View Full Version : St. Tropez three

04-21-2008, 06:27 PM


Title: St. Tropez three
Year Created: 2008
Medium: Watercolor
Surface: Watercolor Paper
Dimension: 10 x 12
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

I was quite pleased with so many comments and critiques on my painting of the St. Tropez waterfront (the first one above). Thank you all for having a look and taking the time to comment.
In appreciation I decided to make a new painting of the same scene, using your critiques as a starting-point. The typical comments in this forum and in the watercolor gallery were:

- not enough focus, too many distracting features
- not enough depth, too flat
- water too dull, no reflections of boats and houses
- and my personal critique: more a postcard than a watercolor

I decided to add focus by zooming in on the most interesting part of the waterfront.
To get depth, I placed the white boat more on the foreground. By doing this, it became at the same time a part of the focal area.
In order to avoid painting a postcard I replaced the typical warm and bright mediterranean colors by a more unusual yellowish evening-light. By letting the colors flow freely together and by skipping and blurring the details ( especially on the windows outside the focal area) I tried to achieve a more "watercolorish"look.
I choose for 3 colors: cerulean blue, alizarin crimson and raw sienna. I rarely use cadmium reds or cadmium yellows as they are too opaque and not as transparent as alizarin and raw sienna. Also the very dark colors under the gutters and awnings are a rich and creamy mix of the same 3 colors.
It is painted on a pad of Arches watercolorpaper, 90 Lb, rough. Size 8"x 12".
If I compare the old and the new painting, than the new one has in my opinion, thanks to the critiques of Gibbs and C.L. Magnuson, more depth and focus.
And I delivered the reflections as ordered by Yorky, Keysgram and Reyma !
Everybody happy?


all C&C are welcome and appreciated

04-21-2008, 11:58 PM
I'm quite happy with the second attempt. Great reflections of the boats. As for the first, I like it quite well, too. You seem to be greatly skilled using watercolor. KYRed

Dana Design
04-22-2008, 11:30 AM
Call me crazy but I liked the original! There was much to explore and very un-postcard-y, IMO. A beautiful painting. The second painting, while very nice, appears more as a study.

Yes, I know! You can't please everyone all the time! LOL!

04-22-2008, 06:07 PM
I, also tend to favor the first one. Possibly because when they are adjacent the second looks to soft or washed out. On its own it would be wonderful, but it cannot hold up against the first. Both are beautiful and both are their own style, but when compared, the second doesn't stand a chance compared to the dynamics (color, value, complexity) of the first.

Keep up the good work. I am always in favor of challenging yourself. You have done it well in the limited color painting (second) and it has come out very well indeed.


04-23-2008, 01:36 PM
First, let's be clear. You're awful good at this.
But on the critique side, I judge that the first painting is richer with denser and more pleasing color balance. The second, as has been said, is more like a watercolor study (hey, it worked for Turner)
I find the weakness of the first is the composition. Tooooo many buildings and windows in a row. This can be seen in the photo as well. So great idea to zoom in but you need the painting treatment of the first. LOL.

04-23-2008, 04:12 PM
I am with the majority here in liking the colors of the 1st one best... looks like a warm summer day & I can feel the heat.... I agree also, compared, the 2nd feels more like a study. I like it too... both are well done, just different takes. You are talented for sure!

Dan T.
04-23-2008, 05:35 PM
I like the first one as well. The second one does not quite look finished to me.