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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally started a portrait. This is my granddaughter making a funny face. It needs a lot of work.
 

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I don't know how hard I should be so I will hold back. First to catch expression you must get the turn and tilt of the head nearly perfect. Second you must show life in the eyes. I personally think that you should start over until you get those right.
 

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I think your right but I'm going to try to adjust this. It's really about learning and practicing. We'll see, I may take your advice. Thanks and don't worry about being to hard on me. I'm a beginner that want's all the help I can get.
 

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Try using a ruler and protractor to mark distance and angles between points.
 

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Iknow what you mean. I used to draw completely by eye. But now that I am older, I find it too much trouble. There are keypoints that makes it work more efficient and I need efficiency. However, I believe that there is a big difference between comparing distance and angles and tracing.
 

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The difference is in the talent level. I know that this is a touchy subject for a few people on this site so I will drop it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The difference is in the talent level. I know that this is a touchy subject for a few people on this site so I will drop it.
Yeah, I can see where that ruffle some feathers but these copying techniques seem to be accepted and encouraged in many of the tutorials I've seen or read.

I did some more work on this portrait and I can see that my eye sucks for this. Time for the dividers and protractor.:biggrin: The beauty of acrylics is that I can fix things without starting over.
 

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I'm going to be interested in seeing how this comes out Dick. I've done a few portraits and none came out really good so take that into consideration. Yours is a WIP so what I'm about to say you probably already plan to do anyway. So here are my observations. The white spot in the eye is what brings the eyes to life. The mouth needs to be more happy - just a tiny up turn and some dimples. That's all I got so far. I do agree with @just (God help me) that there should be a little tilt to the head, but I think it's too late to change that in this painting.
 

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Well, I couldn't paint a portrait to save my life, but I stared at both the picture and painting, for what seemed like forever, and came up with pretty much the same as everyone else.

Definitely need a little head tilt. Eyebrow tilt is a must in this painting. Her eyes are so expressive, and I can see where that would be tough to emulate onto a canvas. Plus, she has the smile lines under her eyes that I think would be key as well.
@dickhutchings I know you do these paintings for the pure enjoyment of it, so do just that. Enjoy yourself!! :wink::wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I didn't get to work on it yesterday but I have enjoyed looking it all weekend. It just cracks me up every time I look at it. I keep it in the living room along with the reference photo. This is definitely the most fun thing I've painted yet.
 

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This may get me banished from the artist's guild, but here it comes anyway.

90% of my photograph-based art begins with an image tracer.

I learned measuring, protractors, etc. Typically, an ink drawing would be 66% measuring, 34% creating. And that was just too much of a bitch for me, especially as I got older and crankier. I'd spend 30-40 hours on an 11 x 14 drawing. Ouch.

So now, I create a lightened-up copy of the photo, print it on my laser printer, load it into my trusty image tracer, get the precise location of the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the ears, the jawline sketched in in ten minutes or less, then proceed to create art.

There, my dark secret is out in the open.

I do the same on buildings, then (of course) use perspective to get it perfect. I'd never draw a building without using perspective lines. I'm not a complete hack, after all. ;-)

Do I get my coat and leave this group of actual artists? I'll understand if I have to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for sharing that @bbbaldie. I'm totally with you on this one. Yes we are capable of measuring and getting everything right but that's just drafting after all. I always enjoyed drafting but now I want to paint and I want to get started laying paint down as quick as I can. I will continue to try to do it completely by eye as well, maybe every other one!
 
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