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Old 02-02-06, 05:35 PM
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Default Carmen - 8"x10" On Panel

Just sharing my recent painting. I appreciate your feedback.


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Old 02-02-06, 07:07 PM
Rosemary Rosemary is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Seattle, WA U.S.A.
Posts: 65
Default Wow!

The fine modeling on this face is absolutely superb! Thank you for including the detail and the size. I especially like the bluish reflected lights under the nose. Excellent observation and painting technique kept this all very much of a piece yet delineated the planes of the features wonderfully. The warm color under the chin with a bluish reflected light there as well really makes this an outstanding rendering of the face. The skin reads as translucent and luminous, very alive.

The only area you might consider is the left edge of the hair. There is a little section there that is almost reading as folded cloth rather than hair. I think a little piece of the edge opposite the ear could use a little softening, maybe allowing the background color to show under a strand. If I put my finger over the edge right there, the hair is obviously hair. When I uncover that edge, the hair looks more like folded cloth. Sometimes fresh eyes see something other than the artist's intention.

I would print out the image on an inkjet printer and try a little color pencil work on the edge, just to see if it was an improvement. I would never work back into such a great painting without something like that as a test.

Besides, it is just my opinion. Thank you so much for sharing this work. It is a lesson for me in how to paint flesh in egg tempera. The detail view is especially helpful. I confess that my rendering of flesh is not nearly so competent. Now I will have to try to better my work as well. Bravo!
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Old 02-02-06, 07:38 PM
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Default wow

Absolutley beautifull Alex. Not only is the technique superb but the compostition and presence of the figure is moving and very descriptive. A powerfully emotional portrait!!
Thats wonderfull
Thank you!
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Old 02-02-06, 10:06 PM
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Rosemary: I sincerely appreciate your in depth critique and comments. And I will use your suggestions to make this peice better. You are right that fresh eyes help alot. Thank you.

Vanthoff: Thank you for looking and sharing. I appreciate your comments. I also wanted to tell you I love that painting on your of the bottles and the animals, excellent.
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Old 03-02-06, 12:59 AM
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Dennis H Dennis H is offline
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Auburn, AL, USA
Posts: 177

Hey, Alex. Great work. It's really impressive to see your brushwork across the face. I love the way the direction of the hatching subtly shifts to follow the rolling planes of her features.
Here are some thoughts. Ignore them if you like!
Because it seems a strong intent in your painting is to express volumes in space, I wonder if you might consider a couple of things that could turn the edges of the forms back into space a little. On the sitter's proper right shoulder (our left), that slightly lighter tone along the silhouette tends to flatten the form, pulling that edge forward instead of allowing it to recede. You could still leave a sharply delineated contour, but perhaps if the value of the blue darkened some instead of lightening, it would appear to push back away from the viewer and seem to curve around to her back. Ditto on the other sleeve. The high contrast of its dark shadow and bright outer contour seem to bring that area forward instead of carrying it back.
(Of course, those effects may very well be intentional. Look at Wayne Thiebaud's contours, for instance...)
A slightly flattening effect occurs about the hair, too. Maybe if some of the highlights toward the center of the hair mass, closest to us, were stronger than those toward the edges, that might also better turn the hair around volumetrically. You did something similar with the just brighter highlight on the near shoulder and sleeve that really pulls that part of her body forward and off the picture plane.
However, those are just quibbling comments. It looks super. Can't wait to see the next one.
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Old 03-02-06, 02:23 AM
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Dennis, thank you very much for your very helpful critique. I see all the areas you mentioned and agree. I can still take this a little further so I will see what I can do to address both your suggestions and Rosemary's.

I appreciate you for taking the time to comment.
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Old 03-02-06, 02:08 PM
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PhilS PhilS is offline
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Sargentville, Maine
Posts: 222

Nice work Alex!
I agree with the comments of the previous posters regarding the edges of the hair and blouse. They detract, in my opinion, only because they aren't obviously intentional. It isn't a major problem, however. The painting is fine just the way it is.
Great brushwork in the enlargement. I've tried following contours in the past and it isn't easy to do it well.
How did you achieve that deep red in the background? Glazing with pure color? It might have been effective to graduate it to a slightly lighter tone either vertically or horizontally. Just a suggestion.
Thanks for posting. Keep them coming!
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Old 03-02-06, 02:26 PM
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Thank you for your time Phil. I appreciate your comments and suggestions.

I am going to work on those edge problems because I agree they could be better.

I do a complete india ink underpainting. The dark background is essentially a dark ink underpainting with Aliz Crim and Cad Red Med over top. I agree also about the gradation and had actually planned for that in the original underpainting but the cad red got away from me.

I think once I go back in and do the edge work I will attempt do the gradation as well.

Thanks again for your input.
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Old 03-02-06, 03:18 PM
brianhendrickson brianhendrickson is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 13

Hi Alex,

Super rendering on the subject! The detail reveals the great delicacy and skill in your brushstrokes. The color choices within the figure are subtle and show a real understanding of the balance between warm and cool tones.

I believe the rich, deep red background overpowers the figure, however, or at least makes it appear to be a cardboard cutout against a red wall. It's a matter of contrast--the darks in the figure aren't as strong as the darks in the background. I would either intensify the darks of the former or tone down the intensity of the latter.

My two cents anyway.

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Old 03-02-06, 03:29 PM
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Thank you for your inpute Brian. I think once I handle the edge issues the cut-out effect will also be addressed.
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