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Tips for a smooth transition..?

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Tips for a smooth transition..?

Post by OneFirefly on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:25 pm

Hi all!
I've been practising heaps and getting quite confident, but only on my own arm. Today I practised on a friend's little girl and discovered that painting a face is MUCH harder than an arm! Smile My linework was pretty sloppy and way too THICK.

Does anyone have any tips? I think I will buy a mannequin head to practise with. And I think if I had the child up higher it might have been easier. How do you all get your linework to be so neat on a little face?
Thanks! Smile
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Re: Tips for a smooth transition..?

Post by Jody Rife on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:06 pm

The more you practice the better your lines will be. Even if it is your arm or leg, it is still practice and when you do paint a little face your lines will just automatically start looking better as you go.

Being comfortable while you paint is important, I like the child to be sitting directly across from me in a chair. Some prefer a directors chair.

When making your lines, make sure you have your paint the right consistency and start out with a point and slightly press as you drag your brush then lighten up again by the end of your stroke. This makes a thin to thick to thin line and looks very nice rather than a chunky line.

Many books have demos in the front or back on line work and also, there are many tutorials on youtube that may be helpful. Smile

The butterfly in your avatar pic is beautiful. Smile
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Re: Tips for a smooth transition..?

Post by elantaura on Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:54 pm

when practicing on your arm hold it up in front of you to make you paint it - i guess vertical...if that makes sense. I found it helps to get line work good at that same angle as you will be on a face.
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Re: Tips for a smooth transition..?

Post by *redStar* on Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:32 am

You could also try a thinner brush than you use if you paint on your arm. I can get pretty thin lines using a number 4 round when I paint on myself but if I have a wiggly kid in front of me, my lines with a number 4 often turn out awefull, so I just use a number 2.
A practice head has its advantages and disadvantages. For example you have the shape of a face, so you can practice your linework with all the ups and downs, on the other hand it has a different texture than skin, so there is still a different feel to it than if you paint on skin.
Other than that, practice practice practice and be patient with yourself. There will be times were you will like your linework, and then there will be times, where you hate every single face you painted because nothing comes out right. Just keep at it.
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Re: Tips for a smooth transition..?

Post by Pilareta on Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:11 am

I hang some wax paper on the wall (with a face painted on them) and I use my worst paints to practice. And...practice practice practice. (Love your avatar). Smile
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Re: Tips for a smooth transition..?

Post by freedspirit on Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:01 am

I think that you will grow very quickly by looking at your avatar. You have everything you need at your fingertips,,this forum,,u tube etc,,,the rest is good old hard slog...You will do great.. Very Happy
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Re: Tips for a smooth transition..?

Post by rthling on Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:22 am

Find a bunch of willing subjects to get your practice on. Painting your hand, leg, even your face isn't the same. You know just when the brush is going to touch your skin, so you know when to be still. You compensate with your own self as canvas, in a way a regular customer won't. You need real test dummies. Laughing
Just practice the same design on child after child. You will be amazed at how much faster you get to be, and how much more accurate and confident you will get.
And, as one wise woman told me recently, don't compare yourself to other painters. Compare your current work with what you did last year, last week, and even five minutes ago. Your improvement will amaze you.
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