View Full Version : R.I.P. - (Work In Progess)

Kathryn Wilson
09-09-2004, 09:49 PM
Here's my latest piece - soft pastels. First time for a car for me. Did a preliminary sketch quite a while ago, but never got around to finishing it. Decided to keep my mind off my family in Florida by staying in the studio - it didn't work, but I got something on paper.

This is from a photo my hubby took in an old churchyard in Ohio. Yes, those are grave stones, with an old car put out to pasture in the church graveyard, and to boot, there was a flock of chickens running around. Made quite a photo. Have yet to add the chickens - people are still debating on it over in the pastel forum - good or bad, they are going in!

09-10-2004, 07:58 AM
hi there...i noticed you dissapeared for about a week. welcome back :)
i'm not reading this so much as a churchyard...right now the focus is the truck. BUT...i am excited about the addition of chickens...in fact i'd love to see one up on the hood of the truck peering down. that would be a great focal point.
the truck is at an interesting angle but smack in the middle. even w/ the addition of chickens to offset this...ya still may wanna crop it on one side or the other.
imho...i think you should do an intensive study on composition in books & such, or get in w/ formal training of some sort. some things just don't come naturally & you do well w/ everything else but this is a weak point. perhaps it's not being comfortable w/ departing from what's in a photo, but 'cutting & pasting' the initial composition is an important investment for all the work you put into these. if you have any photo editing software you could always scan your pict.s & move them around in that first. sometimes i do that & then print out my final 'frankenstein' sketch, alter shadows & such & paint from that.
w/ study...you'll find there's a lot of hidden science involved & those principles will move you lightyears ahead. i'm still learning that light & dark patterns are really another level of shapes to be dealt with--a hidden compostitional element.

09-10-2004, 09:23 AM
I love old cars like these. It's looking great, and I like the lighting on the truck. The background feels a little too close... might could use some greying up or something. Might add a little depth if there were a small branch from the foreground tree that overlaps the car. If this is the first time you've done a car, you're a natural.

I think you should make the chickens pit workers, changing the tires and gassing it up. ;)

Kathryn Wilson
09-10-2004, 09:58 AM
Thanks Ted! That's a great idea for an illustration isn't it - :) I just loved this scene when we took the photos - the idea of life (chickens) running around the gravestones and this old car.

09-10-2004, 11:16 AM
I like the lighting as well, has a nice evening time feel to it. The chickens would be neat and add a whimsical feel to it, though not neccessary.

Jen has a good point, but like most things, there's a flip side to it. (lets see if I can explain my thinking intelligently :wink2: ) It kinda depends on your intent for the piece (what you want to say). What jen is describing is a composisition made up of a "scene". Where you have the subject in its surroundings. It is about the subject, but about the subject within its environment.

What you have going on now is more akin to portraiture. The environment and surroundings are secondary to the subject. It is more independent of those elements. Kinda like a head shot in portraiture. So inorder to make this type image work you have to find ways to lead the eye in and around the subject itself, finding a focal point with in the subject rather than the subject being the focal point.

Harley Brown is a master of this. He has a couple of books that are worth checking out and you can see some of his work here: http://www.cmgww.com/historic/brown/

So if what you are after is the truck and its surroundings, the graveyard, the chickens, and the environment, then jens advice is much more valid. However, if what you are after is just the truck then you might consider what I'm talking about.

I hope that makes sense. I have struggled with this concept for years. One of my early influences said "Search for a picture within the subject rather than of the subject." That sounded profound (at the time) and like something I shoud be doing. But, I never understood it, now after several years I'm starting to wrap my brain around it.

Kathryn Wilson
09-10-2004, 12:06 PM
Hey Dave, thanks for commenting! I realize this does not come across as strongly as it will when it is done - but you are right, this is about the car and the evening light on it.

I thought I had planned out the composition pretty well - I wanted the branches of the tree to lead the eye into the painting from the left - then allow the lines of the car lead to eye to the sunlight spot on the right of the painting, then have the grave stones stop the eye at the right side of the painting. Depending on where I place the chickens - they may help form a triangle within the painting.

Now that I see some comments on it, I realize I can make this painting stronger with the colors in the car.

We'll see how it comes out with some more work - :)

09-10-2004, 12:32 PM
I love old cars, and old car paintings, and red is my favorite color... so this appeals to me on many levels.
I like it very much.

Jo in Georgia

09-10-2004, 10:32 PM
whatever your focus...the truck is smack in the middle w/ almost equal space around the outside. my issue is a pretty picture vs. something that draws you in & you can't fully pinpoint it because of the hidden science of how our eyes opperate.
i'm just not a sugar-coat'in kinda girl...sorry if i'm offending.
this would be a good piece to send to the artist's magazine's 'art clinic' & have an expert go through the science part. and great publicity i might add too.

09-11-2004, 10:42 AM
In the plein air forum...we have an understanding among its fine participants (plus it is part of our actual forum guidelines now) that critiques are unwarranted unless actually requested by the artist. Usually such invitation will post a "C&C please" near end of their post. (critiques and comments please)

This is because many paint for many various reasons...and it serves as a way too of bringing professionals together with newer younger artists and prevent unforeseen tussles, misunderstandings and so forth. As artists, we tend to wear our emotions on our sleeves, and some by nature are more insistent and see one way, others more reclusive whereby harsh approaches are inclined to be counter productive and send the artist into greater isolation still.

