View Full Version : Wally - WIP - Problem!

09-08-2003, 08:48 PM
This is a painting I'm working on which, in its current state, perfectly illustrates one of my major problems I typically have on any painting: values and contrasts. I often start out very timidly with contrasts -- as you can see with the figure of Wally here, which I decided to paint first. That was probably a mistake. Later as I worked on the foliage, I realized that even though Wally is in the full noonday sunlight here and she should be bright, I didn't give her enough contrast (not to mention color), and I will have to go back later and fix it.

09-08-2003, 08:53 PM
If you're having trouble with values/contrast, try doing a full-value sketch before you start. I know it's hard to plan before you paint - the painting's the fun part, and I for one would rather skip the planning part and dive right into the paint. It really helps, though.

Just keep working at it! You can do it! :D

09-08-2003, 08:59 PM
That's a good idea. I'll try that next time.

I think another reason as to why I suddenly had this problem is that I actually did a dark underpainting on this picture, something I usually haven't done. when tackling foliage. With a really dark undercoat, it encouraged me to be high contrast on the roses, perhaps more than I'd planned. But, I like it. However, it just made Wally look even more washed out.

09-13-2003, 03:01 PM
Now that the rest of the painting has come together, I was able to go back and try to correct the contrast problem with the figure of the cat. I crossposted this picture at the Animal/Wildlife forum for some advice, but wondering if any of the Acrylic gang has some critique. This isn't a great photo - it makes the cat look more washed out than she actually is - but I think it's an improvement on what I started with. I think it also needs some added highlights of some sort in the upper left and lower right.

09-13-2003, 03:55 PM
I like it!

You might want to add a couple pieces of foilage in front of the cat so she appears to be actually in the painting - right now she seems to be floating.

Great improvements, though! :D

09-13-2003, 06:58 PM
Hi Flopka,your cat needs far more darks,even though its in full sunlight,especially when its in sun light !you also need the most
contrast with the cat,because it's your focal point.
You had no problem with the contrast in the flowers,so you know you can do it!
A good way next time is to put the darkest dark and the lightest light down first,than spend the rest of the time bringing them together,with colors in between.
i really like your foliage,especially on the right top with lovely bit of sunlight,very convincing

hope this helps

09-14-2003, 03:22 AM
Although everyone who has given you technical tips is right, I'm sure--I'm not a very good painter myself--don't touch your painting!

I'm not sure if it was palnned this way or not, but your painting has a very strange , dream like quality to it.

Maybe this is the way your style is going, and it may be less important to bring in contrast and value than to let your head follow where your hand appears to be leading you.


09-14-2003, 08:55 AM
Thanks Huygens. I do agree that she needs to be a little darker (although the photo seems to make her more washed out than she currently appears). It's funny you should make that comment about "dreamlike" quality, because this is a portrait of a kitty who is long gone. The reference photo of her was taken about 30 years ago, and I'm actually painting it as a gift for a family member.

09-14-2003, 11:19 PM
I don't think it's just me, but your painting really establishes a mood. I agree that the cat should be a bit darker, but I like very much the way you have juxtaposed the lighter cat against the darker background. It gives it an air of--dare I say--other worldliness. Hope to see some more of your paintings soon.