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fedetony
10-01-2015, 12:28 PM
MY IMAGE(S):
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/upload_spool/10-01-2015/1975173_1975173-ligthhouse800.jpg


GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: The Lighthouse
Year Created:
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 40x80 cm
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
This Piece was created for the WC Acrylic forum Different Strokes-September 2015 challenge. It was developed in 6h without letting the paint dry. All painting is improvised.
I had also documented the complete process with pictures. If it is desired I can provide them as well.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
I would like feedback for me to lea<br> more about composition, light, shadows.. etc that you may notice in the painting. My intention is to lea<br> and make better pieces in the future.

Mark Szymanski
10-02-2015, 11:22 AM
To give more than a very general critique is somewhat difficult because I am not certain of what the subject or the feeling you're going for in this painting.

I am surprised you have not gotten a lot of feedback on this painting already, so hopefully more folks will chime in.

In this painting I see a very distant lighthouse with the single beam of light against a dark sky and a great deal of movement in the majority of the painting. Color scheme seems to center around the blues except for the yellow beam.

The first issue I see here is a lack of focus on a subject. There are many possible subjects here... the lighthouse, the sky, the water, or even just a feeling... stormy and lonely, man against nature, folly of man etc.

The lighthouse is located so the peak of the roof of the lighthouse is quite nearly touching the top of the canvas, and will likely intersect the edge of the frame - this type of tangent (arrow point meeting a line) is a very strong eye draw, and can be difficult to pull the eye away from.

If the lighthouse is the subject, perhaps moving it closer to the viewer to help give you the opportunity to delineate more detail within it. Right now it is two lines of black with a yellow bit and a black triangle on top. I like how you've varied the beams strength along its length, though the bottom edge will be less defined the farther you move from it. The problem for me is to see the beam like this requires fog, driving rain, mist, dust or something for the light from the beacon to refract off of, otherwise the light rays are much less visible. This causes also causes color change from the bright yellow depending on the substance causing the refraction of light.

Because I can see the light, I instantly am assuming a foggy night or stormy night - the stormy night is reinforced by the tsunami size wave at the level of the lighthouse - it is taller than the light-keepers house... that house will be leveled by it I think.

I cannot decide if the night is stormy or not. The clouds are not organized as if they are storm clouds, there is a great deal of horizontal banding or lines running horizontally which leads to a rather peaceful idea to the clouds. There must be a break in the clouds for the moon to show through - because the scene seems to be illuminated by moonlight.

The other main area is the sea. This area has a great deal of motion within it. It is almost like a timelapse picture of water, rather than a static moment of the seas movement. The problem I see is you have one area where the water is captured in a static way, and the rest of the painting is where the water is swirling while caught in motion. There is no incessant development of the line after line of waves here, no light direction on the water, no other colors. The swirled, gracefully curved lines reinforce an idea of peacefulness echoed by horizontal banding of the lines in the clouds, so again, I see calm not storm (except for the background wave).

So without understanding the idea behind what you're trying to develop within the painting, I cannot offer any suggestions on anything to improve on. I don't know how realistic you are attempting to be, how closely to nature you are trying get, or the main idea behind the painting. With more information, perhaps I could get a little closer to a helpful critique.

Andrewcody
10-03-2015, 12:24 AM
Not sure what the light is at the base of the lighthouse?
Regards
Andrew

Mark Szymanski
10-03-2015, 12:36 PM
Not sure what the light is at the base of the lighthouse?
Regards
Andrew

All lighthouses at one time had a live-in lightkeeper, could be a cold and lonely job. Usually a small dwelling for the lightkeeper and his family, also normally a couple of outbuildings to hold supplies, oil,wicks, necessaries. There would be a door at the front of the house. Surely this lower light must be that doorway to the house. Cheers!

fedetony
10-03-2015, 07:40 PM
The first issue I see here is a lack of focus on a subject. There are many possible subjects here... the lighthouse, the sky, the water, or even just a feeling... stormy and lonely, man against nature, folly of man etc.
My intention was to paint a Lighthouse as the main subject. I wanted it to be in the stormy night, wanted to add some lightnings but I though it would take the center of focus away from the lighthouse. I also wanted it to look as if the viewer is in the water and the light rotates toward him/her.


The lighthouse is located so the peak of the roof of the lighthouse is quite nearly touching the top of the canvas, and will likely intersect the edge of the frame - this type of tangent (arrow point meeting a line) is a very strong eye draw, and can be difficult to pull the eye away from.
That was intended, to draw the attention there, also not to have the horizon in the center, which I found boring, as also to have less sky, which would be a typical lighthouse scene.


If the lighthouse is the subject, perhaps moving it closer to the viewer to help give you the opportunity to delineate more detail within it. Right now it is two lines of black with a yellow bit and a black triangle on top.
Then it would have look as if you were going to crash... The first thing i did is to sketch what i wanted and where I wanted in size. Very primitive, but just wanted to make it as a composition exercise.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Oct-2015/1975173-Lh_01.jpg


I like how you've varied the beams strength along its length, though the bottom edge will be less defined the farther you move from it. The problem for me is to see the beam like this requires fog, driving rain, mist, dust or something for the light from the beacon to refract off of, otherwise the light rays are much less visible. This causes also causes color change from the bright yellow depending on the substance causing the refraction of light.
Thank you. The light is visible when its intensity is really strong and normally in bad weather or when there is high humidity you can see the light beam.
for example: http://www.lighthousecounselingomaha.com/communities/3/004/012/560/673//images/4617064137.jpg

Because I can see the light, I instantly am assuming a foggy night or stormy night - the stormy night is reinforced by the tsunami size wave at the level of the lighthouse - it is taller than the light-keepers house... that house will be leveled by it I think.
:D yes, that is the proportion I used... nice you noticed.


