View Full Version : Naked Garden

09-23-1999, 05:27 AM
Hi Fellow Artists,
Have a look at this one. A watercolor, size 33cms by 52cms painted earlier this year. All critiques welcome,

09-23-1999, 06:35 AM
you've created an unwanted optical illusion, i think. you placed that flowered tree/high bush directly in front of and in the middle of those tall trees behind it. with this symmetry, there's a positive/negative illusion you created. the flowered bush is sometimes positive then reverts to what looks like a negative "hole" in the background trees. kinda like a dali painting. i know you're trying to show depth with the branch in the foreground, but it sits high and lonely above the rest of the painting, not overlapping anything. finally, everything in the painting is one value---middletone. nothing dark, nothing light. and so, nothing stands out. look at the art from afar or flip it upside down. everything in the garden runs together.
my options,,,working with what you have, since you can't change your watercolor...brighten the trunk of the tree so it at least won't float in the middle of the two background trees. darken out a couple of those flower thingys to pop that tree out more. i'd lose the hilites on the background trees' leaves and change the outline of those trees. that should give you a little more needed darks. you rendered light/dark on every object in the garden. not necessary. you have to edit and emphasize the main point of interest. i just now noticed the vine on the hut. once again it is a value problem. because they're all in middletone, the vine is indistinct from the hut.
you split your canvas in half. top-sky, bottom land. since the garden is so important i would've shown less sky. maybe you placed the foreground branch there cuz you wanted to break up that half page sky.
what you saw may be exactly as you painted,,,,so a hint,,,"never paint what is, paint what SHOULD be." don't be a slave to reality. you're the artist, and god of what you create......milt

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

[This message has been edited by bruin70 (edited 09-23-99).]

09-24-1999, 05:18 PM
I don't have the wisdom or experience to offer any technical advice on this painting,,,but, on an emotional level, as a casual viewer...I like it! It is relaxing and invigorating at the same time. After viewing it several times, depending on the mood I,m in...I either want to go sit in the gazebo and sip a cuppa' capacino, or get out my easel and get close to some of those hollyhocks.
Enjoyed it!!!
Billie Dawn

09-25-1999, 12:20 AM
I like the colors of the painting and the branch in front I like a lot, but Milt is right that it should overlap something. With the rest of the painting, I agree with Milt that it seems to have several light/shadow problems. The plants and the foreground tree are floating and need shadow to ground them. The ivy on the building needs shadow to anchor it. I can't tell if those further away flowers inside the gazebo or in front of it. So overall it lacks depth. The gazebo was very well done too.


09-25-1999, 12:53 AM
Hi All,
Thanks for your comments, I see what you mean with the illusion. Hadn't noticed that.I concentrated more on colors, there are some shadows but not noticeable in this photo.
Difficult to get a great change in value as when you are painting the scene nothing seems far away.Must try as I paint to modify for effect, I do tend to paint it as it is,
There is a slightly larger image here,

09-25-1999, 02:21 AM
AHA!!!! didn't see that it was a gazeebo. thought it was a teeny house.larger image helps. a big weakness in artists, is the tendancy to create subconscious symmetry. except for an occasional wacky compositional idea, i think unwanted symmetry is the killer of realistic art. lining things up unintentionaly flattens a realistic scape. three come to mind in your piece. the small tree which has been covered. you lined up the edge of your background tree with the edge of the gazeebo. it flattened that area. broaden the tree so it backs the gazeebo. there's a group of flowers that are centered in the gazeebo's opening. that area flattens as well. you should overlap the opening.the background trees are equal in height to the gazeebo top. and the three flowers on the right are lined up and spaced equally apart. this flattens the area as well.
all these "patterns" create a geometry to your piece that overrides the realism mand flattens your piece. a good example i gave at another post....take 32 black squares and 32 red squares. if you place them interestingly on a square board, bunching a few, overlapping some,,,you can create an interesting compositions. if you line them up, you get a checkerboard,,,boring, flat, no center of interest

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

09-25-1999, 06:39 AM
Thanks Milt, all good points. The trouble is I painted it as it was, must train myself to adjust items for best composition. No comments on my sky, must be ok,