View Full Version : Miniature Seascape. WIP.

07-03-2009, 12:45 AM
After our business trip to FL I brought home about 6 GB of pictures and this is one of the first works I started on... Once again - time limitation making me currently work small (so I can finish it not after I'll grow old).

This is a seascape of Mexican Gulf, 4 x 6 on Ampersand pastel board.
Yes, I downgraded 5X7 Ampersand with the help of my husbands saw... Worked just fine.

Holbein Soft Pastels + few Mount Visions and mixed pastel pencils.
Maybe will have a chance to finish it tomorrow. :lol:

Interesting thing about this seascape - usually I'm working from smaller reference to bigger paiting, however with miniatures it works often just the opposit way around. :)


07-03-2009, 03:14 AM
Blowing a photo up large is certainly helpful for detail, but still, the camera is not the most creative tool when it comes to reproducing the colour in a scene. When you point a camera at a scene like this, it is REALLY hard for the camera to expose for both the sky, and the land, accurately; it is quite likely to expose for the sky, making the land areas much darker in the photo than in reality.

For my money, as a result, this has given you a very blue/green/brown scene,and generally,irl landscapes are full of light and life with colours bouncing around all over the shop! The camera is a wonderfully useful tool but sometimes, I despair of what it actually does to my landscape scenes.

I think it would be helpful to bring touches of each colour into each area of your picture, so that you have a more integrated look to your picture. Obviously, this does not need to be taken too literally - you could spoil your sky if you put brown into it, but perhaps you could use some warmer, creamier tones in the clouds....and of course some blues reflecting down into the water, and maybe some lighter, warmer tones in the foreground, including some touches of blues - dont have to be the same as the blue used for the sky, different blue tones will work, the point being to "knit" the colours more together.

07-03-2009, 06:57 AM
Very nice Tatiana! Jackie is right about the photography and exposure. In this case it is not so evident, but that is why I recommend taking multiple photos (at different exposures) to use as references for landscape work from photos. I know most painters are not photographers too and it depends on you camera's features as well.

Donna T
07-03-2009, 10:18 AM
Looking good, Tatiana! I am learning to trust my photos less and less. I know nothing about photography but notice that my camera (a good one) tends to make the blues too blue. This is a beautiful scene and I could never do such small waves like you have!


07-03-2009, 11:34 AM
Thank You, everybody! :)

You are right to mention that not all colors are here and there are few reasons to it. Original reference photo is much better then you can see here, however here we see a photo of photo and I didn't try to make it good, I just wanted to show a small WIP I'm working with. It is only about half done and some or what you see is actually support, but not a painting yet.

My situation is - 27 show dogs, few horses and two 90+ old parents in the house and also gang of constructors working during day time building an extra wing attached to our home, just for them, since they both on wheelchairs....

So the only time I have for my paintings would be about from 11 PM to 1 AM, or sometimes when the rest of family watching TV. Naturally at 1 PM I'll not even attempt to set up a lights for taking of better quality photos, but I'll do it, of course, when this miniature will be finished. ;)

My goal with this one - try to go from beginning to the end with finishing of true show-style miniature with correct framing option. Something new to try.

I generally like to work on small details, when possibly, even if I'm painting big, (my "big" never was bigger then 16 x 20"), details take more time (no way I can finish a work on 2-3 hours, unless it is "Plein Air sketch style something"). This is one of the reasons why I'm mostly concentrating on very small paintings right now. And yes, they are hardest ones to photograph. Sometimes I feel that they look the best of photos when I'm taking it outside.

I didn't do anything "marine" for years, this is my second attempt of this sort after few others I did this winter in oil pastels.
This is also my first attempt of seascape in Soft Pastels ever. It is... different.
Probably just need to go and finish it right now, looks like I have some time.

07-03-2009, 12:08 PM
I think this is wonderful! The clouds and the waves, everything seems so accurate! I could never do that in such a small format(well in any format really<G>) And with your schedule I am amazed at what you are doing. Wow! 27 show dogs!! What breed are they?


