Portrait challenge Progress

Just got started today. I'm preparing for an October solo show so time is tight. Hopefully this painting won't give me too much trouble. It's a great teeth study! My son when he was 4 or so. 

9x14 inches.  It will be painted on cradled gessoboard. 


  • Great drawing. Love the angle.
  • Drawing is great. I wish I knew how to do those angles; sure way to get everything where it is supposed to be. What an interesting way to add tooth to your support. 
  • You've done an excellent job with the drawing. That's a challenging perspective! But what a beautiful expression on his face. I had heard a paining 'hack' that when doing teeth, not to do solid outlines of each teeth, but to show the differentiation where the teeth meet the gums and the curve of the teeth against the darker opening of the mouth. Then a very subtle change in hue to gently suggest separate teeth. I don't know about that. Have you done teeth before? I look forward to seeing how you address this very challenging aspect of portrait painting.
  • @Renoir I have done teeth before. For the most part I just paint what I see. It works out in the end. I can't wait to start, but it'll have to wait until after my current one. Otherwise I may not go back and finish. It's challenging me. 
  • @BOB73, I do believe that is your worst one yet, but please keep them coming :) . I too like the interesting perspective, and think it will make a striking painting. What have you planned for the background? 

  • @Roxy he's looking up at me from concrete. I'm going for vague, darker, blue ish background.  This will highlight his face and hair well. 

    @BOB73 I put the angles in from pupil to pupil and a centerline. Drawing this way is quicker since there are more reference points. It's also more accurate. 

    I love this perspective since since it's the one I see when they're little.

    the drawing will get transferred to the board tomorrow. I hope the board isn't too small. 
  • Feel better. this is going to be wonderful.
  • Oh, wow! This is marvelous! So cheeky. It's a nice composition and your flesh tones are working well. Look forward to seeing it progress but you could just about leave it as is.
  • Can you give more details about the board and the stain you used?  Thanks.
  • @Summer It is Ampersand Gessobord cut to 9x14. It was 11x14. Then I cradled it with pine. I used glue and brad nails and even brad nailed through the top of the board. I filled the holes, put on 3 coats of gesso, then used a burnt umber/ white wash. I didn't want it too dark since my charcoal is dark. With portraits, my guidelines are important and they are hard to see on dark grounds. In retrospect, I wish I rolled the gesso on. The brush marks are a little distracting. 

    @tassieguy Thanks. I need to let it dry a little. Every time I want to change a color, I just lift it back up to the ground. Grrrr. I think I'm forever a cotton canvas kind of girl. I just picked up a bunch of 1.5" gallery wrapped canvas at 70% off at Michaels. I have to gesso them and sand it, since I like it smoother, but so nice not having to stretch the canvas! I bought over 300.00 worth last fall and it almost lasted me a year. Hopefully, even more paintings this year. 
  • A lovely portrait of a fine looking young man 
  • This is excellent work.  Wow, I see a figure reflected in the eye.
  • Much improved! looking forward!
  • Really nice Megan. Much better photo as well which helps :)
  • It's just beautiful as it is.What else would you do to it, @MeganS?
  • tassieguy said:
    It's just beautiful as it is.What else would you do to it, @MeganS?
    It's not quite right. Shadows need to be more blue less gray, and some edges need tending. A bit of glaze will help  the skin appear more translucent. The board is not covering well. I need to add more paint but when I do, it cuts into the underlining layers back to the ground. The above pic is my iPhone still. It needs to dry to tacky before I go at it again. 
  • Beautiful. I could drown in those eyes.
  • If only we could freeze time.
  • @MeganS   what a precious baby!  You did a magnificent job and I am especially amazed at how you handled his teeth - they are perfect!
  • @Renoir
    Hi. You asked me to give some tips in the Challenge entries thread. I thought I'd put them here as to not clog up the thread. 

    I pretty much go by the Carder Method. I make sure I have a clear, as close to accurate of color in a photo as I can. I basically paint what I see. I no longer premix my colors. I've been painting a for a little while now and I find it more freeing. But I put in at least 25 paintings with premixed colors first. I tend to enjoy my paintings more once I get the canvas or surface covered. Then I can see the corrections I need to make. I roughly block in the colors in the shape and place they need to be. When looking at the painting, I try to make something my focal point. Those areas get sharp edges where everything else gets blended edges. It's always good to meld part of the person into the background so that they don't look pasted on. 

    For teeth. I put in the dark areas around the tooth first. Then the gums, and then finally the teeth. While doing the teeth, I break each gradient down to three parts. Highlight, middle, and dark. Once you divide that up, it's much easer to go back and correct where it is needed. Color match! Teeth are actually much darker and gray than what you might expect. Have a light hand when doing the brushstrokes. Pay close attention to what areas are dark and what areas are light. 

    I'll post a pic of my very messy palette from my phone. 

  • @MeganS you are so kind to take the time to write this up! There's a lot to follow with the Career method (at least for me, I have a hard time remembering things).  I hope to have a semi finished painting to share on the forum for feedback.
  • Great job, @Megan. I bet you wouldn't sell this one! I love the perspective and composition. And, of course, that little chap has the most paintable face.
  • It is already a winner!
  • MeganSMeganS -
    edited September 2017
    @tassieguy I've come to the conclusion that everything is for sale. If I liked an image enough, I'll paint it again. 

    My Hubby said he'd buy it. Lol!
  • High Praise from Hubby!

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