View Full Version : Finished: Bonsai at Denver Botannic Gardens

05-21-2015, 02:59 PM
This painting was ridiculously difficult to photograph as the glazing really does not like any strong light from the side. I am a bit depressed about how it looks in the photo. But it is provisionally done. I may actually go in and work the leaves a bit more, but for now I am considering it done. Feel free to chime in on anything you see that might be better done:


05-21-2015, 04:44 PM
I love it! I especially like the bright leaves against that background.

05-21-2015, 05:30 PM
Thank you much. I did want kind of an intense stained glass look on the leaves, but one reason it is only provisionally finished is that I want to look at it a bit to decide whether to pull them down a bit.

05-21-2015, 05:31 PM
Great detail on the bark!

05-21-2015, 09:33 PM
Very beautiful. Nice effect with the background.

05-22-2015, 09:03 AM
I like very much what you have done. But for me the background is so strong and intense and the bonsai so delicate, that my eye is pulled away from tree to background.

Not knowing what the answer is, I would just like to see the tree come forward more and for the background to hold its place. The classic delicacy on the tree cannot compete with the boldness of the background.

Wonder if anyone else has any suggestions?

chammi kaiser
05-22-2015, 09:14 AM
The bark is excellent and the tree is delicate and lovely. I must agree with Cathy that I also find the background too bold for the tree,

05-22-2015, 10:13 AM
It is a fair criticism, although it is true that the photograph makes the background look a bit more garish than it does in the painting.

05-22-2015, 12:52 PM
Very nice. One thing that I think is sinking the the plant into the background is the dark shadows along the trunk along the left sides. It makes it look like the trunk is right against the background. Also it's hard to see many branches among the leaves and they are kind of floating. Some dark branches could give the plant more contrast to make it stand out more.

05-22-2015, 01:59 PM
this is well done

Mike L
05-22-2015, 06:35 PM
Nice. I have to disagree with those who think the background is too much for the bonsai. For me, without what you chose, it would be just another bonsai. The background does make the tree seem overwhelmed, but a bonsai is something very fragile to begin with. I think you did a great job of portraying that. But, as Grandpa Jake always said, "Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder." :lol:

Hope you don't mind a couple photography tips. When photographing subjects that don't take kindly to the strobe/flash, try bouncing the light from the ceiling or off a nearby wall. That infinitesimal time lag helps reduce glare.

If you can't turn your strobe to bounce its light, try this: cut a piece of translucent plastic milk or juice carton two or three times the size of your flash's aperture. Attach it to your flash (I use velcro attached to the flash attachment and the plastic) so the plastic is about an inch in front of the flash. Using a filter like this diffuses the flash so it reduces or eliminates any glare of highly reflective surfaces.

Thanks for sharing your painting. I like it.