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Strawberry Wine
10-11-2005, 09:52 AM
Hi All,

Well I had this vision of washy trees and soft reflections and it just didn't turn out that way. The reason I am even posting this is to get some feedback on how I can get that darned foliage to be what I imagined I could do.

First of all, it is a 1/2 sheet, Arches 140 CP. Reference image is by ckendall from the RIL

Here is the ref.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Oct-2005/13320-Mabry_Mill_by_CKendall.jpg

and my painting, turned into Autumn, which I have not finished yet and not sure I want to. :) Looking for input from all you loose watercolour foliage painters on technique!!!! By the way, it looks a million times better here on the monitor than it does IRL.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Oct-2005/13320-Old_Mill_for_web.jpg



Cheers,

Gail

Gary B.
10-11-2005, 10:23 AM
Even if it only looks one millionth as good IRL, I can't see any reason to be unhappy with this. I'm not one of the "loose watercolour foliage painters" you're seeking advice from, but this is gorgeous. I'd say part of your head (or maybe your heart) was connected to your brush very successfully even if you didn't know it.

AmyLC
10-11-2005, 10:38 AM
HI Gail.

First. Can I ask where this is or where the reference photo is from? I'm just curious because I sometimes visit a photography site and somebody there had nearly the exact same shot he was saying was his. I'm not going to go and accuse him or anything, but just for my own curiosity......is this a very public place, frequently photographed?

I actually tried to paint this image from his and found it VERY hard. I was staying true to the colors and had just toooooo much olive green!! LOL. I think it's a great idea to make it be Fall. I really like the reflections you've painted.

Here's my unqualified critique. I think the colors of your different trees are too "seperate", especially on the right side. Each tree is a different color and they don't intermingle. I'd try to overlap more loosely...some orange branches going into the green or whatever, like fingers if you know what I mean. I see some of that on the left and it looks good!

artmom
10-11-2005, 11:02 AM
Gail, the only thing I see that I have a problem with is the fact that your trees are too individualized. I believe a more effective background for the building would be to "mass" your trees a bit more and darken the trees a bit more around the roof. :)

The building and water with reflections works well.

Lyn

Lynn Quinn
10-11-2005, 12:56 PM
Gail, I think this is looking great! Maybe you just need to get away from it for a little while.

Amy, I believe this is a fairly commonly used image. I've seen a couple of different shots of this place, at a couple of different angles, anyway. Saw it as a photo on a jigsaw puzzle box, even. I've seen it with and without the vine growing up the side of the mill, too, so photos obviously taken at different times. I did know at one time where this mill is, but can't recall at present. May be able to find out. In the ref libr. its called Mabry Mill. I found another similar to this on the net just now, but with close-up overhanging leaves.

This mill (another view, complete with ducks, which I can't find at present) was used in one of the WDE's a number of months ago, too, and I printed it off but never got around to painting it!

Lynn Quinn
10-11-2005, 01:49 PM
Amy, some more info on the mill. Mabry Mill is along the Blue Ridge Parkway (mile 176, if I'm remembering it correctly) in the western part of Virginia (Floyd County). If you do a Google search of Images for Mabry Mill, there's a whole page of photos in different seasons (a nice winter one), and from different angles. Clearly its a very popular attraction for photographers!

tep394
10-11-2005, 02:19 PM
Gail: Whenever I paint foliage I try to lay down only two or three washes and not many more. I find that I loose the transparency and "bird flying through" feel if I build up toomuch color. I don't know that you can do that now but I believe this is worth finishing. Your relfections are great and the colors all work well together. Yes, definitely finish it.

Strawberry Wine
10-11-2005, 02:21 PM
Thanks Lyn for the information on the Mabry Mill.

Amy, this particular reference is in our Reference Image Library by CKendall.

I agree about the "seperateness" of the trees. I think I need to redo this again.

Thanks Gary :)

Lyn, you are so right!!!


