Monochrome Attempt #2

Monochrome Attempt #2 - student project

Attempt 2:

I did a picture with more shadow this time. I made the eyes looking to the side so it's not starting. In my opinion, the eyes look a little creepy, do you have any advice for that? and general constructive criticism?

Attempt 1:

Hello. I've painted before but I always avoided realistic portraits cause they seemed too difficult. can you give me some constructive criticism on this, please? I used Titanium white and Ivory Black with 8-ish shades, my palet got a bit messy by the end. I used a photograph that I found cause I'm in quarantine :). 

 Sorry that the photo quality is bad, I only have my laptop camera. 

Have a nice day!


Hi Nina,

This is a good attempt at a black and white simplified portrait. It looks like for the eyes you attempted to paint just the simple forms, but then maybe flesh out the nose and mouth a little more? Just wanted to ask and clarify.

I think the main thing I see that stands out is the general lack of contrast. This could very well be from the light in your actual photo reference you used and maybe it wasn't a high contrast photo. Nothing wrong with that, but I will say images with a limited value range can be quite difficult as it requires a lot more control of your value ranges to create the sense of form.

The greater degree of contrast that we can work from, at least when starting out, will give us a much easier time creating a sense of depth as our value range is much greater from dark shadows to bright highlights.

I think this is off to a great start though and it'd be great to give another portrait a shot with a higher contrast photo so you can give yourself that opportunity to explore a fuller range.