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View Full Version : Field & Path at Sunset (ala BR)


Big_Lew
08-07-2016, 07:48 PM
MY IMAGE(S):
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/upload_spool/08-07-2016/1985141_10_Field___Path_at_Sunset_08-07-2016_MR.jpg


GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: Field & Path at Sunset (ala BR)
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 16 by 20
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
I think this one shows still more improvement on my BR style grass, bushes, and trees. Color & value choices better, too.

Things I like: Much better grass (brush technique) than any of my prevous efforts. Same for the trees. Sky is pretty effective. Clouds are OK - they don't bother me but I think they could be better (reddish/pink cloud bases?). MUCH better use of color (cohesive, realistic palette) and values. I really took my time mixing these colors.

Things I DON'T like: Background trees kinda flat. Need more, different colors/values there. Tree shapes not interesting. Poor perspective for the path... should widen as it comes toward us.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
Any & all C & C welcome!

Big_Lew
08-07-2016, 09:47 PM
Looking further at this one, I've ID'd the real problem with the mid-ground trees: Are they coniferous (pines), or deciduous (leaf) trees? They're SHAPED like pines (conical), but painted like maples, or oaks, or elms...

As clumsy as they are, the foreground trees on the right AREN'T conical, and so look MORE like leaf trees.

DOH!!!!!!

Lesson LEARNED!

PS - When appropriate, I always accept the default "2016" as the creation year, yet the field always shows up blank!

Why is this?

Big Lew

Moving On
08-07-2016, 09:57 PM
I like the overall colors and the grass. :clap:
What did you do to improve your brush technique? (Painting grass is not my strong point).
I'm just starting, so take it for what it's worth, but next time, I would suggest curving your path more. I think that might help with the perspective.

Happy Painting!

Big_Lew
08-07-2016, 11:01 PM
I like the overall colors and the grass.

What did you do to improve your brush technique? (Painting grass is not my strong point).

I'm just starting, so take it for what it's worth, but next time, I would suggest curving your path more. I think that might help with the perspective.

Happy Painting!
I know about the path... I get so caught up in brush technique and color mixing that I forget about composition! Plus, to a certain extent, I'm making it up as I go, so instead of having a well-thought-out plan for my composition I'm free to display my lack of skill there! :angel:

Glad you asked about the grass!

A few things I've concentrated on:

1) Make the dark underpainting as thin and dry as possible. Tapping lighter highlights onto dark, blobby wet underpainting is REALLY hard to do. If your darks are a minimum of paint, very thinly applied, you'll have better luck.

2) Make sure the paint you use for the highlights is more buttery (thinner). Don't be confused by the "fat over lean" paradigm - personally, I find that choice of words to be counterintuitive. In that context, "fat" actually means THINNER - the "fat" having MORE thinner or medium added so it's actually a "thinner" consistency, and "lean" actually means thicker, more viscous, with little or no medium or thinner added.

3) Load your brush properly. Use a LOT of paint for your highlights. I HATE using too much paint, I can't afford it! But if you only have a little of your highlight color on your brush, you're only going to mix it with the darker-colored shadow color and create mud.

4) When applying highlights, be gentle and sparing with your brush. Whatever your amount and viscosity of underpainting, if you repeatedly and firmly jab in the same area you will mix the highlight color with the base color and remove small details. You'll make mud. Tap lightly, and move around. Don't overwork one area.

5) Vary your colors and values. Leave darker spaces, and don't make everything the same color. Think about where the light is coming from, and mix in white or yellow to your grass color in the appropriate areas to create highlights from lighter values of your grass colors.

Two MORE important things:

6) Don't get discouraged, KEEP PRACTICING. I had a 16" x 20" canvas that I painted on, scraped off completely, and then wiped with OMS - THREE TIMES practicing my BR-style grass, bushes, and trees.

7) Try to be honest and objective when looking at your own paintings: "WHAT didn't I do as well as I wanted to?" Then be logical: "How can I improve that particular shortcoming?"

Peace,

Big Lew

Moving On
08-07-2016, 11:43 PM
No wonder I've been having so much trouble with the grass. I've been doing it all wrong.:eek: Thanks for the explanation!

Big_Lew
08-08-2016, 12:06 AM
4) When applying highlights, be gentle and sparing with your brush. Whatever your amount and viscosity of underpainting, if you repeatedly and firmly jab in the same area you will mix the highlight color with the base color and remove small details. You'll make mud. Tap lightly, and move around. Don't overwork one area.

Also, reload your brush often - even wipe it off on some paper towels (or whatever) if necessary. You WILL pick up some of the shadow color, a little might be OK but mostly you want to get rid of it. Start highlighting at the TOPS of trees, moving downwards. Allow the highlight color to gradually and slightly darken as you get closer to the ground.

Peace,

Big Lew

Big_Lew
08-08-2016, 12:09 AM
No wonder I've been having so much trouble with the grass. I've been doing it all wrong.:eek: Thanks for the explanation!

