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View Full Version : Work in Progress - need advice


buckeyekj
05-18-2004, 02:38 PM
Hi all - I've been a lurker for a while, and finally signed up! I've been self-teaching myself how to paint for the past year(trying to) through self study, trial and error/etc.

On my most recent project, I'm about 3-4 hours into it - there's a stone fence, and something about it bugs me, composition-wise. I can't put my finger on it, but I'm not happy with the left side. It's basically been blocked in, and a few washes put on it to change values, and the steps need a lot of detail... but, if anyone can give me composition advice on the fence, I'd appreciate it.

The foreground is basically underpainting at this point, and the focal point of the piece will be a large pink dogwood in the sunlit grassy area.. but my main concern is the fence at this stage... any suggestions? Again, I can't put my finger on what I don't quite like... whether it's the angle, or the lack of light in the grass above the wall...... ugh! Thanks!

www.paradeofthehills.org/fence.htm

Laura G
05-18-2004, 04:27 PM
I think the main problem is the fence appears to curve. Place straight edges along the top and bottom of the right side of the fence and follow it across the left side. I think that will expose your problem.

scotchpie
05-18-2004, 04:41 PM
Hi and welcome to the acrylics forum

Firstly I agree wth Laura G that it does appear curved but also I have noticed something else which may explain why it does not "sit" right in the painting, though of course you may disagree.

The background is amazing. As the picture loaded from the top up I was in awe. The forest scene is a brilliant impression and I think the fence is too tightly painted which for me gives a look like you have cut it out and stuck it on after.

Maybe if you could make it less distinct and more impressionistic to match the background using colour to bring it forward it would look better.


Andrew

buckeyekj
05-18-2004, 04:42 PM
Thanks for the input - just to clarify - you mean it appears to curve if you would be looking down from above, and both sides need to match, or horizontally, and I need some tweaks to get continuity? Hope that made sense!

buckeyekj
05-18-2004, 05:07 PM
Scotchpie( is that as in 'butterscotch'?) :)

I still need to darken the fence considerably - I think my underpainting of the blocks is very light, which isn't what I'm shooting for in the final version, if that makes a difference. The trees are background fodder, and I'm hoping the pink dogwood(that doesn't exist yet) ties it all together, along with the darkened fence, and foreground detail. I got this idea from one of the Yarnell series(which is great!) - I'll post followups as I wreak havoc, on this poor, innocent little canvas. :)

Thanks for the advice. I too am happy with the trees... they're the first ones I've done that haven't ended up looking like I spilled paint on the canvas. As a matter of fact, I've been doing winter scenes to avoid foliage.... but I'm the persistent type. :)

KJ

Laura G
05-19-2004, 01:18 AM
Thanks for the input - just to clarify - you mean it appears to curve if you would be looking down from above, and both sides need to match, or horizontally, and I need some tweaks to get continuity? Hope that made sense!

Yes! That's it.

buckeyekj
05-19-2004, 07:15 AM
Thanks LG! I'll try to post an update after the weekend.

Now I'm trying to test posting an image in this message(I'm new). Hope this works.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-May-2004/43249-fence3.jpg

Lady Carol
05-19-2004, 11:30 AM
Hey! Congrats you uploaded it just fine.

One issue I have is with the stairs. They just appear to curve over and not step up.

It s going to be lovely once finished. It is a good thing for us that you delurked. :clap: :clap:

buckeyekj
05-19-2004, 11:42 AM
Thanks - yeah, I have a ton of issues with the stairs.. but I am glad you could tell they're supposed to be stairs! The whole perspective of the front/top of the stairs/fence is a bit baffling to me. They're just roughed in at this point, so I'll have to do some studying, and adjust.

I may just decide to make it handicap accesible, and make it a wooden ramp. :D Thanks for the comments. I'll work on it over the weekend, and post an update(unless it's mangled beyond the point of no return). ;)

KJ

printzessofthenorth
05-19-2004, 12:05 PM
Buckeye,

Really like this a lot. :clap: The background and trees are lovely. Very inviting. I agree with others about the stairs, right now, feeling a bit tight, but I know that you are working on that.

The thing that bothers me the most, and you might have plans for this that you haven't shared with us yet, so take this with a grain of salt: the foreground, especially the left hand side seems sterile, compared to the rest of your painting, which is lovely, warm, inviting and gives the impression of a real place at a real moment.

Are you planning to add more shadows or object/figure or two to this area, perhaps a bush or tree? Even some interesting shadows would, IMHO, bring this area into unity with the rest of the painting. It just seems to need something more here.

Perhaps my impressions will change as the painting evolves. :D I look forward to seeing the finished work.

debbie

Lemnus
05-19-2004, 12:07 PM
Thanks - yeah, I have a ton of issues with the stairs.. but I am glad you could tell they're supposed to be stairs! The whole perspective of the front/top of the stairs/fence is a bit baffling to me. They're just roughed in at this point, so I'll have to do some studying, and adjust.

I may just decide to make it handicap accesible, and make it a wooden ramp. :D Thanks for the comments. I'll work on it over the weekend, and post an update(unless it's mangled beyond the point of no return). ;)

KJ

Well, don't be afraid to get out a straight edge, mark a vanishing point, and check up the perspective mechanically. Freehanding proper pespective is difficult, yet the viewer can immediately sense when something is wrong. I think your problems with the fence are largely going to vanish as you darken it to match the ambient lighting in the rest of the work and put in a foreground. It's so light, it's calling unusual attention to itself right now. Agree with others on the upper portion - very good indeed!

buckeyekj
05-19-2004, 01:50 PM
Printzess - thanks for the comments - yes, the foreground is strictly underpainting at this point, and the focal point will be a large pink Dogwood in the grassy area... but I want to get the stairs reconciled first... or at least get fed up with them, and move on.... But yes, the foreground is a bit sterile at this point.

Lenmus(sp?) - I'll try the straight edge.. I darkened the wall/stairs with a few washes of yellow ocher/UM blue, and that's helping.... but they still need to get a whole lot darker for the overall composition... it's fun playing with the different colors to see how they affect the stones... I'm learning as I go, which is a good thing. :)

Thanks for the input. KJ

artistodon
05-20-2004, 01:55 AM
This is going to be a wonderful painting. I really love your colors. You have been given some great advice here. Follow it and you will do fine.
Don :)

printzessofthenorth
05-20-2004, 08:27 AM
Printzess - thanks for the comments - yes, the foreground is strictly underpainting at this point, and the focal point will be a large pink Dogwood in the grassy area... but I want to get the stairs reconciled first... or at least get fed up with them, and move on.... KJ

Well, that's why I should just wait to comment. :D LOL! I think this is going to be a splendid painting. And Pink Dogwoods are my favorite spring flowering tree. :) Lovely. Lovely. Lovely.
debbie