View Full Version : WaterDance

12-07-2008, 08:23 PM

Title: WaterDance
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Board
Dimension: 16 x20
Allow digital alterations?: No, please :)

This is a painting of a scene from my pond, representing a ringed map turtle, goldfish, and mosquitofish, with the reflections of the house siding on the water. My work is not realist; it is intended to be somewhat representational but is more about composition than the figures represented. I like to portray the dynamic between deep space (3D) and shallow space (2D), which is how I see tend to see the world.

Any and all feedback is fine with me; negative or positive.

12-07-2008, 09:07 PM
This is great! The red fish is my favorite.:thumbsup:

12-07-2008, 10:08 PM
Great brushstrokes and color balance. Certainly not realistic water but an abstract built from the bones of a pond.

12-07-2008, 10:38 PM
I am afraid that being sort of a 'compositional freak' as I am I would much prefer the turtle in the top left quadrant and the goldfish in the lower right. Both of them better relating to each other and directing our attention into the painting instead of out of it. I have no 'quarrel' with the abstraction of the water except that as such a heavy insistent overlay it obliterates the beauty of your critters too much . Perhaps they could be revealed just a tad more? Could the heavy abstraction be revealed as surface reflection on the ponds bottom and thus push the critters to the fore? The painting is beautifully done.

Welcome to the WetCanvas! RedTerra

12-08-2008, 01:17 AM
Some great thinking in this piece! For me, you haven't succeeded yet though great headway has been made. The lower half of the picture is your 3D desire and beautifully executed to my eye. The top half (and there in itself lies a comfort zone issue....) belongs to another painting at the moment.

12-08-2008, 09:41 AM
This is a terrific concept. I love the idea of layered environments, and the piece makes you consider both the surface and the underlying world beneath.

The edges of the water ripples bother me a bit. I think, even though you are not going for a strictly realist work, the elements of realism that you have used to paint the turtle and fish might require a bit more elaboration in the ripples. They don't read wet. I think it might be because they are outlined with a rim of lighter paint, but it also may be because they are so cut out looking with all of their edges. Perhaps some blending of SOME of the edges and transitions would point toward more water-like forms without actually needing to slavishly paint 'real water.'

12-21-2008, 12:38 AM
Thanks to all for the responses:-)
Corby: I moved the "figures" around quite a bit during the initial layout stage; I get what you're saying that if they were facing in it might be a better comp, but I deliberately faced them out for two reasons: 1. the "reality" that the creatures are always swimming "out of frame" when I try to capture them, and 2. the challenge of breaking that particular rule. As to your comment of the heavy abstraction of the surface water, Greensyster and Lynndigby made similar comments and as much as I hate to go back and rework it, I agree with all three statements. I think I should go back (ughh!) and rework the upper area of light water reflections. The painting as is does represent the dramatic dichotomy of reflection on the water, but the viewer wouldn't know that, having only the painting in front of them. Darkening and softening/breaking up edges would probably make the painting stronger.
Talison and Tgsloth thank you for the positive comments :-) I appreciate you all for taking time out for me :-))