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Old 01-16-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
Flladi Kulla Flladi Kulla is offline
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"The Zipper" - portrait of Sara

Hi everyone! I'm returning to this forum after 2-3 years of absence. My wife an I became parents and, as some of you know, there isn't much time to do anything else besides taking care of the baby.
I just started painting again and I've done a few works recently, one of which is the portrait of my, now, 2-year-old daughter, Sara (shown below). I've put about 15-20 hours of work into this painting and I am sort of stuck, not sure of how to go about it. I know I have to improve on a few things here and there (the face, the hands, the clothing, the hair, etc) but I have to decide what to do with the background: keep it loose or develop it. I kind of like idea of "looseness" and pick up a few colors from the subject, but not over-work it. Not sure if I'm there yet. Perhaps broader strokes might help.
Your suggestions and comments would be highly appreciated!
Thank you for taking the time...!
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Name:  The Zipper-low.jpg
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:22 PM   #2
Michael Georges Michael Georges is offline

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Hello Flladi,

You know, I really like where you are going with this. What does not work for me is the composition. Your little one looks like she might topple off the canvas. It is an odd pose and looks off balance. While "off balance" is appropriate for babies most of the time in real life, it isn't working (for me) in this painting.

I know you might hate to do this, but I will recommend to you that you consider cropping it down to the midsection, showing both of the hands. You will still get the "zipper concept" and it will look more balanced both as a piece and a pose.

I did a little work with it in Photoshop just as a suggestion. Attached below:

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Michael Georges
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:42 PM   #3
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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Love it!
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:51 PM   #4
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Flladi, Michael,

Michael's suggestion is exactly what I thought when I saw this. The bottom portion needs to be corrected and Michaels suggestion works well.

I like all that is left, without getting a little closer to the hands, which look like they could use a bit more work.

Best of luck, Mike
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:28 AM   #5
Flladi Kulla Flladi Kulla is offline
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Michael, Michele, and Mike!
Thank you all for taking the time to check out my portrait.
Please accept my apologies for my delayed response: the subject portrayed here, my daughter, was sick these past few days and I haven't had a chance to visit the site

Michael, your comments are dead on! The portrait really is off-balance. Thank you for your observation and pointing it out. Thank you also for doing a little work on Photoshop to show me how to resolve the issue: I am considering cropping, although, as you thought, I'd hate to do that to the painting. Maybe i can try to salvage it by adding an object where Sara is leaning against. Will have to try it and see how it looks.

Mike. as you pointed out, I'll continue working on the portrait and try to straighten out the issue with the balance as well as fixing the hands, and some other areas that need a little work. Thank you!

All the best to you!
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:18 AM   #6
Lewis MacKenzie Lewis MacKenzie is offline
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Love this! The painting of the face is terrific. I also agree with Michael about the balance issue, but would it be possibly to introduce some sort of counteracting element in the background to return the image to balance, without having to crop it so severely? I do think the cropped image works better though.

Also - just a thought, but her right forearm (our left) looks like it might be a tough long to me.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:00 AM   #7
Flladi Kulla Flladi Kulla is offline
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>>> but would it be possibly to introduce some sort of counteracting element in the background to return the image to balance, without having to crop it so severely?<<<

Lewis, thank you so much for your comment!

I am leaning on counteracting her balance with, perhaps, the arm of a couch, or a box of toys, or maybe showing her sitting on her knees, like she originally was. o idea why I didn't do it in the first place, but I believe i can make it work. The posture and the arms will need to be adjusted accordingly. Oh, thank you for the 'right forearm' comment. I agree, and I am fixing it.

Thanks again!
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