View Full Version : Morning Gossip
Title: Morning Gossip
Year Created: 2000
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!
This is a painting that I have reworked several times and just can't seem to accomplish what I want. The main thing I've been unhappy with is the background and the cut and paste look of the chickens. Most of the cut and paste look came from working and reworking the background.
I wanted this painting to have a more painterly style but feel it comes off stiff. I may and may not try to rework this one again. At the present, I'm thinking I might just start over with a new canvas.
I have photographs I took myself that I would be willing to share if posting these would help this discussion. This painting comes from observation, memory and the aid of my reference photos.
MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
1. Tell me how I can keep my chickens from having that cut an paste look. How can I get that "movement" feeling. They seem stuffed to me. I know you probably will tell me to "lose" some edges, but I just don't understand how to choose which edges to "lose". I think I can do this, but would like to discuss how to make good choices and the reasons behind them.
2. Tell me what style you think this painting falls into. Is it folk art, and if so, how can I move it away from being folk art into being considered a serious work? (not that folk art isn't serious) What makes a piece be considered folk art?
3. Color choices? Any thoughts?
4. Composition: All the chickens are the same black and white variety. I want the rooster to be the star player. How can I make him stand out but keep the other chickens looking black and white as he does?
5. What other problem areas do you see?
01-10-2002, 11:57 AM
The way I see it:
The blue of the background isn't helping you -- maybe replace the blue with a raw sienna.
I think all the chickens (and Mr. Roster) being Plymouth Rocks are fine.
In the foreground if the subjects were standing on hay (which will tie to the background -- raw sienna) strong shadows will tie the subjects to the ground and help with the paste on effect.
This is really only my opinion -- don't think you can get a "serious" piece of art with chickens. Kind of like the painting of, "The Dogs Playing Poker" -- nothing you could do to make that a "serious" work of art. (This is all just my and only my impression.)
Last: Stiff/Loose, (...more painterly style but feel it comes off stiff...) I have been beaten up and also many others have been beaten to a pulp with this term "STIFF". Nuts to it. Paint the way you like to paint. I have seen some very "loose" works that did absolutely nothing for me nor did they convey any message to me. Do what you want to do not force yourself to satisfy someone else criteria.
Be Happy and Enjoy Yourself,
01-10-2002, 04:23 PM
What you've achieved here Llis is a "decorative" piece. Almost serigraphic pop art from the 60's kinda feel to it.
The problem is, you have no relationship tying the subject (chickens) and background together.
One of the basic rules of painting is establishing a color rhythm, and you do that by sharing color notes of one area, placing them somewhere, somehow into another.
Thus, like landscape painting working the color of grasses into the sky, and working sky color into the grasses, etc; You need to convince the viewer that the chickens are existing in the time and space of their environment. The colors of the background and foreground should subtlely appear in the chickens. The colors of the chickens should repeat and appear elsewhere.
One problem that you have here is that the cool stark colors of the background are not emotionally and psychologically "warming"...thus, while putting blues and greens into the chickens would work, (and colors of chickens throughout the painting)...you would be left with a painting that would psychologically distance itself from the viewer. Cold colors push away, are depressing, etc;
To gain the viewers admiration and interest...warm colors for this particular subject would best serve you. This would require a bit of overhauling the present color themes.
01-12-2002, 05:26 PM
Llis, I made a few changes...subtle...I put some of the red into the background and some of the background into the chickens...I also softened your hard edges on the chickens...and also brought some of the sky color to sit up against the chickens...and no it doesn't look cartoony
01-14-2002, 08:38 AM
What Larry said about sharing color notes in various areas of the painting to tie the painting together is the thing I see first and foremost when looking at your painting. The chickens look cut out because they are so starkly black and white. The chicken you want to focus on should be the most black and the most white. And I have seen enough of your paintings here on WC to know that you understand that you can create the idea of black and white without using black and white. When I want black I use a combination of the darkest of blues, combined with some of the darkest of red, and for a different black, use blue with green or purple (of course, again, the darkest you can make it). The black created by using something other than black seems to read as having depth and not just being a cut-out image. The same goes for white - using pale pink, pale green, etc.
Then as Larry said, you must incorporate those colors, even variations of those colors, into the background. Also the background colors would appear subtly in the chickens - maybe as reflected light on the feathers.
I also agree with Javier about the area in the foreground needing a somewhat different color to differ from the area behind the chickens.
With all that said, I do want to say the chickens are very well done and I can't wait to see how you might change the image to draw it together. You are just on the verge of having it - and I think only minor changes will make it what you had in mind!
Good luck. Do be sure to show us if you make any changes.
Marsha Hamby Savage Art (http://marshasavage.artistnation.com)
01-15-2002, 11:02 AM
my naive comment... looking at the ground and the background, it seems that overall the scene is dark but the stark white of the rooster denotes that it has good amount of light falling on it.
01-15-2002, 03:09 PM
actually that's not naive at all chickadee, but a very astute observation...
01-15-2002, 07:40 PM
Here is an edited version where I tried to take into account what most people said (I agree with most comments).
So, I changed/unified the color of the ground, made the background less saturated and brighter, much smoother, and less patchy. (All the hard edges in the background made it come forward and start to compete with the chickens; the fine grained patterns in the background was too much alike the patterns on the chickens. I also went further than arlene with adding color (yellow, blue, green) to the chickens.
01-29-2002, 06:34 PM
I think you need to define your light direction more and lighten the lines on that side. Rooster are ususally more colourful so put some of you background colour into him, hmm, maybe add some orange as well, the background could also be softened, and foreground highlight some area's. If you softened the edges of the feathers so that they fall over the dark lines, perhaps use a smaller brush. :D hope these comments help.:cat: chickens are nice though
02-03-2002, 03:37 AM
I agree with the suggestions about unifying the colors.
Another approach is to put black in the background. All of the colors are bold, including the whites of the roosters. The difference is that the roosters are rendered in black, but not the background. What if you render a few trees or branches in black?
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