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Dang Cash !

The blending is mesmerizing !

So subtle.  You really got this mini to just flow, blend, and glow.

Every component is in harmony, and blends, flows, and feeds off its partner in color.

This is a MAGNIFICENT achievement.

The face is like a portrait.

OH SO WELL DONE.

I am overwhelmed, and that is NOT a compliment I give easily.

You really have mastered this one !

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Very nice work. The nose looks like it needs a bit more work and I think some higher highlights on the upper forehead and the cheeks would help heighten the contrast. I feel like your skin shadows are almost to dark it could be that the darkest color is actually to wide. Looks great though.

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First off, thanks for all the kind words! You guys are awesome. Glad you enjoy it, as it was a pure labor of love.

Very nice work. The nose looks like it needs a bit more work and I think some higher highlights on the upper forehead and the cheeks would help heighten the contrast. I feel like your skin shadows are almost to dark it could be that the darkest color is actually to wide. Looks great though.

I agree with each point, to some degree :) I was nose deep in several Euro painter's works, the mindset of Alfonso's 'illustrative style', and a few books on oil portraiture in prep for my painting class. So at some point a couple wires got crossed and it lost the clear vision I was trying to convey.

 

The cheeks, they seem to be the main point people have mentioned. I do wish the left cheek had more tonal variety like the right cheek. The right side is a bit more in shadow, so the left would've been brought up a bit more, but I like how the right jawline got defined better. Really my main complaint about the piece but at the time I was just tired of mixing paint and that was the third attempt at the left cheek. At some point you've got to chalk it up to a soft skill cap and move on, heh.

 

The nose, that was influenced by the more illustrative style and I nailed that part early and left it alone. As I ended up blending the other areas more and more it stood out as a less-blended area.

 

While I can see each of these valid critiques (and was mindful of them as I called it 'done'), if you step back from the piece a bit, it comes pretty close to what I was shooting for. At the end of the day I'm pretty satisfied with that and can live with a few technical 'imperfections' :)

 

 

Wish I Could Paint Like That

You can! (With a lot of study and practice) If you go to my project index (in my signature), you can see just about every project I've done with links to how I've been learning as I go. Definitely wouldn't have started with something like this, but it builds upon a lot of stuff I've been slowly developing over a couple years.
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Overall the bust is really well painted and certainly looks like Mel, but since you asked for it I'll give you a few critiques. ::):  The shadows on his face are really strong, perhaps too strong, but I don't get that same depth of feeling from his clothing.  The second thing I noticed is that while you have shadows and a lot of really good midtones, he seems to be missing his highlights.  His face doesn't need much more but I think bringing up a few small areas would make it even better.  Some highlights on the cloth would increase the depth and not make them look flat compared to his face.  Either way, your fiance should be happy.

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