View Full Version : Need C&C please... Second Attempt

10-05-2007, 08:02 PM
A friend asked me to do two 8x10 pen/ink drawings for her and she gave me two photos she'd taken of old falling down buildings to use as reference photos. This is the first one and I'm feeling really confused about it. I feel like there are things really wrong with it...not sure about the composition now. There seem to be two centers of interest: the house and the trees/cows. The whole thing seems too "busy." And my penwork seems sloppy to me.
Am I being hypercritical? Should I start over (there are no time constraints and I have no qualms about beginning again)? I just have no idea what this looks like to someone else. Feedback would be greatly appreciated.


10-05-2007, 09:21 PM
Seeing the reference photo would help...

10-05-2007, 10:18 PM
I think I'd prefer that you just judge it for its own merits (or lack thereof). The reference photo is just the house in a grassy meadow with a couple of cows near it, and the fence--no trees. I'm not trying to copy it--in fact, I told my friend it might not look like the reference photo and she didn't care, it was just the general idea of what she wanted.


Ranger Dan
10-06-2007, 03:32 AM
Looks like you did a pretty good job on the building and the cows. I'm thinking that the balance of the piece is slightly off. But if you take out the cows, it doesn't really change much. How about adding a bird (looking away toward the house or cows) sitting on the right side post?

If you did start over, check the perspective on the siding of the building...that's where it looks a bit flat. the lines going away from you should all angle toward a single point on the horizon, so in this case they should be pointing upward at the bottom - be flat at about the eave of the roof - and go slightly down above that.

Then, I think it would be a bit more interesting with the fence posts and wire higher in the foreground. That is, the fence posts sticking upwards so you can see more of them even to the point of blocking a small portion of the house with them (maybe nearly halfway to the eave of the roof). I guess I'm thinking of making it look as though the fence & posts were closer to the viewer. (so the wires would be further apart in that perspective).

Hope that helps some. It really is nice as it is, just a slight balance issue.

10-06-2007, 04:01 AM
I like your drawing, but I agree with Dan that you should give more contrasts in the foreground, perhaps doing the fence much darker. I think that perhaps if you put a bird on the wire looking at the house would help. I see the trees and cows correct.

10-06-2007, 05:57 AM

There's not allot wrong with this one. I also agree with Dan. You either need to leave out the fence posts or concentrate on them more and really develop them. At the moment, I feel they are a little distracting (IMO). Have a look at my recent thread. I had 3 posts with chains running through the foreground

Albert Dock: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=446988

I also think you need to fill the white area to the right of the building. Lightening the background may also help. I tried playing with it on the computer


10-06-2007, 06:37 AM
i think the perspective on the right side of the building is off a little bit, and it might need a little contrast between the building and the bush next to it. they seem to run together a bit. have you tried changing your reference to greyscale/black and white? it'll help you nail those values.(or decide where to strengthen them).

10-06-2007, 10:00 AM
Odd - this, being an old, run-down building - but thought the cows simply were on a hill behind the building and the perspective just fine..... in which case, only need define more the grass between building and cows to indicate said hill....

And yes, on the whole, do think this a fine rendering.... :thumbsup:

10-06-2007, 11:36 AM
Thanks for much for all your thoughts and suggestions. I'm pulled toward doing it the easy way and just adding a bird to the fence post and more indication of grass in the white space and letting it go, but my heart tells me to try it again. I think I'll put a little more of the house in the picture as the dark window on the left seems to pull my eye out of the frame, sitting on the edge like that. And while I absolutely love the look of Fordy's dock drawing, I think I'll raise the fence posts so they overlap the house but maybe not pull them up so much as to be looking at the house directly through them. The idea of the cows was that they were black to show them being in shade, but I think I'll make them a little lighter (and the background trees, too) so they don't distract...

Lots to think about here, but I think I'll give it another go and see if I'm not happier with another one. Your comments have been very helpful - thanks a lot!


10-06-2007, 01:18 PM
I can't add to the advice already given, but your pen work is not sloppy. We each have our own style and that is what makes our work unique.

10-06-2007, 08:22 PM
Well, I've spent the entire day re-doing this. I personally like the second one better...I moved the left window entirely into the picture. I didn't darken the trees in the background and lightened the cows. I moved the fence posts further up into the picture, and darkened them. I tried to lighten up the tree next to the house (that's a tough one) and put more grass in the old white space.

Have I improved it? I don't think I have it in me to do it a third time! (BTW, these aren't particularly good photos--when I upload them I lose a lot of detail. I think it's better in Real Life.)



10-07-2007, 11:44 AM
Much improved, Susan! The trees and cows recede now. There's still something on the right side of the building that bugs me, but my coffee has not yet kicked in enough for me to tell what it is. Then again, the building *is* about to fall down!

10-07-2007, 11:50 AM
Much improved, Susan! The trees and cows recede now. There's still something on the right side of the building that bugs me, but my coffee has not yet kicked in enough for me to tell what it is. Then again, the building *is* about to fall down!

i was trying to figure out what was bugging me about the right side, too. i think it might be that the window doesn't look foreshortened, but it could be just hanging open, i don't know. all in all, it looks good to me! nice work! :thumbsup:

10-07-2007, 12:16 PM
Perhaps if I darkened the right side of that window frame??? Now that I look at it, it is a little lighter, pulling it forward a little. The window is defintely skewampis (good grief, I've never tried to spell that!), but I think darkening the right side might be helpful.

Thanks for the comments!