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Old 12-30-2002, 05:17 AM   #1
Christina Common Christina Common is offline
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Background advice




I am seeking advice about a basic background. I am currently working on a portrait of a military officer sitting on the edge of a desk. The man is placed slightly off to the right on the canvas with a US flag behind the desk off to the left. The light source is coming from the upper left. My question is what is the recommended light casting for the background? I currently have a
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Old 12-30-2002, 09:43 AM   #2
Cynthia Daniel Cynthia Daniel is offline
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Christina,

It would be helpful to others if you could post an image of what you're painting.
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Old 12-30-2002, 12:01 PM   #3
Christina Common Christina Common is offline
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I'm sorry I can't post the picture I am painting at the moment - my expensive pile of worthless parts..aka "computer" is back in the shop. I am using my work computer for the time being. I will get a posted picture as soon as I can.
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Old 12-30-2002, 01:11 PM   #4
Timothy C. Tyler Timothy C. Tyler is offline
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Look to the left

David Leffel talks about backgrounds a lot in his book... "halos" too. Henri said, "backgrounds should be just that".
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Old 12-30-2002, 03:21 PM   #5
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Christina,

Hello back to my hometown of San Antonio.

Below are the comments of John de la Vega regarding backgrounds. I keep these remarks present in my mind.

http://forum.portraitartist.com/show...&threadid=1199
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Old 12-31-2002, 01:41 PM   #6
Christina Common Christina Common is offline
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General in progress

Hello from San Antonio!

Thank you, Tim and Mike, for your responses.

I finally have my computer running again. Here is the painting I am currently working on. There is plenty of work to be completed, but it's the background I'm focusing on. The large dark area to the left of the man is going to be the US flag. This picture is more yellow than the original, but the concern is - should I leave the "halo", tone it down, or make it more of a flat color? I appreciate all the advice I can get! If any composition issues pop up, please feel free to comment!

Tim, I searched David Leffel and I came across a video, but what is the name of the book you are referring to?
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Old 12-31-2002, 01:55 PM   #7
Christina Common Christina Common is offline
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General in progress

The reference picture is www.whmc.af.mil/manbehindthename/index.htm

The pose idea was taken from a beautiful picture painted by an artist I admire the most, Dean L. Paules. www.portraitartist.com/paules/greene.htm
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Old 12-31-2002, 02:43 PM   #8
Rochelle Brown Rochelle Brown is offline
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Hi Christina,

From looking at what you've shown and said, what comes to my mind is: First, take your time. Shadows and light are very important elements of your image. Getting a good skin and fabric texture are more important than the background. I would also suggest that unless you have lots of time to work on this picture, that If you add a mixture of colors or lights and darks you can achieve a pleasant, flattering background without laboring over details like furnishings or even the flag.

Simmie Knox has some beautiful examples of this technique on his website. Although, I have to say, hard as it would be to have to choose, my favorite painter of men in suits is also Dean Paules.
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Old 12-31-2002, 03:29 PM   #9
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Christina,

Check out the military man that Tom Edgerton has on the home page of his web site. For me, all your questions are answered in this portrait. Notice how the flag is muted and stays back.

http://www.tomedgerton.com/index.html
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