View Full Version : Bilpin in Autumn...

07-06-2012, 10:32 AM

Title: Bilpin in Autumn...
Year Created:
Medium: Watercolor
Surface: Watercolor Paper
Dimension: 16 x 23 inches approx
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

The reference photo for this painting was taken through the front car window.

I have been working on this for a few weeks and had it in WIP forum. I feel it is almost complete and I am going to add either a car in the distance on the road or a person walking along the road. I was wondering if you could give me feedback on composition, colours, depth and any other advice you feel may be useful. Cheers and thanks in advance... Debs. =))

07-06-2012, 12:24 PM
I vote for a person versus a car.

Like this a lot - great palette. The depth is great.

I'm having a problem with the dappled light on the road. And the reason, I think, is that there's dark and then darker darks. I understand that there should be variations in shadows. If I cut off the bottom of the painting at the bottom of the foreground tree on the right, the road/light looks more believeable. But as we move forward in the painting those darker darks ruin (for my eye) the dabbled light affect. It may just be me.

Other than that I'm loving this.

07-06-2012, 02:26 PM
Debs, Tony is correct. He wrote just what I was thinking as well. A person on the road would bring more life to the painting instead of a car. I would wonder what the person was doing on the road vs. a car. Also concerning the darks on the road--the dark spot level with the lone tree on the right--it is keeping my eye from moving down the road. With the light sky and light colored trees on the left, I doubt if the road would be that dark. I love the lively colors of the trees and would like to see liveliness in the road. The darks in the trees on the right seem to be cloned. Perhaps take out the middle dark and put some muted color of the trees on the left.
I liked it as soon as I seen it. I love the cheerfulness and the feeling of crispness in the air. Carol

07-06-2012, 03:00 PM
I agree about lightening the foreground road a bit. I am glad you made the pole a subtle brown instead of the white, it fits in with the painting better. I like it as is, though a person would also be good. I wonder if you should bring in a few of the orange leaf colors on the left side over to the foreground tree on the right?

07-06-2012, 03:04 PM
I think your painting, though simple, tells a story without a person or a car. It beautifully portrays a lonely country road in all of its splendor and your shadows look great to me. It is a keeper.

07-06-2012, 10:33 PM
I've been following the progression in WIP and I think it's really beautiful. Glad to see it without the roadlines. Feel like a car would get in the way of my nice walk down this road so I vote for a person too, if anything.

07-06-2012, 10:34 PM
Thank you very much everybody for the advice and suggestions and kind words also! Originally I had painted a smoother road with less darks, but it was suggested to rough it up with some potholes and rough edges. Perhaps I went a little too far! :D This can be easily toned down and brought back to lighter in the foreground I will think on these suggestions and post when done. Thank you Phil, I was wondering if perhaps putting a person in may spoil the scene a bit, it would create a COI that may take away from the beauty of the Autumn season that I am trying to create. I may try a makeshift person on a piece of paper and try it to see what happens. Another alternative may be just a lone kookaburra sitting up in the tree on the right? But this may take the eye out of the painting? Maybe another street post further up the road on the right to draw the eye along the road into the distance? Hmmm..... what to do???? Thanks everyone for giving me ideas to think about. Cheers and keep smiling... Debs. =)) :thumbsup: :cat:

07-07-2012, 02:24 AM
Well, I have softened up the road and added a hint of road lines but very soft to give the distance and hills and bumps in the road. I have added some colour to the right and changed the regularity of the trees there to reflect the autumn colours. I have changed the position of the left hand front tree so that it isn't in such a straight line and have added a few more highlights to the tree leaves. Hmmmm...... maybe I could leave it now.... any suggestions to add anything will be considered, don't think I will put a person walking in there as I may stuff it up and have trouble getting him out. What about an old brown road post or a letterbox in the mid to far distance on the left to carry the eye along the road??? Thank you Lucy for your input, sorry i added soft road lines to give distance. i can take them out again, but they are fairly invisible... :crossfingers: :D Cheers Debs. x

07-07-2012, 12:29 PM
Hi Deb. It seems that the "end" of the road is cut off. I took out the dark area just to see what it looked like. I think it opens it up more and takes the viewer into infinity (sort of). Maybe I'll just attach it. I still like it no matter what you do to it. The colors are great.

