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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Levi - WIP #3







Here's the latest on little Levi. I've spent a lot of time on the background - too much, actually, since it seems like the focus of the picture should get the most time and attention. I've read/heard quite a few artists who advocate getting the background in first. Well, that doesn't seem to be working too well for me! After trying both working methods, for me it's easier to get the main subject in then decide on how the background will best enhance the subject. What happened with this painting... I did mostly the steps first and they seem too powerful. Choice: either lighten them up or darken the spaces in between the steps to make them recede into the background. I decided to do both. Not sure if the background is still too dominant? Or do the darks serve to set Levi off?


Constructive criticism welcome (Feel free!! LOL!)

13 comments:

Lin said...

What a FABULOUS job!! YES, the darks set off his clothing well .. I LOVE his cute face and wonderfully done expression ... the only comment I would make is to highlight his face just a bit more .... when I compare it to his shirt, I'd love to see a bit more color on his face to bring my eyes to this adorable child. BRILLIANTLY done, Teresa!

Lin said...

PS -- maybe, as I'm looking at him, a toning down of his shirt so his beautiful face shows more?? Maybe the shirt needs a bit of shadow and tone?

Teresa said...

Oops... ahem.... didn't think to mention to you that I haven't done his shirt yet (does this mean I'll get clobbered when we meet for coffee? :-)!?

His shirt is blue - lighter than his shorts, and I left it for later because it has an eagle graphic on it and I wasn't sure how much detail I'd want to include. Didn't think about the fact that it would look like a white shirt at this stage LOL!!!!!!

Thank you for your encouragement... you're such a sweetie (does this get me off the hook?) ;-)

Rose Welty said...

Teresa, you have done a great job on this - it really looks good. I would think of pushing the values in his face and hair a bit more, it's value contrast that draws the eye, so having more contrast around his face and hair would draw the eye there.

It looks great, hope you are proud!

Sanghi said...

Exquisite work! Great talent! keep up! Visit my site too at http://www.sanghi-artlife.blogspot.com and leave ur comments. Love to add u in my blog.

Cathy Gatland said...

This is a wonderful portrait - he looks so soft and sunlit against the dark textured steps. The shirt toned down will help to put the focus on the face I think. Really really well done Teresa!

The Weaver of Grass said...

The dark certainly sets him off a treat Teresa. It is a lovely drawing - you are being too crtical of yourself - wish I could have done it.

Laure Ferlita said...

Teresa, a trick that I often use when I'm struggling with values is to make a copy of the photograph on a copier. You've got an instant value scale! Then if you're not sure how your painting/drawing is going, take a digital photo and make it into a grayscale - then you can compare the two!

As to the darks and the lights, I'm not much good at determining whether it's too light or dark unless it's waaaaay to dark! I do think this is coming along very well though and it will be very successful when you're done. Good luck with your finish! ~ Laure

acornmoon said...

I think the steps work well and give the painting energy, a nice contrast to the little boy's tee shirt, in fact I think you could increase the contrast on the lighter side just a fraction, this would make him stand out more.

You have caught his expression beautifully, I think you have done a great job, well done!

Ikshaa said...

Wow thats very real to tell you.Do keep posting more like that.Wld like to add u in my blog:)Do visit my blog and give ur comments.

Teresa said...

Thank you - all of you - for your encouragement and helpful comments. It's always nice to get someone else's opinion.

I agree with Rose that the values in his face do need pushing, although as a couple of you mentioned I do think that when the shirt is completed that will help put more focus on his face. And, Laure, (gosh, I hate to admit this!) ah, well, I actually did make a grayscale copy to use as a value scale... but got so caught up in all those lovely colors that I pretty much forgot about it until I started questioning some of my value choices. Thank you for the reminder... I think I'll be using a gray scale much more in the future! Sheepish grin :-)

Felicity said...

Teresa, thanks so much for your lovely comments! Cartridge paper is used in most drawing pads and sketchbooks in the UK. I'm not familiar with American brands but I do have some Strathmore Bristol Smooth drawing paper and it's similar to that but with just a little bit more tooth.

I'll take some progress shots of the small drawing I'm doing at the moment and post an update in 2 or 3days. We all work so differently so it may or may not be useful! For instance I always draw the face first and leave everything - hair, background - out until I get that right. For me the background against the face in the early stages would cloud my judgement. Once the face is done, I'll match the values to that. I never use gray scale copies (just a thing I have about it for some reason!) but I always check edges and the contrast between them and use layers to bring everything up - rather than say, working on it in sections. This is a really super drawing and I wouldn't have thought you needed any advice! But just keep going until you're happy!

Teresa said...

Hi Felicity,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful, informative reply. I like the idea of getting the face in and then working the rest of the portrait around it. Makes perfect sense to me! I look forward to seeing your WIP's - thank you for taking time to do that, it's very kind of you.

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