I’m going to try something I haven’t done since college; a critique.
In my painting classes, all of the students would gather their current projects together and crowd around them. One by one, we’d discuss our thoughts on each painting. At first, it was scary and painful. Your art is your baby, and putting it on display is like putting your child out there for the world to judge. Our professor encouraged constructive criticism, happily. No one was looking at anyone’s painting and calling it crap. Or you know, not justifying why they didn’t like it.
Taking criticism is an important skill. Not everyone is good at it, but you can learn to take it. You just have to be able to discern the difference between people who are being mean for the sake of being mean, people who genuinely want you to improve, and people who are too nice (or just don’t have the eye for it). I want to get better. As such, I have to be willing to hear where I can improve (and why I should improve).
I don’t really have anyone right now to give me constructive criticism on a regular basis. My hands are still catching up with my eyes, so I feel, that at the moment, I can give myself some level of a critique. I think also that examining what I’ve done is a good chance for me to learn and improve.
I did this portrait fairly quickly, only looking at a reference for the hair (couldn’t think of how to style it). I really want to be able to do quick portraits. Right now, I just draw and hope the pieces come together. I don’t try to draw any specific person, just whatever comes out is good enough. Drawing people I know can be a little scary. If they see it and they ask “who is that?” it’s pretty horrifying.
Here’s the portrait:
Positives: I think I captured an uncomfortable expression, which I’m satisfied with. I like the depth to the bangs. I like the outline of the left side of the face.
Negatives: My line work is clumsy. Rather than draw a line, I go over it again and again until it looks like what I want. I do often like that style, but it can go from a cool style to sloppy real fast. Other than her bangs, the rest of hair is flat and something seems off dimensionally. If I can put my finger on that, I think I can really work out some kinks in general. The background doesn’t really give a good enough balance. There’s too much white space at the bottom. I don’t mind the texturing, but I think it could have a better structure to it.
Happily accepting constructive criticism. It’s hard to look at your own work objectively.