View Full Version : Covered bridge in Covington Virginia

09-25-2007, 10:14 AM

Title: Covered bridge in Covington Virginia
Year Created: 2007
Medium: Oil
Surface: Board
Dimension: 16x20
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

I need some guidance now. This was painted from a photo I blew up of the largest natural bridge in VIrginia .

What next? Does it need glazing? and where. I want this to "pop" and don't know how to achieve that. Please give me some advice I can follow.

09-25-2007, 10:48 AM
It might just be your reproduction, but you need to make your details crisper and increase the contrast of your paints, i.e.: your darks darker and your lights lighter -- see slight digital alterations I did.

09-25-2007, 10:53 AM
What did you do when you altered?

09-25-2007, 10:57 AM
The lack of value range is preventing development of a focal point. The picture has a raw feel to it, which is very nice, but it appears far from finished. The foreground is not well-defined, there's stuff that seems to be hanging from the bottom of the bridge that could be things on the far bank, the roof appears bowed, and the reflection of the light object in the water doesn't align with the object, based on the viewpoint.
I actually really like the way you've treated the bridge support on the far bank (left side) although I'm not sure why there'd be a bright blue blob on the shadow side of the wall.
I can't tell if that's camera flash at the top or if it's supposed to be the sun filtering through the overcast. If it's the sun, the near side of the bridge needs to come down in value to imply shade.
Just my take on it. Nitpicking, mostly.
The composition is nice, but I'd really like to see that bridge a bit more pronounced. Which doesn't mean to "crisp" the outline; I mean, if the bridge is the focal point, give it something that makes it jump a bit. Even a bridge in fog can be dramatic without being bright (see Sargent's paintings, for example). I'm just thinking out loud.
Keep going. The picture can really work, because it has a strong compositional foundation. Take your time on this, stand it up somewhere so you can look at it from a distance, get a feel for it. I really sense something good here, but I think at this point I'd consider the picture a work in progress.
Good luck!

(As I was typing this, allanom posted his excellent alteration. Follow his lead!)

09-25-2007, 12:57 PM
the first sort of looks like glass with a glare on it....I like the paint application (makes me think of painted glass)

09-25-2007, 01:51 PM
What did you do when you altered?

I took your repro into Photoshop and reduced brightness slightly, increased contrast quite a bit and increased sharpness. To match what I posted, you would need to darken all your darks -- in the shadow areas and the local darks, plus lighten local light colours. And to sharpen details, move to smaller brushes and tighten up edges and details, etc.

09-25-2007, 02:57 PM
Ok thanks! I will do that and see what you think after I finish...thanks a million. This is the only way I know to learn.

09-25-2007, 06:02 PM
Oh, and what would help the dynamics of the piece would be to lower the far embankment, under the bridge and paint sky in there -- see my alt below.

09-25-2007, 07:04 PM
I might punch up the colors (green) in the foreground. It is okay with me if you leave less contrast in the background, but you need more in the fore.

09-26-2007, 10:40 AM
I will do that. I worked on it last night but I just can't get it to lok right. Any suggestion or Alteration, so I can see what your talking about will help.