View Full Version : the red shirt

08-04-2002, 07:01 PM

Title: the red shirt
Year Created: 2002
Medium: Pastel
Surface: Other
Dimension: 11x8 in.
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

I have had to cross-post this as I need more help,
my apologies to those who've seen it before.
This is a pastel on pale green velour paper.
I used a photo from my clipart collection.
The painting is for a competition in our pastel assn and is to have "red" in it.
The red shirt is my symbol that these kids have seen far too much in their young lives.
I have since warmed the front boy's skin tone a little, and rounded the eyelids and shading a bit more.

What can I do to make this a better painting, please?
Any suggestions will be seriously considered.

08-04-2002, 11:13 PM
cropp off left edge til ear disappears,
intensify shadow under hand to shape fingers.
you're practially there whatever you do
love the kid on right.

08-05-2002, 02:06 AM
the choice of red and green and black says "tension" to me, the lines are strong and that also says tension... The boy in front is very strong and the boy in back a little weaker, but somehow not weak enough.

I like everything but the composition. I feel it's rather blocky. Here is my idea for "fixing" itm but I think that I changed the meaning of the image some ... I just wanted to get a strong diagonal from the upper-right to the lower left since you had a weak one.

But I must say I love it anyway as it is, just wish there was a more clear focal point, the boy in the back keeps pulling my eye from the boy in front and then I don't know what to look at....

(as always I may not know what I'm talking about since I'm new here!)

08-05-2002, 01:29 PM
I love the futurebird design, and would wholeheartedly endorse it as a digital solution, such a remedy in pastel might be a huge work in itself - akin to restart. but I learn a lot from following color moving freely in futurebird's layout.

08-05-2002, 05:59 PM
thank you futurebird and jerryW for your coments. I shall play around first, with the left crop idea and darken the hand's shadow.
I like what you did futurebird, but with this painting I would have to start again, I think, as it is on velour paper and everything seems almost final once you've started.
I don't understand what you mean by 'weak diagonal'. I am still learning about all these technical terms, I'm afraid. Now you can teach me another one.:D
I also saw what you meant about the eyes being drawn from one boy to another.
The boys I feel are war survivors, so the tension colours would fit, I guess.
Thanks again,

08-05-2002, 06:09 PM
If you look at something you can draw lines based on the way things line up. I thought of the lines from the boys eyes and the tops of their heads.

That's what I mean by diagonals.

It's a theatre thang I think...

I do drawings and do the same one over and over maybe 10 or 12 times till I get it right, but drawing only takes like 20min or so... forgive me I know very little about oils and chalks and less "quick" kinds of working. So if you said "move everything around" I would not be like "oh no . . ."

That is I think I was to quick to suggest such a big change when it was really just a "thing to try" not a "there is no way it will work unless you..."

oh I think you get the idea.... I hope...


08-05-2002, 06:11 PM
I don't think it would have nearly as much message and impact without the weaker boy... and I don't see why the left ear needs to be cropped off... I like the composition the way YOU saw it... I think it's very well done...

08-05-2002, 07:06 PM
here is an update of my painting. I fuzzed the left boy a little to put him out of focus a bit and to draw my eyes to the right boy more. I did like the way I had painted the left boy's face as this was a more 'painterly' thing than what I usually do.
I darkened the shadow a little with black, and then remembered what I had once been told about using purple in shadows for interest..so I added a little.
I have only cropped it on my coputer so far, not in 'real life'.
....so what do you think?
I still don't quite understand the diagonal thing with the eyes and the top of the head.......is it to do with them s'posed to be on the same parallel ?

08-05-2002, 07:50 PM
Beautifully expressive faces! The eyes are esp well done. One child looks at the viewer, the other does not, this adds a nice tension. I might try to reduce or eliminate reds other the front boy's shirt. The green background is bold, a little disconcerting. Perhaps that's the look you were after.

08-05-2002, 10:16 PM
Hey there Narista. I haven't actually tried to do anything that would add tension or anything...hadn't thought of it. I am still learning about painting, and still haven't got the ins and outs of composition. I just tried the balance thing by adding the red behind the smaller boy as I had read about in books.
Gosh there is so much to this, isn't there?
Thanks for your coments,