View Full Version : Please critique my first painting

10-02-2000, 09:47 AM
I've been reading this forum for a couple of months now, but this is my first post. I am naturally scared of criticism, but I feel I really need someone to point me in the right direction as I obviously need help :-)

This is my first full page watercolor (or any medium for that matter). Up to now, I've just been practicing a building, tree, whatever - not a full page. I used cheap Strathmore paper (9 X 12) and these colors: Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine, and Cupric Green.

I know this painting is really awful but is there any way to make it look decent ? I tried putting in shadows but everything seemed to muddy up. By the way, the source for the sunflower painting was from a painting in a manufacturer's watercolor paints pamphlet.

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/Sunflower.jpg" border=0>

Thanks !!!


[This message has been edited by Tycho-Brahe (edited October 02, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Tycho-Brahe (edited October 02, 2000).]

10-02-2000, 03:34 PM
Hello Eric

Boy....I remember my first watercolor...and it sure didn't look like yours!!! I think you did a great job for your first time. Good for you..taking the leap of getting your painting critiqued.

I think it is fresh...and you are on the road for learning watercolor!!

Are you taking a class??? or working out of a book???? That may help in your endeavors. Most of all...practice, practice, practice. Go to your library if you aren't taking a class and check out some books on watercolor. They will help you get started until you find out your own style.

The painting itself----I think the only minor flaw here is there aren't enough value changes. (Value is the lightness or darkness of a color) Think of the grey scale going from black to white...and all the greys in between. Try and get at least three. Most often White or your yellows could serve as the lightest value....then you could put orange or a darker yellow over for shadows (or even purple!! yellow's opposite!!)...and then put some very dark areas (maybe in the middles of the flower) for the darkest value.

Value studies are also good for a beginner...doing a complete painting in one color. Try this painting again with just one color--you pick!!! You, after all, ARE the artist!!

Good luck..and KEEP PAINTING!!!

Have a great day!!


10-02-2000, 06:48 PM

Congratulations on posting your first, I'm sure it won't be your last.

I did exactly the same thing, visited the site for a month or two before I got the courage to register and post something.

My first attempt is further down this page, I personally think you have done a very good job with your first attempt.

I agree with Nancymae's advice about value changes. I had similar comments on mine, must be something we beginners all do.

I have learned so much here, not just by posting my work, but by reading the good advice given on other peoples work.

Good Luck, and keep painting and posting.

Karen http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

10-02-2000, 09:16 PM
Eric...Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting!! My hat is off to you, with this "first" watercolor. It is fresh, loose and airy - and with just a bit more contrasts as have been suggested.. a Done Deal! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
My first was so durn tight - think the whole thing was done using a brush with 4 hairs.
I like your emerging style... practice lots and keep posting..

10-03-2000, 11:00 AM
Sure looks better than my beginnings. As mentioned it needs some value contrast. I have a piece of red plastic through which I look at my paintings - it turns everything to grey scale so I can see the values. Some people can see this without help but it sure is an aid I need. Thanks for posting and we'll look for more http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

10-04-2000, 09:04 AM
This painting is not "awful" at ALL! It is loose, and has a genuine "arty" feel to it.
You have innately achieved some results with watercolor that I slave at! ...by this, I mean, your relaxed use of "soft focus" areas, and yet, touches of sharp edges. Also, your judicious use of small areas of very darks, and lights. All of these things make a painting not just ordinary, but great. Keep painting!!!! (and posting!)

10-05-2000, 04:36 AM
Hey Eric, Its Bright ,its fresh and so what if its your first. It looks good.
OK there are things to be done, the first of which is to be proud man.Keep at we know you will succeed. Have fun painting.

10-07-2000, 02:11 AM
Eric, I tend to work very tight in watercolor, and I admire your loose brush. I think this is a fine first effort.


10-10-2000, 09:05 AM
I just wanted to thank everyone here for their comments and suggestions http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Everyone here is so nice. I really appreciate it.

I did the painting over (trying to add more value contrast) and it came out pretty good - but it never comes out as well as I would like. Just got some good paper (Fabrino Uno Soft Press instead of student Strathmore) for a change and am now adapting to it !

Thanks !


10-10-2000, 11:24 AM
Great Eric!! We'd love to see your revised painting!! That is a good idea to use a better paper, the watercolor flows so much better on artist quality paper. I use my student grade for outdoor sketches or value studies.

Good luck...and keep a paintin!!!