View Full Version : Painting started in Maggie's worksho

Kathryn Day
09-04-2004, 07:50 PM
I started this one in Maggies workshop in Santa Fe. We did an underpainting with pastels that were stronger, in color, than what we hoped to have in the final painting. I think I need lots more practice with landscapes. :D
Any comments appreciated, although I don't think I will do more to this one, I already have the sky somewhat muddied up. :crying:


09-04-2004, 07:58 PM
HI! :wave: Are those bushes on the left that are so dark. They seem too dark & undefined (could be just in the post). Interesting concept to start bright & tone it down.

Kathryn Wilson
09-04-2004, 08:00 PM
Hi Kathy - lucky you having a chance to paint with Maggie! I am :envy: !

There is a lot to like here - I like the sky in that you've got lots of different colors in it and that it pales down at the top of the mountains - good atmospheric sky.

I like the large tree on the right - nice and airy and structurally nice to look at.

The problem I see is with the road - that only needs a few adjustments - and I would lose the grass all along the bottom.

Let's see what others think about the road and grass - :)

09-04-2004, 08:09 PM
Hi Kat.... You know what... I was so excited over everything in that class that I didn't get around to seeing what everyone was doing. You did well! It was hard getting so much information packed into such a short time wasn't it. :) I worked on mine a bit today too... but of course, it looks nothing like it did in class.

Kathryn Day
09-04-2004, 08:21 PM
Tammy: Well, if you stand back far enough, they look like bushes!! :wink2:
I am not sure how to define them better, I tried to vary the colors,values. I guess I needed to make the edges more apparent. Thanks for looking. :)

Kyle: Concerning the road, are you saying it appears too flat? Because that is what I am seeing on the monitor. I need to add more depth?

Ilis: Hi, yes the class was too short and Maggie makes it look easy when she is demonstrating, then I get my grubby hands in there and it doesn't resemble what I had hoped to paint. :(

Kathryn Wilson
09-04-2004, 08:35 PM
I took it into photoshop 'cause it's hard to explain - but the road "elipses" weren't correct. This is a bit closer - I'm not great drawing with a mouse.


Kathryn Day
09-04-2004, 08:39 PM
ok, now the brain gets it! That should be easy to fix. Thanks.

Kathryn Day
09-04-2004, 09:26 PM
I did a little more to it. Worked on the road and softened the grass. Better??

09-04-2004, 10:04 PM
I start with much brighter, darker and richer color than what the landscape appears to be. Marsha Savage taught me that it was much easier to knock a color back....than to brighten it up. :) and it didn't take much encouragement in that direction for me :D

I thnk this is a really good painting....as Kat pointed out, there are a lot of good things happening in it and I like the way you took out the bushes across the front. They were blocking the entry into the landscape. You could break up the mass of trees on the left just a bit by showing some 'ground holes'. Perhaps make one a bit shorter so that the rise in the land shows behind it a bit.

I liked the way you opened up the road. I might have come in a bit from the right foreground to create an even more hilly perspective, but it looks great as is.

All these great comments about Maggie's class make me wanna study with her too!!

Kathryn Day
09-05-2004, 01:06 AM
Thanks for your comments Carly. I liked working with a brighter underpainting. Maggie's class was great, just wish it had been longer. Plus I didn't get back to see her finished painting. She was going to work on it through the rest of the expo. Maybe she will post it here. I will put some ground showing through the bushes, then maybe I will be satisfied with it and on to something new.

09-05-2004, 01:26 AM
I think this is great! You obviously got a lot out of Maggie's class! I like the improvements you made to the road, although I think I'd have swayed it a bit further to the LEFT in the front (just the opposite of what Carly said...funny how we see things so differently, isn't it?).

I need to try that bright underpainting thing, too...makes sense and isn't that far off from what Kitty does with her Createx underpaintings.

Anyway, you've got a lovely ptg. to remember the Expo by!

09-05-2004, 07:02 AM
Katy, I know you said you probably wouldn't do much more to this one, and perhaps you got enough out of the exercise ...working with a strong colour underpainting.........but I would just like to point out something important in relation to landscape painting, which might stand you in good stead with the next landscape image you tackle. It is to do with the direction of the light.

Here, we have strong sunlight. This is obvious, because of the strong shadows under the trees on the right hand side. The sunlight looks as tho it is from the right, tho the sun is still quite high in the sky.

