View Full Version : What I hope to paint today.

07-04-2003, 05:25 AM
This is a composition I did some time ago I tookthree seperate shots of cheetahs taken from Africam web cams and combined them to make this composition.... before I attempt to turn it inot a painting would like to know your views on it....

Help needed with background mainly, and also does the composition work?

Any advice?



07-04-2003, 05:31 AM
:music:Oh Mo... we love you so...
especially when your Painting:music::D

not sure what to suggest for the background but i love the comp, can't wait to see the progress:clap:

07-04-2003, 05:45 AM
The background allready suggests sky with clouds to me..........why not keep it as sky? Doesn't have to be a blue sky necessarily, you could use some much warmer colours if you preferred. I think something without foliage would be a lovely foil for the animals' patterning.

Not sure what is happening to the body on the far left......looks a bit odd. Which animal does the body belong to? I think you need to ensure that you are quite clear what is happening there.

Lovely otherwise.


Kathryn Wilson
07-04-2003, 06:53 AM
Mo: This is going to be spectacular! I really like the sky color as it is - looks like a dusty red sky towards evening.

Not sure why, but the cheetah on the left blended in with the middle one when I first saw the picture. Did you mean for this to happen?? It took my eyes a minute to see that there were 3 cheetahs there.

On the other hand, it could be that I am up too early (5:30) and still sleepy.


07-04-2003, 09:45 AM
If I am not mistaken, the object you are seeing on the far left is the hip and thigh of the left kitty. Am I right? I love this and wow, all those spots. I think you are spot on.

07-04-2003, 09:58 AM
Mo this is lovely as is. The colors of the sky and grass are beautiful *S*

07-04-2003, 01:00 PM

Great composition - follow your heart and I know you won't have a bit of trouble.


07-04-2003, 01:17 PM
Think it's beautiful, Mo. The background makes me think of dust clouds....because on the right side there is a dip in the grass and the 'cloud' seems to rise out of it...I think it's a great composition.

07-04-2003, 01:21 PM
I like it. The cheetah on the left blends too much into the next one but I'm sure you can fix that. I like the soft indistinct background. You could always ask about it in the animal & widlife forum or the compostion forum also. Have fun!

Deborah Secor
07-04-2003, 01:50 PM
I just wanted to thank you for pointing out AfriCam... What a great site!

Your composition is a great start. Maybe you could strengthen the light coming from the left so the contrast is increased, allowing the front one on the left to stand out. (I had no question about the hip of the one on the left. It reads for me.)

I look forward to seeing how you resolve it. Have a dandy time painting...

07-04-2003, 03:35 PM
Beautiful, is this in the oil pastels that you have been working with recently?


07-04-2003, 05:06 PM
Thanks a bundle everyone.... there seems a bit of confusion here though, this is not a painting it is three different photographs layered together to make the compostion for the painting, probably why things look a little odd such as the flatness of the two cheetahs and the rump of the one on the left, but I know what's going on there as I have the seperate pics for reference too..... I worked a lot on the background today, but my dig cam batteries are flat and on charge right now, so couldn't take a pic.

Thanks so much for the comments, it helps a lot.


07-04-2003, 05:14 PM
Ooops sorry , meant to answer a few questions too..

:music: Smudge! You're a poet and you don't know it.:D :music:

The object on the far left is indeed the hip and rthigh of the cheetah, it's curving around and away from the viewer..... and yes I will be painting this with oil pastels. Thanks again.:)

Oooh and Barb.... I will ;)

07-05-2003, 08:30 AM
Looking forward to seeing the progress reports on this when you start painting.


07-05-2003, 01:45 PM
GOODY! GOODY! GOODY! I can't WAIT 2 c it :D:clap:

07-06-2003, 05:24 AM
It totally works for me. I really would love to see the WIP pics of this. Please!

07-06-2003, 05:52 AM
am sure this is going to be another beauty! WIP?

