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agnes-cecile's avatar

miss universe

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Sophie Hepp:
her blog x [link]
her portfolio x [link]


watercolor and acrylic on watercolor paper (300g)
45 x 30 cm
Image details
Image size
900x603px 369.53 KB
© 2013 - 2021 agnes-cecile
Comments532
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avivstern's avatar
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Beautiful blend of sharp precise lines with watercolor gradients.
Loved the palette choice and the play of light and dark of blues and reds (pinks).

The object is depicted in a way that evokes emotion, inviting us to focus on the eyes and try to see what's reflected in them.
I like how the minimal shading on her face with mostly bright surface, maybe suggesting a light shining brightly at her?

I got a sense that the nose and eyes were a bit large for her face, it lends the drawing a sense of perspective, something like a "fish eye" view with a very focused center and diminishing sharpness towards the edges. With the shoulders understated and hunched it seems as if she's leaning forward.

The eyes seem a bit too open, somewhat unnaturally. Having the lower lid much lower than the iris is slightly troubling and contrasts with the natural beauty otherwise prevalent in the drawing.

I found the image and beautifully haunting, remarkable work !
feo-frank's avatar
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When i looked at this painting , the first thing i noticed was the brilliant use of colors , spread masterfully on the paper , the blend of blues with hints of pink is very lovely . I wondered why you chose those colors in particular , but then i understood when i looked at the title :" MISS UNIVERSE ", what i understand is that she is reflecting the universe ,reflecting the brilliant colors of the galaxies in the universe, and from her expression ,one sees that she is held in awe at the beauty of the universe .it is such a beautiful expression that you've captured on paper . I do not know if this is exactly what you mean by this painting , but it is how i look at it , and i feel you have a wonderful way of looking at things .
Killerfishy's avatar
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I have seen this picture on deviantArt so many times just floating past. I finally need to say how this piece makes me feel. First of all this looks right through me. I can't even make out the facial expression is it shock? wonder, amazement or even breathlessness? I have great respect for an artist who will work with minimal black and still have such an impact. I even look at this and have stories brewing in my head. Is she a woman looking into humanity from space for the first time? The white lines for hair look stunning and I always thought turquoise and blue were beautiful for hair colours. The whiteness on her face is amazing it makes me focus on just her expression. Usually I will critique and look for faults but it would just be so difficult when this is incredibly beautiful.
KingdomAvatar333's avatar
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Honestly, what really caught my attention about this piece were the eyes. Her whole facial expression is nothing short of awe inspiring, very well done.

Leaving her white for the most part really does give us a chance to see all the details and appreciate the accents in her hair and her lips, eyes, and nose. Hmm, apparently there is supposed to be a space-like theme with the hair? I didn't catch it at first until another viewer pointed it out.

Very creative, definitely one of my favorite portrait pieces. It is definitely impactful. She seems so real, so full of life. Not an easy thing to do when drawing humans, but I really love what you've done here. Excellent work.
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I love this piece so much. The lack of color in the face brings out her features and makes it look like there is a thin piece of silk floating over her head, especially around her lips.

The eyes are gorgeous, and you must have a wonderfully steady hand to have worked around the white spaces. The eyes look as if she is staring into a star. I love how you used brighter colors than most would for the shadow of her sclerae.

The galaxy theme has been attempted before, but for you it actually worked. Her hair doesn't look like it just has circular holes in it like most attempts do, but it has constellations. Even the lines that outline certain locks of hair look like streams of stars from the edge of a galaxy. Overall, it is an amazing and original piece of work.
MeltingCORE-NEO's avatar
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I really admire your technical skill. I watched a couple of your videos. I was impressed at how you created your figures so fluidly without guidelines. As for this piece, I completely adore it. Since I love the universe, I'm immediately attracted to paintings like this. Her hair is really neat since it's wispy, almost gaseous, like a nebula. The technique you used on the hair, having a couple of solid white lines hold in the watercolor, helps give some solidity to the piece. She has a wondering expression - maybe she's wondering about the universe's origin? Speaking of her expression, it's drawn really well. The level of detail that's in her eyes is mesmerizing. It's almost like there's another universe in them. The only critique I have is that her eyes seem a little red, like she's tired. But maybe this was intentional?

Keep up the inspiring work!
enterthetaiga's avatar
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Very successful piece! I love all of the contrast in your style, the contrast between the realism of the features and the abstraction of the hair, the interplay between the warm and cool colors in the face and hair, the contrast between the stark white face and the dark hair.

