View Full Version : Girl in Water

Donny Seib
09-18-2015, 03:36 PM

Title: Girl in Water
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 24 x 20
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is something I came up with going through some watercolor sketches I had laying around and half out of my head.

what do you think? Suggestions are welcome...thanks!

Jules Hilliard
09-18-2015, 04:05 PM
A striking painting. However, when I view the painting, I see the water falls and then eventually I see the girl. She seems to be the secondary object.
In most cases when one puts a figure (human or animal), into a landscape painting, the figure becomes the primary subject. It just seems to me that the water falls is up staging the girl. Still a good painting!

09-18-2015, 04:30 PM
I really like this painting! I love the contrast in texture between the trees/foliage and the smooth silky water. Even with the water plants vs the coarse pines. Really good job capturing that. I agree with Jules Hilliard about the human figure. When I put my thumb over the lady the painting really pops. She is almost distracting, though beautiful and well done. I would like to see a version where she is the main subject.

Thank you for sharing!

Mark Szymanski
09-18-2015, 08:50 PM
When I look at this, I first think -- "That is pretty well done, I like the idea of a classical type landscape with a nice bather in it" Kinda early 1900's ideal here.

I am finding some things difficult to overlook though. The very strong, near equal, horizontal divisions of the painting are too powerful. Those two pines breaking the top portion into divisions are too against an area which is too light in comparison. Consequently, your eye follows the vertical of the waterfall under the right pine and shoots you right out of the top of the painting without giving you opportunity to explore the rest.

Perhaps there are some suggestions I could offer -
*The rocks are too light for how wet they must be... if water is falling on top of most any rock I've ever seen, they get very dark, even in direct sunlight. These rocks are splattered with mist at the very least so should be dark.

*Vary the colors within the falling water itself. The only place water is even close to white is where the falling water is thick and angled directly at you like when it bounce off a rock. Otherwise it will be a gray of some sort... green gray, blue gray, red gray, yellow gray... you get the idea. The edges of the water will be soft then hard because of where the thicker water is shading one side of the water. Water casts shadows too.

*Change the horizontal top edge of the cliff to undulate more... perhaps a rock or two to break the edge. Or horse shoe the shape of the falls.

* I feel the horizon in near the middle of the picture... I don't care so much about that, but the trees above the rim of the cliff appear like they're at eye level rather than above the horizon. We'd be looking at them from underneath rather than at eye level. They also seem a bit too detailed for being located behind the waterfall.

* I would consider losing some of the harder edges around the rocks, some of the edges of the water, and definitely some of the edges on the grass on that island. Speaking of the island, I am not sure of what I am seeing here... the ochre of the sand seems almost to be underwater, then I am not so sure... maybe it is above the water and just too dark.

* look at a black and white of your picture... you'll see there is little value range within any of the foliage. The sun seems to be coming from the left, but the foliage seems equally lit all across the cliff face.

* perhaps consider having some of the foam from the waterfalls working their way towards the bather a bit to help tie the foreground to the background.

Below is just to show how I think you'd see under the tree more than you're showing. There would be corresponding shadows.


09-18-2015, 11:13 PM
The even spacing of the trees up top seems unnatural to me , and the distant background seems unfinished? it detracts from the nice overall scene...
A few boulders along the top edge would add some interest to the fairly straight line of the falls.