Cheers,

Gail

Strawberry Wine
10-11-2005, 02:23 PM
Gail: Whenever I paint foliage I try to lay down only two or three washes and not many more. I find that I loose the transparency and "bird flying through" feel if I build up toomuch color. I don't know that you can do that now but I believe this is worth finishing. Your relfections are great and the colors all work well together. Yes, definitely finish it.


Thanks so much Tom;

Do you let each wash dry and then re wet and drop in more colour ?


I may finish this and then try again with a looser style, which is what I was hoping to achieve in the first place. :)

Cheers,

Gail

tep394
10-11-2005, 04:22 PM
Gail: yes, I let each wash dry and try not to touch it anymore than necessary. I have found that loose foliage takes more planning than tight detailed foliage. I've been using alot of hot press lately and you really have to think about washes and the sequencing of them as the paper is not very forgiving.

VeronikaB
10-11-2005, 04:53 PM
I like the colours of the trees and the mood of the painting.

It seems to me that the reflection of the bank may need to be more defined - the dark grass just at the edge of water and the low stone wall have no reflections now.

The other thing I find is that the trees do not cast any shadows - the grass growing below (or in front of) them is much darker on the reference picture than on your painting. I think this makes the trees appear disconnected from the rest of the subjects.

Strawberry Wine
10-11-2005, 07:16 PM
Thanks Tom for your help, I hope I can put it into practice as easily as you explained it. :)

Veronica, thanks for the feed back, still working on the fine tuning. I do need to add some dark areas in front of the trees, thanks for pointing that out to me.

Cheers,

Gail

moonflower
10-11-2005, 08:45 PM
Is it okay for a newbie to comment? I painted the Mabry Mill over 30 years ago and I remember having the same problem with the colors in autumn trees in my photo. My solution was to incorporate the warm fall colors across the entire background. It worked pretty well. (Don't forget to change the reflections, too, if you do this.) Notice how the massive trees don't really show individual tree shapes but are just a wonderful background for the mill itself. I love the way you've handled the reflections.

laudesan
10-11-2005, 09:14 PM
Gail your water bothers me more than the trees. I think it needs to be more olive/brown in places..


Just because the colour of the reflections change, doesn't mean the actual watercolour changes..

Strawberry Wine
10-11-2005, 10:13 PM
JJ, I have barely touched the water yet, just added some colour. The foliage is where I am really unhappy with. .:) Definitely will be adding olive green if I continue with this painting that far.

Moonflower, of course it is OK for a newbie to comment. It is "good" to have a fresh pair of eyes viewing ones work. You wouldn't happen to have a photo of your painting would you???? If you painted this mill 30 years ago, I am supposing you are not a "newbie" to watercolour or painting :) :clap:

Welcome!!!!

Cheers,

Gail

AmyLC
10-11-2005, 10:43 PM
Thank you for the information, Lynn! The other photographer always posts these amazing photos of beautiful places that look like they should be in a calendar.....when I saw this image pop up HERE, it made me do a double take!

I love this mill... may have to give it another shot with the paints.

Roun2it
10-12-2005, 02:48 AM
Gail I think the trees are fighting with each other for dominance, a way to tackle this would be to wet the outer trees on the left, as we look, and then blot out with a tissue, this will give those trees the muted look tou have achieved on the right and to make the centre of interest stand out.

Then you need to add more depth to the trees. Look at the photo and find those hidden depths in there, these can be transferred here even though they are of a different colour.

As for the water ............... leave it!!!! Just a few reflections around the banking and some wind lines put in horizontally, scrapped out with a sharp knife and thats yer lot!!

Strawberry Wine
10-12-2005, 08:22 AM
Amy, I was really surprised when I did the "google image " search on the Mabry Mill. It came up with pages and not one is exactly like the one posted here.

Kevin, thanks for your input. I will do as you suggested. I was actually thinking at one point of doing this in your spatter style. What do you think?

