Experiment Portrait

This is the result of an argument with a friend who wanted me to experiment more with my painting and not copy. I got very frustrated and took it out on the canvas with a large brush! haha. It's a total improvisation and not from a photo or real life. I'll be interested in what people think. We won't talk about proportions because I know she's got a longer neck than a giraffe!! haha No, do talk about anything. I'm much happier copying from a photo and colour checking, but this was an interesting experiment in grabbing a large brush, staring at a blank canvas and just coming up with something!


  • Hi Marcus!
    I admire you for the experiment and your effort...when in doubt, go for it! :)

    My honest first reaction to your painting is a split decision....somethings about it I dislike and somethings I like. For me the 'dislike' stems from her left forearm (?) and the skin colors (particular the yellowish greens). I don't mind different colors on the skin, just something about this combination of colors that doesn't work for me.....may work great for others however, so best to take my comments with a grain of salt.

    The 'likes' include the pose, eyes, lips, hair and the way you painted the strap over her shoulder.

    Thanks for sharing... I appreciate your effort a great deal.
  • tjstjs -
    edited November 2012
    I think your painting turned out pretty good! I agree with Gary there are good things and some things I see that don't work as well. I love your brushwork and your composition and the position of her body too.

    When I'm not sure about a painting I've done, I turn it to black and white. It always helps me see if I've followed the right values for the form I'm following whether it's an egg, a book, a tree or a person :) It helps me to see what I've done that I like and what I've done that I don't.

    Doing your own thing is cool. But people like your friend may not realize is that these painters that appear to 'do their own thing' and are successfull? They have it based on the core principles from the more artsier side to the actual craft of painting.

    And it does appear they are doing their own thing and just spontaneously creating. But they are not!!!!

    What is great about Mark's approach is you learn those principles. Nature is always the best teacher. Mark's method forces you to learn to observe form and it's value and color no matter what the circumstances. That's what you take with you if you choose to go more impressionistic.

    By following his method, I've noticed little things that make the big things better that I never noticed before. I'm still learning. But to me that's the fun part :)

    Overall I think what you did is good! I agree with Gary
    Gary said:

    Hi Marcus!
    I appreciate your effort a great deal.

  • Thanks again Gary and tjs for your comments. There's a couple of spots I like but most of the painting I hate! HAHA. I try not to look at the odd coloured Left arm, but quite like the shoulder and strap. I now have my ingredients for Delq and have mixed it up. (God, the Larch Venice Turpentine is thick!) I've just finished mixing it into my paints. Can't wait to start painting with them now.
  • Good news on the sdm Marcus....let us know how you like it. While your turp is thick i assume your sdm is much thinner with everything mixed and it should flow very smoothly.
  • You'll do great Marcus :) :-c
  • Yeah the mixed medium is much thinner. The paints are perfect, Ketchup consistency. So, hopefully, all should be well. I will try a small, simple Still Life first, but also have a large 3/4 length portrait to do too. I can't wait to get started!
  • Great Marcus.....looking forward to hearing about your experience. It really is a lot of fun! :)
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