View Full Version : Help please for WIP

02-24-2012, 01:37 AM
I haven't posted in this forum before but I know from other places how helpful WC members are so I'm hoping some one will give me the right direction to go with this. This was a painting I started about 2 years ago, got bogged down with the background and put it at the back of the pile in disgust. I ressurrected it last week, repainted the background and painted my little girl. It now looks dull and lacks life in comparison to the light in the photo background.
Here is the photo
Where I restarted with the background changed. The size is 51 x 77 cm - and I think the top needs cropping.
Where I am at now.

I appreciate any advice you can give me or should I be asking in the critique forum instead? Thought I'd ask the acrylic painters first.
Thanks in advance. Ros

02-24-2012, 03:02 AM
Forgive me if I am in error; however, from the scan, it would appear that your problem is lack of contrast. Do you have any true blacks (i dont neccessarily mean from a tube... I mean the blackest of blacks) in the most recent version? I absolutely love the little girl; however, even she appears a tad flat in the white areas. Could be my monitor, I don't know.

Also, as the foliage gets close to the viewer, the foliage should be more intense with more definition and contrast. As it recedes, it should become grayer and less contrasty... More muted and fuzzy.

As for cropping it, the current composition emphasizes how small the child is which appeals to me somehow.

Hope this helps a bit.

02-24-2012, 03:24 AM
Hi Ros nice to see you here

it is hard to tell as it is not finished and you know were you want to go
as you asked for [help] right now the values are to similar I have turned your pict in b&w to make it more obvious


I did a photoshop simulation hope you do not mind I removed some of the foreground then placed the right tree behind the girl as she is the COI then i put more sun on her and the flowers she is picking to detach her more from the bg I did warmed up the meadow around here to justify the sun on her and it pushes back the distant trees
It does nt mean I m right but just to give you an idea of what to do or not to do



02-24-2012, 04:20 AM
Thank you ArtWench and Robert :wave:,
I knew I could rely on WC members. I'm so glad you did that photo manip. the contrast is obvious when pointed out - I forgot about greyscaling it. I still have trouble with what to edit out of photos and what to put in.
This helps me a lot.

02-25-2012, 11:04 AM
It's a beautiful piece and with the tweaks suggested, it will be Wonderful! I love it!

03-08-2012, 05:01 AM
I have done a little more on this piece - cropped a little off the top and bottom, and tried to pump up the contrast a bit - do you think this is enough or do I need more? I kind of liked the idea of her behind the bush so I left it there.
Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.


I have entered this into an exhibition/competition and called it Flower Study thinking that if this one was no good out I could quickly paint a new one of some flowers :lol:

Thanks, Ros

03-08-2012, 05:18 AM
It's looking better. I would not crop further, I like the layout. I think putting the pink flowered bush in the middle ground was a really good idea, adds interest but not taking from the girl and front flowers, and makes a sort of marker, so you now have a clear foreground, middle ground and background. The shadow under her foot bothers me, too round, as if her foot casts a shadow but the rest of her body does not. I'd soften it and blend it more into the rest of her body shadow. And I would darken in the foreground just a bit more, a bit in the shadows in the two front little plants and in the tree on the right, their shadows are lighter than the shadows under the flowers she is picking, which makes no sense. And maybe a tiny bit more shadow on the girl, as you added highlights to her. The highlights you added to her work really well. Really like her hair. Now I am really liking the softened, duller trees in the background, because everything else is not so desaturated or soft.

03-08-2012, 05:31 AM
Thanks for your quick reply and help Alison. I love WetCanvas - there is always someone with great advice! - much better than asking non painting family and friends who just say nice things when I really need critical comments.
I'll do a bit more on it tonight.