View Full Version : Dawson Creek Art Gallery - WIP

11-24-2007, 04:39 PM
Okay...I guess I've stalled enough. Here are the pictures I'll be using for a commission piece for the Northern BC Winter Games. Well....I have a better picture of the surveyor statue, but I forgot to email it to my home 'puter.

I am hoping (begging really) for input on this. I have a picture in my head...but unfortunately that's usually where the picture remains. Any ideas on composition especially will be more than helpful.



This is the thingy that will have a flame burning during the games. (I'm sure there is a name for it...just can't quite think of it right now :p )


Sorry about the crappy pic...this is a very cool sculpture made by a local artist. It points north..(Dawson Creek is the beginning of the Alaska Hiway...formerly known as the Alcan Hiway).
The sculpture is made of wonderful rusty metal pieces.

So this is basically what I have to work with. The piece will be a half sheet 15x22. I think it will be more of a compilation of the various bits rather than a literal interpretation...if ya knows what I mean. (Hope somebody does:confused: )

Stay tuned for some compositional sketches coming up!!!

11-24-2007, 06:00 PM

So...here are the three components of the painting.
The background will be a deep blue sky...I think the sculpture dude should go up higher, so we can see the blue sky through the open parts of the sculpture.
Okay, all you that are not compositionally challenged as I am...what would make a pleasing composition?

I'm open to suggestions...and chocolate. :D

11-24-2007, 06:10 PM
This is very interesting. Will there also be text on the painting like the name of the games and dates? If so, you'll have to take that into consideration when planning placement of the three major elements.


11-24-2007, 08:05 PM
I would move the left hand sculpture either left or right so that the wit=dth does not coincide with the side of the gallery.


11-24-2007, 08:40 PM
Thanks Sylvia -No, there will be no text...they had considered it, but decided not to. The gold, silver and bronze medals will be incorporated into the framing, below the painting.

Thanks Doug - Yes, good point. I'll keep that in mind.

Here is a color sketch...just trying to get an idea that works.


I don't know about the flaming thing...it is a cool shape...but I don't know if I can paint convincing fire...and it might look odd without fire...all opinions appreciated.

Back to the drawing board!!:clap: :clap: :confused: :(

11-26-2007, 04:30 PM
Geez.....straighten me out,Tracy. Am I to assume you must incorporate all three elements into one design?
And that flaming "thing a ma gig" has the 5 Olympic rings?

11-26-2007, 06:16 PM
You have so much to fit into one painting, I think landscape format will work better.

Then have the building on the left, the statue on the right, and maybe have the torch above and behind everything (central and fading out at the bottom). I can't think of anything else that would work.


11-26-2007, 06:45 PM
I think Ruth is right, Tracy. Try a landscape format, it gives you a lot more room to place your pieces.

One of my instructors told us when she is putting together a composition, she often draws the elements on drawing paper and cuts them out. Then she moves them about on her paper until she gets a good composition and draws it. You might try something like that with these three components.


11-26-2007, 08:52 PM
*nodding* in agreement with Ruth and Sylvia... the three elements are competing for attention and none of them is strong enough in colour or detail to lead the procession... You can do this, but positioning of your elements is really going to be key to the success of your painting...

Congratulations (I think... :rolleyes: ) on your commission... :clap:

Jack Liberty Lake
11-26-2007, 09:13 PM
Hi Tracy ... I'm rather new to commenting on other's works. When I saw the complexity of the three elements, I thought perhaps you could fade the building so that it is almost transparent and definitiely serving as a background design, then use the statue in the lower right pointing to the flame stand in the upper left.
Good luck with this project.

11-26-2007, 10:52 PM
Oh Ruth...of course you're right!! (smacking forehead!) Not sure why I was trying to cram it all in sideways...
Thanks Sylvia - another brilliant idea! I knew I could count on you guys!!
Thanks Char - Yes, composition is key...and I am not so very very great at that...I appreciate your input so much. And I think that doing commission work is perhaps not quite as exciting as I thought it might be...big pain in the butt really ;) :lol:
Thanks for your input too, Jack, (and welcome to our crazy world!)...I'll definitely keep your ideas in mind.

