I thought I was rather comfortable with portrait but this one, for some reason, was VERY difficult for me.(look at the intermediate work. Yuk!!) Perhaps more than 20 hours of work to get an approximate likeness.

Well, apart from the likeness, have you ideas on the background, clothes, values or shadows on the face?

Thanks for your inputs.


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Hi Philippe.  This portrait looks very good to me!  I love the golden tones in the face and the way you painted the sweater.

To me, the background is too bright.  It seems to be competing a bit with the face.  It complements the sweater, but not the face.  I wonder if you put this into photo shop and changed the color of the background if it would help you to look at alternatives before making changes?

I think the portrait is quite good and I wouldn't change it until you view it with a different background.

Those are my thoughts.  This looks like another wonderful painting, Philippe!

Hi Sarah! Thank you for looking at my painting and writing an input.

I'm very interested by your opinion about the background. I'll certainly try other colors with photoshop and I'll show the result.

Hi Philippe.  

I think your portrait is very well done.  It is amazing to me that you depicted the likeness so well!  Portraits are not easy to do and you have done an excellent job with the gentleman in this painting.

I think that the background looks too bright (at least on my monitor) which is why it competes with the face.  It may be hard to change it in photo shop, but I think you need to gray the color more so it recedes a bit. Because you used such warm colors in your subject, I wonder if a cooler color in the background would give you the effect you are looking for?

I am certainly no expert on this - I can only share my opinion. I hope that others will share their thoughts as well so that you get the benefit of several viewpoints.

Here is a trial (with photoshop) with a new background. I think it's better. But I need some courage to make the real change. My mistake was to begin to paint without thinkink to the color harmony. That's my lesson!

This background is way better, to me Philippe. You did a good job on the mans face :)

Really nice job on this Philippe! His personality seems to really come through!

Your values are lighter than the reference which gives him a more hopeful, cheerful look. It seems like that is fitting to his personality. For the same reason I like the way the color in the clothing and background are brighter and more alive. It makes it more painterly as well, less like a photo.

I think I do prefer the blue background. The warm yellows are coming forward and competing with the face a bit too much I think.

Excellent work!

Hi Philippe.  Wonderful work throughout - I like the blue background idea as well and from what I've seen of your work, changing that out will be a snap for you.  

Finally I don't dare to change completely the color of the background. So I just darkened it. Here is the result. What do you think about that. Better?

The texture is  made with the help of a kitchen sponge.

The upper left is perhaps too muddy. I think I have still some improvement to achieve.

Thanks for your advice

Yes - I really like it. It looks great! You have such a good eye, Philippe. Great solution. Well done!

Hi Philippe, I really think you are right on with his portrait, it looks just like him,the glint in his eyes and that subtle smile. I like all your paintings, but I think I like the last one you did best with that orangy/rusty background (the sponge gave it a nice effect).

The only thing I might do if it was mine is put a white glaze over the background colors (don't change them they are beautiful), but mute them a little with the white glaze so the background and his face are not competing so much. Either way it is an amazing and beautifully painted portrait!

Thanks a lot Karen, Sarah, Diane, Wenda, Mary. I do appreciate your inputs. Finally I changed the background but didn't dare to turn it into blue (I regret a little).

I'm going to post the final version in the photos gallery.

Thanks once more to all of you!

Philippe:  Really great solution and job to the background.  I like the changes a lot and what a great idea to go that route.   It's lways good to listen to others and then respond with your own artistic instincts I think.  


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