The level of skill in these forums is simply stunning and amazing. My compliments to all those great artists! It's always an inspiration to browse through all the great artworks (a little frustrating sometimes, too ).
I haven't posted in quite a while, and I hope that I have improved. So here goes; three Portraits with a close-up shot each (around 90% zoom).
The skin texture on that last one is really nice. That second one too reminds me of those headshots of actors from the 40's, I think it's the lighting. The first one looks like the skin could use a little grizzling up. Anyway, sweet work.
Nice! I like the color of the dress against the dark green background. Just wondering, when you did the color one, did you do the whole picture in black and white, and then color it using a color layer over it, or did you start by blocking in color without doing the black and white first. Just wondering as I can't decide myself which way produces better results. But again, those are some great pieces, even the color one reminds me of photos put out by movie studios in the 30s and 40s.
You're asking a question there which has been bugging me for some time, too. On the last painting, I started with a grayscale drawing and then put in the colour (via layers). I find that using this technique, I tend to get the values in general wrong some times, e.g. overall too dark values. It also tends to make the colours look metallic, but with a bit of overpainting there's a good chance of correcting that.
Painting in colour right from the beginning probably is the more fluent way to handle it, but I sometimes mess up certain values (rather then all of them) when I do it this way, and that is far more difficult to repair than just lightning all the dark parts.
I guess it's basically the same as everything in life; unless you're perfect there's always pros and cons for everything^^