Le Billet mastercopy 16x24

A few edits that I still plan on doing but the canvas is covered and I would love to hear your thoughts.  Thank you very much! The original is by Auguste Toulmouche, 1883.



  • CBGCBG -
    edited July 12
    The value and color, especially in the dress… you’ve captured it wonderfully.  
  • That is so kind of you, @CBG... your comment means so much to me.
  • Wow.  You’ve got a good eye for value and color.  It shows in all the chiaroscuro in the dress.  What is the surface? Canvas. Board?
  • That's a good master copy, @allforchrist. The fabric in the dress is wonderful. The colours and values overall are excellent. Well done! 
  • @GTO your comment is so kind and I appreciate you sharing it.  Yes, canvas board.  :)  How could you tell?  The last time I used canvas boards was in the Bob Ross days, so it's nice to overturn the permanent connection my brain has between canvas boards and trash paintings. ;)

    Your paintings are perfection, so your comment means a lot.
  • edited July 13

    I'm so happy to see your comment, Rob-- I have so much respect for you and am humbled by your praise.  Thank you.  I want you to know that in undertaking the dress my execution plan was much closer to that of what you have shared that you do.  I went section by section and from there it was just a game of values.  (Correct me if this isn't even close to what you do, haha!)
  • edited July 13
    @Abstraction I am very grateful that you see it as such; I have great admiration for your paintings and thought process in art.
  • You're right, @allforChrist, that's what I do. I have a printer that only prints A4 size so I have to tile my photos and it's easier to work section by section. I follow the DMP method for each section.  :)
  • What a great job you have done of this @allforChrist, really well done.

    Wish I could do fabric so well.
  • I think it’s time for you to upgrade from canvas boards.  How you load the brush and apply the paint is inextricably tied to the type of surface.  You will have so much greater control over your edges with a better surface.  It doesn’t have to be expensive linen, just a better canvas with proper smoothness of texture and Gesso coating.
  • edited July 13
    @allforchrist, @GTO is right about the way paint handles differently on rough and smooth surfaces. You have more control of fine detail and blended gradations on a smooth surface.  If in future paintings you wanted a surface smoother than that which you've used in this one, you could just apply more coats of gesso to the canvas board and sand lightly between coats until you get it as smooth as you need. Then you can use more fluid paint and soft brushes to get the painting as smooth as you want. You've done a great job with this one (better than I could do  - I'm terrified of portraits)  but if you wanted your work to be as smooth as the original (like most of Toulmouche's works) then that is much easier to achieve on a smooth surface. But it depends on the look you're after.  You may prefer a less polished and more painterly look.  I think what you've done, especially in the fabric, works just as well as in the original even if not quite as slick.  :)

  • Great job @allforChrist. Congrats on a beautiful painting.
  • @GTO , @tassieguy

    Thank you for the detailed thoughts on the canvas boards.  This is the first board I've used since DMP so it helps to hear your knowledge on the differences in the finished appearance.  

    Is it possible to sand a board without gesso?  Or is that not really done?   I only have one more board in my possession and the rest are canvases, so there will be mostly proper canvas paintings in the future. :)
  • @whunt thank you very very much!!
  • @MichaelD I really appreciate that, I have seen your paintings and am confident you could paint fabric excellently.
  • Thank you @allforChrist.

    I recall now I have done a little when I did a portrait of Louie my cat. It was passable.

    I know what to do though…

    Practice and practice  :)
  • @allforChrist, you could sand without applying more gesso but you run the risk of sanding the primer off and exposing the canvas which would not be good. Best to apply more gesso and sand.  :)

  • Hi allforchrist
    Your painting is very good. The fabric is definitely the star. Repeating everything the others have said.

    I only say the following because you've asked for comments and that you're doing some edits. Here are two things for you to assess.

    Nose outline.
    Her nose blends into the door. This gives me an uncertainty about the shape which detracts from the face. The original had a similar issue that he addressed with a very narrow dark warm outline. 

