View Full Version : Flypast at Henley on Thames

Ian Wilson
05-13-2013, 03:59 PM
A friend commissioned this one. He wanted Henley on Thames, a Spitfire, a Rover P4, The Edwardian barge Christobel, and some Slipper launches. Never having been to Henley, I used Google Earth to scout the place. Unfortunately, the riverbank where I wanted to site my painting, to show the Bridge, the Church and the river, did not have a road, only a footpath, so my plan to use a street view from Google Earth was dashed. A rethink made me decide to garner various pictures from various points on the river to set the scene, and I also picked up a model Spitfire to provide the geometry of the Aircraft. The rest of the picture was from my imagination. I added the Swan, taking off in desperate flight, to add some life and drama, and contrast the flight of the Spitfire in a fly past. The Painting is canvas on board, about 400mm x 300mm. It was done in Acrhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-May-2013/69221-Flypast_at_Henley.JPG ylic, I had a lesson in Acrylic once, so this medium added to my challenge...

05-14-2013, 01:02 AM
firstly i'll say it is well painted , the main problem is we should try to guide our clients , my personal feeling is that there is too much going on and your main subjects have been pushed to the dege of the canvas as a secondary thaught ( if the client is happy with it that's fine ) but the saying "less is more is so true in painting having to cater for so many things in one painting made it exceptionaly difficult to get a well ballanced composition of all the ellements ,( not a critiscism of yourself most artists would struggle to fit all those things in in a nice ballance ) with your instructions you were given i feel you have presented a nice piece of work

05-14-2013, 07:10 AM
You've done a sterling job fitting in all the requisite subjects . Acrylics are not straightforward to get to grips with so well done on that aspect . All told a good painting that captures the atmosphere well.

05-15-2013, 03:59 AM
Acrylics are not straightforward to get to grips with .

they certainly aren't easy !! they have thier own individual challenges like oils although "open acrylics " improve matters i'm starting to use "atellier interactives !" that give more options for working time

05-15-2013, 07:21 PM
You've got an interesting painting going on here,Ian. It reminds me of work I've seen many years ago. I think I'd almost paint the Spitfire out of the scene and run with what's remaining, which is what's catching my attention the most.

Chas McHugh
05-19-2013, 05:50 AM
Very busy painting, but if the customer is happy then job done. I can only recite what I would have done different for you to consider if given a similar composition in the future. There are no Rules to art, but there are guidelines that everybody should consider.

Thinning out the composition in this painting would be a good idea and for me, the first to go would be the swan. Dynamic and white in colour, it grabs your attention despite not being a focal point.

If you want the car, barge and aircraft to share the presidency, then place them on the same axis so that they compliment rather then then fight each other. However you generally need a leader and on this composition it would be the car. Closer, bigger, warm colours.

It is said that the canvas should include an area in which to rest your eyes for a second or two, and this does not give you that luxury.

I would grey out or reduce the saturation of all colours associated with the village and push it back in the process. Even now, a glaze could facilitate this.

The Spitfire is overly dominant and competes for attention in a negative manner.

I would include much detail in the immediate foreground to establish a 3D effect. Including road surface detail or my own favourite, reflections on a wet road.

In summary, less is more but pushing back and detailing forward as appropriate could still save the day. It was a big challenge you have undertaken, and all kudos for a good effort.