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Bruce Rohrlach
01-22-2000, 07:33 PM
Hello - An acrylic of a small island 400 m offshore from the Jais Aben Resort in Madang (north coast of Papua New Guinea). The painting was made of a photograph that I took while on a diving trip there.

The birds and feeding tuna (splashes) were added to give the scene a bit of life. I have not yet mastered the art of painting waves, so the water is consequently dead calm. Although this is already framed, when I get the knack of waves, I'll add some life to the sea, or better still have a bird lifting a fish out of the water with some splashes up close in the centre of the bottom left quadrant ? (this should also give it some perspective which it needs?). Any ideas ?

This painting took two nights to complete and is 0.45m x 0.35m in dimension.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/Island.jpg

robinsn
01-22-2000, 07:53 PM
No doubt that waves would add lots of movement to the painting, but there's something about the simplicity or staticness of the water that I really like. It communicates a very peaceful message. I like this piece a lot. Very nice!

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-Randy
http://www.artistnation.com/members/paris/randy/

bruin70
01-22-2000, 08:25 PM
the narrative on the left seems a bit inconsequential because of the amount of space you've given it, but the residual effect is that it created a nice pattern of life there. added to the composition. the way you stylized your island makes your approach to the water ok. realistic water might not fit in the painting. the style blends nicely with your previous works. don't spoil it. it is your signature. yes,,,study the waves, etc,,,but introduce that realism to your style gradually. evolve,,,don't mutate.....
for everyone grounded by the taboo of the centered composition, take note! forget what mrs. pringle told you in high school art appreciation class. it works here! in fact, off centering the island would hurt the piece. it also helps that the artist's technique is a bit stylized. this gives him permission. a very realistic painter might have a difficult time with this composition....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

[This message has been edited by bruin70 (edited January 22, 2000).]

Bruce Rohrlach
01-24-2000, 12:49 AM
hmmmm thanks for your comments Bruin, I think your right, I perceive my style (emerged over some 10 paintings) as being semi-realist (and am happy with that - even tho I was initially trying to be fully realist)- I think it lets me put more of my own interpretation on an image rather than being "locked in" by total realism. Also it gives a little freedom to embelish the colours a tad (which acrylics are good for)and so impart a - a slightly larger than life feel ?? in terms of the colours. I guess I want an image which draws people in and makes them wish they were physically in the scene so to speak.

Your centreing comment is also interesting. I guess because the island is the principal feature in the vast expanse of ocean/nothingness I was forced to centre it to keep the balance and as you say it worked.

llis
01-24-2000, 10:16 AM
Wonderful painting. Wish I could go there. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

bruin70
01-24-2000, 01:10 PM
or,,,how about,,,,, http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/island3.jpg

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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

[This message has been edited by bruin70 (edited January 24, 2000).]

bruin70
01-25-2000, 12:48 AM
Originally posted by Bruce Rohrlach:
hmmmm thanks for your comments Bruin, I think your right, I perceive my style (emerged over some 10 paintings) as being semi-realist (and am happy with that - even tho I was initially trying to be fully realist)- I think it lets me put more of my own interpretation on an image rather than being "locked in" by total realism. Also it gives a little freedom to embelish the colours a tad (which acrylics are good for)and so impart a - a slightly larger than life feel ?? in terms of the colours. I guess I want an image which draws people in and makes them wish they were physically in the scene so to speak.
>what your goals are require that you place emphasis on color and composition. these two areas are learned over time. since i don't know your process, i can only suggest...
don't rely on photos. you seem familiar enough with your subject matter, that can use even the vaguest references to your purpose. it is not as important to "get things right", as it is to MAKE THINGS APPEAR RIGHT. this will go a long way to helping you break from absolute realism, and exercise personnal style.
in composition,,,push your idea to an extreme to make the statement. don't bother with the standard conventions of composition, like avoiding corners or lining up with a side.
for instance, re: your painting...what would happen if you cropped your painting more on both sides. making it VERY vertical. the island would be even more centered and more focused on.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/island2.jpg

Your centreing comment is also interesting. I guess because the island is the principal feature in the vast expanse of ocean/nothingness I was forced to centre it to keep the balance and as you say it worked.

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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



[This message has been edited by bruin70 (edited January 24, 2000).]

irene clark
01-25-2000, 10:32 AM
Hi there!
Like I've said before, you have a style that is truly larger than life. Simplicity of your art gives credence to the "less is more" lesson. I love your use of blue hues in all your paintings and the peaceful feelings they create. Keep on sharing your gift.
sincerely
Irene Clark with a heart for art.

Bruce Rohrlach
01-25-2000, 03:29 PM
Bruin - your idea of cropping (although I prefer uncropped) does make an interesting point. i.e. in the uncropped version above, my eyes wander over the elements in the painting and don't stay focussed in any particular area, but in the cropped version below, my eyes are forced to explore the island in all it's fine details and in a sence gives me a better impression of what the island is like (albeit at the expense of some of the overall "mood"). The crop also enhances the shallow water turquoise - in otherwords - even slight composition changes can have huge effects on where the eyes move and rest, and the level of information and mood conveyed!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/Island3.jpg

[This message has been edited by Bruce Rohrlach (edited January 25, 2000).]

bruin70
01-25-2000, 04:16 PM
it's good to know your options, and cropping is the easiest to start with. a lot of art can be more effective by changing scale relationships. btw, why didn't my crops post? i think it's right.

Bruce Rohrlach
01-25-2000, 05:08 PM
upper-case "I" in island3.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

Drew Davis
01-25-2000, 06:49 PM
Nice discussion. It's always good to see counterexamples to the usual rules, not because they prove the rules are wrong and should be ignored, but because they help to illustrate the underlying issue. It's more useful to know why not centering a composition often is better, than just to memorize a rule to always make things off center.

Perfectly centered and symmetrical compositions are often not so much bad, as just dull. They're balanced, but overly so, with nothing to pull the eye about, nowhere to look but right at the center of the image. That's why Mrs. Pringle told you not to do it. Understanding the effect, though, means you can use it or not, as you choose.

To me, "Emerald Paradise" is successful despite the highly symmetrical island placement for a couple of reasons. First, we have the birds. Notice they're not at all symmetrical. Many small ones on the left, a few larger ones on the right, and with varied depths and directions in between. The birds, with a bit of help from the clouds and turquoise, help pull the viewer around the painting. (Try taking them out, and seeing what happens.) Second, the mood of the piece is fairly tranquil. We don't need a lot of energetic dashing about, but more of a restful sort of tour, and a simple composition helps with that mood. (So, too, the lack of detailed waves, as robin pointed out.)