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View Full Version : Still learning...and making mistakes.


Ruthie57
09-14-2013, 02:58 PM
Just showing a painting I did for a challenge on another site. The requirement was to do a landscape in a wide format (not one I often use) and add a person/people into it. The ref photos, one landscape, one person, had to come from the site's photo library.

Took me ages to find two photos I wanted to put together. Chose the person I wanted to use and finally settled on a landscape to fit the person into. I took a long while doing thumbnails and sketches for this and then started out. Did the background first and was starting on the person when I realised that, actually, the light in the landscape was coming from almost the opposite direction to what I had thought. :o To cut a long story short the rim light on the person (which was the reason I chose it) was completely wrong for the scene!!

So I had to choose another person!! And then I had to change the light on her and her shadow to match with where I perceived the light was coming from in the, already virtually completed, landscape.

So here is the "finished" piece. I'll never be happy with it now (and will not be entering it for the challenge) but am putting it up for C&C. Rip it to pieces if you want :evil: I hope I learn something from this....like how to establish where the h*ll the light is coming from......

About 19x9" on re-claimed fisher 400 (which may yet be re-claimed again :rolleyes: )

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Sep-2013/189061-solitude.jpg
Oh and a possible crop because even the composition looks wrong in the thumbnail (diagonal line dissecting the image in half)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Sep-2013/189061-crop.jpg

Charles Perera
09-14-2013, 07:45 PM
I like the first one before cropping. It has the special atmosphere of the place for a lonely walker.

Charles.

RooGal
09-14-2013, 09:31 PM
I like the first one as well. I agree with not always knowing just exactly where the light is coming from, all comes with experience and practice I suppose. But I really like the first one and to me the light seems to be coming from in front of walker and to the right. I don't agree that the diagonal is really cutting the piece in half, perhaps because it's wide. My eyes follow the cliffs around as well as the shoreline.

Dcam
09-14-2013, 10:16 PM
I love the first one RuthieJean
The shadows seem to be on the left of the rocks, the girl, and the edge of the shore....so I don't see a major light problem.
Color...beautiful and texture as well.
You could crop a wee bit more off the top, but not quite so much as far as that diagonal goes? Let's see what our other pals say.
Derekthescot :wave:

tulabula
09-15-2013, 03:03 AM
I am no expert but I like the first one. The diagonal doesn't bother me at all and I like the open feel of it. A place to walk for a while!

Mado
09-15-2013, 03:36 AM
You are a bit hard with yourself.
The painting is lovely in its first version imho and the light works.
The diagonal doesn't bother me either.

Ruthie57
09-15-2013, 08:03 AM
Thank you all, you're so encouraging!
The more I look the more I believe I still haven't got a handle on the source of the light. You see, the ref photo of the cliffs shows golden light, indicating late afternoon. But the shadows are not long. It seems to me that the sun is off to the right, just peeping over/round the cliffs and lighting up the areas which stick out.
I happen to know this stretch of coast faces North so, the beach being in sunlight, the sun must, surely, be in the South or going round to the West.
The source of light and shadow often does my head in. I can't show the ref photo because of copyright, although I have permission to use it.

spirothet
09-15-2013, 08:55 AM
Hi Ruthie, I also like your first version best. I love the mood of the painting. I too, am not bothered by the diagonal. Nicely done.

Klecks
09-15-2013, 09:24 AM
Ruthie, the light is not unplausible, so don't worry.
Nice mood.

water girl
09-15-2013, 12:04 PM
Yes, as the others have said, you are being way too critical. It is quite lovely scene. The cropped version takes away too much. But I agree with Derek. If you take just a little bit off the top the diagonal coming off the far right bluff works a little better. Just MHO. Nice job, Ruthie!

sketchZ1ol
09-15-2013, 05:24 PM
hello
- may seem contrary , but the crop has a better summary for the most part , imho ;
the figure is better positioned ,
and better scaled against the masses + colour + depth of the cliffs .
> now , what strikes me about the ' bisecting diagonal ' is that ,
it is the edge of a dune/hillock which supports the scale of the figure and the sense of depth ,
with some clearer/sharper detail/marks/colour and some irregularity of the line .

by coincidence , a landscape on this page also has similar possibilities ...

just a thought .

