View Full Version : Cape Lookout Light House

01-06-2011, 04:35 PM
Finaly got back to my lighthouse series. This one in 9X12 uart paper using various pastel. I'm includeing my ref but it's not great. Actualy took it threw a telescope:eek: since noe of the farries were running that day.


Heres my painting:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2011/188599-cape_lookout_resized.JPG

I learn alot from your comments so all C&C welcome. Thanks, Valerie

01-06-2011, 06:33 PM
Hi Valerie, is it possable to get a better pic of this?

01-06-2011, 07:30 PM
Pete, I'll get my hubby to take one that or I'll skan it. This was the best of my attempts. Valerie

01-07-2011, 08:21 AM
Valerie, this appears to be quite an interesting and majestic lighthouse. Your placement of objects makes for nice composition. You might try placing some blues over the black diamond shapes on the structure to show reflected light from the sky, water and also to show atmosphere in the distance. The lighthouse seems to lean a little to the right on my monitor - but the ref photo is not completely level and that could have thrown you off a bit. I'm sure it is a challenge to paint from this reference photo but you are to be commended for attempting it. Nice choice of subject & I will check back to more shots of this work - Nice going! :)

01-07-2011, 08:31 AM
I applaud your ability to work from such a difficult reference. Nice work, though I agree a better photo of the painting would help for comments. From what I can tell, Artsy Patrice has some very good suggestions. One other thing I would suggest would be to try not to use black in the lighthouse. I'm sure it is painted black IRL, but that doesn't always work in paintings. Using a lighter value of another color over the black would probably work well, not an oversaturated color. You could go over the black with a lighter greyed neutral blue/violet, to tone down the black. The atmosphere would almost definitely do that IRL. I've learned that using black in landscapes almost never works, and if you do, just in crevices, and sparingly. Nice job on a very difficult photo reference.

01-07-2011, 06:57 PM
Chris and Artsy, Thanks for the suggestions. I'll keep them in mind. When we were in the area I was struck by how the white and black of this lighthouse realy stood out. Seemed so vibrant against the blue sky. The atmosphere in my photo was cause by how dirty and foggy:eek: the telescope at the visitors center was. I was glad to have my camara between it and my eye. That said here is an improve photo of my painting.


Looking forward to you c&c. thanks, Valerie

01-07-2011, 08:14 PM
Hi Valerie, You did quite a nice job on this lighthouse. Your water looks really great. My I suggest somthing. the triangles in black are off a little on the top right side and the colour you put in over the black you may want to blend it out a little to give the scence of the light house is round. now i'm getting the impresstion that it is rectangle. I also would blennd out the clouds a little. giving them a softer edge and contrast. easy fix. hope this helps. you are doing very fine. keep it up.

01-08-2011, 10:17 AM
Thanks Pete. I'll correct those as soon as I can. Maybe fixing thetriangles will help correct the lean. If not I'll mat it to compesate LOL.

As alway the advice I get here realy helps me improve keep the c&c coming. Thanks, Valerie

01-08-2011, 03:46 PM
Since you asked for critique, I would suggest strengthening the intensity of the blue in the sky. Shade darkest at the top to lightest at the horizon, using a slightly greenish blue. Then soften your clouds and try introducing other tints into the clouds, very light colors rather than just white.

Deborah Secor often alternates a pale orange, violet and green in clouds to produce a vibrant mixed gray as well as pinks and pale turquoise. When you use a variety of colors mixed with white you can sculpt the clouds to make them more three dimensional. Also softening their edges can help. Right now they look a little stark.

One thing that can help with black in the distance is to use a bit of muted violet in it. In the photo it's got strong atmospheric recession, it's so distant that it's just a pale gray-blue. But you've moved it closer and were struck by how black and white the lighthouse was. Those strong darks can work better if there's a stronger value range in the rest of the painting.

If you look closely at the photo, the tower's shadow side is darker than the sky. That will still read as white in relation to the dark triangles. Shading the tower as a cone will still read as white but look more three dimensional.

You can also use pale pink at the horizon up into the blues even when it's not dawn, that enriches a pastel painting.

I like how you massed the vegetation in the distance behind the lighthouse, well done. Good scene. Keep working on it!

01-08-2011, 06:25 PM
Nice little painting. Robert posted great advice. Glad you posted as we all learn from each others work and advice received! Pam

01-08-2011, 07:54 PM
I went in and made the suggested correction as much as possible. The sanded u art paper won't take anymore pastel even with a blast of workable fixative. The smudge around the top of the lighthouse in the pic I cann't explain you don't see it in the painting. The bottom smudge is my shadow, I need photog class. Did get the lighthouse a little straighter, got more shadow and blended the highlights etc. here is my final.
I liked the tip on adding the pink to the bottom of the shy. I'll be sure to remember this and everything else in my future painting. Again c&c welcome thanks for the help. Time for a hot toddy, Valerie

01-08-2011, 08:09 PM
Looking good! I like your choice of mat for it. The changes seriously improved it. Love the way the clouds look with some color added, they're a lot livelier. Thanks for mentioning the shadow effects in the photo, I think the smudge around the light house must be something like that, maybe a ripple in the paper.

01-09-2011, 10:30 AM
Thanks Robert, I've carried your sky suggestions over to my current picture. I'm struggling getting the texture I want on the weathered houses right now. again thanks for all the help.