View Full Version : Farm Road
11-24-2006, 10:40 AM
Here's a studio painting from a plein aire reference that I did at the end of last summer ... The studio version is 11" x 14" on stretched canvas.
Maybe the background trees are too symmetrical, and the whole piece looks a little overworked? Hm ...
Here's the plein aire reference:
I'd love to produce a studio version that's good enough to give as a gift to the owner of the property ... Help?
Of course, comments and critiques welcomed and appreciated!
Jean Levert Hood
11-25-2006, 12:46 PM
Chouchou, nice work! and honestly, I like the Plein air better! Nice loose feel to it, like the stronger color and color variations. Often when I see a studio piece done from PA, I like the PA better. The raw-ness of PA is awesome.
11-26-2006, 03:04 AM
I think they both have merits. Your studio version is ready to give as a gift. Looks good already. :)
11-26-2006, 10:24 AM
I like the PA a little better, too ... it's juicier and more painterly, maybe because it's harder to fall into the "overworked" trap when you're on location. Thanks, Jean!
Thank you, too, Brian -- for the vote of confidence. Something about the studio version is bugging me, but I can't put my finger on it. Maybe I should take down the tops of the left-hand trees? Further define the difference between the right-hand background tree and the foreground bush? Any suggestions?
11-28-2006, 08:01 AM
Well, now that you mention it :D, there are some things that I like better about the studio. It IS hard to put a finger on. Some observations that may give us a clue:
* The angle of the road in the PA pulls me into the painting and stops at the upper right tree. The bush is sort of a balance. By contrast, the road in the Studio pulls me rapidly across the painting, stopping me hard in the bush.
* The bush in the Studio (in comparison to the PA) has more detail. Your paintings tend to use a lot of soft edges. Something that has in the past somewhat defined your style. Without passing any judgement on a soft-edge style, the bush in the studio uses sharp edges. The first thing that I noticed was the bush in the studio seems to be in focus, especially in contrast to the rest of the studio which seems to be less focussed. Compare to the PA, the softness is more consistent. The result is the studio feels like it has two planes: the bush and everything else. (It reminds me of the planes of focus used in an animated cartoon.) It draws alot of attention to the bush, maybe too much.
* When you combine the bush focus with the road, the bush becomes the center of focus in the studio version. The final and only resting place for the eye. Compare to the PA, where is the focus? It seems to be the distant water. The road leads in stops at the upper right tree, but it has little detail, so the eye backs up to the space of the water and stays there, cradled between the trees on the left and the right.
I think that is what you can't put your finger on. There are a couple of other things I'll mention, but I think they are much lesser.
* I like the light in the PA better. The sky is lighter on the left and pulls to the left (opposite the road direction). Those stubby trees keep the eye in the painting. The studio has dark sky and large trees on the left. They push the eye to the right, along with the road.
* I like the openness of the PA better. The distant view has lots more to see. The studio distance seems only to be background for the field, road, and bush in the foreground. Its unfocus says that it's not important.
* Lastly, the studio has a distinct warmth to the colors that the PA does not. I attribute this mostly to taking a picture in incandescent light, and the PA in the shade. (Am I right? :)) It may also have something to do with the larger percentage of grass in the painting. Neither is better, just different.
Whew! You got way more analysis than you wanted. :) The studio is still a nice painting, it's just not the same painting as the PA. :)
Now should you do anything with the studio? Hmmm. I stand by my original statement, it is finished and the new owner will love it. Especially because it's a place they know and love. I'd probably leave it and spend energy on the next painting.
If you really want to make changes, the only thing I would consider is balancing the detail focus between the front and rear planes. Perhaps a tiny bit more edge in the distant hills and the tree on the right. Maybe just a little softening on the bush. Don't overdo it. There will be some difference, just maybe not so much.
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