View Full Version : Cat Eating Hibiscus

12-01-2008, 06:51 PM

Title: Cat Eating Hibiscus
Year Created:
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 16
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

I posted this in a different area, not for critique, so I apologize if you've seen this before.<br><br>I've since decided to chose a painting for entry into a fine arts competition and I'm considering this one and want to make sure it's as good as it could be before doing that.<br><br>It's a bit of a dark painting so I took the photo in direct sunlight. It brought out a lot of color but some parts got a bit washed out, like the ground and pot, which have more detail in person.

Is there anything I can do to improve it for the competition?<br><br>

12-01-2008, 07:36 PM
You had me a bit worried there! I didn't know whether to expect a new carnivorous species of Hibiscus or what! A lovely painting and nicely presented. The only thing I might suggest is that while you have put the shadows in that ground the cat, they are not doing their job sufficiently, Start them at the feet perhaps darker than they will be over all but increase their value throughout their length. The shadows on the pot itself need strengthened so that it will hold its own in the foreground and balance visually through similar value with the cat. Reflected light back into the belly of the cat would help to clarify his shape. And does he not have a tail? You have also given us a couple of flower buds fallen to the patio surface. I think that while these might be left as they are, there is still a great need to draw that scarlet Hibiscus color down to the area of the pot and the cats feet in the foreground. It needs something of that color there to break our eyes free from that dominant area and tie us in to the cat and pot... Suggestions that may or may not be pleasing. But in view of your intent here for the painting, while it is beautiful as is I think these things would come to any judges eye, and for your chances of success they need to be addressed.Good luck with your entry!


12-01-2008, 07:54 PM
It's beautifully painted. The composition is unusual and could be judged, I think, either wonderfully daring or cluttered.

I feel the best opportunity for improvement is to give the painting more of a center of interest. From the title, one would expect the COI to be the cat and flower. But you've equally emphasized several other blooms with bright colors and the sunlit pot and high key floor also compete for the eye. Also, the regular pattern of the lattice work and stark contrast between light and shade further make it difficult to focus on the cat.

So I apend a rather bumbling photoshop where I've sought to de-saturate, darken and edge blur the parts of the painting which are not important.


12-01-2008, 10:45 PM
This is so good I have to add my two cents worth also. Corby and Bob have hit good nails for you there Margret and my only comment is that to my eye the flower magnificent cat is eating is detracting from its face so I would reduce the flower if possible... sorta dummied up what I mena in GIMP image here. All the best with the comp! :thumbsup:


12-02-2008, 02:32 PM
Corby, tgsloth and greensyster,

All great, valid suggestions. I'm mulling them all over.

You've all hit on something I need to work on overall, which is to move away from rendering a reference toward interpreting it artistically...back to the easel :)

Thanks for your time.