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Old Tex
03-01-2007, 10:47 PM
My first landscape (WIP).

From a photo I took in the North Island of New Zealand about 25 years ago. I knew I took the picture for some reason. The hillside in the foreground scanned slightly more yellow than in the original. And the trees on the right need a lot of help. But, it's a beginning. Done tonight in a couple of hours.

Comments, please.

Gouache 8x10

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Mar-2007/100938-NZ_Along_Route_1_final.jpg

Old Tex
03-02-2007, 10:29 AM
An addendum... when I say "comments, please", I really do mean it. This is my "scary" subject, and I need all the help and suggestions I can get. Those of you who have seen what I'm trying to do with my painting, please jump in with both feet. I'll probably do this one over, so give me some ideas... like eliminate the trees on the right completely?, loosen up?, more paint in the foreground? etc. Help!!

pinkrybns
03-02-2007, 11:18 AM
Hmm, Ok... since you asked... however, this is not going to be much help, because I'm not sure what I don't like about this piece, but to me, there is something lacking. Can't say what that "something" is though.

The trees seem fine to me where they are, all of them ... but something too even (maybe) about all that light green foreground ... no variation ( well, none that I can see on my monitor, mind you). Or, maybe I need more information in the trees especially that little one that seems the closest to the front ( the one next to the clump of trees on the right) .... make it the star of this view? maybe?

By the way, landscapes scare me too ... so you see, not much help! :D

dbclemons
03-02-2007, 12:00 PM
I like where this is going, Ralph. Might even prefer seeing less space for the sky, but that's up to you. I'd only suggest paying as much attention to the detail of the grass as you are with the trees, just to keep it more balanced in that regards.

cmwynn
03-02-2007, 01:04 PM
To me, the hill doesn't look hill-ish. I know it is because you said so, but there ought to be a change in color or temperature to make it look sloped. As the others said, I can't actually give any concrete advise but the stand of trees is well rendered.

plec
03-02-2007, 01:26 PM
I like this piece of work but if i have to comment I would say that there is not much happening in the bottom third of the painting.
best wishes, Ken..

Old Tex
03-02-2007, 01:30 PM
Judy, David and Connie, thanks for the comments. Now I remember why landscapes always eluded me: those large expanses of grass that I never knew what to do with! I think I got bogged down having fun with the trees and hadn't thought out the foreground. I think I'll take another shot at it, and try to make it more about the brushstrokes, color and composition, and less about the details in the trees. (wow, just like in a real painting...)

David, I like your composition comment. I thought I was pushing it already, but maybe just a little more wouldn't hurt. Now I just have to figure out that foreground...

Old Tex
03-02-2007, 01:32 PM
Thanks, Ken! That seems to be the consensus.

pinkrybns
03-02-2007, 01:36 PM
David, I like your composition comment. I thought I was pushing it already, but maybe just a little more wouldn't hurt. Now I just have to figure out that foreground...or... what if you did the reverse and made it more about the sky and less about the grassy area? It still would be a landscape and you could still place the stand of trees in the "sweet spot", just more towards the bottom of the comp. Ok I'm rambling along...lol :eek: :)

Old Tex
03-02-2007, 01:49 PM
Actually a great suggestion, Judy. I stand a much better chance of working with the sky (bold statement, there), than with a sweeping hillside of short, green grass. Thanks!

pinkrybns
03-02-2007, 01:58 PM
Actually a great suggestion, Judy. I stand a much better chance of working with the sky (bold statement, there), than with a sweeping hillside of short, green grass. Thanks!Well, I totally understand how it feels to see a site and then wonder how to capture what moved you when you were looking at it...and wonder some more!

Personally, I think this Dutch Old Master knew just how to do that. Have a look, may be of some help...
Jacob van Ruisdael (http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_artists/00016937?lang=nl)(ok so they are glorious oils, but we can live in hope that we get it someday in gouache,can't we? lol)

Cheers, Ralph!

meglyman
03-02-2007, 02:05 PM
Ralph,

I like how you've started. I agree with many of the comments. Not sure if you're going to focus more on the sky or not... but right now the sky looks more interesting than the ground, by a lot. I think that's because it has more variation in value and color.

Also, as a whole composition, it seems to lack a focal point. The shape of the trees is interesting, but they're too far away to be the focus. That said, I really love the way you rendered them. Shape is great, shadows are great.

I know what you mean about struggling with landscapes - it's really tough to make a large expanse of grass exciting! Maybe if you look for / take photo refs with interesting shapes in the foreground, mid-ground, and background, they'll lean more toward your liking.

Oh, and excellent use of blue. ;)

Meg