View Full Version : Night scene, Jerusalem

Deborah Secor
09-08-2004, 05:25 PM
Okay, be nice to me...I'm terrible at perspective... :rolleyes: (hiding from Jackie) No, not really! Here's my critique.

I'm happy with the overall contrast & colors, and I like the walls and walkway, and the pools of light. My problem is with the church tops--the shapes and the details (or lack thereof..I think I may need to do a bit more there.) I also question the plants over the arch, and the big light on the left side. Believable? Fakey looking?

This was done from a shot in the RIL by Darren. I'm glad to be able to use it... :)

Okay gang, feast your razor sharp eyes on this one and let me know what needs help. I've been looking at it for too long to see it anymore! Thanks for any help you have to give...


09-08-2004, 05:44 PM
I REALLY like this! I think the big light on our left works very well. It's a sort of statement emphasizing the ancient/modern theme going on. The light it produces is important in the piece, too. I also like the church top detail just as it is. I think if you put more in, you risk having it jump out too much. The brain really fills in details quite nicely and the sense of distance is appropriate.

I just LOVE the way you did the walls. Beautiful use of color!

- Molly

09-08-2004, 05:51 PM
I love this composition! None of the stuff you've mentioned bothers me, but I would like to see much deeper, sorta dramatic night shadows along the alleyway there...looks too daylight to me as it is? Did you plan on working that over some later? The photo ref may show more light than's really there, I think. I'm also wondering if that first arch has to have that light under it...would be so neat if it weren't lit at all except reflectively. There could be lovely deep shadows outside and in between the glow of the lights which would make the area look less like a lighted room and tie it to the night sky a bit better? If I'm way off base, no worries...just my weird viewpoint. :)

Deborah Secor
09-08-2004, 05:57 PM
Thanks Molly, glad you like it. :)

No, that's a legitimate question, Sooz. I've darkened it a lot and may still do more. Perhaps it would increase the drama enough to make the dark areas somewhat darker--but I have to tell you that the main attraction for me to this image was that lighted front archway. Last night in the half-lit room it really had a presence I liked. But since I made the light more dramatic, why not the dark? I may give that a go.

Does the little cupola thingy on top of the church seem wonky or underdone to you? That cross has gotta straighten up a bit, I can see! We all see so much clearer when we digitize these paintings, don't we? :eek:

One other question...do you think it would be good to have a lone figure in the passage near the end? Not a lot of detail, just someone moving through the shadows.. I'm not sure but I ws planning on it from the first. I still might give it a try.


09-08-2004, 06:01 PM
I can see the under-arch light being either lit from the doorway opposite (?) or reflected light from the path- matters not. But I think the foliage above the walls/arch needs at least rim-light from the high church light- just enough to give it a bit of shape, and exceptionally light-toned, but very thin- just a whisper. Church spire is well-done- detail will work because of its bulk- whether you want it to be or not, it IS a center of interest because of size and contrast- you need to decide if you want it first or second and do accordingly.

I am undecided about the black- dramatic, definately, but... black. My own personal thing there.

Terrific viewpoint, Deborah, and a skillful rendering of the architecture, and perspective.

Deborah Secor
09-08-2004, 06:08 PM
Thanks, Julie. The sky looks black here but is a luminous deep blue Diane Townsend that I love--with some deep, dark purple in the lower regions.

Perhaps I need to lessen the glare of the under-arch light. It may have become too bright to read. I keep looking at it and wondering what the source of that glare is...

I think perhaps your point is right. The white of the church makes it the primary area of interest against that dark sky. I can't fight that too much. But the original idea was archway, then church. Things can change, however.

Hmmmm, still mulling... Open to more thoughts here. Thanks!!


09-08-2004, 06:08 PM
I think adding a figure is a good idea. I like the painting as it is, but the figure would move the focus down to the larger, relatively empty lower area.
I've always heard that anytime you put in something with eyes, it will become the center of attention. All in all, a very nice job!

09-08-2004, 06:49 PM
Hi Dee

the perspective doesnt bother me too much, though I do think the cross should be straightened.... but I did a little tweaking in PSP roughly just to try and straighten up some of things that may be throwing it off kilter ... and marked them in red,... wouldnt take much, just a few strokes here and there - you may feel not worth it, but see what you think ..... one thing I noticed most.... was the thickness of underneath the arch ..... it tapers...... and the angle it finishes at, sets of the perspective in a diff direction.....


09-08-2004, 06:55 PM
I really like this piece. It has great impact, without figures and with black.

I do get the feeling most of the right half is tilting a bit. It feels like the curving walls are leaning in a bit. But maybe its just me, I'll try sitting up straight. :)

The highlight on the tree on the right feels wrong. Its a cool highlight but all the lights are warm. Is that really true? Maybe not, the light that seems like it would be hitting it is warm.

Despite the criticism, its a great piece. I like the lighting and colors. It had wonderful impact.

Deborah Secor
09-08-2004, 07:12 PM
Dawn, thanks for doing this...I need to catch the little things yet, obviously. I don't consider this finished yet and will 'pick' at the little stuff for a while. (Oh, and I changed that angle at the bottom of the arch--it had to line up with the rest of the perspective. Good catch!)

