View Full Version : Motley Pair

10-02-2013, 10:16 PM
I'm looking for some help to improve my renditions of parts of these sketches so I can do them more earnestly in larger formats. I tried to "mottle" the pattern in components of both and am not happy with the results. If any of you can make suggestions or point me in a good direction I would greatly appreciate it.
The beach shot has a distinct transition zone under the water from the shoreline to about 8 feet deep where the water goes all turquoise. I've messed it up with too much work and would like advice on how I might approach it better on the next try.
I'm also looking for advice on how to better depict leafy trees and bushes without getting too detailed but at the same time cleaning up the messy method I've used. This applies specifically to the foreground and the shadowed hill on the right (spruce).

10-02-2013, 11:02 PM
First I like your paintings..my suggestion is to add a darker value under the trees in the forground to the right, and maybe a few tree trunks, your beach and trees will pop more because the dark causes the light to stand out by contrast..your second picture is a shining example. Very strong painting and well designed. The distant hills could be toned down to indicate distance more convincingly but keep up the good work man.

10-03-2013, 04:47 AM
The beach scene is nice but
IMHO you need something to catch my attention :wave: a boat , people .....
a big sharp in one colour only --- :evil: boring ;)

10-03-2013, 05:52 AM
Both paintings have excellent composition - which is overlooked by many artists.

1st painting - seascape. An excellent job on the water and beach. You're lacking a point of interest (a fisherman, object on beach, boat, etc) preferable in the upper right and to scale. You also need value change. A few very dark values in the trees would help - just a darker green wash over some of the lower greens, hit or miss like. Or, you could make the buildings stand out more.

2nd painting - rocks. The hills in the back are the best of this. My main problem is that there is so much little details in everything with no place for the eye to rest. I would suggest that you lift all the horizontal lines in the rocks. They will not remove completely and that will give you just a suggestion of lines which is ok. If you want to indicate a crevice, a very thin occasional dark line will do - remembering that less is sometimes more.

10-03-2013, 12:27 PM
Thank you, John, Egan, and Jan. I've considered all of your suggestions prior to posting, so getting them from you has been great as validation. These are pretty much scenes as they appear in reality. But I understand that part of our privilege as artists is to present something more (or less) to better suit our ascetic. I'll work on that.
It sounds like I need to spice up the beach scene and tone down some of the rock landscape. But I'm still looking for a good technique to do the water near the shoreline and the foliage in the foreground in the rock piece.
Thanks again.

Cheryl Nielson
10-04-2013, 11:21 AM
Hi Rob,
Try a stippling on your trees...load the paint at the end of the brush and lightly touch the paper with it, moving and turning the brush as you go. You can also use the side of the brush to change up the size and shape. You can also splay out the bristles on the brush. Maybe a bit more detail in the closer trees and fade out to washes the farther away they are. Start with your lights (in the sunny sections) and change to darker as you move across to the shadow side.

For the water, I just finished reading Claudia Nice's book 'Down by the Sea with Brush and Pen'...she is a pro at water! She starts out with a wash of the lightest color value and uses the same color a bit darker for the wave shadows (2 times). I think you would show more depth if you use darker values throughout.
Keep in mind where your light source is coming from...

I agree with all the others in that your paintings are good and so is your composition...just some tweeking will make them even better!

10-04-2013, 02:13 PM
Thank you, Cheryl. I appreciate the tips and pointer to your book reference. I'll practice a little more patience and go stippling for awhile.