07-06-2003, 08:27 PM
Thankyou folks.. I really didn't intend this to be a WIP.. it's something I'm working on for my exhibition... but here you go, as it stands right now... I've spent many hours over the last two days on the sky... studied loads of pics on african skies, and finally came up with this... I like the ochre skies with touches of grey/blues, so decided to go with that... you comments on this would be good.

I've still lots to do, just blocked in the cheetahs, and the foreground darks... those cheetahs look rather comical :)

here you go.


closer view of the sky:


Oil pastels on ... what? I don't know LOL.... I just pulled out a sheet of brown pastel paper, have no idea what make it is, but it's taking the OP's very, very, well.... the sky took ages, lots and lots of blending and scumbling, all dry work, no turps or liquin used, made my arm ache a bit too. :)

More later,

07-06-2003, 09:14 PM
Oooohhhhh! Love it already! The sky is gorgeous!
Way to go, Mo!


07-06-2003, 11:00 PM
Mo, I'm really liking the sky....don't worry about the cheetahs looking funny...at the beginning stages most everything looks awful...we know they'll come out great. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that works on things for days though...glad this is a WIP, interesting to see how you work it...

07-07-2003, 12:58 AM
Mo, you have another winner going here. Looking great :) Can't wait for the next instalment.


07-07-2003, 10:33 AM
Thanks all, now I have the headachey part out of the way I should fly through the rest.... I hope!:D


07-07-2003, 05:05 PM
Quitte a project but it looks like you're going to produce another great one, Mo.


07-07-2003, 08:25 PM
Superb Mo - let me know if you need help filling in the black spots!!!


07-18-2003, 06:10 PM
Barb!!! where are you... I need help with the spots.:D:D.....
Well at last I've managed to progress a little with this, haven't been able to work much on it at all...so many other things to do......... here it is as it stands now after another 4 hours work...... so slow and the heat doesn't help.. As you can see I've worked on the foreground a little and the distant cheetah... still a long way to go..... I think I'm becoming a bit bored and frustrated with it at the moment, it's just not going easily at all......... so any comments and kicks up the bum will be welcomed. Thanks. :D:D the whitish mark in the centre is flash bounce from the camera....it should be a grey/blue



07-18-2003, 07:06 PM
Hi Mo,
I missed the start of this thread and have just discovered it. I love the composition and the sky and that grass is coming along wonderfully. Those pussy cats look so alert.

You're sure great with those OPs. My brand new box is still untouched, and will have to wait a few more months yet! :(

Really looking forward to seeing this one finished. BTW how big is it?


07-18-2003, 07:20 PM
Mo, you are just worrying too much...not easy combining all those refs...you're doing great....I also like how the grass is coming...it's a big pic but still can't see details...or was that the plan lol?:evil:
I can see where the spots would drive you spotty:rolleyes: , why don't you pop a little blue on those kitties and liven them up for yourself? They're a good base for the colors you're using and you've got some on I can see...but do you know what I mean??? Sometimes I'm going crazy and I'll just put down some bright complementary color and it gets me excited again...it pops...you know? Sometimes traces of it stays because it looks good, sometimes it gets swallowed...but it gets me going. Does that make sense??? Oh...you've got a good subject for imagination....think about how when you get one done it's going to leap to it's feet and charge after some prey...make them LIVE for you....come on Mo...you can do it:clap: It's way better than you're feeling, so if you turn those feelings around it'll all click for you...so glad you posted!

07-18-2003, 08:47 PM
Thanks Minky... it's about 21" x12", so quite big.. getting so frustrated with it just now.

Sue... what can I say.. you've given the kick up the bum... I'm having a problem with the paper I've used... sorry don't know what brand it is I just pulled it out for the colour,.... intially it was taking the pastels very well, but now the pastels are just slipping around the surface, and I'm finding it so hard to get any detail or more colours to adhere...I may scrap this one and try again... but not yet.... I'll do some more over the weekend first, then see how it goes... I understand what you are saying about the comps believe me....yes it does make sense... okay I'll take a refresher on it over the weekend... if it's still bugging me I think I'll lay it to rest and start something else, otherwise I'm beating myself up ... not good.

thanks for the encouragement and support.... ;):)


07-18-2003, 09:13 PM
yeah, I totally get what you are saying...support is everything...that's the problem I had on acrylic canvas. After a little bit it wanted to slide...not good fighting your materials. Yeah, I'd say if it doesn't go this weekend, start something else on a different support. Otherwise you'll think it's you and not the materials and Mo...we KNOW it's not you!!! But keep this one aside...maybe it will act differently when cooler weather comes...that's if the weekend doesn't go well. But don't give up the ship yet!!!

