View Full Version : North Arrochar Alps--------mixed mediums

06-13-2002, 12:05 PM
I started this with watercolour paint , went on with coloured pencils, including Chinagraph pencils, don't know if you've heard of them, some felt tip pens for some of the darks and gel pens for some of the highlights.
I never intended this sequence of events but as an artist said in a book once anything that makes a mark on the paper is a legitimate tool I don't think it looks too bad, but I need to go a bit darker in the foreground and I need to do something with that island on the left foreground, any advice?----Alan


I've also added an earlier wip

06-13-2002, 04:08 PM
fascinating color combinations. On my screen, it looks like the first days of spring when snow is still covering part of the landscape. I like how you have combined the soft, muted colors, with bright splashes of other color.


06-13-2002, 04:15 PM
I don't mean for this to sound bad, but I like your WIP better.

The reason is the color composition in the second. The intense yellow in the mid-ground looks out of place to me and, imo, it is interfering with the composition. The eye is immediately drawn to the left side of the painting and remains there.

I'd recommend adding some snow to the island in the left foreground and bringing down the intensity of the stand of trees on the left. If I get a chance, I'll play around with it in Photoshop.

I'm very impressed with how you've combined mediums with this. Have you posted in the Mixed Media forum?

06-13-2002, 06:01 PM
WOW I love the final those yellow trees really did it for me. Well done. :clap:

06-13-2002, 08:44 PM
Alan, since you seem to be a fan of the analysis I do, I thought you may like one for this piece. :)

There are basically two things that are bothering me about this piece. The first is the crop. I think that a different crop could provide a stronger composition. The three areas that concern me are of the heavy foreground shrubbery, the dominant tree pine on the left that ends right at the top of the piece, and the mountain smack in the center. They are all competing for attention.

I'd suggest a crop like this


This crop gets rid of the domineering pine tree that pulls the eye to the left and de-emphasizes the stand of yellow trees. The mountain is now off center and the eye wanders through the piece, being pulled back into it.

Another suggestion is this


Although the mountain is centered in this one, some of the distraction of the foreground and the large pine is removed by cropping them out.

The second area that is bothering me is the use of color in the midground. In general, a cool colors recede and warm colors look closer. The foreground is very cool and muted with very warm colors in the midground. As a general rule of thumb, colors in landscape get cooler and more muted further back in the painting. I look at the midground trees and it doesn't seem to mesh with the foreground. I think you feel this way too since you expressed a desire to "darken" the foreground.

Because of the colors, the canvas almost seems divided into 4 separate areas.

1) Cool and muted tones in the foreground.
2) Intense greens and yellows on the left.
3) A nice blend of warms with a touch of cool on the right.
4) Very cool tones in the back.

The back is working for me. The other three areas seem to be fighting. I'd suggest one or two ways to handle color issues.

1) If you leave the foreground in, then warm the colors up a bit and cool the colors in the stand of trees on the left.

2) Pull some color from the right side over into the stand of trees on the left to unify it.

3) Add some snow to the foreground island on the left to reduce some of the green and correct the water reflections to mirror this.

I've messed around a little bit to give you a couple of ideas. These aren't perfect, but just to give you an idea. I really am NOT good with photoshop, so the colors are more intense than I'd like and sort of look like they were painted by a child. :) Squint and it might be better. Hehe.

The first is a variation on Crop #1.


I echoed the warmed the colors in the foreground. I toned down the trees on the left and pulled in some color that is found in trees on the right. I added snow to the island on the left and corrected reflections on the left, both in front and in back of the foreground island.

The second is a variation of crop #2


In this one, the foreground is cropped out, so that isn't an issue. I added snow to the island and pulled in color from the right, corrected reflections, toned down trees on the left and pulled in color from the right there too.

As always, they are only suggestions. The piece is very beautiful and stands well on it's own. Even if you don't change the color, please consider one of the crops. I really do feel they strengthen the piece.

Aw heck, I'm looking at all these now and I'm not even sure about the color issues. Maybe I'm completely wrong on that one. I am certain about the crops though. :D

06-13-2002, 09:15 PM
This is brilliant before I had a chance to read your comments for which I'm extremely grateful I did a bit more I'll post it below I understand about your cropping and if I do I think it wiil be the flora and fauna at the bottom If truth be told they're the result of practising with the gel pens , I don't think I ever eally liked all that stuff anyway.
What I was trying to achieve is that late Autumn feeling after a light snowfall and the contrast with the warm colours of Autumn, Its probably too late to change this one much but I'll keep your usefull tips in mind for the next one.
To me it was the way the different media were used, it's incredible what they can do with modern technology.
Thanks once again for the trouble you have taken------------Alan

06-13-2002, 10:14 PM
I love the boats you added. How perfect! :)

Maybe it is the scan, but this second image seems to have a lot warmer tones in the foreground, so it's working much better.

I did another crop that just took out the top of that big pine tree and a little of your foreground.

06-14-2002, 05:05 AM
Thank you LeAnne you are wonderful, I have studied your comments and what I cannot apply to this picture I will certainly take on board for the next one what I did was double up the pixels on my scanner and that seems to have given me a truer colour although it takes ages to transfer the data.
What I thought was I would try and make the picture or is it a painting, more interesting, so that a person looking at it would not be able to take everthing in at once, keeping the viewers attetion longer---------Alan

06-14-2002, 05:30 AM
Allan, I just love your last image of the work, with the boats. Just as it is, no more cropping required imo, but I am no expert on such matters!:)

06-14-2002, 06:03 AM
Thank you Lulu I went hunting round this morning and guess who found a square frame, I'll post it hanging on the wall of shame!!



Thank you all for your help and advice on this one-------Alan

06-14-2002, 07:29 AM
Great picture, Alan. You've really captured that luminous quality of the last few beautiful days of fall before the winter sets in for the duration. Never saw mixed media looks so good!


06-14-2002, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by Lulu
Allan, I just love your last image of the work, with the boats. Just as it is, no more cropping required imo, but I am no expert on such matters!:)

Lulu, please allow me to explain the reason for my suggestion on the crop. In the piece, the large pine tree and the foreground have a lot of visual "weight."

Since the tree ends at the very top, it leads the eye right out of the piece. If it is cropped off at the top, it becomes more "background" and less of a focal point. The eye passes over, but instead of stopping at the top of the canvas, moves back in. IMO, with the sky/tree uncropped, the sky competes too much with the water & land for attention.

The foreground is a little too thick. Without the crop, the eye is immediately drawn to it and rests there. In the uncropped piece, my eye jumps to the foreground and gets caught there, then moves quickly to boat, to tree and out. In short, the left side of the canvas feels more weighted than the right.

With the foreground and the tree top cropped, the eye takes in the foreground and passes over it, but focuses on the boats. Then, the eye wanders over the shore, to the other side, down the shore, and back to the boats. IMO, the crop is a more successful composition because it leads the eye through the entire piece. That's why I suggested the crop.

I am in no way saying that the painting isn't very beautiful without it. I just feel that the composition is much stronger with those small portions cropped out. :)

06-14-2002, 04:04 PM
Thanks LeAnne, I see what you mean:)

Alan, my hall of shame is in the wardrobe, with the door very firmly closed! lol

06-14-2002, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by ripvanblair
Thank you Lulu I went hunting round this morning and guess who found a square frame, I'll post it hanging on the wall of shame!!

Alan, SHAME on YOU!

This piece doesn't deserve to be on the wall of shame. Crop it and hang it somewhere prominent. It is a beautiful painting.

06-14-2002, 04:23 PM
LeAnne, I just gave this thread a 5 star rating... Hoping others will find it as useful as I have. Excellent work, Alan. I love the way you drew the water and I think LeAnne's crop enhances that part of the painting nicely.

07-18-2002, 12:42 PM
OK i don't know how i missed this the first time. but wanted to add my two cents.

I don't think the forground is necessary...it cuts off the eye...I eliminated it...

i cropped similar to what leanne did and moved the mountain up a bit so the horizon wasn't smack in the middle which it would have been with my crop.

I added some of the oranges from the trees on the right to the area on the lef and also into the boats.

07-18-2002, 12:58 PM
Thank you Arlene I know what you mean I think it's maybe trying to get too much in the picture sometimes it's better to leave more out, your mods look very good I appreciate the time thank you -------Alan