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View Full Version : Los Faros - The lighthouses


shawsy123
11-09-2015, 12:13 PM
MY IMAGE(S):
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/upload_spool/11-09-2015/1976358_IMAG0080.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/upload_spool/11-09-2015/1976358_los_faros.jpg


GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: Los Faros - The lighthouses
Year Created:
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 16 x 20
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
Started painting a few months ago. This is kind of my first complete piece that I was happy with and really enjoyed painting. I really liked experimenting with color triads and I like a looser more expressive techniques. I would like to improve my detail painting with experience.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
As a relative newbie to painting i would like some general feedback on color usage, techniques and perhaps finishing touches.

Sometimes I get the urge to overwork the piece and then I lose something that i can't get back. How do you guys know when to just put the brush down?

Please compare the initial sketch to the final painting and you will see what I mean.

lunchbox
11-09-2015, 02:21 PM
Knowing when to put the brush down is not easy :) If you mean you are loosing the 'freshness' then that is because you are maybe applying more paint to a surface that is not ready to receive it (not dry enough) so the next layer mixes with the layer already there forming a muddy look. Or the colors you originally used are duller by nature, such as raw umber. As it dries, or if your paints are more of a wash, like watercolors, the surface tends to 'sink' or dull down. There are touch up sprays that can be used carefully (read the labels) on surface dried areas to bring up the luster which may help. You can also go another way and actually wipe out when wet, or sand down an area when dry, to begin again rather than piling on more paint. You can also try absorbing some of the paint using paper towel or newsprint paper, if you don't wish to loose the image you began with. I'm not sure what you would like to know by technique? YouTube has some great advice and demos. The point here is that just as all handwriting is individual, so is the brush work. While we study the ways of others we develop our own style. You seem to be having a great time as you explore the art. Looking forward to your next painting. Cheers....

shawsy123
11-10-2015, 04:43 AM
Knowing when to put the brush down is not easy :) If you mean you are loosing the 'freshness' then that is because you are maybe applying more paint to a surface that is not ready to receive it (not dry enough) so the next layer mixes with the layer already there forming a muddy look. Or the colors you originally used are duller by nature, such as raw umber. As it dries, or if your paints are more of a wash, like watercolors, the surface tends to 'sink' or dull down. There are touch up sprays that can be used carefully (read the labels) on surface dried areas to bring up the luster which may help. You can also go another way and actually wipe out when wet, or sand down an area when dry, to begin again rather than piling on more paint. You can also try absorbing some of the paint using paper towel or newsprint paper, if you don't wish to loose the image you began with. I'm not sure what you would like to know by technique? YouTube has some great advice and demos. The point here is that just as all handwriting is individual, so is the brush work. While we study the ways of others we develop our own style. You seem to be having a great time as you explore the art. Looking forward to your next painting. Cheers....
Thanks lunchbox for the advice, I think its a matter of expierience and just to paint more and with time i will realise what works or not. Sometimes I should just enjoy the exploration side of it rather than being afraid of making mistakes. If it works it works and if it doesn't it doesn't and its time to move on to the next one :)

greensyster
11-11-2015, 03:59 AM
You can always rely on sound advise from Lunchbox. I would add this relative to your last statement. If it works - you need to figure out why. If it doesn't, teach yourself why it failed. If you dont do both those things a. you will take a much longer time to become even an adequate painter and b. your eyebrows will fall off. I think you have something especially in original colour choices. Now get yourself around some composition lessons too. :D It will be great following your progress.

shawsy123
11-11-2015, 04:59 AM
You can always rely on sound advise from Lunchbox. I would add this relative to your last statement. If it works - you need to figure out why. If it doesn't, teach yourself why it failed. If you dont do both those things a. you will take a much longer time to become even an adequate painter and b. your eyebrows will fall off. I think you have something especially in original colour choices. Now get yourself around some composition lessons too. :D It will be great following your progress.
Thanks Greensyster yeah I agree on figuring out why it does or doesn't works is very important. I appreciate the feedback and I am going try to post regularly and hopefully I will see some improvements.

Bodhi Peace
11-11-2015, 05:09 AM
i think if there is some way to differentiate the water from the sky...

KolinskyRed
11-12-2015, 01:52 PM
Hi Shawsy,
About the use of colour, you've mentioned organizing things around a selected Triad for harmony. I'm guessing Blue-Green // Orange - Yellow (a warm yellow) // Violet-Red. Perhaps Phthalo Blue green shade, Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Magenta?

I think the painting could easily have stopped at this early stage and been a wonderful result. It would be interesting to know what your thoughts were in developing it further. Perhaps the plan was an "abstract-ish" background for further development of the scene with more detail for the towers and walls? That would be okay too as plan.

