My painting sucks. Please help



  • Hey guys! I need help BAD. I recently decided I wanted to paint and develop my style through that. It looks horrible. Proportions are definitely wacky but I also have no idea what I'm doing mixing color. I often feel like I get tunnel vision and my values start blending together leaving me with muddy colors. Please roast this painting. Pick it apart. Be mean, it deserves shame lol seriously I'm redoing this so dont hold back

    I dont know why I cant post the pic on this forum (maybe I'm doing something wrong) but here are the links below

    Painting ๐Ÿ‘‡

    https://twitter.com/Unbornchacha96/status/1261798000499683328?s=19

    Reference picture ๐Ÿ‘‡

    https://twitter.com/Unbornchacha96/status/1261798806451941378?s=09



  • @chachaarts Hey! First of all, It's a PERFECTLY GOOD painting! It really is!

    Second of all, NEVER put yourself down so much. It's always healthy to do a self-assessment and critique, but it should lead to wanting to do better and not shame!
    (Plus, if you're looking to get roasted, you've come to the wrong place coz the people here are the NICEST! lol)

    Since this is still a WIP, there are only a few things I feel can be worked upon.

    • The hand is a little large for the face
    • The upper lip looks shifted a little. The Philtrum (the depression between the nose the upper lip) and the cupid's bow of the lip should coincide.
    • The eye on the left can be better defined

    Once you add a little more detailing and contrast I think it'll look amazing! Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • SVS OG

    @chachaarts hey! Iโ€™m a really lazy person. ๐Ÿ˜… Could you please just โ€˜post it on here? Iโ€™m really sorry for the trouble.



  • Learning new mediums can take a long time. One of my favorite tips for starting painting is from Lee White in the podcast. He said when he started painting he wasnโ€™t going to start judging his work until the first 100 paintings were done. This allows you to relax and not stress so much over mistakes, if you mess up thatโ€™s fine because itโ€™s all just practice. 100 may sound like a lot, it is, but truth be told you are still in the early stages of painting by your 100th piece. Art takes time and a lot of patience. Critique your work as if it is not your own. Avoid negative critics and look for what is working and break what isnโ€™t working into a problem solving game. Any time you see something that doesnโ€™t look right ask yourself these three things. Is the form correct, are the values correct, are the colors correct, in that order because that is the hierarchy of importance. Form > value > color

    Could you tell me what your exact process is so I can help more?


  • Pro

    @chachaarts Yeah seriously ease back on the self hate, dude! There's being open to constructive criticism and then there's saying "Be mean, it deserves shame"... Like what even. Especially since the painting really isn't that bad, so imagine anyone below your level hearing you talk like this about your skills, how shitty it must make them feel about theirs ๐Ÿ˜• Pro tip: self-loathing is unhealthy and rarely leads to improvement.

    The hand is a bit big and the mouth seems a bit high and not quite centered. But with faces, it's so precise that it doesn't take much before it starts looking completely out of whack. I suggest practicing with things other than faces to begin with, like objects and full bodies. Spend more time nailing the sketch or underpainting before you start painting to really get your proportions right. That includes stepping back to see the painting smaller, and taking a photo and flipping it on your phone to see how it looks from a different angle - all the flaws your brain has gotten used to usually just become so obvious then.

    And most of all be kind to yourself. This is a new media and it will take you time to feel more comfortable. But trying to shame yourself into improving will never work, it will just suck all the joy out of the process until you're literally unable to force yourself to paint anymore. Don't do that to yourself!



  • I know what it's like to feel disappointed in one's own work. Some of the most renowned artists burned or destroyed their early work, so I find that comforting - it's not just us. Sometimes our culture or social circle also dictates that we not say anything positive about ourselves for various reasons, so I understand where your tone may be coming from too. As for your painting, what seems to be going well for you is that you're breaking down the values into different larger areas vs. blending everything together too early. I like the advice someone gave earlier about nailing form first, then values then color. If anything is bugging you about the initial sketch really take the time to work that out before going on, and I think you may find a payoff down the road. It's ok to hate this one. When I find myself in that situation it helps me realize what specifically I need to practice, and sure enough, things improve from my own perspective - hopefully from others' perspectives as well.



