Father-in-law's Portrait. Oil on Canvas. 16X20 inches

edited August 23 in Post Your Paintings
This is the digital plan for my father-in-law's portrait. 16X20 is the canvas size.



  • I feel like there is too much white shirt there compared to his face. May just be me though?
  • Ok...I was thinking about that too @Richard_P will possibly darken the shirt a little. From the lower section.
  • I would crop part of the bottom off and maybe a bit from the left.

    Are you going for a painterly look? The source image already looks like that style.
  • @Richard_P canvas size is set 16X20 inches. This is 4X5 proportion. The band needs to be shown and the senior gown. It would be just the way I paint, which I guess is replicated in this digital painting. 
  • Ok, looking forward to seeing this one! :)
  • edited April 23
    Change the colour of the shirt?  It's really distracting.
  • @Gary_Heath that's a lawyer's shirt. But will something to make it less distracting.
  • @kaustavM Right, so it's an important part of the portrait.  Got it.  Something light in the background will help balance the composition?  
  • Keep the lawyer's shirt, but light from a window striking his face so that the values of the shirt are lower and defined by reflected light. The gravitas of that shirt will be there but won't dominate. The sunlight will create warmth.
  • Good idea. What about making the background bluish? It would make the oranges in his face more of the focal point as well.
  • I agree that the shirt is much too dominant. It needs to be darker and mostly shaded. The face and background look fine to me.
  • Can you guys suggest an option for the shirt? Not sure how to do it. There might be an angular shadow to cover everything but need to show his profession too.
  • Something like this for me:

  • @Richard_P thanks you for that option. I understand your point of view. My view is to go with history. This is the first painted portrait in this court and my wife thinks possibly the first portrait in the state! There are some jistoric samples. I wish to go with these.

  • Ok. But if I brighten the second example you posted with the highlights so they match pure white (as your original photo seems to have, it looks like this. I don't think these paintings use close to pure white in reality. Though I admit I could well be wrong! :)

  • Have you considered having your father in law not looking straight at the viewer? I think having the subject looking a little away is really interesting, having said that I think your portrait will come out amazing! You in-law has interesting features and the light is also very nice
  • Thanks everyone. I couldn't write to everyone individually yesterday. I had to finish the block in by afternoon. I'll post the painting when I'm more or less close to the finishing. I took a photo of the block in and it came out with wrong colors. Me and my wife had a disagreement with the likeness too.  :| so it might take about two weeks to reach somewhere. I'm busy with another portrait that I need to send soon.
  • Very nice.  I bet the family is thrilled.
  • If you need (another!) pair of eyes for the likeness then happy to help :)
  • Excellent, Kaustav, thank you so much for sharing this.  Your stroke is confident, the portrait is very convincing of character and duty.
  • very good portrait @kaustavM ! it will look great framed and on the wall.. do share when its up.
  • kaustavM said:
    This is the digital plan for my father-in-law's portrait. 16X20 is the canvas size.
    Sorry for the newbie question, but what is a digital plan? I've never heard this phrase before.
  • edited August 26
    This is excellent. Painterly but retaining the dignified gaze of a real person as though he is looking through the brushstrokes, if that makes sense. I like the way you resolved the challenges that were discussed - and that the shirt that is rich in symbolism has become the second focal point. A worthy portrait to be hung in hallowed places. An artist's work. I expect you have made him feel very gratified.
    Lucian said:
    Sorry for the newbie question, but what is a digital plan? I've never heard this phrase before.
    In the past people would use sketches in charcoal or paint prior to the main painting. Today many people will do so using photoshop or similar. Sometimes it's painting the entire thing using the paint brushes of the software - others it's about manipulating photos - painting out an annoying tree, changing the lighting, adding something. I do this for all paintings - but particularly my non-realism style. In two I have on this site I grabbed textures and shapes or bits of anything I liked from random ima ges online and distorted and blended them to mock up the painting that was in my head. Since both paintings were imagined and had no reference in the real world the digital sketch for me was vital and easier than alternatives. I may actually post that in a new post - my digital mock-up and final image. It might be interesting.
  • Thank you very much @allforChrist @anwesha and @Abstraction this has now everyone's approval. After some amount of drying and varnishing I'll send it to the court. 

  • @Lucian apart from what @Abstraction mentioned, digital planning is essential for me as well. I use a mobile drawing app. I take an image and then paint upon it in the app to see if the composition is working or not. Changes are easily done. If something doesn't work I just take a photo and then apply ideas. It can be done with as basic as MS Paint or as complex as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. It just eradicates at least the basic problem during planning phase.
  • I do that too. I just wasn't familiar with the phrase "digital plan". What mobile app do you use? I prefer doing editing on a PC cause I find it easier than on a smartphone.
  • edited August 28
    I don't market my work digitally but I do use my image editors a lot in coming up with the compositions for my landscapes. I can move rocks and trees and mountains around effortlessly, eliminate or add things and make adjustments to colour etc. That way, I can see how it's going to look before I start painting. It saves a lot of time and allows one to be creative without even having to dirty a brush. I'm so used to doing it this way I'd find it hard to do without my PC and image editors. I use Affinity Photo and GIMP, which is powerful and free.
  • @Lucian @tassieguy I have an old Photoshop but I don't have a tablet to work upon with a stylus. So I do basic cut paste etc on that and then if I have to draw then I use it on a mobile app. Makes it easier for me and I can watch it all the time to internalize. Pen and paper are for the initial ideas when I don't have a reference to follow.
  • Beautiful portrait @kaustavM. Just wondering what medium you use? - the texture is wonderful :)
  • edited August 28
    Thanks @ArtGal I used my own dear oil paints with linseed oil only 😊
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