I recently discovered the work of Karin Jurik. I think TJ posted a link to her website and I was hooked on her mug shots. She paints mugshots as warm-ups prior to doing other work. They appealed to me because they were small, the photos are public domain, and there are a lot of interesting faces to choose from. The down side is most of the photos are not great quality. But I figured at 59¢ for a 4”x4” ampersand board and a very minimal amount of paint, I could have some fun practicing before I really try to tackle portraits of loved ones (which is something I’d like to do) after I download and watch Mark’s portrait video.

So here is my first attempt at a portrait and of painting from a photograph. This photo of the original and my painting side by side reveal so many mistakes that I didn’t pick up when painting. But I had a great time doing this and already I’ve discovered things I’d do differently on my next one.

Thank you Savannah for pointing out in my tomato painting that there are lots of colors in white if you really look. I kept that in mind as I painted this woman’s hair.

Please feel free to critique. I do see a lot of mistakes here already but I’m sure not all and it’s great to have other eyes check out my work. :)



  • CinD

    A fantastic 4x4 portrait. Difficult to do on such a small space. You have achieved a wonderful likeness of the subject.

    Suggestions: Complexion and lips a little too red. Bridge of the nose highlight too wide.
    Eyes too big. Shadow lines and brows too dark.

    As a fun thing to do you must be learning heaps at little expense. Well done.


  • Thanks Denis,

    Your observations were so helpful. I missed the width issue with the nose, but saw it the minute I read your comment! I am having fun with the mini painting. It doesn' take as long or feel too overwhelming, especially since there is a lot of yard and garden work happening in my corner of the world right now.

    Browsing now for an interesting subject to try for the next one.

    :) Cindy
  • 4" WOW =D> =D> What about Trying the self portrait you post in this forum. Great job.Thanks for sharing.
  • I find her quite frightening I wonder what her crime was? :-S Good job on the likeness I think you have captured her overall expression really well. How long did it take you to paint?
  • billj said:

    What about Trying the self portrait you post in this forum.

    Hhmmm… every artist should paint one I think … I could fix my double chin and fill in the wrinkles ;), really, it’s a good idea! Thanks Billj :).
    Pop said:

    I find her quite frightening I wonder what her crime was? :-S

    I agree with the frightening thing! Sometimes it tells the crime and others it doesn’t, hers wasn’t revealed. I picked her because the photo was pretty good and I wanted to do the hair and red shirt and lips. I didn’t realize the eyes were pretty creepy until I started working (shiver) 8-X . It took me about 6 hours to paint over three days. Thank you Pop for commenting :).

  • CinD, wow, what a great job you did on this small portrait! I also think painting these for practice is a good idea. Her hair is great. That couldn't have been easy. Good job.
  • nice paint,but this woman scare me lol,great hair :-B
  • Thanks Ronna and Elena the hair was an interesting challenge it seemed the more paint I added the better, but I do see a lot of mistakes. I kept in mind Savannah’s advice about lots of colors in white and that helped me tremendously.

    I wouldn’t want to meet this gal in a dark alley… I’m sure she could take me… I’m pretty wimpy! :))
  • That is one scary looking woman!! You captured her perfectly! ;;)
  • Just gotta say I'm impressed with the hair and small scale. Very nice! And a bit scary.
  • Thank you Shirley and ebs :)
  • edited June 2013
    Great job...I'm impressed...I've tried to do small paintings of faces and they always turn out a disaster...very difficult to paint small for most people...

    I'm glad you could see all the colors in the white looks very realistic...

    One of my first "people" paintings was of a South American lady....she was on the ugly side but I found her face fascinating.....the finished painting was in a gallery in Sedona, Az and the curator told me that this painting attracted lots of attention but he suggested that if I'd painted her face "pretty"....I would of sold it! He missed the whole point....and I was disappointed that he couldn't see the beauty in ugly...anyway...I still have the painting and love it...
  • Thank you Savannah.
    Interesting story re: your South American lady painting and the curator’s suggestion. I usually find beautiful perfect faces boring. It’s the imperfections that draw me in and cause me to look longer. A few years ago I got to see a show of Martin Schoeller’s large scale photograph portraits of celebrity’s/famous people. His work made me realize I’ve been conditioned to seeing the manipulated, perfected photograph. I found the show very fascinating and a little unnerving. Guess we’re becoming so accustomed to idealized and manipulated images that reality makes us a bit uncomfortable. :-/
  • edited June 2013
    Cin_D, amazing Work. I agree with all that posted. =D> =D> :x
  • edited June 2013
    Thank you Cynthia :)
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