>>2356660 That makes sense, anon. I'm asking because I got a commission from a woman in her 40s that I'm acquainted with enough to know she's self conscious about the slight droopiness on her cheeks (because she's a bit on the chubby side) and two semi-dark spots on her face. I'm very conflicted on this.
I specialize in portraits, its all i do. I always idealize the subject without altering the likeness. its typically minor like removing blemishes, improving the expression, smoothing out wrinkles, stuff like that. if its full figure I tend to slim them down a bit and enchance the curves slightly (i really just draw women). virtually every subject will greatly appreciate this, no one wants their imperfections on display. but i dont like doing major things like giving them better facial proportions, smoothing out a nose, filling out lips etc. that messes with your likeness which should be your #1 goal.
>>2356796 >she's self conscious about the slight droopiness on her cheeks (because she's a bit on the chubby side) and two semi-dark spots on her face. Downplay or omit anything the model is self conscious about. If the dark spots are essential for a likeness, then reduce their contrast and edge hardness to make them subtler. As for cheeks, see if you can play with lighting and POV to downplay them. Physically changing a feature like that might alter the likeness.
Alternatively you could paint the cheeks as is but emphasize (like a slight caricature) other distinct parts of the likeness so long as they aren't unflattering. For example, if she had prominent cheekbones, you could make them slightly more prominent, but leave the cheeks as is and they'll become less prominent by comparison.
Capturing a flattering likeness can be very hard to accomplish, and is very different from imitating a shopped photo. For example, a shopped photo might try to make skin one uniform color, while a successful portrait might slightly exaggerate the subtle color shifts to make the skin more lively.
Study the work of master portrait painters that you admire. Imitate what they do, what they emphasize and what they omit. What's super helpful is if the model also has a photo or a portrait commissioned by a different artist to give you a better idea of what the master focused on. A decent example off the top of my head is Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau (the girl in Sargent's Madame X). There's a few different paintings and sketches of her by Sargent, but also at least a couple by different painters. The slight differences might give you an idea of what she actually looked like, and in turn what each artist chose to emphasize. Presidential portraits also work well, especially if good photos of them exist.
>>2356660 I've been told I "idealize" people when I draw them, even though I'm trying to be as accurate as I can. I guess I omit blemishes at times but I think it's probably because I never usually push for hyper detailed, hyper realistic rendering. If someone has a prominent mole or wrinkles or something I include it, but if I don't notice it from a few passing glances I'm probably not going to bother including it.
>>2356814 Do you ever add make up or make the eyelashes longer? My client gave me a set of high res pictures and they're all of her nude face, she asked to add some rouge to her cheeks but didn't really ask for anything else but she's always wearing make-up and she looks very different irl from her pictures.
>>2356849 Thank you, anon, I never really thought about looking at a painting and model simultaneously to see what the artists omitted or emphasized. My client knows my style is very soft and very idealized (to the point of them almost looking like fantasy characters) so I'm guessing she's expecting something like that. Again, thanks for your input.
>>2356852 >but I think it's probably because I never usually push for hyper detailed, hyper realistic rendering. I'm on that same boat! When it comes to wrinkles, do you ever tone them down if they're not as prominent?
>>2356864 >When it comes to wrinkles, do you ever tone them down if they're not as prominent? Yes, definitely. There's a really thin line - no pun intended - to walk when it comes to wrinkles. Depending on the expression, wrinkles can be really prominent even on a rather young face, so whether you mean to flatter the person or not, there comes a point where trying to illustrate it just makes your drawing look bad and wrong. I find that even if you go for super realistic detail, a certain amount of impressionism is still required. You have to draw the picture so that the eye assembles the suggestion of detail into a cohesive image. In other words, leave things a little blurry here and there. This is actually much more effective at tricking the viewer's eye into seeing detail you want to hint at, but definitely I would put a focus on the details that help sell the likeness, whatever they may be, and leave others out if they're unnecessary.
>>2357159 Yeah, photos make that stuff extra prominent. But there's some weird loss of translation when trying to capture likeness from a photo. I used to do caricatures for a while and there were so many times where I was looking for a photo of some celebrity and when I'd click on the photo it just somehow didn't look like them. Which makes no sense, it's a photo, it should be an objective record of all their features. I heard from a few other artists that they preferred using videos like interviews or movie clips to draw from and I tried it and it worked way better. Recognition seems to work by picking out key features and exaggerating them while omitting others, so often a drawing of someone that's not that true to life can be more recognizable to people than an actual photo of them.
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