View Full Version : Third try... :(

03-26-2001, 10:56 PM
Now that we are not freezing, I got out and probably the last under 100 degree day we will have in the park and lost it!!
I saw the Fleicher collection of California Impressionists and thought I was on to something... I was wrong.

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I DON'T hate the colors....
I really loathe the composition but I am ok with the right side of the picture...like the palms and the house...but middle to left...AGGGGH
Here is the actual shot.

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I have to come up with something besides the giant screw in the middle, but am at a loss.
I tried little birdies...see them???

I tried real canvas this time.
I know my first mistake was vertical not horizontal, but if anyone has suggestions...I know I will probably be too freaked to try them, but I am getting braver and braver...you may see me actually do them one day!

03-27-2001, 04:04 AM
I don't critique paintings, but I want to say the colors are wonderful and I love the energy in your brushwork.

www.lindablondheim.com (http://www.lindablondheim.com)

03-27-2001, 06:22 AM
You're a good painter. Landscape painting is different. Even master painters have had to learn to paint all over again when confronted with landscape. If you're serious about it, I hope you'll spend some time doing paintings on location. In my opinion, that's how you master it.

March 28
I realized later how stupidly condescending my remarks sounded, if not to you, at least to me. Sorry - of course you're serious about it.

[This message has been edited by Robert (edited March 28, 2001).]

03-27-2001, 04:17 PM

Don't freak...you're doing great. The middle to right is wonderful. Here are a few thoughts...

The way you are painting is fine, colors fine, and composition fine. It just needs small adjustments, not big ones to bring it to finish.

Think big; big shapes. You started of great then got hung up in the trees http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif Create a directional pattern leading from the foreground going back to the mountains. The background looks good, it is the middle and foreground that need the "tweaking" and reshaping.

The tree far right and far left are both painted straight up through t he middle their trunks. Try to bring one tree into the picture and not both hugging the edge of the painting. You can also paint out the foreground little tree as it tends to block the viewer from going into the painting.

One other thing to think about. You just returned from a great workshop where you were working hard one way and now you are painting with natural color. Give yourself some time to make the shift from the workshop techniques you learned to integrating them into your work.

And don't sweat not adding the bird. You do not need it in this piece as the building has become your focal point. If you'd like to include the bird, just look at and indicate it as shapes, forms and colors, not as a "bird", and it will end up looking just like a bird! When we get intimidated by new subjects they are easy to do treat them them like the other aspects of the piece. And since you are painting from the photo, just turn the photo and your canvas upside down, then paint the bird. You'll be amazed at what you can paint when looking objectively at the subject.

Good job.


L. Diane Johnson (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/) NAPA, PSA
Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops/)

03-27-2001, 06:26 PM
Thanks! I agree and want to appologise for the misleading info...the bird in the picture was a mistake... those little gloppy things near the shadowa were birds in the painting. The one in the shot is too wonderful to paint!
I may see what I can do with trying to bring in a shrub or something that can break the foreground.
Oddly enough, I actually thought I composed this one, but gave up in the clinch. I really think my biggest lack is what to do with the spindly branchy trees I thought would work themselves out on the left.
Gonna think about other reference and see what I come up with....and paint earlier or later. The Arizona light gets awfully washy midday. By the time I was heading home there were MUCH more interesting shadow shapes.
Thanks again. I am studying!

Phyllis Rennie
03-27-2001, 06:36 PM
DJ, I think it really has a lot going for it! The colors are nice and the brushwork is teriffic! And hey, the left side of the scene didn't give you much to work with. I don't really know what to suggest for the composition but I would love to see you finish it.

03-27-2001, 08:28 PM
...and one more confusion to clear up:
I do the painting as well as I can plein air and take a snap before I leave so the theory is I can work from it and make adjustments....but I usually never do.
Thanks for the encouragement. And it IS easier to turn the picture upside down than stand on my head in public!

03-27-2001, 08:30 PM

I was thinking exactly what Diane was when she said, "big".....
and I made a small modified image of what was going thru my head.

Who is to say that distant mountain couldn't be closer thus made larger? The small sapling or whatever it was in the lower middle didn't sit right. One of those things better left out IMO, as it doesn't add to the essential elements of composition here. With the increased size of the mountain, the visual weight was decidedly on the right, so I duplicated and made smaller a couple palms to set on the left side. I also made the original palms a bit larger to break up some planes. I lightened the ground foilage and warmed it up to increase the sense of light, and intensified the building with oranges and reds to oppose the strong green in the work and make it more of a focal point.

Its not THEE only solution, but perhaps a beginning toward a possible solution.

If my memory serves me right, you've pretty much only recently begun to paint plein air, and the pieces I've seen of your works have been very impressive. I agree with Diane about the wonderful quality of your brushwork and color in general.

Its easy when painting on location to lose handle on that effort to discover the "ah-Hah!" or that/those specific element(s) that said, "Paint Me!" In that quest, it is important to figure out what not to paint as well as what to paint.

I struggled initially to figure out just what would have most interested your eye and what I as a viewer might then find interesting thru your eyes.

Thus, I intensified some darks, brightened up some warms...and created some drama to what appealed and made interest to me. The reason its not THEE solution is it may not speak what was most interesting to you. When you figure that out...everything else will be subordinated to accompany it as the main instrument...yes, like music. -Larry
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The Artsmentor

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!" Edgar Degas

[This message has been edited by lseiler (edited March 27, 2001).]

03-27-2001, 08:39 PM
Dern, it is easy to digitize, but you know what? I think I could do this!
I killed that twig three times and STILL it survived. Maybe some ROUNDUP this time. It is neat because the dinky foreground doesn't matter.
I am not worthy, O MENTOR!
thank you.
.... give me a little time, I still have to get ready...

03-29-2001, 03:35 PM
Why I see nothing wrong with it..oops take that back...yes, kill the twig! hey, nice park too! I love painting in our park.

Don't worry, its gonna be all right....
Tammy's Home for Artists (http://tammy.artistnation.com)

03-30-2001, 05:38 PM

I took the liberty to play with your painting digitally to offer up some suggestions on how to possibly improve this composition. First of all I punched the colors some to get rid of some of the muddied look and then moved the focus to the middle so your eye moves to the backgorund down the center line and then did some alterations to balance of color and form with the trees left and right. Added some foreground for a greater sense of depthand detail. The mountains were detailed for the same reason. I hope you don't mind, but since you seemed so frustrated, I thought I would demonstrate that all is not lost and encourage you to keep going.


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03-30-2001, 06:17 PM
This is getting fun!
More, more. It is turning out to be at least a more interesting picture than I thought!
I will keep mulling it over. I am thrilled with the ideas I never could have thought of.