    Flooring near the door.
    The original polished flooring reflects the lighter door as it recedes. It is a similar value to the door bottom where they meet. This helps to give depth to the room. Your floor has less of this gradation and a strong difference where it meets the door. This lessens the sense of depth and reflections.

    Please remember that I'm looking at your photo on my phone... not the best! I may just be seeing limitations of our tech. You have your original and your source. Feel free to ignore my suggestions and I'm happy to delete them if you prefer.
  • @heartofengland

    So nice of you to take the time to write all of that and offer your suggestions.  No, I don't think you're wrong about them.  I knew I never put in that warm outline, so thanks for motivating me to put that in.  Also, the floor is very flawed.  If I cared enough I have plenty of reasons to redo all of the floor and the wall.  However, the portrait and fabric were my "problems" for this painting that I wanted to see myself execute.  So I won't be changing the floor :)

    Thanks again.  I hope your art is going well for you (or if you haven't had time, that you have time soon).  

    (I'm slightly irritated that the reference painting was dropped here... Always makes me feel sooo insecure 🤣🤣🤣 All jokes, @heartofengland, you're totally fine)
  • "the portrait and fabric were my "problems" for this painting that I wanted to see myself execute." This resonates so much and is lovely to hear. You must have loads of confidence after this success.

    " If I cared enough I have plenty of reasons to redo all of the floor and the wall." 😂🤣

    The source is good but also is of its time. A professional artist showing off their skill. Your painting is more modern in its brevity of marks. This gives it more immediacy and intimacy than the original. I can imagine my daughter in your painting but not as Auguste's dress filler.

    What thoughts, lessons and skills have you gained?
  • Thank you so very much, @heartofengland.  Confidence has increased only slightly, I think what came more from this painting was an increase in satisfaction.  Yes, satisfaction is the best word.  I've had too many ups and downs in my mental strength of discipline in painting where I don't take any good execution for granted, lol.  I'm fully aware that the next painting I could be cranky, undisciplined, and overlooking values.  Which of course would lead to failure in the extreme, haha.  Other than satisfaction though is some excitement about the fact that overall, I can see some progress in my painting journey.  And that is owed to everyone here and Mark's method.  

    I appreciate what you said about the source photo.  I wonder too if Auguste Toulmouche painted on a much larger canvas.  I would have to think so, but I can't find that information online.  

    Some thoughts:  it's confirmed that fabric is one of my favorite things to paint.  I am looking forward to progressing in portraits.  I think I've gained a wee bit of skill on seeing a color and knowing what to mix.  (nothing crazy, just the smallest bit more of instinct).  All these things are exciting.  But again, one cranky undisciplined day is all it takes to destroy confidence... Don't get me started LOL :)

    I really appreciate you engaging so much on my journey, it means a lot to me.  So a big thank you for your time and support, @heartofengland. :)
  • @allforChrist
    This color study is a good idea. You've capture the dress really well as a sketch.
    You might approach something like this by working much larger. Maybe focus only on the figure. Or even part of the figure. Painting small heads isn't easy.
  • Thanks for your comment, @KingstonFineArt!  I didn't intend it as a color study, or really a sketch, but the fabric and portrait were indeed the two main items I wanted to improve on painting. I agree that if one really wants to work on portraits they should do it on a larger scale. (Such as the portrait mastercopy a couple paintings ago.) However, I wanted to improve my small head painting ability. :)  

    Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts.
  • @allforChrist
    Baby steps. Drawing is very important. It's key.
    Work on studies. Practicel elements of your painting. Practice until that element if understood.

    Remember the old joke about getting to Carnegie Hall.
  • @allforChrist the dress is beautiful, im very impressed you perfectly copied such a difficult painting. Would love to see more works! Thank you for sharing! 
  • Wow that is very kind of you @JerryW, I hope I can provide more paintings you would enjoy seeing!!
  • @KingstonFineArt, did you have any first impressions of my painting?
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