View Full Version : What do you think?
04-26-2002, 12:17 PM
I had to sticth this in photostudio because its too big for my scanner and I still didn't get all of the painting in. There is still more to the left but I think you get the idea. Comments welcome!
04-26-2002, 03:34 PM
I like it. It is a very tonal painting. Very close values, very little contrast. A nice painting.
04-26-2002, 04:17 PM
"It is a very tonal painting. Very close values, very little contrast"
Ok, so I knew this is where I need help so please help me here. When I was painting this I saw all sorts of contrast...in my painting and in the subject...in fact so much I thought I should tone it down. Obviously I did. Is something wrong with the way I see things? Am I just not bold enough? I need to conquer this problem because I don't think I'll do a good painting until I do! Please don't be shy about critique...I need to overcome this here. How do I get the contrast that I want. I'm thinking I need to step out of my comfort zone. Does someone have an exercise I can practice to get this right? Am I all off on color theory...which I will visit the page on wetcanvas as soon as I'm done here...but I evidently need some assistance here.
04-26-2002, 07:51 PM
I'm still relatively new to plein air but I found that painting in the bright sun (Tucson) the slightest nuance in value looks huge to me. Even looking at it in shade still gives me that effect. When I return home, I see the painting inside & it looks all faded.
I have learned to exaggerate the value differences while painting outdoors.
I'm don't know if this illusion holds true with oils, but I found it using watercolors.
04-26-2002, 08:15 PM
You are assuming that I think a tonal painting is bad. It is not. Not all painters use high contrasts. Just because your favorite painter does, that doesn't mean that tonal work is bad. Some of the best plein air work is very subtle and subdued. Don't try to copy the style of others here. Find your own way instead. I like the painting you did very much.
I agree with Linda. Follow your own muse. However, if you want to increase tonal contrast, try the following tips.
My suggestion to you Garden is to avoid using white until you absolutely must. Try to lighten colors by adding a lighter color of the same hue family first. Only when this is not enough, begin adding very small amounts of white.
Do not look too long into the darks. Your eyes will dilate which will result in you seeing more lights there. Look briefly, and try to paint the general darkness color, rather than all the variations you see there.
Think of your compostion in value groups. This area is generally light, that one dark, and this one middle value. Choose one of these to dominate your picture. That is, it will be mostly light, or mostly dark.
These three strategies should go along ways toward controlling the value contrasts in your paintings. Good luck!
Like plein air painting?
Check out Plein Air Florida (http://www.pleinairflorida.org/)
04-26-2002, 11:12 PM
I love the composition-- you must be a gardener. And I like the color a lot, although I do agree that the darks could be darker.
One way to get that value pattern down is to do a value thumbnail-- just three values, very quick and small, about 3 x 4. I find it slow with a pencil so I bought these markers made by Tombo ABT. They have fine points but big broad sides, and they come in evenly stepped gray values-- I use the white of the paper for lights, the N55 color for middle values, and N15 is black. (I also have two intermediates, N35 for middle-dark and N75 for middle light, if I want to do 5 values, but in general, I think 3 is better.) The value sketch is just a couple of minutes with these markers-- and it shows me for sure what my composition will look like, and how to lay it on my canvas.
I also used my markers to make a 3 value card for isolating colors, like Larry talked about on another thread. I haven't used it yet, but basically, divide an index card into 3 equal sections, leave 1 white, color the center one with a middle value gray, and the remaining one with black. Punch 3 holes, one in the center of each section. Then, when you hold it up to your subject, you look through the hole at the area of the subject you're interested in, and it's easy to see which of the value families it fits into. I'm looking forward to trying mine out.
One other thing I do that seems to work pretty well is just hold my brush with the paint mixture out at arms length, sighting it to the area of the subject I'm painting. It helps me judge both color and value. Geez, I love oils-- can't do that with watercolor. :)
04-26-2002, 11:19 PM
Thanks for the tips. I will definately try to apply them.
Linda, I believed you when you said you liked my painting. Thank you. I reacted because I have been very critically evaluating my art and its not what I want it to be. I do want to grab the contrast more ..especially when I'm painting in the sun because I love it so much...and I've been having a difficult time doing it. Everything I do looks bland to me. I want to be able to paint the "a ha" as Larry puts it, and the sun shining on this pot was the aha that made me put out my easel right then and there. Not to capture it disappoints me. I do use too much white and I struggle with making brights bright. These tips that TPS offered are very valuable. If anyone has any more I'd sure appreciate it. I have been reviewing the color theory and mixing pages as well.
