{new blog tag from ArtSparker. This gives you free will to tell ME what you really think without feeling like you are going to offend me. I know the painting stinks right now! So help me!! Tell me like it is. I'm a big girl, I can take it. Ha!}

.well, I don't know what to say about this one. In the words of Daman Wayan's {on In Living Color} "HATED IT!!!" The problem is, when you try to paint someone you know it ends up being a big F.R.E.A.K.I.N.G. project because I know what they look like and they know what they look like and to capture the likeness is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The smallest brush stroke can change the person's persona altogether. So, before I paint over this madness, I am asking for constructive criticism.

.I need some R.E.A.L feedback... HOLLA! {click on picture to enlarge and see up close}


Dorit said...

I think the eyebrows should do it. Maybe the cheeks should be bigger.

That's why I stick to animals :)

I didn't know how to send you the elephant banana holder, so I just posted it on my blog.

ArtSparker said...

Don't throw a shoe at me, but simply considered as a compostion/shapes it's very handsome indeed.

To increase the resemblance, I'd start with the mouth, yours is a bit small and tentative looking. I really like the way you've done the eyes.

I am in the process of posting, will link to this post. Your badge awaits.

ArtSparker said...

Hmm...you may want to post a larger photo of just the face, if that is your main concern.

Captain Smack said...

This is what I think Yoda would tell you, were Yoda a fan of blogs and happened upon your page.

He would make a gurgly sound and then say something like: Hmm... painting the body, you are. The body the person is not. Forget the face, you must, and paint the person you shall!

I have no idea what that means, of course. That damn Yoda always talks in riddles.

I guess that wasn't very constructive. Hell, I don't know what to tell you. I tried to paint a real person's face once, and it went in a very similar direction.

Debra said...

I applaud your great effort. People are just plain hard for all of the reasons you mentioned.
Please keep us posted on this one.

milly (elephants&redwoods) said...

this is exactly the kind of feedback I need. If you click on the iamge you can see everything much closer up.

Dorit: i had the cheeks bigger and then he looked pudgy so I put teh cheeks on a diet and brought them in too much hence the brown lines around the face. so frustrating

Captain Smack: im truly enlightened. I might try painting with my eyes closed.

ArtSparker: i wouldn't throw shoes at you!! The mouth is a problem, I am STRUGGLING with it big time...maybe if I try a finer brown to define the lips more, but if you look at the picture, the area right above the lip is really light, so I have to offset it as well.. well see.

Son of Incogneato said...

I think is that you’ve embarked on a near impossible mission:
- Painting a portrait of someone you know intimately
- Painting a semi-realistic portrait of someone who’s smiling

The thing about trying to paint him with your eyes closed isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Then you’d be painting how you think and feel about him, not what you see. That painting probably wouldn’t say so much about what he looks like as it would about how you experience him.
That said, I think that the line framing on his face is a little bit too dark and hard and there is a lack of dimensionality here. Think about light and how it casts shadows on 3-D objects. For me it’s his face that needs working on, but of course that’s the hard part, isn’t it? Bring his cheeks, forehead and chin a little bit forward with lighter colors, like you did with his nose. Maybe soften the transition area where his nose meets his cheeks.
Other than that I think it’s a pretty good effort thus far, especially his body (the shirt). The background is also fine.
Very brave of you to ask for help. You deserve one of ArtSparkers banners for that alone. Good luck!

Son of Incogneato

dolcechic said...

It deserves two snaps and a clap :)

Tammie Lee said...

My cranial sacral teacher suggested we never work on a lover or child of ours. But hey, I think you are moving along quite well. That body language and clothing looks fab and you are learning about faces. I sure can not give suggestions. I try and do a face and i do it 18 times before it looks somewhat proportioned to the body. You don't have my problem.

lilaphase said...

Admirable job - I tend towards a more abstract version of whatever I'm painting, so I get more leeway.

My only suggestion would be to bring the hairline down a bit to make the forehead slightly smaller, perhaps even allowing a stray hair or two to fall there?

Really - it's all about what you like.

milly (elephants&redwoods) said...

I like to be more abstract as well...so I need to figure this out. I dont want it to be too realistic.

yoon see said...

I have no comment. The rest have commented some points that I have just in mind.
Milly, you are on the right track, just improve those that need to be improved and all will be perfext:)

Tomás Serrano said...

It´s very difficult to say something to a painter... Each one could do one different thing, with his own style... Uf, I think I must see more before.

milly (elephants&redwoods) said...

Right now I am waiting for that inspiration. It will come.

Your right Mr. Serrano...It's going to be about finding my own style. Right now, my head is not in it.

I'll find it. I will. something will click...I'm not going to force it and when it's back, it's back. Thank you.

Rachel H said...


A couple more ideas for you - have you tried looking at both pictures together in a mirror or upside down? Like you say, you're know what he looks like too well, so it's too easy to put down the lines where you think they are instead of where they really are. Taking a different perspective, like upside down, sometimes shows in scary reality where you've got things out of proportion or in the wrong place.

It's an excellent start though - for a start the head is the right size, and that's a really common stumbling block.

Don't get too downhearted about the mouth - I always find that's the hardest part and I fiddle about with mouths for HOURS before I finally capture the person! Stick with it - good luck!

Echo said...

Stop trying so hard.
You have great elements and angles in here. The painting as a whole feels a bit stilted.
Stop thinking about what he LOOKS like. As you paint, think about who this person is, what you love about him, what you don't love about him. Let your paint talk and, I know this is difficult, stop trying to be specifically visual about it. For example, as you choose colors, think fo the flavor, not the harsh reality of them.

Bella Sinclair said...

Hi, Milly (did I ever tell you I love that name?). I'm afraid I'm not in a position to offer advice, not having any painting skills whatsoever. But I think you got some excellent suggestions so far. The bit about looking at it upside down is brilliant! Seems to me, though, that the freedom you've given yourself with the color choices and the looseness indicate that this is more impressionistic than realistic. Maybe forget the photo altogether and start painting from your heart? Regardless, I think it's an excellent portrait already.

pve design said...

I can help, first try it in black and white and paint from dark to light. Look for the darks - then the light.
Usually this helps to lead the way, Paint shapes and push and pull the paint. Focus on the face and the back-ground can be soft. Take a look at the portraits by Elizabeth Peyton. I think you are brave.

Anonymous said...

are trying to capture a serial killer? if so. kudos.