View Full Version : One Steo At A Time... Critique please!

11-16-2015, 09:23 PM

Title: One Steo At A Time... Critique please!
Year Created:
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 36x24
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Description of this painting is in the open critique forum.

Any critique is welcome! I am new to painting!

11-17-2015, 07:28 AM
Well, it seems to me all points to the center white cloud... And that is not a very interesting subject...
the blue spaces form arrow type shape pointing to the center, the road to the center, the mountain peak to the center, and there is nothing there? Maybe consider adding there a subject such as a Person standing, a house, a tree, or a flower, or light form the sunset...

It certainly looks like a slope up to me...

11-17-2015, 10:59 AM
Hi, thank you for replying! You're right, I thought that it needed something too but I was trying to imply that the climb up leads to brighter days and that you don't know what lies ahead. A sunset is a good suggestion, looking at it now, perhaps I could have made the bottom of the hill a little more dark and dreary, or added some mist at the edges? Feedback definitely helps, as I have a lot to learn! Thanks again!

11-17-2015, 12:41 PM
Beautiful sky. The addition of a sunset/sunrise would really tell your story. I would like to see a figure taking that "One step at a time."

11-17-2015, 01:37 PM
Hi Angela09, I like your concept. Perhaps experimenting with the overall lightness/darkness pattern of the three big shapes: sky, hill, path. Here's a black and white gray scale of some changes to these large patterns.

Besides producing contrasts of interest, the top line/edge across the hill meets sky is diffuse/unclear now on the left, and progresses to crisper on the right, also promoting eye movement. The trail I've narrowed to possibly help the perspective issue....

11-17-2015, 01:40 PM
... and these changes in full colour.

Hope this may add some fuel for thought....


11-17-2015, 09:41 PM
I can imagine a lovely tree off center a bit on top of the hill..
It just seems it needs something else and some thing upright..perhaps the path could be curving around the tree?

11-17-2015, 11:24 PM
Thank you everyone for your feedback! So many good suggestions! Thank you KolinskyRed for taking the time to show me an example of the changes.. I really like the idea of playing with the contrast, it looks great! Unfortunately I have already given this piece to the Centre, I had varnished it before receiving a response so I delivered it.
I like your suggestions as well Wassie and tj84, a lone tree beside the path would look good!
All of your ideas are eye opening for me and will help me develop my skills for my next paintings!!
I love this site already! It's so nice to have some help and different opinions!!
Thanks again to all!

11-21-2015, 11:38 AM
I actually like the empty feel of the painting.
It gives me the feeling of expectant nothingness, which is something I enjoy in this painting.
Sort of a metaphor for life. I can imagine walking down the path into nothing and expecting nothing. Maybe even falling off the edge of the world. Good earth tones.
Nice work, thanks for sharing.

11-22-2015, 04:10 PM
I actually like the empty feel of the painting.
It gives me the feeling of expectant nothingness, which is something I enjoy in this painting.
Sort of a metaphor for life. I can imagine walking down the path into nothing and expecting nothing. Maybe even falling off the edge of the world. Good earth tones.
Nice work, thanks for sharing.

I like your post.

11-22-2015, 04:48 PM
I agree with Random_Sample. There's something about the "empty" feeling of being at the top of the hill, that feeling of a universe larger than one's self, and I just wonder...what's on the other size? When I first looked at the painting, there wasn't much I would have changed. However, I agree with regard to the contrast because the tonal values are so similar. But, the changed image looks a bit dull to me. I might have liked to see the lower part of the hill to be darker, with the bottom cloud area light, and the top cloud area more bold in contrast and color. The hill is a bit more round than I may have liked, but not so sure I would have changed that. It definitely has a zen feel to it, particularly because of the size.

11-30-2015, 10:26 PM
Thank you for your replies Random-Sample and Laurelwood!
When I first considered my painting finished, I left it on the easel for a few days and every time I walked by it I had a different feeling from it. Sometimes I would stop and think that it needed something, then the next time I would think that it was exactly as I wanted it to be with the unknown future at the top. I agree though that the bottom of the hill could have been darker as it would have made the climb more enticing. Overall though I was happy with it, it's wonderful to be able to come to this site and learn from others!

12-01-2015, 10:32 AM
I think what is there is really well done. The addition I would like to see is variety of hue, like some oranges, reds, lavenders or periwinkle blue... some more variety in the colors of the woods. The variety of tints and tones in the clouds is very good. Of course, it's harder to do with trees, but trees vary not only in size and shape, but also in color from blue spruce to red maple.

Bodhi Peace
12-01-2015, 01:40 PM
I remember this one! I just came back, but the title didn't stick with me. I think I associate the title with discrete steps, like stepping stones, but this is a continuous path. I also wonder if the typo actually got you more viewers... clever! The title suggests something more symbolic for me, like taking the next step in your life. The themes that I would call up in the title are "open sky", "path over the hill", "into the unknown air".

I agree, even though you have the idea of a blank slate, the image needs "something", like a tree or cloud shape. I like the idea of a lone tree off to the side, maybe in the distance. You have to be careful about what type of tree though! This seems like a fantasy land to me, with a non-specific grass, so I would imagine a weeping willow or puffy live oak tree might do well. Did you have a specific grass type in mind?

Also the central cloud has turned this into something very symmetrical. It would be nice if it was offset to the right by just a slightly different amount than the tree was offset to the left. I think it was beneficial that the top of the hill landed just below the halfway mark, making it less symmetrical.

Almost forgot to say it stands very strong as is and the idea and image really resonate with me... :clap:

12-10-2015, 12:16 AM
Thank you Bodhi Peace! I never noticed the typo until you mentioned it. It wasn't intentional, it was my lack of glasses when I posted! Funny! Thank you for your reply, it's great to hear suggestions, I'm learning :)

12-10-2015, 06:05 PM
The sky is excellent, creating a very pronounced effect of angry motion. But the land is not quite in tune with that. I digitally edited the land, by lowering the chroma, changing the hue just a little, and increasing its contrast just a little. This could probably be done in acrylics (or oils) with a transparent wash or two. I did not add or subtract any details.