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beginner in Philly

Hi, I'm Marta, and I'm a fiction writer, but in the past year or so I've had a yen to make visual art. Until just recently I hadn't done anything but by a few supplies and think how nice it would be to know how to use them. About two months ago I found an inexpensive (I'm totally broke) online drawing class that was great, and it was a revelation to me that one can actually learn to draw (in middle age no less!). I mean that I have no sense at all that I have natural talent, and at 53, you would think I would have discovered it if I did. But there's so much one can just learn, and then practice. So I began obsessively sketching, especially this close-up of my son's face, which I snapped on my phone outside the security check-in at the airport as he was about to fly away on a vacation. It's a terrible photo, but I enlarged it dramatically and it helped me to see all the different values in his skin. Of course now I want to paint, and before I even got started, I found this site. I already had a beginner set of Winsor and Newton oils (I will buy some Geneva paints just as soon as I have some money!), and I'm so excited to begin mixing colors. The thing is, I will have to paint from a photo because my son is 15 and has ADHD and will never sit for me for any length of time. I have no background in photography, and all I have is an iPhone (SE), and I need some tips for taking a good photo of my son's face close-up for color-matching. I will also post this in the photography forum, but if anyone can give me tips or send me to a video on the site that would help, I'm specifically interested in how to photograph for a portrait, specifically in order to color match skin tones. 

I'm really excited to find these forums. I feel like a junkie, now that I have started making visual art, I can't get enough (and my novel is suffering .... but oh well!)

Julianna

Comments

  • dencaldencal -
    edited August 16
    Marta

    Welcome to the Forum

    especially this close-up of my son's face, which I snapped on my phone outside the security check-in at the airport as he was about to fly away on a vacation. It's a terrible photo, but I enlarged it dramatically and it helped me to see all the different values in his skin.
    Close ups with phone cameras bring their own distortions that look even worse in a painting. Overly exaggerated nose and curved lines where straight lines should be.  Notice the warm fog over the body and face. Also the backlighting has washed out values and details. Try single window side lighting. Take photo from six feet away and enlarge to draw and paint (gets rid of zoom distortion).

     Of course now I want to paint, and before I even got started, I found this site. 

    You are in the right place.

    I already had a beginner set of Winsor and Newton oils (I will buy some Geneva paints just as soon as I have some money!), and I'm so excited to begin mixing colors. . 

    If using Winton, they are a student set and made up with multiple pigments (labels refer to these as hues), lots of filler and not much pigment strength. Useable but unpredictable mixing results, lots of mud, lots of paint needed to make changes.

     I have no background in photography, and all I have is an iPhone (SE), and I need some tips for taking a good photo of my son's face close-up for color-matching. I will also post this in the photography forum, but if anyone can give me tips or send me to a video on the site that would help, I'm specifically interested in how to photograph for a portrait, specifically in order to color match skin tones

    If you press this button at the top of this page: 

    Mark has kindly provide lots of free videos on photography for portraiture.


    Denis


    martaJulianna
  • edited August 27
    Hi, @marta. Welcome to the forum. Mark has a video in which he talks about the "myth of talent". It's 99% dedication and determination. Anyone can acquire the technique necessary to express their aesthetic feelings in paint. And you are never too old to start.   :)
  • Thank you both so much!
  • Welcome Marta, your sketch is great. You will be painting masterpieces in no time. Just follow Mark's course and listen to @dencal.
    marta
  • I hate W and N. Good for underpaintings only..maybe.
  • W&N are fine for starting out. Learn how to make slow-dry-medium (SDM) from Mark's supply list.
  • If you think about how long a tube of paint lasts, personally I don't see it worth it to buy student quality.
  • I'm going to buy geneva paints as soon as I have saved enough money. I'm trying to be patient ;-)
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