07-03-2009, 12:28 PM
Thank You, Sara.

They are miniature schnauzers. Also we have few Wire Fox Terriers and retired Black Russian Terrier.

07-03-2009, 12:50 PM
Well knowing what we know now, I have to say I bow down to you for finding time to even paint! You really have created this balance to your life by squeezing the time in and I applaud you!:clap: :clap:

I want to see the piece larger but knowing the technical difficulties... I'll just scan in on my own computer :)

From here it looks great - I would say... make sure there's not halo effect around the whitest puffiest clouds.

By the way - great reference image as well...


07-03-2009, 02:32 PM
Thank You, Barb!

Not easy, not easy, but I still manage. To be honest, I went back to painting this winter BECAUSE it became too crazy for me to tolerate it and not to have something what I love to do for support. As result I sold some of my horse tack, bough some art supply and refused to watch TV when everybody also does... It gave just enough time and just enough sources to fit it in.

I used to be very particular about time and place of my work (when I paint). I did it in locked-up room, and if family was brave enough to show up, usually some heavy subject was flying right out of that very door... whatever was around. I was extremely uncomfortable with people around, noises what don't belong etc. I got over it, but it took 20 years to come to this point. And I'm glad it happened, otherwise I don't think I ever would paint again. What would be too bad.

07-03-2009, 11:38 PM
Here is a finished version with the new frame what I'm planning to use for it. Maybe will frame it over this weekend

This is aproximately how it will look like after framing. I have a Museum 8 x10 glass that need to be cut down to the size I need, I think it should go well with those two, however, I like to take pictures with frame without glass, usually you can see paiting better this way.


CM Neidhofer
07-09-2009, 02:20 PM
I think this is very nice! I lived in Florida for almost 20 years and I've seen those same blues/greens/browns in the Gulf of Mexico, along with most any other colors imaginable, depending on weather, humidity, cloud cover, sunshine, sunset, etc. So I would say you're spot on with this if these are the colors you saw at the time of the photo. Sometimes you just have to see things in person before you believe them, even with a photo, before you can tell someone they're wrong. :wink2:


07-10-2009, 01:56 AM
Sometimes you just have to see things in person before you believe them, even with a photo, before you can tell someone they're wrong. :wink2:


I suspect this is a gentle dig at me, for my comment about the colours in the pic.:)

I stand by what I said, even tho I have not seen the view.


Even if the colours of the landscape WERE separated so completely in this way, what the artist is creating, when producing a painting, IS A PAINTING, and if accuracy to the scene is the only thing required, then a camera will do a perfectly good, if not better, job. But we are artists, not cameras. An artist needs to consider the painting as an object with a life and needs of its own, and the painting needs to "work" in terms of painterly considerations. That is why I commented - I was encouraging the artist to consider improving the "colour harmony" in the image.

I was not suggesting for one moment that the colours in the SCENE were wrong. Just that the painting could perhaps be improved with the use of a bit of creativity!

07-10-2009, 04:00 PM
Thank You, Christine!
Thank You, Jackie!

I'm not offended, but it looks like it getting a little bit more personal, that WC threads supposed to be.

Partially what I see here it is a forever discussion between realism and impressionism. And this is OK. Most of the time pastel is about colors, and this is what impressionism is all about as well.

HOWEVER, in my very childhood, I was told by good family friend, that also happened to be a pretty good artist: "You may have all right techniques you want, but you only will became a real artist, when you are getting your own unique and recognizable style.

I'm working with pastels for about 4 month or so and did maybe about dozen paintings total. I didn't have a single lesson on it and yet I love it. Also, I DO have my own style and had it much before I started playing with pastels, it is just one more media, what is not changing my general outlook and/or way how I want to paint my world.

We all have our own unique vision, no reason to argue what came the first egg of a chicken.

