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piazzi
09-26-2004, 11:07 AM
untitled
18 x 24
acrylic on stretched canvas

Finished this yesterday, picture is taken after two thin coats of matte varnish

will appreciated your opinion

thanks

Charlie's Mum
09-26-2004, 12:28 PM
Well.....
the composition is fine but I find the colours a little harsh.
Colours usually fade into the background - arial perspective - and lose their intensity.
When you give every part the same degree of attention - in colour and detail - you lose a focal point. If you hadn't already varnished this, you could have added some subtlety with sympathetic light and shade, but......
Sorry if I seem to be a bit down on you....only trying to be helpful!! :D

JamieWG
09-26-2004, 01:34 PM
Hi Piazzi. This is a large painting of a challenging subject that you took on! Congratulations on a big effort. :clap:

I am always reluctant to give a critique on a painting that is done and varnished, as obviously it is too late to make changes. For future works, you may want to think about more variation in your greens, breaking up larger areas of similar color, and letting values and muted tones work to pop your color.

Looking forward to the next one!

Jamie

joa
09-26-2004, 01:37 PM
:confused: Isn't it possible to paint over varnish?

King Rundzap
09-26-2004, 01:47 PM
Well, this one may be exceptionally stupid, even from me, but how about, "Saturday In The Park--I Think It Was The Fourth Of July" ?

That's the only one I could think of in a couple minutes.

(thought you were looking for a title, lol--maybe you were).

Nice painting, by the way.

King Rundzap
09-26-2004, 01:53 PM
Well.....
the composition is fine but I find the colours a little harsh.
Colours usually fade into the background - arial perspective - and lose their intensity.
When you give every part the same degree of attention - in colour and detail - you lose a focal point. If you hadn't already varnished this, you could have added some subtlety with sympathetic light and shade, but......
Sorry if I seem to be a bit down on you....only trying to be helpful!! :D

I love your composition in terms of colors, too, by the way. Yes, the standard thing to do is to use aerial perspective, etc., but wouldn't it be boring if we all did the standard thing? The colors are strong, but I like that, personally, and would probably more readily buy something like your painting than something more subdued (and I do buy, and there are plenty of others with similar tastes to mine, but different people like different things, obviously).

I also thought you had a single focal point (the cabin/shed) without any problem, although I also don't agree that good composition has to have a single focal point.

habondia
09-26-2004, 02:37 PM
I really like the intense colours too.
It is a bit flat becuase of the lack of variation of greens-- but I like that, especially since the depth is implied just by the composition. It's kinda cool how you're taken into the painting and then it becomes flat again the next second. It becomes alive!
I really like this painting!

piazzi
09-26-2004, 03:08 PM
Thank you all for taking the time. I intentionally stayed strong with reds and greens throughout, there is a yellow cast on the digital image that is not present in the painting, I could not get rid of it using adobe.



:confused: Isn't it possible to paint over varnish?
of course it is possible to paint over varnish.

Iespecially since the depth is implied just by the composition.

I tried to repeat the burnt sienas all the way up to the shed to establish a depth path.

QUOTE=King Rundzap]The colors are strong, but I like that, personally, and would probably more readily buy something like your painting than something more subdued [/QUOTE]

It has actually found a happy home (sold) -- as of this morning :-)

piazzi
09-26-2004, 03:15 PM
Sorry if I seem to be a bit down on you....only trying to be helpful!! :D

No problem, I like that, I don't post an image looking for pad on the back (well, it would not hurt) but mainly to seek opinions and learn.

jbitzel
09-26-2004, 07:54 PM
very pleasing painting but where is the subject? :wink2:

Marty C
09-26-2004, 09:07 PM
Hi Piazzi,
You have taken on a complex work and have made a fine attempt.
There are a few points I would like to make on this work.

First, lets talk composition
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Sep-2004/16809-IMG_2717_2_x1._500_600

I have put in a couple of areas here to look at. First off, in the lower half of the work you have set up a circular eye path with the pots, the area in the ellipse.
This is a fine compositional device and something to aim for. Usually the circular path is reserved for the area which is to be the focal point, as the circular path keeps the eye centred on this area, which is what you intend for a focal point.
So the placement of the pots allied with the detail and the dark colour contrasting with the light yellows really makes this area the focal area. In fact, if you cropped out the top part this lower area works quite well by itself, with the path leading on to an area the imagination can fill in, also a good thing to have in a work.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Sep-2004/16809-IMG_2717_2A.jpg

Now if you look at the top half of your work, the path and trees all lead the eye up to the sky. The sky is a light area and the eye is always attracted to light. With the path and the trees the eye will zoom to the sky. However, the sky here is just negative space, nothing to see, so the viewer exits the work out the top of the painting.
The shed is completely bypassed as it is half hidden, there is nothing leading up to it, it is peripheral to the eye path leading to the light.

The other point I would like to make is use of value and depth. Close up, objects have detail and a full colour range - the reds, yellows are strong, the values dark and rich.
With increasing distance, the dust, water vapour etc in the air gradually strips out the different wavelengths of light, with the yellows going first, then the reds and so on until blue is left. This is why hills in the distance have a bluish look.
In painting, even if the distance is relatively small, the same principles should apply to promote the illusion of depth. So up close the values are darker, with more reds or yellows, darker greens etc. As we move into the work, the values lighten, the colours shift more to green then blue green.
Incorporating these features into your work will greatly increase the richness and interest in the final painting.
I hope this helps a little.

piazzi
09-27-2004, 09:18 AM
Hi Piazzi,
First off, in the lower half of the work you have set up a circular eye path with the pots, the area in the ellipse.

.....

Now if you look at the top half of your work, the path and trees all lead the eye up to the sky.

...

Hi Marty,

this is great, thank you very very much, much appreciate it

King Rundzap
09-27-2004, 10:23 AM
. . . Usually the circular path is reserved for the area which is to be the focal point, as the circular path keeps the eye centred on this area, which is what you intend for a focal point . . . So the placement of the pots allied with the detail and the dark colour contrasting with the light yellows really makes this area the focal area . . . Now if you look at the top half of your work, the path and trees all lead the eye up to the sky. The sky is a light area and the eye is always attracted to light. With the path and the trees the eye will zoom to the sky. However, the sky here is just negative space, nothing to see, so the viewer exits the work out the top of the painting.
The shed is completely bypassed as it is half hidden, there is nothing leading up to it, it is peripheral to the eye path leading to the light . . .


Marty, I'm not picking on your comments, but they're a great example of something that I'd like to start another thread about. I don't know if I'm just a nutcase or if my view on this is common, but I hardly _ever_ agree with comments about where the focal point in a painting is, or where one's eye is led. With me, it's even very rare that I think there's a focal point, although sometimes I try to pick one out, if we're talking about composition and that might be an issue.

For example, in this painting, when I try to pick out what seems like a focal point to me, it is the shed. (Although even at that, to me, there is a degree of artificiality about picking out a focal point.) Not the pots in the foreground, and not the sky. I also never agree with "your eye is led out of the painting"--not just in this painting, in any painting. My eye would only be led out of a painting if I didn't like it, lol. Otherwise, I have no problem controlling my eyes. When I look at paintings, I tend to dart around from place to place, looking at various details, pulling back and looking at it as a whole, etc. It never resembles all of the "your eye is drawn into the painting/led out of the painting/etc." talk. If I were to take a test trying to guess where the supposed focal point is for 100 paintings, I might get 5 right, by chance.

While we're at it, although I agree that standard aerial perspective can work, it's not often that I feel something lacks depth because of a lack of aerial perspective. Other kinds of perspective, such as linear or the mere fact of overlapping forms, usually works just as well for me, as it does in this painting.

Am I just goofy, or do other people have problems empathizing with those kinds of comments, too?

It seems to me that if I have trouble parsing those kinds of concerns and ideas, a lot of other viewers (especially non-artists) must have trouble with them, too, so it wouldn't be a big factor in people liking an artwork, which would be my primary concern there, beyond doing something that pleases myself.

I wonder if things like the standard theories on focal points, aerial perspective, etc. aren't primarily taught, and thus primarily concerns of artists who have been taught those things.

joa
09-27-2004, 02:50 PM
I don't know how long Piazzi has been painting. After we become somewhat adept at painting in a conventional way, and following the traditional guidelines, then we find our own style, which may include flat, among other things. Perhaps Piazzi has done all that and has painted exactly what he intended.

However, I know as a new painter, I wanted to know how to paint a realistic picture. That meant all those concepts like focal point, depth, distance, and values. Now that I understand those basics and know how to use them, I can do away with them if I choose, in any painting. While most of the time, I don't consciously use the "rules," they are there if I need to pull them up--it happens!

I like having the critiques on others' paintings; it helps me because I am still learning. I hope you do, too, Piazzi. And I like your painting. :cool:

Jo

King Rundzap
09-27-2004, 03:40 PM
I don't know how long Piazzi has been painting. After we become somewhat adept at painting in a conventional way, and following the traditional guidelines, then we find our own style, which may include flat, among other things. Perhaps Piazzi has done all that and has painted exactly what he intended.

However, I know as a new painter, I wanted to know how to paint a realistic picture. That meant all those concepts like focal point, depth, distance, and values. Now that I understand those basics and know how to use them, I can do away with them if I choose, in any painting. While most of the time, I don't consciously use the "rules," they are there if I need to pull them up--it happens!

I like having the critiques on others' paintings; it helps me because I am still learning. I hope you do, too, Piazzi. And I like your painting. :cool:

Jo

I wish we would take this to the other thread I started (in the debate forum--I called it "Focal Points, Composition and other formal concerns"), but I'm not complaining about rules, or even talking about them like they're rules necessarily, or anything else on this end so much as saying, "Hold on--as a description of what happens to me as a viewer when I look at a painting, this stuff makes little sense to me--is there anyone who agrees?"

The standard notions of things like focal points, geometric composition, horizon placement, aerial perspective, etc. are usually described in terms of "this is what happens to you when you look at this work". I'm coming forward and saying, "No, that's not what happens to me when I look at a work at all". My eyes don't go where people say the focal point is, I don't think paintings look better with "one focal point" instead of two or more, I don't think paintings with horizons not in the middle look better, I don't think that certain kinds of geometric foundations for compositions look better, My eyes are never "led out of a painting", I don't think that this particular painting would look better with traditional aerial perspective, etc.

I'm really wondering if there's something very odd about the way I look at paintings and to everyone else, the standard notions as above make sense, or whether there are other people around like me who agree that those notions don't describe much about their personal experiences with paintings, as a viewer (of course, there's also an extension that I wouldn't be very concerned about them in my work as an artist, because they don't make much sense to me).

--King Rundzap

Marty C
09-27-2004, 07:11 PM
Hi King Rundzap,
Unfortunately I'm kind of rushed (going out of town for a few days on business) so I can't give the detailed response I would like. Maybe when I get back.
The summary of what I would say is that the eye paths, focal points etc are all devices which to the average viewer are completely unknown. A viewer will look at a work, take it all in in around a second. Their eye may return a few times to an area, or rest a while on an area. That area is the focal point. They will not identify it as a focal point. They may have taken a certain path through the work without even being aware their eye took that route(remember we are talking seconds in this intial viewing). An awareness of how or why their eye proceeeds through a work is not necessary for them to enjoy (or not ) a work. Their eye's journey is a subconcious reaction to what they see in front of them.
The artist however should be aware of how and why their eye does what it does. The artist has the means at hand through composition, design, colour and value to manipulate the viewer's eye to the area they most want the viewer to see. Our brains are hardwired to react to certain stimuli. Movement is the most fundamental, we will see or even feel movement before all else (the hunter's instinct). After that, light over dark, bright colour over dark colour and then colour hue (for example we will notice a bright red before a cool blue). In art we don't have movement, but we have all the rest, and in the hands of a skilled artist your eye will be directed much more than you consciously realise.

King Rundzap
09-28-2004, 07:23 AM
Hi King Rundzap,
Unfortunately I'm kind of rushed (going out of town for a few days on business) so I can't give the detailed response I would like. Maybe when I get back.
The summary of what I would say is that the eye paths, focal points etc are all devices which to the average viewer are completely unknown. A viewer will look at a work, take it all in in around a second. Their eye may return a few times to an area, or rest a while on an area. That area is the focal point. They will not identify it as a focal point. They may have taken a certain path through the work without even being aware their eye took that route(remember we are talking seconds in this intial viewing). An awareness of how or why their eye proceeeds through a work is not necessary for them to enjoy (or not ) a work. Their eye's journey is a subconcious reaction to what they see in front of them.
The artist however should be aware of how and why their eye does what it does. The artist has the means at hand through composition, design, colour and value to manipulate the viewer's eye to the area they most want the viewer to see. Our brains are hardwired to react to certain stimuli. Movement is the most fundamental, we will see or even feel movement before all else (the hunter's instinct). After that, light over dark, bright colour over dark colour and then colour hue (for example we will notice a bright red before a cool blue). In art we don't have movement, but we have all the rest, and in the hands of a skilled artist your eye will be directed much more than you consciously realise.

But the point for me is that my eyes don't work the way people are saying they work when it comes to things like focal points. I'm very conscious of it, because I am an artist, and I've studied lots of stuff where things like focal points were issues. What made me question it so much initially is that sometimes, or maybe even often, a supposed focal point wasn't even something I really noticed until the author pointed it out. (like saying, "Oh, there are pots there, how about that, I didn't even notice that area"). Or it may have been something I noticed, but not until I'd been looking at the painting for awhile (such as this case, I think what actually happened was something like, "Wow, nice greens, ah, and I like the path (I'm a hiker, so I notice paths quickly, usually), hey, that's neat how the shed is just partially in view, it makes you wonder what else is there, and that blue sky is very pleasant, I like that color against the green, as well as the contrast of the intense yellow-greens against the rest of the colors, and wow, that would be a nice garden to have in the backyard, eh? Say, I like those tile/brick patterns, too, and those pots are cool, I like how they're angled a bit "chaotically" with respect to the perspective in the rest of the picture").

So it's something I'm conscious of --how I look at paintings, where my eyes go, if anything ever "leads" me out of a painting, how I react to different colors, etc. and I just don't do that the same way that the standard theory has it. I certainly do not believe that my eyes do that and so on whether I'm aware of it or not (and a fortiori in my case, I'm aware that they don't do that). I think it has a lot more to do with different viewers' tastes, and for things that I have particular interests in--from an artistic perspective, that is certain kinds of subjects, colors, etc., and from a non-artistic perspetive, it's related to my other interests, such as hiking paths (mentioned above), or in figural work involving women, fetishes that I have (like a foot fetish). I'll notice those things early on, because I'm attracted to them in general, either artistically or otherwise (or both, perhaps). If I did pottery, or collected pots, I'd probably notice the pots in the painting as one of the first things.

I do agree that most people who aren't artists wouldn't think of it in terms of focal points. That's not what I'm talking about (I'm not talking about the particular terms they would use). I was talking about whether most people would find themselves drawn to a certain area of a painting, find their gaze "led out" of a painting, etc. Maybe they would. I'm not making a claim either way. I'd have to survey people, and I agree it might not be something most of them thought much about prior to the survey.

I'm just noting that the standard views on that stuff do not describe what goes on with me when I look at a painting, and I'm wondering if anyone else is like me on that. So far I've had a couple people arguing against things I'm not talking about (see extra note on this below) and no one saying, "Yeah, that doesn't describe me, either", or even "Yes, that does describe me".

As I mentioned, all I seem to have had in response so far is a couple people arguing points that I'm not really talking about. That is seeming to be a common problem for me on Wet Canvas in general.

For example, with your response to me, you seem to be interpreting me as talking about common viewer's awareness of something they experience and whether an artist should emphasize that thing that they also experience. That's not what I was talking about. I was reporting that I do not experience this in the way that people say they experience it, and wondering if I'm alone in that. Now maybe you're wanting to argue that everyone experiences how the standard notions have it.

You basically seem to be positing a robot theory of it, where the theory cannot be wrong, and appealing to a non-falsifiable defense of "well, whether you believe it happens or not, it does". As you can imagine, I think there are a lot of problems with such contentions. And in any event, it's not an _argument_ that whether everyone believes it happens or not, it does, it's just a claim. The claim would need some support. It seems to me that the fact that I'm conscious of not doing it the way the standard notions have it, yet I'm intimately familiar with the standard notions, would be sufficient evidence to falsify the claim of "everyone does this, it's just that some people are not aware of it".

In any event, I wasn't looking to get into a debate about the merit of physiological claims that contradict conscious experience (although we could do that, but it's going to take a long time . . . I've done a lot of work on that stuff in philosophy of mind/cognitive science in the past, so I have a lot of views on it, some of them controversial).

It's frustrating that I can't seem to communicate with anyone here--I'm not blaming them, it could be the way I'm writing, too--and it's making it tempting to just abandon trying. I can only remember only four or five posts out of over 100 where most of what I said wasn't just ignored, and the stuff that was responded to wasn't mostly misunderstood or just contradicted without much support. Oy . . . :(

jbitzel
09-28-2004, 08:23 AM
But the point for me is that my eyes don't work the way people are saying they work Mr. Rundzap this is not the first time we have dissagreed. You claim to be very self aware and that the standard rules of composition do not apply to you. Well, remember that these things may very from person to person and are by no means a requirement. However I think you are wrong, sometimes it is hard to interpret initial emotions about a piece, and as a photographer and designer of many displays and page layouts, I assure you the human eyes do behave the way we think... I guess you are just special. For example if I had a painting of two gentleman the one on the left pointing left and the one on the right pointing right, you would not be able to convince me that your eyes are drawn to the middle. And about your eyes never being led off the canvas, your eyes don't actually leave but it is like a class you are not interested in. You are paying attention because you have too and while you are listening your mind is wandering. You may be looking at a painting but are you actually interested, are you searching for the most minute detail like how does the background look? Did you see the small lady bug on the bottom of that leaf. I don't think anyone can be totally self aware, but realize that while interpretation differs composition is a tool for turning someone on or turning someone away. Like this painting the artists technique is wonderful and the hues are very pleasing but I only looked at it for 2 sec, there could have been a goat there but I never mad it past the pots. Don't think I am trashing the piece, it is still better than I could do. King I hope I have not offended you just a difference in opinion. :wave:

ExpressiveAngie
09-28-2004, 08:45 AM
Poor Piazza! :(
Dont mind everyone - your painting is lovely and all we can do is paint our heart and learn (hopefully) with each one. I hope you continue to post your paintings and hang out with us. :)

King Rundzap
09-28-2004, 09:12 AM
First, just another request. Can we _please_ move this discussion to the separate thread I started for it, instead? ("Focal points, composition and other formal concerns" or something similar to that, in the debate forum) I decided to move my response to that thread. If you're interested, please head there.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=219005

JamieWG
09-28-2004, 09:17 AM
First, just another request. Can we _please_ move this discussion to the separate thread I started for it, instead?

I agree completely! KR, the best way to get folks to move to the other thread rather than hijacking poor Piazzi's thread is to post a link here to where you want us to go, rather than describing the location. Would you do that for us please?

Many thanks,
Jamie

piazzi
09-28-2004, 09:19 AM
Mr. Rundzap this is not the first time we have dissagreed. You claim to be very self aware and that the standard rules of composition do not apply to you. Well, remember that these things may very from person to person and are by no means a requirement. However I think you are wrong

I believe there is no wrong in art, if it feels right to just one person, at least the artist, then it is right, just a humble opinion

piazzi
09-28-2004, 09:21 AM
Poor Piazza! :(
Dont mind everyone - your painting is lovely and all we can do is paint our heart and learn (hopefully) with each one. I hope you continue to post your paintings and hang out with us. :)

Of course not, this is very amusing, if I could raise this much controversy with just one piece .... kind of make me feel proud of the piece

ExpressiveAngie
09-28-2004, 09:23 AM
Of course not, this is very amusing, if I could raise this much controversy with just one piece .... kind of make me feel proud of the piece
I am glad that is your personality, lol, if it wouldve happen to me on one of my first posts I wouldve tucked tail and ran! :D :p

JamieWG
09-28-2004, 09:28 AM
Of course not, this is very amusing, if I could raise this much controversy with just one piece .... kind of make me feel proud of the piece

Piazzi, you are an extremely gracious host! :)

Jamie

jbitzel
09-28-2004, 10:55 AM
Thanks for the post Piazzi. :wave:

HRH Goldie
09-28-2004, 12:40 PM
Piazzi, I've just found this thread and it has more ups and downs than a soap opera lol!
You've got some really good advice and people have illustrated it with some useful diagrams.
The long and short of it is you have talent and like a lot of here it just needs fine tuning. :D
I often think if people were paying for mentoring and critiques (as a lot of private colleges do) I wonder if what was said would be so easily dismissed.
I for one relish in the help I get - not just the constructive but the negative also (although it does hurt a little sometimes :p ). This is how we learn.
I'm so glad you have a sense of humour and that at the end of the day we are reading this thread in order to view your work. :clap:

Keep at it and all I will say is that isn't it funny how some people pick totally apt avatars!!!! :evil: Nudge nudge wink wink say no more :D


Christine