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Ok folks, I need to get honestly hammered!

Discussion in 'Works In Progress & Finished Artworks!' started by Mark Milburn, Dec 3, 2019.


  1. Mark Milburn

    Mark Milburn Double Actioner

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    8031.jpg As a new member, I recently posted a question re: black and white portraits, paint mixing etc and received some great info.

    I haven't done any airbrushing in several years and was/am a novice at 72 years old!
    I am attaching a 2 pictures, one as my reference (will not be difficult to distinguish) and my first attempt! I used a slick illustration board that was fairly easy to erase with reducer to try again when major mistakes made etc etc. so there are some obvious do overs.

    My question is this: recognizing that I understand that I need hours, days months and years of practice as a preface!

    Having cut out the whites of the eyes, nostrils, eyebrows and shape of the face and then lightly dusted those areas to get the perspective/placement correct, I tried to get the basic outlines, shading etc on the board. No matter how many times I changed things, it doesn't come close to looking like the reference person!! I don't think I should be able to do what many of you very experienced and talented folks can do, but shouldn't I be able to say, "hey, that looks like Geena (my grand daughter) but the airbrushing sucks!!?

    Looking at my attempt, are there individual parts that are so wrong that it is unrecognizable as her or is it just everything in general?

    I'm not asking for anyone to fix my novice status in a forum thread, just some general comments on my attempt! You can't hurt my feelings so hammer away!

    I did the hair in about 5 minutes just to get something on the board. I am primarily interested in the facial features!

    Good day to all!

    Mark
    Murrieta, Ca.
    8031.jpg
    small.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2019
  2. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja Very Likeable!

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    Your left airbrushed picture looks great compared to the right taken by camera :laugh:

    Man, don't worry about it. The work you see from this guys here is evolved in many years. Don't expect the same results, lets be honest. Those freaks are airbrushing for 5, 10 or even more years...

    I did noticed though, we noobs are expecting great results in a matter of hours while those guys are calculating their work in days. :eek:

    Just don't show that picture to your grand daughter and you will be fine :D
  3. musicmacd

    musicmacd The Createx Bandit Very Likeable!

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    Proportions are the number one thing to get right, and here they’re a bit out, I would suggest investing in a projector to make accurate outlines of the important features
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  4. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Since you're an actual instructor, is this the first step you advise for most beginners? What would be the next alternative if they don't have funds?

    I haven't had much luck with paper masks except for very basic blocking shape. Cory St.Clair has very complicated ones and I just can't get used to all the flopping and waving.
  5. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja Very Likeable!

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    what about this? -.-


    everybody have some baking paper at home. Or you can steal it from wife,girl whatever.
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  6. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Mark, since thousands of years millions of people are tearing their hair out when attempting portraits - that's part of the fascination of this genre. As Leaky said, practice is the key - normally the second attempt of the same painting provides already a quantum leap, and the learning effect is immense.

    I could think of 4 things: 1. As musicmacd said, the proportions could be more right - especially the lower part of the face and neck seem to be too small / thin. 2. Spend a bit more time on the eyes - they need more depth and detail, and more shade on the outer sides / lashes. 3. The nose is always very difficult to get right as it is such a complicated shape yet it makes or breaks any human portrait. The middle part of the nose (the dorsum nasi) is too defined in your painting, it would be enough just to "hint" that shape 4. Compare again where the lighter and shade points are in the references vs your painting. There are several differences. One special thing that stands out in the reference are the lighter / white parts close to the tear ducts. This may be because of makeup but it is special and provides character, nevertheless.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 3:58 AM
  7. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    I’ve made your pics larger so we can see them easier.
    I know that pics can be different to what you see in real life but I think your main problem is that you’ve gone to dark.
    I lightened you’re photo and your key placements aren’t to far off, you mentioned that you used a 2nd picture to use as a mask which is a great way to go, when you spray your ‘landmarks’ it only needs to be super light (barely there) or you’ll need to make everything darker to cover them up.
    You’ve gone to heavy on the side of her nose which makes things look a whole lot worse.
    I do 3 or more print offs. One reference, one black and white and others to cut up. the black and white is great for referencing where shadows and blends need to go.
    Definitely practice your eyes, I do the eyes first, if they’re ‘off’ the nothing looks right.
    Just take a section of the photo and practise on that until your confidence grows a little
    4AD96DC6-861D-44A6-B3C2-E333F36FDF09.jpeg
    A6449501-A713-4939-9BFF-A9AA4403FADA.jpeg
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 12:33 AM
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  8. musicmacd

    musicmacd The Createx Bandit Very Likeable!

