"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Nudging the portrait likeness

Although I am not really concerned with this being a "portrait" with an exact likeness I find myself evaluating the facial proportions with almost the same obsessiveness that I experience when doing an actual commission. It just bothers me when I can see things are "off" a bit. Measuring and looking over and over, putting it away for a while, bringing it out again to look at again, and I start to see where I need to "nudge" the features into truer position. I have posted here the fix that is necessary to bring Samanda's features where they belong. I was off by just a very tiny bit - eyes I had right on, but nose, a trifle too long (although shape and size were right) and mouth, (also size and shape correct) therefore needed also to be brought up. We are talking less than 1/8" . It is quite amazing how the human face can look so different when features are off by such a small measurement. A slight crease in the wrong spot, a dimple over to the right or left too far, a jaw a bit too wide...all these can make or break the "likeness." The biggest change I had to make was the width of the jaw - I was too wide by about 1/4". Her neck is now going to look longer, but a longer neck is almost always of benefit to a portrait. I don't mind a touch of mannerism in neck, limbs, or torso. I will let the repainted lines for the nose and mouth and jaw dry thoroughly before going back in to repaint the skin tones. I do not want them turning into mush. Mush is distasteful in painting as well as food.


  1. Gosh that painting is gorgeous! You truly have a masterful touch :)

    And yes indeed mush is distasteful :) lol!

  2. Karen, this is beautiful and the likeness is excellent! You are too hard on yourself!

  3. Hi Karen!... "A nudge" is really a very benign and humbly used term to describe the precision and accuracy "You" always seek... and find in your work.

    Even in architectural or landscape rendering... it is that same precision and attention to measurement and detail... that separates good work from mediocre... or failure.

    Thank "You" for sharing your process and insights! Might send "Me" strollin' down the portrait trail! HAHA!!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,