View Full Version : Playing at the Beach

12-11-2008, 05:11 PM


Title: Playing at the Beach
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 16 x 20
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Painting of a child at the beach and playing in the sand. This painting was made from a photo that I took while walking on the beach at Delray Beach, Fl. on a Sunday afte<br>oon. I've never done a beach scene before or painted the waves of the ocean so this was a new experience for me. I submit the original photo along with my painting.

My only question is: "How could I have made this a better painting?"

12-11-2008, 06:07 PM
Lives in Florida?
Has never painted the beach? Eerily reminiscent of Bill Clinton's stance on marijuana but anyhow, Phil, it's a fine job to my eyes. You've altered the reference compositionally and in terms of much better ocean color and treatment so there's little to critique. Here are some small points:

I know the red trowell is in the reference but I don't think it reads right in the painting. I'd suggest that if you can't do a convincing trowel and I don't know that I could, I'd drop it.

I feel the figure's edges are a bit sharp against the water.

The linear shadow on the left leg is in the reference but reads abruptly in the painting.

The bright brass of the bucket's handle should be suppressed. Why pull the eye into a bucket?

In my eyes the weakest overall part is treatment of the sand. It's a tricky thing to paint so I'm not sure how to suggest a better job but your treatment looks a bit creamy and it could be the smeared yellow ochre patches are causing the problem such that chopping them up might help.

12-11-2008, 08:16 PM
Hi Phil, you have nicely captured the essence of the thing, the place and story play nicely. I do feel that the water might have been treated of lesser importance. The child is imprisoned and pulled down by the hard edge and detail of the background. Here I am trying to show how her figure is allowed to stand upright and convincingly in front of the water by doing the water mostly in simple volumes of color and lowering the wave where it sort of grabs her head and wont let go. I think this simplifying and softening of the background portions helps overcome the captured feel of her figure? I know exactly what she is thinking as she looks at the encroaching tide...


12-11-2008, 08:38 PM
Waves are excellent for a first attempt. My comment is that perhaps the skin tones could have be a bit warmer - sienna brown, rather than a hard pink. In the painting, I think it classhes with the shirt colour.

12-13-2008, 06:03 PM
Hey http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/customavatars/avatar124239_5.gif (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/member.php?u=124239) tgsloth (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/member.php?u=124239):
Good critique. You've tought me a few things and I will take them under advisement. Thank you for your help.

12-14-2008, 07:08 AM
I feel you have done a good job. Maybe the top of the painting -the waves detract a little, blurring them slightly and making them a bit softer could help pop the figure.

The shadow on the our left side of her leg is a little odd to me, looks a bit burnt, over contrast. Out of all the shadows this one doesn't harmonise with the others.

Aside from a few little things, I would be very please with this result