My painting sucks. Please help



  • 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 😂 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 😅



  • @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 😂 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 😂 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 😂 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 🙂



  • 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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