View Full Version : help with this one

07-05-2009, 02:07 PM
Hi there,
Thanks for taking the time to look and please C&C. It needs help! I love different parts of this but it's not working compositionally and I don't know what it needs to improve it.

For once I actually like my hills, but they may need to be lightened or something.

Help... I value your opinions. I may not agree to all of them, but appreciate the insight.


9x 12" wallis board


water girl
07-05-2009, 02:45 PM
I really like parts of this as well. It just needs a little fine tuning. Here are a few suggestions. I would add a few darker and lighter values to the reflections of the 3 trees on the shoreline. You were correct in keeping the values lighter than the trees, but add a little variety. Also, you could soften the edges of the reflections,here and there. When you are happy with that, also add a few high light lines across those reflections to indicate some ripples. You could add a darker line as well.
I might lighten the shadows (from the trees) that are darkening the the shore. Add a lighter or darker, broken thin line to indicate the shore line. I just think you stopped 5 minutes too soon.
I hope that some of these suggestions help.

Kathryn Wilson
07-05-2009, 03:14 PM
Okay, Barb, here ya go. Three trees, all the same shape and similar in size. Your hill on the left ends right in the middle of the painting and your horizon line is almost at the mid line - almost. And to be more precise, I'd put two of the trees closer together and then leave one tree on its own.

Your colors in the reflections are glorious, but glaze over with a bit of the blue, letting the magenta show through.

I like the sky in that you have different colors in it, not just all one blue.

Paint on!

07-05-2009, 03:26 PM
I know absolutley nothing about landscapes, so have no suggestions re composition, but just wanted to say that I really like the colours in this one, particularly in the relections.

Winny Kerr
07-05-2009, 04:01 PM
Hi Barb. I'm going to tease you now as we were going to paint a sky Plein Air, so I'm asking, is this painting a Live one.... because I love your sky. I know Jackie has a great point but so far any good sky has eluded me and it has been so hot so not been outside much. I'm still trying to do a sky from a photo. I had to toss one effort, I'm on my second. Somehow I cannot get the colours right....sigh. LOL.... I think Katherine Wilson's advice is good, I'm not good and still learning so cannot comment too much. This is just a little chat.

Donna T
07-05-2009, 04:31 PM
Nice one, Barb! Good suggestions from Karen and Kat. I hope you'll show us any changes.


07-05-2009, 05:27 PM
Hi Barb, need to agree with Karen and Kat also. but you could take this with a grain of salt. I would crop. out appx half of the sky. the sky is not the subject in this piece the trees and the reflections are. and if you add a small land mass in the left bottom a cupple small bushes top's only, grasses etc. from about the purple reflections (side of page) to 1/4 or 1/3 possable 1/2 and it goes to nothing twards the middle of the page. this way your eye is lead in from the bottom right to the trees and stops there. now the eye comes in anywhere from the bottom and heads stright up to the sky and holds in the light pretty blue sky. there are alot of good point in here just things that will make this great. hope this helps or give you a better idear what you may want to do.

07-05-2009, 05:33 PM
Lovely colours, but I think the three identical triplets need to get different ages and sizes -- variation!. I'd make the middle tree darker and larger, and then gray/blue, lighten, and shrink the other two, connect the darks, and put most 'oomph' in the reflection of the middle one. More water and less sky, as the water is way more interesting. If you lighten the rightmost tree, you can have it near the middle.

Will be very interesting to see how you solve the painting, as I'm sure you will do beautifully.


07-05-2009, 06:23 PM
Hi Barb, :wave:

Just got home after the weekend and ambled ...well...maybe waddled over to the computer (after a weekend of eating at a family get-together) to see what was going on on WC, Read all the comments on your post and then went back to look at your painting again. I like the suggestions about the proportion of sky and water, tree similarities and then really looked again and something jumped out at me.
The reflection of the distant mountains looks bigger than the mountains themselves and also the distant trees are also rather uniform. I'd like to see a break in the tree line myself. A slight muting of the magenta with a blue would really look nice too. All in all I do like the start of this. Going to be a winner!!!
Now to go cook! Be back later. :D

07-05-2009, 06:26 PM
lovely painting, Ummmmmm I don't think the three trees are all simular only the left two, I think the bright green on the far left one is a bit distracting, maybe add a little of that color to the other two, maybe the tree to the far left could be bigger as well, as it seems to be the close's to the viewer. I like the color of the back ground hills and have no problem with it's disapperance as I know it doesn't end there, it is hidden by the trees. Other than that, for me I like it.

07-05-2009, 07:45 PM
The first thing I'm struck by is that I'm not sure what you've intended to have as your focal point. Perhaps it is the tree on the right which grabs my attention and keeps it there. My eye does not move easily from there through the painting. If it is the focal point it needs to be made more important. To me it actually looks like the painting is cut in half vertically. Also, the 3 reflections are exactly alike and too solid. I think you have some good suggestions here for correcting them. I also agree that the reflection on the mountain is off. It's too big for a mountain in the distance. Love the colors, and I think this could be lovely with some tweaking. Of course feel free to disregard any and all comments.

07-05-2009, 07:57 PM
Id' just like to add that your work has a freshness right now that might be easily overworked - My first impression "what a lovely, serene scene".

07-06-2009, 07:47 AM
All good advice above which I'm learning/refreshing from as well.

07-06-2009, 09:31 AM
Hi Barb. I agree with all the critiques and only have a few thoughts to add to what has already been said. My first thought when I looked at this was "what lovely colors" and then I looked more closely at the sky and was amazed. It is stunning. The over all impression was how beautiful. The hills are lovely as well and on these fine things I would not change a thing. Then the brain started to kick in and I thought about composition and that is where you could do some tweaking as mentioned above.

I was driving down to the Gorge and thought about your chickens and how if you had tree chickens in a painting they would all have different poses and personality. One would be higher and looking up the other with her head down and one maybe facing away. This is what you maybe need to do with the trees, give them different poses and variety and yes personality!

And yes your previous painting of chickens brought this analogy to mind.

07-06-2009, 01:16 PM
I can't add much that hasn't already been noted above except I think your reflections should include a little of the same colors as the mountain and the trees and not a solid purple or blue or even a combination there of. I love the freshness and simplicity you have created with the sky and the mountain and think you shouldn't do too much more to them. It's a nice little painting and I am sure you will end up with a beautiful end project with all the help you have been given here.

07-06-2009, 01:17 PM
Oh thank you one and all. I've put this aside for the day and now I have a sense of what I need to do. i promise when I finish it I will alert you all to the final results.

Who put that horizon line in the middle? What were they thinking? Barb