View Full Version : Donkey Cart in Ireland

07-08-2012, 09:00 AM

Title: Donkey Cart in Ireland
Year Created:
Medium: Watercolor
Surface: Watercolor Paper
Dimension: 11 x 14.5
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is of a donkey cart coming up the road in Gougane Barra Forest Park, Co Cork
Painted on Arches 300gsm Rough

This is much smaller than I usually paint. Also it is painted in a looser style as I am trying to get out of the habit of becoming too detailed in my finished work.
Am I succeeding?

07-08-2012, 09:39 AM
Hi Geoff, this reminds me a bit of the one I just finished! I too wish I could paint faster and looser, I just don't know how they do it! I fiddle and change things so much and it frustrates me! I love this little scene, the donkey is lovely and the colours for me are great. I may tone down the reds on the right, just my opinion, and the outline of the right bank bothers me a little.... ( the one that goes down to the bottom middle of the page) as i am having trouble separating the bank from the road at this point, it seems as if the bank curves down and becomes level with the road somehow? As I said, just my opinion and I am not an expert. The rest seems great, nice use of light on the figure. MAybe just a tad more detail in the foreground on the bank would help... I love it though, keep working on the looser style, I will too! Cheers. Debs. =))

07-08-2012, 10:56 AM
I think the composition is excellent and the treatment is charmingly loose. I have two crits: I think the overall scheme is rather too mid tone-y and you can work the darks a bit. That's possible with watercolor. And second I feel you're using too much chroma and less would be more. I believe that essentially you've got a red/green complementary scene and so the yellows on the right and the blues in the back are somewhat superfluous and even the reds should be muted.
I append a photoshop which tries to extend the value range and selectively mute some colors.


07-08-2012, 09:16 PM
Nice work

If you do a similar work I would like to see more Donkey and Cart and less Ireland.

The landscape could almost be here in Australia


07-08-2012, 10:24 PM
Thank you Debs, Bob and Andrew for your comments --- all crits pertinent ! I must admit that I used the "enhance" facility in my image programme and the upload seems to have "enhanced" it even further. The chroma is not quite so saturated in the original. I don't have photoshop, Bob, and I doubt that I could do the things that you do with it, anyway !!! I'll have a go at the darks.
The grass verge, Debs, begins to come out from the high bank here and is just about level with the road surface. But that outline must go !
Ireland is not overly blessed with "tall timbers", Andrew, but this forest is the exception. I wanted the donkey and cart to be just incidental to the scene and not to become dominant --- hence the slight merging of them into the road shadows. If I do another one and make them the COI then I may be in danger of losing the looseness --- but it could be worth a go.

07-09-2012, 03:21 PM
I like your work, dgford. The way you treated the road (shades, light, length, corner) is wonderful.
It's a pity the landscape looks more realistic than the donkey, cart and man.
There still remains a lovely Irish scene.

07-10-2012, 06:38 AM
Thank you Coen1. I know I didn't want the donkey and cart to dominate the scene but be merely incidental to it, but maybe I merged it just a little too much for some viewers.

07-10-2012, 07:50 AM
I like the looseness in this piece. I really like the light area around the upper part of the road. I agree that what appears as an outline where the road meets the bank is troublesome. Bob is also right that there is too much midtone. I am often guilty of this in my watercolors as well. I would tend to try some selective lifting and then intensify some of the darks. I like that the cart is an element within the landscape rather than the focus.

leisure artist
07-10-2012, 08:46 AM
This is a loveily piece of work...very well done!

07-11-2012, 07:15 AM
Here is a modified / corrected version that I hope has attended to some of the very valuable critiques that came my way. What a wonderul forum this is !!



This is much nearer in colour and tone than the first image I uploaded --- I think!

07-11-2012, 07:44 AM
Wow, I really like the changes! The bank looks so much better now and the trees in the background distance look awesome! really like it Geoff! Cheers Debs. =))

07-12-2012, 07:32 PM
A big improvement....very nice!!!

07-13-2012, 06:19 AM
Thank you Debs and Murphy for your encouragement.
Actually the colours are just a wee tad bit brighter in the original. Dim-witted as I am, I have just realised that the angle of the screen on my laptop makes a considerable difference to what I see and to what is uploaded. So now I am sticking with my desk-top PC. Will have to check out my camera settings also.

07-13-2012, 11:41 AM
Sounds like your painting is actually somewhere between the two we have seen as far as colour brightness goes, and in my opinion that would be perfect. =)) Debs.