Life size portrait, work in progress.

I have been working on this big (100x120cm/ 39x47") portrait of a friend of mine for about three weeks now, and I'd like to get some feedback on it before I bring it to completion. The photos aren't optimal but I'm away from the studio so they'll have to do for now. I will take some proper shots once it's complete. 

What I'm having most problems with is the face; I can't seem to get it to look natural. I'm wondering if my reference photo is a little too bright. 

I'm very curious to hear your thoughts!

dencaljoydeschenestassieguyGTOMoleManwhuntRichard_PGary_HeathsridhargopalkaustavMJerryWdakmediocreartallforChrist

Comments

  • I think this is a good painting, the interior is well done and the face is good too. Also the fabrics are fantastic. I would soften the face though, with more gradients the pink on the nose to the black is too dramatic. Making 2-4 more intermediate colors between that will help give the look you want. 
    IlariKoskimies
  • What you did on the neck is a much more correct gradient and as such it reads like a shadow should.
    IlariKoskimies
  • Thank you for your comment I appreciate it! I agree with your criticism, the face does look a bit too rough at the moment. I was trying go for that Sargent-esque looseness and leave some of the brushwork showing, but I think I was way too careful with it. You're right about the nose, I'll keep working on it. 
  • Hi @IlariKoskimies, I really like the composition, with the fabric sweeping down and flowing into the edge of the figure, from top right to bottom left. A bit more refinement and softening on the face will really make this pop. Also check her left hand pointing finger. It looks pretty long. Great portrait. 
    IlariKoskimies
  • This is coming along really well. As others have mentioned the composition is good and the fabric is great, as are other elements in the interior such as the urns with flowers. You just need to soften a few of those edges in the face. No need to actually blend if you want to keep the sargentesque look. You could do it by just adding a couple of transition values between light and dark - on the nose for example. I look forward to seeing this finished.
    IlariKoskimies
  • Thank you @Roxy, I think you're right about the hand. I would've definitely missed that. I'm glad you like the composition, I put a lot of thought into it. 
  • @tassieguy Thank you for your feedback, it means a lot. 
  • Absolutely love the composition, perspective, colors and values. Keep in mind my limited technical experience here in my following comments. Respect your Sargent approach of course and agree with @tassieguy to add more transcending values to soften edges in the face but also on the items in the background. The previously mentioned left hand should possibly be handled very carefully and delicately because the eye will be drawn to it. 
    The facial expression and body language, tilt of the head, seems so relaxed and natural giving the viewer a calm and comforting feeling. Also really like the dark greens and grays and how the figure disappears in the seat shadow. 
    Just a really beautiful painting in my opinion.  
    IlariKoskimies
  • I really like this! The composition is excellent and it's coming along very nicely.
    IlariKoskimies
  • Thank you for your comment I appreciate it! I agree with your criticism, the face does look a bit too rough at the moment. I was trying go for that Sargent-esque looseness and leave some of the brushwork showing, but I think I was way too careful with it. You're right about the nose, I'll keep working on it. 
    It does have a lady Agnew feel.
    IlariKoskimies
  • Thank you for your comment I appreciate it! I agree with your criticism, the face does look a bit too rough at the moment. I was trying go for that Sargent-esque looseness and leave some of the brushwork showing, but I think I was way too careful with it. You're right about the nose, I'll keep working on it. 
    It does have a lady Agnew feel.
    It's funny you should say that,
    Here's my study of Lady Agnew I did about two years ago. 

    Gary_HeathdakmediocreartallforChrist
  • whunt said:
    Absolutely love the composition, perspective, colors and values. Keep in mind my limited technical experience here in my following comments. Respect your Sargent approach of course and agree with @tassieguy to add more transcending values to soften edges in the face but also on the items in the background. The previously mentioned left hand should possibly be handled very carefully and delicately because the eye will be drawn to it. 
    The facial expression and body language, tilt of the head, seems so relaxed and natural giving the viewer a calm and comforting feeling. Also really like the dark greens and grays and how the figure disappears in the seat shadow. 
    Just a really beautiful painting in my opinion.  
    Yes, the hand definitely needs more work and it's one of the things I've been putting off because of how intimidating it is. I'll give the background another pass as well. 

    The moment she sat down on that chair I knew I had to paint her because of how natural she looked and I'm glad that the painting captures that. Thanks for your feedback!
  • My C&C is that the hard edge of her forehead on the left hand side (as we view it) and cheek distracts from the eyes. Especially with the high contrast of her skin against the almost black value. If you softened these edges I think the viewers gaze would stay on her eyes more.
    IlariKoskimies
  • Richard_P said:
    My C&C is that the hard edge of her forehead on the left hand side (as we view it) and cheek distracts from the eyes. Especially with the high contrast of her skin against the almost black value. If you softened these edges I think the viewers gaze would stay on her eyes more.

    This is a very good point, thanks! 
  • Thank you for your comment I appreciate it! I agree with your criticism, the face does look a bit too rough at the moment. I was trying go for that Sargent-esque looseness and leave some of the brushwork showing, but I think I was way too careful with it. You're right about the nose, I'll keep working on it. 
    It does have a lady Agnew feel.
    It's funny you should say that,
    Here's my study of Lady Agnew I did about two years ago. 

    That’s a very good study and is one of my favorite paintings. It will be in Dallas museum of art in 2024.
  • Yes it's one of my favourites from Sargent. It's a shame I'll probably never be able to see it in person as I live in northern Europe myself. 
  • Yes it's one of my favourites from Sargent. It's a shame I'll probably never be able to see it in person as I live in northern Europe myself. 
    It’s actually in Scotland. 
    MoleManIlariKoskimies
  • @IlariKoskimies I really like the composition of the whola painting, the colors and pose. I would only follow the advice above about the face, and finger, for the rest the background appears perfect to me. 
  • Thank you for your comment I appreciate it! I agree with your criticism, the face does look a bit too rough at the moment. I was trying go for that Sargent-esque looseness and leave some of the brushwork showing, but I think I was way too careful with it. You're right about the nose, I'll keep working on it. 
    It does have a lady Agnew feel.
    It's funny you should say that,
    Here's my study of Lady Agnew I did about two years ago. 

    That’s a very good study and is one of my favorite paintings. It will be in Dallas museum of art in 2024.
    @dakmediocreart You have a date there? Tried to have a look on their website but couldn't see anything.
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