Cheers,

Gail

CharM
10-12-2005, 09:39 AM
(((Gail)))... If I could paint a landscape 1/10th as pretty as this, I'd be a very happy camper...

You know that I can't offer any advice... but I'm learning a BUNCH...

I'm rating your thread because of the terrific advice and interesting discussion... and I'm giving you a Merit Point for s t r e t c h i n g !!

Roun2it
10-12-2005, 09:52 AM
Kevin, thanks for your input. I will do as you suggested. I was actually thinking at one point of doing this in your spatter style. What do you think?



If you were to do this again and wished to do the spatter technique I would go for a subtle transition in the colours, rather than the more strident one you have introduced, spatter just wouldn't be able to cope with that without a whole lot of masking.

Give it a go, use bright bold yellows and greens, the stuff you have had laying around doing nothing, the bolder the colour the better the spatter, and funnily enough the more realistic!!

moonflower
10-12-2005, 02:51 PM
Even if I could find one, my photos of my early work are worse than my paintings were. Thanks for the welcome.

Strawberry Wine
10-12-2005, 03:40 PM
Char, thank you, for the merit point. This painting is looking worse the more I work on it. :D However I think I have achieved a more waterley tree on the far right, which I will post shortly. I have learned lots from trying to paint this.

Kev, thanks once again for the tips !!! Thinking about two different versions of this and spattering may be one of them. It will be fun to try.

Nita, I have just browsed through your excellent website and I have bookmarked it for future reference.

Cheers,

Gail

Strawberry Wine
10-12-2005, 04:59 PM
Well its as done as I am going to get it. Thanks for all the support and advice given which I will incorporate into the redo.

Here is the finish. Ignore the sheen of white glare on the tree furthest right.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Oct-2005/13320-Old_Mill_first_attempt_yuk_finished.jpg

and the close up of the best of my non waterly trees. :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Oct-2005/13320-Old_Mill_close_up_of_tree.jpg

Cheers,

Gail

CharM
10-12-2005, 05:33 PM
OHMYGAWD!!! Gail, did you realize that we have a Celebrity in the House??!!!

Nita... I have your wonderful, wonderful book!!! Painterbear (Sylvia) takes your workshops and I've always been so jealous of her!!!

GAIL!!! That painting is gorgeous!!! Wow... it really finished off so much better than you anticipated... You've been looking at it too long, I think... It will be fun to see what your next version looks like, though...

Strawberry Wine
10-12-2005, 07:06 PM
Char, no I did not realize there was a 'newbie" :evil: celebrity" posting my thread until I visited Nita's website. Honestly, Char it is not coming across as so beautiful propped up behind a matte here in my hmmmm studio. Dan agrees but we disagree on why its not working. :)

Nita, you will be a valuable addition to Wet Canvas.

Cheers,

Gail

laudesan
10-12-2005, 08:26 PM
GAIL!!! That painting is gorgeous!!! Wow... it really finished off so much better than you anticipated... You've been looking at it too long, I think... It will be fun to see what your next version looks like, though...


:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome Nita..!!!

scribblet
10-12-2005, 09:57 PM
Hi All,

Well I had this vision of washy trees and soft reflections and it just didn't turn out that way. The reason I am even posting this is to get some feedback on how I can get that darned foliage to be what I imagined I could do.

First of all, it is a 1/2 sheet, Arches 140 CP. Reference image is by ckendall from the RIL

Here is the ref.
Cheers,

Gail
Gail I love it, looks good to me. I've been to that mill, but it was on the way home from FLa, and still cold. We said we would like to take that route in the fall.

Strawberry Wine
10-12-2005, 10:00 PM
Thanks JJ, but it really is not anywhere near as good as it shows on the monitor . Its not horrible but not what I wanted to portray.

Anyhow, from this attempt, I have learned ... not be a slave to a photograph. I can add or delete as I choose. I can change things to suit my mood. I can change this to a winter scene ( now that is my cup of tea) and as always the WC folks have given me much food for thought.

Thanks


Cheers,

Gail