View Full Version : sycamore and silver maple

03-27-2011, 05:17 PM
well I thought I'd throw another one out there..

I attached the original photo and the artwork.

not sure if I should go darker in the shadows or let it go as is. It's been hard for me to not use black and not to be really contrasty. My first couple years of shool were in commercial art, learning to do drawings for reproduction- shadows are black, highlights are white. sharp edges. I've been trying to undo some of that without forgetting all the good things. any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. (is there a spell checker in here somewhere? I'm the WORLD's worst speller)


Tracy Lang
03-27-2011, 05:44 PM
I like your interpretation of the reference photo!
You may want to consider adding just a bit more shading on parts of the tree trunks. The shadow areas look fine to me :)


Mikki Petersen
03-27-2011, 05:54 PM
Beautiful interpretation. It may be that the camera emphasized the white...it often does...but in this image the eyes are imprisioned by those white trunks and cannot appreciate the rest of the painting. If in fact the trunks are that glaringly white (even though the photo shows them that way), dull them down some using touches of light blue and gray so they blend better with the remainder of the work. Your tree leaves are great!


Donna T
03-27-2011, 07:48 PM
That is a beautiful, inspiring photo to work with and you've done a very nice painting! I agree about the white trunks and think that if you look closely at your photo you will see hints of reflected yellow from the leaves on the brighter areas of the trunks and hints of cooler lavenders in the shaded areas. I wish I had your commercial art training and I'm sure it comes in handy now. Keep up the great work!

03-28-2011, 08:15 AM
I darkened it some, not sure if I should go further.
I'm still battling with my camera, I miss my old one, this one is VERY different, and unfortunately not as good.

Oh, it's 12x18 on tan multimedia board.


03-28-2011, 08:59 AM
Beautiful painting, I love the way you've handled the foilage. You've really interpreted the photo very well, the height of the trees is evident. I'm wondering if you would consider adding some foilage throughout the bottom and mid portion of the painting? My eye goes straight up to the top rather fast, with no stoppers to slow me down. The tree trunks have no interruption, so my eye just speeds up and cannot enjoy the beautiful soft greys and violets you have in the background. If you were to create an interesting abstract pattern for my eye to meander through, it could be a nice addition. Just another adjustment for your to consider, as this is quite nice.

03-28-2011, 11:54 AM
I should post more stuff, you guys are good! I think the additional folage and darkening the trunks helped. thanks


03-28-2011, 06:33 PM
Yes, that does look nice! You could even have some of that foilage going in front of the trunks, the photo has it here and there, it sort of slows the eye down and keeps it from rushing up the painting. Nature isn't perfect, it will grow brush wherever it wants, and it won't keep away from those nice trunks, it has no mercy! If you don't like it, it's any easy adjustment, so I would give it a try and see. That's the beauty of pastel, easy to change!

Deborah Secor
03-28-2011, 11:25 PM
Sharen, it's nice! Love the composition.

I'd like to respectfully suggest that you consider adding a touch of soft reds in the bottom, not as saturated or detailed, but gently enhancing the area, which I think would create a nice harmony and circle of movement. You have apparently used a variety of purples and red violets in the lower half, which I think could also be featured in among the reds of the upper trees, especially amid the darks (though they may be there and not showing in the photo.)

Does your painting look more like this? (Or not?) I just took a stab at it.

Just a couple thoughts for you--feel free to ignore them. It's quite a lovely piece. :D

03-30-2011, 08:29 AM
Thank you

I hope I didn't mess it up by trying to work on it yesterday with a migrane. Sometimes great things happen when I'm in agony (chicken w/ shallots and dijon mustard) sometimes not (frozen dinners). Yesterday was a not.

It really is gloomy, not the typical bright fall foliage. Sycamores turn rust, silver maples dirty yellow. My husband says he can't wait for spring so I add more color, I tell him I'm going through my grey period.

I liked the idea of adding the purple and red. I hope I didn't get too heavy handed. it flows better now. I always appreciate comments and suggestions.