View Full Version : Tetons Painting

02-20-2008, 04:37 PM
I could use a critique on this one, please.

This is from a photo I took a few years ago of the old Moulton homestead in the Teton valley. LOL, everyone else paints the fabulous old barn, but I had to paint the marvelous pink house instead! :rolleyes:

Snow scenes don't photo well for me, so the snow actually has subtle pinks, blues, lavenders in it. The base of the mountain has more color in it, too. You'll just have to take my word for it! :D

I have trouble painting bare branched winter trees, and I already see some spots that need touching up.....where DID the rest of that trunk go, anyway? If anyone has advice on how I can do these better, PLEASE help! I'm not happy with that area at all.

Also, is it a super big mistake that the two peaks are pretty close to the center of the painting? Or does it pass because the house draws your eye there? I'm afraid I've looked at it too long and can't be objective anymore.

Thank you! Oh, it's 20" x 16" on Wallis Belgian Mist; assorted softies.

02-20-2008, 04:46 PM
Simply and without a doubt gorgeous. I love it.

02-20-2008, 05:08 PM
The two peaks don't bother me at all. I think it is the beginning of the movement through the painting...from the peaks, to the house to the path. Flows well in my eyes. Beautiful painting. Love the colors!


Deborah Secor
02-20-2008, 05:16 PM

Deb, is it more like this in reality? I just tweaked the histogram in PS a bit...

I love the pink house! The detail and crisp contrasts work very nicely. The mountain peaks are fine compositionally, as far as I'm concerned. My eye travels in a nice triangular pattern. If the darks in the near corner are as saturated as I made them, maybe they need a little bit of lightening, but I'm not confident that this image is correct.

Often on bare winter trees that I've carried to this point I simply use a piece of fine, soft charcoal to add a few significant trunks and branches, then sweep it over the top to mute down any detail that's too much. If needed the edge of a harder pastel will work (like a NuPastel.) Then use a long piece of charcoal to feather it out very lightly.

This seems like an early sunset time of day to me, though I'm not sure. If so, maybe adding a bit more of a swath of sunlight leading to the house would enhance it, as well as a hint more shadow on the far side of the house. Just my usual thinking out loud here...

I think you're in a good spot, Deb. It's nearly done.


02-20-2008, 09:45 PM
really nice, and I like that pink house, and that touch of pink in the clouds goes nicely as well, & Deborahs thinking out loud is alway well spoken

02-20-2008, 10:05 PM
We are on the same wavelength - painting Tetons. I love your painting and the up close perspective. The house is great. Just a yummy winter scene.

02-20-2008, 11:59 PM
wow ... two paintings of the tetons on the go at the same time !! ... how cool is that? ... and this ones fabulous too !! ... what i would critique on this is that at present the canvas is divided in half ... half mountains ... half foreground .... if it was cropped as i suggest below the house lands in the *sweet spot* of the rule of thirds ... and may be a taller tree could be added to the stand of trees on the left to extend into the opposite *sweet spot* as also roughed in but it could be defined more even ...


whatcha think? ... doesn't it kind of have the eye go from the house up the mountain and down to the trees and back to the house? ...

02-21-2008, 12:47 AM
Oh I love your mountains! Just beautifully done. For some reason I sort of wish the house was a little less defined to stay in keeping with the rest of the softness of the painting... It is not bad as is, just would be my personal preference.. Very nice painting... I also love the ground cover and the trees!!

Kathryn Wilson
02-21-2008, 08:35 AM
I think you might have two things fighting for attention here ... the pink house and the mountains. My eye keeps bouncing back and forth. If you want it to be about the mountains, maybe downplay the house a bit.

You've done a great job on those mountains ... wish I were there!

02-21-2008, 12:21 PM
Great comments, everyone! Thank you!

Thanks, Deborah, for tweaking the color. You did make it more like the painting is IRL, although I don't think the darks are quite as saturated IRL. Thanks also for the tips on using charcoal to paint the bare trees. I will definitely try that.

Some of the other comments are exactly what I have struggled with in this painting. I knew that it would be a challenge compositionally, as I really did want the center of interest to be the pink house. It seems really hard to paint something as dominant as the Tetons without having them take over the painting. I could have downplayed them somewhat by making it a hazy, low cloud cover day so they wouldn't be so prominent, but it was a clear day and I was attracted by the sunny side of the bright house. I tried making the peaks just a bit fuzzier than I normally would, and making the house definite and more precise.

Also, I meant to crop out a bit of the sky portion.....I always paint "outside the frame" and should have cropped that out in my photo. My intention is to have more of the foreground, so as not to divide the frame in half with the house, leaving more sagebrush area to lead up to the house. I thought that also might take some prominence away from the peaks.

Perhaps it's not working, however. I'll have to let this one sit a bit and think about it. I appreciate the comments; in fact, if anyone has further comments about my reasoning here, I'd love to hear them. Composition is one of my (many!) weaknesses, so you are helping me learn, and I appreciate that immensely!