Portrait - Not my usual blended stuff

tjstjs -
edited November 2012 in Post Your Paintings
Started this 2 months ago and finally got time to finish it. I worked really hard NOT TO overblend. Tried adding some texture as well with just heavy paint. I didn't get as heavy with the paint in her body as I like but hopefully the next one. About 5-6 painting days in all.

Sort of cut off some of the pic on the right side when taking the photograph. It is more centered. Just gave up cause of our light so pretend it's there.

Method: All Mark's - palette, brushes, medium and approach

Questions - 1) What one thing do you like most about it if anything?
2) What do you like the least?
All crits welcome. Thanks for looking


  • Let me start by saying I've been a fan for a long time. I followed most of your work on the other site and have always been impressed.

    I love this painting. I see it as a great step forward from the other portraits you've done (and they were pretty damn good). For me, the best parts are the softness of the face and looseness of the hair. I've seen lots of paintings where it appears the artist was attempting to draw hair while painting.

    Well done! I can't wait to see the next one.

  • This is just stunning. Such a soft focus look with thick paint. Beautiful. I need to get a softer look to my portraits I feel. Every line is too sharp.
    Absolutely love what you've done here.

  • It's a wonderful painting TJ--and I'm especially fond of paintings of children. Mary Cassatt is a favorite of mine for that reason. As far as criticism--there is nothing significant to criticize, but on a magnified view, I see something that looks like a hair that goes from the corner of the child's left eye "s"-curving across the nose ending below the corner of her right eye. There is a similar, but fainter line running down from the side of her right nostril. It's a lovely portrait that would sweeten any room it's hung in.
  • edited November 2012
    \:D/ =D> =D> =D> =D>
    I can't even express how I feel about this awesome piece you've created. I click on the photo, and I was just stunned by the detail, and its presentation.
    She's soft and sweet. Her lips are the perfect shade. Her tousle hair, is so fantastic. Her face is as an angel.
    I think you've taken another leap towards becoming another Sargent!!! I know he would be proud to see this painting (If he was alive of course). Your loose style is brilliant, and elegant!!!! I adore you for painting this Gorgeous Work Of Art!!! It's my all time favorite!!! I love your other work!!! But, this style is YOU hands down. ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ :x Wow and Wow!!!
  • edited November 2012
    I love it. My favorite thing about it is the confident loose brushwork. I really can't think of anything that I like the "least." You might consider a strategic hard edge somewhere around a focal point, and possibly softening the transition in the nostril colors, but really, I like it as is.
  • Truly beautiful TJ. I like how you added the texture in her hair. I love her dress. Her face is soft and beautiful. I'll bet in person it's even more stunning. I love it!
  • tjstjs -
    edited November 2012
    Thank you Kelly, Marcus, Charleyboy, Cyn, Mnsrc and Ronna! I truly, and I mean truly appreciate you all taking the time to look. Your thoughtful comments have been taken to heart. Most of which are way too kind but I do like the praise :) You all are the best!

    What you see as far as what doesn't work I take note of it. I keep a little painting journal and record your posts or suggestions and either watch for it the next time or try to apply something different. Your observations mean a lot. :)

    And what works for you I also record. A lot of the times all I see in my own work is the bad stuff and miss the overall picture. So thank you again :)
  • =D> TJ!
    Positively gorgeous and so beautifully painted! I'm also struck by features other have already mentioned.....the looser style, the soft features of the face and the fantastic hair. As always I'm drawn to the eyes in any portrait and you've certainly captured her eyes in a special way! Congratulations!!.....more please! :)
  • Beautiful angelic portrait. I am drawn to the expressive eyes and the little puckered lips. When I enlarged the photograph, I was amazed at how the loose brush strokes achieve that look. Donna
  • Hey Tam ... I know for a long time you struggled with yourself .. striving for a looser more painterly style... you have arrived. This is stunning.. with just right amount of softness drawing attention to the delicate features of this beautiful child.. Your brush work is awesome I applaud you my friend! =D>
  • Thank you Gary and Donna! I was really really worried about that hair, her shirt and the background! I liked it but then I also know sometimes I can talk myself into something that really no one else likes too.

    I have a friend who is a professional musician and he noticed that the viewer left of her face where her hair meets her face is too dark. It is much darker in the photo. I didn't fix it in the graphics program to lighten that area.

    But even still in life I should have knocked it down a bit more. The original photo had a really dark background. And her eyes were blue! I changed 'em to hazel.

    I took a lot of liberties. I'm glad though cause I was forced out of my box :D

    Good learning experience for me. Thank you again Gary and Donna. You all are the best!
  • tjstjs -
    edited November 2012
    Forgot to mention - I premixed my palette but it sat for a really long time in my garage between painting sessions. Cause it was drying out, I was able to get great thick paint that had a lot of that brilliance that I can only get when I use Mark's slow dryer.

    So I guess if I want to do this again, leave the heavier areas for last and let the palette dry a bit.

