A couple together [Archive] - Artist Forum

: A couple together


TerryCurley
06-22-2015, 02:17 PM
My son called me and said this guy who he is buying a motorcylce from was wondering if I could paint a portrait from a picture he has of himself and his wife who has died. The man saw the kids pictures I did in Jim's house which made him ask.

So of course Jim said he would ask, the guy said he would pay me. UGH.... my first reaction was nope I don't need that kind of stress, I'm not that good. But then I thought 'why not give it a try'. So I told Jim that I would do it but the guy needs to know I will not be doing the portrait free hand. I will trace a blown up copy of the picture on to the canvas and paint it as best I can. I need to have a digital copy of the photo. Also I will not take a payment for the picture but if he wants to donate something for my art supplies I will accept that. I know this guy has no money and I do not have the confidence to charge for a portrait I do. So I'm guessing this will be my next project after the bottle picture I'm working on...or rather not working on...life is too busy.

leighann
06-22-2015, 04:05 PM
I totally understand Terry. My 30 year high school reunion is this year, and last fall, the people in charge of it saw a couple of my sketches on FB, and decided to commission me to do several sketches of our High School, from yearbook pictures no less, and they would be auctioned off at the reunion. I just about had an aneurysm!!! :eek:
Fortunately for me, a bunch of drama happened a couple of months later, and I was kind of forgotten....Thank the stars!!! :D

I'm sure u will do just fine :):)

Susan Mulno
06-22-2015, 04:52 PM
Just let them know up front that if it's not working out you will tell them, "nevermind". The lady who has commissioned my work on the chapel understands and is fine with that. After all, I receive nothing and she is missing out on nothing if it doesn't work. Kind of takes the pressure off and I know I am having more fun with it that way.

TerryCurley
06-22-2015, 07:43 PM
Yup Susan and Leighann, I can tell you totally understand how I feel about this. Also I may have to give it a few tries before I get one I like. He says I can take as long as I want. I think I did six portraits of my granddaughter Johanna until I got one that I liked, and multiple ones of all the other kids too. I really don't mind doing that because each time teaches me something.

Bushcraftonfire
06-22-2015, 08:57 PM
You'll do fine sis.. you are a wonderful artist!

Wow LA.. You are still a youngun.. LOL! Next year will be my 40th HS reunion... (I think.. I can't remember anymore.. )

D:cool:

chanda95
06-23-2015, 11:31 AM
I know you will do fine Terry. Look forward to seeing it.

TerryCurley
06-23-2015, 04:59 PM
I just got the photo to do in my email.....It turns out I know these people. Sure is a small world. They are friends of a friend of my son's. They were at my son's funneral four years ago and the women, Pat, said the the 21st Psalm with me, she struck me as such as sweet caring person at the time that I remember her clearly even though that hard time is kind of a blur now. I had no idea she died. I have to do a good job on this even if I have to do it a 100 times to get it right. I'm going to make this my next WIP.

I want all the advice and criticism you care to give as I progress. Every one here has been so helpful to me and I know I've grown from being on this forum.

TerryCurley
06-24-2015, 03:26 PM
I'm going to ask a couple composition questions. I've read that in a good composition the subject(s) are off center of the picture. When you a doing a portrait of a couple would you center the couple...which would make both of them off center or would you shift the subjects slightly to the left or right?

Also what about back ground color...I'm not sure what would be best with blue shirts and fair skinned people.

leighann
06-24-2015, 03:56 PM
I know when you have your picture taken, probably a darker background, but I am most definitely not the expert.

Susan Mulno
06-24-2015, 04:15 PM
I don't know much about composition but is it permissible to change the color of their shirts (say complimentary solid hues) and the background? Make it a "unique" picture of these loved ones?

TerryCurley
06-24-2015, 05:07 PM
No I don't want to change their shirts, for all I know it may be a favorite shirt or something.

I'm trying to visualize a dark background with the dark blue shirts and it just isn't working for me. I usually like to use the complimentary color for the background or in the case of the grandkids their favorite color. The complimentary color to blue is orange...not one of my favorites. Also I don't think orange would be good with flesh tones....Hmmm what do you think of pink? I like pink and blue...but the pink my be too much of distraction and there would not be enough contrast with the flesh.....help....what would you do if you had to decide on a background color. Forget the Christmas tree in the picture I think it would be too busy. Hmmmm maybe a green? My minds eye keeps saying purple...a light purple...but I can't reason why that would be good. HELP!

