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Tim Clarke

[AD] Noses! -- Advice Needed

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Hi all. I just bought Affinity Designer on Sunday to take advantage of the sale. Except for minor edits to a couple of SVG files, I've not worked with vector art before (or really any art except my camera since I was at school about 24 years ago), and am enjoying it very much. I used to code software and considered it an artistic form of logic, and vector art seems to be a logical form of art. Well ... perhaps it's just the way my head works. But I did a couple of tutorials (one and a half anyway!) and am now working on a picture of two of my nieces.

Intro over!

Most of the work is just the foundation shapes and colours. Zoe's (the girl on the left) cheek line, laughter line, mouth (ouch, those squint teeth!) and nostril are just place holders. Her skin tones are what I was working on today, and I'm pretty much happy with. I realise I haven't yet done the shadows around her neckline, but at the moment I'm struggling with the nose. I just can't seem to get it right. I'm just wondering if some fresh sets of eyes might be able to see where I've gone wrong. Perhaps I've just been working on the picture for too long today. :$

I'm attaching the picture so far, as well as the reference photo. And a close-up of the nose in case that helps. Any other criticism is welcome. They're both a few years older now (Zoe just left for university, and Emily is now ten), so I don't know if they'll like this. But I hope they'll like the gesture, and so I'd like to put the effort in.

Tim :)

PS Just noticed that maybe I need to add some more darker shades under the nose -- I've been concentrating on the ridge and sides. Unfortuantely I now need to get some work done and get to bed, but any input is more than welcome.


zoe & emily.png

zoe & emily.jpg


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Hey Tim, good start. I would squint at the enlarged photo to see the overall shading areas and start building those areas on the side and below the nose in subtle low opacity shapes with blurs and transparency gradients applied. Sort of what you have done on the upper side of the nose near the eye. Just more of that. Keeping the shapes in a warm shadow colour with multiply blend mode usually works well.

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Thanks retrograde. I was out for most of today, and I think stepping away from it has helped. Yes, I think building up the shadows beneath the nose will work, and I realised too that I had accidently removed shadow work beneath the left eye (left to us, Zoe's right eye) so that side of her face is looking a little flat. I haven't had time to work much on it today, but fixing that helped a little, as did shortening the nose just a wee bit.

Thanks for the tip of using multiply. I just looked it up, and it's probably something I should be using instead of the skin tones document palette I set up. I already did a little work on Emily's skin, but it's not too late to try the multiply blend on her skin instead. Thanks.

I showed them both today. Zoe hates it and refuses to look at it! :4_joy: But she's eighteen, and tells me she hates that photo (in fairness she's got quite a strange pose --- one she probably thought was "grown up" at the time). Emily hugged me and said "I love your picture, Uncle Tim." Not sure how to take that. She might be only ten years old, but she learned the arts of sarcasm and being patronising years ago! :| Well for a first effort, I don't think it's too bad so far (I'll probably look back in a year and cringe!).

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