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DavidOToole
10-01-2015, 04:43 PM
MY IMAGE(S):
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Oct-2015/1975663-flowerdemo1-smaller2.jpg


GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: Flowers and vase
Year Created: 2015
Medium: Mixed-Media
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 16x20
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
I am submitting a flower-and-vase composition done with acrylic and pastel used together on a canvas board. This is my first critique submission on WetCanvas. I'd like to improve my painting and so I would love to hear your criticisms and suggestions. I am used to getting feedback on other creative works of mine (not paintings) so I think I have developed a "thick enough skin" to receive honest criticisms. If I had to prime the pump, I'd say the background is a bit plain, and the flowers don't have enough definition. But I'm sure there are more suggestions and points that could be made. Thanks in advance for your thoughts! NOTE: There are some brightness-related artifacts in the image (mostly in the background) because I scanned the canvas board in several pieces and stitched the scans together digitally. ---David

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
What could I do to improve the background so that it ties the picture together better? How might I increase the contrast on the flowers/vase so that things have a bit more "definition"? I think better handling of values could make the painting feel a bit less two-dimensional, but I'm not sure how to proceed in my next attempt.

TerryCurley
10-02-2015, 09:36 AM
The contrasting colors of orange and blue is a good choice. It makes the flowers pop.

You have already hit on the points that need work such as the definition of the flower and increasing the contrast to give a more 3D look. It takes a lot of tries for me to get my pictures where I want them to be. I love paintings of flowers in a vase and have done a few of them. If this picture were mine on the next one I would try a couple of things different. The light outline around the flower and vase tells me that you drew the vase on and then did the background being careful not to get any on the vase or flowers. I've done this and generally it comes out as yours has. I now find a better way to do it is to outline the subject then take masking tape or masking fluid to cover the subject. (I use and exacto knife to trim the tape closely). I then paint the background boldly not worrying about ruining the subject. When the background is dry I remove the masking tape and paint or color in the subject going to the edges of the subject and perhaps a tiny bit more to make the subject not look like it is pasted on. You will find it has a better effect.

The background should have a hint of green and orange in it to balance the picture an make it fit together better. I do think the background could be made more interesting by using a crisscross stroke using different values of the color.

I believe the color of the vase and the color of the stems should vary.

DavidOToole
10-02-2015, 06:42 PM
Hi TerryCurley,
Thanks so much for your helpful comments! I will see what I can do. I just picked up a nice tabletop easel and replenished my colors, so I'll be painting again tonight.

A quick question: What sort of masking tape do you recommend? Is there a brand that prevents seepage under the edges but won't pull up acrylic from underneath?

La_
10-03-2015, 02:09 AM
acrylic and pastel, by that do you mean you sketched with a pastel and then painted with acrylic, or what

light/shadow is your control of three dimensional illusion, decide a light source and use it, consistently, through every shape down to millimetres of space or as your patience allows. dark recedes things and light pops them out.

detail can be minimal if you can get the light playing well with the shadows, if you can find a nice contrast between dark/medium/light, use your compliment colors to push the shadows, there's much room to play here in this simple comp, ways to make it livelier, have fun with it

tape, don't be taping anything - if you can't paint back and forth in the negative to positive space and back again you just haven't practiced enough, keep trying

la

TerryCurley
10-03-2015, 08:54 AM
Hi TerryCurley,
Thanks so much for your helpful comments! I will see what I can do. I just picked up a nice tabletop easel and replenished my colors, so I'll be painting again tonight.

A quick question: What sort of masking tape do you recommend? Is there a brand that prevents seepage under the edges but won't pull up acrylic from underneath?

I use Scotch brand. I know exactly what you are talking about when you say seepage, I once bought a different brand and the tape was loose and it made a royal mess. If you have dried acrylic underneath it will not pull it up. At least that has never happened to me. I do this technique often.

DavidOToole
10-04-2015, 01:22 AM
acrylic and pastel, by that do you mean you sketched with a pastel and then painted with acrylic, or what


Thanks so much for your helpful comments and suggestions :clap: In some cases the pastel is just an undersketch which is first sealed with matte medium. In the flower and vase composition above, there are several layers of pastel on top of semi transparent acrylic color, on top of pastel on canvas.
I'm still experimenting with it. It's fun :)