Well, back to the drawing board...and turning it sideways ;)

11-26-2007, 10:55 PM
Oh and Seedy! Yeah...not sure what the heck I was thinkin'!!! And...don't know much about the flaming thingy...:lol: I just have to paint it! Anyone know how to paint fire?!?! :lol: :lol: :lol:

11-28-2007, 09:00 AM
OH BOY!!:eek: This is a tricky one!!:confused:
I like the ideas presented...and can't offer much in that way...I am so NOT good at composition!!!! So I will offer moral support:wink2: and hang out to see what you come up with....which I am sure will be wonderful!
I always thought com work would be so cool too...till I had to do them!!!:lol:

11-28-2007, 09:44 AM
You could paint it landscape format Tracy with each element vignetted something like this with fuzzy edges:



11-28-2007, 09:45 AM
Oh boy....you poor thing.....a lot to fit into a painting! I agree that a landscape would best fit these structures. I like the idea of the sculpture behind the building too. Good Luck in whatever you choose and keep us posted.

giddy up
11-28-2007, 11:00 AM
Doug may be on to something........I like the vignette idea.....maybe 3 images
that just blend into one another ....making the grain elevator central...
that could work......taking three elements and combining them is tricky....
separate but united......


11-28-2007, 11:32 AM
Yes Greg, make the grain elevator fill the whole page fading out to the edges and overlap vignets of the two other elements at the sides.


11-28-2007, 01:06 PM
:wave: HI! Tracy, what a huge undertaking, you are creative though and have come so far! I like what you did with you red & green study, it was so sunlight, especially interesting was what you like about it best! Good luck. regards, Marianne

11-28-2007, 03:40 PM
I think I could paint those three things but not together.:lol: Let us know how you are doing.:thumbsup:


11-28-2007, 11:46 PM
Well now....THAT'S a challenge!!

I'd like to see one of the statues with a different scale. Right now, it almost looks like the two statues actually sit outside the building, because they are all the "actual" sizes. Since they AREN'T all together IRL, I wouldn't paint them that way.

In my mind this is more of a collage, with 3 completely seperate structures combined on one paper. I think the flame is the biggest symbol of the games (says the woman who has never heard of the games LOL - obviously, that's just my guess!!!). I'd make that the biggest element, up front but not centered, and then the statue and barn behind....everything overlapping just a touch, if possible.

Okay - I can say all that.....but I can't draw or paint it!!! Good luck!!

11-29-2007, 10:47 AM
Hey, Tracey, what a neat commission and a great opportunity!!:D

If this were mine, I'd be wondering what the most important element is out of the three pieces you're to include. Once that is established, I think you have a starting point. I would think the flame thingy would be most representational of the games and would make it my biggest, most detailed piece (and I'd run my comp by the folks requesting the commission to make sure they agree). I would pay no attention to scale of the items either. I also think a vertical composition would work well. Take a look at this very crude rough that I've attached and you'll see what I mean.


You may need to move the scuplture in a bit more, but I would most definitely add the fire as I think that will add way more interest to the piece. (Sorry! :eek: I know you're not crazy about that!)

Hope this helps and doesn't add to your confusion, but I think this has a lot of potential and you can do some cool things with this!! ~ Emme

11-29-2007, 11:00 AM
Yes Emme! That's what I was trying to describe in the post above yours!! Thank you.

giddy up
11-29-2007, 11:06 AM
and I LOVE......that monument hailing the wonder of CHEESE....hehe......
sorry, I am from Wisconsin......AND sarcasm runs in my veins....

this could work Emme.....great idea...:).....and the flames are nice too ;)


11-29-2007, 11:13 AM
why, thank you, Greg! Coming from you, that's high praise! ;) King of the
difficult compositions!! I just hope it helps Tracy! ~ Emme

Ms. Gee
11-29-2007, 06:40 PM
My first thought was to have the building in the background (a little softer), too. I like Emme's composition idea but I think I would raise the statue a little higher so he's pointing into air. Trust your own judgement.

Would the flame thingy be called a torch?

You can do it! Good luck! :thumbsup: Just remember -- you don't have to get it perfect the first time.

Scene Chaser
11-29-2007, 08:09 PM
Perhaps you could paint them as designs on the sides of the building.

11-29-2007, 08:24 PM
Yes, yes and yes!! I was trying to make a 'picture', but it really is going to be more of a collage type thingy :lol: (And yes Ms. Smartypants, perhaps it could be a torch :lol: :lol: )
And there's Amy and Emme, thinkin' in sync! I like this very much...but I don't know if I can paint cheese...I mean fire...convincingly...I've been trying, I'll post a couple later and you can let me know if it looks like cheese, I mean FIRE.
Thanks to Doug and Greg (MR. Smartypants)...all very helpful (and entertaining) thoughts.
And thanks for the support Marianne and Carl...
...so...you guys wanna come over and help? ;) :lol: :lol:
Greg can bring the cheesey humor...I mean the cheese...I'll supply the whining!!
Stay tuned!!

