View Full Version : landscape untitled

08-20-2015, 04:27 PM

Title: landscape untitled
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Board
Dimension: 9 X 12
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Landscapes remain a challenge that I try to tackle from time to time. There is some glare from wet paint, we all go through that :)

I would appreciate your general critiques but especially to the composition, and if you could, help contribute to a title. Thanks in advance :)

08-20-2015, 04:33 PM
Gorgeous. Wish I'd done it

08-20-2015, 05:59 PM
Thank you Bevahlee, wish the details showed up a bit more, but appreciate taking the time to comment :)

08-21-2015, 02:22 AM
Lovely piece! Nicely variegated, among other things. I like to see a critter in the landscape, albeit subtle, I think it adds life to it. That's just me, so I do not feel lonesome.

Dana Design
08-21-2015, 10:42 AM
I think it's beautiful! No crits from this quarter!

08-21-2015, 10:48 AM
beautiful! love the depth, texture, and mood

Mark Szymanski
08-21-2015, 05:47 PM
Well done :clap: . The unity of color and wonderful power of the blue spot of sky is something I am quite taken with. The cloud forms take up differing amounts of sky, and seem varied in color. The red bush on the right is attractive. Atmospheric perspective reads well. Shadows in the water are nice. Distant trees seem about right both in size color and shape. There are a great many horizontal lines which you've scattered throughout the painting which gives a nice feeling of peace and repose.

Since you're specifically asking for them, I have a few comments on the composition.


The biggest problem I am having is the issue with the stream/creek going more or less straight into the distance perspectively. It seems correct in width all the way back, so you've done well with it, but a straight road or stream or line is usually destructive of pictorial effect. That doesn't mean that it cannot be done, but this type of of composition makes it much more difficult on you and places greater demands on the artist.
One problem is it hyper-accelerates your eye into the background - the long road (or stream) in perspective offers easy conduct for the eye, but it
finds a greater interest in threading its way over a track lost, then
found, lost and found again.
Another is it divides the picture into a Left and a Right half - which produces a formal composition. In this case it is almost like a scale with equal weights on each side... with the right half balancing the left half.

If I draw a line down the center, the left half of the picture is more or less balanced by the right half. The Red tree is balanced by about the same shape and size of the pines, the mass of reeds in the mid-ground is balanced by about the same amount in the background.

Another issue I am seeing is those pines on the Left side paralleling the edge of the canvas. Too strong, and reinforce a vertical line which doesn't need any help.

Likely some of the pines on the edge of the forest would be angled out to where the sun could get to them, rather than clustered in tight with the others.


I believe you're trying to show sunlight on the middle ground, with shadows in the foreground. When I convert the painting to black and white, it shows the value range isn't quite there to show that effect.

The other issue I am having is I am transported directly into the background with nothing to focus upon once I arrive. There really isn't a subject to see in this painting. I arrive in the background and find nicely painted clouds, a bright bit of blue, then I attempt to travel back into the painting and there isn't anything to lead me in, nor anything to explore. Spots of interest could be added here and there... as Mr. Poore says: "One item after another, in sequence, the visitor should then be led to, and, having made the circuit and paid his respects to the company in the order of importance" Basically, he refers to direct the eye to the main subject, then to the other objects of the painting which are of lesser importance and yet help to support the subject.

There are many ways to treat the painting to give greater interest and invite one in a take a good long look around. A couple which come to mind would be to zig-zag the path of the stream, place oppositional lines in the stream, i.e. fallen logs or stuff like that, or to make the sunlight happen in patches into the background-it would give the the viewers eye, spots to bounce back and forth to.
I took just a moment and blocked the stream with the masses of color, and broke the line of the stream, leaving the meandering bends which you can see. Allows more interest by allowing for the habit of the eye to follow lines, zigzagging the way into the background - maybe consider having one mass of ground larger on one side of the painting.
Like I said, I only spent a moment here and didn't attempt to figure out the best use of this idea - I am only illustrating the idea... I am certain there are better design ideas than I have done in this. Perhaps some logs or reeds poking through the water in the foreground... see pictures by Peder Mork Monsted for ideas on things like that... he was brilliant at them.

08-21-2015, 10:31 PM
I think you've received some excellent comments/advice from Mark. I wish I knew the principles of composition better myself.

I just wanted to mention that the way the light comes through the clouds and hits the landscape in the background is both beautiful and captivating. This is most definitely my favorite part of the painting. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

08-21-2015, 10:41 PM
I agree the stream would be better more asymmetrical. especially since it's a square composition. Additionally, it would be nice to see some more color variation in the stream, especially because it looks kind of muddy (the literal stream and the color). A tree of colored plant reflecting in it would break up the flat color. or maybe some rocks in it.

could be that the low resolution isn't showing me all the colors though.

08-22-2015, 12:11 PM
nicely done... good composition for my eye.

08-22-2015, 05:10 PM
Thank you all for your kind remarks and for taking the time to comment. Mark, I had to smile because you were right, the water goes back the way it did as I was setting the stage for a rainbow. But alas, in transferring to canvas from drawing, the rainbow took too much away from the break in the sky and they competed with each other. I liked your solution to vary the river. I'm going to put this painting aside as it was tried on a different board surface and I constantly fought the canvas, too much pull on the oil. Great lessons with this one, cheers....

08-23-2015, 04:36 AM
Looks good