07-18-2003, 09:27 PM
;) :) ;) :D Thanks Sue.:cat:

Kathryn Wilson
07-18-2003, 09:40 PM
Mo: Not sure if this will help, but I found that if I left the OP's rest for awhile, more color will take.

07-19-2003, 04:25 AM
Mo I just found this........how did i miss it starting????????
Anyway....just want to tell you I love what you are trying here......big cats are just soooooooooo fantastic!
Keep at it! you can do it!

07-19-2003, 04:27 AM
It's coming along beautifully, Mo. Indeed don't worry so much. Just enjoy the process, and if you feel you'r too busy to enjoy it, then leave it be for a while.

Sue/Dyin, you are our new eloquent motivator for this forum! You have a way with words and I, for one, appreciate it very much. Thanks for joining WC!

07-19-2003, 12:14 PM
Can hardly wait to see your painting, Mo. It will be spectacular!

07-19-2003, 12:27 PM
Mo don't give up this is looking great!!!

Thanks also for that super site (Africams) I'm having a look at it now!!!


07-19-2003, 12:51 PM
Mo, I can see you don't need any help at all with those spots - this is progressing beautifully.

Got my mom here and we're doing the whirlwind drives and visits with old family friends she hasn't seen in years and years. It's kind of fun to hear the stories and yet it's not nearly as fun as spots!!!


07-19-2003, 08:44 PM
Oh you folks are so wonderful... thanks for all the support....I've decided to let it rest for now and start on other things... I'm just beating myself up with this one just now... not good... so a little rest from it will be good for me, but want to thank you for all your encouragement... I will finish it eventaully, but not now.. so I'll let it slide down into the archives for now.....

Hey Barb.... missing you girl.... hurry back, let's see some more of your fabulous work.... spots fun :o :eek: :D ;) :D ... see you soon

07-20-2003, 10:45 AM
Good one Mo,
Can understand perfectly about beating yourself up . . but I find that's part of the journey. If I don't go through various emotional stages with a painting then I never feel the end result was worth it. The paintings I remember most fondly are those where I struggled through highs and lows but in the end overcame the difficulties. Let it rest . . it'll still be there when you're ready :)

07-20-2003, 11:51 AM
Love the photo Mo!! I think the sky is lovely as it is and I think the cats will stand out against it well. I am sure this will make a good painting ....... good luck with all those spot ...... you will be getting spots before your eyes !!


07-20-2003, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by nougat
Mo don't give up this is looking great!!!

Thanks also for that super site (Africams) I'm having a look at it now!!!

SERIOUSLY - it is looking WONDERFUL!!! - I too am looking at that Africams site - it's so cool!!!:clap: :clap: Thank you 4 the info :D

07-20-2003, 02:07 PM
Thanks folks.....yes the Africam site is rather wonderful, especially the game drives, never know what you might see, although the cam shots are not all that clear, you can get some great inspiration from there.


08-01-2003, 01:23 PM
Hey Mo haven't commented yet coz i was waiting for the next progress pic and i'm an impatient so and so and as the words foot and posterior have been used in the threads today i thought i would go looking for this and bring it back to the top.
So far i think this is coming along beautifly and i love the background sky and the colours used and the shoulder of the far cheetah has a supple feel to it,i know you weren't happy with the paper and i was wondering if you had decided to continue or start again,only you know best and i know you are busy with your show so i can wait,i think i can wait:D

08-02-2003, 10:41 AM
Mo, this is luscious, the absolute best of what is wonderful about pastels.....Thank you.