View Full Version : Distant Islands

06-28-2013, 01:53 PM
Oil painting on canvas, 50x70 cm. These Islands are near the northern tip of Teneriffa. They attracted me though they were not accesible. I had to occupy them by painting.

I hope you have a good chance for some critique. Thanks in advance.


06-28-2013, 02:28 PM
Quite and conforting. Not over done. I may be the minority but I like it. The only thing I would have changed is the orange ground color. A touch to bright compared to the rest.

06-28-2013, 03:36 PM
I agree with the above comment and I might add that the foreground might be painted a little tighter, especially the shrubs. After all it is closer to the eye and you have painted the rocks and waves in much more detail

06-29-2013, 07:39 AM
I dissagree with the orange foreground being too strong (warm).

I do agree with the tightening of some of the items that could be your subject. Its almost feels like this is a minature painting thats been blown up into a medium size painting and therefor lost a lot of detail. I don't have photoshop on this computer I'm at right now, but I bet that if you took this digital and viewed it as 2x3 cm if would look quite a bit better.

You have a lot of energy in the painting and it looks so fun for you. Keep at it and have fun,

Dana Design
06-29-2013, 12:30 PM
You have waves crashing against the rocks yet the rest of the water looks glassy smooth.

The distant mountain on the left could go a bit darker with a bit more detail and this would give the 3 rocks in the center more distance and bring the distant mtn closer.

I do think that the orange is much too strong for this piece and personally would prefer a sand color. And yes, I'd tighten up the foreground foliage as well and make sure that they are leaning AWAY from the left side of the painting. The wind would come from the sea, I believe (as evidenced by the waves).

Keep painting!

06-29-2013, 06:48 PM
Thank you all for your replies, gebhm, Phil, Bryan and Dana.
Critique is important for me.
Concerning the foreground I also think in the meanwhile that it is too garish orange and is detracting from the real subject of the painting which is the sea and the rocks. It also doesnīt fit to the mood of the painting.

I am somewhat puzzling about the meaning of "tightening" More Detail? Is Detail lacking, so my painting appears blown up? But the foreground was not so much important for me, I was more interested into the sea and the rocky coastal line. Wrong mind-set?

The grass strands are bent to the left and pointing out of the painting. A no-no.The sea wind goes from the sea (left) to the land (right). But the wind system is complicated as local winds are superimposed by the trade winds. I made my sketch, my reference, as I saw it. But for the paintingīs sake I should change the direction.
Besides: the winds between USA and Europe are mostly directed from west to east; nevertheless the waves at the US-American east coast are running the opposite direction, from east to west (?)
The main attraction for me was the island looking like a horn which was the most distant rock in the painting. It is not easy to get the right ranking of the rocks and I am pondering about how I can move my rocks like chess figures and which rocks are meant.

Rocky Barnett
07-01-2013, 04:44 AM
I think the over all use of color (except for the 'harsh' orange) is quite pleasing and works for distance as well. I especially like the variations of color in the water. Perhaps if you take the three lines of lightest value on the left in the water and made the first two 'foam' and the furthest one a 'breaker' the issue of the water being too smooth could be helped.
The only other thing I see that would look more realistic is that the mountains and rocks have softer edges coming forward and harder out lines in the distance, it should be the other way around.
I think it has a very nice feeling to it. I like it!


07-01-2013, 07:32 AM
Hi Thomas. I have stood on the exact spot.!

I like much of your painting but the near foreground attracts the eye far too much. Agree with others that orange needs toning down. IMHO, best to keep the ground close up simple. The main interest is the sea, rocks and background cliffs. Think you need some hard edges on the rocks where the waves are breaking over so that they stand out sharp against the sea.

Mike. :thumbsup: :wave:

07-01-2013, 02:48 PM
Nice palette and great drawing.... The issue with the hot/orange foreground may be that there is not another orange spot somewhere to unify the design. This causes a very strong contrast in a corner instead of in the Center of interest. Adding a touch of orange and tightening the details and contrast in the rocks may resolve the issue in good part.

07-01-2013, 03:44 PM
@Rocky, thanks for your hints and suggestions. I added some foam on the flat water and I repainted the outlines of the mountains and rocks to get the right tonal succession of the mountains.

@Mike, glad to read that you was also there, at Punta del Hidalgo. Where are your paintings from this region?
I didnīt paint hard edges because of mist and foam and splash but according to your suggestion I sharpened the edges of certain rocks. I think it is better now.

@Alain, either adding further orange at other places or reducing orange in the foreground. I chose last solution. Tightenig some rocks is also a good idea. Thanks for your input.

Here is my repainted piece. Hope you like it better.


07-02-2013, 04:03 AM
I do love the colours of blue/orange it gives a great feel to the painting. I would be tempted to add a very little dark stalks in grasses but it MAY defeat the peaceful purpose of the picture. Love the changed direction of rushes/grass.

Rocky Barnett
07-02-2013, 04:08 AM
Good work. Looks much more refined.:clap: I think the change in direction of the grass helped the composition a great deal too!:thumbsup:


07-02-2013, 05:57 PM
Thank you all for your comments, very appreciated!

D.W. Flint
07-05-2013, 01:05 AM
I really like this. The orange foreground? Not so much...