View Full Version : Help me crop this thing pleez

05-02-2013, 11:02 PM
This may not even be a keeper but I didn't want to give up just yet, I know it needs to lose some sky but to get a pleasing amount of sky I seem to end up cutting the picture neatly in two, any suggestions?:clear:

05-03-2013, 12:46 AM
Leesa, I really like it, the colours are magic! I love the foreground and that tiny patch of grasses under the tree on the right, and the sheds and silos are great. Are those trees in the background? Maybe you could lose them, pretend you painted from a lower perspective (!) and that would give you more sky, and the buildings would still be below the midline of the painting. That would steer away from the cut-in-half look, I should think. Apart from that I'd keep it as is ... Beautiful!

05-03-2013, 12:46 AM
Is it a crop you need or something about the foreground tree maybe? You've painted a beautiful piece; the tree itself is wonderfully done, though I think it is somewhat more commanding than it need be.

pastel lover
05-03-2013, 01:21 AM
This is a truly gorgeous painting. I really admire those of you who do landscape so well. If I were going to crop it, I would leave about the same amount of sky as the orange grass at the bottom. Some how seems to balance painting & emphasize the bldgs. Great work!


05-03-2013, 02:28 AM
My suggestion is: don't touch your painting because this is really beautiful.

05-03-2013, 04:15 AM
I am inclined to feel that there is too much of what is, in fact, a rather boring sky. You could solve the problem in a number of ways.

The line of trees far distance could be made more varied in shape, and a few clouds could be introduced which echoed the shape you choose for the treeline.

Less sky


or less sky, plus perhaps lighter tones in the tree which not only pulls the eye firmly to the right, looks like it is trying to escape from the picture too!!! "Exit Stage Right" comes to mind!


the advantage in making the tree lighter is that it stops trying to sneak out of the picture, instead it acts quite differently, by maing the darker side of the building more of a focal point. I am sure you can do better with your pastels than I was able to do with the clone tool tho.

05-03-2013, 04:19 AM
I was going to crop this at exactly the point that Jackie did in her version 1, so I won't bother! You don't need all that sky.
Lovely colours and a very pleasing picture.

05-03-2013, 04:21 AM
Thanks Jean...you know those purple trees in the bg started life as hills then somehow grew into trees, I don't know anymore! I like your idea though, I don't really want to lose any of the foreground

Thanks NRC that tree is bugging me too, it was a bit of an afterthought and needs something...everyone has suggested something different!

Thanks Tanja, that also seems like a good crop, I have been moving matboard around on it to try to get an idea (probably should learn to use photoshop!)

Awww Toniov, you are too kind!

I initially thought a crop was needed but after listening to everyone, I see now that maybe its the image that needs tweaking! I will have a play and hopefully post a revised edition tomorrow, thanks everyone for the excellent suggestions :thumbsup: Its great to have such a resource of fine artists to ask!

05-03-2013, 04:29 AM
Whoops, cross posted! that always happens to me! Thanks Jackie, that is a good point about the lighter tree bringing the focus back to the darker shed, I also found the sky boring! The tree line now I look at it is a bit symetrical too...

And thankyou too Mike!


05-03-2013, 04:36 AM
I played around very little by just adding to the foreground tree, in a sense cropping off some of the sky and helping to contain the viewers eyes in the frame. The foreground is so well done, the sky might appear a bit flat, but I would take care not to over emphasis and take away from the lovely foreground. Here is my idea.....


05-03-2013, 08:38 AM
I think a bit less sky is all you need - although I agree with Jackie regarding lightening the dark tree on the edge. The fact that it is the darkest part - and near the edge - makes it impossible to balance unless you have some equally dark areas on the left.


In my opinion, cropping will balance the painting between top and bottom. Unless you have two competing halves - with both areas competing for attention - you have no worries about cutting the painting in half. Plus, your horizon line is hidden by buildings, trees, etc., so there is no strong line in the center of your painting. That's my opinion.

Very nice painting, by the way! Very nice atmosphere and harmonious colors.