Ed

allydoodle
09-15-2013, 07:04 PM
I think this is quite beautiful Ruthie. It certainly is worth the effort to tweak it. If you crop just a tad off the top, I agree that makes a world of difference regarding the inferred diagonal.

With regard to the light source, no one has mentioned it yet, and I am no expert, but to my eye the shadows from both the girl and the cliffs aren't going in the same direction. If you adjust the angle of the shadows coming from the cliffs using the direction of the girl's shadow as your choice, I think things would read better. Right now the shadows off the cliffs are pointing towards the girl downwards to the left, and the shadow off the girl is going up to the left. Again, I'm no expert on landscapes but I think making these two changes plus the tiny crop might make all the difference for you. Beautiful work!

pastel65
09-15-2013, 07:42 PM
I like them both. I find I really learn from the comments of others. In this posting there are some great thoughts. Now Ed's comments, I sometimes have to read a few times to figure out. Pam:wave:

allydoodle
09-15-2013, 11:11 PM
I adjusted the direction of the girl's cast shadow on my computer. It's a rough idea, I haven't done it any justice. This is just to show you the difference it might make. (I do think it is quite difficult to take a figure from one photo and insert it into another to do a painting. So much has to be taken into consideration with regard to lighting. You've done an excellent job here. Again, I'm not sure if I am totally correct about the cast shadows, I'm no landscape expert. I think the same principle applies to either a landscape or a still life. The light source remains constant, everything casting shadows reacts the same, you can't have one thing going off in a different direction).

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Sep-2013/93075-ruthie.jpg

Ruthie57
09-16-2013, 04:44 AM
Thanks everyone for your input! I really appreciate this! I have already altered the direction of the near shadows to match with the girl's shadow. However, Chris, I'm liking the look of yours so I will re-consider when I get back.
Today I am off to Crete for 8 days and will not be online....too busy taking ref photos I expect! See you on the 25th!

jackiesimmonds
09-16-2013, 12:39 PM
oops must step in here. if the sunlight was in front and to the right of your girl, that left arm would not have that edge of light and her skirt would not have light at the back.......it is too drastic a change, sorry to disagree Chris.

I have been looking at this from time to time, I agree it isn't quite right as is, but actually, the shadow and the girl look OK, they make sense....what does not make sense, if the sun is slightly behind and to the right, are the dark shadows on the cliffs as they are.

cliff shadows suggest the time of day. It looks like the sun is slowly sinking to the right of the picture, outlining the top of the cliff but being unable to hit the cliff faces.

If that is the case, then your girl shadow is not bad at all....if the sun was above and slightly behind her, that would make sense of her left arm having a rim of light as it moved back ...instead of her shadow being just above quarter to nine, I would be inclined to make it exactly quarter to nine. Then I think all will be well.

allydoodle
09-16-2013, 01:28 PM
oops must step in here. if the sunlight was in front and to the right of your girl, that left arm would not have that edge of light and her skirt would not have light at the back.......it is too drastic a change, sorry to disagree Chris.

I have been looking at this from time to time, I agree it isn't quite right as is, but actually, the shadow and the girl look OK, they make sense....what does not make sense, if the sun is slightly behind and to the right, are the dark shadows on the cliffs as they are.

cliff shadows suggest the time of day. It looks like the sun is slowly sinking to the right of the picture, outlining the top of the cliff but being unable to hit the cliff faces.

If that is the case, then your girl shadow is not bad at all....if the sun was above and slightly behind her, that would make sense of her left arm having a rim of light as it moved back ...instead of her shadow being just above quarter to nine, I would be inclined to make it exactly quarter to nine. Then I think all will be well.

I agree with you Jackie, you would have to change the lighting on the figure to go with the shadow that I suggested. I should have mentioned that as well, I forgot. I was just looking at the cast shadows, and not relating it properly to the figure.