My works are more about details and realism, then about color, and the best compliment for me would be when you are looking at my work from the distance: "Is it painting, or photo?" And then, when you are looking up close and personal: " And what did she paint it with ?"

If I got this reaction, I feel that I was successful.

Ladies, you both right - each one from own position, but let keep it simple and friendly: yes, I still have way too much to learn, I was an idiot that lost so much time without painting, no, I don't have professional art education and probably doing everything wrong, but give me some time and some help and I will be really good and I think this is what WC is about, let keep it this way.


07-11-2009, 02:22 AM
Well said Tatiana.

Any suggestions offered on WC are just that - suggestions - and the artist can choose whether to listen, or to ignore. I totally accept that your vision is YOUR vision, and if you like, and want, photographic realism, then go for it, YOU have to be happy with what you produce. If yuo love what you do, then it will show in the work.

However, everyone has opinions, and in our wonderful world of free speech we are allowed to voice those opinions. To disagree with an opinion voiced is also allowed....tho it has to be done with the knowledge that the disagreement is likely to be picked up and defended.

Everyone sees with different eyes, has different aims and aspirations. That is as it should be. Listening to different ideas never hurts, sometimes it serves to confirm our own views and feelings, by contrast! I was once told, as a student, always to listen to comment and criticism, think about it, and then if I felt it was not right or helpful for me, reject it! Always be true to yourself as a painter - I think you are, actually - and just ignore the arguments that may go on around you! Because for every one who says you are doing just the right thing, there will always be another who thinks the opposite!

keep going.


07-11-2009, 06:50 AM
Well, everyone KNOWS it was the EGG! It's simple science. :) :) :)

The thing with "suggestions" is all is how it's said. Everyone is different and some are more direct and some less so, some more experienced, some less so, some very opinionated some less so. The important thing is remember it is a public forum and things you post should be posted with that in mind, remember you are posting to the world and it will be in the memory banks of the internet forever!

If there are differences of opinion, just let it be, no one is necessarily right and no one is necessarily wrong and there is no need to try and prove it, as Paul (Beatles) said just Let it Be.

07-11-2009, 08:52 AM
Hi Tatiana, I love this little seascape. I particularly like the colors you used in the clouds and the foamy area of the water. I also really admire your tenacity of finding the time to paint so late at night - good for you! I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.

07-11-2009, 11:31 AM
If there are differences of opinion, just let it be, no one is necessarily right and no one is necessarily wrong and there is no need to try and prove it, as Paul (Beatles) said just Let it Be.

.......was anyone trying to "prove" anything? I don't think so.

Kenny, Tatiana is very happy with her painting, that's all that matters and that is what we all need to respect. It is the product of her personal vision, and her hard work (we all know that painting is NOT a walk in the park) and since she has explained her busy life, I think the mere fact, Tatiana, that you find time to paint at all, is nothing short of remarkable. Your commitment is a shining example to everyone.:angel:

Tatiana, You said "probably doing everything wrong, but give me some time and some help and I will be really good and I think this is what WC is about, let keep it this way."

I am fully aware of what WC is "about" - it is a place where people can share their work with others, not just for congratulations, but also for help and advice and comments from other artists...some of which may be useful to us, some not.

Given some time, and some help, I have no doubt you will improve, we all need time and occasional help in order to improve, every single one of us.
Personally, all I was trying to do was help. BUT I owe you an apology Tatiana...... Now I look back on your first post, I see that you did not ask for any C&C, and given that we are not actually supposed to offer any unless asked, I apologise for saying anyting at all. It was not meant to offend, just to help.

Keep up the good work.

07-11-2009, 11:42 AM
Thank You, Christine!
Thank You, Jackie!

Ladies, you both right - each one from own position, but let keep it simple and friendly: yes, I still have way too much to learn, I was an idiot that lost so much time without painting, no, I don't have professional art education and probably doing everything wrong, but give me some time and some help and I will be really good and I think this is what WC is about, let keep it this way.


