View Full Version : Cheaper Peepers...pushing my envelope!

09-11-2004, 10:49 AM
I wne to Old Orchard Beach the other day with some painting friends. It was way more croded than we had expected and I have never done anythign like this before. It was overwhelming but good for me. I did some sketches, took some photos and went home. Never even opened the pastels.
Then I started working on this and I think it is finally at the point that it doesn't look like I was in the third grade when I did it. I have a lot of trouble when I have to add figures...but I want to be able to add figures to some of my scenes. Obviously something like this only works with people...unless you are doing a painting called Deserted Old Orchard Beach!
This is terra cotta art spectrum, about 11x14. THe colors are much richer and darker than they show, particularly the blues. It does actually look better in person but I know it is not done and in fact I will probably end up redoing it eventually...but I am looking for any suggestions and comments people have. I don't know why I have so much trouble with these....
I'm also not sure how to handle the ground, which is really brick in shades of bluish greys and reds.


Thanks for looking...and don't laugh too hard! :D


09-11-2004, 11:20 AM
I think this is looking really good! I love the atmosphere, when can I come visit????
The one person that sticks out to me is the man who is in profile, waving. His face seems a bit long or something. I find when doing portraits, that if I don't think of people as people or body parts as body parts (I particularly have to do this with hands and noses), then I can create a much better image. Think of him as a cup, or a bunch of grapes :D and see how you might change him. The other folks look great!

I don't have a ton of experience (well, any really!) with brick pavers, but I did see a really good demo on bricks one time that basically suggested that you block in your color and then use a brush or eraser to hint at the mortar lines or spaces. They made it looks so easy . . . Famous last words, right?

09-11-2004, 11:22 AM
I think this is great. The colours are vivid and delicious and the people are great...not so much that they look super real, but that in looking at them, I can picture people sitting and standing in these poses at the beach, as the summer winds down. In fact...it has a very 50's feel to it for me...like Grease (the movie)...perhaps it's just me, just I wanted to share how it affected me...

My only advice would be to darken up the blue rooftop a bit...it is really close to the sky colour here and adding a darker blue-grey might make it seem a bit separate...

09-11-2004, 12:52 PM
Sandy, the background figures are great and add to the scene. I'd think about losing the guy with the raised hand to open the view to the buildings...the woman looks good as is and the guy in the hat might do better with a long sleeved shirt. I'd like to see you bring a little more building detail in like you've done on your ice creame shoppe pieces :D

09-11-2004, 03:20 PM
I'm in awe of anyone who will even ATTEMPT these, so needless to say, this is impressive to me! I like the happy sunshine feel of it and can almost smell the cooking hot dogs and cotton candy! I think the paving it fine the way it is...being the color it is, one pretty much assumes it's bricks anyway. Amazing that you fit in so much detail in such a small painting!

09-11-2004, 03:42 PM
I did a bit more work a while ago...before I read any of this actually! :D Then we went out for a while and here I am....this is what I have done:

I want the focal point to be the round table with the three figures...but with it being clear where they are...specifically in front of Cheaper Peepers at OOB. So I think I will try to improve on the waving guy rather than remove him. And I agree that maybe I want a bit more detail in the buildings but not a whole lot.
The roof is darker than it looks but the roof/sky is an issue. NOt sure what to do becaues like the foolish red banner, I think the blue roof is recognizable. Maybe I can make it darker and the sky lighter though.
And I have to fix the foolish lobsters on the building on the right....very weird looking right now.
But these comments are helping....thanks everyone!

edit: Doh! I think I somehow replaced the original I had up here with the new version...oh well....so if this looks confusing and you can't compare my "improvements"...sorry! But I fixed the heavy woman at the table so I do think she looks better. Haven't done much with the long faced guy...he's next for a face lift! Unless I decide to take SUe's advice! :D


09-11-2004, 09:02 PM
Wow! When you bite something off to chew, you really bite something off to chew!! Way to go, Sandy!

For the roof, think of maybe darkening it with a grayer-blue- it'll still read right, I think, because you have so much red around. It doesn't have to be a big change, just enough to separate it from the same hue-family blue as the sky.

09-11-2004, 09:18 PM
Good point Julie...a different shade of blue should help. It does stand out more in real life though...one of the things that is showing up much lighter here. The lettering on the peeper sign is much darker too. Weird how that happens.
I've been sitting with it on the mantle in front of me all night...getting some ideas of little things I want to fix. Still mulling over waving arm guy...I think he will stay but he needs a rehab.
You guys are great...always so helpful.



09-11-2004, 09:29 PM
Is the waving guy standing? Cause if so, he's a bit short-legged. If he's seated, nevermind, but maybe delineate a bit between bottom of shirt and top of pants (although "the plumber's view" is not necessary). :eek:

Easier to lighten a too-dark area than darken a too-light area Sandy- go in dark and let the chips fall as they may!

09-12-2004, 07:41 AM
Standing! :D And that is one of the problems with these lousy, compressed pix here...I think it is pretty clear in RL but I can see here where you can't see much of anything. You can see a lot more in the real painting..you can see the heavy woman's left leg and shoe but here it is not there at all.
Oh well...

ANd it seemed like everyone was wearing some shade of blue...and I tried using different tones but I need to differentiate more. Not that it all needed to be blue but I wasn't sure what other color to use...tan pants would get lost in the table and chair. ANd somehow red or green didn't seem right. Such problems...:D

And yes...it is easier to lighten but sometimes I can darken a bit. I'll play with the roof.

09-13-2004, 04:59 PM
Did some little stuff and other than straightening a few lines I think I am done...although c&C always are welcome for next time. I did go back today to paint some more at Old Orchard Beach (not so crowded this time)and had this with me and got lots of nice comments so I felt pretty good about it.
The compression loses a lot and the blue is not really right...it is really more of a cyan really, sort of turquoise. The roof doesn't fight with the sky in real life...and there is more detail you just don't see. But if you see any glaring issues let me know. I scanned it in this time in 2 parts so if you see a little seam..yep, there is a little seam. :D
Thanks for all the support and comments on this one...it really helped.



Kitty Wallis
09-13-2004, 10:54 PM
I think the trouble you are having with figures can be helped by making the heads smaller. If you cover one of the heads, and imagine it, then take your hand away I think you'll see what I mean. Most people make the heads too big when they are trying to 'get' figures. I believe it's because we see them that way but they aren't that way. So we don't know what's wrong.

We see them that way becuse we are more attentive to the heads then the rest of the figure, by habit. We get more information from the face then the rest of the body. At least we women do. :D Our brains do us the 'favor' of magnifying the areas we look at more intently.

09-14-2004, 07:12 AM
Our brains do us the 'favor' of magnifying the areas we look at more int

I can do without that kind of favor, thank you! :D

I think you are right, Kitty. Very interesting as to why it happens. I suppose it makes sense. I'll take a look at it but I bet you are right.
Maybe if I smaller those noggins I'll feel better about it all.