View Full Version : Sunflower
08-30-2002, 07:38 PM
Year Created: 2002
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!
This is a sunflower that I painted from a photograph taken of my garden.
MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
This is my first request for a critique, and I would love to get better. So please tell what's working and what's not. Thanks!
09-02-2002, 05:21 AM
I don't paint with acrylics so won't make any suggestions about medium.
Your use of complementary colors makes the painting vivid. The yellow sings against the blue. Your highlights on the tops of the leaves and the flower petals add interest.
However, you have the center of the flower dead center in the plane of the picture. This is one of those composition rules painters learn: The center of interest should be off-center. ;)
The leaf on the lower right side (as I see it on my screen) bothers me somewhat. It is a different shape than the other leaves, i.e., rounded versus pointed, as if it came from a different plant. Also, the petal of the flower is cut in half by it. It should either be on top of the green leaf or under it.
09-02-2002, 12:06 PM
What you have here really, is a graphic design. Compositionally, dead center..calling upon formal or symmetrical balance, taking the whole of the space.
If a "graphic design" is your intent...you have done relatively fine. If you are wanting to learn to paint when you say to "get better" then I'd like you to think more about opening up your composition. Creating more variety, more spatial arrangements and interest.
You could begin by taking photographs a bit back from your garden, and framing a number of sunflowers, some tilting, some from the sides, etc., showing more the nature of the flower.
Rather than a picture just saying, "this is a sunflower" the viewer would like to know as an artist why you respond to them? What can you tell us about them that is of interest to you? Convince us that you find them absolutely interesting, but then to do that we'd like to see more about the nature and character of the flower. How does it look from every angle. What happens to them in the wind? If the sun is off to one lower angle in the sky, how would they look with cooler shadows off to one side, etc;
As an example, here is a small image of a painting I did standing there by the side of a garden. I found the negative space between the flowers of interest. Their shapes as well as the flowers. I found the incidence of edges created by the sky light defining the tops of the flowers and plants interesting. The whole sense of a garden. Variety. Hope this helps a bit-Larry
09-02-2002, 01:18 PM
painterbear - yes, the leaf bothers me as well as the 'broken' petal. before i went back to make these changes i wanted to get other critiques and take everything in and then assess what needs to be done. as for the focal point being dead center...not too much that can be done about that. i'll just take it as a learning experience. thanks for your critique.
Iseiler - thank you also for your critique, and yes, my intent is to definitely improve my painting skills. i guess being a graphic designer is definitely showing through in my painting composition and symmetry is just a habit for me :) your questions for me to think about as an artist will definitely be helpful when i choose my next subject and composition. i know i have a lot to learn and a lot of practice awaits me, so i thank you for bringing all of this to my attention.
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