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Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

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Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by Pepita on Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:44 pm

Hello,

I'm right-handed and I've found I have a real trouble with the left side of the designs when I'm painting or drawing scratch .
(and I've been having the same problem with the design of faces on my balloon dolls).

First, the design is often very asymetric.
And I keep readjusting the place of my hand as I don't manage to fell at ease.

If I keep the brush centered and try to draw "mirroring" the right-side, it often ends up awful.
If I move to the left or have the kid turn their head, it's bit better but then I can't see the right side and the result of both sides is sometimes very different.

Does it happen to someone else ?
An idea what may I be doing wrong ?
Maybe I should start with the left side instead ?
Is there a proper way of orienting the brush maybe ?

Any input will help, thanks !
(if you need a picture, let me know, I'll try to find the courage to post something I am really not proud of Laughing )
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by anniel on Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:54 pm

A painter who has mentored me, told me she never does symmetrical designs, nor butterflies--it's always intended to be diverse...helped my mind-set as I greatly admire her work.
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by KaraMundy on Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:14 pm

For me it greatly depends on how I'm painting. If I'm sitting and painting a face I CAN NOT paint the left side. At all. (Also right handed) I have to stand while I paint, they have to be in a tall chair, and I almost always paint faces from the left side of the chair. Unless it is only one the right side do I stand on the right side.
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by MasterpieceFacePainting on Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:23 pm

I try to avoid symmetry, I have the same problem myself... So all of my swirly masks and things are deliberately asymmetric, like my profile photo. Smile
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by Gamezgirl on Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:37 pm

One trick is to paint your weakest side first, then you can match the other side with your strong hand. Also, I cannot sit to paint for this very reason. I move around the client in the chair, so I can see all parts of the design.
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by PerfectlyPaintedFaces on Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:34 pm

I used to be too shy to ask people to move their head to the side, which sounds ridiculous, I know. I would struggle to do that one side because their face wasn't positioned correctly.

As soon as I started asking kids to look AALLLL the way to the side (or how I usually ask - I ask them to look something specific beside them - a cup, their mommy, whatever - this technique works well for the little ones) my symmetry improved tons because I could actually see what I was doing.

For things like butterflies, one easy cheat to improve symmetry is to add a few small dots on their face right off the bat where you want the wings to go. Have the child look straight forward at you, and mark off two little dots on their cheeks, where the bottom wings will end, and two little marks above their eyebrows where the top wings end. These dots will be your guide, and will help you make wings that are the same size.
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by Pepita on Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:47 pm

ooookkk, now I know I'm not alone, which is a relief in itself Laughing !

I don't think I can find an easy solution to stand while painting, since it requires a special chair (I'm an entertainer, not a face painter, and I have soooo many things to carry with me, and I don't always drive to work, sometimes take the metro or bus - which I actually like better than driving).

So I'll use the other three solutions :
- start with my weak side (I'll need a "post it" to remember, so used to the opposite !)
- use asymetrical designs (I guess it's not always possible : "yes, i assure you, next time look better, you'll see spiderman does have threads on one side and swirls on the other" Laughing )
- dots !

Thanks a lot for your answers !
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by a face painting mom on Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:12 pm

Yep! Love one eye designs and asymetrical ones! I wish I could stand, that would take care of much of my issue, but for now, I just try to go left to right, so that I can do my stong side last, if I have to be symetrical!
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by barbb919 on Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:35 pm

I too am right handed I try to paint the left side 1st then the right..I try to stay away from designs that are symetrical for that very reason...so you are not alone..
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by martha on Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:47 pm

Great tips everyone!
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by jessica02boys on Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:57 pm

I'm sooo glad you posed this! It seems many of us run into that problem. I can never get my butterflies to match, so I only offer one-side butterflies. Gamezgirl had a great tip on starting with your weakest side. I think I'll try that too.
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by martha on Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:05 pm

The thing that actually helped me the most was practicing what I call "mirroring". I try to sit and do swirls, teardrops, tiger markings in one direction and then in the opposite direction. Helps when you don't have to "think" about how to it.
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by anniel on Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:44 am

I didn't realize so many people sit to paint! It is very hard on your back if you put time in that way, and so much easier to paint standing and moving around your victim!
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by Denise Cold on Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:51 am

A couple of small things that I do because I think we all have this trouble. I started planning designs in terms of eyebrows, cheekbones, pupils etc. so I can follow their anatomy instead of the other side....

The other thing is to make my bases symmetrical so that I can follow the line of the base. This is especially true for butterflies and tigers. I'll take a wipe if I have to and make it even on both sides so that I can do the same pattern of teardrops and they'll be pretty even on both sides.

D.
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by Pepita on Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:50 am

Great, that's a few more tips to try Very Happy !
Thanks so much !
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by martha on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:19 am

That's a great tip as well, Denise. Anniel, I've been a "sitter" and don't have any problems with it but if standing is that much easier, I may have to give it a try.
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by Jody Rife on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:46 am


I was just fussing to myself about this very thing yesterday. My swirls are nice on the right side but stinky on the left. I will start trying to stand and come at the person from a different angle when doing something symmetrical. Thanks for posting.
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by KaraMundy on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:00 am

anniel wrote:I didn't realize so many people sit to paint! It is very hard on your back if you put time in that way, and so much easier to paint standing and moving around your victim!

Me too. Standing changes everything for me.

It has a lit to do with the fact that if you're sitting then you can't angle your hand in the proper positions to make certain strokes. When you stand you aren't trying to paint at weird angles. Plus I'm insanely faster and my work looks so much better if I'm standing. For me it isn't an option. I can not sit. It takes too long and my work suffers greatly.
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by a face painting mom on Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:29 pm

I wish I could stand, used to as an MUA, 25 years ago, but time has taken it's toll. You adapt.
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

Post by Affordable Face Magic on Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:54 pm

Standing bothers my back & sitting is comfy. Go Figure! Probably Ok for me to sit 'cause I'm so short (5'1"). KaraMundy's right. I'd be a lot faster if I stood & moved instead of turning their heads back & forth so often!
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Re: Left-side of my paintings is always ugly....

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