View Full Version : Mighty Brook

04-22-2018, 08:47 AM
Hi this is acrylic ink and tube 11x14 . Crits welcome. Trying to learn how to improvise landscapes.




04-22-2018, 01:03 PM
It may just be my poor eyesight or my monitor but I'm not seeing water. Not sure if those are rocks? I do love the foliage in the upper portion---well done. Keep up the good work.

Katie Black
04-22-2018, 04:27 PM
Apart from the small bit of water that we can see pouring down onto the stones, the rest of it isn't 'reading' as water IMHO, so I think you might want to add something there.

What I particularly like though is the strength of colour in these...they really are lovely.

04-23-2018, 06:45 AM
Thanks Cem and Katie. Ill do something about the water. I was hoping it looked like only the lower halfs of the rocks are submerged but its not reading that way. The waterfall was inspired by this reference. (I did change the rock shapes and positions) There isnt a lot of water which was weird given all the rocks. It looks like this should be a raging river, so the oxymoronic title Might Brook is sort of a joke. :)


Charlie's Mum
04-23-2018, 10:35 AM
I actually like the first detail (with the waterfall) better than the big work!
The composition works there and the focal point is the water - in the large version the water gets lost and the rocks are rather too repetitive (just my opinion mind!):)
What I do like about your recent works is the experimentation in using the materials - and many of the results!:)

04-23-2018, 10:45 AM
I see now where you were going with this. Perhaps some touches of light on the water would bring it out more. Maybe greenery on the sides instead of the rocks going up?

Katie Black
04-23-2018, 12:21 PM
Now you have posted the reference it makes it clearer as so what you were going for. Looking forward to seeing the final version.

04-23-2018, 12:38 PM
The rocks seem to dominate the scene right now.
I used to do paintings with repeated swooped in the far hill/mountains/background and in the foreground too (land/stream bed ) till it was pointed out to me.. repetitive & not natural..and when stacked on top of each other even more noticeable...

Think about where your focal area is and make it the star..
helpful tips in my siggy

04-23-2018, 12:48 PM
Things I like about this the lacy foliage in the upper part, the purple under painting there also.

The water is a little lost and lonely, and as pointed out the rocks need more variations, in shape, placement and colors.

Many of the rocks in the inspiration are almost rectangular, some boxy, yours looked mostly like mushrooms, which would be cool if you are going for a more fantastical imaginary place.

All in all an excellent start, keep going and post your updates!:thumbsup:

04-23-2018, 06:12 PM
Improvised landscape: a capriccio. Can pose a lot of challenges, but the most satisfying to paint, in my opinion. Good for you for taking a shot at it.

I think the top half of the painting is very well done. Perhaps the sky could do with a gradient or cloud structure, darker at the top and fading to near white at the bottom. A small bright patch in the apex of the sky would attract the eye.

The composition overall could be stronger. As it is now, there are parallel lines in the painting, resulting in chevrons pointing downward. Hope you don't mind my taking the liberty to illustrate my point.


A stronger composition, in my opinion, would include opposing triangles and a sinuous path toward the focal point where the hills converges. It might look like something like this. I noticed, after posting this, that there are some rocks at the lower edge on the right side that would also start a nice sinuous path. A way to accomplish the sinuous path would be to de-emphasize the rocks that are not part of it - reduce their contrast with the surroundings.


The composition could be made stronger by moving the focal point out of the horizontal center of the painting. It could slide nearer the sweet spot located one-third of the distance away from the right edge of the painting. The lines of the painting could be adjusted to direct the eye to the focal point. The heavy lines are the main path into the painting. The thinner line is a secondary path into the painting.

Again I noticed something after uploading the image (slaps forehead). The last switchback is right in the center of the painting. It should probably slide to the left.

For what it's worth, that's how I would set up the painting if I were doing it today. I realize this pretty much eliminates the waterfall as a focal point, but it's really not where the eye goes as the painting is now.

If you want to emphasize the waterfall, it would be a whole different ball game.


04-23-2018, 07:12 PM
Thanks Maureen, Michelle, Katie, JMW, Dianna, and Cliff for the awesome advice. I did go a little ocd on the mushroom rocks. I changed the color to match the bluer hills in the background and made them more rectangular and solid. I took out the rocks in the wings and added a tree. Sorry Cliff I was revising while you were posting. Love the idea of relocating the skyline to change the point where the hills cross! That will be an easy change. Here's the current state with a detail of the new tree. I figure a tree near a brook will communicate water too. The roots are growing toward the water. I added highlights in the water as you suggested too. I put some suggestions of moss on the rocks to make them look like they live in water. Thanks again!



04-24-2018, 10:16 AM
That looks much better.

04-24-2018, 12:44 PM
Those rocks look so much nicer..and inviting..

Katie Black
04-24-2018, 07:00 PM
I agree that the rocks work really well and I like the tree.