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DAK723
09-30-2012, 10:56 PM
Welcome artists!

Here is a quick recap of what The Spotlight is all about!

The Spotlight is an activity thread for pastel artists of all experience levels working from photos chosen by a monthly host. Most months, the host will choose photos from only one subject, putting that subject into “the spotlight,” so to speak! For example, one month the subject will be painting water, another month will spotlight flowers, etc.

Some months, rather than spotlight a subject, the focus will be on a challenge of some sort. In those cases, we might have a wider variety of photo references, but “the spotlight” will be on the challenge itself.

Since this is a group activity, we can pool our knowledge and resources, and grow as artists in a fun, “no-pressure” atmosphere.

And, remember, no critiques unless specifically asked for.

The intent is to have fun, try new things, experiment, and perhaps most of all, to see what our friends and colleagues are painting from the same reference material!

Please note: The photos this month were taken by me or are from the Reference Image Library. You have permission to use the photos as reference to create your artwork and to sell them and/or exhibit them. The actual photos still retain the copyright of the photographer. So you cannot copy the photo to your blog, for example, without the permission of the photographer, or digitally alter or reproduce the photo for any purpose other than for your personal use, with the exception of crops, digital alterations and posts of these photos within "The Spotlight" thread.

This month’s Spotlight is on…Silhouettes!

You’ve probably heard it many times – whether from art books, instructors, or right here on WetCanvas - we don’t paint things, we paint shapes. By concentrating on shapes, we can design our pictures with quick thumbnails or sketches that block-in the biggest shapes without worrying about any detail. When we start our paintings, we can do the same – block-in the overall shapes and then redefine those shapes into smaller shapes. In many cases, if the overall big shapes are well defined, we don’t need much detail.

There is a good reason that overall shapes – or silhouettes - are so important. Apparently the human eye and brain are especially good at shape recognition. We can recognize many objects solely by their silhouette without seeing any detail at all. As artists, we can take advantage of that part of our visual ability.

For the purpose of this Spotlight, we will expand the usual definition of silhouettes. Normally, silhouettes are a solid – usually black or dark – shape that defines the overall shape of something. Here, this month, we’ll use the term to describe the overall shape of something – even if it’s not one solid color. It may also be an overall shape that is within a larger shape – such as the overall shape of someone’s hair. We’ll also use it to describe a shape that may contain many objects – such as a mass of flowers or trees. We’ll also discuss partial silhouettes, since when we paint we usually overlap objects making them only partially visible. But even in those cases, the power of the silhouette can be utilized.

We’ll see how artists use the silhouette – especially the information at the edges of the shape – to help makes things more recognizable and to draw attention to certain areas of their paintings.

Let’s start with an overall silhouette shape. Imagine we are painting a tree (or bush), what information do we want to convey to the viewer that says – this is a tree? I would suppose we would want to give the impression of leaves and branches. We could paint in a lot if leaves and branches over the entire area of the tree, or perhaps we could just paint a few along the edges of the silhouette. Would that work?

Let’s look at a painting by Monet.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-00-monetthe-promenade-at-argenteuil.jpg

This painting has many silhouettes – areas of general shape without much interior detail. But let’s concentrate on the bush on the lower left and the tall narrow tree on the right. The lower bush does have some interior detail, but the branches and leaves that extend out over the water are the details that really matter and help define that shape as a bush. The tree on the right is almost a real silhouette – as it is almost a solid color – but the detail along the edge defines it as a tree with leaves and branches. We really don’t need to see any details within the tree, especially as the tree isn’t that close up.

So, as we can see, limiting interior details can also be a method of simplifying the painting. In most cases, simplification is the goal of the artist, but it can always be difficult to decide what to show and what to eliminate. Sometimes, using strong overall shapes with detail at the edges can suggest detail for the entire shape – even if we don’t show much detail in the interior. There’s no real formula for this, the artist still has to make judgments on how much interior detail to show. But as I looked at paintings in preparation for this Spotlight, I was constantly surprised at how little interior detail is often painted by the likes of Monet, Renoir, Degas, etc.