07-07-2012, 11:31 PM
Thank you Pink, I appreciate you going to the trouble to do that! I have tried to lighten the distance at the end of the road and I do like it better! I had trouble lightening it as much as you but I think it works. I have added just a couple more road posts in and I think it looks ok. I don't think I will add a car or figure. =)) Cheers and keep smiling Debs.

07-08-2012, 12:02 AM
I like it, well painted and great colours. But the trees on the left cast shadow across the road and so do the ones on the right ?? perhaps you need to clarify this

07-08-2012, 12:22 AM
I know exactly what you mean! I have struggled a bit with the road, I will post the reference photo, it seems the trees on the left are casting the shadows right across the road. ? Cheers and thanks. Debs. =))

07-08-2012, 07:12 AM
I really love how you created the trees - how they glow and how you captured the sun shining through the leaves and the grass. I think you have definitely improved the road too. Nice work, I'd love to be able to paint water colours like this one day!

07-08-2012, 07:58 AM
Don't do anything more, Debs. It already says all that it needs to say and does it beautifully and convincingly.

07-08-2012, 08:37 AM
Thank you so much Geoff and Mr / Mrs Smet ( not sure of your name? and welcome to WC by the way) I am very glad you like it because I really didn't want to add anything more or change anything. I had got to that point where I had made several changes and it is time to leave it alone now. Thank you so much i really appreciate your comments and encouragement, it means a lot. xxx Cheers Debs. =))

07-08-2012, 11:13 AM
Well, this has been extensively critiqued and altered. I pretty much agree with the posts and alterations but I think I have something to add. BUT FIRST, I want to pay homage to Deb's wonderful watercolor technique and use of color. On to my "addition"
Artists should usually try to simplify the scene they're working and if it's a nature painting, they should try to make sure it's randomized. As soon as I opened the post, I was struck by the near centering of the composition and the organization into a series of triangles which are somewhat the opposite of a randomized treatment. But I really like that. The artist has flouted the "rule" of randomizing forms to created a really interesting vision of the scene. Now, Deb can take credit for that if she feels like me or wished she'd randomized more or declare a happy accident. With my liking of the polygon dominated composition, by the way, I'm all for no car or person. And note how in the reference photo, the road bends a bit when it's far. Deb has straightened that out. Here are the triangles.


07-08-2012, 01:40 PM
Wow Bob, I am humbled by your complimentary post! Thank you so much for the encouraging and most truly appreciated words. You have made my day because I do struggle with my own personal view of my works. Thank you also for taking time to explain the triangle system I have created =)) although it wasn't intentional and I did have a feeling about that once I had done a certain amount of work on it, therefor chose to leave it be. So..... I will resolve to call it happy accident =)) Thank you again Bob for your wonderful insight and expertise. It is worth more than gold. =)) Cheers and as always keep smiling and painting. Debs.

07-08-2012, 09:20 PM
Exceptionally good Deb


07-09-2012, 03:24 AM
Wow, a rather mediocre photo reference looks much better as your painting. I agree with the others not to add a person or car. Say you are done!

07-09-2012, 08:13 AM
Thank you Andrew and Allison for your complimentary and encouraging response. I am glad to call it done, I did enjoy painting this one and also it is kinda interesting to see how small things like lines on the road, shadows etc can change a painting completely. Luckily, I was able to erase such things or tone them down and still retain the autumn serenity and warm colours of the scene. I think it will look nice in a frame with a double matt, this will end up being quite large compared to my usual sized works. I will post a photo when it is framed, and am thinking of putting it up for sale in my local art workshop / gallery. Cheers and thanks all for the ongoing interest, advice and support. So very encouraging. Cheers and good health to all. Debs. =))