My pleasure! I am STILL wresting with this aspect of the BR technique, but I've made some progress recently and I'm more than happy to be able to share what I've learned!

Peace,

Big Lew

kin3
08-08-2016, 12:22 PM
Remember what BR said, "don't kill all the dark's".

I would make the path about 1/3 length of painting measured at the bottom and let it recede into the background.

(I'm not a good communicator)

Big_Lew
08-08-2016, 12:42 PM
No wonder I've been having so much trouble with the grass. I've been doing it all wrong.:eek: Thanks for the explanation!
I wrestled with BR style grass, bushes, and trees for almost a month. I still have a lot to learn, especially about oil painting in general, but at least I understand the basic BR brush techniques for g, b, & t now. I hope my experiences help you on your path.

Peace,

Big Lew :wave:

La_
08-08-2016, 12:42 PM
The principle of painting 'fat over lean' is one of the fundamental concepts of oil painting and one to follow to reduce the risk an oil painting cracking. 'Fat over lean' has got to do with the varying drying times of oil pigments (which can vary from a couple of days to a fortnight) and ensuring that upper layers of paint don't dry faster than lower ones.

'Fat' oil paint is oil paint straight from the tube. Mixing it with an oil makes it even 'fatter' and increases the length of time it takes to dry completely (even though it may feel dry to the touch, it will still be drying under the surface). 'Lean' oil paint is oil paint mixed with more turpentine (white spirit) than oil, or oil paint mixed with a fast-drying oil. 'Lean' oil paint dries faster than 'fat' oil paint.

If 'lean' is painted over 'fat', it will dry first, making the 'lean' layer of paint vulnerable to contraction (shrinking) and cracking when the 'fat' layer dries underneath it.

~ google

la

Big_Lew
08-08-2016, 12:47 PM
Remember what BR said, "don't kill all the dark's".

I would make the path about 1/3 length of painting measured at the bottom and let it recede into the background.

(I'm not a good communicator)

Yeah, I hear ya. One thing I'm going to start working on more is composition. So far, I just watch BR paint and try to copy. (I have my laptop set up in my studio so I can pause, rewind, and fast-forward while I'm painting.) I want to start spending more time planning out my paintings. I bought some soft willow charcoals, I may even start doing a little sketching on the canvas before I start painting. At LEAST I'm going to sketch out the composition on paper before I start, so I have an idea where I'm going.

Peace,

Big Lew

~JMW~
08-08-2016, 12:56 PM
For comp & design - even tho doing BR style, I think you can use paint to loosely block in the main objects. Bob had many years experience and worked out paintings before the show /recording so even he wasn't painting spur of the moment...he had them off to the side so he could refer to them..
Or sketch it on a separate paper and refer to it - that give you a rough guide before starting to paint..

You can slightly blue the far trees to create atmosphere & distance.. some painting things Bob didn't really talk about very much..
My siggy has some helpful info links that will help fill the gaps..

Big_Lew
08-08-2016, 12:57 PM
The principle of painting 'fat over lean' is one of the fundamental concepts of oil painting and one to follow to reduce the risk an oil painting cracking. 'Fat over lean' has got to do with the varying drying times of oil pigments (which can vary from a couple of days to a fortnight) and ensuring that upper layers of paint don't dry faster than lower ones.

'Fat' oil paint is oil paint straight from the tube. Mixing it with an oil makes it even 'fatter' and increases the length of time it takes to dry completely (even though it may feel dry to the touch, it will still be drying under the surface). 'Lean' oil paint is oil paint mixed with more turpentine (white spirit) than oil, or oil paint mixed with a fast-drying oil. 'Lean' oil paint dries faster than 'fat' oil paint.

If 'lean' is painted over 'fat', it will dry first, making the 'lean' layer of paint vulnerable to contraction (shrinking) and cracking when the 'fat' layer dries underneath it.

~ google

la

Now I'm even MORE confused!


Fat over lean

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fat over lean refers to the principle in oil painting of applying paint with a higher oil to pigment ratio ('fat') over paint with a lower oil to pigment ratio ('lean') to ensure a stable paint film, since it is believed that the paint with the higher oil content remains more flexible.


Then there's this thread from right here on WC: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=283705

I though "LEAN" paint was straight from the tube, and "FAT" paint had medium added? Don't want to start an argument, I just want to make sure I've got this right...

No offense intended, La. I really appreciate all your helpful posts, I'm just confused now!

Peace,

Big Lew

~JMW~
08-08-2016, 01:07 PM
A few things - like front trees lining up with the back trees (confusing to viewer unless a distinct color or overlap change)
trees leaning /curving away from center or pointing off to sides/out of painting
Visual path (real or imagined) often the best is curved from lower edge then around to lead us to the back . could be path, water etc
I donít' know if at this stage now , could you make the path wider & curved from the left side?

