View Full Version : Twin Creeks Merge

05-01-2001, 11:08 AM
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Here is that pastel painting I have in the critique messages. The painting was done on Ersta sanded paper and my thoughts when doing this was how to capture the dark passages with loads of color and to have them look as if I had painted it plein air instead of in the studio. I do most of my painting (about 75%) in the studio. I try to always have experience of the site or something similar before attempting it in the studio.

Would love to hear how others accomplish this -- not having them look as if painted from a photo - especially since I am so realistic, even though I am trying to break out of that mold.

Thanks -- Marsha

Phyllis Franklin
05-01-2001, 11:37 AM
Marsha, I agree with you that it is very hard to work from photographs and not get that tight, stiff feel to the resulting art work. I think you are right to try to go to the location and get a feel for your composition and work from there. I have experienced the same kind of thing having started a work en plein air and then try to finish up in the studio. It is not easy, that is for sure and I almost always don't like what I end up with when I try to complete my work in the studio with nothing to help me but my memory and a few photos.

Good luck with your quest. You certainly have an exceptional talent and I don't feel there is anything wrong with the style you are using right now. I know, as an artist, you want more and that is what makes the journey such a pleasure.

Phy...llis Franklin
Create every day
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05-01-2001, 01:16 PM
Thanks Phyllis - you are so right! I always think there is more out there to learn. I truly love nature and painting is a joy and that journey you talk about is definitely a pleasure.


05-02-2001, 03:47 AM
Hi Marsha,

I don't see anything wrong with your work. I visited your website and I think that your work is great. I don't see anything wrong with being a realist unless of course this is not what you want.

Phyllis is right, we learn as we move along.

Good luck!!!


05-02-2001, 04:52 AM
I agree with the rest...is great http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

05-02-2001, 08:08 AM
Thanks everybody -- and Juvie, I don't mind being a realist. That is what I am no matter how hard I try to break that mold. But what I do want, is for my painting to be more "painterly". The comment that bothers me the most, and I know it is a compliment when given, is "It looks just like a photograph!" I think you get my drift.

My favorite artists are the impressionists of old, the colorists and the newer artists such as: Richard Schmidt, Kevin McPherson, Bob Rohm, Ted Goerschner, Camille Przewodek, Don Stone, etc. any many more.

But, I would not keep painting the way I do, if I didn't like it also! But we all strive for new, don't we? See where we are going - that is the thing - the adventure!

And thanks for visiting my site -
Marsha -- http://marshasavage.artistnation.com

05-03-2001, 02:56 PM

Beautiful painting. A couple of suggestions related to your question...

One of the challenges of painting from photos is that the shadows are generally darker and flatter than they are in real life. The camera just cannot see the way the eyes do. And when painting on location and focusing on the lighted areas it tends to glare out what is in the shadows, thus we make them darker than normal.

The other challenge to overcome when painting from photos is the tendency to paint everything in focus. The eye does not see everything in focus at the same time. So you could make more crisp the focal point and gradually diffuse the other areas...the viewer's eyes will "fill-in" the rest. Study the work of John Singer Sargent, and Bill Schmidt to see some of the finest examples of this concept.

Additionally, from this photo of your painting, the full foreground is generally one tone of russet. The ground will somewhat reflect the colors from the under side of the trees and visa versa.

It is evident that this piece took some time. You have a good grasp of handling the medium.


L. Diane Johnson (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/) NAPA, PSA
2001/2002 Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops/)

05-04-2001, 07:52 AM
Thanks Diane.

I know exactly what you mean by painting everything in focus - I even do that when painting on location. I am still learning (after 30 years of painting) how to determine what I want to be the focal point and not have the rest of the painting competing with it.

The foreground in this painting is quite russet as you say, but for the life of me I could not begin to see reflections from the trees on this dirt! I do realize also that you must sometimes improvise and embellish the colors you see, but I paint so much in green that I did not want the shadow to have much green in it -- though the original painting does have some wonderful dark olive in that ground area and on the tree trunk.

I will look at the two artists' work you mentioned and see if I can learn from them. (I love Sargent, but don't know if I know "Bill" Schmidt.) This is the sort of thing (study other artists) I do quite often and do appreciate your help. Need those helpful tips as well as the kind words!

Thanks again --
Marsha -- http://marshasavage.artistnation.com

05-26-2001, 06:22 PM
I really like the composition and the colours you have used. I also like how you did the leaves and the water. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/angel.gif

05-27-2001, 11:25 AM
I love this piece, so full of moodyness.
As for this comment from you :- ". The comment that bothers me the most, and I know it is a compliment when given, is "It looks just like a photograph!"
I dont understand this at all.
Okay Im a 100% amateur, but I would feel delighted if someone said that to me.
Anyway, for what its worth, I love your work.


Today - Im going to make someone smile !