View Full Version : Fall Slendor WIP

07-15-2009, 11:05 AM
12 x 18 on Wallis paper. I am not pleased with the water. I have lightly put in the reflections of the trees as I am not sure they are correct. Also wondering if the water is dark enough and the right color. Woud appreciate your comments/suggestions. :confused:

Donna T
07-15-2009, 02:35 PM
Beautiful fall colors! I'm kind of water-challenged so I don't know if it should be darker. I do wonder if the reflection from the tree on the right needs to be moved a tiny bit to the left?


07-15-2009, 03:03 PM
:wave: Hi! Good work! is this from a photo? or a few photos? Your reflections need to follow the direction of the things they reflec, don't they? Your colors are very nice.

07-15-2009, 03:20 PM
Donna.. thanks.. I agree the reflection on right needs to move further in that direction. The more I look at it the more I see that it is off.
Imaybe.. thanks for your input. It is off of a photo but the wind was blowing and the reflections are all over the place. I didn't want the water that choppy, and as usual I never follow the photo 100% anyway. By the way I was laughing when I realised I mistyped the title .. it should be Fall Splendor not slendor.

Donna T
07-15-2009, 05:00 PM
By the way I was laughing when I realised I mistyped the title .. it should be Fall Splendor not slendor.

I thought maybe you just slimmed down those trees, artistic license and all that. :D I'll check back to see if you get any good advice on the water. I need it too!


07-15-2009, 05:24 PM
I think that the light blue streaks in the water are too regular and even. You might try making the water in the foreground a little darker and use the light streaks more sparingly, mostly in the reflections. The water should get a little lighter and cooler looking as it recedes in the distance. In fact, now that I look at it a second time, you have a warmer blue in the distance. You can try reversing the colors you have here with that nice warm blue in the foreground and more of the violets in the background. You can make it a little more solid looking without so many streaks so that it doesn't compete with those gorgeous colors on the shore. I don't know if any of this makes any sense, but you might want to check out how some of our super artisits on WC do water and reflections. Hope this helps a little.

07-15-2009, 05:55 PM
Helen.. thank you.. Is there an easy way to find these type of paintings for reference? I think I will brush the pastel off and start all over again with the water.. it is just a mess! lol..

07-15-2009, 06:20 PM
I agree with the water comments I agree with the water being darker in front but i absolutely love the pinks in the back area. It livens up the whole painting. Terrific!


07-15-2009, 06:39 PM
The reflections do look good, although the one on the far right is too long. In general, it will be close to or shorter than the actual tree. The water acts much like what a mirror would produce.

07-15-2009, 08:41 PM
Well I think this looks very good. maybe a little darker in the water on the left bottom. but still fine to me.

Phil Bates
07-15-2009, 10:13 PM
I agree with the "water should be darker in front" posts. But I thought I would make sure the reason is clear: Because of the steeper viewing angle, the water up close is reflecting the blue higher up in the sky. The sky is always darker overhead than at the horizon (unless there is localized haze or clouds). Another rule of thumb is that water reflections are typically darker than what they are reflecting (add yet another value step darker)

If you look at the sky at the top of the painting, it is a lot darker than the water reflections, so it follows that the foreground water reflections should be at least darker than that.

And although I agree with the "darker in front" advice, distant water colors are reflecting sky colors lower in the horizon that are typically warmer (more towards cyan or grayish blue green, or even cream or pink rather than the pure blue you see overhead). So, I may be going against the tide on that opinion.

The aerial perspective rule that "everything gets cooler in the distance" only goes so far, especially when working with blue. Blue often gets warmer, lighter and or grayer in the distance because of atmospheric haze and dust. (which again, is why the sky at the horizon does not look as blue as overhead).

Here are some examples of paintings employing this technique:


For what it's worth. :)


Phil Bates
07-15-2009, 10:19 PM
I forgot to add that placing darker water reflections at the bottom of the painting will help add weight there as well, which I think could help with composition.


07-16-2009, 12:15 AM
Yvonne.. thanks for your comments. I liked the pink background too.. I love color and enjoy exploring non typical color situations but sometimes I get myself into a delima like now.
Pete.. I am glad you like this.. it gives me the desire to finish it so it makes me more happy.
Phil... thank you for posting your most gorgeous work showing me examples of what you wrote. I initially was going to use the darker blue but thought it would be overwelming. Now that I see how it worked in your paintings it doesn't scare me as badly to try it. I agree compositionally the foreground really needs more to set it down. I am trying to post my ref photo but for some reason it won't load. I barely put the reflections in the water where in the ref. they were very strong. I am still debating which way to go on that. I changed the photo enough that I got lost in the water.. but thanks to everyone here and your nice examples I don't think I will drown now at least. Can't wait to get back at it and see what I come up with and will repost later.

Donna.. if I have to diet even my trees do lol.. hope you read Phil's posts and they helped you as much as they did me.

07-16-2009, 12:18 AM
kent.. thanks for taking a look and commenting. A mirror is exactly what I need to figure this out I think..

07-16-2009, 11:06 PM
Lovely work!


07-17-2009, 01:24 PM
Thanks Annette.. I brushed off all the pastel on the water last night and started laying in darker values, I hope to make some good progress if not finish it this weekend. Then I'll repost. Thanks Again Bill.. I keep going back and looking at what you did and wish you were standing beside me while I attempt this re do..

07-20-2009, 12:14 PM

I brushed off the pastel in the water portion of the previous post. Bill please tell me if I need to fine tune this some more. I think there is a big improvement but not sure if it is "there yet". Is the forground blue too blue/ not blue enough.. or maybe I should say dark enough. I'm open to all your comments.. that's how I learn. Thanks everyone!

Donna T
07-20-2009, 03:57 PM
I like the changes you made. Somehow the water looks a little less busy and more natural now. Nice job!


07-21-2009, 10:38 AM
Donna thanks.. I posted this in the critique section yesterday and one commented the reflections were too strong.. does anyone else feel that way? I have bounced back and forth on this issue.