Female Nude – From Photo Reference

Posted on 2012/05/25 at 00:24 by daarken 23 Comments

In this video Daarken shows you how to paint a female nude from photo reference. The photo reference is from Marcus Ranum. This was painted completely on the Asus EP121 and is sped up several times.

Music by Asetrid Byrne
Cimbria 3
Ein Volk

23 Comments on "Female Nude – From Photo Reference"

  1. jablar · 2012/05/25 at 01:45 · Reply

    Thanks for this, nice to see the painting progress in real time…
    the hair looks great

  2. Trace007 · 2012/05/25 at 01:48 · Reply

    Awesome vid! Still can’t fathom how you make those hues in the skin so subtle.

    I’m curious, does this vid indicate that we’re going to be seeing more color tuts soon? I’ve reached a point where I want to color a b&w pic of mine, but I’m still not so sure of my coloring ability, especially when it comes to fleshtones.

    • daarken
      daarken · 2012/05/25 at 08:29 · Reply

      Yeah I will, I just haven’t really had time lately to make new tutorials with full commentary due to my schedule. Hopefully I can start back up soon.

  3. Hector Ruiz · 2012/05/25 at 02:39 · Reply

    I am currently taking figure drawing at TAD and I always enjoy the drawing process. Nice to see your technique. I liked it a lot as well as the music.

  4. Carlos Arthur · 2012/05/25 at 08:07 · Reply

    Awesome :O

  5. jimi · 2012/05/25 at 10:51 · Reply

    incredible daarken!!!!

    how do you know when to tell yourself to stop rendering?

    i feel like when i paint, i definitely stop early in order to have it look messy/painterly.

    • daarken
      daarken · 2012/05/25 at 11:21 · Reply

      I think what most people don’t realize is that painterly artists don’t “stop early” in order to make it look painterly. They plan out their brushstrokes and learn to economize each stroke so that it serves a purpose. The way you will learn to do this is through practice. Sargent was known for putting down one brushstroke and then analyzing it and repainting that one brushstroke until he got it just right. It wasn’t that he was stopping early, it was that he planned everything out and made sure each brushstroke was perfect.

      • jimi · 2012/05/25 at 11:30 · Reply

        thanks daarken.
        I’m going to heed that advice very closely next time i paint.

      • jimi · 2012/05/26 at 01:30 · Reply

        daarken, your advice rang in my ears all night while i waited tables.

        i painted tonight after work

        i stared my brush strokes down individually. i looked at them forever, plotting my next move. like chess.

        the painting moved slowly.

        i became less concerned with the final product, and more with the process.

        it was like doing a drug. I’m not kidding.

        i broke through a new wall.

        the painting is still unfinished, and i don’t know if it will be good, otherwise id post it…

        but the artistic integrity behind it was the most real experience I’ve ever had. i discovered that whole “its all about the process,”

        i know this sounds slightly hokie, but seriously, my brain slightly altered tonight, and I’m thanking you invaluably.

        thank you. although I’m an atheist, i had a spiritual experience tonight with my art.

        • daarken
          daarken · 2012/05/27 at 17:20 · Reply

          That is great to hear! I’m really glad you found what I said useful and that you really tried and put some thought into it and applied it to your work. It means a lot to me that it helped you so much.

  6. Judy · 2012/05/26 at 07:13 · Reply

    Simply amasing!!! Thanks so much for this tutorial, I really struggle with color. Even when I paint just values B/W I don’t know how to appy color. Thanks a lot one more time!!!

  7. DrewMuch · 2012/05/31 at 17:34 · Reply

    Hey Daarken!
    Great video as always, I do have a pressing question that is driving me NUTS!

    Can you tell me a good approach to learning to draw the figure and to grasp it easily?
    By that I mean, should I do sketching first, or gesture drawing? May be value studies? I’m trying to figure out the “order” of procedure but feel lost at times when I try to go from sketching to painting.

    Please advise. And Thank you!

    • daarken
      daarken · 2012/05/31 at 20:24 · Reply

      Starting out with line drawings and gestures can really help. If you have a solid drawing, your painting will follow. Make sure that you have the fundamentals down first. When I was in school we started out with line drawings and gestures and then after that we moved on to value and then after that to color.

      • DrewMuch · 2012/06/01 at 10:48 · Reply

        Awesome! Thanks so much, this clears up SO much! :)

  8. Van · 2012/06/03 at 18:56 · Reply

    Beautiful work. Being new, I’m having the hardest time loosening up when I sketch and paint, so I really appreciate when people with experience are willing to show their process full of adjustments. It makes me feel better about embracing my mistakes and not expecting every stroke to be perfect.

  9. Kimberly Joyce · 2012/06/06 at 19:35 · Reply

    you are incredible and I feel like I can learn so much from you. *bookmarking the page* Your coloring looks amazing, that is something I always have a hard time doing and I always get the urge to use the eye-dropper tool to find the color I want because I struggle to do it myself.

  10. Diogo · 2012/06/07 at 01:07 · Reply

    Hi Daarken, thank you for this demo!
    I have one question, how do you set the reference window to always stay on top?
    I tried opening one image im photoshop but when i start to paint on the windows bellow, the reference go behind it..

    Thank you again.

    • daarken
      daarken · 2012/06/07 at 03:25 · Reply

      Drag the window just below the bar that shows the opacity and flow and the window will dock to it. Now when you open other windows, they will stay on top.

      • Diogo · 2012/06/08 at 12:11 · Reply

        Hi Daarken, thank you for the reply.. I tried it here, but could not make it work.. The other windows always go to the behind the activated one.. Are you using photoshop CS5?

        • daarken
          daarken · 2012/06/08 at 12:21 · Reply

          Yes, I am using CS5.

  11. Pandora · 2012/06/15 at 11:52 · Reply

    Hi Daarken ! Thanks for this awesome demo.

    I was wondering how can you manage color when you’re painting from photo reference ? Every time I try to copy a color I’m stuck with wrong values and it becomes weird…

    It is kind of strange to ask that but, as a veteran in painting, can you tell that A and B are the same color just by looking at it ?

    Thanks in advance !

    • daarken
      daarken · 2012/06/15 at 12:00 · Reply

      Colors and values look different depending on the colors and values that are next to them, just like in the example you gave. Squinting can help you a little bit when trying to match colors and values. You can also try using a mask or window to isolate the area you want to look at so that the surrounding colors and values don’t confuse you.

      • Richard · 2012/10/11 at 21:34 · Reply

        Isolating window! Awesome idea! Thanks

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