View Full Version : Ospreys

Kiana Fecteau
11-28-2007, 02:36 PM

Title: Ospreys
Year Created: 2007
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 11
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

I finished this painting yesterday, or at least thought I finished it.

My No.1 critic (my husband) looked at it and thinks the solid blue sky is boring. I think it focuses the attention on the nest and birds, however, I agree that maybe a sunset would be more exciting. Yet I worry that putting in a colorful sky might take away from the subject and make the painting too busy.<br><br>Anyway, I would really like your opinion on this and on anything else regarding this painting. Thanks.

11-28-2007, 03:19 PM
Welcome to Wet Canvas Kiana..........My first reaction was WOW, this is nice. I have a husband critic here also and enjoy his comments,their usually honest and they might see what we miss. I can see his point. Think you could just lighten up the bottom sky, but don't mess up that wonderful nest, it really looks good......Keep having fun...........Lenore

11-28-2007, 05:06 PM
Nice work. I disagree about the sky, it's fine. If you want to do a sunset, paint another. I like the simple blue background for these outstanding birds you've painted. If you want to lighten the bottom of the sky as Lenore suggests, that's fine. But leave the sunsets for another painting. It would detract from the excellent foreground work you've done on the birds and nest, imo. Plus the blue sky gives a sense of height and expanse.

Nice one.

11-28-2007, 05:56 PM
Hi Kiana, while we love our husbands, and even if they are occasionally right, yours isn't this time... Please don't change the sky. A sunset would 'kill' the birds. They are greyish brownish, and the blue complements them perfectly. You might lighten the lower part of the sky. I do think the stark graphic impression is part of what makes the painting. One way of livening up a large area of one colour is to use different blues, and maybe a few purples, of the same values, and weave strokes around and through and over each other, but not blend them to a uniform colour. If you're confident with that method, it'd work fine here, if not, then leave it as it is.


11-28-2007, 09:05 PM
It is so realistic that at first I thought it was a photo! Fantastic!

11-29-2007, 06:56 AM
Wonderful Painting, Kiana! I am a bird lover and appriciate the love and care you applied to the subject.

I like the monochromatic sky: the reason is that I think it gives the painting just a very clear and airy feel that is very appropiate for birds of prey in their high nests.

For that same reason, I would not recommend too visible brushstrokes or color variations in the sky (as Charlie suggested) in this case, it might take away from that feel of a lot of air and free space that I find in that painting.

One other observation: the cast shadows on the treetrunc show me that you probably intended the scene to be in bright sunlight. However I do not get the feel of sunshine because of the blue you chose for the sky, it is kind of greyish/purplish (unless the screen is cheating my eyes), this type of blue rather goes with overcast cloudy skies or dawn/dusk. Just my impression, I could be wrong on this.


11-29-2007, 07:41 AM
Great Job !! love it!!


thomas w
11-29-2007, 08:44 AM
It looks like you have a faint treeline right behind the nest. I think that would make for a more interesting background. A misty pale blue-gray treeline could set up some space and add some dramatic interest to the scene. The detail on the birds and the rest is remarkable. Great job.
Thomas W

Kiana Fecteau
11-29-2007, 02:47 PM
Thank you for your help and input!


11-29-2007, 03:37 PM
Along the highway in Superior, Mineral County, there is an osprey nest atop a telephone pole. The background shows the mountains and the Clark Fork River. I think that if in the lower portion of the painting you showed a faint treeline it might help.

11-29-2007, 03:42 PM
know what this looks like?
a photograph
very well painted
I think if the bird on the limb had some bright red feathers, it would add some interest. But maybe that breed doesn't have red feathers.

Or maybe if there were some berries and green leaves in that nest...

11-29-2007, 03:54 PM
In my opinion, I wouldn't change a thing. It is what it is and it is a faithful depiction of what you would see in nature.

11-29-2007, 10:43 PM
I don't think that a sunrise would be the best thing. Maybe try adding some subtle clouds just to break the blue up a bit

Kiana Fecteau
11-30-2007, 02:47 PM
I lightened the bottom of the background and my husband said that it's amazing what a difference a small change can make. It definitely gives more depth and atmosphere to the painting.
Thank you for all your help!


11-30-2007, 08:34 PM
Hi Kiana..........I think that was just enough to make it pop off the canvas, Good job, very beautiful............Lenore

12-01-2007, 01:47 PM
Beautifully rendered, and the change in the background is right on.
I'm partial to square formats anyway, so take this for what it's worth, but I think if this were on a square - same height but with the most of the added space to the left, and the tree then off center to the right - it would make for a more interesting composition, as well as heighten the sense of open sky and isolation of the birds.