Re: Field by Duck River 9X12 Oil on canvas
A few thoughts:
1) The height of the stream places its distant "top" about in the center of the canvas. Based upon my experiences, to keep a stream laying flat so it appears to travel into the distance vs. rising up the canvas, you want it to stay well within the bottom 1/3 to 1/2 of the scene. This rule can be broken for certain types of paintings, but it can be tricky to make the scene look right, IMHO.
2) I really like the shrubs on either side of the river. They have a realistic messiness and shape to them with a mix of light and color. The trees, however, feel somewhat stark and bare around their bases. In particular, the flat brown trunks feel somewhat unfinished. There should be a clear direction of light on the tree trunks, which will help highlight details on them. If the scene is backlit behind the tree trunks, that wouldn't be the case - I find backlit trees extremely hard to paint, so I can't offer any help there.
Also, there seems to be a very hard division between the low-lying shrubs and the big trees. I'm not sure if that was how the scene actually appeared, but some smaller trees, vines, etc. linking the two would be a good idea, IMHO.
3) The water looks neat, but I'm not sure what I'm seeing. The tree reflections in the water have more personality and detail than the trees themselves; this isn't realistic in most cases, although I'd use those reflections as a guideline on how to tweak the trees. Also, I'm not sure why the water is purple-pink while the sky seems to be blue - was this a sunset scene?
Anyway, I think there's a lot of potential here, and there are a bunch of things I like about it. With some tweaks to the trees and water, it'll work together much better.
I hope this helps, and keep on painting.