View Full Version : Wildcat River -- 1st critique

03-10-2000, 12:22 AM
This one I painted until 2 am, now I'm in that 'not sure if I'm finished' stage.

It's 22x28 oil on canvas, only my 4th ever oil painting.

Any feedback is appreciated! (I haven't been critiqued since high school)


03-10-2000, 12:39 AM
At the least separate the rock from the head. I personally would remove it entirely. The rocks need a little more variation in color. A great pic for the fourth one. I am impressed. Keep at it.

03-10-2000, 05:03 AM
Kimber, don't remove the rock close to the head - if you do so the bodies will not connect well to the rest of the painting and will appear to float. You would then also have them encircled with stones which would not look so good.

You may want to make figures stand out more against the background by adding more stones, objects, or water color "patches" for them to overlap.

One thing more to consider is a reflection of the figures in water adding some blue color reflections (from the childs dress) in the water will also anchor them better in space.

Agree with dan, that some of the stones look a bit lifeless.

[This message has been edited by henrik (edited March 10, 2000).]

03-10-2000, 06:43 AM
kimber...i think you got a bit of a scale problem. with the large rocks and large brush strokes, it looks as if the woman and child are small in the land of giants. there may be many things contributing to this. the huge boulders,,,,the smaller boulders are not small enough,,,there are no tiny rocks,,,the brush stroke for the water waves are large and don't give the impression of water rolling over tiny rocks,,,or i'm still hallucinating from those unwashed strawberries.
you need recognizable things to scale. the base of some trees in the background,,,leaves in the river,,,tinier waves,,,tiny bubbles,,,twigs,,,branches,,,tiny rocks sitting on the big boulders,,,tiny ripples,,,,,all to scale and support the figures.....milt
ps...i also think you rendered the rocks plainly. no smallish texture to size the rocks properly. so, for instance, a few of the rocks in the river look like huge grains of rice......

"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 March 10, 2000).]

03-10-2000, 02:35 PM
Thank you so much for the suggestions. That's exactly what I was looking for.

I agree, the rocks could use some work, and I will add smaller rocks, that hadn't even occurred to me. Today I noticed in Pierre's quick tips there is a section on painting rocks, I may try using a cosmetic sponge as he suggested, but I have to be careful not to make them too dark since I need the contrast with the dark water.

One thing here that has been bothering me all along is the foreground. Does anyone have any suggestions on that?

Sometimes in painting I get very concerned with not making it "muddy", "overworked" or "too busy". Being new to oil, I'm not as loose as I could be.

I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks!

03-10-2000, 02:47 PM
...maybe you could show the bank in the foreground instead of more water; it might help divide the picture plane into more distinct areas; try warm colored sand and maybe a tree...

Cindy Agathocleous

"What if imagination and art are not, as many of us might think, the frosting on life, but the fountainhead of human experience?" - Rollo May from The Courage to Create

[This message has been edited by cagathoc (edited March 10, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by cagathoc (edited March 10, 2000).]

03-10-2000, 03:50 PM
Rocks in and around a water source that is moving are darker around the base where the rising and lowering levels of water wet them. You also need to anchor the rocks so they don't look like they are floating on the top of the water, again by showing the water line against the rocks. This is not the same as the fluctuating water level line mentioned above. And Dan, when you said remove it, did you mean the rock or the head?

[This message has been edited by Mich451 (edited March 10, 2000).]

03-10-2000, 04:16 PM
i don't know what a sponge is, but if i'm to take it literally,,,,,try a palette knife first. or dry brush over what you painted. use the rocks you've already painted as a texture base. tat should give you enough rock texture.....milt

03-10-2000, 05:19 PM
...about the foreground.
Maybe some (tall) grass would be nice, that way you can create yet one more plane to increase depth, and you gete some interesting vertical shapes to balance the standing figures.
Another suggestion is to paint 2 pair of shoes left on the bank.