View Full Version : Small stream in fall - including final version

05-22-2009, 01:13 AM
I struggled a lot with this painting. I tried very hard to break free from its reference photo. I really want my painting to have big and loose strokes, but I just can not get there. I may try this one again with oil, or may add gel into my acrylic paint to paint it again.
Is there any exercise I can do to loose up my brush strokes?

05-22-2009, 01:53 AM
I think you are on the right track here.
I have always wanted to "Loosen Up!" but cannot.
You seem to be doing just fine.
This is a wonderful painting as is.
I find that the more you load your brushes, and the larger the size of the brushes is directly related to the "looseness" of the painting.:wave:
(My opinion only)

05-22-2009, 02:11 AM
gorgeous work, love the feeling of mist here! Brian

05-22-2009, 02:43 AM
This most attractive, with a delightful palette and you've captured the light really well.
It doesn't strike me as very tight,

05-22-2009, 06:16 AM
This has a very alluring magical quality. Original and delightful. Anna.

05-22-2009, 09:13 AM
I think you have done very well here.
I know what you mean about photos, it is sometimes a good idea to make some initial skeches from the photos and then work from the sketches, you can always refer to the photo if necessary for some particular detail.
Best wishes Ken.

05-22-2009, 09:15 AM
I find this very attractive.

05-22-2009, 10:35 AM
Kathleen: Thank you for your tip. I will try it in my next painting. I will change my art teacher soon to take a different approach. Wish my new adventure can give me some "fresh air" to paint without fear.
Brian: When I saw your name, I thought of a previous co-worker. He has the same name as yours. But when I saw your photo, I knew you were a different person. I really like your painting style. That's the way I want to be. I especially like how you use the light. Thanks for your comment.
Gillette: I'm glad you tell me it isn't too tight. I had to visit another studio to see what others were doing in order to get the feeling when I was painting this one. Classmates in my art class are all realistic painters. I will change my art class so I can paint in another studio where I got my inspiration from.
Anna: thank you for your encouragement.
Ken: Making sketches is a good idea. I should give it a try. Thanks.
Arl: Thanks for your comment.

05-22-2009, 09:06 PM
Ah, you posted my favorite from your blog. Very nice work. Love it!

05-22-2009, 09:45 PM
I like the painting as it is. Nice bright, showy flowers and foliage.

I know what you mean about striving for looseness. While I really like this painting, there a few things about that are not conducive to looseness. For one thing it;s the edges. All the edges are sharp and well defined. As I began to loosen up(Not that I am by any means a loose painter yet) I began to work on my edges. let them blend into the areas surround them, and make some "lost" edges. That is no edges at all they just fade into the background. another way to loosen up is pay attention to values. the lighter values toward the distance, and the darker values as the painting nears the foreground. Dark values close to the near objects tend to push the midground and background into the distance, thus giving the painting greater depth. Photographs tend to foreshorten the picture.

Another thing that tends to hinder looseness is vertical lines like tree trunks. I noticed that the trunks on the trees in the background tend to be more like sticks than trunks. Instead of painting them with vertical brush strokes, try painting them from side to side. This gives them a bit more fuzzy edges.

Now I know advice feom a relative greenhorn to painting doesn't carry much weight, but what I've given above has helped me be a bit looser in my work.

And last but not least, don't "fiddle: toget everything exactly right. just put on the paint and let wht happens happen:)

But as I said in the beginning I realy like this painting so don't beat yourself up about it.:D


05-23-2009, 10:44 PM
Nancie: Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you for your encouragement.
Chuck: Thank you for your advice. I will try them in my next painting. Wish I can do better in my next one.

05-23-2009, 10:57 PM
I can't give you any advice since I am an absolute beginner, but I think you have already achieved a nice level of "looseness". Love the light and colors in the painting! Any chance you could show the reference photo?

George Servais
05-24-2009, 12:14 AM
Firstly, this appears to be quite loose as it is. If you get too much looser it may become abstract.:lol:
There are a few things one can do to become looser in style. The biggest mistake is to grip the brushes too tightly. If you really wish to be loose, first loosen your grip. Secondly, pay attention to any stiffness in your body. I've seen many a new painter get tight in the shoulders , neck and teeth (jaw clinching). Next, make sure you are using long handled brushes and are holding them properly, far away from the ferrule and not always like a pencil. Any stiffness in your body will translate straight to the canvas.
Learn how to scumble in darks, just dabbing won't do it. Very important that wrist action is loose. Learn to allow your wrist to move. I've seen many a painter have a solid mass from elbow to fingertips. They must be supple.
Make your strokes bold and accurate, make a stroke and leave it alone. You can always paint over things you don't like. That is the advantage of acrylics.
I hope this helps you some. If you are painting on a table see if you can invest in an easel and sit well away from the surface you are painting on.
Do some practice sessions of parts of a painting instead of a full painting. That will sharpen your skills.
In other words, relax and enjoy the process. It is only paint.

