View Full Version : Picnic Sunday (Foliage...I think I've got it!)

09-09-2002, 02:16 PM
"Picnic Sunday"

This was our picnic spot on Sunday. Since you can't see anyone having a picnic, I didn't call it "Sunday Picnic" :D

Well, I still have lots of room for improvement, but I was quite pleased with this attempt at foliage.

I viewed the scene yesterday afternoon, found a composition I liked, and took a photo with my digital camera. While it was fresh in my mind I painted it the same evening. That was a first for me, that is, visualizing the painting while on location, then following through to a finished painting right away. Not exactly en plein aire, but close.

The leaves along the bottom of the trees practically painted themselves. I used black Canson Mi-Teintes paper (9 x 12) and just started lightly scribbling with a white Nupastel. As I did this, variously sized black spots just started to appear! I later filled these in with a dark blue-gray and 4 shades of green.

After leaving it overnight, I found that the tree on the far right looked a bit flat. Any suggestions to fix that? I've already used my darkest dark on the tree trunks, and my darkest gray is already in there. Should I smudge some black in like I did with the grass?


09-09-2002, 02:59 PM
WOW, WOW and WOW!!!! I know you've got it!! :D What a marvelous painting, I love it!

09-09-2002, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by KarenU
WOW, WOW and WOW!!!! I know you've got it!! :D What a marvelous painting, I love it!

What she said!!

09-09-2002, 07:36 PM
Wonderfull painting. I think it looks marvellous as it is. Maverick this place looks so familier. Might it be Lakeview Park by any chance? :D

09-09-2002, 08:23 PM
Well, I am humbled by the triple wows. Thank you. Your encouragment is very appreciated.

Elinor: Thanks, and yes it is Lakeview Park! (Oshawa, Canada) I didn't mention it because I figured it wouldn't mean anything to anyone. What a great park. My wife and I take the kids there quite often for picnics and wading in the lake. I just love the huge trees that create a canopy over the green areas, with the light filtering through. I suppose you know this isn't the best picnic spot in the place (noisy bikers and dune buggy dudes to the left), and that building isn't really blue :D

09-09-2002, 08:30 PM
Yes it is a lovely park. My daughter and grandaughter were there a lot this summer. She just loves the playground there. So much for kids. Not that crazy about the food at the snack bar so we walk farther down the road to that shack thats been there forever and get the best fries!! Ice cream is great too. :)

09-09-2002, 09:55 PM

I like this picture, specially the sun filtering. I can feel it. If you think the big tree is "flat" you can try to add lighter colors to the foliage ( the more shades the better). Lighter colors will bring the foliage forward.


09-10-2002, 12:19 AM
What a great picture!! I love the effect of the light through the trees...makes me want to jump in there and have a picnic!!!

Wonderful painting!! :clap: Kim

09-10-2002, 04:21 AM
This is a really good one. It really portrays a good feeling. But on the light spots on the ground, they look like light “marks” instead of light. The spots would look more real if the edges were blurred a bit. MMMmmm I smell fried chicken and potato salad!


09-10-2002, 04:52 AM
Youve definitly got it!
Gosh I think Ill sitt here watching it while I eat my lunch... have a picninc in the park... I really like it! Not just saying it but I feel like
fetching my sunglasses and some lunch!

Thank you for sharing!

09-10-2002, 10:21 AM
Maverick - I don't think your foliage looks flat, it makes a lovely filigree shape across the top of the picture. I would be very careful of putting lots of light tones into a tree which is supposed to be the farthest away from you - if you make it too contrasty with lots of lights and darks, it will come forward, and possibly even come "in front" of the nearest trees!

I am the tiniest bit concerned about the turquoise marks in the trees ... are these meant to be blue sky? If so, perhaps it might be an idea to link that colour gently, somehow, with the sky BELOW the foliage, what do you think?


visit my website which has a “troubleshooter” page of helpful pastel tips and hints (http://www.jackiesimmonds.co.uk)

Also see my posts in The Artists Marketplace here at WC!

09-10-2002, 01:35 PM
Thanks again everyone for your very nice comments. I feel like I'm actually heading in some kind of direction now.

Yes Jackie, the blue is supposed to be the sky showing through. I'll do as you suggested, and if that doesn't help, I'll just change it all to white. Thanks!