05-03-2013, 10:23 AM
good posts coming !
i especially agree with Jackie's point about the near tree - right
and Don's crop and overview .

some things of notice to me on first view ;
the diagonal lines of the sky - meh ...
the proportion of sky to field is about even -
compositional ' rule of thirds ' is fine , but not etched in stone ...
the dark shrub against the white barnside was the first thing that caught my eye , so ,
then looking at the lines/perspective/light-dark of all the buildings as the eye moves out from the center of the painting ...
curiously , if 10% is cropped off the bottom , the purple horizon line appears a bit more like hills rather than another tree line ...

looks like a keeper to me . if you can take it off the easel for awhile , that might help as well . :)


05-03-2013, 03:28 PM
I really like the painting and sounds like you got great suggestions. Wanted to add that I purchased a book titled "the Simple Secret to Better Painting" by Greg Albert. He speaks of one major rule for an interesting composition "never make any two intervals the same". With that in mind I would crop the sky as many suggested since the foreground area and the sky area were the same size. Pam

05-03-2013, 04:38 PM
I like Jackie's crop, and the advice to lighten the tree. Beautiful painting!

05-03-2013, 11:54 PM
Nice colors and textures. You've gotten several good suggestions. I think Jackie may be spot-on about lightening up the tree a bit.

05-04-2013, 04:02 AM
thankyou so much Marcus, Don, Ed, Pam Chris and Randy:wave: I feel so grateful to the time you have all taken to give such useful critique. There are some really well thought out suggestions here...so I have made the right hand tree a little taller, I tried to lighten it but it was difficult to find the right green (isn't it always:lol: ) so I used some blues to tone it down a bit. I cropped some sky and tried to make the bg trees a little more random...do you think this helps? The changes I made may be a little subtle but I can always keep tweaking!

05-04-2013, 06:27 AM
sorry but that tree is still a distraction from your main subject, it is big lurking hulk of a shape on the right. Look at your image upside down - see how many nice HORIZONTALS you are using? Then suddenly, we have a large VERTICAL shape stuck up against the right border...just does not add to the feeling of harmony, it detracts. IMHO. Which is never very humble, actually. I just do feel quite strongly that it is a shame...it is such a lovely image otherwise, so well painted.

Look at this, it may help you see it differently:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-May-2013/1805-barns_greyscale_edited-1.jpg

what about making the foreground carry the eye across the base of the picture, to echo the other horizontal shapes in the picture, and push that tree back up closer to the house, so it is more of a large shrub or bush than a lurking foreground vertical shape hugging the margin.
You can use some of the colours you have used elsewhere in the picture to break up the dark and the greens, doesn't have to be green just cos it is a tree.....


05-05-2013, 03:01 AM
You know Jackie that is the perfect word for that tree...'lurker' :lol:

How about now, is this better? ps thanks for the help :)

05-05-2013, 11:30 PM
A beautiful painting and I agree with the advice already given, especially regarding the tree on the right. Lightening it would make it blend in more with those exquisite soft, muted colours :)


05-06-2013, 12:38 AM
Thanks Nicole :wave: that tree is stubborn, no matter what I do it refuses to be pushed into the background! Stupid tree :lol:

05-06-2013, 02:28 AM
I've not been involved with this I thread because I just didn't know how to help. I think the advice you've been given has been wonderful. I love your painting, it has a really nice feel to it and I think you're so close to calming down the dreaded tree. Keep going your doing great :)

05-06-2013, 03:50 AM
sign it. frame it.

05-06-2013, 04:12 AM
Thankyou Twiglet, it has been a lot of fun getting everyone's take on it:)

Yaaaay! Thanks for sticking around to help Jackie, I really appreciate it :wave:
I feel quite satisfied with the result now, I am glad I didn't wash it off!


05-06-2013, 03:07 PM
You did good Leesa.

05-06-2013, 04:06 PM
just make that upper right corner to be sky ( trim that whatever )
drop the foliage base below the horizontal of the buildings base line , just a bit ,
and mark up some grasses in front of that foliage so that the darker value doesn't sit too heavy ... ( ?!? )


05-07-2013, 02:20 AM
Thanks Jackie :)

Thanks Ed, I might still fiddle a little but for now I think I am going to let it sit as it is...I have a tendency to overwork paintings if I don't keep them out of sight for a while and let them 'settle' . :)

05-07-2013, 07:45 PM
right you are . :)