Leighann if you are no expert I'm definitely no expert. Well I don't have to decided on the background color immediately, but I do need to decided on the placement today if I am going to get started.

Another question I have is if you were doing this would you make the picture landscape or portrait. I am putting it on a 16x20 canvas. Every other portrait I have done has been situated in portrait but I have never done two people together...I'm thinking that landscape would make it more roomy looking.

I'm trying to pull you guys into my project as much as possible so I have someone to blame if it doesn't come out good....LOL (only kidding)

Mark Lane
06-24-2015, 05:36 PM
Terry, as a rough guide, as with photography, if the subject is facing left you leave some space to the left & vice versa. The pose is perfect and I would draw as is. I do not envy your dilemma. I have a friend who teaches guitar...he used to love playing it but since he has been teaching he does not like playing half as much. Weird how that happens, huh?

Personally, I would insist, and be politely firm, that you don't expect to be paid for this otherwise you'll be worried sick throughout the entire project about how it's going to turn out.

Relax, you'll be fine. Good luck?

BTW, I would go with landscape format. The last thing you want is to realise partway thru you don't have enough space to complete the drawing! Rather have the space and not need it than the other way round :-)

TerryCurley
06-24-2015, 08:03 PM
Thanks Mark you answered my main two questions positioning and landscape vs portrait. I am going to go with what you suggest.

Yes about the money.....I am not going to take any until the work is done and I am happy with it....and then only a tip. So far I'm not feeling stress over this, hope it doesn't happen.

As for the background color...the only current remaining question...I'm really leaning toward purple...What does everyone thing about that?

Just FYI I bought 4 canvases so right now I have four tries before I have to go back to the store.

Mark Lane
06-25-2015, 02:45 AM
Bless ya, Terry, I so hope it all turns out great.

Backgrounds are such a nightmare. I remember I did a portrait one time I'd spent hours on but on putting in a background afterwards I completely ruined it and ended up furnishing the trash can with it!

Here's an idea. Make a photocopy of your finished piece (or several) and then try various backgrounds out until you find one you're happy with. Assuming you leave the background till last that is.

TerryCurley
06-25-2015, 10:00 AM
The way that works best for me is to draw the subjects on the canvas then use masking tape and do the background before I actually paint the subjects. The reason I like to do it this way is because I have smeared pictures in the past when trying to do the background after the subject. Oil paint takes forever to dry and if I am going to smear something I'd rather it be the background than the subject.

Mark Lane
06-25-2015, 10:44 AM
Of course, oil, silly me. Sorry Terry, it's 'cause I'm getting old, I forgot you were using oils.

TerryCurley
06-25-2015, 01:42 PM
I really need help deciding on this fellow artists. If you were doing this picture which one of these background colors would you pick. This was done quickly in the paint program on the computer just to get an idea. I know I told someone recently that I thought a red background was too distracting but when playing with background colors I though it looked kind of nice, whoever it was forgive me. If you think a different color would be better please tell me and I'll give it a test in paint. This is a very important decision to the overall picture and it is so important to me for this to come out good.

just
06-25-2015, 02:41 PM
Terry, crop the picture. Detail the faces and hair as much as you can. Blur the rest.



http://i669.photobucket.com/albums/vv54/pawnsouls/14706d1435093006-couple-together-jerry-pat-picture-paint-1_zpswuh82ck9.jpg

Bushcraftonfire
06-25-2015, 03:14 PM
Absolutely what Just said.... Crop...Blur.. Greyish (maybe just a touch of Rose to warm it) background

Just my $.02

D

Mark Lane
06-25-2015, 04:05 PM
If I had to choose I'd go for the first one. Keep it subtle :-)

Susan Mulno
06-25-2015, 04:17 PM
I think Just and Dave may be on to something.

