View Full Version : Autumn Reds

Phyllis Rennie
01-30-2000, 01:57 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/C:\MyDocuments\JPGAutumn Reds.JPG

Trying again to send this watercolor. Thanks kemshmi for your help with the computer details. This is a watercolor 21"x15" but about 1" was cropped from each edge by the photography. I entered it in a local juried show and it was rejected. I was not able to talk to the juror to ask why but since I want to continue learning, I'd like to know what other artists think about it.

Drew Davis
01-30-2000, 03:21 PM

You got the UBB Code right, but had too much in the file name. The "C:\My Documents" business is the name on your own PC, while the "Critiques/User" business is the name of the copy on WetCanvas's machine. All you needed was the very tail end ("Autumn Reds.bmp") tacked on to the WetCanvas "path" (as it's called).

I also took a liberty, and converted the image to JPEG format. BMP files (Windows bitmap format) may not be easily readable by everyone. Web browsers are expected to handle JPEG (.jpg) and GIF (.gif) formats, but not necessarily BMP. JPG is also a lot smaller than BMP (6k instead of 94k in this case), so we can have that many more images.

I also discovered that the board software doesn't like spaces in file names. The original ("Autumn Reds", instead of "AutumnReds", all run together) didn't look like it was getting parsed correctly when you submit a message containing the link. It would stop at the space after "Autumn" when it converted the UBB to HTML. It's also case sensitive ("AutumnReds.JPG" is not the same as "AutumnReds.jpg"). Finally, the


business has to be run together all on one line for it to work.

Well, I've learned a lot about posting images http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Scott, could you delete the debris from my experiments (the BMPs and the JPEG with the space in the file name)?

[This message has been edited by Drew Davis (edited January 30, 2000).]

Phyllis Rennie
01-30-2000, 04:19 PM
Thank you, Drew.
The colors appear fairly accurate but not perfectly. The burnt umber in the background is less intense in the original. What you are not able to totally see is the background detail. There are more oak leaf patterns which soften into the background. They do not show from a distance in the original but become visible as you move closer and study the painting.
Thanks again for the computer help and thanks in advance for any advise on the painting. Phyl

[This message has been edited by Phyllis Rennie (edited January 30, 2000).]

Drew Davis
01-30-2000, 05:34 PM
I think this painting is a good example for bruin's favorite topic - values. Here's what it looks like if you increase the contrast (and de-saturate it a bit, to keep the colors subtle).


I also did some darkening by hand on the grapes in the middle, to help tie the dark areas together. Without dark, there's no light in a painting.

I like the idea of the leafy background with a sharper focus on the center of interest. It might just be the digital picture (and JPEG!), but I think it could use a sort of "middle plane" in between the very sharp leaves, and the vague leaf-shapes in the background, to cut down on the appearance of floating.

I'd also try to define the light source on the corn and grapes more, just to give it a clear single direction.

01-30-2000, 06:41 PM
hi P....do you have an image editor on your computer. i think you can load up microsoft paint if it's not already there. you'd at least be able to play with color sturation, contrast, and brightness.

Phyllis Rennie
01-31-2000, 08:03 PM
That certainly does make it pop out, Drew. Two things: Can you really get that dark with transparent watercolor? What color mix would give that dark value without making mud? And the purple thing in the center is a sprig of chrysanthemums not grapes. Guess that really points out how indefinite they are.

Bruin, I'm still a bit "computer stupid" so I don't know exactly what I have but I'll look for that. Do you usually do your compositional and value sketches on the computer?

Thanks to you both for the suggestions. Phyl

01-31-2000, 09:58 PM

you can get as dark as you like with watercolour by adding less water and using quality paints. I avoid using black, myself, but depend heavily on sepia. straight from the tube, with just a bit of water to make it flexible it goes in pretty dark, for example, you can see how dark it gets by my self-portrait in green at this address, in the nose area and in the spectacles & brows, the darkest parts, this is one wash sepia.
you can always build up your darks by layers and that turns out to be better sometimes because of the transparency of watercolours.
you won't get mud unless you mix mud. that's my theory. keep your colors clean and separate and you'll be fine. mix only on your mixing space not in your pans (boy, do i know about that!) http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif that way you will know what you're laying down before you lay it down!

hope this helps!
<A HREF=http://www.artistnation.com/cgi-bin/gallery_browser.cgi?cmd=browse_bigimage&cust_id=5560&exhibit_id=4756&community=lofts&gallery_id=930]http://www.artistnation.com/cgi-bin/gal lery_browser.cgi?cmd=browse_bigimage&cust_id=5560&exhibit_id=4756&community=lofts&gallery_id=930>My Gallery at ArtistNation</A>

[This message has been edited by scottb (edited February 01, 2000).]