Many participate in a forum in an arts community for many reasons, some for simple fellowship which smooths out the isolation of our vocation's nature.

This thread puts me in a position where I am wondering if such ought not to be inclusive to participation here in this forum.

The advantage of course is that by seeing "C&C please" in a poster's post, you know from the get go that honest appraisal and advice is hoped for and welcome.

Now...on the idea of critiques itself...I'll wager to say that other than Henrik in the critique forum, there is perhaps hardly another that critiques around this community more than I, and I have been doing it since there were less than 1,000 members here at Wetcanvas.

There is a way to critque that is not offensive, there is an understanding of human nature and a respect that works to mold how you might present yourself. A bandaid put on a wound forcibly with great strength might in the end cover the wound and prevent infection, but why MUST the application of it be done with anything less than gentle care?

To forcibly insist on a brute force approach to critique is more than likely to find your insights put at distance because of its wounding nature. That is human nature and predictable, but often seen by the one doing the damage as just evidence that honest critique was not wanted. My experience has found this not to be the case.

I will discuss with guides and mods the possibility of a guideline that critiques ought first to be asked for...and perhaps a note about how one ought to provide a critique.

One does not need to be a "sugar coatin'" kinda girl or guy to learn decorum and diplomacy. If the intent is to have one's good advice heard, then it is worth understanding how delivery will make such advice likely to be received. That burden is not on the behalf of the artist that might stand to make good use of that advice, but on the one delivering it.

So it is understood, this thread was reported to me, which calls then for me to put on my moderator hat and see what issue is at hand. IT is an office responsibility I do not take lightly, and one that is aside and different from my general participation as a member. It incurs the necessity at times to take actions that are not necessarily popular nor comfortable for me to inact, but in the greater picture of Wetcanvas being first a "community" I humbly set myself aside (of how I'd like to be perceived as a nice all around good guy) to enact the responsibilities of my office.

That being said...I will edit future posts that imply to warrant justification in potentially wounding commentary. I take partial blame for this, and more blame than anyone here...for I lacked the foresight to inact such guidelines to begin with. My apologies....


09-11-2004, 11:07 AM
Them's good rules and pretty simple.

From my experience on other boards, simply a periodic and necessary reminder.

09-12-2004, 12:05 PM
thank you & well taken. i am definately teachable. i hope kyle will forgive me for my transgressions/big mouth & we can move on from this.
the sheep truly appreciate the shepherd!

Kathryn Wilson
09-12-2004, 01:15 PM
Hey, Jen - thanks for that - not having facial expressions to go along with what is being said, makes conversations via computer quite tricky at times.

Have taken to heart some of your suggestions - :)

09-12-2004, 04:05 PM
thank you tons for your forgiveness. the more i think about it...the more i wanna crawl in a hole. a thousand 'i'm sorry's :crying:
indeed, the cold-faced computer is no fun at all & i really need to not assume that everybody knows my character & my intent. (ted & i had this issue b-4 too).
~~~very sorry jen

09-12-2004, 11:32 PM
Hey Jen....( mod hat off...) let's move on, things happen...none of us are without moments. This time we encourage you...and need you to stick around because we may need your encouragement next!

its all about growing in our art, as artists...as friends.

take care


09-15-2004, 01:08 PM
Well, Kyle,

I for one was just simply amazed at the colors of your car. The lighting is superb. I tend to agree with Ted on the background, but it is a bold picture to begin with. I too can't wait to see the chickens in the picture!

I hope you can post that soon. I have an interest in ol' cars and chicks! ;)


Kathryn Wilson
09-15-2004, 02:03 PM
LOL - thanks Terry! The continuing saga of this painting - took tree out, put tree back in, moved it forward, moved it back - sigh. Got one chicken in, added gravestones, worked on background, more work on the car - so I'd say it's about 3/4 done.

Will post an update when I can get to it - thanks for looking! :wave:

Kathryn Wilson
09-19-2004, 05:29 PM
Done, signed and on to the next one.

Had a hard time with colors this time around - reds throw my camera off - even after working in PS with it, the colors are still off. But you get the idea.


09-20-2004, 07:59 AM
Beauty! And the chickens make it. I like the contrast between the warms and cools. You really have a GREAT sense of color that I envy. I wish I was color blind so I'd at least have an excuse. Wonderful depth, great contrast, excellent color.

09-21-2004, 02:19 PM
Hey Kyle Awesome! I just saw that you had posted this. It looks great finished! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Done, signed and on to the next one.

Exactly! :wink2: :D

09-21-2004, 02:28 PM
Well I love it Kyle. The warmth on the car is just wonderful! Everything turned out great! You should be proud of this one!


P.S. I half expected a chicken behind the wheel!!!! :)

Kathryn Wilson
09-22-2004, 07:19 AM
Thanks Dave and Terry! As to those chickens, I toyed with a few fun ideas, but decided to try something like that at another time. I have a few other paintings in mind that involve "chooks" (down under term for chickens) that could mean more fun with feathers! :wave:

09-28-2004, 10:21 AM
i sure did miss a lot last week. this piece has really come a long way!
the lighting play really moves the eye & the chickens really 'ice' this. great job! ;)