Category Archives: S2 Submissions

Submission Piece 3: Expressionistic Portrait

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This is the third and final submission piece for my second semester of Computer Arts Practice, an expressionistic self portrait.

I had a lot of issues with this portrait, but I am happy with it as the finale to this project. My main issue was getting the colours mentioned in my previous post to work harmoniously with each other. The obvious issue was how in-your-face the colours were, I could have created an Andy Warahol pop art eye-sore, but I have never been a big fan such bright vibrant images. In my opinion such bright and vibrant colours need to be balanced with ones softer on the eye, otherwise the image is too garrish. As such I began by trying to use the colours chosen to compliment the natural colours of the piece, using them to alter shades and highlights (as I have done in pieces like Photostudy 8 and Photostudy 9).

However this produced its own problems because I then struggled to blend the abstract colours with the realistic, which were quite brown/tobacco due to my previously mentioned struggles. Browny-yellows do not blend well with magenta and lilac it turns out. I was eventually able to overcome this problem by further implementing the abstract colours and having them completely override the natural tones. I also inverted the background, which was initially yellow and magenta. This made the overall piece too hot, and I did not want too many cool colour on my face as it would render me cold and negative, the opposite of the  traits I was trying to present. However the blue background is much more calming and balances the piece well.

Whilst this has resulted in a pleasing and soft application of the otherwise gaudy colour scheme, it was the result of a far too much time and effort. Never the less I am pleased with the results of this piece and am glad to have it as the finishing piece of this project.

A WiP can be found on my Behance:

And I have produced another progress gif.



Submission Piece 2: Colour Portrait

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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:

And I have produced a progress gif:


Submission Piece 1: Greyscale Portrait

Black and White 10 This is 1 of my 3 final submission pieces, a greyscale portrait (I wrote monochrome in the brief but this was so I could have some flexibility with it if I wanted to). I chose Julia as the subject for this piece because I have been really annoyed with my earlier attempt at painting her when I began my portrait practice (see here). I wanted to have another go at painting her to try and get it right this time.

I think I have certainly improved in this. The face is much more structured than before and and there is a clear sense of the skull beneath it. The portrait now looks like Julia, as opposed to last time, and I feel more confidant in my understanding of how the head is structured.

My shading and understanding of tone have certainly improved a lot since the beginning of this project, as this piece shows. Before I often found myself creating images with high contrast that would disrupt the harmony of the image. As this portrait demonstrates I am much less inclined towards this now and can confidently produce softer and more natural gradients. I still have some issues with the deeper shadows, as demonstrated with dark lines above the eyes, but overall I feel I have improved significantly.

As per usual, the WiP can be found on Behance:

And here is a process GIF.