Friday, August 15, 2008

Painting tutorial from somebody who isn't me

Yo Dog. Check this out:

This is a time-lapse video of a guy "painting" a portrait of Angelina Jolie with some kind of paintbox program. A couple of things are interesting: First, you get a good sense of how a portrait actually happens, with all the to-ing and fro-ing, re-doing, etc. Second, it's an interesting look at paintbox technology--something about which I don't have a clue. And third--and this is the kicker--take a look at the three minute mark at how he slices off the image-right side of her face and then moves it just a skoonch closer. The lesson is that he reduces the physical width of her face by maybe a millimeter and then whammo!!!--it goes from not really looking like her to looking a lot like her.

A millimeter! I mean really, we portraitists are operating at NASA-level plus/minus dynamics. Whatever that means. And you think this is easy?

All that said, the end product is not fabulous. The mouth is a little obvious (one man's opinion, but hey--people throw shit at me all the time) and he never really got her right eye (image-left) exactly right. I don't think the nose is right either, but hey.

What is cool is when he colorizes it. For a long time (and maybe all the way to the end), her eyebrows are actually green. Which, in my opinion, is good clean fun and instructive on many levels. There are those, by the way, who feel that green--particularly pthalo-green over a dark background--is the new black. Somebody should alert Max Beckmann.

And finally, the most important lesson of all: When in doubt, add a hand.


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