Thanks for your input, instargalv, but if I do put a figure in I think it would go in the far end, not the near end. I didn't make that very clear--sorry! LOL I don't often do figures and wouldn't want to try one up very close here, since that would clearly become the focal point. I thought one lone figure walking out of the picture might give some more mystery to it. I'm just not sure it needs it. My focus is the place.

Okay, thanks all! I surely appreciate hearing from you. I'll likely noodle on this as long as the light lasts and will update it here when I can't see it again. Ilove getting your vision of things!!!


K Taylor-Green
09-08-2004, 07:19 PM
You know me, totally landscape challenged, but I like this as is. I'm sure a few tweaks will make uou happier with it. But when it downloaded, I gasped.

09-08-2004, 08:34 PM
I really like this painting! I wouldn't add any people cuz it looks so nice the way it is.


09-08-2004, 09:53 PM
I do really like this piece. I think it has great impact! However, and take this with a grain of salt because I might be the skewed one...but it feels tilted to me. Kind of like it is all skewed to the left. It has been a really long day, but that is just how it is reading to me. I think Dark_Shades has hit on a few points that will help with this...

Otherwise - i think it is a really strong piece that, with minor adjustments, could turn into my favorite of yours so far!

09-09-2004, 12:42 AM
Some good tips you've got! And if you don't want a figure that might become too important, how bout a cat stalking away along the righthand wall? Hm...well, that might not be any easier than a figure actually...lol.

09-09-2004, 03:02 AM
"One other question...do you think it would be good to have a lone figure in the passage near the end?"

yes ,a non descript figure at the distant end of this alley(?) would give it more impact in my mind. I like the overhanging foilage and silhouetted trees. The ground seems a bit too "clean" and not in keeping with old architecture, but if you did nothing more to it, you got a neat composition going on here that is easily read and pleasing to the eye.

Mikki Petersen
09-10-2004, 12:38 AM
I'm gloating here...I got to see this painting in real life today and it is stunning! The colors are so much more vibrant! Deborah knows what she needs to do and it will be another smashing success but even unfinished, I would proudly hang this one!

I've been thinking, Deborah, since earlier today, why not try putting a figure in with your photo enhancement program and see how you like it...what a about a figure in priest's garb or traditional middle-eastern garb? Don't think the painting needs a person, though. That alley just beckons one to imagine all sorts of intriguing scenarios.

Deborah Secor
06-15-2005, 06:53 PM

Anyone remember this one? I know, it HAS been a while, but I felt like working on it today. I'm still thinking about a figure...

C&C still welcome.


Nancy Leone
06-15-2005, 07:49 PM
Didn't see this one before. Love the colors on the walls near the first arch...think the light on the foliage is a nice touch...I like it without the figure.

Deborah Secor
06-16-2005, 10:20 AM
Thanks, Nancy. I tried adding a figure and couldn't get it to look convincing... Somehow because it's night it feels right being empty to me, too.


06-16-2005, 11:44 AM
WOW Deborah, never saw this first time, it looks lovely, and love the tweaks you have done to it :clap: :clap:

I also like it without the figure.

Mikki Petersen
06-16-2005, 01:10 PM
Deborah, I remember this one and don't remember it needing any tweeking but I do remember you having a struggle with some persoective issues a while back. Whatever you've done has only made it sparkle. I would think a figure in this would give it a sinister feel, somehow...empty, it suggests very late at night after everyone is snuggly at home. Then again, could just be my mood...I sill like this piece.


06-17-2005, 08:27 AM
For me the picture is all about the arrangement of the shapes and planes of the alleyway against the church and the sky. All the color in the alley is getting in the way. Squinting at photo- and I realize that it is a reproduction- and taking away a lot of the color clarifies the geometery and gives it more oomph.
Maybe my problem is that besides having a busy bottom with all the shapes, there are a lot of different colors also. To much of a good thing maybe?

Deborah Secor
06-17-2005, 11:05 AM
Thanks Dominic and Mikki--I think the figure would be a bit extraneous, too--especially since I'm not much at painting them! LOL

This program always makes the reds more brilliant than they are in real life, something we all have to get used to since we can't change it, so I suspect that's what seems too colorful to you, Karl. And for me, the arrangement of the shapes of the arch and the church is the whole focal area...which, as I write this, I realize explains to me why a figure would look odd. I'll look at the painting to see if the colors in the street are overemphasized, with that in mind. Thanks.


06-17-2005, 04:11 PM

Not to be too critical, but if it were me, I would still try to darken some of the planes that aren't lit, and put more glare around the light source in the foreground. I really like your image, but I think if it had a little more contrast, it might portray night a little more. I found the reference photo, and if you look at the tall tree, the lighter side of it is light against the dark sky, but the shadowed part is darker than the night sky. You might try to make the tree disappear into the sky. Sort of like Chardin's still life images where the colors of some of the objects blend into the background. From the reference photo, some of the darkened areas that are in shadow of the structures, are almost as dark as the night sky. Something else that might be interesting to maybe think about adding, if you don't add a human figure, you could always maybe add in a slinking cat figure. I truly hope this helps, and doesn't sound negative. Have fun with this, and keep at it! :)

06-18-2005, 02:32 AM

I saved a copy of one of the images and edited it a little to add a few darks in it, along with a little slinking cat sketch - I noticed after my post that someone else had mentioned a cat. Just to see what it might look like with a small cresent moon, I added that too. Anyway, I just thought I'd add that into the mix. Again, I hope this helps and might give you some ideas.