View Full Version : Autumn Pathway

11-26-2012, 06:09 PM
Oil Pastel
11 x 14

Any general comments on my painting would be appreciated. My specific questions are below:

1. Foreground trees: I'm having difficulty in painting in the shadow areas for the leaves specifically w/re to large sections that are shaded. If you notice the blocks of shade look out of place and unnatural. I used vandyke brown, violet, indian red and then laid some antique oranges or it. Suggestions for improving would be welcomed, as I have painted few trees w/autumn leaves.

2. The right-side trees - there are three. The one in the middle is a green conifer and looks totally out of place next to the left-dark one. At first I painted it using prussian blue and dark olive green (it got lost), so then I began to lay light olive green and light purple over it - now it seems much too light and out of place.

Any ideas on how to make these two areas more natural and not like a dull block of color would be most appreciated. Thanks, Mary


11-26-2012, 06:19 PM
i love it. personally i don't see too much of a problem with the orange trees but the green one does stand out more, if that's what you're looking for?

just a suggestion, but what if you add a bit of sap green to the dark conifer? not too much just little bits.

the foreground tree. maybe the shadows needs to be a bit darker? i can't really tell if i stood at least 4 foot from this the colours would just merge together but up close it may not look how you want it to. have you took a few steps back to look at it?

11-26-2012, 06:41 PM
Hi Phil: Thanks for your nice feedback and commenting with suggestions, really appreciate it.

Conifer: Perhaps I could add some sennelier sap green (it's darker than holbein ops and I htink that Viridian would be too bright) as you suggested, it might help the situation. Maybe also darken the trunk and straighten it some, perhaps it won't look quite so out of place.

W/Foreground leave shadows: I have stepped back numerous times today and maybe that's my problem - I'm looking dead-on those problem areas. The shadow area that bothers me the most is the one on the upper-right, looks like a puff of brown (a tutu, holding up the leaves - yikes). Maybe I could get some branches and yellows and force some foliage there.

What do you think about my thoughts? I've looked at it so long that I'm having problems seeing it fresh.

Thanks so much. Mary

11-26-2012, 06:51 PM
i see where you're coming from, that little shadow area might need toning down a little. some red or yellow ochre. i know it's a dull colour but if you blend it in with a brighter yellow it could give off a golden glow, test it on a piece of scrap.

11-27-2012, 06:42 AM
I like your drawing very much. I think your problem is not color, but value. I took the liberty of bringing your drawing into ArtRage and added light value to the green tree and also the center golden yellow tree. This makes the darker tree go into the background and makes it less important. I also added a little lavender to the shadow - not sure if it works. This is just an option.


11-27-2012, 07:32 AM
I like what Jan did with the lavender, my opinion of course. I think if you straighten up the conifer it wont stand out so much also. I love the trees on the left, they look wonderful and fluffy, wind blown etc. Your trees on the right kinda line up along the mountain top, perhaps if you brought them below more or above more it would balance the painting better. Again, just my opinion. I like the bit of light Jan put on the conifer too. It is a lovely paintin, a lovely fresh scene. Well done with oil pastels. Not an easy medium to master. Cheers =)) Debs.

11-27-2012, 08:20 AM
Hi Phil: Thanks again for your advice. This morning I'll be looking to finish up my painting and will re-post with the results.

Hi Jan: Early this morning I went up to my studio and 1st thing that hit me was the height of the conifer, then saw your suggestions - all spot-on! thank you so much. You are so right about the values, something so basic and I totally missed this one on the larger foreground trees - your sample was perfect to help me visualize what it would look like. Shading underneath the foreground trees was a great suggestion (I sort of thought about that and for some reason never went back and addressed this) I'll definitely include some violets. Mostly on the far-right trees I'll work on the conifer raising the height, putting some darks and mostly lighten it up and also straighten her out that should help. Thank you for taking the time to illustrate the suggestions on your software it was exactly what I needed to understand and now implement. Can't wait.

Hi Deb: Thank you so much for your comments, they are much appreciated. I like your suggestion w/re to the right-side trees, I'll most likely bring them down a little - they are on the riverbank below the pathway and I didn't leave too much room for them. So I'm thinking I'll add a little of some dried grass to see if that seats the darker tree better. I do need to straighten up the conifer; I tried last evening but I think I made it worst.

You guys made my day! Thank you all your advise was exactly what I was looking for. I can't wait to get back at it, will re-post my changes. Thanks so much this was a fantastic experience, Mary

11-27-2012, 12:02 PM
Hi Guys -

Wanted to thank everyone who helped me work out the issues I had with this painting. Every suggestion was so helpful and I really appreciate that you each spent time assisting me.

Here is the final photograph of the revised painting - I learned a lot from this thread. Please let me know what you think ~ thanks, Mary


11-27-2012, 04:30 PM
Lovely painting Mary. The dark shadow under the trees and glint of sunlight on the ground beyond is very effective.


11-27-2012, 11:10 PM
Lovely result Mary! I love it ! Very nicely finished! Well done my friend. =)) cheers and keep posting more work! Debs.

11-28-2012, 07:14 AM
Hi Mike: Thanks for commenting I appreciate your feedback!

Hi Debs: Your assistance was fantastic and I really wanted to thank you. Sometimes it helps to get another pair of eyes and your suggestions helped this painting tremendously. I'm still not totally satisfied w/the far-right trees, but I've lost the tooth and will have to let it be. Thank you so much for your final comments!

My next painting (16 x 20) landscape certain aspects will be a real challenge - I might be back here.