View Full Version : After Handell....and so so difficult! for me

04-14-2015, 11:32 AM
I decided to copy an oil painting by Albert Handell as a lesson. (I hope Mr. Handell doesn't mind.) First rocks, first waterfall, first moving water!! This is 11 x 14 on 130 lb sketch paper with a watercolor background, (first there too!) Many pastels were used. Of course, the composition is not my own, only my attempt at execution. (poor choice of words?) All C and C most welcome. Thanks for stopping to look.

04-14-2015, 12:23 PM
Hi Jay, wow so much courage! :)

I don't know the original. I love, no I LOVE the foliage of the small trees and the grass. I like the background on the left side and the (surprisingly) blue background as well. Honestly, I think that the upper part of the painting is fantastic :)

As I said, I don't know the original. But the lower part is quite different, it's less painterly and the white lines in the water are quite regular (both the straight ones and the curvy ones).

04-14-2015, 12:36 PM
Thanks Nick. I appreciate the observation.
If you would like to see some Handell originals, they are available in a free download called Master Brushstrokes with Albert Handell. Beautiful works and some tips there. You can see my inspiration piece there too.
Thanks. Your comments are often spot on!

04-14-2015, 01:06 PM
Jay, you've done an amazing job of faithfully reproducing Handell's painting! It's spot on! Your colors are beautiful and vibrant, and the rocks and foliage are great. My crit is not with your copy but with Handell's depiction of the waterfall and water. IMHO water would not be falling straight down like from a bucket but would be flowing at a slight angle over a rounded rock formation. But there seem to be trees in back of the water, not rock. If the water is flowing straight down from a much higher point, from rock we cannot see, it should be splashing all over the top of the rocks. The setting just doesn't ring true for me. And why does the river bulge upward below the waterfall? Sigh... But please don't think I'm criticizing YOUR painting--not at all. You did an absolutely fantastic job! I only voice my criticism of the composition to see if anyone else has the same thought, or whether I need my glasses changed. :)

04-14-2015, 06:51 PM
Thank so much Blayne. That's an intelligent observation. I think the "falls" is a temporary run off into this body of water. I think this run off is rather thin.
I got the impression that this might be kind of a quarry and some slabs have fallen into the path of the water. In another picture, Handell shows long slices of rock, like the ones on the right side, that the water flows over and toward, thus the higher water level there.
I'm happy I got to try all of these elements.
Did I get the rocks looking rocky? Does the water flow?
I know the high waterfall doesn't look quite right. What does it need? Does the lower part of the falls look like falls? I appreciate the input.

04-15-2015, 01:21 PM
I think the rocks look very rocky! I'm not sure of anything you could change if you want it to be a true copy of Handell's painting. It looks pretty close to me!

04-15-2015, 03:21 PM
Jay, I hope my comment wasn't insensitive, I really like the painting.

Thank you for the advice how to look up the website. This was the first time I saw him paint and all I can say is wow ;) His paintings are lovely, I am not surprised you decided to use one of them as a reference :)

04-15-2015, 07:04 PM
Nick...not at all! I appreciate you're stopping to look and to comment. Thank you

Thanks Blayne. I was excited to try all those new things. So much to learn. Thanks for taking a second look.

04-15-2015, 10:10 PM
The water does flow and the rocks look rocky! It's hard to comment on how much is yours and how much Handell's but the whole painting is so striking. I hope you'll use these techniques again on your own composition. There are some good waterfalls in the RIL, it'd be great if you build up something like this and try those water and rock techniques again. Foliage is great! Colors are awesome, well balanced - again that's following Handell maybe, but transposing from another medium is tricky! Well done!

04-16-2015, 01:04 AM
exploring/interpreting a master painter is a fine way to learn , and mr handell is well respected for his works/viewpoint/skill , and instruction .

after finding the original online , several things struck me right away ;
values ( much wider/stark - white <-> black )
colours ( burnt sienna , viridian (at a guess) )
thin and thick paint ( which create contrast=separating objects/background )
ways of suggesting depth/3D .

your intrepretation brings the tree trunk/falls/foliage together at about equal spacing and emphasis of each object ;
they fight for attention , as do other details .
this suggests to me that you were looking at different parts of the painting as you worked ,
but were undecided about what/how to ' hold a painting together ' from the start .

it's an elusive concept , both academic , and personal/metaphysical .
- drives me squirrel-nuts at times :D

you've chosen a very good living painter to study ! look , listen , and learn . :)


ps. Tibor Nagy may interest you .

04-16-2015, 05:33 AM
Robert: thank you. That's a great idea to go to the reference library and now do some waterfalls. Thank you. I'm glad you think the rocks work. Thanks so much for stopping to look.

Ed: great observations. His value range is wider. Interesting. I'll have to put both paintings I to black and white and study that. Thank you.

Wow, there's so much to think about in your most helpful comments.

You're right, of course, I looked at each area at a time. I have so much to learn.
Thank you for the Tibor Nagy suggestion. I'll look him up.

Thanks for taking your time to look up the original and comment.

04-16-2015, 06:40 AM
Ed, I like Tibor Nagy very much. Thank you for pointing him out. I'll study his methods a bit. Good stuff!

04-17-2015, 09:00 PM
Albert is one of the best and a friend. To copy one of the masters or any of them and give them credit is great. I have not seen this painting by Albert so I can not give a honest opinion of the two but you have some great things going on here. I do have 1 question is the large object in the middle ground a tree or part of the water falls. They seem to blend together at the base. it would be good to make the separation of the 2.

04-18-2015, 07:58 AM
Scott, I'm honored that you commented. I believe the area you are questioning is a waterfall. It's ambiguous even in the real paining. I don't have permission to put up the real painting here. I wish I could.
Thank you so much for commenting. Please come to WC often. I just love that backlit scene you put up and I'll be visiting your website. Your work is fantastic.

04-18-2015, 08:03 AM
Jay, you have guts. I'll give you that. Great work. I bet Albert would be proud of you!

04-18-2015, 08:16 AM
Thanks, Valiantx. It was fun. I still want to refine it a bit.

04-18-2015, 08:51 AM
Hey Jay found the paint of Albert's and you have done a wonderful job of recreating it. And I see what you are saying about that area, I believe it is part of the Waterfalls.

Donna T
04-18-2015, 10:28 AM
I haven't seen the original but I like the fresh look of this one, Jay. Who better to learn from than Mr. Handell?

04-18-2015, 10:49 AM
Thanks Donna. I really love his work so thought I would delve in. I'm so excited about using the watercolor background too. Thanks for stopping by