View Full Version : Red Canoe

07-26-2002, 05:53 PM

Title: Red Canoe
Year Created: 2002
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Paper
Dimension: 9X13
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

I canoe a lot and do canoe tours but rarely take photo's on my trips. Lately I have taken a few and friends always wonder why I do not paint swamp scenes? I guess when I canoe I relax in a different manner. This attempt is from a photo friends took last week. I did it fast but sort of like it as is. It is my red canoe on a bank of a shallow part of Pump Slough about 4:00 PM.

Whatever comments people can make would benefit my attempt at getting some nice works done before fall.

07-26-2002, 05:57 PM
Balanced composition and the canoe looks good, but the background is too monochromatic ... you need to get some lights and darks in there, instead of just dabbing with the same shade of green everywhere. Nice reflections in the water; that's working well.

07-26-2002, 06:24 PM
Correct- the wads of green that look like a background is actually a large tree branch in the fore ground that appears in the photo as a big dark green thing. I was paintingly challenged to think of a way to represent it as a large green tree branch in the foreground so I put a lot of green dabs while I ponder. Unless someone here can help me out with a suggestion?

07-26-2002, 06:25 PM
This looks so relaxing. I agree the canoe and reflection look great. One thing I noticed is a curvature to the waterline. I think the reflections following this curve give it a bubble look. Not sure if this is intentional or not. The plants also seem to follow this curve. I love the light in the background. It really pulls me in. Very nice work

07-26-2002, 06:49 PM
I'd suggest you give it more definition by varying the shades of green, working some yellow for highlights and maybe a bit of brown or dark blue for shadows. You don't have to replicate what's in the photograph; use your artist's eye to create a more pleasing image. You can do it!


Southern Style
07-26-2002, 07:08 PM
Looks a lot like Louisiana to me :) I lived in Louisiana as a young girl and would go fishing with my dad and brother in spots that looked like this. Brings back good memories. It's hard to paint the dense undergrowth in the Louisiana swamps..I think you did fine. Love the water and the canoe.

07-26-2002, 09:12 PM
Although the picture just shows this massive tree branch in dark greens with no details at all. I think I will put in more swamp grass in lighter greens then come back and put in less of the dark green tree branch.

Pam B.
07-27-2002, 04:45 AM
I aree that this work needs more lights and shades to add some depth. I also think that perhaps a little more shading near the base of the canoe as it appears to be sitting a little unrealistically on the water surface. Overall though it is a good composition and a pleasant piece.

07-27-2002, 10:40 AM
Thanks for all the help- I had several problems the major was when I tried to make the large tree branch more focused it distracted from the red canoe.

I put in more swamp grass and a smaller portion of the tree branch. I suspect the branch was covered with vines but in my photo it is just a dark green mass out of focus as I focused on the canoe. I would need to go back to the spot and see what was there but after 2 weeks it will have changed a lot. Water higher now, maybe the branch fell off. The swamp changes rapidly. Usually this "path" to the light is full of water to a branch to a river. It was very low for a short period of time thus looks like a path rather than a stream. That's the reason I took a photo. Something different existed and may not return exactly the same as it was then.

The canoe was sitting in a very shallow spot as I stepped out into the water to take the picture but I did darken underneath.
The bubble may have been caused by my walking into the water but it is in the photo.
I put in the curve. I see things a little different than reality. I do not like harsh lines, softer nicer pleasant lines are what I see in my paintings.

When it dries I'll post a scan here.

07-27-2002, 11:26 AM
sorry for not commenting sooner.
this is a very balanced piece form my point of view, with every shape interesting in its own right (even the little shadows in trees) and everything working well together.
the closed form around the canoe - binds a bit.
overall well done.

07-27-2002, 02:44 PM

Thanks. I did some revisions but the first draft looks better to me. The idea was to focus on the canoe that leads to the path. The rest of the painting was just there. I will post revised work when it is completed and dry.

07-28-2002, 01:10 PM
I like the composition but, as an acrylic, I think it needs richer, bolder colour. Personally I think there is too much use of white for highlights and you would benefit by using warmer colours in these lighter areas.


07-29-2002, 12:32 PM
The painting with a few suggested changes.