Here’s another Monet.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-00-_monet2.jpg

Lots of strong overall shapes – not much detail. Only the shrubs at the base of the trees have any real interior detail.

Often when doing flowers, an artist can get caught up in all the details of each petal and each leaf. Here’s a van Gogh that primarily uses the “zig-zag” shape of the silhouette to indicate the petals of the flowers.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-00-vangogh.jpg

Information at the edge of the silhouette can be useful – even when it is just a few strokes or lines – such as when painting hair. Many artists keep hair very simple – with perhaps just a couple strokes to indicate the highlights as the only interior details. But just a couple “hair” strokes along the edge and we recognize the shape as hair without a second glance. Without those little wisps, curls and bangs, hair can sometimes look like a hat or helmet when we paint. Interior detail might help – details along the edges definitely helps define hair as hair! Two Renoir details:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-00-hair.jpg

In these still lifes by Cezanne, there are lots of strong overall shapes with not much interior detail. Notice how the containers are positioned so that we can see the handles relatively clearly. If the handles were hidden, the silhouette would give us less information and the object may be less recognizable.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-00-stills.jpg

Here’s a van Gogh with some strong silhouettes – even though all the objects overlap to some degree.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-00-vangogh2.jpg

One thing to consider regarding silhouettes and detailing more information at the edges is emphasis. As we discussed in our Spotlights on edges, harder edges and more detail are “eye-catchers” that create more emphasis. So, it may depend on what you want to emphasize (or de-emphasize) in your painting that helps you determine how detailed and strong your silhouette shape should be. As always, decisions have to be made! There are no rules or formulas to memorize – sorry!

Here are some photo comparisons that hopefully show some examples of how more detailed silhouettes – or seeing more of the silhouette – help us identify objects.

In the following example, which tree looks more “tree-like?”

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-00-branches.jpg

I would vote for the tree on top! There is more information along the edge of the overall shape – more leaves and twigs – that defines the shape as a tree. Here’s another: Which photo better defines a row of reeds?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-00-reeds.jpg

I would vote for the bottom photo – as it gives us more detail along the edges of the overall mass or shape. The overall shape of the reeds in the top photo forms a straighter line and is more solid than those on the bottom photo, so if we aren’t careful, it might look like a wall in our painting (believe me, I’ve been there!).

The top photo has more detail in the interior – a lot more stems and reeds are visible – but those interior details don’t really supply that much information – it seems to me. Certainly not as much information as the greater detail and variation along the top edge of the overall shape in the bottom photo.

Another example. Which tree line looks more like a tree line?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-00-treelines.jpg

I would choose the top photo as it has more tree shape silhouettes along the edge of the tree line. Again, the more of the overall shape we see – and the more information at the edges of the silhouettes - leads to more recognizable shapes.

I should mention that concentrating on the silhouettes – and adding detail on the edges – is just one more tool for artists to use. Not every tree or bush or hairdo is painted with little or no interior detail and lots of detail on the silhouette edge. It’s something to consider and use when you feel it will help – not a rule! There are times when the only detail is in the interior. But when given the opportunity – such as a teapot, tree line or “wall” of reeds or grasses, it might help to add, or exaggerate the details that are on the edges and use the power of the silhouette!

Here are a couple James Gurney blog entries that talk about the silhouette!

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2008/08/silhouette-part-1.html

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2008/08/silhouette-part-2.html


And now the references!


photo by kdkbrown
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-000-_vase_by_kdkbrown.jpg


photo by stalksthedawn
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-000-flowers_by_stalksthedawn.jpg


photo by TrishaFritz2
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-000-ref_by_TrishaFritz2.jpg


the rest of the refs are by me

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-000-mendon2.jpg


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-000-ref-durand.jpg


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Sep-2012/82335-000-refmendon.jpg

Remember, you can crop, modify, rearrange, delete elements from the references. And, if you want, show us any WIPs (works in progress) and let us know the particulars (size, paper type, pastels) that you use to create your Spotlight paintings!

