View Full Version : Early summer morning in the woods

05-19-2015, 03:39 AM

just learning. Made this little exercise (PastelMat 7x9,5") inspired by the early summer forest I visited. Somehow the fox appeared in the last minute in my painting...


I am not quite happy with this, yet I love the moss-covered big rock in the foreground, with tiny white wild flowers (look like fox clove) on it. Also, the real problem I have is in photographing - I get splendid photos with the correct color shades when I make photos of watercolors or the nature... with pastels they look kind of chalky, and after making the automatic level adjustment the colors seem to get a bit too garish.... I wonder why? Are there any special tricks for pastels? I find the original much more pleasing than this photo. Don't have photoshop.

C&C most welcome!

05-19-2015, 08:09 AM
Raxu, I love your forest. Soft, pleasing. The fox jumps out at me. Perhaps a problem of photographing, as you say?
We all complain constantly about photographing the work. We just do the best we can.
I enjoy seeing your work

water girl
05-19-2015, 12:30 PM
I could see this painting in a children's book. Aside from handling your composition, atmosphere and palette, you've created a wonderful story. Nicely done!:thumbsup:

05-20-2015, 02:28 AM
Thank you Jay for your kind feedback. Yes, the fox seems to jump out... don't be afraid, he is a kind one :) - yet this is not the case IRL. Need to find new tricks for photographing.

Karen, thank you. Well, I knew it was coming, the thing about children's book :) -many of my watercolours have received this kind of comments as long as I have painted. It's not intentional, often I even try to avoid the fairytale atmosphere, and as soon as I loose control: there it is again!

05-20-2015, 08:04 AM
Yes, this does have a playful, fairytale look but done very nicely! Your inner child comes out to play when you paint. :lol: However, those little, scrawny branches on the tree in front intrigue me. You've really captured exactly how they look in nature. That is not easy to do, because the tendency is to make repetitious lines instead of the free-form, no-two-alike lines that nature makes. That caught my eye because I'm working on trees that need those natural, little dead branches and finding it difficult to get realistic ones, like yours.

05-20-2015, 09:21 AM
Thanks again Blayne :) Well, I cannot compeate with Mother nature! This is the photo for my inspiration, a snapshot for some days ago

Feel free to use it :)


05-20-2015, 10:07 AM
Lovely! I really like how you opened up the background in your painting, gives more depth.

If your aim is to display paintings on the internet in order to sell them, then, I'm sorry, there is no way you can avoid having a good program for correcting the photos of the artwork. And, to learn how to use it... :D You might as well begin now, as it takes time to learn the stuff.

I take a photo with the best white balance correction. Then I spend time with the pic in the computer, *manually* adjusting things -- like one colour at the time. With 3 different tools...

Photoshop Elements is quite enough (unless you go for printing) and reasonably priced (compared to the pro version, which IMHO is indeed for pros in the industry), and there is a free program called Gimp I'm told is almost as good.

05-21-2015, 03:04 AM
Tack Charlie!
At the moment, I am not aiming to sell online, yet I wish to show some on my homepage (and some were sold already). So far, I had no problems with photographing watercolours, yet the pastels seem to be another world. Your advice sounds clever, let's see if I manage to teach myself Gimp - in fact, many artists use it.

05-21-2015, 05:17 AM
Všl bekomme.

Same thing, in my opinion, using a homepage to showcase your art is like a display window, and that is selling. For some reason, people here think that my paintings are only sold at shows. They find their favourite on my website, and then make a beeline to it at the show.

My guess at why it is so difficult to photograph pastels is that there are so many different types of "stuff" in them. That 'stuff' reflects light in different degrees. I mean: If Rembrandt strokes photo sort of OK, and if I have also used some Sennelier in the same painting, the Senn strokes will come out *much* lighter in the photo and look like white spots, horribly overexposed.

Thickness of application also matters.

Plus, strokes that optically blend together in the eye look like isolated spots in the photo. Fingerblended passages photo better.

Good luck!

05-21-2015, 07:00 AM
Raxu, thank you for showing us the photo. I'm going to save it if it is open to all. But seeing the photo, I like your painting even more. (And the fox is hiding now.) thank you.

Charlie, so glad to see you commenting.

05-23-2015, 04:14 AM
Charlie, thanks again - it's interesting what you say about photographing pastel paintings - this seems to be a real challenge. Appreciate your input!

Jay - feel free to use the photo as such or as an inspiration! I know I need to paint many more until I reach what I see in my imagination...

05-23-2015, 05:04 PM
I use Gimp heavily an even so sometimes I can't get color and values true to the painting. But no one who's bought or been gifted one as complained the photo looked better! Cool forest, love the fox!

05-25-2015, 04:03 PM
This made me smile so much :) And I am sure if the fox had merrier eyes I would chuckle aloud every time I looked at it. It's lovely

After looking at the reference photo...It never stops amaze me how many colors artists see in an almost grey scene. :)

05-28-2015, 02:45 AM
Robert and Nick, I do appreciate your comments. Regard this as a study only...