View Full Version : Sunlit Hills, C&C welcome, x-post landscape

09-14-2013, 01:10 PM
This is my most recent painting based on a photo I took last fall. It is 18 x 14 on Uart 400 with a watercolor underpainting and various soft pastels. The blue green highlights in the foreground trees is not nearly as bright on the actual painting. C&C is welcome. Thanks for looking.


water girl
09-14-2013, 01:16 PM
The colors running through the grasses on the hills are stunning. Your composition takes me into the distance and I want to see what is beyond the last hill. Nicely done!

09-14-2013, 01:22 PM
VERY nice handling of the pastel.

If I was asked to comment on this at an art club critique session, I would say that it has some gorgeous harmonious colours going on, and lovely sense of recession, and beautiful luminosity.

My only issue which would be on the negative side of the scale is the positioning of the focal point - which to my eye, is the dark-against-light bunch of trees, bottom right. I would dearly love to see some breathing space between those trees and the side of the rectangle. To my eye, it is what happens when someone takes a photo and copies it pretty exactly...taking a photo is a very different thing to creating a strong design for a painting. As a cameraperson, other priorities reign, and perhaps, looking at this landscape, you were concentrating more on the lovely rolling landscape, and not thinking like an artist. Could be wrong, I know...but that is how it looks to my eye.

There is a little rule of thumb which says do not position important elements in a scene right alongside the edge of the rectangle, since they have a tendency to pull the eye out of the picture instead of holding it in there. A bit more open space to the right of those trees - or even more trees but less important ones with less tonal contrast - would have done the job.

Otherwise.........it is very lyrical and the light is quite beautiful.

09-14-2013, 01:30 PM
Thank you both for your replies. Jackie, I see exactly what you mean. There has been something bothering me about this and I think you nailed it. I may try and modify this a bit, but I will definitely remember your comments for the future. Thanks again.

09-14-2013, 02:08 PM
I agree with Jackie about the dark tree near the edge. An easy fix. Otherwise it is a lovely painting! I just love the foreground grasses!

09-14-2013, 02:27 PM
it may be that all you really need to do is take out the dark tree which is right up against the edge of the rectangle, leaving a gold one behind, and perhaps put a dark green bush to the left of the little golden tree to the left of the bigger two dark ones. It really could be a pretty easy fix.

09-14-2013, 02:59 PM
a lovely sense of place and mood .

i've never been in your part of the country , and the stereotype of flat plains is in my mind ;
the evergreens are unexpected !

my guess is that your ref pix is near sunset with a fairly clear sky and a warm/direct/orangy sun .
- that circumstance can present a fascinating and challenging issue of painting ' green ' ...

may i suggest removing the very dark mass at the right edge of this piece
and then thinking about the linear darks composed with the dark mass that remains ?


ps. you can block that right-hand mass with your thumbnail or a rough-cut piece of paper - tinted as needs be .

09-15-2013, 01:25 PM
Thank you again for all the comments and help. Here is an updated version. I took out one of the trees on the far right and I think it helped immensely. Thanks again for everyone's help.


09-15-2013, 05:03 PM
well done .
- the sense of depth is greatly increased !
> especially looking over the edge of the foreground/hill into the distance .

on my screen , the left-hand evergreen has strong notes of turquoise blue ,
some of which coincide with the blue-green bands of the distant fields
while others do not .
> they could be daubed down with a kneaded eraser , which would at least reduce the intensity ,
and then consider the colours in the foreground with that lovely ' whoosh '
into the next layer/distance ...
-> the crisp line of the grasses , colours , and reducing size/scale of the trees bring me to that conclusion .

the phrase ' rolling hills ' is used with different locations ;
for me , this shows something believable in a place i've never been ,
with a distinctive painting/approach and point of view in that locale that i can't recall seeing .

hope you will be patient with further thoughts about the evergreens .

just mho .


09-15-2013, 08:02 PM
Like it. Wonderful colors. Pam:wave:

09-15-2013, 08:20 PM
This is a really lovely piece - especially with the fix, great work on doing that so neatly! Wonderful colours and foliage and the foreground grasses are superb. Excellent work!