I use acrylics so you can just paint right over to adjust things, but not sure on oils..

Big_Lew
08-08-2016, 01:35 PM
For comp & design - even tho doing BR style, I think you can use paint to loosely block in the main objects. Bob had many years experience and worked out paintings before the show /recording so even he wasn't painting spur of the moment...he had them off to the side so he could refer to them..
Or sketch it on a separate paper and refer to it - that give you a rough guide before starting to paint..

You can slightly blue the far trees to create atmosphere & distance.. some painting things Bob didn't really talk about very much..
My siggy has some helpful info links that will help fill the gaps..

I agree 100%. I knew BR had a completed painting off to the side that he referred to. I do a screen cap of the completed painting and print it out, for a guide. Of course, it helps if I actually REFER to it while painting! I still get to caught up in trying to master the brush techniques that I often lose sight of everything else. That's one of the reasons I like keeping my old paintings around: "Don't do THAT again!"

Peace,

Big Lew

Big_Lew
08-08-2016, 01:37 PM
A few things - like front trees lining up with the back trees (confusing to viewer unless a distinct color or overlap change)
trees leaning /curving away from center or pointing off to sides/out of painting
Visual path (real or imagined) often the best is curved from lower edge then around to lead us to the back . could be path, water etc
I donít' know if at this stage now , could you make the path wider & curved from the left side?

I use acrylics so you can just paint right over to adjust things, but not sure on oils..

I'd prefer to leave this one alone. I'm not concerned with saving a painting as much as I am with documenting both my progress and my mistakes.

I'll check out the links in your sig... thanks for the tips!

Peace,

Big Lew

La_
08-08-2016, 02:01 PM
the bottom line of fat/lean
don't overcomplicate it, it's logic when you think about it
write it down, post it in your studio:
Lean = less oil in the mix
Fat = more oil in the mix.

You can start with a lean mix, and then later on add a fatter layer.
Never start fat and end lean.

I don't use added mediums so I think of it more:
Lean = more thinners in the mix
Fat = no thinners in the mix

there's variables in oil paints naturally - alizarin crimson, for example, is a naturally thin oil paint (it's runnier, more transparent, but still very strong in color/stain). i digress.

honestly, you don't have to worry this much right now because you're so new at painting. just paint. work on composition, values, color mixing, figuring out what brush does what, figure out warm and cool colors and their purposes and compliments - right now that's all way more important than fat/lean.

la

Now I'm even MORE confused!



Then there's this thread from right here on WC: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=283705

I though "LEAN" paint was straight from the tube, and "FAT" paint had medium added? Don't want to start an argument, I just want to make sure I've got this right...

No offense intended, La. I really appreciate all your helpful posts, I'm just confused now!

Peace,

Big Lew

Big_Lew
08-08-2016, 02:40 PM
La - Thanks for setting me straight, it all makes sense now.

Peace,

Big Lew

Tom Brown
08-08-2016, 08:25 PM
Just putting this out there, don't hate me, but WHY would you want to paint like BR? Why not study Vermeer?

Big_Lew
08-08-2016, 08:49 PM
Just putting this out there, don't hate me, but WHY would you want to paint like BR? Why not study Vermeer?

Vermeer? Nah... Not my cup of tea. My favorites are the Impressionists, especially Monet.

And for the record: I don't want to, in the long run, "paint like BR".

For now though, there are several factors that make starting out BR-style attractive for me.

First and foremost it's the convenience. I have my laptop set up in my studio, so I can put on a BR episode, pause, rewind, and fast forward whenever I want. This has been ENORMOUSLY helpful to me so far.

Another important factor for me (just being honest here) is the instant gratification. While I'm under no illusions about the quality of my recent efforts here, they are FAR more pleasing to me than the junk I struggled to create when I first took up oil painting over 10 years ago. I actually quit for 8 years after becoming very frustrated.

Also, I really like landscapes. I don't know why, but at this very early point in my painting development things like still lifes & portraits just don't interest me. Landscape painting motivates me, and being a dumb rookie who knows next to nothing I figure that's very valuable to me now.

My goal is to start learning about all the important things, like composition, color mixing, the use of value, brush & knife technique, etc. from BR, and eventually find my own voice. I'd really like to get into plein-air, alla-prima painting. Someday soon...

For those reason, at this time BR seems like a very good starting point for me personally. It's working for me so far!

Tom, no hate at all here... I appreciate everyone's comments and views, and I hope you better understand my motivations and goals now vis BR style painting.

Peace,

Big Lew

northcanadian
08-09-2016, 06:11 PM
often the old trick of squinting one's eyes helps an artist to find the values

Big_Lew
08-09-2016, 06:18 PM
often the old trick of squinting one's eyes helps an artist to find the values

Thanks north... GREAT suggestion. Never tried it before, just did. I can see where it'll be VERY helpful!

Peace,

Big Lew