TerryCurley
06-25-2015, 04:25 PM
OK -- Thanks -- how does this look...I like it. Now remember this is not the canvas, it is just a messy test in the Paint program. This is going to be the biggest portrait I have done. The canvas is 16x20 all the others I have done have been 8x10.

TerryCurley
06-25-2015, 08:30 PM
Here's the canvas. I tried to trace most of it because I want to get the best possible likeness, but I have found that when you blowup a picture to 16x20 it gets very blurred so tracing it was very difficult except for the outline of the face and the placement of the features. The actual features I did pretty much freehand. Do you think it's a decent likeness? Is their a problem I don't see? Tomorrow I will start painting.

http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q638/Theresa_Curley/20150625_180151_008_zpswdxamrdz.jpg

Susan Mulno
06-25-2015, 09:15 PM
Looks great!

Bushcraftonfire
06-25-2015, 11:03 PM
Looking good Terry! Check the eyes.. his look a bit off to me.. The eyes are the window to the soul.. if you get them right.. the pic will be great.. if not.. it will look "off" even if you can't identify why. Use a coin or something else to get the iris circles perfect.. and make sure both eyes on a person are looking in the same direction

Actually.. looking again.. you have the eyes pretty spot on (did you trace this?) But I would STILL move his right eye (our left as you look at it) toward the center just a bit. Sometimes artistic license is valid.. even though the photo looks like that... it will probably look better in the painting if you "correct" it just a bit

HTH

D

TerryCurley
06-26-2015, 10:03 AM
Oh yes I see what you are saying Dave...Thank You. Yes I did trace as much as I could but the picture was not very clear having been blown up to 16x20, so I did some freehand using the original picture as a model.

TerryCurley
06-26-2015, 12:59 PM
I put in the background and it did come out less gray than intended....still I think it's muted enough to be a good background. What do you think. At this stage it's very easy to scrape off and redo.

Bushcraftonfire
06-26-2015, 02:40 PM
Looking very good Sis..

D:cool:

Mark Lane
06-26-2015, 05:03 PM
So far, so good!

TerryCurley
06-27-2015, 05:42 PM
I started on the acrylic underpainting. It really looks ugly in this stage. I think I fixed his left eye David. What do you think...better?

Bushcraftonfire
06-27-2015, 11:48 PM
Yup! The eye looks great. I know colors change when you get more on the canvas and put them next to each other.. but I would be careful with the darkness.. He's looking just a bit "bronzed" at this stage. No offense intended.. when you add other colors it can change a lot.. and may get lighter.

D:cool:

TerryCurley
06-28-2015, 10:29 AM
Yup! The eye looks great. I know colors change when you get more on the canvas and put them next to each other.. but I would be careful with the darkness.. He's looking just a bit "bronzed" at this stage. No offense intended.. when you add other colors it can change a lot.. and may get lighter.

D:cool:

Yes that is what underpainting is all about. My first underpainting is always with just raw sienna acrylic. It's just to set where the shadowing will be and guide for the upper layers. I find my portraits come out a lot better doing this. If I were to do white fur I will underpaint with a grayish blue and it would be pretty dark then when the white is applied it looks realistic.

I sometimes think I should not put this stage up in a WIP, but what the heck it makes for good conversation, right?

My philosophy is if this one comes out crappy it's OK because I will have learned something and then I will just do it again and improve on it. I bought 4 canvas and if I don't get what I want in 4 tries then I will go back to the store....LOL...but it would be nice to be able to do in one try.

TerryCurley
06-28-2015, 05:21 PM
Next installment of my project...finished the acrylic underpainting and put a burnt sienna oil treatment on the eyes. If you are interested here is the link of the process I'm following.
http://www.paintingportraittips.com/techniques/

Susan Mulno
06-28-2015, 08:01 PM
Wow! Great start! Seems, so far, you have it in one try.

Bushcraftonfire
06-29-2015, 12:26 PM
Yes.. this is definitely coming along very nicely Terry.. Keep up the great work!

D:cool:

TerryCurley
06-29-2015, 07:56 PM
Didn't get much time to work on this today, but I did a little work on Jerry's eyes.

TerryCurley
06-30-2015, 01:12 PM
I'm planning to do more on this painting later today but need a break right now. Please let me know if you see something amiss. I'm so grateful that Daivd pointed out the left eye being off so I was able to correct it while I still could.

