View Full Version : Portrait Realism - critique would be much appreciated!

Twilight Aria
02-23-2014, 12:23 AM
I've been focusing on learning the basics of human faces, so that's what I've got here. Any critique on structure, color, hair (so much harder than it looks! >.< ), and so on would be greatly appreciated! I used references for her eyes and nose.

Here's my girl (http://i.cubeupload.com/584eoa.jpg).

Thank you so much in advance! Please don't be afraid of offending me on any points, anything to help me improve, haha. c:

02-23-2014, 01:08 AM
The nose and mouth look good on their own but the eyes are pretty big for the face and the features are kind of far apart. Beautiful painting work though!

QT Melon
02-23-2014, 03:04 AM
I think it's great you're working on human portraits. One of the first things I can say is that you need to watch your proportions on the face. The face is rather long, and the mouth is on the low side.

Proko has some great vids on learning the proportions of the head.


Although hair can be hard, people make it harder for themselves because they get mired in details instead of breaking it down into parts and leaving some parts in with the illusion of detail.



Besides getting proportions down you may also want to learn how skin tones actually work. You don't go to a darker shade for skin, you may often play with slightly different colors since blood and such run through your skin.


02-24-2014, 01:52 AM
I agree that the face is pretty long, could get reduced. Mouth can nose placement are nice but considering the face can get modified thatīs another case. Hair is really impressive but kinda overdetailed, it can get simplified a bit and it could save you some headaches. If you are aiming for realism skin tones work a little differently depending of the lightsource. The colors of her skin are based on any particular ethnicity?? If thatīs the case you could some references. QT Melon face color tutorial is pretty insightful in getting the warmth tones.

Really amazing start thought. Good stuff.

QT Melon
02-24-2014, 12:19 PM
Not sure what the above poster is saying, but the mouth and nose are too far apart from each other proportionally.

Twilight Aria
02-24-2014, 10:05 PM
Thanks for the pointers, everyone. That skin tutorial is especially helpful, QT, thank you for linking me!

Twilight Aria
03-01-2014, 07:08 PM
Okay, I'm just going to use this thread as my official "hey come tell me what sucks and what doesn't please!" thread.

Right. Here's a sketch of a different face. I tried to take into account all of the advice and commentary I received from the last portrait, but I'd like to get this one critiqued before I actually start painting and things get harder to change haha.

It's a little messy, if I need to clean it up a bit more before it's legible enough to comment on, please tell me!

Another girl (http://i.cubeupload.com/sgSZOj.jpg).

03-01-2014, 07:32 PM
Nice work so far! xD I'm still practicing realism myself so I don't want to give any wrong advice, though the eyes look like they can be shrunk more, and the cheek looks like it should be a bit higher. You may have to shift the facial features around a bit if you do raise it to accommodate for the change.

QT Melon
03-02-2014, 10:47 AM
This is looking a lot better than your first attempt. Some things to watch out for is the ear. It doesn't seem to be set in the head at the right angle. The other is the eye, the shape is not in line with the head.

Twilight Aria
03-03-2014, 02:37 PM
Update (http://i.cubeupload.com/CW4FkK.jpg)! Made changes to placement of cheek, ear, and mouth. I'm still having trouble with the eyes, though.

Thanks so much for the criticism guys, I'm very grateful you've taken the time to help me improve!

Twilight Aria
03-09-2014, 02:17 PM
And here's another update~ I think I'm doing better with painting hair, but painting the eyes and nose at an angle has been extremely difficult. :c I don't suppose I could bum a redline or quick paintover out of anybody? Haha.


Edit -- it just occurred to me that I should be doing this in the sketchbook forum. Is that correct? >.>;;

QT Melon
03-10-2014, 09:21 AM
To be honest, I would have waited on trying to detail the hair and just worked on every part at the same time. The skin tones are improving but the jaw appears to be too wide.

Whether you do it in the sketchbook forum or here doesn't matter too much as long as you try keeping it to your topic I believe. This is specifically asking for critiques, where sketchbooks allow critiques and feedback.

03-23-2014, 04:59 PM
Maybe i'm a little late, but I'll throw in my 2 cents if you don't mind!

Her skin, nose and lips are SPECTACULAR! Great work on those. The eyes are a bit big and manga-ish, but I have a feeling you were trying to do that. Hair is tricky. The best way to do hair is to balance places of high contrast with places of high detail and low detail. So, feel free to highlight single strands of hair, but not every strand needs to be drawn. Give the impression of lots of strands of hair without drawing them all by highlighting a few, drawing a few and then letting the others fade into mid-tones and darks.

Keep up the good work!

Twilight Aria
04-02-2014, 01:43 PM
Thank you both. c: Well, multiple people have been telling me to focus on form and tones, so I've been trying to work in grayscale lately... it's just as hard, haha. Augh.

This one is in a deliberately more exaggerated style, although I'm going for a realistic shading, similar to a final fantasy style. As always very appreciative if you'd tear it apart~


QT Melon
04-04-2014, 10:13 AM
Each attempt is getting better so keep going. Try using larger brush strokes because you keep going with stringy hair, and you should hold off on doing anything in hair other than the basic overall shapes till later in your painting.