View Full Version : Harpist

12-09-2003, 09:20 AM


Title: Harpist
Year Created: 2003
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Paper
Dimension: 35x45cm
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Recently started using acrylics. Not sure about this painting. It is awfully romantic in my view, but am not sure if and how I should change that.

Do you find it too sweet? How can I improve it? It is not finished but would love your comments at this stage. More detail? More bold brushwork?

12-09-2003, 09:30 AM
definitely not too sweet...
the lighting adds a nice mood
love the hands and overall comp & colors
I do not have suggestions for improvement
as I like this as is...

nice work!

12-09-2003, 09:32 AM
ooh, you're fast! Thanks Giniaad!

12-09-2003, 10:05 AM
Soap - the relative "sweetness" is a highly subjective decision, actually. What is sweet to one viewer, is not to another, so do not worry too much about that. Just paint what moves you.

Otherwise..........where do you want the viewer to look? At the hands would be my guess, and perhaps also at the face, to get some sense of the dynamic tension between the concentration on her face, and her eyes fixed on what her hands are doing.

Well, at the moment, the strongest area of contrast in the picture, the one which draws our attention first and foremost, is her sleeve!!! NOT where you want the viewer to zoom in, I would imagine even tho it is a lovely echoing curve with the harp.

I know there is a lot of contrast between her right hand, and the background ... but because this is a much smaller area than the sleeve area, we are forced to see the sleeve as more important.

Perhaps you could look at how to make the sleeve subordinate instead of important.

12-09-2003, 10:13 AM
Thanks Jackie for your repsonse....:)
You make some very good points here.....
but I don't have a clue how to make the sleeve less important...:(
But then again, it might help create an interesting circle for the eye, jumping from the left hand, the sleeve, the face, the right hand. If I'd make the sleeve darker, the painting would loose most of its light. So......so far I think I am going to keep it....
I appreciate your comments very much, Jackie, as I hope you know.

pero lane
12-09-2003, 11:15 AM
Beautiful as is!!:clap: Looks like an angel...not too sweet at all, and what's wrong with a little romance anyway!:)

12-09-2003, 11:33 AM
I like the moody feel and the painterly approach. I think it's good as is.

12-09-2003, 12:07 PM
Nice one Soap!! Definite mood & lovliness to this! :)

12-09-2003, 12:26 PM
i think the darkness
takes the sweetness
out of it. if the b/g
were pink and purple
pastels i would see
where your coming from,
but all that dark really
sets a tone. i like this
a lot.......

Wayne Gaudon
12-09-2003, 01:55 PM
wow, this is very beautiful.

My only observation is that the hand furthest from the view is larger than the foremost hand ??

12-09-2003, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by soap
Thanks Jackie for your repsonse....:)
You make some very good points here.....
but I don't have a clue how to make the sleeve less important...:(

If you change your mind, and decide to try it.... all you need to do is reduce the VERY high contrast between the almost-white sleeve, and the darkness between the arm and the harp. If you made the sleeve slightly darker, instead of bright white, that would help immediately.

Then, you could add just a tad of light to her head, and a bit more light to her hands. Where flesh meets flesh, it warms up a lot - so where fingers meet other fingers, a touch of red will do wonders.


12-09-2003, 03:33 PM
For my taste this painting is too dark. I suggest you consider the following: If a person was passing this painting would he be grabbed...or would he ignore it since it is so dark.

You painted it with skill and the layout is fine...but if it were mine I would lighten the area of the harpist and the harp and let the reminder fade off into the darkness.


12-09-2003, 03:56 PM
anything as beautiful as the painting shows, anyone would love to be at the recital, she is playing her heart out. the expression is wonderfully captured. art captures so much more than a 1,000 photographs could convey. fantastic art on your web site. bill

12-09-2003, 08:28 PM
I like the second crop better. No not swwet at all ..:) Ordie said, I think the dark adds to a more moody look. And is it me or if the light hit the hair a bit more we could really know where the light was comeing from

12-10-2003, 04:08 AM
Thanks all for your great replies. I think I might just set this one aside for a while and look at it later, bearing in mind all your advice.
Bill, thanks for taking a look at my site. Most appreciated. :D

12-10-2003, 12:13 PM
ok, ok, so I did not put it away (not for long at least :D :D), made some changes. Made the furthest hand smaller (thanks Wayne) and toned the sleeve down (thanks Jackie). Tried to make a better scan as well.


Hope you like it. It's growing on me ;)

12-11-2003, 04:21 AM
Here's a detail:

Do you find the painting too dark? (it's the comment I have been receiving)
Thanks for looking.

Wayne Gaudon
12-11-2003, 07:13 AM
:D .. you are welcome .. I think the wrist on the back hand should be in the shade to play down the hand rather that punch it. A few stings in front of the hand to make the hand behind the strings .. looks as if it's throught it .. if that makes any sense ..

12-11-2003, 09:20 AM
not at all too dark- imo

12-11-2003, 09:22 AM
Thanks to you both!:) :)