View Full Version : Alder street...want to finish

03-13-2006, 11:23 PM
i have worked on this studio painting quite a bit, 3-4 times. this one i feel captures the mood decently. the first painting is the plein air, 12 x 16, canvas pad, oil. done on a super foggy day. then is the standard photo i tried to work from 2-3 times but i got too focused on detail and would have to start over. the next is a photo that i blurred in Photoshop to help me un-focus. the last is the most recent studio painting, which i like (i used mostly the plein air and photo #2). i like it, it reminds me of the foggy feel. 12 x 16, oil, canvas pad.

i would like any suggestions, critiques and comments. If you can help me determine anything i could do to finalize this painting i would appreciate it. lastly, it is a bit more red in the photo than IRL.

thank you all for your time and experience.


plein air

regular photo

blurred photo

studio painting (please comment)

once again,


03-14-2006, 08:03 AM

First I really love the plein air, and I can see why you chose to paint it. It has an open airy feel to it.

I like the way you've defocussed the tree trunks and the distant light in the studio.

I find the pinkish tree masses on the right distracting. I would make them the same reddish as the other red trees, or make them greenish with some red hints. The photo suggests orange. Pink distracts and seems out of place to me. Some of your tree masses are quite circular, and I'd be tempted to make them more irregular or triangular.

I miss the way the road in the original goes way back in the distance. It now seems like the distance is more of a plane. You might consider a hint of line going into that background plane suggesting the road going into the fog.

- Brian

03-14-2006, 01:26 PM
hey...you're helping me again! thank you. the tinted patch of pink/orange is what got me looking at this scene in the first place but i felt when i put it in the painting that it indeed was a little out of place. i will change it to the greenish with red hints. that should be more subtle. i see what you mean by circular tree masses, i do need to make them more irregular. you are so right about the street ending in a plane. it does need some line to suggest continuation.

thanks for sharing your time to help, i appreciate it.
Eric Kytola

03-17-2006, 01:32 AM
i put Brian's suggestion to use.


03-18-2006, 12:21 AM

You've done a great job with my suggestions. The street goes back really nicely and tree masses on the left look much more consistent. Good job.

One thing you should do is connect that trunk of the first tree on the left of the boulevard. Then you can stop. :)

Or, (and I hesitate to mention this, because I sense you're like me and you might fiddle with this as long as there are suggestions, so this is *optional*) you might consider pruning back the tree mass on the left and punching just a few tiny holes in it. I like the wispy edges you have on the trees on the right. They feel bushy on the edges. The trees on the left still feel a little thick on the edges. If you were to push the air into the left tree edge a little, make it a little less vertical and a little more V shaped, and fuzz the edges a little, I think it would help. See if you like my rough alteration showing this effect. Its OK to have little leaves that are not connected to the tree mass. This looks normal to your eye. You can also mix a little tree color with a little sky color on your palette, and use this new inbetween color near some of the edges to blur them just a little. (I'm still working on my technique on this... so I'm still a novice, too :))

Whatever you decide, you've come a long way with this. Make whatever touchups you decide and then enjoy it and move on to your next project.

- Brian

03-22-2006, 10:59 AM
I too am struggling with plein air. The style I would like to emulate is the California style of the early '20's. I have looked at your piece. The latests suggestions by Brian are good and an improvement on the original, however, I find the stark contrast of complementary colors (red and green) too electrifying for the tone of this piece. I have modified them slightly. Glazing to tone them down would make a less chaotic painting. I also lightened the distance a little to push it back further. Hope this helps