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Sueb
04-01-2003, 09:11 AM
This is #1 from a bird bath project I am doing. How does it look to you guys? I'm not finished yet but would appreciate any comments on what might improve it. For one thing, I've already decided it needs to be cropped from the top.

9x12 Willis Pro Gray & Holbein oil pastel

Thanks, Sue

E-J
04-01-2003, 02:32 PM
hello Sue ~ only thing I can think of is that it needs a stronger sense of the direction of the light, particularly where it's falling on the birdbath and on the white lattice. But you haven't finished yet so I suspect you were planning to work on the contrasts anyway. It is really good to see more oil pastel works appearing on the forum! :)

butterfly
04-01-2003, 02:46 PM
Sue:

Lovely picture ... I am certainly no expert and you did say that its a WIP, but I agree with E-J you need to determine the light source direction. Especially since the picture is about a "bird bath". Your eye is led to the bird bath but I would love to see the bath itself painted stronger.

Can't wait to see how you finish this. Gosh I am really looking forward to working with oil pastel. This looks so spring like.

Roni

meowmeow
04-01-2003, 04:39 PM
The colors are lovely. I agree with E-J though about the light.
Great start!

Sandy

Sueb
04-02-2003, 08:23 AM
Thank you all for taking the time to make suggestions. You guys have been very helpful. I plan on working on this as soon as my new set of oil pastels arrive.

Sue

Sueb
04-10-2003, 10:44 AM
OK Pals, Hows does this look now?

Sue

Mo.
04-10-2003, 06:38 PM
Sue, I love your use of colours and the oil pastels..but I do find the painting too cluttery, if the birdbath is to be the focal point then you have too many other things fighting for attention there.

The birdbath at the moment looks right up close to the fence, I think you need to bring it forward of the tree, in fact do you really need the tree in the painting at all? You might find a better impact if you made the wooden fence higher too as the lattice work is a bit distracting. I can't tell from which direction your light is coming as there are no shadows...deciding the light direction and applying some shadows and sunlit areas would give more depth to the painting, maybe a cast shadow of the birdbath on the back fence? Hope this helps some.

cheers,
Mo.

soap
04-11-2003, 04:09 AM
Agree with Mo here.
It's too busy. If you can't get rid of some of the items, then maybe cou can make the birdbath very detailed and sharp and soften up the rest. It needs a little bit of peace, an area where there are shadows and shapes but no real things.

jackiesimmonds
04-11-2003, 09:18 AM
I feel you have a difficult composition here, because all the elements are so separate, it almost reads like a shopping list and the title of the pic could be : 1 birdbath, 1 tree, 1 section of fence, 1 bush on the right. I'm sorry, this sounds a bit hard, but I really believe that you need to think about composition before you begin a painting, by trying it out with a little thumbnail sketch in black and white, to see how it might look. I am unconvinced that "sharpening up" and perfecting all these details.......which are all tackled quite well individually ...is going to pull these disparate items together.

Here is what I might have done with this:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Apr-2003/1805-sketch.JPG

As you can see, I have zoomed in on the birdbath to make it the main feature, and simplified everything around it. I have "grown" the bush on the right to cover and soften the back fence, and have eliminated the trellis.

I realise this is a bit radical, but I wanted you to see how, now, the picture says "BIRDBATH", because of subduing all the surrounding elements by knitting them together somewhat. Also, I have placed a lot of emphasis on the light hitting the birdbath, so that it is the thing in the pic with strong contrasts and attracts the eye. See how the light hits on the left, making the outside of the birdbath light, and the inside dark, and then it travels on to the right hand side, making the INSIDE light, and the outside dark. Lovely little bits of "counterchange", which always attracts attention. The light would then have to be consistent elsewhere in the pic - on the left-hand sides of the trees, on some of the leaves of the bush and the left-hand sides of the flowers, and so on.

It is, of course, quite possible that you may not like this interpretation ... but that's fine, we are all different. I think you handle your pastels really well, and just need to think about the compositon. But that is only MY opinion!!

ps I am sending you a colour version as a pm as I don't feel it is fair to adjust other people's pics and post them without permission!!

Jackie

Sueb
04-11-2003, 09:23 AM
Mo, Sophie, Thanks for your candid comments.

Composition...I agree it's a bit cluttered (I tend to do that sometimes)..... but I really like the tree and would like to keep it. As I see it, I could try to fix by scraping off background and soften it with greenery, or up size the concrete wall and eliminate the clutter above or try a crop. I've attached some photo shop edits to give a rough idea of what I mean.

Light....This was very early morning light coming in from the left and the problem may be that the whole alcove was in shadow except for the dappled light which I highlighted. It must have too early for defined shadows to be cast into the little area. The only opening into the area was the view I painted, looking in from the street. Otherwise it was all greenery and wall/fences.

Or I could start over. I really appreciate y'all taking the time to share your expertise with me. Everyone that has commented does really impressive work.

Thanks, Sue

jackiesimmonds
04-11-2003, 09:26 AM
oops, Sueb, we cross-posted. Do look at the post above your last one. I think we are thinking the same way.............

Jackie

Sueb
04-11-2003, 09:28 AM
cropped, couldn't post more than 1 image.

soap
04-11-2003, 09:28 AM
Yes, much better! This is very educational for me too - great lessons on composition!
I would not crop it that much - maybe just a little on our left from your second image

I like the tree and the pink flowers on the right - wanna keep them

Sueb
04-11-2003, 09:38 AM
Jackie, Wow...Your reply just popped up after I made my post this morning or I would have referred to it. You are very generous to help me and I am not in the least bit offended. I do no mind alterations as I think everyone learns from the experience, not just me. I am thinking a complete restart may be in order. Very good suggestions. AND Iget to keep the tree. YAAAAAYY

Sue

Sueb
05-03-2003, 04:00 PM
Ok...here is the updated version. I was able to crop and correct on the original painting. Thanks everyone for all of your help and especially Jackie for the composition lesson. Hope you think it looks better revised.

Sue

Sueb
05-03-2003, 04:02 PM
hmm, may crop a bit more off the bottom to balance it out. It always looks diferent when I see it on the computer screen.

sundiver
05-03-2003, 07:32 PM
Beautiful!
These are Holbeins? I love mine but have trouble getting lights to be opaque over darks. Do you have to press really hard?

Sueb
05-03-2003, 07:59 PM
Thanks for your comments, Sundiver. Yes, I had to press really hard to get the light accents. I was pleased with how easy the Holbeins were to correct, however I was mostly going darker with warmer accents. The original version looks anemic when I compare the two. And the paper was Wallis which has a lot of tooth. I always try to get the lights in first if possible. Just did my first op plein air and that was a challenge! But it was fun.

Sue

louiethe_cat
05-03-2003, 11:54 PM
Wow, look what perseverance can bring forth, beautiful SueB, you really know how to give it a "one two" punch. Nice job!

Mo.
05-04-2003, 06:29 AM
Originally posted by Sueb
Ok...here is the updated version. I was able to crop and correct on the original painting. Thanks everyone for all of your help and especially Jackie for the composition lesson. Hope you think it looks better revised.

Sue

Gosh Sue, what an amazing difference to the original, this is so gorgeous...love all those summery colours....bet you are chuffed to death now. :)

cheers,
Mo.

Redsy333
05-04-2003, 08:42 AM
Wow i love that cool blue/purple you added , that realllllllllllly did it for me:D I love all the colors , but i think shadows were a huge help!!
Excellent work!

Sueb
05-05-2003, 07:32 AM
Thanks everyone. Ya'll were all a huge help. :)

Sue