View Full Version : Zebra Guarding New Arrival

04-06-2008, 11:03 AM


Title: Zebra Guarding New Arrival
Year Created: 2007
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 61 x 51 cm
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is the first time I've submitted a painting for a critique. Thank you for your imput. I much appreciate your comments.<br><br>I was inspired to paint this oil because I loved the contrast of the dark colours of the zebra against the dramatic, unusual sky colour. <br><br>

The composition of this painting (placing of the zebras), came from my imagination. Do you think it's a successful composition? <br><br>Dispite it being quite adramatic painting, is it restful?<br><br>I painted the foreground from my imagination, without any reference source. Is it a convincing foreground? <br><br>How do you think the three, very dramatic, colours (sky, zebra & foreground) interact? <br><br>Where did your eye fall when you first looked at the painting? What route did it take around the painting?

04-06-2008, 11:39 AM
Hi Sue and welcome to the forum. I do like your painting. My eye of course fell on the foremost zebra and then I began to explore the rest of the painting. I like the fact that you didn't busy it up with a lot of trees and brush. Much better to view the zebra. The three colors work nicely as you have picked up those colors in the zebra themselves. I also like the added touch of the game trail as it leads you through the painting. I look forward to more of your work on the forum. Keep having fun........Lenore

Dana Design
04-06-2008, 01:08 PM
The mama zebra caught my eye initially then went to the baby and kind of stayed there. I'd add a few bare branches to the tree going off to the right to take the eye to the other zebras.

It's a very nice painting and the foreground works well. Perhaps lightening the sky on the horizon just a bit would give this some breathing space.

George Servais
04-06-2008, 02:17 PM
Very nicely done:clap: . The eye flow in this work is very easy on the eye and while my initial response was to look at th large Zebra in the foreground it led me right to the center of interest. The colors are most pleasing and the absence of too many fillers adds to the composition. As far as the sky goes I would be a little wary of any lightening of the horizon as it might cause a problem making the values between the Zebra foal and the horizon too close together.
This is an all around pleasure to view.

04-06-2008, 07:58 PM
Great job to do this sort of painting without a reference. I can contribute a couple of thoughts. The first (wider) view shows an odd sky, as if it has stars. Looking at the second image, I think what's going on is that when you photographed the painting, you employed side lighting such that brush flecks picked up reflections. So, if I'm right this is a photographing problem but it's still important as we so often show our paintings via digital images these days.

The two problems areas that strike me are first the the manes of the zebras seem too thick and second the placement of the small zebra at the left covering part of the backside of the adult seems a poor choice as the head of the baby gets a bit lost. I think the composition would be more successful if, particularly, the head of the baby was not placed that way.

04-11-2008, 03:17 PM
Thank you all for your valued comments; I really appreciate your imput and find your comments extremely constructive. Thanks for your comments about about photograph, Bob (tgsloth). I knew I'd created this problem via photograph but couldn't figure out why - I'll know different in future. I also take on board your remark re. placement of small zebra (Another mistake I won't make again!).
God bless.

04-11-2008, 03:40 PM
Hi Sue! Very nice work! I have run by it a few times, and my impression remains the same about two things. The tree limb pointing out of the painting is quite distracting. The other thing is much more a matter of composition. The small Zebra in the background that is lying down? Put your thumb over him and see how suddenly boosted or energized the painting as a whole becomes. I would remove that little fellow.

04-11-2008, 04:05 PM
I like it. I agree that you need to find a way to visually separate the baby from the mother. I like the zebra that is lying down. I disagree with removing it. I don't think the manes are too thick.