And most of all - have fun!!

Don

Judi1957
10-01-2012, 12:25 PM
I'll give er a whirl Don. Maybe it will help me loosen up.

Turpintine45
10-01-2012, 12:50 PM
Thanks Don for another thought provoking lesson.

Clea
10-01-2012, 01:29 PM
Great topic! Thanks a lot, Don. I will try to produce something worth posting again.

ncgirl
10-01-2012, 01:30 PM
Great subject Don and as always, fantastic lesson and refs! I'm going to try and get two in this month, and go out of the comfort zone a little. :crossfingers:

VanessaT
10-01-2012, 05:22 PM
So many great ref pics! This will certainly be challenging.

MeredithJ
10-01-2012, 07:10 PM
Just what I need. Great. I am going to have fun with these pics. Thanks, Don

Judi1957
10-01-2012, 08:27 PM
My apologies! I don't know if it was WC being wonky today :confused: that I barely got to post much. In fact lucky I even logged on.

Thanks Don!!!--the references are great--as well as how you explain things so they are so understandable! Love the examples! Never heard of Cezanne, but loved his work you presented!

DAK723
10-01-2012, 09:29 PM
Thanks everybody! Looking forward to this month's paintings!

Don

MeredithJ
10-01-2012, 10:30 PM
Hi Don, Well, I guess I am going to bite the bullet. I really found this interesting as I am a detail person and loose does not come easy.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Oct-2012/1122312-autumn_leaves_oct_2012.JPG
8x10 -Watercolor paper - Unison - Yellow Ochre tinted Primer

Judi1957
10-02-2012, 06:14 AM
Meredith! Wow---that is GORGEOUS!!!!! Love the greens in the evergreens and the oranges are stunning! The grassws and shadows are fab too.

Judibelle
10-02-2012, 08:14 AM
Don...Looking forward to doing at least one....thanks so much for all your effort in bringing these challenges to us!

Meredith....I think you did 'loose' beautifully! It is gorgeous!

barriespapa
10-02-2012, 08:56 AM
Well done Meredith love your trees. Don have not been participating these last 2 months have been so hectic. But I never miss reading this post I find it is always super informative.thanks so much for all your time and effort.
David

DAK723
10-02-2012, 10:15 AM
Meredith, Thanks for starting us off! Wonderful painting! The trees are fantastic!

Don

ArtsyBren
10-02-2012, 11:34 AM
Don, this is quite a challenge for me because A) I am just beginning with pastels B) loose r not me!

However, I am going to try it. You have posted some lovely references!:thumbsup:

ncgirl
10-02-2012, 02:54 PM
Meredith, nice work, beautiful colors. You did great with the loose technique!

ncgirl
10-03-2012, 07:02 AM
My turn - I rearranged and added a little - imagined so many wonderful treats flowing out of the mist of the tea - it was a fun concept and one that I may develop further (even though I'm a coffee fanatic). I kept to the silhouette as much as possible, leaving out details, and added a cat (really, did anyone think I could get through a painting without a cat? :cat: ). Critique welcome as always!
784012

Thanks for looking!
Sandra

Judibelle
10-03-2012, 02:19 PM
Sandra...great job! Your teapot is especially nice....

I did the vase...very loose, as you can see..http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Oct-2012/103700-flowers.jpg

I used Colorfix colored paper, with mostly sennies, remmies, and Ludwigs
10x12

ncgirl
10-03-2012, 04:05 PM
Nice work Judi, very dynamic lines, sunshiny and happy!

MeredithJ
10-03-2012, 06:56 PM
Sandra, I love yr imagination and the teapot is real nice.
Judi, I like what you did to the background, and yr flowers are cheerful .

DAK723
10-03-2012, 07:34 PM
Sandra, Very nice job on your still life! Lots of nice silhouettes and minimal interior detail! Nicely done!

Judi, Really nice painting! Very bold and exciting!