Drew Davis
01-31-2000, 10:12 PM
Mums? Oops! Actually, I think the digital pic is less defined than it is in real life. You were politely staying under the 100k limit, after all, and it's pretty low resolution. And then, I was happily zooming in and burning, rather than paying close attention http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif I'm sorry for the mistake.

You can get as dark as you like in watercolor. Try burnt sienna and ultramarine, and see if you like it. (No water, or as little as possible, if you use pans, just the two colors. Lift it with water if you want to see the actual hue better, but use it relatively "thick".) Or burnt umber and phthalo blue. Phthalo or ultramarine blue and alizarin. Phthalo green and burnt sienna. Phthalo green and alizarin is perhaps darkest. Yellow and violet, will work to a degree, but they're usually not all that dark together, more brown or gray than really dark. Maybe if you have a dark yellow to start, like Indian yellow.

Notice some of those are complementary pairs, and some aren't. The ones that aren't miss true neutral on one side or the other, brown or purplish or what not, which can be good or bad. And, of course, you can slant even the complements one way or another by controlling the quantities. The black on the alizarin side of black isn't quite the same as the one on the phthalo green side. Experiment with the complements and near-complements, especially the naturally darker pigments.

02-01-2000, 04:27 AM
Hi P,
I know you asked Milt if he used the computer to compose values and color, so excuse me for jumping in.

I use the computer all the time! I think image editing is to painting what wordprocessing is to writing (imagine using a quill http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/eek.gif to write "War and Peace").

I just love to do grand scale "what if" on my work - I would never do that on the painting itself; time and cost prohibits this, and it may ruin the whole thing as well.

If you do decide to get image editing software you probably want to get a tablet; it is very difficult to draw/paint by just using the mouse.

Visit my homepage at Artistnation (http://www.artistnation.com/members/paris/henrik

02-01-2000, 05:38 AM
P,,,,no. i just use an image editor for viewing on the computer,,,like my site. i try to get the image as close to the original as possible.....milt

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

Phyllis Rennie
02-01-2000, 08:59 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions--I'll be trying them. I know what Henrik means about "ruining the entire thing". I never have the blank canvas fear that some people experience about starting; but there comes a point where I am afraid to go any further because I might ruin it. So I call it quits with that particular painting. I can see that image editing might help me at that point.

02-02-2000, 04:36 AM
I have same feeling and I work in oil! I wouldn't be able to work with watercolor I think. A tip; check out the software called Painter http://www.painter6.com/ it is a natural media painting program and it includes watercolor, so if you want to do "what if" with some distinct water color techniques this may be the thing for you.

Visit my homepage at Artistnation (link works now) (http://www.artistnation.com/members/paris/henrik)

02-02-2000, 06:13 AM
hi Phyllis
I have done a fair ammount of work in H2o's ..I think the image looks like it has enough darks..cant usually go as dark as you would with oils..but the ultramrine + umber or sienna makes a good black..I like prussian with either of the browns but it is highly staining..
someone mentioned a definite light source..good idea..this would direct the shadows under the corn one way or another..it could be the digital copy on the computer but you seem to have detail in the leaves, not so much in the corn?..the corn is "closer" to the viewer..should have at least some rows or areas of kernals distinct in the brown ones too..another idea would be to continue the leaves with approx the same clairity on to the bottom of the page, this would help with the floating aspect of the subject..your wash at the top is fine

nice painting http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

Phyllis Rennie
02-02-2000, 08:30 PM
Hmmm--I think I'll have to spend some time looking at the original. I never noticed any "floating". My oldest son once said it looked like it was "laying on top of rotting leaves"! Most of them are lost in the digital.

Phyllis Rennie
02-02-2000, 08:33 PM
Hmmm--I think I'll have to spend some time looking at the original. I never noticed any "floating". My oldest son once said it looked like it was "laying on top of rotting leaves"! Most of them are lost in the digital.

[This message has been edited by Phyllis Rennie (edited February 02, 2000).]