View Full Version : 23rd Psalm- He layethe down in green pastures

03-13-2011, 03:57 PM
This is just a small painting, 9.5X5 approximately with various soft pastels. I got the idea during the reading of Psalms during a funeral a week ago. No ref, just a quick loose painting after doing several detailed pieces. C&C welcome, as I learn alot from them.

Thanks, Valerie

03-14-2011, 12:17 PM
Hi Valerie,

I guess I'm having a little trouble figuring out just what I am seeing here. Not being familiar with the Psalm, I'm not sure of whatever symbolic meaning this painting might have, but it seems like the shape on the left (rock, hill?) is blocking half the painting. Generally, something in the immediate foreground that comes up (or down) into the picture (like a tree trunk or tree limb) that is this close acts like a framing device. But in this case, the shape just seems to block our view. If that's not the intent, and the shape is important, you might consider moving it back into the painting so we can see it better!

The flaming red sky is very bold and impressive! Nice complementary color scheme between the sky and the predominantly green landscape. The tree line is nice, but seems unnaturally straight at the bottom. The pond? is mostly out of the picture, so not quite sure of it's importance.

Sorry that this critique seems quite negative, but I am just not sure what this painting is supposed to be about. Perhaps the answer to that question will lead you to a composition that better "showcases" the subject. Or maybe I'm just not getting it - which is quite possible!


03-14-2011, 01:14 PM
"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters..."

I would have to agree with Don on most of what he said, and I am somewhat familiar with the Psalm you're referring to.

I think it's lovely that you wanted to take something away from a friend or loved one's funeral, and turn it into an inspirational painting. If your intent is to simply do a "quick loose painting", and nothing more, then going further into a critique of this will give you nothing, except maybe reference material for later - which is always good... So:

I'm guessing here, but I think the shape in the fg that's blocking our view is the cross on which Jesus was crucified; in which case, you could assume that the vantage point would be from perhaps the thief to His right (and somewhat behind Him), who was one that was crucified with Him; which could work, but would still require it being moved a little further out into the landscape - if for no other reason, than to be able to discern what it is exactly that we're looking at. Also, since the viewer appears to be high above the "green patures", your markings, that I assume are hints of grass, would probably not be visible. Also, it would make the body of water more interesting, if it were shaped more naturally and not so squared, and perhaps the tree-line could be a little more uneven, as Don pointed out. I would move it down a little more below the half-way point on the paper, or bring it across diagonally (I was just reminded of those things pertaining to composition and placement). I do like that you have the trees at different heights - that works well - and that the sky is quite dramatic, which fits.

I hope this helps some!

03-14-2011, 05:55 PM
JEFranz, thanks fo the correction it waw a typo on my part.

Don, I find your critique very constructive and help full. If I decide to expand this idea to a lrger subject I'll keep your suggestions in mind.

The dark stone on the right was to give the feel of coming out of a dark valley /shadow of death into the green pasture and to a still body of water,the tree line was just to add depth. The water started out more elongated my daughter suggested making it larger, which did not workout.

Anyway I gues I'm not very good at symbolism. As i said this was just a quick loose exercise to relax after doing some paintings with a lot of picky detail.

Thanks, Valerie