in the right place.  I think correctly placing paint over an existing painting would be very difficult.

    I have not exactly scaled these three images, but it's enough to make the point.  Note that all the features are in the right place, therefore the drawing is good.

    A. The shape in position A did not get painted quite right.  It's there, but not large enough.

    B. The lighter gray of the upper lip was not painted, although present and correct in the drawing.

    C. The dark/light lines below the eye are not rendered.  They are in the drawing.

  • @PaulB - thank you, my placement is all askew its plain to see, I am looking for another simple task to paint
  • Hi @alsart. @PaulB and others have given you lots of great advice which I am in total agreement with. The only thing I'll add is, if your intent is to capture a highly realistic likeness, then take heed of all the  messages about slowing down. The impression I get (and I might be wrong) is that you work on one area of the painting, then jump to another, then back again, continually working and reworking. To overcome that urge I pinched @tassieguy's approach of breaking the whole up into small bits, and then only focusing on those bits until they are completed to a point where I think they are done still following the dark-to-light rule, but applied locally. Once the canvas is covered you can then re-assess and re-visit any areas, but I find that is rarely needed. One side effect of working this way is it forces you to forget about the subject matter, so you can really concentrate on matching values and putting them exactly where they need to be - even at a very fine scale if required. Your drawing and mixing looks good, I just think you need to slow right down when it comes to placing the paint. We all paint differently so this might not mean much, but to give you an idea my first DMP painting took me over 80hrs.  
  • I agree with all the others. My first DMP attempts take a very long time and I didn't follow everything in the process and were abandoned. Once getting some pictures using the method completed I have been able to develop my own approach which works for me.

    Right now, I would also suggest doing something much simpler, taking your time for each step and posting after each step so we can help you. :)
  • edited October 2017
    Hey @alsart    I think it is fabulous your level of commitment and your love for art and the process.  Frankly, I think you chose an incredibly difficult subject reference but you can also learn a lot from it.   Please feel free to ignore my comment - I am in the throws of learning and I have spent countless hours watching videos, reading incredible books and watching very expensive oil painting how-to dvds and some of my best work is still about 15 years ago when I was loving what I was doing and not thinking and judging myself so much.  Lately, the more I am trying to learn, the more I think I should be perfecting something and instead, it is looking so amateurish.  I started taking private oil painting classes in the 3rd grade and that was MANY years ago.  I have gone through many stages and I embrace each one.

    It seems you are embracing the learning and that is the magic.  Hug yourself for that.  OK.  Now for the part that you can ignore if you wish.  You are ready to move on, no?  How about scrape that puppy with a palette knife and rub it after that with a Viva paper towel or something that won't leave lint.  You are going to have the most magnificent silhouette of your beautiful gorilla drawing.  Don't be afraid to rub it vigorously - whatever paint wanted to stain will still be there.  Now, either turn it backwards against a wall until you are ready to work on it again for a lesson or you can start immediately to tweak the beautiful silhouette on your canvas.  First off, squint your eyes - the middle of that gorilla's face is MUCH lighter in value that the outside.  I don't know photoshop but it is like a square of light silver (grey) on most of the eyebrow to nose level and then another triangle shape of that same value from the middle of the eyes to the bottom lip of that gorilla    I really think that the lightest value in the middle of that face is what was missing.

    As far as thick oil paint - I run into that often.  The best advice I saw from several amazing artists was to thin the color with mineral spirits slightly until it is like ink for the places you need a precise, thin line.  It dries very matt, very quickly but you can always oil out, use liquin or use any number of varnishes to bring the life back.  I would imagine with all these dark colors, you will need to oil out often.

    Anyway, chin up!  Embrace the learning.  Cheers to being creative and I appreciate your creative soul!!!

    An interesting podcast perhaps for you:     check out the 34 minute mark (thereabouts) - where he discusses scraping his paintings.  I found it fascinating.
  • @PaulB   that is so awesome that you were able to get those 3 screen shots side by side.  It just shows how outstanding the drawing is and how the middle face value is so much lighter.  Scraping is my new favorite tool when I am working and working on something.  I actually think @alsart is about 80% close to having his nice gorilla painting.  Your comment was most helpful.  

