Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Baby Eyes and Eye Drops





My eyes are on the eyes of the infant on the easel and Honey's  eyes the next week and a half or more?

My soul-mate's second cataract operation is tomorrow so I'm on eye drop duty.  Honey  can't do eye drops to himself; he has an aversion to sticking his finger in his eye but none to me sticking a finger in his eyes. We have four sessions on the agenda today. Tomorrow eight and then progressively less and less sessions till our eye drop crazy opthomologist is satisfied. April has definitely been Eye Health Awareness Month at our house.

Happy with my  infant's hands, I'm now carefully, slow-dancing around his facial features.  I discolored the photograph deliberately so you can see where I'm going into his mouth with that newborn sucking lip coloration, his flattened wide nose and his swollen shut eyes from the birth ordeal and eye drops they give newborns.   The upper eye that you see, is slightly open. In the reference photo, I can see the iris oh so slightly and I want to catch that.  I want to catch that lip too. And his hairline is oh so soft and gentle that I've been blending and blending to get it believable.  I'm using my tiniest brushes and lots of medium for more fluid lines. Doing a lot of scrumbling as well. God I hate that flash.

I have been working on the older boy's hands too. And yesterday, I was surprised to see the cradling arm was too short.  I lengthened it and now need to rework  those skin tones again.

It's so odd when you've used the grid system to lay out  the drawing  with pencil and then everything needs adjustment when you bring in the paint. The boy's arm was short about an inch!

I'm rounding the clubhouse gate though and given that I'm home on eyedrop duty I should finish with plenty of drying time between now and Mothers' Day.  I still have to look up acceptable varnish periods.  Dan Kent gave me a suggestion, but I forgot.

14 comments:

  1. This post isn't showing on my sidebar - it still shows the blue of yesterday's video clip!

    Eyes are so precious aren't they? Hope Honey's are back to their best soon.

    I can see how difficult it must be to get the baby, and brother's arm, just right. Not my thing although I like detailed work, as you know.

    Still having problems photographing my stuff. On my latest so much shading has disappeared, in size reduction, that the skeleton of the stonewalls shows ... Show bizz

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    1. Photographing artwork John is difficult without professional camera equipment. We do the best we can with our digital and our elementary computer picture programs with their limited tools--auto fix and adjustment.

      With black and white or shades of gray work, laying the piece on the floor or outside on cement in an open shaded spot is good with the camera horizontally positioned as parallel as possible directly above it.(Sometimes you have to tilt the camera lens slightly down or up to square up the piece and avoid parallax lines. I've often thought I should use my tripod, but I'm too lazy and a blog photo isn't all that important (UNLESS it's purpose is to sell the work). Then I set no flash, and set the "portrait" position for take one, then "text" for take two. In the computer, I've found that simply clicking the auto fix will do it-- produce an evenly lighted, nice black and white reproduction. The portrait setting does better than the text--on pencil, charcoal--mediums that smudge. Pen should work great if you're shading with dots, hatching or cross hatching. As I said it takes some fooling around. For blog picture I mostly use my Minolta; For more serious photos, I use the Nikon. The Minolta is small and compact; the NiKon bulkier.

      With these babies the portrait is much warmer and the highlights are more visible, but this is not a finished photograph. It was taken in my studio, with the painting on the slanted easel under warm incandescent lighting with no flash. When I'm ready to shoot the finished painting, I'll take it outdoors in open shade. Hopefully I get a truer rendition of the tonal values in the skin? For today, I just wanted to show I have been moving along on this painting.

      Blogger doesn't always work as we expect--with regards to what's showing on your page. I'm still trying to get the hang of this new format.

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  2. Thanks, Linda. I think the main problem I have is in reducing the pictures size by 400%, many of the lines that are a tenth of a millimetre on the original, just vanish on the blog copy. But as you say, that's of no importance ...just bloody annoying.

    Still, having finished Richmond Castle, I'm now doing a dock scene which is much smaller and darker ... I'll just see how that works.

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    1. I had the same problem when I posted some architectural plans I had done. I don't think you can avoid losing the thinnest lines--unless you did the drawing on graphic reproduction paper, which you are not. Don't sweat the thin lines John. Lol

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  3. Eyes are so important. I'm glad your honey is being well cared for.

    Sweet baby portrait. Working off a photo reference for this portrait is tough. Do you have more than one photo to work from?

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    1. No unfortunately not, and the one I do have, I didn't take. Whoever did used a flash that makes me make the highlights too white and then I have to correct it.

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  4. impressive work here! I hope that your Honey's operation goes great. Maybe you should buy some extra wind chimes so he can hear how lovely the day is! Baby portrait looking great

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    1. Very funny Celeste. But thanks. Painting this infant is similar to how I worked as a designer--a bit of the perfectionist. I have to be given the reference photograph and my never having seen the children and not having a portrait style for having not done a portrait of this kind ever.

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  5. A beautiful painting full of affection and motherly love. Congratulations.

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    1. I'm trying Gabriella. I do hope it does finish beautiful--and I not get mad at it and attack. I've been known to do that to a canvas that was making me a bit crazy.

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  6. Coming along slowly with great care, it will be magnificent, I'm sure. Good luck with the operation!

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    1. Thanks Jane. In an hour or so from now, another iPad sketch will begin.

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  7. I wish Honey all the best with his surgery, and I know he'll get good TLC at home ... and fingers in his eye. The baby is coming along well; I look forward to seeing the entire painting.

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