Looking at what has been done I'm getting less and less happy with the color of the background and I'm thinking I might put a layer of light gray over it. What do you think? I think I'll leave it until the rest of the picture is finished and then if I'm still not liking what I see I'm going to change it. The mustache isn't painted in yet. Those lines are the underpainting showing through the skin color I applied.

TerryCurley
06-30-2015, 08:19 PM
All worn out so I’m done painting for today. Jerry’s face is almost done. I still need to work on his glasses and put the highlights on his face.
I’m really thinking I’m going to change the background to a gray, as light of a gray as I can get away with. I think the background has a draining effect on the color of the face. What do you think?

TerryCurley
07-01-2015, 09:51 AM
I decided to change the background before I finished the picture to be able to see how the colors compliment(or not) each other as I'm developing the picture.

Jerry needs to have highlights still and I need to work on his glasses later today. So any advice friends?. My problems in the past have been lines instead of shaping with colors. See any line I could fix? Another chronic problem I've had is lack of contrast. See any area I can improve on? Also remember I need to give him highlights yet. Another problem I have had in the past is skin tone being unrealistic.....what do you think? Please anything you see that looks amiss with Jerry let me know and I might still be able to fix it. I am so grateful to David for pointing out the left eye being off...I didn't see it and I would have been upset if I had gotten to this point and then noticed it.

Bushcraftonfire
07-01-2015, 12:51 PM
Terry...

This is looking great! Just me... but I think the problem with the background is that it seems busy and distracts from the focal point. Just my opinion.

To that end... I tweaked the painting with Artrage.. just to show you what I mean... Don't do it just cause I say.. I simply blurred the background to bring the focus to the front. (And it's very sloppy as I did it in just a few minutes and didn't take time to crop properly.. Just wanted to give you an idea)

https://www.artistforum.com/art/test-terry-32274-3042.png

I have never really worked in oils.. But I would think to get this look you would have to thin your paint a LOT.. and brush it smooth with a few layers.. but I'm not the expert.. LOL! I COULD tell you how to do it in Watercolor :)

D

TerryCurley
07-01-2015, 06:29 PM
This look is very easy to get with oils, basically all you have to do is use a mop brush. But the paint must be wet to do it. After I saw what you did I went over and used a mop brush on the background and it smoothed out a lot but not entirely. I have been mixing my paint with Walnut Alkyl Oil which makes it dry quickly. My work has been drying overnight which is really an advantage.

I actually made the background a bit rough and busy because every tutorial of oil portraits I've seen had it that way. Like the attached picture as an example. I do think I am going to add some strokes of blue to balance out the picture with the color of the shirts which will be blue.

TerryCurley
07-01-2015, 09:37 PM
I think Jerry's face is done unless someone notices something I haven't seen. Today I did the highlights on him and finished the glasses and calmed down the background a bit. Thank you David I do think it looks better.

I won't be able to work on it anymore until July 12th. I'm having the grandkids over starting tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be on the computer though.

Looking at the picture on the computer I have to say that the highlights look whiter in the photo than it does in reality. I guess the flash is reflecting more light than when the eye looks at it without a flash.

chanda95
07-06-2015, 02:55 PM
Terry. This is WONDERFUL. They are going to absolutely love this.

TerryCurley
07-06-2015, 03:05 PM
Terry. This is WONDERFUL. They are going to absolutely love this.

Thank you Chanda. This is a portrait of Jerry and Pat. Pat is no longer living. So I hope Jerry will love it.

chanda95
07-06-2015, 03:10 PM
Thank you Chanda. This is a portrait of Jerry and Pat. Pat is no longer living. So I hope Jerry will love it.

Aww..That's sad. YES - Jerry WILL love it. I don't think there can be any doubt of that.

TerryCurley
07-12-2015, 04:20 PM
Finally got back to working on this. I may do more later but I need a break right now. The skin on the face is only the first layer, I'll be trying to change the tone a little and work on the blending and highlighting. They reason she looks like she is sparkling is because the oil paint is wet and the light of the flash reflects off the wet oil like it is sparkles.