Don

cfo
10-04-2012, 05:50 AM
Don, thank you for the very informative lesson and great examples.
Meredith your painting is beautiful!
What a refreshing take on the ref pic, Sandra!
Judi, I think you executed the spotlight lesson very well.
Happy painting'
Charri:cat:

Mado
10-04-2012, 06:19 AM
Well done Meredith ! Your trees are just lovely !
Ncgirl : Charming whimsical interpretation.
Judibelle : Beautiful harmony of colors on this one.Is the bg the color of your paper ?

Thanks for this thread Don, it is very interesting to read and watch !

Judibelle
10-05-2012, 06:52 AM
thank you, Mado, Don, Charri, Meredith, and Sandra.
Mado, the color of the paper is a deep burgundy, so I put the brown over it.

Mado
10-05-2012, 11:46 AM
Thanks for replying. :)

ncgirl
10-05-2012, 10:48 PM
Finished the lovely tree and pond with water lilys - I wasn't sure how to do a silhouette of a reflection but gave it my best shot. I used soft pastels exclusively on this one, avoided the NuPastel and the wonderful detail they bring. :angel: Critique is always welcome!
785122

And then - because I couldn't restrain myself - I finished with a bunch of detailing. Devil made me do it. :evil:
785112

Again, critique welcome and appreciated!

Sandra

Judi1957
10-06-2012, 12:00 PM
Sandra--aren't you the busy bee! And nice imagination! Love the teapot most of all-really captured the shape.
And your shore looks good too! In the :evil: painting it looks like lavender and glads lining the shore.

Judi, Very nice vase and very lovely loose flowers!! Like how you accomplished the highlights in the wood.

My attempt. Sure is hard to stay loose and STOP.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Oct-2012/37258-xxx_009.JPG

C & C always welcome!

ncgirl
10-06-2012, 12:48 PM
Thanks Judi, it is hard to stop (couldn't do it myself). Your reflections are absolutely stunning! I love the warm colors and brightness of the tree.

DAK723
10-06-2012, 05:07 PM
Sandra, and Judi - Very nice job on the pond and reflections! It's OK to add some details! The question is - where do they do the most good - on the edges or in the interior? That's basically the them of the Spotlight this month!

It's funny - many folks have mentioned painting loosely or trying to work loose. I must say that I really hadn't considered the "loose" factor as I prepared the Spotlight. But I can see where that is a factor if one minimizes interior detail. On the other hand, the silhouettes and the edge detail can be done in a precise and exacting manner...I think! Looseness is not a requirement!

Don

Judi1957
10-06-2012, 06:15 PM
Hi Don, I believe that was me that started the loose lingo here as in loosen up. :o Perhaps I missed the intent of the lesson here tho I really tried to be minimal and work edges-especially in the bg trees.

DAK723
10-06-2012, 08:22 PM
Hi Don, I believe that was me that started the loose lingo here as in loosen up. :o Perhaps I missed the intent of the lesson here tho I really tried to be minimal and work edges-especially in the bg trees.

If my lesson leads people to loosen up - that's good! I think everyone interpreted less interior detail as being looser - and I guess it would be! So, I don't think the intent of the lesson has been misunderstood - rather, there was an additional intent that I didn't know was there!!

Don

DAK723
10-06-2012, 09:25 PM
I wasn't sure how to do a silhouette of a reflection...
In some ways this lesson is a companion to the Spotlight on Blocking-In that we did a few months ago. For those who were with us then, you may recall that we experimented with beginning a painting by blocking-in the big shapes. In this Spotlight we are also concentrating on big overall shapes, but concentrating on what happens at the edges of those shapes.

So, for the most part, the silhouette or overall shape of the reflection of the reeds and tree can be blocked in as if it is a simplified larger shape.

Here is the ref with an outlined overall shape of the reflection of the reeds and main tree:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Oct-2012/82335-000-mendon2reflect.jpg

If you simplify that shape, it is one essentially solid area of colors. It isn't just one color, but numerous colors within one big shape (or silhouette).

