View Full Version : The Slaughter, Glos -- approach to footbridge

07-20-2012, 08:02 AM

Title: The Slaughter, Glos -- approach to footbridge
Year Created:
Medium: Watercolor
Surface: Watercolor Paper
Dimension: 18 x 13
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Shallow river here so looking down to dark bed. The stone bridge has no rails ! About 2+ hours to paint from a photo.

Anything and everything

07-20-2012, 08:13 AM
It is a very pretty scene Geoff! You have a lovely free watercolour technique and the colours are very rich. Nice balance of light and shade and I love the little ducks! The windows on the end of the central house and the roof line and eves look a little out of line, but maybe that is just the photo, or maybe they really are like that. It is a delightful painting and not much longer than two hours!!! Well done Geoff I love it! =)) Cheers Debs.

07-20-2012, 01:28 PM
I think this is beautifully painted, Geoff, but I have some suggestions as to the composition. I think the house on the left is too close to the edge of the painting and too detailed. I feel like the painting works better if the viewer is led to focus only on the houses on the right. I further think that the intensity of the yellow sky is overdone and a less saturated, more neutral sky will shift attention to the houses which I think should be the COI. I append a photoshop which tries to illustrate these ideas.


07-20-2012, 04:19 PM
Nice warm painting. I agree with Bob about the sky. It tends to stack with the same value light spot on the bank. If you don't want to lighten the sky try adding a glaze to that light spot to darken it some and your sky will read better. The house on the left might read ok too if it were dulled down and the other house add a brighter wash to kick it up. Being the same basic color and value the eye will tend to go to the detail and out of the painting on the left. Love the purples and oranges!

07-21-2012, 06:36 AM
Could someone please help me. In the original my sky is blue, the water is a little warmer and the lighter patches of foliage in the main central tree, the shrubbery to the left and the reeds of the lower right are all much lighter/yellower. I photograph the painting in mid-afternoon sunlight with the sunrays hitting at about 45 degrees . Yet I keep getting the wrong colours/tones on screen and even worse on a print (--- usually more saturated).

I like your revised composition, Bob, but my client knows the place and wants it as we both know it ! I think I will wash down that left house and subdue it a little.
Thank you Debs. That far roof line of the nearer house over the bridge does look wrong --- and I'll change it. Thanks.
Christine, the purples and oranges do look good , don't they? Unfortunately they are not in the original !!! Now I am in a dilemma! (see first paragraph)

07-21-2012, 06:56 AM
I teach a little workshop on digital photography of paintings and will try to address your problem. Generally, photographing the work in Sun from an oblique angle will give excellent results with the camera set on auto white balance. You can't use this technique with impasto strokes because you'll get shadowing but for w/c it's fine. I'm amazed that you're getting such inaccurate reproduction of hues. So...what camera do you use? Set on auto white balance? Are you shooting jpeg or raw? If jpeg, the camera may have some biases set in the picture mode. You want the default jpeg setting. What program do you use to process the images prior to posting? One last idea prior to getting your answers. It's equally effective to shoot the painting on an overcast day with gray skies. What you can't do is shoot in open shade; your image will get a blue cast.

07-22-2012, 09:27 AM
Thank you, Bob, for your immediate help. You're a great guy !
To answer all your queries I will have to sit down and figure them out !! Then I will get back to you.

07-22-2012, 10:54 PM
Camera = FUJIFILM Finepix S3400 set at AUTO and often at Macro. I use jpeg.

Image Programme = MGI Photosuite 4. I feed in through SD Card. Select “Enhance” which corrects image for whiteness. Sometimes I may sharpen the image by 1 level`. Resize to 600. Upload.

More of my troubles seems to have happened recently whilst using my laptop = ASUS A73T Windows 7 with 64-bit system and a 17” screen. With my ASUS desktop, 32-bit, Win7, 23” screen I didn’t seem to have the same troubles --- but that is defunct at the moment.

Here is my latest attempt --- with some suggested painting changes plus a small crop of the left edge to lessen the impact of the doorway entrance of the large building. This was taken at midday in light shade, on Auto, enhanced, sharpened by 1 level. It looks to be near-enough accurate. I hope this helps.


07-23-2012, 12:17 AM
Now! That's nice!

Love the home detail, and the rich reds in the water and foreground grasses playing off those greens.

I appreciate your obvious ability to take crits and change only that which will enhance YOUR ideas.

As they say, too many chefs...:wink2:

07-23-2012, 08:48 AM
I love it Geoff! Beautiful work and the colours are perfect in my opinion. Wonderful watercolour! =)) Cheers Debs.

07-23-2012, 11:01 AM
what a lovely paintings....and all those various roof lines. The building in the back makes me want to walk further into it. You've got an overall good feeling to this painting. It looks like a place I would love to wander around in.


07-23-2012, 11:20 AM
WOW.. what a difference color makes hey? I think you have succeeded in moving the eye to the right now and away from the left hand house. The only other thing I might suggest is to take a very sharp pastel pencil and whiten a couple of the ducks to confirm that's what they are. It's a very nice painting and I hope your client loves it!

07-23-2012, 01:53 PM
What a difference. I like the latest version very much. Only one crit. The tree over the houses is a little too gray. I think it needs a little touch of green.

07-24-2012, 07:23 AM
Thank you Sissal, Debs, Nancy, Christine and Phil for looking in and giving me your comments.
I suppose that is why we post, Sissal, to get those crits that help us to push forward --- though tough to take sometimes !
You are very kind, Debs and Nancy, and warm the "cockles..."
Phil, if it is the trees behind the buildings, I might try it modified in the computer and see if I agree with you ! I still have a fortnight up my sleeve before it goes.