Sunday, July 25, 2010

Katie Scarlett O'Hara - Modified


7/26 update - The original version I did is first, the modified is second. I got some very valuable information over on Wet Canvas as feedback. One artist explained that 80% of the resemblance is in the "T" of the eye's across, the eyes-nose-mouth down. The other 20% is the hair & skull. This explains how a person can be recognized by their eyes only (if all other features were covered up). Another artists showed an example - she had used Photoshop to overlay the painted image over the original, to check for size & placement. I had never thought of doing that, what a valuable tool that is! I could tell immediately that the mouth needed to move & adjust in size, the nose needed more definition, and the eye on the viewers left (her right eye) was too oblong (much of this was pointed out by others as well). I am happier with the modified version, although I have to say, it still doesn't resemble Vivian Leigh. And that is why, painting portraits, is an art! I want to do more portraits now - I'm hoping I will get better at capturing the features with more practice. (The modified photo was taken in the daylight, and my digital camera did a better job at capturing the reds. It usually has trouble with them, as evidenced in the first one).

Original Post:
I have been meaning to do something for the Artist Challenge web blog for some time now. For July, they have a Gone With the Wind challenge - where artists can either depict something from the movie or something about the movie. So I got the ambitious idea of doing a portrait of the main character, Scarlett.

Painting people is not one of my "things" - meaning, I don't do them well, they are a struggle for me, and try as I might I just never seem to get a good representation of the subject. This painting is one of those....

I admit that this does look like a person, it just doesn't look like the person. I have spent quite a bit of time, tweaking/changing/adjusting the face and yet, stand back & it looks like some other woman - and not Vivian Leigh.

Not only am I not good at painting people, but I am not very good at spotting what is wrong. So I think I wind up changing things I should leave alone. I will probably post this over at Wet Canvas and ask for some help from the people there. Quite a few artists who visit there regularly, do very good & lifelike portraits. I doubt if I will submit this to the Artist Challenge (I already have an alternate in my mind to paint for it, if I can make it - the deadline is 7/31).

Any suggestions from anyone on this? I believe this link will show you the original still shot of her in the garnet dress:


Acrylics on 9x12 canvas

4 comments:

Angela said...

I think I would submit it. It is beautiful. I love the smug demeaner you have captured and even tho it may not be what you had in mind it is certainly a nice piece of art. I love the flouncy look of her dress.

AutumnLeaves said...

I think she is beautiful, Nancie. I can't quite remember the details of Vivian Leigh's face, but no matter. You've done one beautiful portrait here!

beckielboo said...

I checked out your reference photo and I think you nailed it!

Paula said...

Wow. This is a great lady! But you're right, it looks more like "Lady" than Vivien Leigh though she is definitely in there! I too have the same trouble with painting faces. My six year old can capture a face in two seconds, with crayons, where I struggle and struggle and never quite get it right. So my advice is really a stretch. More like a suggestion....Here goes:

Your Vivien's jawline is too round and not enough skin on either side of her eyes. I think if you widen her face across her eyes a tad, and then angle her jawline and give her a more square chin it may help. Your Vivien's nose is a bit crooked, too.

But how you managed to get her shoulders and dress so perfect is beyond me. She is intimating me all the way across the internet! You are too good!

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