View Full Version : Reverie - FINISHED
01-04-2009, 06:47 PM
The one thing I am constantly battling is repetitive shapes. I can do sketches and still half-way through a painting I find my shapes are getting repetitive.
So, this time I am uploading an image of the current painting in progress with outlines of new shapes for you all to look at. Apparently, I am blind to this sort of thing and I need your help.
The scene I am painting is from a photograph and so help me ... the tree shapes tend to be the same, so I am changing things in the photo to make a better painting. It is more saturated in color than IRL because I wanted those yellow outlines to show up.
Uart paper mounted on matboard, watercolor underpainting, Mount Vision pastels with a smidgeon of Great American and Ludwigs.
01-04-2009, 07:04 PM
This is going to be a wonderful painting, Kat. I think by the looks of it you have solved your problem. I understand where you are coming from as it is so easy to make them all alike and you have to consciously make them different.
01-04-2009, 07:08 PM
LOL - Pat, thanks. I get so excited working with the color that I forget about the rest of the stuff, then I step back and see it all .... grrrrr
01-04-2009, 07:42 PM
I think your suggested variations of the shapes are fine, but I don't think that repeating shapes is so very bad, especially in a scene where the trees are of the same type and clearly have a common growth habit. However, you can change other aspects. For instance, in this one you could you could exaggerate the overall scale of things to enhance the composition (and I'm showing this as another composition, NOT necessarily any kind of improvement, okay?):
I just exaggerated the scale, enlarging the foreground trees and shrinking the most distant ones, changing your painting entirely, I know.
In other words, when the shapes should remain repetitive to serve the painting, vary some other aspect of the painting, that's all... Sometimes I enhance the contrast, or color, or light, or line, or edges...any of the aspects of composition.
Does that make sense? Does it even address the situation?
01-04-2009, 07:45 PM
Yes, it does! I like those two trees in the background ... just what this needed.
I was thinking about varying the color of the background trees anywho ... so that solves the problem, and I like your choice of color too.
01-04-2009, 07:55 PM
I like this composition, Kat, and Deborah's suggestions make sense too. I find the rounded tree shapes very soothing, and entirely natural looking. You could always insert a dead tree if you really felt the need for a spikey, non-round shape or some vertical interest.
01-04-2009, 08:00 PM
Thanks Donna! I plan on some sky holes and branches showing ... I just got the willies seeing all those same shapes across the horizon.
01-04-2009, 09:07 PM
I just named this painting - if you can suggest a better one, I'd love to hear some ideas.
01-04-2009, 10:30 PM
Sitting back waiting to see the masterpiece that you will no doubt produce. I think this will be beautiful. I like it already.
01-05-2009, 05:47 AM
Thanks for your vote of confidence that I can pull this off - :o
01-05-2009, 07:22 AM
I just look on in awe..... I have yet to do a landscape that pleased me and I think this one is gorgeous... yellow lines and all! LOL Donna R.
01-05-2009, 08:41 AM
Thanks Donna - I actually did this twice on the painting and used dark lines the first time - they were kinda attractive and I might think of using them on another painting, but not on this one!
01-05-2009, 04:23 PM
Nice landscape you have going here. The colors are just wonderful. It's not the shapes that I find repetitive, but the number of trees/group (I see 2, 2, 2...) You've been given good suggestions. I hope you post the finished piece.
01-05-2009, 06:44 PM
aha! 2 x 2 ... never even occurred to me. See that's why I uploaded and needed more people to really look.
Thanks Adriana, I shall certainly do some updates.
01-08-2009, 11:55 AM
Okay, I am at a stopping place and thought I'd upload another image. An hour ago, you would not have thought I could have saved this painting - neither did I!
I totally scrubbed out everything but the sky, fixed it with water and it was totally grey. I thought, well, this should be a challenge to bring it back. At the panic stage, I started blocking in again and this version emerged.
And they say paintings don't take over and paint themselves - it was talking to me, saying you can do better! And I am happier with it at this point. C&C, but it's not finished by a long shot.
01-08-2009, 12:26 PM
Are you sure this is the same painting? Wow, it looks totally different! I really liked the last one but it's no fun fighting a painting. This one looks good too - I'm curious to see where it will take you. Maybe the focus will be more on the water and less on the trees? I meant to ask you, how did you mount your paper to the matboard?
