Finishing Ben…Almost

SB0813 Ben Step 10

Even though Ben was wearing just a V-neck sweater in our reference photo Sidney asked me to add a shirt. Both Ben and Stuart seem to like plaid shirts so I’ve added one under the sweater.

SB0813 Ben Step 12

The biggest challenge in this portrait is the lighting. The original reference photo was taken in the shade of a huge tree, with no light and shadow pattern on Ben’s face. We’ve moved him to the sunny beach, so I have to make up the facial lighting and color. The human face has three color zones. The forehead is yellower, the center band with nose and cheeks is redder and the lower face is more blue. This is particularly prominent in men because of their facial hair. I’ll be showing the color recipes I use for each zone in a few days so please come back.

SB0813 Ben Step 13

Ben’s eyes are a deep brown. The iris, or colored part of the eye, is highlighted directly across from the white catch light. Since the sunlight is coming in from the upper left the catch light is placed about 11 o’clock. This makes the lighter area on the iris at 5 o’clock. You can click on the image to see it larger.

SB0813 Ben Step 14Ben Portrait ImageComputers are so wonderful. I can put the image of my painting right beside the reference photo to judge all of the details. This makes it so easy in refining the portrait.

SB0813 Ben 17x14

We’re really close. I can already see I need to raise the hairline just a touch and the left corner of the mouth needs a little work. I’m going to let this sit for a few days and move on to another portrait in the group. This will allow me to come back fresh and do the final tweaking. So we’ll start on Stuart tomorrow. Have a great evening and hope you’ll visit our studio again soon. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik


8 Responses to “Finishing Ben…Almost”

  1. Ernie Kleven Says:

    Mikki, you are amazing. Your treatment of the iris was a new one to me. Thank you for my continuing education….Ernie

  2. Sue L Says:

    I love watching the process of this portrait – amazing. I’m wondering if my eyes are fooling me. Are the eyes in your painting more close set than the reference photo? Of course I can’t measure but it just feels that way to me. If the proportions are correct, I wonder why I see the young man’s face wider across the eyes. I thought perhaps it was the general width of the head at that point but I can’t tell. I hope you don’t mind me asking – I can’t help but wonder why I’m seeing the triangle of the eyes and mouth a different shape. Thanks for helping me understand.

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      You are exactly right. Jack and I were talking about it last night, I appreciate you pointing it out. Have a wonderful day and thanks for following my blog. Hugs, Mikki

  3. Angela Says:

    Fantastic! I love the eye’s. Very alive.

  4. Sue L Says:

    So…. Mikki – how do you correct the eye placement – or do you? It’s good to know the “pros” have to deal with inaccuracies also. Is Ben’s left eye ( the one on the right) lower than the his right eye? I believe that what I learn in art is more about seeing than doing. But, I sometimes don’t know what I am looking at – I lack a lot of confidence so thanks for telling me what you see.

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Sue, fortunately the paint is still wet enough I just repaint the eyes. Yes, his left eye is slightly lower than the right. His head is tilted a bit. Notice the lower edge of the ears. Hugs, Mikki

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