  • Eh it's not bad, especially if you are new to painting. What medium is it-oils?

    While it looks like you have a bit to go in terms of introducing color variety, I actually think you've kept it from feeling muddy. On the skin tones you are pretty consistently keeping your shadow side more saturated and pushed slightly more toward red, and I think that's helping it to NOT feel muddy in this case. You've also managed to keep the paint application looking interesting and not overworked.

    What kind of research have you done into the painting process and paint/color selection? What specific colors are you working with in your palette?



  • I agree with everyone on here; the painting is definitely a work in progress, but it's on it's way to being good! I like what you're doing with the painting. Personally I wish I could block in colors and values the way you are. And as everyone says, you're learning!

    The biggest thing I see is to work on proportioning, especially in the face. Still, though that comes with time.

    Take it from a person with GAD and who frequently spirals because of Imposter Syndrome...that much self-loathing is unkind to yourself and more importantly unhealthy! You have to be your biggest advocate.



  • @chachaarts yeah ok, enoughs been said about the psychology of being hard on yourself, i think what you were saying was probably a bit tongue in cheek, and you actually just want a bit of technical help. Its not too bad, its not great, but not too bad. Difficult when i dont really know what standard you are, and cos im having to flick back and forth between the links. Looks like the drawings off by a fair bit. If thats the case then however good the painting is it'll still look weird, if youre trying to get a likeness. Get the drawing right before anything else. As for the painting, the colours dont seem to represent the reference image. This guy is a bit dry, have a pint while you watch, but the information is gold. Good luck!

    https://youtu.be/TNB3XY67Q-I



  • @chachaarts reading back it really sounds self hating ๐Ÿ˜‚ I really didnt mean it that way, I was more going for a "Haha isn't it funny how bad this is? Let's all roast this thing and strive for improvement " But no it TOTALLY sounds self pitying so I apologize everyone ๐Ÿ˜…



  • @NessIllustration Hey I appreciate the advice and I definitely agree. I should've spent more time in the beginning stages and imo more time on the color study to solve some big problems instead of trying to solve it in the larger format. As for the post... yeah that's my bad ๐Ÿ˜‚ I think it was supposed to be funny even though I was also frustrated. Please read my updated comment for everyone below. Thank you for the critique



  • @gavpartridge That's great advice, definitely going back to drawing stage and starting over to solve some of the bigger problems. Yeah maybe some laughing emojis might've helped ๐Ÿ˜‚ food for thought next time



  • @Neha-Rawat I agree. Philtrum is definitely off. Hand proportions need work. I think I was so excited to paint I breezed through the color study and now I paid for it ๐Ÿ˜‚ btw as for the self loathing in the post, please read my updated comment below, big misunderstanding. Thank you for the critique



  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz I really cant. It keeps saying theres an error. I'm sorry!



  • @chachaarts it's probably a file size issue. Your painting is pretty cool taking away the hand, which is too big and seems unfinished in comparison to the face. If you forget the referent, looking at this lady make me 'what is she thinking about?' and thats good ๐Ÿ™‚



  • There were alread some good suggestions here, like checking your form - value - and color, in that order. When I looked at this painting, I was first a bit confused, since it was not very clear which direction the light was coming from. Then I covered the hand with my finger and the painting instantly improved. I think that the paleness of the hand is throwing off the painting. If you defined the hand a bit more with clear light direction and value, then I think the whole painting would improve a lot. Then I tried covering the lips and the rest of the face actually looks great! The lips are just a bit slanted on the side and you could try painting them again a bit more loosely. Just fixing those two things would really improve the painting. Covering up parts of your painting with your hand or a piece of paper can be really help to spot out the problems. The colors actually look great to me!



  • @chachaarts So I know you've already explained your tone, but would you be able to tell me what you did right? I struggle with this. But if I want to improve I have to be able to somewhat answer this question. My mind remembers everything I did wrong, and forgets the work I did that worked or went well. This painting has a lovely feel to it. It might be that once you get more technically proficient, you'll lose this fresh quality, so I just want to point out that there are things to appreciate in each piece that we need to recognize alongside the bad to improve.


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