View Full Version : Rock Garden

03-14-2011, 08:44 PM
Finally got something else done, I just don't spend as much time at this as I should. Decided to try a rock study based on a photo I took on a hike here a couple years ago.


This is 8x10 mostly Rembrandts on Canson. I really want some feedback on how I can do better, especially in terms of pastel use, I'm new at this and obviously can use all the help I can get!


03-14-2011, 09:50 PM
This is looking good! You're keeping things simple, painting shapes, and not getting too detailed - so all is good!


pastel lover
03-14-2011, 09:52 PM
Hi David,

This is very, very nice. Very good handling of the aerial perspective, even though your center of interest is in the foreground your eye still sees a distinct progression to middle ground then finally to background. Also love your handling of the middle grasses, very soft. I do have few observations that might help you. First, I am confused on where the light source is coming from - is it directly overhead, slight from the left or overcast so no direct source? Second, the value of the rock & the value of the yellow grass is very, very close. If you squint your eyes the rock seem to disappear. Lastly, the green grass might need a few more darks, especially where they met the rock & the ground. If it were mine I would... decide where I wanted the light source to come from & put some stronger lights on the rock (horizontal planes) & some darker shadow values on the sides of the rock (vertical planes). That should also take care of the rock blending in with the yellow grass. I would also add some lighter & darker values to the green grass according to my light source but especially where the grass is against the rock & by the base of the grass clumps. That is just my opinion. You have a wonderful as is.


03-15-2011, 12:40 AM
Thanks Don.

Tanja, I can't disagree with anything you said, thanks for the input.


03-15-2011, 08:57 AM
Looks great David. You certainly got the rocks down which is a hard subject for me. Great suggestions above. Looking forward to seeing more of your works. james

03-15-2011, 11:00 AM
David - you will get a lot of rock experts to help you out here.

What I've noticed is that black and white thumbnails really help when painting a rock. It helps me know where the darker shadows are and how to "ground" the rock so it doesn't "float".


03-16-2011, 02:51 PM
Nice job David. I'm wondering if you might try to connect the yellows a bit more, vary their shapes, and the intensity as well? Some might be in shadow lower than another, or behind some grass, that kind of thing. The rock is done very well, and I love that blue in the distant indication of a thicket of trees.

03-16-2011, 08:02 PM
I like what you've done with this -- interesting comments from all. I like how you've lightened the grass as it recedes.


03-17-2011, 05:27 AM
Looking good!

Mikki Petersen
03-18-2011, 03:12 AM
Elegant in it's simplicity. What more you do to this would depend on your goal for this piece. It is well balanced and represents the subject nicely. More darks in the grasses would help to give them morer definition if that's how you wish to procede. The rocks could certainly be more detailed and textured if you are wishing for a more realistic image. Fact is though, that you have presented what appear to be granite boulders surrounded by nice spring grasses without overworking the subject. So guess it's a matter of what you wanted to portray...you are the artist.

Only real suggestion I would give would be to drag some of the lighter mid ground into the dark of the background and vice versa. That which should be softly blurred is actually the most defined contrast of the painting which is probably not what you were after.


03-19-2011, 01:36 PM
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions everybody. I'll definately keep them in mind on my next piece.