View Full Version : Pickerel Beauty

05-07-2004, 01:11 PM
This is a 30" x 40" gallery canvas piece. This pickerel plant grows in shallow lake water.
The digital image was taken outside on my porch, light coming from the left, so the left side of the painting as you are looking at it looks lighter than in real life. The rest of the image is fairly close, but it is a very large painting, so some detail does not show up.
I have been working from reference photos that I took, but have made my own composition, leaf forms, stems, etc.
I created my own shadows and highlights with the light coming from the top right of the painting. I have many applied many layers of paint, trying to achieve the look that I am trying to create. This has been frustrating, try to show sunlight and shadows. I have been looking at this canvas for over 2 months, so I may not be seeing obvious mistakes with the light and shadows.
There is a frog in the water for added interest, but I wanted it to be subtle.
I guess I'd like opinions on if this painting is interesting enough as it is?
I thought this plant was beautiful when i saw it.
But, that's my opinion.
I'm trying to get a collection together and want professional looking pieces.
Thanks for comments-critiques.

05-07-2004, 02:35 PM
And I KNOW that plant.. I think you have captured it beautifully! I am a novice painter so don't feel I can critique your work technically..but I do feel like it is a bit of a slice of a lake I have seen!

05-07-2004, 04:23 PM
This certainly is a professional looking piece! :clap: :clap: :clap:
The only thing I wondered if it would be good to have a reflection in the water of some sort?? Is it acrylics or oil?? Nice work!!! :)
ps: That was a silly question...of course it's acrylics...this is the acrylic post!!

Lady Carol
05-07-2004, 04:45 PM
2 months have gone into this? Wow, I couldn't work on something for that length as I would get bored. And the size. It must be impressive.

05-07-2004, 05:42 PM
Hi Gay! I like this work very much. I like how you used reds to deepen your greens for the modeling of the leaves and to create the rich dark in the background that you darkened even further and worked into the negative shapes between the stems. I also like how you oriented the canvas in a portrait rather than landscape format - it emphasizes the plant and its reflection as integral elements of the composition. The strands of pinky-yellow stems near the ground are a nice touch.


05-07-2004, 08:33 PM
Thanks Debra, Carol, Bert, and Suzan.

Thanks Suzan, I thought the plant was beautiful when I saw it in the lake.

Bert, I do have water reflections, the area below the stems are water and reflections. Maybe it looks dark on your monitor.

Carol, I have been anxious to get this done, especially with trying to get the contrasts to look right. It took many layers. I am not happy with the fast drying time of acrylics, and the mediums tend to make the paint streaky, which I didn't like for the smoothness that I wanted to achieve for the leaves.


05-08-2004, 12:51 AM
I am not happy with the fast drying time of acrylics, and the mediums tend to make the paint streaky, which I didn't like for the smoothness that I wanted to achieve for the leaves.

Did you mix your medium into the paint with your brush or with a palette knife? I've found using a knife mixes more thoroughly and thins the paint nicely with no streaks. A few drops of liquid retarder or a dab of retarder gell mixed in just before you add the medium makes a big difference in the drying time. Helps with blending, too.


05-08-2004, 09:48 AM
Thanks Debra. I will try that next time.

05-08-2004, 09:50 PM
It's a very lovely painting, Gay!

05-08-2004, 11:19 PM
Gay: It did show up dark on my monitor! I see where the water reflection is now!
This is spectacular!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

05-09-2004, 10:07 AM
Thanks Bert and Nina.