View Full Version : I need HELP again!!

12-02-2007, 08:50 PM

I wonder what you all think about where this painting should go. I would like to have some "texture" in the background. I've played around a LITTLE bit with the spray bottle and with drops of paint/water. I'll do more on that. The photo I'm working from is of my son walking across a creek on a fallen tree. The Rocky Mountains are in the background of the photo, but I was going to leave them out of the painting. Does this make sense?
Also, any ideas about how to complete the background OR the figure so as to make it interesting but keep focus on the figure would be welcome. Suggestions as to colors and composition are welcome also! As always, ALL suggestions and your time and generosity are appreciated.


12-02-2007, 08:56 PM
I like the lightness in detail and color that you have created so far. I would not do a lot more to the background and focus your strength in color and detail on your son which is your COI. Just a suggestion. This is looking great, looking forward to seeing more.

12-02-2007, 09:05 PM
Keep the back light and blued and the foreground bright but subtle enough that your son is the COI Give him a red shirt or red shorts :) or orange....;)

Don't forget to put in some sky..:)


12-02-2007, 09:34 PM
I wouldn't touch that background (actually I would because I have little restraint, but that's another matter). I like the suggestiveness of it as it is.

12-03-2007, 05:29 AM
I like where you are going with this. I think you could just paint a nice sky back there (you could make it one of those orangey early morning skies for color since the water is in the blue family).

Make your son the strongest tones in the painting and he will naturally be the COI because of placement and the fact that he is a living being (these always draw the eye in any painting ;) ).

Looking forward to seeing this develop. Isn't it nice that you have a live-in model for your paintings. :D


12-03-2007, 06:37 AM
A simple sky would accentuate the boy:



12-03-2007, 06:37 AM
I think that you should leave the whole background alone UNTIL you get your son painted. Then you will know what you need. Nice start.

12-03-2007, 10:46 AM
Thanks everyone. JJ, he's actually wearing an orange shirt in the photo - so that should be easy! - though an orangy sky sounded neat, too. Thanks for that pic, Doug - it makes sense.
I really like the "gesture" here, the way the feet and arms are keeping him balanced. I just hope I can end up with a PAINTING instead of just a drawing with some colors thrown in...

12-03-2007, 08:46 PM
Try dropping the colours into the painting wet in wet and letting them mingle instead of mixing the colours on the palette. That is one good way of making a painting and not a paint by numbers if you know what i mean.....:D


12-03-2007, 11:26 PM
This is such a wonderful picture of your son! If he's wearing an orange shirt, that will look awesome against the blue sky...and help to make him the center of interest...then maybe put a little of the orange lightly on his feet and legs...as shading...to stand out against the blue of the water. Just a thought...it works in my head! :lol:
This is going to be really really nice!!

12-04-2007, 09:00 PM
Well, it looks pretty orangy. His hair will be darker. I actually think I'd like the feet to be the focus... I think his head's too close to the top. I'll need to tone down the reds in the shadows, or add other color to the skin.
Any more ideas????


12-04-2007, 09:08 PM
Oh yes, I agree...his feet should definitely be the focus...I like that idea!
So...what do they say about creating a focal point...darkest dark and lightest light...or color contrast...less detail in other parts...hhhmmm...
I think you might consider lightening those dark spots you have in the background....cause that's where my goes right away...and I want to watch his feet as he crosses that log!

12-04-2007, 09:11 PM
Looking good.

Does your camera have a white balance feature on it? If so you can use it to get rid off that coloured cast to the picture. You can also "fix" it in your photo editing program.

JJ :)

12-08-2007, 11:57 AM
I've done some more. I don't like how the arm gets lost in the shirt & I don't like the water. The hair may need a touch up. Any suggestions for making this come alive a little?
Thanks again.


12-08-2007, 12:12 PM
You can either make the shirt a shade or two darker around the arm or make the skin tones of his arm and legs be the darker elements. Even though you want the top of his arm and the front of his legs to be light because the sun is hitting his body from that direction, the backs could definitely be a deeper tone of whatever color you are using for the flesh just as the back of his shorts and shirt are deeper in tone than the fronts.


12-09-2007, 05:45 AM
What about darkening the arm are behind his arm and lightening the front by lifting like this??


I am not very good at this manipulation :) I use a mouse not a tablet.. But you get the idea..

Break up the shadow from the log on the water as the water is fast moving in your painting..:)


12-11-2007, 11:28 PM
Hi Mike,
I like the looseness of your painting. The strong dark line on the underside of the log could be counterbalanced with the dark foliage shapes near the horizon by gently connecting them with close values so that the horizon shape disappears behind your son and sneaks out a little on the other side. I'd keep the horizon darks in a wedge shape pointing to your son's shirt, but do it subtly so it's not obvious. I think doing this would help our eye move throughout the painting better. Darkening the very top of the hair will make him seem more upright, too. Good to see that you're getting time to paint. You are a good artist.

12-15-2007, 11:55 AM

Thanks Sandy, I'm glad you're still out there! (& again JJ & Sylvia). I've tried a few more things but will stop on this because I'm starting to dislike it... Thanks for all the ideas (Sandy, I tried your suggestion but thought it was getting muddy and messy...) by the way, the photo is a bit blurry and it is a little duller than in real life.

12-15-2007, 12:12 PM
I think your changes have brought a lot of lovely colors to the painting. Put it away for a couple of days and when you bring it out again, I think you will be pleased with it.

Time to take a photo of your son shoveling the snow off the walk. ;) :lol:


12-15-2007, 08:56 PM
I really like how you finished this painting and you should be proud of it.

If you put it away for a couple of weeks then look at it you will see it with fresh eyes and will like it too..:)