Agreed. Thus my posting. Every artist has a different perspective an it's good to get other input, but it's all input, we should not be directing posts at other posters but keep it directed towards constructive input to the painting and original poster. :thumbsup:

Keep up the good work.

07-11-2009, 11:48 AM
.......was anyone trying to "prove" anything? I don't think so.

Kenny, Tatiana is very happy with her painting, that's all that matters and that is what we all need to respect....

Jackie, clearly others took it differently. Tatiana did and I did as well. The first "off color" posting here was yours in taking a shot at Christine. It was uncalled for. She has her input and you have yours. As I said. Let it be. Let others have their opinions and suggestions and state them, don't take it personally.

07-11-2009, 12:26 PM
sorry, but I am afraid that there are THOUSANDS of posts on these forums where posters have responded to other posters, disagreed with what they have had to say, and a bit of a discussion has then developed, particularly when someone has been misquoted. That is how a FORUM works.

nobody has any right to try to shut anyone else down in a public forum, unless that person has been offensive and rude, and NEVER AT ANY POINT have I been that, ever, and nor was I attacking Christine personally, I was simply defending myself from her inaccurate comment which reflected on painting advice with regard to the image in question, and I was absolutely entitled to try to put this straight.

Enough. I am now really very offended and quite upset, which I certainly do not deserve, and wont post here again. if anyone has anything to say about Tatiana's painting, do PLEASE go ahead, and get this thread back on track.

07-11-2009, 12:39 PM
Guys, guys, let keep it peaceful.

Dear Jackie, being a smart girl (what I think I am), I always looking for C&C, no reason even to ask about it at every post. AND I really don't know, what gave you an idea that I'm personally offended by your post. Let me make it clear - I AM NOT OFFENDED and never was.

For the last few years I had a kind of job, that teached me to listen more then to say and be patient with people. I'm not sure, if I will make a good nun, but I'm not getting upset over small details, as CC on my paintings or my cloth. I truly believe ANY painting could be improved one way or another, we just need to listen and see, what improvement may work at this case, and what will not.
I'm Not offended by anyone. I don't need any apologies. I'm just fine. Jackie, you are wrong just about one part - no, I'm NOT totally happy with my work, I see a lot of imperfection, but I'm happy with the GOALS I set-up for this work and this is what counts.
The general goal was - can I downsize Apersand to true miniature size what could be shown with the help of my saw and can I frame it correct? Yes, I can!!! That was it.
But after all this experiment turned into nice little painting, so I decided to show off a little, nothing wrong about it. :-) And nothing is wrong about all the comments, just let keep it about improvement of this picture and not about each other.

Let me tell little story.
Once upon a time it was an artist and he painted a pretty landscape, but before talking it to the show he decided to ask his friends, if anything could make his work even better. Friends gave him a lot of great suggestions and he went for it. He used all suggestions given, unfortunately it was a total failure for his painting...
Lesson is: listen and think. People that don't listen never learn.
People that don't think... well, they never learn either. :-)

We are here not for personal arguments, but to help each other, so far C&C are constructive, yes, LET IT BE!

Thank you to all of you!

07-11-2009, 12:49 PM
Hey Tatiana, my only crit that I haven't thrown in the mix yet is that the horizon almost (which I why I had not said it yet) but not quite cuts the pick in half. I think it's fine, but it did catch my eye on the very first viewing.

I'm with you on the little story. An artist must remain true to their vision if you use a committee to build a camel you may very well end up with a rug.


07-12-2009, 08:42 PM
Can not disagree with fact, Kenny - top and bottom part here about even. Oh, well! :-)

Yesterday I finally framed it. I had some Tru Vue museum glass, turned out nice, but cutting of this thing is a night mare!... Any suggestions on good glass cutters?...
Tru Vue is recommending use a wall cutter for it... Somebody tried ?....