Submission Piece 2: Colour Portrait
The second of my submissions pieces is this coloured portrait. I decided to paint Louise again because I had a nice photo of her which had a mixture of warm and pale light, the main source of light is a warm one, but the blue parasol causes it to cool/pale as it passes through. This provides an dynamic contrast which I thought would be excellent for testing my skills.
I still have some issues with painting realistically colour portraits, particularly when it comes to skin tones. Although I have improved significantly since the beginning of this project, I continue to struggle with picking healthy skin tones. I often begin with a very brown/tobacco skin colour without realising, and then have to breath life into with adjustment layers. Despite this I am much more confidant with my colours, even if I do get them wrong initially I now understand that they are wrong and know how to correct them. As can be seen in the portrait, I managed to avoid a lot of these unhealthy tones and keeping the face warm even in the pale light.
Furthermore, my brushwork has also improved. At the start of this project I would often paint in shapes, aiming to fill in an area of colour/shade. This had the effect of creating multiple conflicting brushstrokes and tangents which pulled the eye in every direction. I think this portrait shows my improvement in this issue. I now understand that I can use my brush strokes in harmony with the structure of the face, following the direction of muscles or locks of hair. This can especially be seen in the cheeks and eyes of the portrait.
There are some areas of this portrait which still cause issues, particularly the expression. I think the mouth is fine but I had some difficulty with transferring the happiness into the eyes (eyes are still an issue for me it seems). They almost show it but are in that middle ground were they haven’t quite reached happiness and just look dead/unfocused instead. Upon reflection I think this could be rectified by raising the lower eyelids, but I just don’t have the time to fix it at this point.
Overall I am extremely pleased with this piece, despite the mentioned issues, and I think it is an excellent example of my improvement this semester.
As usual, a WiP can be found of Behance: https://www.behance.net/wip/1107461/1980229
And I have produced a progress gif: