View Full Version : Cambria CA almost done?

09-21-2003, 09:29 AM
Hi All,

Well I had a chance to work on this picture. You will notice right away its a little larger than the first image I posted, that's because I could only get a picture of so much of it (and that was the only part with pastel... the rest was charcoal). How do you think the water/wave looks now? Does the path help balance the composition? Anything else that needs attention. The picture is a little scewed, there is about another inch of sky that I didn't get in the pic and the grass at the very bottom is not finished. Other than that, I feel I'm pretty close to done :). Thanks for looking! Sharon

09-21-2003, 11:21 AM
This is gorgeous! I think I missed the original post....I really like this a lot. I think the composition works well...then again, I am absolutely no authority on composition!
very nice!


09-21-2003, 11:38 AM
this came out lovely...see the photo is cocked a bit...not sure about the path...it's lovely but to me it leads me to the wrong place...perhaps if the ground was a touch darker...it's done so nicely...especially the posts...others might have more to say about it...landscape is not my strongest point lol! I think this is a beautiful scene though...good job!

09-21-2003, 12:27 PM
This is so much better I love it even the path. But then I'm not a landscape expert either. Boy are we a brave lot to comment or what? LOL Love your colors alot and the water looks fine to me. Maybe a touch of dark underneath the surfs edge might help though.

09-21-2003, 01:16 PM
this is really lovely Bliss....... love the grasses, and the pinks you put in there...... makes it so pretty

09-21-2003, 03:42 PM
Okay, Tried taking a new picture of this so that you can see the "unfinished" section. I'm also going to post this in the landscape forums (just some people like to frequent their own area of interest... I like being in the pastel forum better...everyone here is nice... don't want to go... but ... :( ) Still at a loss as to whether I should maybe put in a couple of posts on the left decending down the hill? And that water....YUK... I'll never do another ocean scene... never, never, never.... oh crap maybe.... LOL.... Thanks for your help, it is soooo apreciated!


PS... still need to say that this soft pastels... mix of Rembrandt, schimick... and others... not sure (lol) on Mi Tentes paper, 19'X25"
Thanks guys!

09-21-2003, 10:06 PM
Very .... very .... nice love the softness of this scene ... I think you have handled it excellent


09-21-2003, 11:45 PM
it's very soft. i'd loved to be laying in that grass. my eye rests on the log you have laying on the beach but i kind of wish it was a richer color or something i'm not sure. But over all the piece is beautiful :)

09-22-2003, 09:36 AM
This is really lovely- even the water. lol The only thing I'm not sure about is if the path going out of the right is bad for the composition. It's really pretty so maybe someone else can say it's ok. You could post it in the composition forum to ask about that.

09-22-2003, 06:03 PM
This has been very helpful... honestly! I was copying a picture pretty much the way it was taken as far as objects (rocks, bluffs, drift wood logs, path, pine trees...etc.). This is why I think I need to take classes of some sort, composition alludes me! Need to know when to take away and add (art math :rolleyes: ). Thanks to all for the compliments :D , they give me confidence to push myself on to do other things. I guess you all have the same problem, you look at something so long, all you see are mistakes that you made but you really never see "the whole picture" for its total. Been taking and putting them in mirrors as of late so that I can see it a different way :p. That drift wood has definitely got to go! The path... I don't know... I still like it but it does pull the eye away. I think I will try greying/purpling it down a bit and see what that does... mmmmm, possibilities maybe. Though I just want to tell you all that you were saying that you know nothing about landscapes, composition or whatever... the landscape forum pretty much said the same that you guys were pointing out! Well... shut me up or I'll go on forever. This was just to say thanks, all the input was fabulous and any other suggestions are welcome! I'm just going to think on this for a bit before tackling it! (Maybe some playing in photoshop...?) You all are the greatest! THANKS! :D Sharon

09-22-2003, 07:01 PM
I think your painting is beautiful... you know the problems with the composition, so don't give up... classes yes, but where can you find better tuition than here at WC....have you thought about posting in the composition forum... the experts there will give you all the help you need I'm sure, give it a try....... the path is a slight problem as is the log on the beach, but ones that can be overcome, your abilty and style of painting is suberb.


09-23-2003, 01:45 AM
Lovely, I especially like your yse of the violets.:clap: :clap:


09-25-2003, 10:04 AM
Okay, guess you are all tired of this one... bother you guys one more time for your input on this. I took and "reworked" this in Photoshop... just to get an idea of what some changes would look like. Is this composition any more appealing that what I had started out with originally? I haven't done anything to the original painting...yet... :D. All comments welcome! Thanks for all your help... its really appreciated. Sharon

09-25-2003, 10:17 AM
Actually, YES!!!! It is very soothing now, I guess the path must have put some tension in the piece, by leading your eye out...it was a lovely path, but this is just a better overall composition.

09-25-2003, 12:06 PM
they are both really really lovely.... and I like them, I can see without the path, that the darkness of the grasses, does make your eye go to the beach and the lightness of the sand.... (love those grasses :D)

....... one thing has always slightly bothered me on this though, please bear in mind I know nothing of composition...... except for what I like lol....so take it with a pinch of salt..... hope you dont mind but made just a small adj to see what you thought... and thats in reducing the cliff on the viewers left, so the eye can get to behind it and the sea there........

........ and just lowering the blue so it doesnt 'kiss' the cliff

09-25-2003, 12:48 PM
Sharon - most impressive. I love the colors you've introduced into the sand dunes - that draping lavender - gorgeous!!! I imagine it's those lovely succulents that grow on the coast.
The clouds whisps in the sky are just lovely.

Beautiful job!!!!!


09-25-2003, 05:20 PM
I think I also like it better without the path. It's such a lovely path maybe you could use it in another painting somehow. I hope you did ask the composition forum too. I'm not an expert on any of this.

09-26-2003, 10:39 AM
Thanks for the input!

DS - yes I see what you mean about the coastline and the water continuing ... not being cut off.... hmmm, will think on this! You are a sweetie for taking the time to work it in photoshop to show me... I appreciate it :D. <hugs>... (sorry I'm a hugger in real life too :rolleyes: what can I say... lol)

Artistammy, Dyin, Mo & Gerry - you all deserve <<hugs>> too! thanks for your encouragement!

You guys are great, :D...


09-26-2003, 11:49 AM
It often helps to understand WHY one thing works, and another doesn't satisfy in quite the same way. I am glad I came in late to this thread, cos it was good to see the way the pic has changed.

I believe the reason you weren't comfy with the first one was because you had lots of echoing angles - all going in the same direction, and parallel to each other. Look at this:


I find this composition difficult - there is no relief to all those parallels! I felt almost desperate for some horizontals, or angles going the other way! (yes, I know they are there, particularly at the edge of the beach, but they were overpowered by the number of parallels going the other way, and as a result, somehow they "disappeared") The underlying geometry is SO important
The corrected version is MUCH easier on the eye. There are still angles, but they not only echo each other, they now zig zag back and forth, and so link with each other. This is quite a simplification, but look at this:


The water bottom left was a great idea, it pulls us in, and then back out (just as water does) and then back into the middle distance beautifully. The loss of the path is no loss at all - the foreground is now strong, but simple, and it leads the eye to the middle distance without holding us in the foreground. The dark grasses link with the big tree, and that links with the smaller trees behind, taking us nicely back into the picture.

Now, instead of looking at that log and feeling a bit stuck there and uncomfortable, I now find myself drawn into the picture, and having a nice amble about in it.

Well done!!! ps Dawn's idea is nice...it would be good to have a few subtle horizontals in there, to offset all those angles. Unity is good (all those echoing angles) but you always need variety too (lots of angles,plus a few horizontals.)

(for an introduction to some of the main principles of composition, presented in an easy-to-grasp way, see my composition article, you can find it on the main pastels page, to the right hand side)

09-26-2003, 11:58 AM
Hi Jackie, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on this and to show me a few things about composition... Totally lost on this concept for some reason...:rolleyes:. I had bookmarked your site earlier today and when I get a chance to sit and study, going to go and spend some time! Your a doll! <hugs>, thanks -

09-26-2003, 03:21 PM
I too like the second one better, it just seems to "flow" better.

09-27-2003, 02:19 AM
Val, it "flows" better, because the underlying geometry is better, as I tried to explain. But actually, I want to say that there is always a good rule to follow, and your comment brings us all back to that ....."trust your instincts"!!


09-28-2003, 02:02 PM
Only just caught up with this thread ...

Sharon, the changes make for a scene with much greater impact ... I find composition the most challenging aspect of painting! Have you worked some more on this one? Have I missed it somehow? Anyway, what you've done so far is beautiful :clap:

09-28-2003, 02:29 PM
E-J... Thanks for looking... no I've stepped away from it for a bit. Thinking...thinking.... not sure how much more time I want to put into it and how many changes I'm actually wanting (or willing :rolleyes: ) to make :D. lolol... will let you all know the outcome.

Val thanks... it does seem to flow better without all the additional "distractions"... thinking.... thinking....

Barb, dear Barb, I'm sorry I did not ignore your beautiful comments on my painting.. I hope you do come back to read this, as it was a total oversight not to thank you earlier. I feel so rude, please forgive me! I love those succulents too, its so beautiful on the west coast in the spring! I can't believe all of the gorgeous flowers. I especially love those huge bushes with the large purple lupine like flowers, that grow along the sea side too.

Thanks everyone for your input, again... I know I say it all the time but I mean it... your input is extremely helpful... I learn something new everyday! :D <<HUGS>> Sharon

09-29-2003, 01:05 PM
Hey Sharon - no problem - I end up forgetting to comment sometimes too!

I'm learning a lot from this thread - so glad to be back and visiting!


09-30-2003, 11:36 AM
BEAUTIFUL!!:clap: :clap:

Mikki Petersen
02-11-2004, 03:00 PM
Was browsing old posts looking for a reference and was caught by the title since Cambria is one of my very favorite places. This is a brilliant rendition of the beach. I would have recognized it without the title, I think.

02-12-2004, 06:38 PM
Your work is lovely and I have enjoyed seeing the progress. I also happen to love the California Coast.
Very nice work.


02-13-2004, 10:11 AM
Wow... this is a surprise! Mikki & Diane, thank you for your kind comments! Cambria is one of the most beautiful places I've visited and it really inspired me to paint. May have said this before, but if I could afford it :evil: that's where I'd live! The finished painting looks a little different than this but not much... took out the log and added some water the the lower left. I don't have any pictures of the completed work :( and it is at a local gallery right now (should've took a picture before I framed it). Haven't had a chance to paint lately, things have been a little hectic and won't get into all that now, but have missed everyone here a lot and hope everyone is doing well! Take care! :D

~~~ Sharon

02-13-2004, 01:04 PM
I liked it with the path better Grrrr It's still pretty but still like the first one better

02-13-2004, 01:58 PM
Luvy... between you and me, I liked the path too, so I did leave it in. :D The picture with it removed was a "digital" reworking, didn't touch the original path. Thanks for the vote! Take care.... Sharon

Kathryn Wilson
02-14-2004, 11:00 AM
Hi Sharon: We are missing you too in the Pastel Forum! Let us know what happens with the painting at the gallery - :clap: