PDA

View Full Version : Please comment - need help to improve


Biki
04-03-2004, 10:14 PM
Hello, Would you mind this Classical wannabe picking your brains.?

I would like to know what you don't like -
What you would do different -
anything at all that would help me move closer towards Classical style.

NOTE: Contrast in flesh tones, is much better in the painting than the photo.

20 x 24"
Oil on canvas on board
"Best Friend"
(X posted)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Apr-2004/23158-Best_Friend__-_1_-_SMALLER.jpg

artmom
04-03-2004, 11:45 PM
Biki, since we can't seem to come to a consensus on this forum as to what is "Classical Style," I'm going to comment. I do not paint in the Classical style, but I am a great admirer of it. So consider the source! :)

Your painting of the two figures is excellent, as is the pigeon in the hatted man's hand. However, your other pigeons need more "roundness" to look less pasted on. Deeper contrast in your shadows is called--look at some of the paintings we have analyzed.

I hope that one of the Classical style artists on this forum come to your aid. Keep working at it. Your overall work is improving all the time. :D

Lyn

arlene
04-03-2004, 11:48 PM
first this is looking good so far. some points though.

1. the guy on the right has his arm "kissing" the edge of the painting, and the left side is empty. The two men feel like they're falling off the canvas.

2. You're using line to define your shapes, instead of values and color.

3. The four birds are making a strong diagonal leading off the page.

here is how i'd work the comp problems. I moved the bench over more on the left so you're not left with a big dark hole on the left. I decreased the man's sleeve on the right and I got rid of the bird that did nothing for the composition. Matter of fact now the man's hand acts as a stop so your eye doesn't move off the canvas.

In the grayscale you can see how you've outlined everything to define shapes...use shading and colors instead...white isn't only white, but lots of colors...the bench, the birds, the green around would all reflect in the cloth.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Apr-2004/240-23158-Best_Friend.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Apr-2004/240-23158-B.jpg

Biki
04-04-2004, 03:56 AM
Thanks Lyn

Deeper contrast in your shadows is called--look at some of the paintings we have analyzed.

Can you explain further.? this newbie is lost. :confused:

And Arlene, my friend. I understand all you are saying except this bit:

2. You're using line to define your shapes, instead of values and color.

For some reason, I cannot get my head around this. I have no idea what you are talking about - but I am sure it is important.!!

here is how i'd work the comp problems. I moved the bench over more on the left so you're not left with a big dark hole on the left. I decreased the man's sleeve on the right and I got rid of the bird that did nothing for the composition. Matter of fact now the man's hand acts as a stop so your eye doesn't move off the canvas.

OK - point taken to heart - but why did you not tell me this when I posted it in the Composition forum. ??? very naughty - slap slap :D
Pommie Dave said the same thing about the bird on the right - so I posted it in Comp. to see if anyone agreed & they didn't - so I left it there.

I really appreciate your comments & I really want to learn. Unfortunately, I think I may be a tad thick. :crying: :D

I do hope some more "brilliance" jump in on this.

However, I have learned a lot in just two replies & I thank you.

Matt Sammekull
04-04-2004, 04:28 AM
Hi Biki!
(I got your PM.)

So, what do we have here? When I first looked at this I saw a French impressionistic painting la Renoir, Rousseau or Bonnard. Probably mainly to the right character's looks, specially his mustache! And if that's "classical" you don't have to much about anything to this painting of yours.

When working on a painting, I try to think in terms of depth and presence. This is easier to tackle if you for example paint a single figure on a "out of foccus, abstract background". But here, we have several planes of the image.
We have the absolute foreground, represented by the far right bird (from the viewers perspective), who's coming from where? Is it sitting on the man's knee? Maybe you could get rid of that bird for a better composition, but I like the way it's pointing toward thew figure's faces, and helps draw attention to that area, which of course is the most important area of the painting- the eyes.
The figures make out the middle plane and the trees are of course in the background. Think of this. Three different distances, which you pretty much painted in the same values. Don't let them compete with one another, - let them work together.

I get a feeling of "arranged"... as the left figure is balancing the bird on his fingertips... - not your average everyday pose I would think. Even though this might be from a photograph, and this actually is how it looked like, things could be changed to look more real, as weird as it may sound..
This balancing draws away from the eyes.. is your painting about a man showing off how great he is with birds, or is this about two best friends? You know what I mean?
Think about this; the left man's arm (the one holding the bird) was instead lying casually on his knee, in a very relaxed manner. This would add something to the whole of the painting I think. Add to the "two friends" theme.

I would probably just have included one bird.. the one in the hands of the right figure, and change the position of the left man's arm as I said earlier. Just to add to the theme of your painting.

But this is compositional work, and not always the easiest thing to alter in a finished piece, it might take too much rework and time... Then you could go for an increase in contrast. Refine the darks and the lights of the birds (think of them as in front of the figures) and the figures themselves (think of them as in front of the trees).
In this image I simply heightened the contrast of those two elements, and already you see a greater depth, - don't you agree?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Apr-2004/15549-23158-Best_Friend_test.jpg

Don't beat yourself up now, as your painting has many great qualities. So if I were you, I would probably just do some work on the contrasts and then leave it!
Take what you find in these replies with you to your next painting. And don't expect every single piece you do to be great! I try to reach a ratio of every fourth of fifth painting being "great". Most of my paintings have faults, minor or significant. It takes a lot out of an artist to keep every single little lesson in mind all the time. "Things I know" often translates to "things I forgot."

I hope I made some sense???!

All the best,

//matt

arlene
04-04-2004, 11:36 AM
Thanks Lyn



Can you explain further.? this newbie is lost. :confused:

And Arlene, my friend. I understand all you are saying except this bit:



For some reason, I cannot get my head around this. I have no idea what you are talking about - but I am sure it is important.!!



OK - point taken to heart - but why did you not tell me this when I posted it in the Composition forum. ??? very naughty - slap slap :D
Pommie Dave said the same thing about the bird on the right - so I posted it in Comp. to see if anyone agreed & they didn't - so I left it there.

I really appreciate your comments & I really want to learn. Unfortunately, I think I may be a tad thick. :crying: :D

I do hope some more "brilliance" jump in on this.

However, I have learned a lot in just two replies & I thank you.

I didn't comment at all as i recall. You did get advice on the bird and it was accurate. But, the reason I didn't was because up till a week ago I was up to my pupik (hehehehe...you need yiddish for that one ;) ) in work and wasn't commenting on most peoples work.

arlene
04-04-2004, 12:05 PM
Ok here in the first pic i circled where you outlined and in the second pic I showed you how it would look different if you used shadows and highlights (VALUES!) to define shape in the jacket...what I find amusing is you did use values to define in your faces.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Apr-2004/240-Best_Friend_test1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Apr-2004/240-Best_Friend_test.jpg

Biki
04-04-2004, 12:51 PM
Hi Matt.

Thank you so much. You made very good sense indeed. I shall print this out & keep it handy for future paintings, and do some work on the contrasts. This is exactly what I need to move forward ( in my tiny baby steps :) )

What a good eye you have to pick that one bird that was out of place.
In the reference photo, the bird that was on the hand of Mr Moustache was too blurry, so I found another one to put there. ( oops)

And Matt, thank you for also adding encouragement & solutions along with the crits - it was all most welcome & appreciated.

Biki
04-04-2004, 01:02 PM
Ok here in the first pic i circled where you outlined and in the second pic I showed you how it would look different if you used shadows and highlights (VALUES!) to define shape in the jacket...what I find amusing is you did use values to define in your faces.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Apr-2004/240-Best_Friend_test1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Apr-2004/240-Best_Friend_test.jpg

Thanks Arlene,
I love what you did with the suit.!!
I knew the clothing didn't look right, but look at my reference photo here, and you will see why I got to amuse you. :)

I know, I always pick such difficult photos to work from. I don't have the experience to just know what things look like with out seeing them right before me. But all of this feed back is fabulous. I am thrilled to be receiving it from you both.

The experience that Matt has, with taking his beautiful girl portrait, and bending the image to his own liking - and then making it totally believable!!? - wow - I am a long way from home.

arlene
04-04-2004, 01:19 PM
that's what we all do...remember the original photo of my still life? how the drape was just a flat piece of velvet tacked to the wall? how in my drawing it's drapes?

is there someone who could pose in a suit for you? then you could draw in pencil or charcol the shadows and folds, and apply them to the white suit in your painting.

Biki
04-04-2004, 01:35 PM
that's what we all do...remember the original photo of my still life? how the drape was just a flat piece of velvet tacked to the wall? how in my drawing it's drapes?

.

That is where your experience comes in & mine lacks.
However, what you have shown me here has turned on a light bulb in my head.
This painting has turned out to be an important stepping stone for me, just because I was bold enough to ask for the attention you folk have so kindly given.

artmom
04-04-2004, 05:42 PM
Biki, Matt explained what I meant about the "deeper contrast in your shadows" much better than I could have. I sometimes "know" what is lacking but don't "know" how to correct it!

Arlene and Matt, thanks for such excellent critiques and demos of ways to correct problems. I'm learning so much on this forum; I've ordered some oils and hope to use some of the lessons learned here to go back to my first love, oils. I just can't seem to put watercolors on paper well enough to paint what I see in my "mind's eye!" LOL

Lyn

Classical Vince
04-18-2004, 02:32 AM
Hi Biki! Better late than never huh? ;)

You have got some talented help here on WC. Im wondering what I could possibly add to the comments here on your work.

I'll comment a little on field of depth. In order to set the background (which you handled lovely) apart from the birds in the foreground, there should be more variation in edges.

When I say edges, I mean, the birds up close to us should have sharper (not outlines) edging than the bench the two men are sitting on.

If you place a little attention to lost and found edges you'll find it easier to carve out more atmosphere in your piece. Youre doing a very nice job with this and its always great to see your always open for advice and critique.

-CV

Biki
04-18-2004, 03:35 AM
Hi Biki! Better late than never huh? ;)

You have got some talented help here on WC. Im wondering what I could possibly add to the comments here on your work.

I'll comment a little on field of depth. In order to set the background (which you handled lovely) apart from the birds in the foreground, there should be more variation in edges.

When I say edges, I mean, the birds up close to us should have sharper (not outlines) edging than the bench the two men are sitting on.

If you place a little attention to lost and found edges you'll find it easier to carve out more atmosphere in your piece. Youre doing a very nice job with this and its always great to see your always open for advice and critique.

-CV

Yes, you are late ( slap) :D
Where you been? - I've been waiting & waiting & thinking " Vince hates my painting" - ha ha. :D

Good points my friend, to take onto the next one which is nearly finished. ( sigh) I sort of almost understand. :rolleyes: But what a wonderful journey.

I really do LOVE it that the comments are critical & not flippant- airy- fairy -sweet & lovely.

I love youse guys. :clap: