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View Full Version : The last calabrian donkey


mimitabby
02-10-2008, 12:48 PM
1/8 sheet of arches 300 lb paper
Every time we visit Calabria, we search for donkeys. Before world war II, I guess they were everywhere; but now they are VERY hard to find.

here is one that we saw (finally) in 2003.
I was working with complimentary color, there is a lot of muted green and maroon here.
But something is wrong and I can't figure out how to fix it.
Thanks for your c & c
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Feb-2008/73379-donkey.jpg

LynnM
02-10-2008, 04:07 PM
Mimi, I think his head is too small for the body. As I remember, donkey's have proportionately large heads.....does that make sense? And I am not sure about chopping off his feet. Otherwise I love the way you handled the wall. Perhaps just a bit more emphasis on the shadows would bring in a stronger light.

painterbear
02-11-2008, 06:38 AM
Mimi,
Now that you mention it, I don't think we saw any donkeys when we lived in Italy. I used to see a lot of them when we were in Turkey in the 1960s though and always thought they were neat animals.

I love the colors you've used in your painting and the texture on the walls. I think Lynn may be right about the donkey's head being a little small for its body size and also cutting off his hooves.

Nonetheless, I still like this painting a lot.

Sylvia

mimitabby
02-11-2008, 01:43 PM
Thanks Sylvia and Lynn!

Apparently the Italian government is worried about the lack of donkeys and will give people an annual stipend to keep donkeys. (not enough to pay for the feed of course)

Emme2
02-11-2008, 03:11 PM
Love this, Mimi! I love the light you have on the doorway and the lightness
of the bricks around the door as well. It seems that light went away when
you moved over to the window and the donkey. . . .

The window has a slightly lighter area, but not like the door, and I think if
the right side (his left) of the donkey's face was lighter, it would give the
effect of him looking towards the light.

Would love to see his feet! I haven't seen a lot of donkeys, but the size of
his head seems fine to me. Perhaps, some internet research??

You've gotten off to a great start on this!

~ Emme

mimitabby
02-11-2008, 04:02 PM
Emme,
thank you I like your idea about lightening up the head a bit on the left.

His feet were hidden in the grass and they were not visible in the reference photo!

rue d'oak
02-15-2008, 12:34 PM
Mimi,
Is is not the feet that bother me...I think compositionally that is fine and it brings us in closer to the subject. It is the perspective (doors, window frames) that is catching my eye as off.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Feb-2008/63987-screen_shot.jpg

I know these old buildings are not exactly on the square :lol: but even still, it seems like something is going on down in the lower right. I like how the building / grass line comes in at an angle -- more interesting, directs the eye, works well with the turn of the donkey's head. But it is out of synch with the bottom of the door and window. and then the building goes back onto the grid over on the left side.

Agree with the idea about the light. With the donkey as your focus, the light on its face would be appropriate. Now, whether you create that with value, by lifting off...or by adding darks....or could you somehow do it with color?

Had no idea donkeys were so integral to the Italian identity!! Fascinating.
Jen

mimitabby
02-15-2008, 12:46 PM
Thanks so much Jen. Your observations are excellent. I am sure I skewed the already shaky old building. Your lines prove that. And I'll bet that's part of why it has a funky look to it.
I did lighten up the side of the Donkey's face, and I think it helped a little.
I don't think i can shore up the side of the building on this painting though.
I count this as one of my many "lessons learned" paintings, and I am very indebted to you and the many others who took the time to critique it.
Mimi

Mimi,
Is is not the feet that bother me...I think compositionally that is fine and it brings us in closer to the subject. It is the perspective (doors, window frames) that is catching my eye as off.


I know these old buildings are not exactly on the square :lol: but even still, it seems like something is going on down in the lower right. I like how the building / grass line comes in at an angle -- more interesting, directs the eye, works well with the turn of the donkey's head. But it is out of synch with the bottom of the door and window. and then the building goes back onto the grid over on the left side.

Agree with the idea about the light. With the donkey as your focus, the light on its face would be appropriate. Now, whether you create that with value, by lifting off...or by adding darks....or could you somehow do it with color?

Had no idea donkeys were so integral to the Italian identity!! Fascinating.
Jen

HarvestMoon
02-17-2008, 12:28 PM
this is absolutely wonderful.... love the door and the textured walls, etc... and oh, the donkey- I have 2 mini ones myself (that I think came originally from somewhere in Italy)

mimitabby
02-17-2008, 12:35 PM
Your donkeys are Sardinian Donkeys. I love the entire race, from miniatures to Mammoth Jacks. Nothing sounds better than a distant donkey bray in the fog on an early morning bike ride.

rue d'oak
02-17-2008, 02:10 PM
Well, Mimi, do you have the heart to take another crack at it? I know, some paintings just have to be learned from...love the notion of the donkey bray in the fog.
Jen

mimitabby
02-17-2008, 02:21 PM
um, this particular exact one? maybe not. I will do more doors and more donkeys, without a doubt :D

HarvestMoon
02-18-2008, 01:06 PM
can't wait to see more of both!!!

lpb
02-18-2008, 01:51 PM
The texture on the building is wonderful!