TerryCurley
07-12-2015, 08:51 PM
Done for today. Don't know if I'll be able to get to work on this tomorrow. My son is coming over to do so repairs on our house and I will have the kids while he is working.

FanKi
07-12-2015, 10:30 PM
Wow, beautiful! I'll be waiting for it's comletion!

chanda95
07-13-2015, 04:36 PM
I hope you realize how amazingly far you have come Terry. This is turning out really nice.

TerryCurley
07-13-2015, 06:27 PM
Thank you FanKi and Chanda, I am really surprising myself. I know that is a little narcissistic but believe me no one is more amazed than I am how nice this is coming along.

Having said that I need to make some changes to Pat's eyes. I mentioned it in the Daily chat. They are off, they need to be more squinting. At the beginning of this thread is my reference photo, you can see what I mean. I think her jaw needs to be more pronounce and lower part of her face just a tad thinner. I'll try changing it just a bit...wish me luck. Let me know if you don't agree with my assessment...especially you Chanda you have such a good eye for detail.

I marked the areas I feel I need to work on. I think Jerry is right on target.

TerryCurley
07-14-2015, 03:36 PM
I've made some adjustments on Pat's face that I talked about in my last post. I would really appreciate critiques, it's the only way to learn. It is very important to me to get this one right.

FanKi
07-14-2015, 06:08 PM
I think it looks better now, and more accurate with the original picture

chanda95
07-15-2015, 04:40 PM
It's beautiful Terry. The only thing that jumps out at me pretty vividly is that the skin tone of him is very yellow while what you have done with her is a more on-target pinkish hue. That may just be a trick of photography or lighting though.

You are doing great.

TerryCurley
07-15-2015, 04:50 PM
It's beautiful Terry. The only thing that jumps out at me pretty vividly is that the skin tone of him is very yellow while what you have done with her is a more on-target pinkish hue. That may just be a trick of photography or lighting though.

You are doing great.

No it's not a photograph problem it is Terry mixing paint differently problem. I saw it too but I really can't change his tone at this point so I decided to live with it.

If that's the only thing you came up with Chanda I am very pleased with this picture. I know you have a really sharp eye.

Thank You.

leighann
07-15-2015, 06:30 PM
All I have to say is Bravo! There is no way I could paint like that. Quit calling yourself a novice because that painting is flippin' awesome.

TerryCurley
07-15-2015, 07:43 PM
OH WOW Leighann and Chanda and FanKi thank you so much.

Here is today's installment.

leighann
07-15-2015, 10:32 PM
Plaid shirt looking good! :)

TerryCurley
07-16-2015, 06:59 AM
This morning looking at the picture my eyes zeroed in on that dark line on her left cheek. The right side of the picture. I pointed an arrow to it. I'm thinking it's just a tad too thick and I'm thinking I could thin it just a tiny bit and it would be better. What do you think?

Thanks Leighann. I'm happy with his shirt except for a small area towards the bottom of the picture, I was getting tired and got a little sloppy....but I'm still going to leave it as is. I may put some highlights on it but I'm not sure yet...simply because I don't know how to do it on a plaid shirt. I think I'm going to let it dry completely then try highlighting it with a wash then if it doesn't look good I can remove the wash not effecting the dry paint. If anyone has a better suggestion for highlighting the plaid please share it with me.

TerryCurley
07-16-2015, 11:12 AM
My son was looking at the picture and made the comment that the neck doesn't look like it's part of the face. He was right...I worked on it. Also I noticed the line was too heavy on the cheeks, and he noticed that the cheeks need to be more smiley around the eyes. Believe it or not I knew what he meant.

So here is the latest tweeking of Pat's face. I think I'm done with her face now. This afternoon I'll work on her shirt.

FanKi
07-16-2015, 11:30 AM
Well done Terry, the plaid went great! And the whole painting is terrific!
Keep like that, i'm anxious to seeing it finished >.<

just
07-16-2015, 01:30 PM
Terry, I'm not trying to sound mean. You asked for input. I see a lot more that needs work. I will just give you some of the biggest problems with her face. You have the shape wrong. The eyes are misaligned and oversized. They are the wrong color and appear two dimensional. Her left cheek is wrong shape and her hair is the wrong color.