01-08-2009, 01:21 PM
Kathryn, i really like where this new one is going...
01-08-2009, 02:26 PM
Kat, LOVE it!! Colors I love, texture I love, already atmospheric conditions are taking place....can't wait to see the final! Keep your lovely looseness going...more is less and vice versa sometimes. Excellent for you for scrubbing it off and starting over with gusto!
01-08-2009, 04:10 PM
Donna, yep, it's the same painting. It was just getting overworked, heavy, dark and I was totally not happy with it.
I had my framer mount this on archival mat board.
Annette - thanks for the encouragement. I did not know if it was the right thing to do, but my gut was saying it needed to be changed.
Chewie - it was scary, but I have done this once before and it turned out okay.
Stay tuned y'all.
01-08-2009, 04:39 PM
What a change, Kat. Actually I'm just lurking watching the progress..I like this much better and for my 2cents worth..I think somehow that wonderful light on the left needs to be tied in with rest of the painting. Anyway, it has made a huge transition for the better.
01-08-2009, 04:43 PM
I agree Pat - I was just thinking over that little problem - that there is too much space inbetween the two parts. I was thinking of making a "path" of darker water meandering over in that direction - :)
01-09-2009, 12:30 PM
wow this is cool watching the progression can't wait to see the end
01-09-2009, 02:10 PM
I am watching. Wonderful colors and water, can't wait to see this......
01-09-2009, 09:34 PM
This is getting really interesting.I like the direction you took with it.No guts no glory. Joe.
01-09-2009, 10:57 PM
I wish I'd had the lot of you with me in the studio today ... I fought and fought the good fight and I think I lost. I tried two ways to gather the two sides of painting together and it didn't work. I left the studio in disgust.
I shall go back to the studio tomorrow and see what I can salvage and will post the results, good or bad.
You can't win them all.
01-10-2009, 01:53 AM
Oh, don't give up - love the direction you have taken. Am watching and learning - thanks
01-10-2009, 08:13 AM
naw, I don't give up that easy - onward and see what happens next.
z - I am learning lots too!
01-10-2009, 11:39 AM
I have to share this here! In my studio I have a cartoon showing a fat dragon leaning against a tree picking his teeth with a lance, and parts of armor strewn all over the place. The caption says, "Sometimes the dragon wins." I have 'painting' scrawled across the dragon. :lol:
But the best part is we may 'lose' and STILL learn something! :thumbsup: The really neat thing about doing art is that there's always something more to be learned. Keeps us from getting stale.
Looking forward to the next developments, Kat. :D
01-10-2009, 12:28 PM
Oh my gosh Kathryn, these do indeed look like two different paintings! I really like both and will be watching to see the finished work.
01-10-2009, 12:57 PM
Thanks Deb - that certainly fits the situation here!
Thanks Ann - keep tuned!
Here's the version as of yesterday afternoon when I left it in the Studio. I was hoping overnight I could see some value in leaving it this way - but I don't. So, off it comes, again - not all of it, just the water and sun on the right side.
01-10-2009, 03:03 PM
I love your colors. I thought the first piece was great and I'm sure the second time around will be even better when you're finished.
01-10-2009, 09:23 PM
I worked on this some more this afternoon after I scrubbed out the water and sun yet again - came up with this comp. I hope this is working because I am liking it a whole lot better now.
01-10-2009, 11:03 PM
Yes--definitely on the upswing! Much more interesting shapes. Keep going. Love the palette and the light. YUM!
01-11-2009, 07:37 AM
Yes, I like this better too.
01-11-2009, 11:16 AM
Me too! This is going to be a stunner, Kat!
01-11-2009, 11:30 AM
Wow! This is a fun thread! I did like the original but the last one you show is wonderful. Amazing how that happens. And annoying how the repetitive shapes thing occurs...I think we all have the same problem with that.
01-11-2009, 03:59 PM
I am with Sandy...fun thread watching things come and go.
01-12-2009, 06:13 AM
Thanks y'all for your encouragement - off to work today, so no painting for a bit - I'll post again when I can!
01-13-2009, 07:25 PM
Kathryn this is so beautiful! I really liked the first one, but I love the latest version. I love that outcropping of land on the right so much that I want to hug it.
The foreground feels so inviting and cozy, and yet the far distant side of the lake is calling. I really want to go there and explore.
01-15-2009, 02:56 PM
Next installment ... I am happy (almost) with everything but the water - it's driving me crazy. I've tried it umpteens different ways - receding to dark, receding to light and nothing pleases me.
Anyone have a suggestion?
I ran out of my favorite TL eggplant stick, so will have to order today and wait for that to get here. Thought I had another one, but it turned out too blue.
I am not sure how this is going to look on your monitors - everything I put into WC these days seems darker and more saturated that it really is.
01-15-2009, 05:57 PM
I'm not the one to give advice on water, Kat. It looks good to me. I really like the way this turned out. The trees are beautiful and of course their orange colors look so good against the blue water. The reflection on the right is my favorite part - just gorgeous!
01-15-2009, 08:12 PM
Thanks Donna - I'm going to sleep on it tonight and tomorrow. Another work day, so won't be back with a solution until this weekend.
01-15-2009, 11:21 PM
Kathryn, i really really like this! The color scheme, the saturation, the contrast...it's just awesome! I agree with Donna, that reflection on the right is the star of the show.
01-16-2009, 11:27 AM
Kat, run right over to my studio and I'll provide the TL pastel if you walk me through the process again in this piece.
01-16-2009, 07:43 PM
LOL - Barb, you are welcome over to MY studio anytime you are in Raleigh! Terry is sending pastels ASAP - :)
Annette, thanks for the comments - those reflections are my favorites too. They were okay, but when I dragged a deep orange down through the golds, it really popped!
01-18-2009, 02:11 PM
Just about done, except for some nitpiks from you all. Today is a dark, dreary day and not easy to photograph this - there is more pink in the clouds and the water, but none of the red tones are showing up true. The white ripples in the reflections are not that bright - just my flash making them so. If we get a better day this week, I'll take a photo outside.
So, hammer away -
01-18-2009, 03:23 PM
I realy like the colours, there are a couple things I "see" that are a bit flat. These of course may be the photo, but... the left land mass Id like to see a bit more variation of contrasts, to me (in my humble opinion) seems flat. the right land mass waterline, id like to see a bit more variation to break up the "line." also since you have water highlights across the surface, maybe a slight more horizontal water distortion of the trees reflection may realy sell the water. the distant horizon seems a bit dark and unbroken. all in all my eye seems to wander around a bit looking for somthing to lock in on, maybe a couple highlights to pull me more towards the sun....
Over all this is a great piece and absolutly LOVE the colours, the things I commented on are by no way distractions from this piece, they are the first inital impressions I got when viewing for the first time. Cant wait to see your final solution, great painting....
01-18-2009, 04:46 PM
Fascinating process Kat, love it. Just a few observations, but don't take them too seriously as I am not really a landscape painter. Indeed the land on the left seems a bit flat, but what catches my eyes most are the blue lines on the left between the bushes and the water. The depth is amazing, that is what I find most fascinating in a landscape painting. Maybe the water near the horizon again on the left should be greyed down a bit to get the depth at that side as well. Just some thoughts. Love the overall effect and the colours of it. Great.
01-18-2009, 05:04 PM
Richard and Marina - thanks for looking and commenting.
Indeed, that area on the left has bothered me - the value seems a bit dark and I tried to vary it a bit, but it doesn't show in the photo. It does need some work.
Good catch on the horizon line being too dark - that's an easy fix. But the fact that both of you are not seeing a solid focal point is troubling, so I'll have to go back to the drawing board and see what I can cook up. I thought the light in the trees on the right strong enough, but maybe not.
01-18-2009, 07:42 PM
I kind of like the left side like it is, Kat. If it's not meant to be the focal point should there be much detail or clarity of form there? Since it's a land mass in the shade I wouldn't expect to see much there. My eyes go right to the highlights on the trees - if you must tweak perhaps just a few tiny spots of brightness?
01-19-2009, 08:06 AM
Donna - in a way I agree with your assessment too. No details to distract from the focal point of the trees, but it is also to dark in value and that dark is distracting.
Stay tuned y'all.
01-19-2009, 09:30 AM
Kat, you know I like it a lot! The trees on the right-hand side are still drawing my eye as the focal area, including the reflections. Personally, I think the dark corner on the left is working, because it's simple enough to let the painting spread out beyond it. Just MHO, of course. It isn't realism, after all!