The first painting: great variety of the hues, a dark and stormy, moonlit night as the "atmosphere" of the painting perhaps? But I'm thinking that what may be lacking a bit is a variety in the "colourfullness" (chroma) of the paint mixes? Here the chroma is very much the same, all middle chroma in the dark passages and the same in the limited low light passages. This coupled with uniform brush stokes (size and direction) gives a "sameness" to this wonderful, rich painting. This is also emphasized by the same density of the paint (that is, opaque layers) showing most of the time the masstone of the mix. That is, we don't get a chance to have a thin film of the same mix allowing the support to show through, which would show off the paint mix in thin film as more chromatic and lighter, and for some paints, a hue shift as well. The reddish-blue of the dark, thick phthalo pulled thin into a more green-ish blue, far more colourful (chromatic), and lighter appearance over a pale or white painting support. One can try painting mixes both thick and thin (that's relative - thick can be very thin too, just enough to block/mask out the support). Larger brush? Stiffer brush? Long/short strokes? Scumbling/lifting? Long sweeping stroke? Short, stubby stroke? Change direction during stroke? Arm/shoulder relaxed and loose? Paint stroke movement from the wrist? Paint stroke movement from the shoulder? Holding the brush just above the ferrule? Holding the brush from the top of the handle? Lot's of technique variations.

Even if a highly generalized "abstract" approach is undertaken as an initial layer it still helps to have a bit of a plan, to end up with a structure organized around more than just changes in hue. Also changes in chroma, and changes in value.

For comparison, here's a roughed in start for a painting demo I was watching by artist Michael Lang of his painting "Breach". Here there is a structure to the "abstraction". The lights of thin layers, the reserved white of the canvas, the changes in colourfullness from highly chromatic to "dull", Different brush strokes. Dense layers masking out the canvas....

KolinskyRed
11-12-2015, 02:04 PM
For comparison, the beautifully rich passages of your painting could, perhaps use a little more structure and also variety of brush work to show off your planned harmonies? This is such a great painting. Minor detail: Lang's completed painting shown below uses the same triad, but gives over most of the space to the warm yellow, and the blue green is more "teal" and is just an accent.

Here I've isolated the lightness/darkness patterns to illustrate the development of structure. I've also isolated the hue/chroma patterns as well to illustrate the structure they give. Lang's painting I see as having roughly the same pattern/groupings as your pattern/groupings. Where they differ I think is in Lang's development of chroma (colourfullness) from rich to dull - a little hard to see in the hue/chroma thumbnail when it's separated from the lightness/darkness.

So I feel you've got everything there but may need to consider further developing the light/dark structures above the towers/walls as well as introducing the missing element of structure based on changes in chroma, and subtle to strong variations in brush strokes which would deliver the aforementioned structures of light/dark and colourful/dull as well as thin (transparent) / thicker (opaque) variations which would support a more structured approach in the broad application of the initial abstract background - all of which would showcase your well-chosen triad, paints and design a little more.

It is always amazing to me that a little change in approach can take roughly the same application and make it sing. I feel you are firmly on the right track. Keep practicing!

I hope this helps. It's certainly a work in progress for my painting - I know these things, but need far more practice. When to stop for a particular painting, when is the painting finished? Who knows? I think this is a question all painters ask themselves. Cheers!
ps Mr Lang's finished painting is here, if you'd like to see it - it's an abstract but still illustrative of organizing colour contrasts of hue, value and chroma into artistically arresting structures supporting the painter's vision:
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/-breach--michael-lang.html
I can totally see a stormy sky in his abstraction, and it's also reminiscent for me of Turner's Hannibal Crossing the Alps (and a lot of other late Turners, too).

KolinskyRed
11-12-2015, 04:17 PM
And here on the right, in a possible exploration, is the colourfullness a little more developed, and the backgrounds swapped around.... just one of many possible ways to explore the painting. Cheers!

Mark Szymanski
11-12-2015, 04:53 PM
KolinskyRed you've done a great job explaining and giving examples to your critique. The ideas are very powerful and are something which helps to give direction to travel without forcing any particular path. Really nice crit.

Bodhi Peace
11-12-2015, 05:24 PM
KolinskyRed you've done a great job explaining and giving examples to your critique. The ideas are very powerful and are something which helps to give direction to travel without forcing any particular path. Really nice crit.

agree. also to say i like the sky in the first one.

shawsy123
11-13-2015, 04:50 AM
And here on the right, in a possible exploration, is the colourfullness a little more developed, and the backgrounds swapped around.... just one of many possible ways to explore the painting. Cheers!
Hi KolinskyRed! Thank you, thank you for your wonderful feedback. I really wasn't expecting such an in depth critique. You raised some great points which I fully appreciate. Some great ideas to explore which I am really looking forward to using in the future.