If you put the shadow coming off the figure at exactly quarter to nine, wouldn't that conflict with the shadows coming off the cliffs (to her right) as they are right now? My mind is thinking those cast shadows should be going in somewhat the same direction as the one coming off the figure. Not sure though, it's hard to imagine without seeing it real time.....

sketchZ1ol
09-16-2013, 04:46 PM
hello
enjoying this discussion . :)

keep in mind that the sun is a one-point light source .
> with the crop , imho , the figure is clearer as a figure
and a comparative reference scale in the landscape ;
that's why i thought of developing/sharpening the suggested dune/hillock
because , by one point geometry , similar to perspective ,
the sun could be just a bit in front of the figure
and would justify the modeling of the far ' blue ' cliffs ...
> the near cliffs/shadow/mass/ambiguity keeps the figure/detail in front of everything else as a ' frame ' / focus .

digital illustrators can quickly play and save many images/ideas ;
the character of hands-on materials remains unique .
( ...off on a thought . :rolleyes: )

safe travel . :)

Ed

jackiesimmonds
09-17-2013, 02:19 AM
If you put the shadow coming off the figure at exactly quarter to nine, wouldn't that conflict with the shadows coming off the cliffs (to her right) as they are right now? My mind is thinking those cast shadows should be going in somewhat the same direction as the one coming off the figure. Not sure though, it's hard to imagine without seeing it real time.....

I think it would look right. The lower the sun, the longer the shadow of the figure, so that sun is quite low......which means it would light the TOP of the cliff, but not the elevations below, except where there are breaks in the wall.

JustinM
09-17-2013, 03:11 PM
The painting is coming along nicely & You've already received some great advice.


I'd like to touch on the subject line" "Still learning...and making mistakes" - imho the day we believe we have nothing more to learn is the day we should stop painting. There is ALWAYS something to learn, see anew and get excited about, so dont ever feel like a "mistake painting" is a bad thing ;)

Ruthie57
09-25-2013, 02:50 PM
Thank you everyone! Now this shows me that the "placing" of the Sun and cast shadows IS a difficult concept. Makes me feel better about my uncertainty, if you see what I mean.
Jackie, I'm glad you think the lighting on the girl make sense with her shadow. In the photo she was backlit and her shadow went almost in front of her. So I had to make some changes to the light on her.
I'm tired now. Didn't get back from the airport to my friend's house until 2.30am (equivalent to 4.30 in Crete) and was up at 7 this morning to travel home! So I will wait until tomorrow to try and digest the comments and decide what to do.
I have already made some shadow changes but can't remember what I did as I haven't been in the studio yet.......
So until tomorrow.......

Ruthie57
09-28-2013, 07:27 AM
I've finally got round to doing some more on this. Not much, to be honest. I think the only way to make it look right would be to make the Girl's shadow shorter as I believe the Sun is quite high, from the right, therefore just clipping the outcrops in the cliff. The dark areas are simply in shadow but there are no cast shadows from the cliffs falling on the beach.

I think I'll probably stick with this one. All I've done, effectively, is to change the direction of the shadows in the front right to correspond with her shadow.

Funnily enough, I quite like this one now!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Sep-2013/189061-amended.jpg

allydoodle
09-28-2013, 11:29 AM
I do too Ruthie. I think just having the direction of the shadows the same makes a big difference. I probably should have suggested you change these instead of the one on the girl, makes more sense as you don't have to change the lighting on the girl. Nice resolution, it works to me!

jackiesimmonds
09-28-2013, 12:07 PM
I agree, leave as is.

However...next time I recommend you use lighter tones with far less navy blue for the shadows on the cliffs. Shadows are transparent, they are not always blue, and on a yellow or orange toned ground, they tend to have more of the under colour, rather than quite so obviously blue.

J

Ruthie57
09-28-2013, 12:55 PM
Thank you ladies! Jackie, point taken and digested for next time. I do appreciate your input, both of you. I can't enter this now for the challenge as I've had, and listened to, C&C but it's been fun to do and it may, someday, get framed.