One trend to look out for is the highlights in the water that from top to bottom seem to be at too-equal intervals. A quick fix once you see it.
You're almost there. Less is more, but a little more is needed. Don't rush but keep going...!
01-19-2009, 11:37 AM
Kat this is so cool to watch you go through the steps i love the colors you choose. The `1/3 rule that i read about works here for hues. I wish that we could see a progression all together when your done it would be very interesting to see.
01-19-2009, 07:07 PM
Deb - thanks for the "push" - I need that at this point in the painting. I'm really tired of looking at it!
Betsy - I could do a progression for you once it's done.
01-28-2009, 10:43 AM
I finally finished on this one. I incorporated some of the suggestions while keeping my own vision intact. The blue lines in the water are not that light - my camera kept picking them up even though I did darken them in the painting. It's not quite as saturated as you see it on WC.
Thanks for following this thread - I shall post a progression a bit later.
01-28-2009, 11:01 AM
Lovely finish, Kat.
01-28-2009, 11:06 AM
WOW... bet this is stunning in person! I really love those two trees leaning out of the left bank... they seem to have personality!
Nice job on the progression of this painting. Your patience and hard work has paid off! I ususally get frustrated and end up ruining a painting when I keep changing it.
01-28-2009, 11:41 AM
You sure did finish this beautifully, Kat. I guess when you have a vision you are obligated to see it through to the end. I really like what you did with that left bank. You kept the value mostly the same but added some interest with a variety of dark colors. I need to remember to do that in dark areas. So, what kind of frame does this beauty get?
01-28-2009, 11:42 AM
Good finish, Kat! :clap:
Hey, let us see the painting on the easel, if you can get a shot at some point. I bet that will show us things we can't see any other way, like the scale and the the light in it. Just an idea...
I'm glad you kept after this one! It's definitely a winner, and it shows your signature style. There, now you know you have a style all your own: bold color, strong simplified elements, good value contrast, and a touch that is painterly.
01-28-2009, 12:03 PM
This is more than a progression, it's the evolution of Reverie!
Good think you did not give up!
01-28-2009, 04:08 PM
Here's the progression - I hope I can get this to work so bear with me if you see this come and go while I get it right.
01-28-2009, 04:11 PM
And the last two in the sequence.
01-28-2009, 04:27 PM
01-28-2009, 05:03 PM
Thanks Pat, Donna, Susan, and Adriana - glad you enjoyed it.
Deborah, I will post an easel photo - I have several in my camera.
Donna - I'll also post the frame that I am going to use. This is the second of a pair, so it will be the same frame and mat set-up that I used for my Salt Marsh painting. Perhaps I will post them both together and see what they look like.
01-28-2009, 05:06 PM
wow....i like what you did!!!ive been struggling with one of mine today....i liked what you had going before...i dont mind repitition...it is soothing...like someone said.but i really like your changes...its very dramatic!!!lynne
01-28-2009, 05:13 PM
LOL - yes, in looking back through the progression there are several versions that I might want to try, including the first one. There seems to be special elements that I like in each one - especially in the water.
Donna - I am real happy how the left side bank turned out - I just picked up a color that I had used elsewhere and just lightly touch it here and there over the darks. Something for me to remember too!
01-30-2009, 09:40 AM
Okay, Deborah, here it is on the easel in natural light, no flash.
Donna, here's the companion piece matted and framed - regular glass :(
01-30-2009, 12:53 PM
I love seeing paintings on the easel this way. It's like visiting your studio, you know? I can see if differently, somehow. I REALLY like this one, and it will look terrific framed the same as the other one. No doubt about it.
01-30-2009, 02:08 PM
Thanks for showing your progression Kat (thank goodness we aren't watercolorists!) This will look stunning with its companion! I really like the frame you chose and the double mats always class up the look.
01-31-2009, 08:50 AM
Wow have I been missing alot. I just finished reading everything and looking at all the changes. You really pulled it off in a most grand way. Wounderful painting all the hard work surely paid off. I just love the sky, water, & reflections.
01-31-2009, 09:14 AM
Thanks Deb, Donna and Scotty. I am hoping this thread will be an encouragement to others who struggle with their art that they must perserver and stay true to their vision.
As an update to this painting, I entered this into a museum show and it was accepted and on top of that, it was chosen to be on the announcement cards.
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