04-26-2002, 11:33 PM
Thank you Lisa, I will try that idea with the value cards. I think my problems comes from the shine of the oils when I'm mixing them and when they are freshly applied to the canvas. A dark color will be dark but because of the oil it shines light. Same with the lighter colors. I think my eyesight is not what it used to be.
I'm new to landscapes but I'm especially new to painting in oils quickly. Prior to wanting to learn this technique it took me months to do a painting. I would do one coat, wait until it dries, do another etc and build up with many layers of paint. The subject matter was very specialized (you can see my website for that) and needless to say I sell very few although my paintings have been an inspiration to many. Recently I have wanted to paint plein aire because its fun and because there is a market for it. I know many of you don't want to do art work for others, but I can't afford not to sell my work. If I don't sell any, than I can't paint.
I love nature, and yes I do garden and I'm excited about growing a beautiful garden and then painting it...so I want to be able to capture the moment which means I can't do these 2 month long paintings. Even my first attempt of a still life found my flowers wilting before the picture was done.:(
Don't get me wrong...I'm not trying to copy anyone. My desire is to develop an ability to paint quickly and to capture what I see. If I see contrast than I do want to be able to paint it. You all are so helpful! Thank you.
04-27-2002, 09:57 AM
Speaking for myself, I find paintings of nature more spiritual than explicitly religious art, probably because I find so much peace and connection in the natural world. What I find there is what, to me, life is supposed to be. When we used to sail a lot on weekends, we referred to the sail back home on Sunday morning as our church, The Church of the Thin-Water Sailor.
04-27-2002, 12:09 PM
Isn't sailing wonderful? I'm a novice and only do it when our friend sails over from Seattle, but I look forward to it every year. I can imagine if we had a boat I'd probably never want to come ashore.
I agree with you about nature.
04-27-2002, 12:18 PM
I just read your posts over again to try to absorb this information, Lisa and TPS, and I think I'm hearing you. What you are saying is to try and put only these three values into the painting...light; dark and middle tone. Then the contrast will be much more so than if I tried filling in all different values after this...correct? So I get mixed up when I take the dark section and begin adding different values in that section, and repeat that with the light section...In otherwords simplify even more? I think I'm beginning to understand this concept..That's why the 3 X 4 card with values and holes in it helps...because you are looking for only those tones and everything in the painting should fit into those three classifications. Am I understanding you correctly?
04-27-2002, 02:40 PM
Basically, yes. My plein air workshop teacher, Frank LaLumia, had us do one of these 3 value sketches prior to each painting, and it immediately and dramatically improved my work. He says that if you aim for 3 values, you're going to end up with 4 or 5 anyway, but you'll still have a very strong value statement. Often, what we see as small value differences can be well-expressed as color or temperature differences. The idea is conservation of values. In his book, Richard Schmid says, " . . . it is unnecessary to use all values in a subject. Color changes can frequently be used instead. . . For example, in areas of gradual darkening caused by contours, a turn in the form on a subject of as much as 40 degrees can be shown with color changes alone before a change in value becomes necessary. My personal guideline is to always check if changing the color temperature of my mixtures will do the job before I change the value."
04-28-2002, 11:19 AM
Diane, Very big improvement over your first painting. You have moved in close and the vase is an interesting shape and I can see the good brushwork and colors in it. I like tonal paintings as they have "mood".
One of the big things Schmid recommends as well as other plein aire painters is to "Squint". It eliminates detail, the thing that messes up a lot of paintings.
Diane and Lisa wrote: "Isn't sailing wonderful? I'm a novice and only do it when our friend sails over from Seattle, but I look forward to it every year. I can imagine if we had a boat I'd probably never want to come ashore.
I agree with you about nature.
walden Speaking for myself, I find paintings of nature more spiritual than explicitly religious art, probably because I find so much peace and connection in the natural world. What I find there is what, to me, life is supposed to be. When we used to sail a lot on weekends, we referred to the sail back home on Sunday morning as our church, The Church of the Thin-Water Sailor."
Lisa and Diane, I used to sail in the local "Thursday night races" a fierce competition among the 35 footers. Also, pleasure sailed on weekends both on my Hobie Cat and our friends larger boats. Nothing like an afternoon ( or even better under the stars) sailing.
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