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Sometimes the process is painful but you push through

Updated: Mar 5, 2019


This is a painting I did in my portrait class. The teacher is brilliant but tough. She prefers more advanced students and gets frustrated with beginners like me but she's such a talented artist and really interesting and personable.


Here is where it started...


I was trying to put in the lights and darks first, which is what a lot of teachers talk about as a first step. I thought it was going pretty well. I was happy with the start. And then it took a wrong turn...




I started to layer a lot of colors into the face and it started to become muddy. I also lost the shadow and light differentiation that I had put in at the beginning. It went south from there.



Her mouth got off center, the skin colors became washed out and dirty and the eyes were all off. My teacher was not happy with my progress. She gave me some areas to work on and I did this...



I made it worse. It was just bad. I was discouraged and frustrated at this point and didn't know how to bring it back to a better place. She was not happy. But I kept at it and ended up with this.


I was happy with where I got considering how challenging the process was for me. We had two more weeks with the model for this portrait but my teacher said that I should just scrap this one and start another one. I can't say I wasn't a little bit discouraged but I wanted to get better so I started another one and tried to apply the lessons I learned. The one I started right after this is on my site under Figure Paintings, called "Facing."


I was editing the picture and changed it to black and white just to see how it looks. It's still not good but maybe a little more interesting like this...



In the end, this is not a painting I will put up but it was a good exercise in both portrait painting and how to take criticism, try to learn from it and keep moving forward.


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