Since reflections are usually blurry, interior details are usually lost and we really have no interior details to worry about. At the outer edges of that big shape, however, we can see lots of little shapes where the reflection ripples meet the darker color of the reflection of the dark shadowed trees. Those smaller ripples could be considered as the details at the edge that we have been discussing this month.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Oct-2012/82335-000-mendon2reflect2.jpg

I didn't do any demos in this months lesson, but I thought I would try and see if blocking-in the initial "silhouettes" would actually work! I've started with a simplified overall shape of the reeds and tree - and their reflections.

Please note that I have exaggerated the edge of the big outline shapes and made it very distinct and hard edged. Normally, I would vary those edges right from the initial block-in. Plus, this is done on the computer, so it may look a little different than a real pastel.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Oct-2012/82335-000-mendon2reflect3.jpg

My block-in might look like this. Pretty simplified and the big shapes are exaggerated a bit. Plus, my big shapes can have multiple colors within them. Now, here's what happens when I add details only at the edges of the big shapes.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Oct-2012/82335-000-mendon2reflect4.jpg

I think this is a good example that the shapes are pretty well defined and recognizable - even without any interior detail. Of course, you probably will want to add interior detail, but I think it can be added minimally. Just a suggestion seems to work well enough - at least it seems that way to me!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Oct-2012/82335-000-mendon2reflect5.jpg

I hope this little demo helps demonstrate the power of the edges! And please keep in mind that this is just one approach that we are experimenting with. Many painters do not block-in big shapes or use these techniques. So it is not a rule by any means. And some objects and things we paint have no details at the edges. But some do - and these techniques may help!

Don

Judi1957
10-06-2012, 09:55 PM
Great demo Don!:thumbsup:

Jayde
10-06-2012, 10:50 PM
I was more taken with the silhouettes in the trees and grass in this picture, so I just did a quick sketch of those aspects.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Oct-2012/117869-SpotOCT.jpg

Judi1957
10-07-2012, 09:04 AM
Fab work Jayde! You really nailed the depth within those trees!

Ruthie57
10-07-2012, 01:03 PM
Don, nice lesson on the big shapes then the edges telling the story. Sorry I haven't been around until now.
I didn't fancy any of the refs this afternoon but I did want to paint. So I have copied the Monet one. Oh, what fun that was! Not sure if I can post it though. Anyone know copyright restrictions on Monet??? I know he hasn't yet been dead for 100 years......

DAK723
10-07-2012, 01:35 PM
Jayde, Very nice painting! The tree and grasses look great!

Ruth, Glad you are back! At least from what I have read (no idea if it is true) everything prior to 1923 is in the public domain - at least in the USA. Generally, that is why I use pre-1923 artwork in my lessons without worrying about it! When I need more contemporary artists for my lessons, I try to use links whenever possible. So, in my opinion, Monet is OK to post anytime!

Don

VanessaT
10-07-2012, 01:44 PM
Judibell, that reference caught my eye too. I'm sure restraining yourself from putting in too much detail in the petals was hard. I noticed you used Terry Ludwigs. How do they compare to other pastels in your opinion? Are they really all that they are claimed to be?

ncgirl, great blance between the detail and impressions of the lillypads! I think if put down your darkest colours first you'll get a different effect. I love your saying haha "devil made me do it"... totally relate LOL! :wink2:

Judi, nice embankment! and reflections. How did you get the depth with the bushes in the background? It really looks as though you walk walk into them for quite a distance.

Jayde I really like your tree! You can see the branches but so much that you focus too heavily on them. Like your background too, good depth.

Here is my piece this month:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Oct-2012/1119952-20101007_Wet_Canvas_October_Spotlight_-_Medium.JPG

8 x 6 inches
pastel on water colour paper

My paper was tinted olive green

Ruthie57
10-07-2012, 02:49 PM
Don, in the EU (apart from Spain and France apparantly) it's 70 years after the death of the copyright holder. So I think I'm safe to post it here. Obviously won't be publishing it anywhere else.

Vanessa, I just love this! Less really is more. I admire you!

