Friday, October 21, 2011

The Religious Sister - Achieving a Likeness through Indistinct Shadows

There are some important shadows to lay down, before a likeness can be obtained, in this portrait.

Despite the fact that there is an absence of detail, this picture will still need to meet the requirements of any other portrait, as far as achieving a likeness is concerned. Although, the features are indistinct, there is an unmistable impression of character and form, which can be observed in the lie of the shadows. I will work on this and, also, on the colour and texture of the skin, over the next couple of days.

I will, also, need to print out another, larger over-exposed copy of the reference photo to enable me render the mouth accurately. Character shows strongly in the mouth and the eyes so I am concerned that no avoidable mistakes are made in these areas. Over-exposing the photo will lighten up the shadows and reveal previously undetectable features.

Today's photo shows the progress, after about 2 hours of work.


  1. I didn't know that an over-exposed copy of a photograph would help reveal indistinct features, Vicky. Photography is not my thing (as you can tell from the terrible pictures on my blog). I'm glad to know that there is a way of working with photos that are not clear. I'm really looking forward to seeing the end result on this particular portrait :)

  2. It only works for the darks, Mary. It actually washes out details, in the lighter areas, and some photos work better than others. I usually play around with it and end up using a combination of different photos - some colour, some black and white and some of different exposures. I, also, use different sized photos because, while detail is good for features, it can detract from the overall structure and form of the subject.

    Thank you for your feedback, Mary:)


Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate your comments and feedback. Vicky