View Full Version : Olympic medalist - WIP

Marge Cline
08-24-2004, 10:37 PM
Many years ago, I had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of Rebecca Giddens, the young lady who recently won the Bronze medal in
Athens in the Women's Kayak Slalom venue. Just today I found a picture of her online and decided that a painting from me would be a nice thing to do...so here is the start of it. I feel I got a good start, now let's see where it goes from here. :D

08-25-2004, 12:14 AM
Great start! I'll be watching for the finished painting.


08-25-2004, 01:59 AM
If I can make a quick observation before you go too far...

...the head's too small. In the photo, the nose is directly above the edge of the sleeve. Comapre it to it's position on the painting. Sorry to be a spoilsport, but it's the kind of thing you need to catch early!

Beyond that, good start. Love the colours in the actual sleeve itself...


Marge Cline
08-25-2004, 10:20 AM
Couldn't walk away from this last night. Here's where I got. Not to gush, but I love working with water stuff. Been paddling it myself for 30 years. So might as well paint it when I can't be on it. Paul, I see what you mean about the position of the head, but could not figure out a way to change it that would not screw up what I put down so far. When I paint this kind of stuff, photos are usually just for getting me around "block". It's such dynamic action that it's hard to capture a "stop motion" shot even in a photograph. I don't think Becca will notice her nose isn't in the same place as in the photo. Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming please as It's much appreciated.

Marge Cline
08-25-2004, 10:52 AM
Yikes!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just reread my original post and made a ba-a-a-a-d mistake. Becca won a silver medal, not a bronze. Glad she isn't likely to read my goof.

Marge Cline
08-26-2004, 10:58 PM
it's getting there.....

08-26-2004, 11:21 PM
Marge you're really catching the positioning and energy in this- the water is coming along nicely, too. But I'm concerned about her face- the eye on the viewer's right is in the wrong place- it is sitting on the side of her head, and is not set into an eye-socket, either.

I took this into PSP and did a bit of mousework to show you what I mean (not a strong suit, but I tried), fixing it is going to mean moving the eye in toward the bridge of the nose, shading in an eye socket, and then moving the ear back in towards the face, then shortening the jaw, but I think it is more accurate- not to "this person's face" but accurate facial feature placement in general. Hope this helps, some.


Kathryn Wilson
08-27-2004, 06:14 AM
Thanks for doing this WIP Marge - it is coming along very nicely. I know you are still developing it, so will just sit and watch. :clap:

Marge Cline
08-27-2004, 02:38 PM
OK, guess I'm getting what I was looking for, constructive critique. Thanks for the suggestion about Becca's face, you forced me to change it. If I wasn't here, I probably would have said...that's good enough. :p I did it a bit differently then how you suggested. I first removed the left eye and nose with a brush (never had tried that before) and then scanned that image into the pc. Made the changes on a copy I printed to see what would look better. Moved the nose to the right a bit and then set the left eye where more of it would show. Don't think I could have moved the ear forward and gone from there because of the black strap being in the way. I like it better this way as it now looks like she's watching the gate she ain't supposed to touch. I actually scanned each of the changes into the pc, but then screwed up when I closed the file. Forgot to save all the changes and those files are now in cyber heaven...or maybe the recycling bin. Maybe I could go there and see, but was going to post them to demo what I did. Not gonna bother now, you guys are good at picking out changes and obviously don't need that demo from me. But it's a trick I never had tried before and will probably use again and again. Ain't technology wonderful? Any way, here's where it's at now. Can hardly wait to finish up the waves :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave:
Let me know how successful I was with these changes please. Thanks

08-27-2004, 04:51 PM
This painting strikes a special cord in my heart..always wished I got a chance to do whitewater in a kayak, done some canoeing and it is so awesume, feel like I am part of the world when I am in one. You have really captured the energy of of this and it is comeing along great. Your face looks much better now. Thought I would mention about that left post..Paddle is behind it but kayak is in front of it... but know you are still working on it and probably aware of that. She should be very pleased with this when she recives it.
best wishes

Kathryn Wilson
08-27-2004, 07:35 PM
I noticed today that there is an "Olympics" project on Wet Canvas - they haven't got too many participants and I think this is perfect for that theme.

Very nicely done!

Here's the link:


Marge Cline
08-28-2004, 01:29 AM
Thanks for the comments and the suggestion about the Olympic project. I'll think about that. David, I noticed you are from IL. If you are anywhere in the Chicago area and still want to learn to kayak, it is possible. We teach kayaking all winter long in local swimming pools. Just let me know if you want to and it's possible. I also do lots of canoeing and have traveled all over the country in pursuit of the perfect water. Most of what I paint is about water... rivers, lakes, canoes, kayaks, waterfalls, rapids...love 'em all. Now gotta finish that wave she's surfing across. Oh yeh, the object is to go through/between the poles, but they are generally suspended a foot or so above the water. She's supposed to be running the gate clean; does it look like she's hitting it with her boat or paddle? Maybe I should make the left pole a little fatter so it looks closer to the viewer :confused:

08-28-2004, 10:18 AM
The size of the gate pole reads correctly...I forgot they are suspended above the water and read them as comeing out of the water, scince the pole is touching the top edge of the kayak I read the pole as being behind it, (comeing up out of the water).. The paddle reads as behind it not touching it.
My misinterpretation..my sincere appologies for any confusion I caused you.
Sending you a pm so as not to distract from this thread.
Best wishes

Marge Cline
08-30-2004, 09:21 AM
Almost finished with this. Still deciding if water needs more work. Whatcha think?

Deborah Secor
08-30-2004, 10:26 AM
Marge, I've read this thread and watched the changes you've made to your painting with a lot of interest! You really took on a challenging subject and you've done a good job of it here. The figure looks great and I love the way you've handled the kayak, half submerged in the water. The color is pleasing and the overall effect tells the story you wanted to tell. Your addition of the gate is a good one.

Two possible suggestions for you to consider: first, the photo you shared has an energy that comes from the splashing activity of the water. While the rippling water pouring around her life vest is very nicely done, I suggest you add more splash to things--dash in some sparkling water droplets (perhaps not as many as in the photo, of course) to give more life and movement to things. By splashing the water over the background area you'll also add a sense of more depth and minimize that area, enhancing the figure.

Second, perhaps think about carving that near wave with a bit more action. Notice the steep angle of the wave in the photo. It adds a sense of movement, action, suspense--and it points nicely up at the subject of the painting. I'd consider steepening it's angle, adding a bit of the shadow and perhaps even adding the second wavelet, which will engulf the kayak in your painting. It isn't a lot of labor--just a few well-chosen strokes. It's so easy in pastel to add light over the darks, especially with a very soft pastel like a GA, Schmincke, or Unison.

Of course, these are only thoughts, so take them or leave them. This is a fine piece as it is!


08-31-2004, 09:50 PM
Your water is very active..I wouldnt have a clue how to make it look any better....Very very nice! She should be very happy with this.

Marge Cline
08-31-2004, 10:18 PM
I think I'm gonna quit messing with it. I like the water now, I like the motion of the paddle now, I like the colors now. Time to get back in my own boat now................ Thanks for all the c&c