I cannot decide if the night is stormy or not. The clouds are not organized as if they are storm clouds, there is a great deal of horizontal banding or lines running horizontally which leads to a rather peaceful idea to the clouds. There must be a break in the clouds for the moon to show through - because the scene seems to be illuminated by moonlight.
Originally I wanted to add lightnings to the very illuminated parts, then I just though the contrast between darks was ok to see something as a stormy sky. Maybe I should have made the lightnings.


The other main area is the sea. This area has a great deal of motion within it. It is almost like a timelapse picture of water, rather than a static moment of the seas movement. The problem I see is you have one area where the water is captured in a static way, and the rest of the painting is where the water is swirling while caught in motion. There is no incessant development of the line after line of waves here, no light direction on the water, no other colors. The swirled, gracefully curved lines reinforce an idea of peacefulness echoed by horizontal banding of the lines in the clouds, so again, I see calm not storm (except for the background wave).
Some foam and splashes shall do the trick. Stormy is the idea, but not tsunami storm :).

So without understanding the idea behind what you're trying to develop within the painting, I cannot offer any suggestions on anything to improve on. I don't know how realistic you are attempting to be, how closely to nature you are trying get, or the main idea behind the painting. With more information, perhaps I could get a little closer to a helpful critique.
Thank you for your critique so far. Hope I could make some things clear. Was not looking for realism, I just improvised because I had only 1 day to finish it.

Mark Szymanski
10-04-2015, 11:41 AM
My intention was to paint a Lighthouse as the main subject. I wanted it to be in the stormy night, wanted to add some lightnings but I though it would take the center of focus away from the lighthouse. I also wanted it to look as if the viewer is in the water and the light rotates toward him/her.

I think you were correct to leave the flashes of lightning out of the painting.

Perhaps the viewpoint you're trying to achieve isn't being communicated effectively. If you're in the water - do you mean the viewer is swimming, or are they from a more elevated platform such as another ship on the ocean. The reason I say so is I sense from the perspective in the picture I am looking down into a bay from a clifftop opposite the lighthouse. This lighthouse reminds me of the le Vierge Lights, Plouguerneau, France with its proportions. A truly monstrous bit of construction.

Then it would have look as if you were going to crash... The first thing i did is to sketch what i wanted and where I wanted in size. Very primitive, but just wanted to make it as a composition exercise.

I have to disagree with you here... There is plenty of room between the viewer and the lighthouse to adjust the size without increasing its apparent closeness. Changing the perspective will easily change the aspect of the viewer allowing for the same distance. I was simply saying a bit larger so some detail could be placed on the subject rather than just a shadowed shape. However, it is always the call of the artist for their design. Making a sketch is often a good idea, awesome you did this.


Originally I wanted to add lightnings to the very illuminated parts, then I just though the contrast between darks was ok to see something as a stormy sky. Maybe I should have made the lightnings

No, I don't think the flashes of lightning would help... those angular shapes would add too much eye draw where you don't want it to be. I think there is an opportunity here though to adjust some of the values to show it is moonlit. James Gurney happened to post a nice description on making a moonlit painting today... http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2015/10/strategies-for-evoking-moonlight.html


Even though you had only one day to finish it, I think it could be a strong piece if you revisit the idea.

fedetony
10-05-2015, 07:40 AM
I have to disagree with you here... There is plenty of room between the viewer and the lighthouse to adjust the size without increasing its apparent closeness. Changing the perspective will easily change the aspect of the viewer allowing for the same distance. I was simply saying a bit larger so some detail could be placed on the subject rather than just a shadowed shape. However, it is always the call of the artist for their design. Making a sketch is often a good idea, awesome you did this.

You are right, beginners mistake I would think. Setting the main object small is not very well seen in composition. And regarding the point of view, yes, like if you were in a ship, just did not want to make the close view object to make it obvious.


Even though you had only one day to finish it, I think it could be a strong piece if you revisit the idea.

Thank you Mark for your comments, I appreciate them. BTW, very nice article about the moonlight, I'll try to make a moon lighted painting in the near future. For this one, since I've already did the beam of light I'm afraid changing the lighting of the sky could endanger the piece. Did not cross my mind to use light green.

BlueonBlue
10-11-2015, 01:20 PM
Now this is a water scene that will take me sometime to figure out how to master. Quite stunning! :)

Bunny

fedetony
10-11-2015, 05:53 PM
Now this is a water scene that will take me sometime to figure out how to master. Quite stunning! :)

Bunny
Thanks bunny :)... fluidity of the paint is the clue... you have to thin it for it to flow , and then make waves in both directions that they cross, and then use different colors (tones) for several layers. Use a lot of paint :)