16x20 canvas

I did tone the canvas

.Hearing Karen's voice ...Value ,values! yes now I see how much I need to change. Pale blue in the distance --daaaa me

While I was trying this ,I have been watching sergeants techniques In Mark Carder videos ,man he's laid back.

Doesn't work too well with acrylic's, unlike oil ,,no medium added here but boy ..now I see that poor child's thigh looks like a leg of ham...So still in progress .Decided to stick my wrist out and put it in Constructive Critiques --Shield UP! Let me have it!

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Hi Wendy!

Good for you giving this a try!  I find portraits tough, and for some reason babies are the toughest! I think because its hard to get those round soft shapes. But its a great challenge!

Here is a black and white comparison:

I think you could see right away when you posted that part of it is those pesky values!

First off, you can see how your water is so much lighter. This causes you to use a lot of white in your mixture - to get that light - which in turn makes things look chalky. If instead you drop your sky value a bit you can use less white.

Try to check your values by comparing areas. For example, compare the value of his face to the value of the water. Do you see how the baby is darker than the water? only coming up to the value of the water in the lightest areas. Again - because you are so light you are getting that chalky white look to his skin.

Look for areas where the values are so close, the lines between seem to disappear. I see this in the right side of his leg and arm. That is part of what is making that thigh pop out so strongly - that harsh value shift creating a crisp line.

Another thing we often do in portraits is make those dark areas - eyes, mouth - too dark, giving a harsher look. If the value of the body and face are darker, the eyes and mouth lighter you won't get that strong contrast.

There is a bit of an issue with the drawing of the belly and leg area - remember you are looking down on the baby so you are seeing more of the top of his chest and leg than the side. It helps me to realize that when I'm drawing.

Here is a color comparison: In the swatches, the photo colors are on the top, with your colors just below:

So you can see the value issue in the water - the swatch to the right of that is the baby's hair

You can see in the face swatches - light and shadow - that lowering the value will let you have more rich color. Look how dark the face in shadow is - your shadow color here is about the value of the light color in the photo!

Also notice how the color changes as you move down into the body - it gets warmer - an orange brown color. In this image the light areas are actually cooler than the shadows. They are being influenced by the grey blue sky.

So really it's about isolating those colors and comparing one area to the next. I like to use a small index card with a hole punched in the middle to isolate a color or value without using the computer.

So, squint your eyes, don't worry about the details until you get those values and colors going your way. And compare compare compare.

Nice work Wendy! Please don't be discouraged by my thoughts! You are doing great, and each challenge like this you take on makes you a better painter! :)

Thank You Karen

I am going to break down each component of what you said and try to understand an apply .

It is a challenge for me ,,first time I tried .Remember those two little girls with their prams --mucky faces. Not sure if I should have tried this technique in acrylic ,,but " what da hoot"

try anything once,,,Thanks 

You're very welcome Wendy! Don't give up :) You'll get there!

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