View Full Version : Sunset and waves

11-30-2015, 04:42 PM

Title: Sunset and waves
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 30 x 40 inches
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

I am practicing sunsets and waves. This piece challenged me but I enjoyed the process. The reeds in the forefront need work.

I am open to suggestions on how to adjust color, soften the composition, adjust perspective so that the reeds flow with the sunset somehow.

I want suggestions on the depth. What do I need to do to suggest more depth into the sunset?

Other suggestions are welcomed too regarding color and value.

Bodhi Peace
11-30-2015, 06:43 PM
I don't understand what the marks are above and to the right of the sun.
And I think one of the problems you might have is that there are two sizes of reed with no intermediaries.
I think you might have pulled off the reed-creating-a-tunnel effect better in the center of the picture.

11-30-2015, 06:49 PM
The way you have placed the reeds strongly direct the viewers eye toward the sun. My eye tends to be drawn toward the sun area and doesn't travel throughout the painting to explore the rest. I believe this is because you have so many leading lines (in the form of the reeds) that draw your eye in this direction. In my opinion, the clump of reeds that intersect just to the left of the sun draw too much attention.

The biggest thing I can't figure out is: What are the dark colored lines (same color as the reeds) that are protruding out from the top/side of the sun? They look very bizarre. If you intended for these to be reeds, there needs to be a stem that extends downward toward the ground.

You have an outline around your sun, particularly noticeable on the upper part. Maybe consider removing this if you want the sun to look more realistic.

For depth, consider defining some clouds in the sky and making some appear nearer and others farther away. This will create the illusion of depth in your sky.

Overall you have created a nice, peaceful seascape. Nice work. :)

11-30-2015, 06:53 PM
Just thought I would also mention that I would move the large reed on the right farther to the right and close to the right edge of the painting to help balance out the larger area of attraction that you have created by the sun and reed on the left-hand side.

12-01-2015, 07:23 PM
Thank you all for your feedback. The line above the sun was a reed that I moved left of center. I have to paint that out of the picture, that was my plan. I will take your advice about moving the reed to the right, and also be sure to ground the reeds better. Let me experiment some more and re post in the future to get more feedback. It was a great challenge for me.

Bodhi Peace
12-01-2015, 09:10 PM
yes it is often difficult to know all the challenges that go on behind the scenes

12-01-2015, 09:10 PM
I am admiring your work. My favorite subject and you have done a smashing job.
My only suggestion is, a larger sky next time--there is so much color change in the sky at sunrise and sunset, that no canvas is big enough IMHO!!

12-02-2015, 09:12 AM
Re depth:
The best and simplest way to achieve depth imho is by designing perspective into the clouds; this means use of converging diagonal lines. Think of the lines you see in "how-to" diagrams demonstrating the use of vanishing points in two- and three-point perspective. Of course the "lines" in painted clouds are not drawn with a ruler, but subtly used to arrange the clouds in a manner to suggest a vanishing point. For a clue as to how this works in reality, watch a cloudy sky at sunset; the clouds often show the kind of arrangement I am trying to describe.

12-02-2015, 07:56 PM
Thanks, I get what you are telling me about the vanishing point. My reference picture does have clouds around the sun that would suggest this. I get stuck painting the lights and darks in clouds and often end up with too similar colors - like painter analysis paralysis. I am going to work on the clouds that would suggest a vanishing point and repost in the future.

Regarding the horizon, it is fuzzier in the posted picture than the painting itself. It could use some fine tuning and I will work on that too.

All this feedback really helps me think about painter problem solving while I am in the process. Thanks so much!!!!