It's gone through a lot of changes and it's a lot better now than it was. The hand in the back still needs to be fixed. Other than that I'm just wanting to get some extra opinions on the rest of the portrait.
It's a nice piece of art. To critique this however depends on what you are going for. Is this supposed to be on the realism side ,or the slightly animated, or impressionist, or what?
I will comment on the composition however. The stripes of the sheet need to be toned down a level. They are two harsh and because this is a portrait; it should not be pulling attention from the face. I suggest dulling the color of the stripes a bit. There is also some shadow work to be done here as the sheet lacks form.
The body form is good. The arm seems a bit too dark compared to the skin tone of the face. If light is hitting her face from the left, then the light should also be hitting her right arm.
If you want to bring out her face a bit more, tone down that white wall behind her.
I like the portrait. Thanks for sharing.
One way to overcome these sorts of difficulties, the best way, is to spend at least a hundred hours drawing with charcoal on paper from a live, nude model.
A short cut is to buy an anatomy book and study the musculo-skeletal system very thoroughly.
"Modern" artists do, of course, take all kinds of liberties with anatomy - they distort it for expressive purposes, paint symbols that only refer to it, break it up (Cubism), etc., but I don't think that's what you've tried to do here, and anyway an artist should master anatomy first before taking liberties with it.
Don't be discouraged; the human body is arguably the most difficult of all common motifs to paint. I'm not particularly good at it even though I took two semesters of Life Drawing in college and a year of Gross Anatomy in medical school.
Carson Collins wrote:The head lacks gravity; by this I mean that it does not appear to be resting on the pillow (or floating, either), but somehow held up by a painful tension which has no discernible source.
Thank you! I've been looking at it for awhile and haven't been able to figure out what felt wrong about it but that's exactly it. Thanks for pointing that out.
Carson Collins wrote: the hair likewise fails to obey the law of gravity. It looks as if the head had been painted in an upright position and then turned on its side.
This is actually how my hair is. lol. I painted this from a pic and my hair really does defy gravity, I wanted to change it so that it looked more realistic but I didn't want to betray the actual reality. It was one of those tough times when I had to chose between being true to the photo or being true to the way it seemed reality should be.
I agree completely that an artist should master anatomy before messing with it. I still haven't mastered it (obviously) but I'm working on it! thanks for the tips.
captainduh wrote: Is this supposed to be on the realism side ,or the slightly animated, or impressionist, or what?
This is one those times where it's hard to say exactly. I was going for realism. Obviously, it didn't turn out that way but I usually aim for realism in a painting like this because it makes me work harder to achieve it. I could just claim that it's impressionist and I did it on purpose but really I was aiming for something more realistic than what it turned out to be. In fact I was trying to copy Philip Pearlstein's style (as was the assignment) which brings me to my next point:
captainduh wrote:I will comment on the composition however. The stripes of the sheet need to be toned down a level. They are two harsh and because this is a portrait; it should not be pulling attention from the face. I suggest dulling the color of the stripes a bit.
Philip Pearlstein (while I failed capturing his style in the figure) used a lot of patterns in his portraits. In fact, the main focus of all his portraits was the patterns around the figures and not the figure itself so this was done on purpose.
thank both of you very much for your ctitique both were very helpful! You guys are great
I'll keep practicing!
veronica wrote:I hope you have not found my assessment too harsh,
Not at all! It's not really a critique if you're not honest and I knew a lot was wrong with the anatomy so it wasn't really surprising. I agree with you about the arm looking plasticy. I painted and repainted that art trying to make it look more natural but I just couldn't get it to work. Now that I look at it, I think I need more curves in the arm and perhaps an indication of hair... of perhaps my shadows are just too smooth...
Taking into account everyone's critique about the anatomy I have realized the main problem. I painted from a foreshortened photo and but it doesn't really show in the painting. That's why certain parts seem to defy gravity: in the photo the figure moves back in space while mine appears to be more like she's laying on the side.
So I can see now that the head is much too large, the legs don't take up enough of the canvas to look like they are closer to the viewer.
I think I'm gonna repaint it.
Thank you all for your helpful advice
I am not great at anything - I am in a transition
anthony wrote:A self portrait like this would have difficult for me to pull off. I am inspired by your courage and your obvious talent. The composition and colour is pleasing to my eye. I like the serenity; humility in this piece. It is simple and striking. There is nothing technical in this painting that bothers me. It appears that you painted this from your heart. Thanks for sharing! Tony
>//< Thank you very much for your kind words!
I hope this helps.
Keep on painting!
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