I'm uploading a source photo of my niece's daughter.  She's 11 and this photo was suggested to me by her mother. I don't usually do children.  But the beautiful photo and the braids charmed me so I thought I would give it a try.  I've worked on it quite a lot but don't seem to get the look of the girl.  At that age, it has to look like her or else!  The canvas is 40 by 50 and I work in acrylics.  I have no room for oil and all the paraphernalia although I do have everything except place for a really good easel.  Since I'm mainly interested in her face, I've posted only that detail of my painting alongside the full photograph of her. So if anyone can tell me where I'm going wrong I would really appreciate it. 

Thanks a lot.

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Hi Flo!  I think you are on the right track and simply need some minor adjustments. Hopefully the above images will be helpful to you.  If you look at the B/W version, you can see some value changes that need to be made in your art -- adding a bit of shadow to her left cheek, some lighter values to her shoulder and clothing and shifting the shadow of the braid and deepening some shadows under the braids, etc.  The multiple light sources tends to make things confusing, but as the artist you get to make adjustments to make things look better.  I would warm up the skin color a bit with some lighter reddish tones so that she doesn't look so washed out and pale.  I like where you are going with this and hope to see it when you are finished with it. =)  Best wishes!     Pris

I agree with Pris and what a nice thing that she showed you two alternate versions of your artwork with different values coming to light more clearly in each!

I like what you've got so far - the two things which stand out the most for me (as being different) are 1) the color of the shoulder over all (way darker than the face) and how it doesn't look as if it's in the right place because of the current shading and 2) the perspective on the face - her eyes should be more similar in size and there's too much emphasis on the cheek where it seems she has an extra dimple instead of just shading of the cheekbone.  Here's my addition to the comparison photos... I took your drawing and changed it to grayscale and removed some of its opacity.  I then put it on top of the photograph.  It's not easy to see all of the things I mentioned but you can see that the eyebrows are higher and the right eye (her right) is too wide... I hope this helps. What you've got so far is really good but I know that feeling of wanting things to be perfect.

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