View Full Version : Moon Cliffs

04-04-2008, 05:05 AM

Title: Moon Cliffs
Year Created: 2008
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 10" x 8"
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

I'm not shur how to go about makeing the cliffs in this painting look better. It's just a big black blob at the moment and it is very distracting.

Also any suggestions on how to improve the clouds would be good. :)

How can I go about makeing the cliffs look less 2 dimmensional?

04-04-2008, 05:43 AM
Wow - I love this. Very atmospheric. Sorry I cant offer any comments regarding improvements - I'm struggling with my own! But I think this is a wonderful piece.

Clive Lutley
04-04-2008, 07:08 AM
Nice atmosphere, interesting treatment of the subject, good one. Cliffs are difficult, arenít they. Thing to remember here is that light can be reflected from nearby objects (even if they are not in the painting), also light is reflected from the atmosphere and the sky, so unless the light source is very strong, e.g. looking direct into the sun or a very bright spotlight, there is always ambient light bouncing into the shadow areas.
The changes I made are rough but should give you the idea. One other thing, I find the moon surface a little unrealistic because the craters are jagged, too sharp, and, well, un-moonlike. Perhaps you could reference a photo and blend them in a little more. Hope this helps.


04-04-2008, 08:04 AM
How adventurous! Well done.

As an amateur astronomer I have a few issues tho.
1. the moon is round unlike the earth. But your moon isn't round.
2. The beautiful creamy glow you have created for the luminosity of the moonlight is perfect but there is not enough of it - you have far too much in dark patches which isn't the way it is when viewing the moon. Nothing is so dark at all nor so much of. I only mention this cos I can really feel the magic you have captured in your work, otherwise I would hold my words.
3. the stars are good tho may be enhanced by putting a slight whitey scrumble just around them
4. The cliff - I ask myself why a cliff with extraordinarily long grass? why not a silhoetted tree (I gotta look up the spelling of that)

I hope you know the etheral beauty you are capturing and dont let it go.

04-04-2008, 08:21 AM
To me, the chief problem was mentioned in the previous post: the silhouetted "grass" on the cliff.

But you ask about the clouds. I think they're basically ok but you want to let the moon light shine through them some. In a view like this, the moon would be very bright. So I also suggest pumping up the value in the moon.

Last point, you've painted stars. For some reason I don't understand, I find it hard to paint stars; I've tried a couple of times. But I can say one thing about your effort which is that starts are always points, never little blobs.

04-04-2008, 09:07 AM
I really like this. Great idea, wish I thought of it. It has a nice nightly feel, but as mentioned by others it could use some tweaks.

The cliffs need the attention that Clive gave them.

One thing about the grass, the part that's lighted seems to be lighted from the right, not back, or left. It may be that one or 2 blades have a dark left and light right. Or it may be my eyes, or the photo. The majority should just be back lite which may be hard with narrow blades. And I think, not sure, something that thin in the intense moonlight would be brighter in value with dark centers.

The moon is good, but the craters should be fixed as mentioned. I think the feel may be better with the moon being as lonely as possible. And the stars could be distant pinpoints. Nearer ones will need some minor halo around them (I exaggerate this in my painting on purpose, that wouldn't would work here. Go stare at some stars, that will help).

Lastly, the clouds. Backlit they will be dark in the center and lighter as you move to the edges. I think you have this idea but increase the values (no one will believe I said that). Here's a link that may give you an idea


Look at the stars in this link also.

Again, I do like it as is. The problem is I like the idea so much I put all my idea of how it should work. But it's a good piece as is.

04-04-2008, 11:54 AM
wow, very interesting
the grass on the cliff is really tall, so it looks like it's just a mound sitting in front of the viewer, which is blocking the moon, rather than a far away cliff

I like all the white dots and the size of the moon, and it's texture

04-04-2008, 04:27 PM
All good comments on this! I like the feel of the moment that you have conveyed...

04-04-2008, 06:35 PM
Outer space. This is so cool. I really like what you are doing here. I would suggest just taking out the cliff, who needs it with this beautiful view.Lenore