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    If funds are tight, I would suggest painting smaller scale maybe A3 and printing the reference and a photocopy the same scale, cut the photocopy up to achieve the correct proportions and use the reference for creating the colours
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  9. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Top tip: 1
    If you want to paint monochrome, print your reference monochrome, trying to create monochrome from a colour reference is hard.
    Top tip 2:
    Paint what you see, not what you think you see. Cut an isolation window in a large scrap bit of paper, move the window around on the reference to help eliminate the visual noise of everything else. Put both the reference and your work upside down, then you HAVE TO paint what you see, not what your brain tells you is there
  10. musicmacd

    musicmacd The Createx Bandit Very Likeable!

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    Good points!
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  11. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    That isolation window tip is a good idea!
  12. Mark Milburn

    Mark Milburn Double Actioner

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    Thanks to everyone! Exactly what I was looking for. I have a nice digital projector that I can use. I initially tried putting carbon paper beneath the print and marking small lines throughout the picture but, although it gave me very good placement of things, I found myself painting too thick to cover up the carbon lines!

    I really appreciate everyone taking the time to give me some excellent guidance.

    I will try something different, just to get a new look at something and post the outcome. Probably in stages in an effort to slow myself down!

    Thanks again

    Mark
    Murrieta, ca.
  13. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Thanks, it was a tip given to me when I first started, looking at an entire face is overwhelming when you first start your journey, the window helps break it into more ‘bite sized’ chunks
  14. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    Jackie’s two pictures side by side does a good job of showing the difference keeping the shading as light as you can makes. This is a lesson many of us are still trying to learn, it seems so easy but if you get too dark early on then the rest of the piece ends up darker you try and balance it out. Another thing the black and white side by side shows is that I think you’re closer than you think with the placement. I can see where it’s headed once the colours are lighter, so don’t beat yourself up too bad.
    Something to try is to take the reference and your surface and turn them both upside down. This kind of forces you to look and see the shapes you’re painting rather than have your brain tell you what you think should be there. This has helped me in the past, but then again I’m FAR from a master at portraits LOL. I think I’ve only tried 2 so far. They’re not easy.
    Good luck and let us see the next attempt too!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  15. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Also try not to go to dark most newbes go way to dark on there shading ,Remember shading is really a very light different in the skin colors
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  16. Ttxela

    Ttxela Needle-chuck Ninja

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    I'm guessing it's always going to be harder to paint someone you know as it's going to be so obvious if there are any differences, I'm just starting out too and I've done a couple of portraits just of random references off an image search. I've managed to get them to look Ok-ish providing you don't look at them next to the reference - then you realise they are nothing like it! :laugh:
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  17. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja Very Likeable!

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    you made me laugh :laugh:
  18. Ronald art

    Ronald art Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    I see you got all the answers you need all I can ad is to only use graphite paper when you trace the ref photo to your substrate this can be erased carbon ink cant be erased , and I agree with those who mentioned to use only 1 transparent color as mixing up grey scales will give you a opaque paint that needs to be matched to the various color values that are in the black and white ref and then need to be sprayed to max saturation to get the right color
    by using just one transparent color you slowly build up your grey scales and you can check the values with a greyscale finder ( google it) and if you use a paint that can be erased you can fix your mistakes as in when you went to dark to soon you can just push it back with a grey scotch brite pad
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  19. erwin de pan

    erwin de pan Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Many good things have already been said.
    But the biggest problem is that the transitions from dark to light are too short.
    Especially on the cheeks.
    Look carefully at the photo where the light is on the cheek.
    And the shape of it.
  20. erwin de pan

    erwin de pan Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Some pictures to make it clearer, What I mean.

    It is not quite the right shape that I have drawn, but it gives the idea.

    InkedA6449501-I.jpg Inkedsmall_LI.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2019 at 6:40 PM

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