I also love the lack of color in the face, almost like a camera flash washed out the color. It makes the face pop and lets you project and imagine the color around the nose into the rest of the face, the shadows in the face tricking us into thinking that we see skin tone all over. In contrast, the blues and purple in/around the eyes give a sunken feeling that matches her expression and ties into her hair.

The hair provides the twisting lines that keep your eyes roving over the piece. The blotting of warm colors in the hair creates a sort of misty feeling and the constellations finish off the work as magical.

I suppose one could argue that this "has been done" but I would argue that it hasn't been done quite like this, or with such impact. This is a face you could imagine a story for, carried out in great technical skill. You are my new idol.
andrecastelo's avatar
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This is one of those pieces you see and admire for it's minimalism and how it allows you to fill in the blanks. The abstraction elements are astonishing and the colors picked are amazing.

With that said, my only nitpick would be to watch the proportions of the features of the face, but it's such a small nitpick when compared to the awesomeness of the whole that, well, doesn't really affect the piece in any way.

Also, the style is also so unique to you that it's amazing. When I saw it on the front page I already knew who had painted it. I absolutely love the expression and the colors. Definitely one of the most talented artists I've ever seen on DA.
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nice piece .i think this is one of your best paintings ! i specially like the eyes. is like they are gonna swallow you in to the " universe ". nice touch with the title too by the way >.> hahah

ummm.. well i guess thats it ! i don't have alot more to say about this painting, i mean, you obviously don't need me to tell you that you're good because you are and, i actually started painting again(haven't painted since i was 9 years old. i dont know why really.) because i saw yor work on youtube! and believe me when i tell you; for an engineering student like me to be able to get some of the pressure off by painting is like. well... i don't have the words really so THANK YOU, KEEP PAINTING, KEEP ON CREATING AND BEST OF LUCK TO YOU AGNES-CECILE ( i know thats not your real name but what the hell it sounds cool right?).

bye.

Cass-bloom
Ealaincraft's avatar
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I love your use of colors and the starry effect in her hair. It really works with the title and gives it a very stellar feel.
I also love the minimalistic color use of the facial features. It's just enough to show the details without taking away from the hair. The mouth is especially nice because there's texture to the teeth and the lips.
The eyebrows are also especially nice and I love the blue-grey tint to them.

My only issues lie with the eyes and how they look like they're seeing off into different places. Maybe that's just me, but I'm having trouble conveying what it is she's looking at exactly. I feel like the eyeballs need to be aligned better, but the use of color for the shading effect is superb. They look almost real and that's rather hard to master when it comes to watercolors. (or so I've experienced.)

This is overall a very beautiful piece and you did a fantastic job.
KatelynSkye12's avatar
Ealaincraft, I just want you to know without any disrespect towards your critique that not all eyes are aligned perfectly, and the eyes are staring out in the distance looking for the stars. No one's face is perfectly linear, and each artist chooses whether to paint it perfect, or let it be perfect with it's flaws. :)
Ealaincraft's avatar
I understand where you're coming from.
My main issue with the eyes was that they just looked like they were going off in different directions. And the model could've had eyes that do that, or the artist wanted that effect, in which case she did a good job. They're not bad whatsoever, just off TO ME. I still think it's a beautiful piece.
Safauna's avatar
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A beautiful piece. I enjoy the simplicity of it that leaves most of her face understated and therefore drawing the viewer into her eyes even when the detail is really in her hair. The delicate use of acrylic to define the hair over top of the splashed of colour of the water colour that mirror the colours seen in "photographs" of universes. I particularly enjoy the use of lines to connect the stars into constellations. Truly "Miss Universe". I would love to see more of that universe in her eyes though, it seems more water reflections there, beautiful but shallow pools just reflecting the colour of the sky. A fantastic piece that I hope is a part of a series as you can really expand upon this idea with more pieces.
ZodiarkDarkja's avatar
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Firstly, what a lovely title. She does have that 'out of this world' feel to her. Like, being a heavenly, 'Angelic' creature; in a different realm. And being a traditional artist myself, I can say that I have never tried watercolros. I used to think that Oil Paints were the medium of the 'Arts'. But now, this image has converted me.
The reddish, softness in her; is filled with innocence.
It is unexplainable, but I feel very 'surreal' inside when I look at her. And to be in future times.

Amazing painting you have created sir. Best of luck for your future endeavors.
yf19-sama's avatar
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(My critique deals with the technique).


