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robinsn
09-08-1999, 10:05 AM
This is oil on 12x16 canvas. All comments are appreciated!

http://members.home.com/rrrobinson/art/sm_lion.jpg

A larger image is available at members.home.com/rrrobinson/art/lion.jpg (http://members.home.com/rrrobinson/art/lion.jpg)

Thanks for your help!

-Randy

[This message has been edited by robinsn (edited 09-08-99).]

Rod
09-09-1999, 04:02 AM
Hi Randy,
I like the painting it gives me a relaxed feeling. Lions head nice contrast set in dark forest opening. Only criticism I would make is to vary the greens ,not too much to distract from the lion. Even possibly some grasses that compliament the color of the lion,
Rod.

robinsn
09-09-1999, 09:57 AM
Hi Rod,

Thanks for the comments. I couldn't decide whether I ought to mention this on the original message, but I've had the hardest time scanning this painting in. I've tried everything I can think of, and just can't get it to come out near what the painting looks like. Maybe my scanner can't handle the greens or the contrast or something. Anyway, the greens aren't that bright yellow-green in the scan. It's more of a terre verde color, and the highlights are yellow. I varied the greens to a degree - not as much as I should I see now - but the variations I do have don't show up in the scan. I think I'm gonna have to buy a digital camera.

I'm happy to hear it gave you a relaxing feeling. I was aiming for 'serenity'.

Nothing else jumped out at you as 'wrong'? I've painted one part over and over a dozen times at least, and was planning on painting it again. Maybe I don't have to? http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

-Randy

Johannes Instructor
09-09-1999, 02:11 PM
I would crop it. No sense having so much void space and that way you will zero in on the animal. Well drawn with nice rich dark greens.

Sandi
09-09-1999, 03:02 PM
Hi Randy,
Your painting has a beautiful rich serene quality to it. I chuckled out loud when I found myself waiting for his friends to come out of the darkness and join him. I even held my breath! I like how you used the fern in the foreground to point to the mysterious background. The lion is beautifully done, and he holds my interest. Then when my brain says it's time to go, I discover the water, then the fern and then the jungle's depth. The jungle's depth then holds me captive, like I said earlier, wondering what may come from out of the darkness. Friend or foe? The middleground has a lovely warm glow, which makes me appreciate the serenity of the lush green jungle. The lion is definitly refreshing itself from a hot summer's day.
I like this one better than the one on your webpage. The other one isn't as soft and lush, nor mysterious.
I understand your frustration with the scanning of the greens and yellows, because I am experiencing the same problems myself. However, in your case, it seems to have enhanced the image, rather than hurting it. Which prooves you have a good sense of values.
Well done Randy, it's a lovely painting.
Sandi

bruin70
09-09-1999, 03:34 PM
i would NOT crop it...the foliage lends to the ambience of the scene, so it has equal importance in the mood. don't know what your reference was but you might want to lighten the rest of the lion, even if he may actually be that dark. his body gets a little lost in the shadows. he'll set off against the dark forest much better if he's light. his right paw looks human, because you didn't show that characteristic break in the joint that you did with the other paw.....milt

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"he who thinks he know all and knows nothing is king in a kingdom of one,,,,,or a critic" - the kobe

robinsn
09-09-1999, 09:19 PM
Thanks everyone for your very helpful and nice comments! Please don't hesitate to leave more comments.

Sandi, thanks for your very detailed comments on the feelings it invoked! That was sooo helpful. Those are exactly my feelings I was aiming for portraying, and I had no idea if I attained any part of that, but now I can feel it was a successful painting and can use that reference for future work and direction. Thanks again!

Milt and Johannes, regarding cropping, my intent was more of the feeling of the jungle and the dark depths and mood, than it was an animal portrait, but as an animal portrait, I would see that cropping would be valid. Does that make sense, Johannes?

This was a tough painting as I had no reference. It is one of only a few pieces I have that was pure imagination. It is something I want to get good at because I have a hard time finding models of things I want to paint! For finishing it off, I found pictures of lions, but couldn't find any similar enough to help much. I had the lion's body dark to prevent it from becoming an animal portrait and lead the eye to the darkness. Do you think this is valid?

Speaking of which, does anyone have tips on painting from imagination rather than models/photos?

[This message has been edited by robinsn (edited 09-09-99).]

amanda
09-09-1999, 10:24 PM
Randy,

I must say that I really like this picture. The thing I like most about it is the way the lion is looking at the viewer. He looks like he's saying 'who's there', like animals do when they hear a noise. I like this as its exactly the way animals look in this situation. As if the viewer has disturbed his serenity. You can almost hear the birds in the background!

Rod
09-10-1999, 02:42 AM
Hi Randy,
I would not crop the painting, the space is necessary to get the mood right. Digital cameras do make life easier, I use a fuji mx600. Also you wouldn't need to wait for the oils to dry, when I used a hand scanner it had a brightness control which helped,
Rod.

bruin70
09-10-1999, 03:45 AM
exactly so rob...and that it why leaving your piece uncropped is acceptable. and you DON"T have to crop even if it were more of an animal "PORTRAIT". its natural habitat is the jungle(or wherever),,,it's the ONLY subject in your piece,,,and who says you HAVE to crop to a portrait. i would , however, slide the lion closer to the center if it were to be a portrait,,,even put it in the center. centering in composition is a broadly exagerrated no-no. you can center a subject and still "unbalance" your painting by shifting the weight of the erest of the scene. in the case of your painting, the foreground foliage on the right corner is a good start in unbalancing you composition.
as to making things up,,it's not easy , but you can train yourself. "YOU JUST HAVE TO BE A KEEN OBSERVER OF LIFE". and keep all you see stored in your artistic mind...how light falls on form, what happens to red sitting next to blue, how a animal's paw bends at the joint. got a pet? observe how its paw bends...apply that to your lion's right paw.....milt

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"he who thinks he know all and knows nothing is king in a kingdom of one,,,,,or a critic" - the kobe

Sandi
09-10-1999, 10:49 AM
It might be fun to see what Johannes had in mind, concerning the cropping. He is a very talented and skilled artist, with more insights than I'll ever have. I can't picture it any other way than how you have it, because it really works for me, but trusting Johannes skills, it just might be fun to see it in a different light.
I love how his ear is cocked back, in the listening mode. Like Amanda said, it sets the mood, & makes us dart back to the jungle to see what it is he hears.
As far as the paw goes, there is one thing that kind of bothers me about it. I think it's the size. Maybe it needs some foreshortening exagerations? Would it feel more correct if it were larger?
Still chuckling, as I wonder what's approaching. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

Sandi

Rod
09-10-1999, 07:06 PM
I think all it needs is the joint in the arm, that would make it appear shorter,
Rod.

Johannes Instructor
09-11-1999, 07:27 PM
Well there's only one way to find out. The picture with my modifications is below. What concerned me the most was the picture balance. I don't think it is worth perceiving the tilt to the left to see more green forest. But the artist always has the last word.

[This message has been edited by Johannes (edited 09-11-99).]

[This message has been edited by Johannes (edited 09-12-99).]

scottb
09-11-1999, 10:34 PM
Here is the image that Johannes referred to in his last message:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/LearningGallery/robinsn.jpg
Cheers.
Scott