11-29-2007, 09:57 PM
Greg can bring a cheesehead for you to wear as you paint the picture. ;) :evil:

(a little Wisconsin humor there :angel: )

Looks like the creative juices are flowing and things are beginning to come together nicely, Tracy. :D


11-29-2007, 10:48 PM
Well...I don't think that the flamey thing (apparently called a 'torch' by some :evil: ) is gonna work for me. It just doesn't seem to fit...so I have worked up this sketch, and I like it. It's kinda boring right now...but I'll work on that.
This is the land of wide open skies, and waving fields of golden wheat...and rapidly disappearing wooden grain elevators. The statue is a surveyor...probably George Dawson (guess who the town is named after :eek: )...and I like his silhouette against the blue sky.

All comments and suggestions happily accepted!!



I think it will look cool with some very 'painterly' splatter in the wheat field...maybe a few more defined heads of wheat right down at the bottom...and some overlapping the (exceptionally wonky:eek: ) base of the sculpture. And of course, the white lettering on the building .


11-30-2007, 06:18 AM
This looks good without the flame thrower. Why not try the same composition on a horizontal layout as well. That would give you even more scope to show the grain elevator sitting out there on the plain amidst the waving field of grain and the sculpture could be a little farther away from it?


giddy up
11-30-2007, 10:53 AM
I am liking this........are you sure they won't mind not having the 3rd
element in the piece?.....I did not know that we could pick and choose! :)
this could work.......I think that he is more important than the cheese thrower...
and the grain elevator is very important......I would adjust the comp then,
to not have him create that tangent with the building, know what I mean?
he is lined up exact with the line of the building.....let's see a little
more building on his other side......OR make him slightly smaller perhaps....

you can do it.......:)


11-30-2007, 08:05 PM
Yipee!! I don't have to use the cheese flinger...I mean flame thrower...well...you know what I mean!!! :clap: :clap:
Thanks Greg - I think this will work nicely. So...do you think he should be moved a little left, so part of the building shows on his right...or should he not be overlapping the building at all? (As if you have time to worry about my stuff when you have an entire city of hats and elephants to paint!!)

11-30-2007, 09:27 PM
Okay.....this is what he meant...moving the side of the building so that it is not on the same plane as the side of the leg...kinda like this...
Hope this helps...:)

BTW...he is dictating this over my shoulder!!!! LOL!!:wink2: :lol:

11-30-2007, 09:55 PM
Okay! Gotcha!! That makes sense...now tell him to get back to work on those elephants!
Thanks alot...helps immensely...I'm off to paint now!!!

12-02-2007, 10:58 PM

tap tap tap.....

where is it?!?

no rush...hehe:lol:

btw....Greg is dictating again!!!:p :lol:

12-03-2007, 12:05 AM
It's comin', it's comin'...hold yer elephants! :lol: :lol: I crack me up!
To dark to take a pic tonight...so tomorrow!!

12-03-2007, 09:03 PM
Okay, so here it is already!! :p

Of course, I dropped a big ol' sopping wet brush on my lovely sky wash...so this one is out as a finished piece...but I have the building and sculpture drawn out separately, and can just copy them on to the six pieces of watercolor paper for each painting.

I like the comp...and I like the field of grain...but do you think it is boring? I'm of two minds...as usual...so let me know what you think!!!!






This is on a half sheet Arches 140lb CP.
I need a better pic of the sculpture so I can get the details in there...but this is basically it!!

12-04-2007, 06:29 AM
What a tough assignment. Check your values and where the sun is. My eye is drawn to the sunny side of the building (painting left) - away from the sculpture. If the sculpture is the POI, then your darkest value and the lightest value should be there. It seems to be where the field meets the base of the sculpture. Just my opinion.

12-04-2007, 06:37 AM
I think you are getting there, but IMHO, this vertical format makes your painting look very crowded.

I think a horizontal format would give you room to show the wide, open terrain where the building is located with a big sky above it and the sculpture.

It looks to me as if the part of the building that is where the words "Art Gallery" appears could actually be a little wider than you've shown it.

I like your waving field of wheat a lot.


giddy up
12-04-2007, 10:59 AM
suggestions: :)

hmmmmmm......perhaps a wider format as Sylvia suggested......
showing more field of grain on the side opposite of the sculpture.....but if
these really need focus, then you better stick to this close format....
are you showing this AS an old elevator, or as an art gallery?
or does the ART GALLERY lettering appear on the other side unseen?
play with that statue......add some more light and perhaps a little more
shadow from it in the grain field....you already have some FANTASTIC darks
don't lose the lights.......keep that area of the building where you have the strong cast shadow, quite warm in color.....and even add slightly a warm
orange-yellow edge around the dark shadow....where it has that very abrupt
value change......it will add some more variety
keep all of the roof planes that FACE THE SKY.....cool......give them all
a 10-15% wash of ult blue......to cool them as they reflect that very cool blue sky......it will help the other areas in the sun appear even warmer....

just some ideas........looking good........sheesh, this are tough images....
how about a GIANT poster on the side of that building......hehe
I think I know where you could find one.....;)