View Full Version : C&C Please

05-18-2015, 03:41 PM
New painting - 9 x 12 on sanded paper. This was sort of a speed painting try for me. I like the general idea I have going but it seems lacking. The wife says it looks better than I think it does. Opinions and suggestions please.


05-18-2015, 03:51 PM
I love the sky and the tree shapes against the sky

water girl
05-18-2015, 04:53 PM
The silhouette of the trees against that sky is beautiful. You've painted a dramatic sky. Just be careful to keep the horizon line of the water straight. Did you happen to use a reference photo you could post? The sunset would be reflected in your water, and at this point it is not. That may be why your are not completely happy with this stage of your painting.

05-18-2015, 05:21 PM
Actually, I was going for a field of blue flowers rather than water - guess that means I need to rework that a bit - perhaps a bit of dark green showing beneath the blooms and some suggested stems??

No, there wasn't a reference photo - just a composite of a number of photos I put together in my imagination.

water girl
05-18-2015, 05:43 PM
I'm so sorry. OK, field of flowers . Yes, some green and spots of a darker value blue would be helpful. Some of the beautiful colors in your sky sprinkled here and there would tie it all in. Keep the flowers softed (blended) toward the horizon, with more detail closer to us. Just a little more work and you'll get there.

05-18-2015, 07:45 PM
You might enjoy looking at Karen Margulis' blog - she puts out great info on painting fields of wildflowers. You want to decide if your focus is a field of flowers or a sunset - too much competition weakens your composition.

05-19-2015, 12:09 PM
Thanks - I'll bring some of the sky colors in and work on the flower fields. I looked at Karen Margulis' blog and it will help with the wildflowers

05-19-2015, 08:49 PM
No, there wasn't a reference photo - just a composite of a number of photos I put together in my imagination.
There are lots of nice things happening in this painting - especially the sky - which is bold and colorful!

Unfortunately, I think anytime you try to make a composite composition, you have certain challenges. The main challenge is the lighting. The sky, the sunset, the silhouetted mid-ground trees - they are all part of the lighting of a sunset scene. But your foreground flowers are lit as if they were in direct sunlight. It may be a subtle effect, but the two halves don't make a unified whole due to the different lighting conditions, in my opinion.

Of course, you need not change anything based on my opinion, but trying to find a solution would be difficult. Since the sky and sunset aspects are really successful, I wouldn't change those things. Darkening all the foreground would be difficult! Glazing a dark blue (sky color) might make the white flowers seem to be in the shade of evening, but that would be difficult to do in pastels without smudging and blending everything. Wish I had a more helpful solution - and of course, feel free to ignore the critique!


05-20-2015, 08:10 AM
I appreciate the comments Don. I see what you mean and will work on it a bit.

05-20-2015, 11:51 AM
Hi Randy, gorgeous colours!

To me, the thing is that there is too much happening, so I don't know where to look. As soon as my eyes fasten on one aspect, another is clamouring "look at me" (so to speak). There are at least two paintings in this: 1 sky and silhouetted trees, and 2 flowery meadow. You could paint the two, and downplay the aspect that is not important, I mean, for the sky painting you could crop off ground and have muted colour there, and vice versa for the other version.

05-20-2015, 03:11 PM
I think you and Don have hit the nail on the head so to speak. This should really be two paintings. I think that's what I'll do, start another one along the same lines focusing on the sky. Not sure about the meadow, but maybe it will come along later


05-21-2015, 06:29 PM
Although I am not a landscape painter, I totally agree with Don and Charlie. Everything is given equal importance so there is no center of focus. Perhaps you could pick one thing to be the star and the rest could fade a bit more into the background. I love that you are not afraid of bright colors. Terri

05-22-2015, 10:15 AM
Your marks have a van gogh quality. Surrealistic. :) I'm not a realist painter and love to break the rules. I like it! I did think the field of blue was water so a few more hints in that direction would be helpful.

05-23-2015, 01:27 PM
Bit too much going on, not enough focus. Less can be more.

For example, If you called it "Sky Drama" you could do something like this with it:


But if you want it to be about the wild flowers, then that is where your focus should be: Notice I brought in sky colours into the flowers, also made the meadow look more like meadow colour than water, and added gradually diminishing textural marks to suggest both flowers, and distance:


05-23-2015, 05:25 PM
As always Jackie'ss said it all along with Don and Charlie. Love the sky! For fields of flowers advice Karen Margulis has a great blog with many articles if you want to try again with the field of blue flowers.

05-24-2015, 04:15 PM
Another vote for the sky.

05-30-2015, 05:22 PM
It's excellent it just needs a little bit of depth is all and try to limit the use of such intense and saturated color but conserve and save for highlights or focal points. Glazing to tone down colors helps.

06-01-2015, 04:33 PM
Jackie - as always your advice is valuable - I'm reworking this and creating two paintings from the one using your suggestions.