  • I like the final photo. Thing are a little more patterned. You learnt a lot I guess but the painting is not bad.
  • edited October 2017
    I agree with everything said above. The key point in all this is I think, SLOW DOWN! This is such a complex subject it would take me at least a week (if I were aiming for a high degree of realism) and I mean painting every day. If accuracy and a high degree of finish is your aim then this sort of picture can't be dashed off in a few sessions of a couple of hours. It couldn't by me, anyway.  But you've made a good start and I suspect learnt quite a bit with this painting. Keep at it.
  • Thanks everyone, real encouraging comments and I appreciate them all @Julianna @Kaustav @tassieguy @Roxy @Richard_P @PaulB @movealonghome
    I have decided to draw a line in the sand with this Gorilla and let it dry out - it will  be a reminder of all the valuable lessons here from everyone involved, and in the future I can look back and reflect, and maybe one day finish it - thanks all.

    I also understand that the DMP is a process and a very good one, and working at a slower pace will greatly advance me, that is what I intend to for my next project in oils (yet to be decided) I am changing my painting environment to better suit this approach.

    Again, thanks everyone and, this space,.....
  • You could use one of the examples photos of a jar or metal cup that Mark uses in his video / tutorial page. Then you would have something to compare with as Mark progresses with his painting.
  • alsart said:
    Yes move on - any suggestions for my next attempt will be most welcome @PaulB
    @Hilary ; - not giving up, just moving on.

    One main issue - I find it very hard to paint fine detail with Oil 

    I too found that fine detail was a problem and supper frustrating until I started using very small brushes (buy one of those inexpensive sets of 50 brushes in all sizes and shapes at Michaels for $9-- they are cheap but they work) and also "erasing" wet paint with a brush dipped and wiped off with solvent to expose the area I needed to "tweak" (e.g. the thorns or edges of leaves) it is very hard to paint fine detail with one color ontop of (or into) wet paint of another color. Wipe your brush frequently, and also try to lay your paint in thinner.  Play with detail as an exercise so you can get a better feel for how to tackle fine lines and such.  These are some of the things that helped me get from take I to take II of the succulent paintings (take a look at the thorns in painting #1 and #2 -- they are blobs and not sharp or pointy at all!!  I hope this is helpful.
  • Hi, you have had amazing advice for this painting. I love the subject you chose. I have wanted to paint a gorilla also ( I love to paint wildlife too) I think to tackle this one a grid and your drawing then work it slowly grid by grid. Step back about ten feet time to time to check your painting. 
    I have a hard to me slowing down also so don’t feel bad and don’t let a harder subject discourage you just set it aside to dry and work on other projects, (challenges  can improve skills.... I have failed many many times painting wildlife lol)
    come back to it later and try to capture the feeling and life of the animal.... especially in his eyes... that is the heart and soul of them so you will want to paint them so they appear life like
  • Thanks @jswartzart
    at this moment in time  I don't deserve the advice and expertise that this forum offers - I will be back with some stability in my future posts 
  • I should have clarified my comment-I’m sorry - I didn’t mean your painting failed- because it absolutely didn’t! I was only speaking about myself and the major flops I have done, just to express understanding in wanting to capture something but not feeling like I accomplished what I was trying to paint in any way shape or form... your gorilla is good and with a little tweak here and there it will be
  • My stupid phone keeps cutting off my comments midway sorry, meant your painting is great and we all want everyone to succeed because we have all been in the same boat and process of learning
  • @alsart ; The subject is so difficult, I wouldn't dare to paint it... so you did a very good job on this one... don't look back and I saw you have started the next one, thats great... !
  • @jswartzart and @EstherH - thanks my gorilla hangs on my wall drying staring at me and saying - you will get better,.
Sign In or Register to comment.