So here is my Monet. I have not been one to copy other artist's work, in fact, I can still count on one hand the number of times I have done so. "Loose" is not necessarily without detail. In my view it is the ability to move away from exact detail to something which makes the viewer's eye perceive it as detailed. That's one thing doing this has taught me. I just wish I could "see" like Monet and many others did/do so that I could put my own interpretation on things making much better art than simply copying. Trying to be "loose" by making swift gestural strokes simply does not work for me....Hurrah, the penny finally dropped!

On canson, about 12x9"

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Oct-2012/189061-my_monet.jpg

Ruthie57
10-07-2012, 03:01 PM
And, although it's not this month's lesson as such, it's worth noting how many compositional "rules" are broken in this painting.

1. I notice I have unwittingly decreased the area of sky but, looking at the original, nearly 3/4 of the painting is blue sky or water with not a huge amount of variation.
2, look at all the detail near the edges! But edges should be less detailed and less contrasting shouldn't they?
3. There are 2 distinct areas of dark value. they're not connected, are they?
4. And, looking at the original, not mine, note how the sunlit areas on the path are very nearly the same value as the shaded areas!

Does it work though? (The original I mean). Oh yes! I think so!

DAK723
10-07-2012, 04:12 PM
Venessa, Wonderful painting! A great variety of soft and hard edges and an almost part abstract quality to it!

Ruth, OK, where's your copy of the Monet? Oh, this is the copy! I swear it looks just like the original!! You've captured the colors perfectly! How do you do it? I wish I knew!

Interesting comments on the composition. Those who have been on WC a while, know that I have been fighting against compositional rules for years. This is one reason - Monet, the other impressionists, and many other artists for hundreds of years before that didn't "know" the rules that are often found in today's art books and given by today's instructors. Maybe some day we'll do a Spotlight on composition, but since we are using photos where there already is a composition, I haven't quite figured out how to do it.

I always prefer to use the term "tools" instead of rules, when it comes to composition. For almost every compositional "rule" that instructors give - you can almost always add "this might cause a problem, but not necessarily."

In other words:

1) A large area of sky without much variation - might cause a problem, but not necessarily. In fact, Almost all the rules about where the horizon line is just don't work and can be ignored, in my experience. The horizon line is only a problem when you create two paintings in one - a land painting and a sky painting that are equal in emphasis and both have a strong focal area. That rarely happens. While some instructors say (I think Johannes said this) that each area of the painting needs to be interesting, other teachers say that each painting should have quiet areas where the eye can rest - or at least be in contrast to the more busy areas.

2) The edges of the painting (or the no-fly zone as Johannes calls it) shouldn't have any strong features, as many rules state. The reason - drawing the eye to the edge of the painting can lead the eye out of the painting. But not necessarily. In the Monet, I think the trees on the right and the bush in the lower left act sort of as framing elements. The dark areas balance each other and frame the path and buildings in the distance. That's why I think it works. And the small details of the branches and leaves are all on the "inside" of the darker shapes, farther from the actual painting edge.

3) Connecting darks and lights is a popular "rule", but again I think it is more of a "tool" that can help simplify your compositions, but unless you have a lot of scattered shapes, it isn't necessarily a problem.

4) Lots of folks think you need value contrast, but as we explored in an earlier Spotlight, color contrast - especially temperature contrast can take the place of - or enhance - value contrast. And Monet was the absolute King of color temperature contrast, in my opinion!

Great food for thought, Ruthie! And, of course, all the above comments are my opinions - and not rules!

Don

Judi1957
10-07-2012, 06:37 PM
Vanessa--Liove your pastel pastel! The colors are so soft and lovely! And thank--Just did a really dark green, added the edges and some more broghts mid tone greens for detail.

Ruthie Monet, Fab! I do love your rendition, Master of a Master! That is worth more than a gold medal!

Don, That is what I noticed right away and like so much about you--you are for the artist, what good they achieve and what is working whether accepted generally or not --not steadfast rules. I also admire your knowledge!