09-10-2002, 04:04 PM
Again well done Maverick ....... your having a good day hee hee what with your foliage AND your Medal

......... hope for me yet :)

09-10-2002, 04:51 PM
Well done Mav!
Looks superb Mate!

09-10-2002, 06:08 PM
Very very very beaultiful


09-10-2002, 09:46 PM
"Should I smudge some black in like I did with the grass?"

Why would you want to use black? For cast shadows? Why not a some related color? ( This is the watercolorist in me not wanting to use black, sorry!)

The foliage and sun dappled effects are beautifully done.

09-11-2002, 12:28 AM
Just plain LOVELY! I really like the filtered light and the foliage looks great. By Jove, I think you HAVE got it! ;) I agree about the blue showing through the trees. Toning that down and whitening it up should do the trick. Well done!

09-11-2002, 03:19 PM
I agree about the blue sky. I would add some blue to the clouds and not kill the blue. I think that the blue sky helps the painting. Very good work.:clap:


09-12-2002, 08:07 AM
I think you got it too *S* What great foliage and this reminds me of a beach here in Florida. It's called Coquina Beach on Anna Marie Island in Bradenton, Florida. I had to go look where you were from thinking you might be from Bradenton. Love the colors and the technique you used. *S*
Wish I could see this as I'm posting to you. Great job *S*

09-12-2002, 09:12 AM
Maverick, what can I say? You've crossed the bridge. You're really making great progress. I've been watching you from afar and I can really see that you are understanding more and more each day. Good for you.

Granted that I am far behind you in "getting it" but those "sky holes" on the ground are a little 'hard-edged' in the jpg. I know sometimes my images scan this way so it might be the jpg's fault. Right now, the ground looks like it has a case of the zits. ( I can recognize this because my work does this and I'm working hard to get rid of them.... can you use Noxzema on pastel?) I only tell you this because I know you will think it's funny and will remember my zit post the next time you paint this scene. Try to soften some edges, especially in the back and perhaps vary the sun coloration on the ground.... also...don't exactly know how to tell you this, but a great teacher of mine told me to always connect the darks and connect the lights. This might be what Jackie is talking about with the upper sky holes and certainly would work with the sky holes on the ground. Connect them using shades of your sky holes.... hummm I don't think I'm making good sense...am I. That way they will not be dots, but rather ribbons.

I'm a big Maveric fan and have absoultely loved watching you progress. I took your image and just softened the skyholes at the bottom to show you what I'm talking about. Do you agree or do you think your sky holes say it better. I'm trying to understand too and would appreciate your thoughts.


09-12-2002, 11:24 AM
Wow, thank's for the additional comments everyone. I thought this thread was going to die already, and I wasn't checking for more responses. I truly appreciate when everyone is so candid. I take your critiques to heart, and I plan to make the suggested changes. I've just been too excited about starting new works!

arizona: I'm trying to stop using black, but since I was using black paper already, I cheated with the shadows under the trees. I have a dark blue-gray that I'm trying to use more. It could just be a bit darker, so I need to visit the art store for some single pastel sticks. I never used black in water colors either, but I have with oils, and I think it's just an old habit.

llis: I truly appreciate your thoughts. You are absolutely right about the light pattern on the ground. I'm going to fix this. They look hard edged because there wasn't any tooth left in the paper there, and I had to press hard on the stick. I'm getting better at using workable fixative, so a light spray and a touch up should do the trick.

Thanks to those who hover around like virtual art tutors and make such great suggestions. I haven't had any art education (except from books) since high school, and I am very grateful.

09-12-2002, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by maverick
llis: I truly appreciate your thoughts. You are absolutely right about the light pattern on the ground. I'm going to fix this. They look hard edged because there wasn't any tooth left in the paper there, and I had to press hard on the stick. I'm getting better at using workable fixative, so a light spray and a touch up should do the trick.


Wow! a first for me.... Maverick.... lots of times I can see where a painting needs a touch or two, but don't have a clue as to how to fix it. I'm so glad that you told me <b>Why</b> those shadows looked hard edged and how to fix them. This is a problem I have with my work and I'm just now trying to understand pastels. Thanks so much.... you see, I'm using you as my learning tool because you are such a great sport and I feel you want to learn like I do. :D