Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's Harder Than I Thought

Sometimes you start a painting and you think that it will be difficult to get right, then you work on it, and it turns out, it wasn't so hard. Then there are the paintings that you think will be pretty easy and it turns out that it is no where close to that. I'm not going to say that I thought my latest painting would be easy. I knew there would be some difficult parts, such as the man's salt and pepper colored hair and the mesh shirt that he is wearing. But I do have to say that this painting is harder than I thought it was going to be and I haven't even started the mesh part!

I have worked on this painting for four days now, and usually after this much time, I would have had a lot more done and it would have looked pretty close to being done. But as you can see from the above photo, there is a lot of work left to be done. I can seem to get the skin tone on the woman right. I think I need some more middle tones around the chin area in order to even it out some. There wasn't much contrast on her face in the photo so I was trying to pump up the contrast so that she wouldn't look so cartoony, but I think I over did it on her chin. I have worked on the face so much these past days and I don't seem to be getting it right. It's frustrating.

The man's face looks better but his eyes still doesn't seem right. I think darkening the areas around his eyes will help but he still seems to lack a certain sparkle in his eyes, which is needed. I have to say I painted him looking a bit cross-eyed also. This is not good. Since this is a commission, it has to look perfect. I am no where near that yet. Good thing I can still work on this!

I have to admit, I am a bit worried about getting this painting right. The first painting for this client, the image of her as a baby, came out so well and now I am feeling a bit stressed about getting this one to look as good. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day and it will all work out. I think I should leave the face alone for a bit (I have been hyper-focused on them for the past four days) and work on their clothing. I know I can get those things looking pretty good and I need to have some good moments on this painting before I get too frustrated.


  1. My $.02:
    Her hairline throws it off for me. On one hand, it ties in too closely with the sunglasses making her hair look plastic too, and its angularity gives a weird flat geometry to the top of her head, as if it were cut out with a scissor. The rest looks fine though.

  2. I can see that. Unfortunately, that's pretty much how the photo looks. She's got helmet head. Now I need to decide whether I should stick to the photo or take some artistic license to it and make it look better. Maybe if I make her hail lighter near the glasses and feather out the hair on her hair line in order to soften it a bit....hmmmm.