When likeness is wrong.

What do you do? I have the face filled in. It's in the uncanny valley. I turned it upside down. I found that the shape of the the eye was incorrect. It's like a bad puzzle. The painting is not a commission. Just for fun (not very right now...) Do you throw in the towel? Tweak until right? Fill the rest in and come back to it?

Comments

  • MeganS

    Difficult to say not being able to see the photo or the painting.
    But in my experience it comes down to that question Mark asks you to pose at the review stage. "What is different?"

    If there are too many basic structural proportions out of whack then a wipe off may be wise. However if the proportions and perspective are fine then a tweak of the fine details may be all that is necessary. A curve of the chin, shape of the eye, angle of jawline etc.

    It is incredible how small tweaks can mean the difference between likeness and a painting of someone else. So it really is a judgement call about how different things are whether you start over or tweak.

    Try the look in the mirror trick to spot differences, examine the photo in the same view of the mirrored painting.

    Denis
  • Denis! I'll try that! I fixed a major mistake. Somehow, the nose traveled down 1/4". It might be savable now...but man, no more crappy canvases and stick with the right paints! I'm having a heck of a time finding the right colors and I swear it's from the paint! I ran out of the burnt umber so I added some Williamsburg paint. It dries quicker for some reason. I also think the pigment is less. Anyway, back to what I know works.
  • MeganS

    Wow! 1/4" inch on the nose? Someone must have bumped your elbow.

    If I am doing detail like portraits I use a smooth PVC Gatorboard or Yupo.
    if this is too radical try an Ampersand GessoBord.

    No canvas texture or gesso to worry about, cost is about 25% of an equiv cotton canvas or 10% of a linen canvas for the first two options.

    Denis
  • I have to admit, I was having issues from the beginning.
    -Crappy Canvas
    -Not the best photo: straight on frontal face, eyes locked on camera, a hand in the photo that I want to remove, is indoor but with daylight through a window.
    -I used the pastel pencils which gave me a line thicker than 1/16 of an inch for my golden lines.
    -I forgot to put my golden lines on my photo in photoshop, so I used a stinking sharpie...which btw, fades.
    -lazy drawing (that's the crutch of it right there.)
    -paint running out...used different brand

    I don't think I drew the nose that far off. I think the eyes are a bit high, and the nose traveled a bit when putting the lighter colors on top of the dark. Maybe I should take up landscapes?
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    MeganS
  • The three major divisions of the face from which a likeness emerges are the width of the forehead (from hairline to top of eyebrows), width of nose (from top of eyebrows to base of nose), and width of chin (from base of nose to base of chin). Get those three right, and the likeness begins to emerge. Of course, the important subdivisions are from the eyebrow to the opening of the eye, the bottom opening of the eye, and the length of the upper lip, mouth center line, and lower lip. Next are horizontal widths. The old carpenter's axiom applies here: Measure twice, cut once. The best axiom I've heard is measure, measure, measure . . . add as many as you can. I know several artists who spend the major portion of their portrait painting time getting these measurements right. This is actually where your portrait is made. After this, it's like second grade art . . . coloring between the lines. A well-known portrait painter begins every session by "redrawing." He goes through the entire head/face and checks proportions, and where necessary, redraws those things that are off. Measure, measure, measure . . .
    [Deleted User]MeganSKatrena
  • Yep. I learned my lesson on this one. I know I was pickier with my drawing in the first two portraits. I think it's savable...maybe.
    Mark_Carder
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  • By the way, Megan, this is not the only way to measure for this kind of work. There are several methods, and most are totally acceptable. The real idea is to measure correctly, and go from there.
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    edward
  • KevinGE said:

    MeganS, did you post the work then delete it? With all this discussion I'm now pretty intrigued to see it :)

    Not sure I want to post this painting. It was supposed to be quick, small, and fun. Blah! We shall see....No painting today. I have little patience. My kids took out heaps out of my reservoir today.
  • broker12 said:

    By the way, Megan, this is not the only way to measure for this kind of work. There are several methods, and most are totally acceptable. The real idea is to measure correctly, and go from there.

    Yes. I'm actually new to the PD. I had used grids before. I also like rulers. I might add two more lines in the next painting going on the diagonal from the corners of the box. A better pencil would be good.
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  • Thanks Bas! "Lovely" is better than "wrong"!
  • MeganS

    Super painting. I can see why Mom liked it. Well done.

    Denis
  • edited September 2014
    That's a really nice painting. It has a timeless, non-photographic quality to it, and I love your brushwork.
  • Thanks Kingston and Martin. The brushwork was necessary to cover a very large "Daddy" hand. I hope to have a better start on my next one.
    Martin_J_Crane
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    Martin_J_Crane
  • I think it's beautiful @ MeganS.
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