Judi1957
10-07-2012, 09:09 PM
Wanted to start another tonight. Liked the flowers byStalksthedawn so chose that. I think he is a big contributor to the RIL.
I would recommend to look for Lisilk's pics there as well. Wonderful photogrrapher she is! I believe she has over 1,000 entries there.

Carrying my laptop to the studio noticed there were bg leaves in the ref--oh so faint. Must be the nite time pic though cause you can't see them here but they are there.:D

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Oct-2012/37258-xxxx_005.JPG

Jayde
10-07-2012, 09:48 PM
Beautifully rendered Judi, and great silhouetting, especially with the shape of the leaves. :thumbsup:
Ruthi, an excellent rendition of Monet's painting. I think that sometimes intuition over-rides rules, and rules are made to be broken anyway.
Vanessa, a soft, dreamy painting with lovely colours. The silhouette of the trees are lost though, with your disappearing edges.
Don - perhaps you could do a spotlight on composition where you post some images and we have to rearrange the elements to improve the composition? Just a thought.

MeredithJ
10-08-2012, 07:27 AM
Don, Thanks so much for the addition clarification
Judi, Your flowers are beautiful, did you use black paper and soft or hard pastel?
Vanessa, I know this was not easy for you. Good job.
Ruthie,, Great Monet.
Jade, Love how you handled the background trees.

DAK723
10-08-2012, 08:19 AM
Judi, Wonderful job on the flowers and leaves! Their shapes are beautifully rendered - and so is the light and shadow!

Don

Judi1957
10-08-2012, 12:07 PM
Thanks Jayde! :)

Meredith, Thanks! Actually the beige UArt 500 (you can see the light in the upper right corner and lower left corner). Combo of hard and soft. It is my darkest green softie on the bg. Just a lil more than one layer rubbed in.

Thanks Don!---and it only took me 2 hours :D

Ruthie57
10-10-2012, 04:32 PM
Judi, I love your Blossom one! As Don said, you have the shapes down very well, excellent silhouettes!

Don, Thanks for what you said about my "Monet" and about the compositional "tools". I think these guidelines which are often passed on are a way of helping artists who maybe do not have a natural flair for composition to avoid making fatal mistakes. I don't think of them as hard and fast rules but I think they are worh bearing in mind when working on a composition. One can follow them or not once one is aware of the reasons to avoid certain things.

VanessaT
10-11-2012, 08:43 PM
Beautifully rendered Judi, and great silhouetting, especially with the shape of the leaves. :thumbsup:
Ruthi, an excellent rendition of Monet's painting. I think that sometimes intuition over-rides rules, and rules are made to be broken anyway.
Vanessa, a soft, dreamy painting with lovely colours. The silhouette of the trees are lost though, with your disappearing edges.
Don - perhaps you could do a spotlight on composition where you post some images and we have to rearrange the elements to improve the composition? Just a thought.

Thanks Jayde! I had a really hard time with this one. The edges needed to be a bit more crisp right? Thanks for the suggestion!

VanessaT
10-11-2012, 08:44 PM
Thanks Jayde! :)

Meredith, Thanks! Actually the beige UArt 500 (you can see the light in the upper right corner and lower left corner). Combo of hard and soft. It is my darkest green softie on the bg. Just a lil more than one layer rubbed in.

Thanks Don!---and it only took me 2 hours :D

Judi, the UArt 500, is that 500lb paper? Like how you can buy 300lb water colour paper?

DAK723
10-11-2012, 09:53 PM
Judi, the UArt 500, is that 500lb paper? Like how you can buy 300lb water colour paper?

The number is the "grit" (or grade) number as in sandpaper grit. Uart comes in a fairly wide range of grits from 400 (rougher) to 800 (smoother). They were experimenting with even rougher grits down to 200, but I don't know if they are selling those.

Don

VanessaT
10-12-2012, 08:26 PM
The number is the "grit" (or grade) number as in sandpaper grit. Uart comes in a fairly wide range of grits from 400 (rougher) to 800 (smoother). They were experimenting with even rougher grits down to 200, but I don't know if they are selling those.

