Lauren Maurer Artworks

May 21, 2009

What’s next?

Filed under: advice, portait — laurenmaurerartworks @ 9:14 pm

Okay – I need some professional help. No, not that kind. Well… maybe.
I am at a point in this self portrait where I just have got no idea what to do next. I have been painting myself and my family for portrait practice. Actually- now that I am looking at it I can see that the corners of the mouth need to come up a bit and side by side my haircolor is a little off…. but what else?

I have seen some brilliant portraits by you guys so I know you’ve got some advice for me!



  1. well, firstly, you are absolutely a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e!! and, you won’t be surprised to hear that as a non-painter i really can’t offer any painting advice, only my opinion, which is i think that you’re doing a fabulous job with your portrait! you go, lauren!! 🙂

    Comment by lori vliegen — May 22, 2009 @ 12:53 am

  2. Looks like it’s time to start the next one, Lauren! You’ve done a fine job on this watercolor. Well, okay: maybe just a tiny smidge of shadow under the tip of the nose, and on the top and side of the nose a bit, too. (I can see it in the photo).Love how you’ve handled this. VEry fresh and pretty!

    Comment by r garriott — May 22, 2009 @ 1:08 am

  3. Hm. What medium is this? Watercolor or acrylic?Yes, you are right about the corners of the mouth, but only the right side needs to come up, the left only needs to be extended by a shadow/line that comes up a bit more.You also need more contrast, mostly around your eyes, they are really a lot darker than you have them, especially on the lower lash line. Also darken the shadows in the hair, especially as it goes back in space around your left jaw and neck.Your nose is actually wider, and you can’t see so much of the nostrils, I think they are just a bit farther apart.Also, your chin should be aligned just under your nose, it is slightly off to the right, bring it to the left just a bit.Then there’s two shadows that are too strong: the one on the right side of the bridge of your nose is a bit too drastic. Keep it strong on the left, but that right one isn’t really there. Secondly there’s the chin-smile line. It comes down and swoops too far and high to the left; point it down to the bottom more, letting it meet with the bottom of your face (the line where your chin/jaw overlap your neck). Right now it looks like you have chin fat…and you so don’t!I hope that helps; I hope you don’t see this as too critical. You’ve done a fabulous job, but I am used to doing this every day with my own HS students, and portraits really are my thing!Let me know if that helped.

    Comment by Lindsey — May 22, 2009 @ 1:28 am

  4. Wow… you’ve taken on something I don’t think I can do. I think watercolor portraits are one of the most challenging of all. I can’t help you with the watercolor stuff. The only minor things I’ve noticed is the highlights on your face are different (like on the forehead and nose) and that smile line should end on the side of your chin. Otherwise, you’re such a pretty model, any portrait of you would be dazzling.

    Comment by Sheila — May 22, 2009 @ 3:04 am

  5. Wow — thanks you guys!! This is exactly what I needed!! Thank you for taking the time to help!

    Comment by laurens.paint.palette — May 22, 2009 @ 11:34 am

  6. Hi Lauren, brave girl! I think you might want to start a new one, too. Save this one though, so you can compare with others you do to see your growth.I offer some important things…start with a better photo if you must use a photo. But to really understand and draw well, …look in the mirror at that lovely face under different light sources so you can see how to sculpt in paint! This photo shows no depth to you so that is why you are having difficulty. You know how to paint, just look, look look, at the real thing!!!!:-))hugs…

    Comment by Cathyann — May 22, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

  7. I would agree with Cathann. You do know how to paint and need to just take it to the next level. By adding shadow work and background handling you are close to a really great painting. You have the ability to do so.It is a nice painting though the way it is. I liked the previous piece of your daughter too. It stands alone as a nice painting. Free and spontanious looking.

    Comment by Gary Keimig — May 22, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

  8. I am getting some amazing feedback. It gives me a new perspective to have in mind when I start my next portrait. You guys do not know how much I appreciate the help!

    Comment by laurens.paint.palette — May 22, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

  9. You are brave and fearless. That’s what I love about your work. It’s fresh and I think it’s spot on. But I know what you mean…we need objective perspective b/c artists are too much inside the forest.

    Comment by Gina Lee Kim — May 22, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

  10. Well, Lauren..considering the fact that any attempt at a portrait is sure to fall short of capturing the beauty and vibrancy of the have done quite well (little more smile and keep your chin up)

    Comment by James Parker — May 23, 2009 @ 10:50 am

  11. Great job with this portrait! Time to put it down and start anew. I think Cathyann has said it best. Photographs are hard to work from under the best of circumstances so when beautiful you is available as a model…go for it! Try some traditional single source lighting angled to create strong light and shadow.

    Comment by Dana Cooper Fine Art — May 26, 2009 @ 10:56 pm

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