Cazubi, I meant to comment on yours when I voted, but forgot to. Your painting was just beautiful! I really liked the style you chose. I based my votes more on accuracy of restoration, and the likeness just didn't match the vision I had of the fellow, but your painting effect was great.
Craig, very interesting technique you describe - and very effective. Amazing what you were able to do without cloning. Great job!
Loverly, for what it's worth the frame wasn't much of a factor for me, but I can definitely see where it may have been a distraction, especially since it takes up valuable pixel real estate. No fuss - just the way it is. I prefer your version without the frame - excellent work!
Freddieanne, I *really* liked the painting effect you achieved on yours. Can you tell how you went about it? Excellent restoration too - especially the eyes and hair.
kurt, thanks it was an interesting test.
and for your kind words i'll say something about yours.... brace yourself, i didnt say i'd say something nice
actually, you did an excellent job on the restore. love everything below the chin! and i agree with your own comments about the dark background. there are two main things i see with the restore that i think could have been better. the face is a bit clone-smudgy. not much, but it shows a bit. and the hair lacks detail. i'm guilty of this last one myself. otherwise a very fine job!
Great job everyone. I too think it would be helpful for comments outside of the top 5... this was my first attempt at a restoration, and I know I personally could benefit from comments (no matter how harsh...)
Don't know if I'm worthy to comment, but I guess everyone has an opinion. My unpretentious thoughts...
Pros: I felt the painting effect in your entry was just outstanding. It shows much artistic flair and natural talent. The impressionistic style was a brave choice, and IMHO you pulled it off very well. If I were to ignore the "restoration" requirement, yours certainly would have been high on my list.
Cons: The restoration. There are too many areas where the restoration is not true to the original; mainly the hair, collar, shirt and tie.
Sidebar: Maybe I'm too much of a technician, but when I look at many of the entries I am surprised at how little attention was given to the accuracy of the restoration. Without other specific instruction, a good restoration strives to recreate the original as accurately as possible - any deviation and it's less of a restoration and more of a retouch.
It's obvious to me that the "make it an oil painting" aspect of this contest introduced a fair amount of confusion. From the comments, some interpreted this to mean that "artistic license" can abound, even if it detracts from the accuracy of the restoration. However others saw the restoration as an equally important aspect which didn't allow room for many of the liberal interpretations. Very interesting dynamics came out of this one
kschulz: Thanks for your comments. I think that you did a very nice job on your restoration. You really achieved a good likeness. I think what that if it had a different kind of background and a little less "cut out" look that it would have looked more like a portrait. Very nice work though.
PhotoB: This was one of our hardest contests, so kudos to you for taking it on. I think that you probably could have used a little better restoration base to start, and your paint method eliminated some important features such as the eyes and nose. Good attempt.
Thanks Steve, Kurt, Lorraine, Cathy, Craig, Annabel, Martha and Loverly for the congrats.
Kurt - An excellent restoration, and I like the bg. The only problem I see is the slightly blurred facial features and hair.
Cathy - great re-do. I think the conservative colouring suits him better, and the lip job does the trick in the likeness dept.
Loverly - I liked your entry with the frame, and thought it was a good fit with your painting and the period, but I also like the larger image.
Ken - I think your 'definite' layer recovers all the important details very faithfully. Some of the shadow patches on his face are maybe too patchy for a photo, but would work well as a painting style (maybe palette knife). I'm not sure there's much going on at the bottom of the original other than chemistry.
Craig - I like the results of your push technique on your restore, and in your painting I really like the realistic complexion you achieved. Would liked to have seen a bit more of the push strokes and facial details in the painting.
Annabel - while I like the specs, I still prefer the original's hawkish nose and the hi-lighted area between eye and ear.
PhotoB - I saw this as a watercolour, and a very nice painting at that, (keep in mind that this is coming from someone who thought his own pic looked oily). I thought there were two levels of clarity in your pic, either of which would have been acceptable if applied consistently - the face seemed to lack the definition and detail that was evident in the suit. I really liked the earthy colours you used, and the 'likeness' would have been very good if not for the eye and nose.
About the contest. I agree with Kurt about the confusion and interpretation thing. The 'restore' part seems clear enough, even with T Paul's clarification that "If you want to restore by painting that will be acceptable. The key is that it must be a finished full-color oil painting--so the missing parts and so on must be corrected". If you take 'restore' as a strict requirement then the dark bg's, and even anything that looked painted, would be eliminated. That's why I interpreted the restoration loosely as: 'try to preserve the recognizable details that were there' (what he looked like, and what he wore). A painting of a photo cannot be an accurate restoration unless it doesn't look like a painting at all (super realism). Since the 'key' was 'finished full-color oil painting', some restoration aspects had to be sacrificed.
'Colourize and oil paint' were assumed by many to mean 'Colourize and oil paint in the manner of common 19th century portrait painters. This was a logical approach, but I didn't see it as a requirement. Again I interpreted the oil painting part as an intentionally broad rule, intended to attract a variety of painting styles and approaches - I might be wrong on that one.
My take on the contests in general are that the rules have been short and sweet and not too specific because it allows for entries to compete on criteria other than just 'technical skill' (especially for contests that are not restore only). I also think the voting by participants allows for an appreciation of how different people weigh things like imagination, style, colour and form etc. differently. By design or accident this is the kind of contest it is, and I think most who take part are content with how the format is evolving. Maybe a poll or vote would settle this question?
I'd also like to see the challenge format utilized to address file size and comment issues. I like the idea of a post vote re-do too (maybe excluding the top 5?). But changes like these probably require a lot of time and resources that may be in short supply.
thank you for the comments. the push technique somewhat evolved out of talking to palms1 about smudge painting in another thread, and somewhat from trying at first to bypass the restore work and go directly to painting to restore and paint. that didnt last long but i did find the push technique interesting once i'd tried it. and yes, i agree it didnt manage to translate over into the 'oil' portion very well. it was my original intent that it would, but i didnt quite make it.
i was pleased with the complexion also. i consider myself a fairly poor 'colorizer'. so, i was happy with that also.
and i also agree with your lost detail comment. i knew this also and even tried to correct for this late in the contest. not quite sure where i lost the detail. i even went back and looked and couldnt quite figure out my workflow (lost command history in saves) and all the layers and blends and whatnot.
if we were doing this again using the same image and same rules, i'd certainly do some things differently.
and, since we're critiquing, 'groucho' needs some work
Lorraine, I know exactly what you mean about getting burned out on this one. There were some things I got the same way about.
Kurt, Thanks! Turning this into art was the big unknown part of this challenge for me. After I'd finished the restoration and colorized it, I just started messing around with Impressionist. I've tried to recreate what I did and this is close:
-1st layer - Imp - djr Oil 24
layer mask to bring back a little detail in places
May have lowered opac??
-2nd layer - Imp - Paint-smudges-soft paper
again, a layer mask for detail in places and to
smooth out some effects.
Really pretty basic stuff.
Cathy, I really like the new colors in your rework.
Doug, Thanks, I appreciate your input. After a while I lose perspective and start second guessing and trying to get it better. Again, your likeness was awesome, so I know it can be done!!!
Late to the party...
I know I'm late to the party but congrats to Doug. A worthy winner.
Thanks to everyone that voted for me. I'm no longer a contest virgin.
Can't wait to view all the ghoulish entries in the October contest. Hope at least one of them scares the pants off me.
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