TerryCurley
07-16-2015, 02:05 PM
Terry, I'm not trying to sound mean. You asked for input. I see a lot more that needs work. I will just give you some of the biggest problems with her face. You have the shape wrong. The eyes are misaligned and oversized. They are the wrong color and appear two dimensional. Her left cheek is wrong shape and her hair is the wrong color.

I know you are not trying to be mean Just, and I truly do appreciate your input because you are a very talented artist and can see things that I can't.

I think I can work on her eyes some. I do agree with you that they are oversized but at this point I can't change that, but perhaps I can make them more three dimensional by working with the color of the white part. When you say the color of the eyes are wrong are you meaning the Iris of the eyes? I really thought I got that spot on. So maybe it's the lighting of photo of the picture that is showing it different.

I've looked at the shape of the face since you mentioned it and I do see where I can work on the jaw line some more but I'm not sure what else needs work.

In the painting her hair is both darker and thicker. Is that what you meant?

As for other things like the alignment of her eyes and the shape of her right cheek and the general shape of her face all I can say is I appreciate you pointing it out. I do want to improve and it means I need to improve in those areas but for now I have to leave those flaws in the picture because I don't honestly think I'm capable of making them better at this stage. You are critiquing the picture as you would a fellow artist and me being so new to art I find that a great compliment.

Now back to my easel to work on those items you spoke of...Thank You.

TerryCurley
07-16-2015, 03:44 PM
In the post before last 'Just' pointed out a few things that needed more work. I did as much as I could for the skill and tools I have. I've stretched my painting skills way beyond what I thought I was capable of to get the picture to the point it is. It feels so good, this is the best I've ever done. I'm honestly afraid to change her face any further at this point so this is her final face. Next I will start her shirt after resting for a bit.

TerryCurley
07-16-2015, 08:20 PM
I think one more day of painting and I can have this finished. Shirts still need a lot of work. What do you think of the background? I've changed it 4 times now.

FanKi
07-16-2015, 10:50 PM
It's fantastic. I really like it Terry.
The background is ok, it combines with the pic and its soft so I see no reason for changing it again >.<

Splendid work!

TerryCurley
07-17-2015, 11:07 AM
I think I'm done...but I have learned that very often I think that and then someone sees something off, or I see something off. I love getting the kudos from you guys, but I appreciate even more you pointing out things that should be changed and if I agree and I can change them I will. If not I keep it in mind for next time. I find that it's just like proof reading your own writing...the brain overlooks...actually doesn't see it's own mistakes.
Chanda I'll be loading the picture to my album, I know you can't see this at work.

http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q638/Theresa_Curley/004_zps6ly4mcca.jpg

FanKi
07-17-2015, 04:16 PM
As Mc'Donalds motto... I'm Loving it >.<

Only 1 thing I found... strange. Her neck, when it starts the shirt (The shirt collar, I don't know how it's called) I would add a very soft shadow. Its like... it just appears there, it looks weird for me >.< (Hope you get the idea with that explanation hahahahaha)

Anyway you should wait for someone with more knowledge and better eye for details, cuz I'm probably wrong.

Therefore... IT'S GREAT!

TerryCurley
07-17-2015, 05:16 PM
Where shadows should be are sometimes hard to spot. Thank you for your input FanKi. I had a lot of trouble doing the shadows on the neck as you can tell from one picture to the other the neck changed. My son Jim is happy with the neck, he had a lot of comments about it, so I think I'm just going to leave it as is.

Susan Mulno
07-19-2015, 06:06 PM
I love it! I am sure he will too.Is it photographically perfect? No. Does it have personality? A resounding, yes! Great job on the background too.

Susan Mulno
07-19-2015, 06:08 PM
Just! Great to see you back! How are you? I was praying for you.

chanda95
07-20-2015, 01:07 PM
Terry. I think you have done a fine job and I know it will be well received. To even comprehend how recently you started painting and to be at the level you are at now..it's simply astounding.

TerryCurley
07-20-2015, 01:15 PM
Thank you so much Susan and FanKi and Chanda. Your praise means a lot to me.