View Full Version : Gypsyvanner x posted in A&W

Sarah Dowson
08-25-2013, 06:27 AM
I painted this to add to my portfolio and to give myself a challenge with the main. I got the reference photo from the library here but can't remember who the photographer was. So, if it was your photo. Thank you.
Pastel on Mi-Teintes pastel paper smooth side. A mix of soft pastels and pastel pencils.
Size 9"x12"
C&C's welcome.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Aug-2013/1304117-Gypsyvanner_finished_web.jpg

08-26-2013, 08:39 AM
Very nicely done! The texture of the hair on the main looks excellent!

One thing that I might watch for when working from photos is the exaggerated contrast. The values (or tones) may be absolutely correct in this painting, but it looks like (to me) that the darkness of the browns may be too dark in places. Based on the lightness of the main and white areas - those areas seem to be in the light, as opposed to shadow. Therefore, some of the brown should be in the light, but seem to dark for that to be the case. Even a dark black turns into a middle tone gray when in the light, if you know what I mean.

Of course, it could be that in your painting those browns are lighter and the photo of your painting the darks have been increased!

Whatever the case, you have done a fine job on this painting!


08-26-2013, 09:43 AM
Beautiful horse, you've handled the mane so very well. I would have to agree with Don, you might want to consider putting some lighter tones into the brown, it does seem a bit dark. The photo is dark, but that is where you need to take artistic license and show some light. The horse is in an open field (found the photo, see below), chances are there is plenty of light on his/her face. I have lightened the photo on my computer so you can see where you might want to lighten those dark browns. You can see the structure of the face, as well as more detail, which shows you light and dark areas. You can also make out the eye on our left much easier, so you might want to put that in your painting. I know the darker version of the photo made it really difficult to see what was going on there.

Also, take a look at the area I've marked below with a red arrow. The neck seems to curve oddly, it's a small spot but for some reason my eye keeps going to it. I've found the photo in the RIL, and the member that took the photo is Canis Lupess. Here is the photo:


And here is your painting:


If you look at the photo the hair is pretty much covering how that part of the neck curves, you've got the hair more to the left, leaving that area more exposed and open to interpretation. It seems you might have over exaggerated the curve, and also put hair there which exactly follows your curve. That would probably never happen, and even if it did it seems unnatural.

Again, this is a small thing, but for some reason my eye keeps going to it so I thought I would mention it. Beautiful work!

Sarah Dowson
08-26-2013, 11:47 AM
Don and allydoodle - Thank you so much for your critique, it's just what I need. I have taken on board all you have said and will do better next time. I think because the main was such a challenge for me, and so new to pastels, I probably overlooked these points but I do see what you mean. Thank you again.