That being so....those bushes on the left would have been illuminated by the sunshine.
And therefore you would have been able to get some sense of the sun hitting the foliage, showing a certain amount of form there -warm sunlit parts, dips and hollows, cast shadows, etc.

And in your pic, that area is rather dark (?) and formLESS.

Working from a photo is really difficult; sometimes the camera is fooled by the strong contrasts of a sunlit scene and evens out all the darker tones, it will not read everything that is visible to the naked eye. So, we have to use our intelligence, and put back what the camera has failed to capture well. This isn't easy unless you have done lots of work outdoors, but even so, perhaps now, knowing this information, you could try to work it out a bit better on the next pic you tackle.


09-05-2004, 11:43 AM
Katy - you've received some great advice from the more prominent landscape painters - but from this portrait artist I opened it up and said WoW! Love the color and composition and the way your subtle colors in the sky just make the oranges and darks pop!!!

well done. Looks like you got a lot out of that class. Congratulations on money and time well spent.


Deborah Secor
09-05-2004, 12:25 PM
Katy, first off, I love the strength of color and contrast you have here! That orange hillside sings and the tree is quite lacy and nice. Often what we learn from a painting done in a workshop is far more valuable than the painting itself turns out to be!

I suspect this is a small painting so my editing isn't really a suggestion for this one. I hope you'll see how the shapes make it a bit better...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Sep-2004/23609-landscape_final.jpgAll I've done is crop it so that the road curves toward the area of interest, surrounding it and aiding the eye to stay in that direction.

Your blue sky might have gotten a little gray because you put a warm color beneath a cool one--or maybe because the value was a lot darker. I often try to put a split complement down, so instead of orange I may use red-orange, red or red-violet--in a pale value to match the sky. I rather like the muted quality because it allows the orange to be the focus.

I agree that seeing the light on the bushes would help to open this one up, but I have to say that the shape of the mass is very pleasing, clearly pointing the eye to the tree. So that's a great start!

Maggie is a great teacher and I suspect you'll find you got a lot out of this class with her in the long run. I guess we all need to play with some of the things we learned at the Expo to derive the most good from it. I know I need to work!


Paula Ford
09-05-2004, 04:06 PM
Hi Kathy, I love the strong colors in this and that blue/purple hill in the background. The composition is also really terrific. You have done well, it has real depth!!


Kathryn Day
09-05-2004, 05:14 PM
Jackie: Thank you, you have made clear why I was still having trouble liking the bushes at the left. I lightened the photo to extreme in PSP and was able to discern bush shapes within the large mass and also see where the light was hitting. I will keep that in mind with the next one, unless, I just can't stand it and work on this one more. lol

Barb: I am always drawn to strong colors. In my real world I would say I am understated and subtle (shy), so maybe that is why I let go with color in art. (?)

Deborah: I see how the shape of the road is so important, thanks for pointing that out. So many lessons to learn, hopefully lots of time to learn them. ;)

Paula: I really enjoyed this one, am glad you like it.

09-05-2004, 10:32 PM
Hi, I'm coming in late as usual, but I love seeing the progress on this painting. I really love the orange forground grasses, esp in contrast with the soft sky. I really enjoyed Maggies class too, I'm glad to see you have been able to apply what you've learned in this painting. BTW-I like the crop Deborah suggested, it really seems to focus or lead my eye into the painting. And I like how you've corrected the road, and the grass line in front. Keep it up.

Maggie P
09-07-2004, 12:52 PM
What a treat to see this painting evolving after the class.

I still love the colors of the hillside...that feeling of sunlight on the orange/brown grasses.

I wish the class could have been longer, too. I usually spend a full day in a five-day workshop on each of the two subjects I taught at the Expo. But, I thought presenting the ideas and giving people something to take home with them to work on would be more interesting than just doing a demonstration. As with any workshop, I think you get the full value after you get home and relax and work in your own studio.

I did fiinish the painting from this class and will photograph it and post it here later today if possible.

It was so much fun to meet the WC!ers. Wish I had been able to spend more time with you all...but last-minute crisis put me in the Girault booth and unable to get away much. Still, it was fun! We should do it again at IAPS.

Kathryn Day
09-07-2004, 12:57 PM
Thanks, Maggie. I enjoyed the workshop alot. May have to take a longer one in the future.