Don

Oh cool I learned something new! I havent experimented much with sandpaper but it's def on my "to-do" list!!

Judi1957
10-13-2012, 01:06 AM
Thanks Ruthie! While WC was down today I found an old Masters calender and worked on a Monet from there. :thumbsup: You are inspiring:)

Vanessa--Don recommended the UArt papar and I love it. Tried the 800 grit and it wasn't sandy enough for me. Love the grittier paper. I haven't found a 200 grit but that would really eat those expensive pastels fast.:eek:

Ruthie57
10-15-2012, 11:17 AM
Done one :clap: Art as therapy :thumbsup:

12x8" on Terracotta colourfix

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2012/189061-gold.jpg

Judi1957
10-15-2012, 12:19 PM
Hi Ruthie! :wave:

Gorgeous flowers and vase! Love the wood and reflection too!

Turpintine45
10-15-2012, 12:25 PM
Wow Ruthie, great glowing job! Nice silhouettes too!

DAK723
10-15-2012, 05:02 PM
Ruth, Wonderful painting! Beautiful color harmonies, great silhouettes and nice composition!

Don

VanessaT
10-15-2012, 09:24 PM
Ruthie that is gorgeous!! Very nicely done!! :D

MeredithJ
10-18-2012, 05:28 AM
Ruthie, Beautiful, very nicely done.

Ruthie57
10-26-2012, 04:31 PM
Thanks everyone! Er, what's going on??? Is there some stuff missing from here after the update? If not, what you Guys playing at? Get painting :D

Me, I did start another last week, not yet finished. I said a final goodbye to my dear Mum today so have been otherwise engaged up to now. Now she lives on in my heart......

DAK723
10-26-2012, 06:56 PM
I said a final goodbye to my dear Mum today so have been otherwise engaged up to now. Now she lives on in my heart......

Oh, Ruth, I am so sorry to hear this. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Don

allydoodle
10-26-2012, 10:59 PM
Me, I did start another last week, not yet finished. I said a final goodbye to my dear Mum today so have been otherwise engaged up to now. Now she lives on in my heart......

I am so very sorry Ruthie. My deepest condolences to you during this difficult time. I lost my Mom a month ago as well, it truly is so very hard, words cannot explain it. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Ruthie57
10-27-2012, 05:36 AM
Thank you so much Don and Chris. Chris, I am so sorry for your loss too. I have sent you a PM.

Judibelle
10-27-2012, 08:15 AM
dear Ruthie,
My heartfelt condolences to you during this time of transition....
and Chris, to you as well....
It is so hard to say goodbye to a loved one...

allydoodle
10-27-2012, 09:47 PM
Thanks so much Ruthie and Judi, I truly appreciate it.

*Deirdre*
10-28-2012, 05:02 PM
So sorry to hear about your mum Ruth...know our thoughts and prayers are with you...it's hard to go through...and as Chris says, difficult to explain. Just know you have our support.

Ruthie57
10-28-2012, 05:12 PM
Thank you Judi and Deirdre, much appreciated. But now I feel bad for hi-jacking the thread! Don, I will try to get my next one done tomorrow - if I can find the photo which has disappeared in the mess in my studio!

Shower
10-28-2012, 08:00 PM
Hi Ruthie, beautiful work this month. I did actually work on one myself, with not much to show for my efforts. I then got distracted with painting. I wanted to say I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. look forward to participating more next month now that we're bac online here:) I enjoy your work and the rest of the groups very much!

VanessaT
10-30-2012, 08:17 PM
Thanks everyone! Er, what's going on??? Is there some stuff missing from here after the update? If not, what you Guys playing at? Get painting :D

Me, I did start another last week, not yet finished. I said a final goodbye to my dear Mum today so have been otherwise engaged up to now. Now she lives on in my heart......

Sorry to hear of your loss Ruthie. She will certainly live on in you. I hope you find peace soon. :grouphug: