View Full Version : Protect the Earth

06-16-2015, 07:29 PM

Title: Protect the Earth
Year Created:
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 24x32
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Painting of hands holding rain forest and some animals

Critique please

06-17-2015, 11:48 AM
i'd be tempted to stop the upper left greenery from leaving the canvas
this would make it appear like the hands are holding up an island of earth (as compared to that green being the top of a ridge of land that continues left where we can't see).
yay on the concept


Mark Szymanski
06-18-2015, 05:18 PM
Due to the small photo of your painting, I am unable to decipher some of the units in the painting (especially on the thumbs of the hands) so I can't say much on those other than I can't see what they are so I can't imagine what they must represent on the painting.

I see a sacred sort of imagery going on here where all items are (or should be) important as symbolic of something else. This is a formal composition with a large upright mass in the center of the painting with some cross beams intersecting that mass.

The ocean is a uniform value and color except for the splotches of orange (not sure why that is there). The sticks/garbage in the water - if it is representing pollution/mans destruction of nature could be arranged in to less random masses and have some of the sticks crossing one another at random angles to represent chaos. These masses would allow you to create a path into and around the picture. Each mass having a bit different though related colors from the ones around them- one a bit more blue, then brown, then orange etc. This would give a bit of variety while still giving a unified idea. Not crazy about the black fence going all across the bottom edge of the canvas - it creates a "block" or a fence I must cross to get into the picture.

The hands/forearms can represent a great many things, everything from a cross, to a whales tail. Regardless, I think there could be a bit of difference in treatment of the right versus the left hand and arm. Perhaps indicating where the knuckles are located, gently and subtle curve, would give the opportunity break the monumental sweep a bit. The outline on the hands are uniformly even. No variety within the line. The smoky/shadow area is a great idea, but it seems to be a shadow on a wall being cast by the hands rather than a nebulous smoke. I don't understand that idea, but hey, what ever you like. :)

The trees in the hand are okay, I could use something to help balance some of the curves in this area. Perhaps thinking about making interesting negative spaces between the trunks and branches would help.

One suggestion you could consider above and beyond all the others is to deal with your eye path through the painting. I am in and out of your painting in just one moment.


I bypass the bottom of the painting and jump right to the right hand, then follow the greenery directly out of the painting without stopping or looking elsewhere. If you could get me to head up or down or across the painting to the other side first then direct me to the right side, I think it would be helpful.

As far as the composition goes, as I said earlier, it seems to be a formal composition, religious in fact. It really would work with a formal balance. There is an opportunity in the painting because you can do all sorts of equalling balance in the painting. Lot's of symbols available. In any case, drop a mass of a certain strength in one area and then on the opposite side have a competing mass on the other side. They should not be so detailed as to take away from the main subject, but can support the subject, much as the angels do in a Renaissance painting. A suggested location would echo a scale in position and size.


I don't suggest these shapes or colors, I used them only to suggest size and position in the painting. I figured the purple would show up on the screen the best. In any case, these could work as sacred balance if you used dolphins or sea turtles or little johnny polar bear or whatever you think is right for your painting. They can float because they're sacred. The could be coming from the water if you want. Because they're sacred, you can bend the rules of color, shape, and form.

There are interesting color choices orange and green, yellow and dulled purple, and others too. I like a lot of the line work with the flow you have, a bit of variety will help. Painting is strong. Idea is strong. Keep at this one, there is a great picture in here.

06-19-2015, 02:16 AM
I like this. I have to agree with La just a bit, but I like the tree running up out of the picture. I really like the little counterbalance on the right of the vine pulling me back down into the composition. I think it's strong and original and not lifeless. Nice job.