View Full Version : Need Opinions on Painting in Progress

03-14-2004, 02:45 PM
Okay you guys, I don't post a painting often for your help, but here is one that I hope you can tell me if you see anything glaringly wrong. The painting is pastel on Wallis toned a bright blue and the size is 36" x 24". It is an early evening shot taken in Jamaica and the water was really the color you are going to see. I have it at the point that I need a fresh eye to evaluate it.

Also, the colors on the monitor are a little dull, especially in the lighter greens.


Tell me what you see. And Thanks!!!!


03-14-2004, 02:54 PM
Wow! That's like trying to capture the blue of a Colorado sky- hard to make it believable. Your composition is stunningly simple, I like the angles the roof makes, and the resulting negative spaces left by the plants and railings. The pink is VERY eye-catching, though, no matter that I *know* it can look like that. However, you've echoed it well, elsewhere, so there's a nice harmony.

Quite a surprising piece- beautiful detail.

03-14-2004, 03:02 PM
Marsh this is wonderful - love the composition and your rendering of this beautiful scene.

Here's my only thought... would you consider adding a bit of a warmer darker orange to the left side of the sea part - just a bit. I'm thinking that it would warm up the water slightly and bring a triangle balance of the red roof, terra cotta pot and then something on the left. Even a touch on the horizon... something a bit darker to anchor it over there...

To me it feels a bit weighted to the right and that pink is so powerful.

Let's see what others have to say.... Barb

03-14-2004, 03:14 PM
Thanks Barb and SweetBabyJ for giving opinions.

I decided to go back to Photoshop and take away some of the blue because Barb, your comment regarding the coolness of the water told me the image did not show what it looked like in reality. I have taken some blue from the whole picture and here is another image. It shows the true color of my water better and even changes the greens to a little better color -- more like what the painting really is.


Thanks. Tell me again, what you think.

I realized that when I changed the image, it also changes the first one I posted. So people won't be able to see what we are talking about. Sorry!


03-14-2004, 03:31 PM
Tell me what you see. And Thanks!!!!


I see myself booking a cruise to Jamaica. The pinks are so powerful and emotive! I refrain from any critique and am going to listen to the others.

03-14-2004, 03:38 PM
Hi Marsha - I do like this version better but I went ahead and tried something in photoshop that perhaps you'll consider.

I darkened the greenery in the lower left and in the upper right corners. It seems to help me weight the piece - what do you think?

Barb (PS I'm running back and forth from my dining room table where I'm cutting mats - makes me want to turn on the steel guitar music and sip some rum while I watch this piece develop)

03-14-2004, 03:39 PM
its a lovely painting Marsha...... once you get over the shock of the sea colour lol ..... I must confess ...... I find the sea a little unintersting and flat..... wouldnt there be any light reflected onto it from the sky? ..... would loved to have seen the sky colours in it

03-14-2004, 03:43 PM
I just wanna live there!!

03-14-2004, 03:55 PM
Can I have some rum? You make me want to go fix one! And funny you should pick the two corners that I have left undone.

The upper right corner is only my oringinal block in of the dark spruce blue that I always use (#305 spruce blue in Nupastel). and the sky holes are just my original block-in.

The bottom left corner is a problem corner for me. There was foliage coming in through the railing and I want it there, but can't seem to take it out of focus and keep it right!

Dark Shades, there is actually a little more light in the water than is showing in the digital image. There is blue reflected from the clouds above. But you are right about some light on the water. I have put it in, taken it out, put it back in, etc. I will keep working on it.

You two, have picked out the areas that are giving me the most problem. I'll put some light in the water and do another digital.

PastelMama and prestonsega: This was the third time we went to Jamaica and we stayed at a villa that is called Golden Cloud each time. The best vacation I have ever been on. I painted plein aire every day, snorkeled, played tennis, got waited on, ate great food, drank rum -- are you envious enough? By the way, Angie, where are you located -- I noticed you are in Georgia? Prestonsega -- you too?

Deborah Secor
03-14-2004, 04:05 PM
Marsha, I love the colors in this. Your pinks and greens are delightful!

My problem is I don't know if I want to look at the porch and flowers or at the sky and water more... the unusual colors of the water and the clouds in such lovely hues are very seductive, but the subject seems to be the greenery and roof. Your composition is almost divided in two equal (and very similar) shapes, that above the roof and rail and that below. I could offer all kinds of suggestions on how to fix it, but I know you're you'll make effective changes, so I'll leave that to you.

I'd also be careful about tangential lines--right now the line of the bougainvillea and the hibiscus below it are too close to a straight line.

Your work is so gorgeous. I'm anxious to see what you decide to do with this one!


03-14-2004, 04:11 PM
Marsha - I live quite a ways from you...lol, I live in a small town that Hwy 17 runs thru, between Savannah and Jax, FL.

Kathryn Wilson
03-14-2004, 04:12 PM
Hi Marsha! I have seen the ocean this color before, but this seems to be lacking in texture and in reading back through your posts, I see that you recognize that problem. I know when you get this finish it will be quite stunning - it's an attention getter!

Your vacation sounds wonderful and painting makes a very cool day here in North Carolina warm up!

03-14-2004, 04:36 PM
Okay, here is an update. Don't really know if you can tell the difference. I added some more lights and sky highlights in the water. I have also photo'd the bottom left corner and the top right corner.

Thanks Deborah and Kyle for your insights. Because this is a large pastel, the details in the water don't really show in the digital image. It does seem to be smoother on the digital image than in reality. Thanks on the heads-up regarding the hibiscus and the bougainvillea line-up, Deborah!

I'm not sure what to do at the moment regarding dividing the painting regarding what to look at -- I usually save that to the last -- then punch up the area that will be what I want for focal point. But, if I want it to be the sky and water -- I'm kinda at a loss for how to punch it up more than it is now. That, of course, means that I must lose the greenery area somewhat. And I have been trying to do that by taking most of it somewhat out of focus.




Thanks Again!

Kathryn Wilson
03-14-2004, 04:44 PM
I really suspected that in reality there was more texture to the water - and your close-up shows that! :clap:

03-14-2004, 06:23 PM
Hi Marsha..... hope you dont mind, but took the liberty ..... I was thinking something a bit more obvious..... probably completely off .... just thought with the lightness of the streaks..... takes your eye through the lovely foreground into the water and then to the lovely sky


03-15-2004, 02:01 AM
Dark Shades has done JUST what I would have done if she hadn' got there first! To me, that sea is just screaming out for some reflection of the cream lights in the sky.


03-15-2004, 05:23 AM
Dark Shades and Jackie,

Thanks, I think you hit the nail on the head. I kept going back to the ocean and trying to punch it up. The scene was an early evening shot, with no highlights on the ocean. But . . . to make it a good painting it really needed something. Thanks for your thoughts.

Deborah, I took out the large clump of bougainvillea flowers pointing downward (the bottom-most flowers from the basket). It makes a much more interesting shape now.

I've also used a dark green pastel to brush through the large amount of foliage on the bottom right quarter of the painting, taking away detail -- even a little on the bottom left area. Looks somewhat better - takes focus away from those areas to a degree.

I have a student coming at 10:00 this morning, so might be able to work on the ocean while she is working. If so, I'll try to take another digital of whatever I do and post it for final comments.

Thanks, you guys! I knew I could count on you to give me a fresh eye view of the painting!

03-15-2004, 05:43 AM
You know, Marsha, just because your camera did not pick up any reflected lights on the water, doesn't mean they weren't there. If there was a lot of brightness in the sky, the camera probably "read" that, and did not read the water accurately.

Water nearly always reflects something of what is going on in the sky.


03-15-2004, 05:47 AM
So right Jackie,

I tell my students that photos lie all the time!!!! I think I waited too long after the trip to paint this painting. I like to paint while the real thing is still fresh in my mind. The trip was last October. But, thanks to you guys you are bringing it back to me!

03-15-2004, 11:02 PM
If someone had described this to me, sight unseen, as having a salmon pinkie ocean, I'd have thought Whaaa? Has she lost her MIND? It's stunningly beautiful! Love it! And I like the addition of a little sky reflection too. I love the wavy feel of the water's surface tho....magnifico!

03-16-2004, 01:08 AM
Beautiful and I am anxious to see what you decide for the finish :clap: :clap: