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View Full Version : Impossible Composition? Need help!!


minihorse
02-11-2005, 03:02 PM
Hi everybody:
Here is a photo of part of the harbor in St Martins, NB and my value sketch. I sell prints of my originals to summer tourists who generally want a village portrait with all the essential tourist"stuff" included. So have to keep 2 covered bridges, a lighthouse, and Brians house(red on the far right) in the composition. Also I want to add two backlit figures in front of the dark entrance to the front bridge for some life and interest. I would like the area of the back bridge to be the center of interest as it is sunlit, with light green grass and sparkling water, and has Brians bright red house against dark trees behind. (I have raised that bridge to show more water) I see a problem that with the red top on the lighthouse, attention is grabbed by opposite sides of the picture at the same time. Any ideas how to resolve this, and other problems?
Kathi

Jim Updegraff
02-11-2005, 10:15 PM
I think you have two basic problems. The first is you perspective. The second is that you are trying to get too much in one small painting. I know that this stuff is greatly a matter of person taste and private likes and dislikes, but there, for what its worth is my take on it. Id be inclined to knock this into two or three small pieces or one really big, long, narrow one.

Esmeralinda
02-12-2005, 10:17 AM
Hi,

I agree with Jim about having too much on one canvas. My eye goes from light house to covered bridge. Both equally important structures to me.
Also on your sketch, I think the perspective of the covered bridge isn't receiding enough (you know from wider to narrower) but it is only a sketch.

What if the light house is moved to the right of the bridge and put on the hill?
But only suggested in the background.

Other than that I think it will be a very nice painting.
Love that bridge and rocks. Keep us posted. :)

Linda :wave:

Mikey
02-12-2005, 07:17 PM
I think you've singled out the big shed tonally. You need darker shadow in the foreground railings. Maybe the lighthouse shadow should be darker as well. Quite a challenge a small canvas and lot's in the painting, because that's what people want. My own efforts to give people what they want often don't work out too well.

Mikey

dcorc
02-13-2005, 02:00 AM
I think this is a very tricky composition - too many things dotted about, all claiming attention.

- I've tried tweaking it for you a bit in Photoshop - what I've done is to move all the midground landmarks a bit more towards the centre, brightened the roof of the more distant bridge, darkened the lighthouse a bit, and put a little more light onto the near end of the closer bridge - basically trying to stop the eye wandering off left and right edges and provide a bit more emphasis to the area just right of centre.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Feb-2005/30792-bridge.jpg

Throw in a couple of people against the front of the bridge and it might work - and it's not so dissimilar from the real scene that people are likely to notice.

Any help?

Dave

deevaa
02-13-2005, 02:37 AM
I was about to say that Dave is right on the money with his advice/photoshopped image, but then I compared his photoshopped image to your sketch and it seems to me that you've already pulled the houses in tighter.

Also, I agree that as long as it looks 'right' then people probably won't notice if it's not quite 'true' -- if that makes sense?

Goodluck!

.

dcorc
02-13-2005, 02:53 AM
I was about to say that Dave is right on the money with his advice/photoshopped image, but then I compared his photoshopped image to your sketch and it seems to me that you've already pulled the houses in tighter.

That's entirely true, that Kathi had done that in her sketch - but as it was quick to do on the photo, it seemed worthwhile as offering a potentially helpful resource - and I've played around with the lighting a little too, as I commented. :)

Dave

deevaa
02-13-2005, 03:06 AM
I wasn't baggin' ya Dave!

minihorse
02-13-2005, 12:06 PM
Thank you everybody, I am somewhat more encouraged with this paintings' possibilities. I think I'll try one large one with everything in it and if I'm not sick of it, a couple of smaller ones with out so many bits and pieces.Thank you Dave for all your creative work with the photo tweaking. I will move the important parts closer together. I have the drawing mostly done, its about 20"x26". I walked down to the bridge yesterday and on the far right edge just out of the photo is an almost vertical sandstone cliff so I am toying with putting a bit of it in to keep eyes from wandering off the edge. Also I'm wondering if toning down the red lighthouse top with some green mixed in and using my brightest red for Brians house will conquer the problem of the pull of reds on the opposite sides... All my wondering for over a week now about how to proceed is quite paralysing when it comes to actually wetting a brush!
Kathi

minihorse
02-18-2005, 11:33 AM
Well, its a few days later and here is where I've got to. I have all the foreground rock bank to do yet and the rocks and road at the other end of the bridge. Any and all suggestions welcome!
Kathi

Mikey
02-18-2005, 11:38 AM
I'd like to seem some darker, stronger paint in the right foreground and with some detail.

Mikey

minihorse
02-20-2005, 02:16 PM
Well, Ive made a bit of progress but still need to do something more difinitive I think maybe to the water on the left. I wish I could figure out how to resize to the 500x600 requirement without the picture going out of focus.
Kathi
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Feb-2005/56200-wip3.jpg[IMG]

favoriteson
02-20-2005, 03:31 PM
Well, Ive made a bit of progress but still need to do something more difinitive I think maybe to the water on the left. I wish I could figure out how to resize to the 500x600 requirement without the picture going out of focus.
Kathi
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Feb-2005/56200-wip3.jpg[IMG]
well i believe something needs to be done to the light house and the upper right hand side to balance it out other than that great!!

Jim Updegraff
02-20-2005, 10:06 PM
If I were you (and obviously Im not), Id increase the height of the guard rail- fence as it approaches the viewer and darken the shadow side of the light house. Putting the figures in does a nice job of establishing the scale and except for the fence in the middleground - foreground transition you have fixed the perspective problems. Remember that we are likely to be a lot more picky about this stuff that your potential customers.

minihorse
02-22-2005, 12:34 PM
Thanks Jim, I think I'm finally finished. I left the railing alone fearing that if I tried to remove pigment and redo at this stage I'd make an irreversible mess of it. I've put in some reflections in the front left water and generally fiddled with darkening shadows here and there. Would appreciate suggestions from anyone as to final tweaking. You know when you get to the point where you've looked at the work so long you cant see what you need to any more?
Kathi
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Feb-2005/56200-wip_final.jpg

Jim Updegraff
02-22-2005, 11:26 PM
And I think you have done a very credible and workman like job of it. That is a complement. :)

WRoget
02-24-2005, 02:05 PM
Recognizing that this one is finished -

since you are on site - does the lay of the land allow a composition that has the viewer looking 3/4ths head on and through one bridge, with the lighthouse framed thusly - with the road then leading on to the other bridge and deeper into the village?