View Full Version : Highland Waterfall

04-04-2008, 05:40 AM

Title: Highland Waterfall
Year Created: 2008
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 16
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Thought I'd try copying a photograph but really struggled with colours. Needs adjusting but not sure where to start.......

Any suggestions welcome!

thomas w
04-04-2008, 08:04 AM
You've got some nice color in the sky, but overall the painting needs to be lightened up with highlights. I think that will make a tremendous difference.
Thomas W

thomas w
04-04-2008, 08:05 AM
You've got some nice color in the sky, but overall the painting needs to be lightened up with highlights. I think that will make a tremendous difference.
Thomas W

Clive Lutley
04-04-2008, 09:23 AM
Hi. Here’s my penny’s worth. Be careful when copying a photograph. Two reasons: a camera is monocular and the lens so designed that everything is in focus. We have two eyes (binocular) and we tend to focus on the subject and everything outside of this area of focus tends to blur. Try it, stare at an object and you’ll see everything on the peripheral of your vision is not sharp. This is one painting technique used to make sure the subject of our painting captures the attention of the viewer. Secondly, by faithfully reproducing a photograph you will tend to restrict your artistic representation, that which makes your art unique to you as a person and to us as a viewer. I often use reference photo’s, but usually hide it once I’ve got the basic information down and just concentrate on the canvas and what I want to do with the painting.

After getting that of my chest, back to your painting. The title suggests that the waterfall is your subject so I have modified your painting to reflect that. I have reduced the size of the background trees and softened the hill to push them back and make them less significant. The middle distance trees have grown to differentiate better the sense of depth in the painting. In the foreground I’ve made the waterfall bigger and brought it more into the middle of the painting. The large rocks have been moved and grown to change perspectives, as with the green outcrop with the foreground tree. A rock has been added in the bottom left corner to balance the picture.

I think you are off to a great start with this and I find your rocks are particularly good – never easy to do them so convincingly as this. Hope this helps.


04-04-2008, 10:24 AM
That helps tremendously thank you. I like the adjustments you have made and will learn a lot from them. Much appreciated.

04-04-2008, 04:36 PM
Fine councils. Clive's workup is great. I would add that you need to warm your fore ground green colors. They are too cool and so you are losing needed foreground detail to the back ground. For example the nice tree to the left of the foreground waterfall. This is somewhat the same point that Thomas was making. This is a very different composition for a waterfall painting and so has a lot of interest. Keep that paintbrush moving!

04-05-2008, 02:08 PM
Many thanks. I've made some adjustments and when I can get my camera to connect via Vista I'll upload the edited one! Really appreciate your help.

04-06-2008, 03:41 PM
I've made a few adjustments but still isnt right!