View Full Version : Preen (Move to Structured Critique)

09-09-2015, 09:54 AM

Title: Preen (Move to Structured Critique)
Year Created:
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 33 x 22 cm
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Please feel free to comment on anything at all.

I am overall fairly happy with this piece, however I am confident there is still something to improve. Possibly regarding my technique, composition etc. I'm still quite new to acrylic painting.

09-09-2015, 06:15 PM
Beautiful rendering of the textures in the feathers. The background looks almost slightly gloomy to me. I'm not sure if this is what you were going for or not. For me, the composition works. Being quite new to acrylic painting, you should be very pleased with this.

09-09-2015, 08:45 PM
Just wanted to mention that when I posted here earlier I was viewing this thread on my phone instead of on my PC. When I viewed this painting earlier on my phone the background colors looked slightly more grey (probably because the screen on my phone wasn't as clean as it should have been, haha). The colors look more vibrant when I view the image on my PC. So you can disregard the comment I made about the background looking "gloomy".

09-10-2015, 02:20 AM
Beautiful painting, love the colorful bird and background. The pose is a little odd for me. You paint so well, I hope you will paint more birds like this without the leg covering the face. Such a pleasing and feel good painting. :)

09-10-2015, 09:00 AM
No worries jessw, problems of modern technology ;)

Thank you Kenya, I do paint (and draw) lots of birds! The pose is actually something they really do while preening, I guess it isn't something you'd expect right away though. I'm usually drawn to unusual poses, and what I end up using depends a lot on what kind of references I can find. This one came straight off a stock photo on DeviantArt.

09-11-2015, 10:38 AM
I find the painting beautiful; how could you improve it? Probably by giving the bird more space above his head. All the action is crowded into the top third of the composition. If I crop the painting down to a square using the top of the painting as the top of the square, the action is more centred, but I would still like to see a bit more space around the bird. What a gorgeous bird!

09-16-2015, 05:59 PM
Thank you Karen. I see what you mean, although the positioning was somewhat intentional; not only was the reference close to this, I wanted to show off the whole length of the bird. I couldn't quite get the tail feather detail in that would show it off though.

09-16-2015, 09:12 PM
I felt that maybe sticking to the ref was the problem; feel free to alter your ref photo image to meet your own standards. Like here, you might have faked some more foliage to fill in a larger background for the bird's head.
IMHO, one disadvantage of this kind of photo is bokeh--total blurring of the background. You get a more interesting painting, especially in a large format, by having some detail in the background...if it's not in the ref, just fake it! :) But those feathers are done just beautifully.