View Full Version : Red Chairs
08-28-2002, 07:08 PM
Title: Red Chairs
Year Created: 2002
Dimension: aprox. 9 1/2 x 13"
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!
I fell in love with these bright red chairs and I took the reference photo on a bright sunny day.
MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
I am interested in a critique on the whole painting. I'm concerned with the composition, color, design...... everything. The longer I work on this the more unsure I become of the whole painting.
08-28-2002, 09:44 PM
You have a good start, but I think you don't have a dominant color. the reds and greens are equal in strength and creating the problem. I would recommend integrating the colors. Vary the greens in the grass by glazing some blues and some reds...not a lot, just some reflected colors. Think about adding some red flowers among the yellows along the fence. maybe a few blues could peek through too. But allow one (I'd use red) to be the dominant color.
I like to splash color on when I'm adding color near the end on a piece, that way it doesn't look positioned or contrived, but more natural. you could protect parts with a towel before splashing. if you've never tried that before, practice on an old painting.
I don't think I'd do anything to the chairs until you see how the colors balance in the other areas. I'll look forward to seeing what you decide to do!
08-29-2002, 04:45 AM
Agree with Mary Kay, and have some additional observations.
The fence in the background is both a good thing and a problem. It is good because they fence consists of rectangluar shapes that communicate with the corresponing shapes in the chairs. It is not soo good because the straight lines and high contrast in certain areas (white fence against very dark background) attracts the eye too much and the background starts to take over.
I have attached an edited image where I reduced the impact of the fence, made shadows bluer, and added some red to the flowers. I also adjusted the color tone in the highlights on the chairs; they looked too pink IMO, a little more yellow would look more natural, and also harmonize with the yellow flowers.
08-29-2002, 05:17 AM
I continued to play with the image, as I wondered what a little more color in the backgorund would do. I also thought about the composition in the abstract (I turned the image upside down and sketched something in). I flipped it back again, and turned the edits into flowers. Unfortunately this version is blurred in patches making it less appealing; but look at the color play as an illustration.
08-29-2002, 03:49 PM
Thank you so much Henrik and Mary Kay.
My painting was so boring the way I painted it, but with the suggestions you've made, there is certainly hope.
I can't believe how much more alive the picture looks with the suggestion's you've shown. Carrying the reds and the blues though out the painting is just exactly what the painting needs. Although I knew this was important to any good painting, I just had no idea how to incorporate it.
08-30-2002, 04:51 PM
Well, here is what I've done with the suggestion's you were so nice to give me.
I think this is a much more appealing picture, with much more interest through out the painting. Thanks for your very useful suggestions. I may have gone overboard with the added reds, and the placements??? what's your thoughts?
If I were to try this painting over, could you offer me any other suggestion's? Composition, colors, etc.
08-30-2002, 04:54 PM
This may help..........
08-31-2002, 02:44 AM
Nancy, it's a lovely setup and structure, and I'd second some of the previous thoughts. There's a very nice texture and character to the chairs.
I don't think you need to go so far as to invent new flowers in the background; something as simple as putting a little dark red into the shaded parts of the bushes would begin to weave the color together and enrich things. Big open cast shadows outdoors tend to be cool, but the interiors among plants are often quite warm; just blending some red into those shadows (and maybe even browning up some of the dark bits amongst the grass) would open up the red and warm up the scene.
A couple of other little things might liven up the way the painting reads:
- the sky meets the flowers a bit unfortunately; it browns out too much. There will always be a bit of 'halo' at that kind of intersection when you paint it naturally, but it could take place more in the flowers and less in the sky above them. A bit more pure light blue pulled down into the flower region here and there might be worth exploring, to break up that brown aura - right now it looks a bit like the flowers are casting a shadow on a blue sheet. You don't have to obliterate all of it, just mix it up a bit.
- I find the border flower a bit too pat and thick somehow; it looks a bit 'made up.' Having the border works well to shape the space, but I bet if you look closely you can see a lot more of the green/brown darks popping through those flowers, and pulling that into the painting would make it more believable.
BTW, I think the way the mysterious shadow at the lower left blends with the shadow of the chair is very successful.
08-31-2002, 09:39 AM
Thank you Puzzlinon for looking and commenting..... oh, and welcome to Wet Canvas!
I like the suggestions you've given. I keep thinking ...this painting doesn't look like a warm summer day to me... it looks cold. I think if I tried the warm colors IN the roses and the grass that just may be part of my problem.
On a scrape piece of paper I'd tried a blue sky.... in the practice piece, the sky blue didn't meet the roses... What happened when I did it on the painting .... I guess I just got carried away.
I think I just may try working on it some more and see if I can't incorporate your suggestion's.
Thank you ...I can't wait until I can "see" this stuff for my self.
Again welcome to WC!
09-07-2002, 07:44 PM
you mentioned making the picture warmer, sooo
I changed the hue of the sky, knocked back the reds in the flower bed (reds always come forwards) added bright blue delphiniums instead. This is just an idea for colours, so its just airbrushed dots, but you get the idea. Also put in some much brighter/lighter yellows.
Toned the white border in the base in (more yellows) and tinted the post, but not the chain. Added more grass to lift the border edge so its not directly in line with the arms and seat of the chairs (that seems to pin it in place-you cant really distinguish which should be further forward)
Finally added some blue reflections of the sky and delphiniums on the chair arms and seats, and as the red you have used is quite a cold red, added orange on the seat backs and arms - where the paint might have worn-and to give a curved shape on their backs to lead the eye, but not in a straight line.
Too many adjustments?
Seewhat you think
lol Chris M-B
09-09-2002, 09:00 AM
The chairs are nicely done. Your concerns (that you listed) show you know the parts that might become better.
Firstly instead of trying one of a dozen well intended suggestions most of the color trouble would be solved by making accurate color notes outside.
DESIGN-you have a classic tennis match design. Our eyes go from one chair to the other-like watching tennis. One needs to be the more important. Sargent painted some chairs outside, notice his color.
I like this a lot and know you can make the next one bigger. Try to think anbout % 70-25-5 regarding colors and values.
The colors now are 50/50 green/red.
The work is it's own competition...and what you've done is really well done. You can actually crop the work as is and have two good smaller paintings.
09-09-2002, 05:35 PM
Thanks for taking the time to view and post.
Tim I'm not sure what you mean by "accurate color notes outside". Will you explain please. also, 70-25-5 colors and values, I don't understand what you mean.
You are right..... the red and green and the tennis match, this I do understand. Think I'll go see if I can't find Sargent's that you refer to. Thank you.
09-10-2002, 08:18 AM
Red and green are the closest two color opposites (in value) if you look at these colors in (Black and white). Your work might feel better with more varied values along with the color changes. I think that your form is good and your color is close, but if you were to sit outside and carefully note plein aire the little things you would find that nature has unified the two colors (and elements) nicely for you.
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