That painting reminds me the importance of carefully chosen paper format.
You prove how this things are important to produce details and bring a eye catcher factor (just like the nice model choice)


Rendering this degree of sharpness using watercolors is still rare (specially for portraits), hope this method could inspire more.


The colors and empty spaces are well balanced, once again the details are put just where they needed to be.. simple and efficient. From my own experience I noticed this "empty space management" require practice so I'm appreciating your skills in that sense.


The cons :
I feel the unfinished aspect doesn't give the piece a full shine specially in her hair.
The eye expression are somewhat confusing-unclear to me like "a few frames before the key expression".

She seems to contemplate something above her but I have trouble resonating with the moment.

In a way the visual impact is here but not as strong as the emotional one.



Voila for my first critique.
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I appreciate the usage of line in the hair and the way you handled the water colors is really lovely. To push this piece further I would say to bring in more line work and shading to the top of the face and cheek bones because it tends to flatten out. Another thing is to consider your composition. Its very central right now and besides slight variations in the hair its pretty symmetrical. Which is not necessarily a bad thing because it makes for a powerful image that takes advantage of the gaze, but its less interesting than if the composition was asymmetrical. Also watch the proportions of the head to the neck, because the neck looks a little too small. Overall its a beautiful color palette, a good concept, and a really nice drawing.
Cabres's avatar
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The work on this is exceptionally extravagant with it's illustrious viewpoint. With the title being Miss Universe, you would expect some overly glam image. Instead, you see the beauty of the model and the small additions of features from the actual universe. The implemented small dashes resemble shooting stars seen a galactic distance away. The eyes and the mouth both house a slight silhouette similar towards both dying/exploding and newly forged stars. For her, it could be the death of an old life by exploding into the new life. The watery eyes looks like celestial icy absorbing and reflecting like from the scene. There's so much brilliance hidden in open view of this artwork. Everytime you truly look at it, you see so much more. Your mind fancies more comparisons towards astronomy and the image before your optical orbs. Then, it beckons for you to understand that you come in contact with many dimensions/universes within the space of a day from your life. Even moreso when spent with those you think worlds about. Truthfully, it's an honor to behold this work. Thank you for sharing.
Cabres's avatar
Sorry for the minor typos. Smartphone typing isn't always "smart." Outside of those issues, everything else is spot on how I wanted it to come across.
hadasaugh-sculpt's avatar
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Those eyes are like supernovas with the hair as the universe framing two stars. The trailing edge of the hair could represent comet trails from suspended space. I fully consume your application of tachism and the way you really "throw" everything together quickly and make something meaningful, contemporary, and vocal. Colors are bouncing with energy, and the fine touch of added constellations as part of the hair shows the depth of your thought during construction.

I would have titled this "Untitled" and let the viewer see the universe in her hair and eyes - just to see how many people would notice.

Rating the vision aspect of this critique is clearly a pun here.
TheologianoftheGash's avatar
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There's something so mystical... ethereal about watercolor. It has a softness, very delicate... It certainly creates a world of it's own such as Expressionism or Impressionism does... and here, our eyes are gifted with that unique universe and masterfully told by the artist. Such a talent to tell a story with your art and your medium... Here, the eyes are the mirror to the soul. Ours? Hers? Her bold, widened gaze are fixed on her subject that we are not privy too... and in them, we find our world. That is a gift of an artist... using her medium, her talent to have us find the tale to be told. She is beautiful to me and haunting at once. I feel I have her at that very moment just before a tear developed in her ducts and would run down her cheek... The wash of blue and the constellations embedded within give her that womanly status of a goddess, but that utter stare, that moment caught just as her eyes find her subject makes her mortal. Death, Beauty, Life... all in one. To talk about technique - I would be long-winded more than I already am. Her full lips and doll eyes are masterfully crafted with such a delicate touch... I want to reach out and embrace her. You have taken what could be a simple portrait and created someone whom our eyes are looking at and through...
Andela1998's avatar
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WOOW! WOOW! I LOVE it so so much. I decided to write a critique because, when I first saw the painting on facebook, her gaze just made me speechless. I don't know how do you do that, but every of your painttings has such a deep emotion. About this one:
I really love the work you have done on her eyes. It's so amazing.
Her expression makes me speechless. The hair is amazing as well and the title really fits. I like the finish touch you always do with a white pen, but in this painting, you have made it better than usual. The whole piece is just outstanding, and I know everybody who likes art would love to have it on their wall.
visualdreampainter's avatar
Beautiful and vivid, love it!
AmandaDarko's avatar
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