05-24-2009, 06:43 AM
You may want to study the works of Robert Genn, Stephen Quiller, Linda Blondheim and Joseph Melancon. Check out some of the plein aire painters. Check with some of the art supply houses for videos on acrylic painting. Using larger brushes is always a good start. Hold any brush as far away from the ferrule as you possibly can. Squint. Paint what you see upside down, switch hands.

I do like the approach you are using and it has a lovely feel of some of the romantic painters without the tightness. I think it is the mood, atmosphere and color choices that are doing that for me.

Lady Carol
05-24-2009, 10:00 AM
Check out Larry Seiler's work over in landscape. He is very generous with advice and has big loose brush strokes.

I think you are well on the way to achieving your goal.

05-24-2009, 04:44 PM
I too think you are well on your way, but I do like this very much. Warm feel and very free, your colors terrific! Nice job!


05-24-2009, 07:53 PM
Deb: Here's the reference photo (http://zt.cnhubei.com/yslv/images/%E5%8D%81%E9%87%8C%E6%A1%83%E8%8A%B1%E6%BA%AA.jpg). It's a stream in China. Thank you.
George: I have noticed my body's tightness. But I never knew it would affect my painting style so much. Thank you for telling me. I need to relax more when I paint.
idlybrush: Thank you for your recommendation. I found web sites of those artists. I love their paintings.
Carol: Thank you. I will visit our landscape section more often.
Elaine: Thank you.

05-24-2009, 08:05 PM
Thanks for sharing the reference photo...I was just curious.

I think you have done a remarkable job!! You have definitely captured the scene but you have interpreted it in your own style, very cool!

05-24-2009, 08:25 PM
Sorry, I shouldn't post that photo because that's not my photo. I found it on a Chinese travel web site. So I delete the photo and added a link to that photo for everyone to check out.

05-25-2009, 01:31 AM
I don't have much luck with loose...but I do like this painting!!

05-25-2009, 10:15 AM
Susan: thank you. Your art work is very spiritual. I like your stained glass.

05-25-2009, 11:56 AM
Hello fellow Calgarian - I love your painting! - my only comment would be regarding the reflection in the water.

I attended a class in the spring with Doug Swinton and he taught me to make reflections appear realistic you need to paint the reflection in a vertical manner and then lay paint over top for the water in a horizontal manner. Then the ripples of the water will appear to lay on top. Try it - it really works!

05-26-2009, 11:34 PM
Here's the final change of my latest painting, Stream in fall. I think this one looks much better:cat:. If you are curious what have been changed, you can find all details in my blog (http://walkingtothelight.blogspot.com).

05-27-2009, 12:44 AM
Beautiful and colorful. Personally I would like to see this one on an Umber background.

05-27-2009, 01:17 AM
Hello fellow Calgarian - I love your painting! - my only comment would be regarding the reflection in the water.

I attended a class in the spring with Doug Swinton and he taught me to make reflections appear realistic you need to paint the reflection in a vertical manner and then lay paint over top for the water in a horizontal manner. Then the ripples of the water will appear to lay on top. Try it - it really works!

Thank you for the tip. Doug is an awesome painter. I've made some changes on this painting. You can see it in post #23. It looks much better now.

05-27-2009, 01:18 AM
Ah, I forgot, you can see the previous version in post #1 of this thread now.

Jan: Thank you for your comment. I am not sure what you mean "on an Umber background". Do you mean to add Umber color into the background?

05-27-2009, 05:33 AM
Yes, this is much better, though I liked the original too. More please! Anna.

Painter Nan
05-27-2009, 06:54 AM
Nice changes, good to have a teacher that will tell you what is wrong. I found a art league that has 2 days a week from May to Sept. and I am taking advantage of it.
learning lots.

05-27-2009, 08:19 AM
Wonderful image and colours.

Charlie's Mum
05-27-2009, 08:38 AM
I think you're already quite a way towards being loose!!!
I can't add more to the advice above - but keep the arm loose from the shoulder!
You don't say how big this work is, and that could make a difference to the way you sit/stand/hold the brush.

I really like the colour choices here and the atmosphere - this painting works for me! Very nice :D

05-27-2009, 08:55 AM
its lovely as is

06-02-2009, 12:06 PM
another "WOW"..beautiful work!