    I just LOVE that medium!
  • Wonderful!!! =D>
  • Thank you Mark! I wasn't sure if you were going to like it with the heavier paint showing. Whew! :)
  • Shirley we must have been posting at the same time! You comments mean a lot to me. I'm not there yet with the looser look but getting closer. For me it's a confidence thing. How far can I push it without wrecking it :-t And I've got a garage full of those right now :))

    These new videos helped a lot. I am so grateful for this forum - the videos and the artists like you Shirley. Thanks so much!
  • I just saw this your portrait which I think is fantastic.I love the texture , everything beautiful .
  • tjstjs -
    edited November 2012
    Thank you Valentin for taking the time to look and comment. Truly appreciated :)

    FYI - Maybe it's just my computer but I just noticed when I first click on the pic? It comes up all grainy but then slowly appears. I think it's cause I didn't reduce the pixels to 72 dpi's. I had bumped them up for printing to show my mom when I visit her. Next time I won't do that and see if this is the problem.
  • OMG!!!! This is gorgeous! Love everything about it!!!! I am also a fan even though you are my internet sister >:D< ^:)^
  • Hey what a beauty!! ^:)^
    Wow tj this is sooooo goood! I adore it! :x
    What I like most.. I love the texture, the way you have applied the paint, the looseness, the face, the expression (eyes, lips) , the hair....oh and yes that "unsharp" background is spot on.
    I think that with this one you have achieved the desired looseness. Agree?
    Congratulations! Your work is so inspiring!
    BRAVO pour ce magnifique chef-d'oeuvre!
  • tjs said:

    Maybe it's just my computer but I just noticed when I first click on the pic? It comes up all grainy but then slowly appears. I think it's cause I didn't reduce the pixels to 72 dpi's. I had bumped them up for printing to show my mom when I visit her. Next time I won't do that and see if this is the problem.

    I noticed this too, but it's not the DPI. DPI has no effect whatsoever unless you print (the 72DPI for web thing is a myth). I'm pretty sure it's simply the texture of the canvas and the paint and the digital noise causing weird effects when the browser scales the image, which it initially does in a "rough draft" kind of way before it makes a second pass and does a better job. There is some code I use to improve the rendering of scaled images on websites, but unfortunately I have no way of applying it in this case.

    Did you apply any "sharpening" in Photoshop? By default, cameras also "sharpen" images. This could be causing the problem. You'll see the same thing happen with sharpened photos of oily skin, in extreme cases. The sharpening brings out noise and exaggerates textures in a sometimes very unpleasant way.

    I am not against sharpening altogether. If used in moderation as part of an downscale interpolation algorithm (not applied after downscaling), it's useful in preserving the perceived level of detail in textures and patterns and anything small enough to get lost when scaling something down. However, this is only makes sense with very small thumbnails. 99% of the time, I recommend avoiding all "sharpening" or "edge enhancement".
  • tjstjs -
    edited November 2012
    LizONeal said:

    .... even though you are my internet sister >:D< ^:)^

    :)) My sister here could tell ya some stories. She says she needs therapy cause of me! I can be evil >:)

    But thank you Liz for taking the time to look and comment. I so admire your natural touch with the brush. I really look to you and others for inspiration. Thank you for everything you do.

    Miriam you are way too generous with the compliments. It's a good start for me. I have to catch up to artists like you!!! Oh how I wish to be in France and meet up with you. We could have such a great time going to exhibits and such.

    Maybe someday :) Thank you again for taking the time to comment. So appreciated!
  • First day on the forum - it's scary how good you guys are!
  • TJS

    A wonderful portrait in every dimension and quality.

    Questions - 1) What one thing do you like most about it if anything?

    It would have to be the wispy highlights in the hair. Quite magical.

    2) What do you like the least?

    The ear. It appears to be a pale and shallow, head in profile ear view, stuck on to a three quarter portrait.


  • What a beautiful painting....what do I like the most...the softness of the entire painting...the least? really nothing...but myself, I like drama...would probably darken the right side background to put more emphasis (focal) on the left side...wish I could paint like that!
  • Hi TJ, Wow...what a masterpiece! What I like the most : everything! What I like the least : nothing! =D>
  • I think Lucie has used the right word. It is indeed a masterpiece. Well done TJ.
  • Hi TJ, Fantastic, what talent! Love it, love it. ^:)^
  • Tj , this is a painting evoking emotions ..love the heavy paint/ brush strokes..her golden ear rings...it is a sweetheart of a painting!! Can't find anything that I "least like "!!love her eyes, skin color( not one wrinkle :-)!!!) , and her frilly sleeve !!!! Great painting!!
  • Thank you Swisscot, Denis, Savannah, Lucie, Amrit, Jonny, and Bhopali you guys are the best! I do read every comment and log what you see that you liked and didn't like.

    And sorry so long to respond. I came down with a terrible flu so just getting back to speed here!
    Savannah said:

    ...but myself, I like drama...would probably darken the right side background to put more emphasis (focal) on the left side..

    I did consider this Savannah but then I decided against it. I thought a lot about painting this last summer. These last several years I've been just working on getting color/value per Mark as best as I could.

    Now I need to do something more with it. So I decided to try to show how I feel about the subject or scene and get that point across. When I saw this little girl, my immediate response was how "delicate and innocent" she was. So I concentrated on that aspect.

    That's why I kept the values and the "drama" more delicate? Does that makes sense? :)

    The left side of the painting is darker and has touches of pale aqua but it doesn't really show in my photo. I just tried to stay with my initial impression and trashed the original photo :( The background on that one was black on the left, and lime green and hot pink on the right.

    So I went softer overall.

    It's just what I'm trying out now. Not sure if it will work but it's fun to try out new concepts or approaches! Thanks again everyone!
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