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Old 02-10-2012, 01:58 PM
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carolkay carolkay is online now
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input on composition !

I need your input on thos composition, Im wide open !

Is it too busy for the story I wanted to portray? ( Title--Grandmothers Attic )

My thoughts were to come in on the upper left and travel over to the COI.

I am thinking I probably need to bring some more light into the latch on the trunk left below to add some more inerest there..

But I dont trust my own eye at this point.


ALso, I dont think Im finnished, want to add the rivets.
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:51 PM
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Re: input on composition !

My first impression was to view it from right to left horizontally , so it didnt work for me . The main visual point is the yellow duster/hankerchief which draws you immediately to it . then you pan to the left along the bottles . which is fine if you want to leave it that way !

You do need to fill the highlights of the chest edges and fittings to give it a detailed look that you aquired with the bottles which are excellent .

I took the liberty [apologies] of switching the the horizontal plane so that the
the eye travels in the direction you desired ie. top right to left bottom ..
This is just my interpretation of your artwork so might it not work for anyone else because we all see differently .

regards Loft.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:25 PM
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Re: input on composition !

Thank you for commenting. But it doesnt really help me as I cant turn the painting around.

What you did on the right was exactly what I was already thinking to do on the left. It seems now that maybe your seeing the COI as soon as you enetr on the left.

But dont get me wrong-- I apreciate all of your thoughts.

I am just trying to figuer if I can straighten this one out laid out as it is as I cant turn it around.

But I can maybe learn and move on.

I was thinking to bring more light in on the left to balance and tone down the cloth exept for the folds.

Anyway any other idea's, as its laid out?
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:00 AM
Keith2 Keith2 is offline
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Re: input on composition !

I think it could be improved by increasing the tonal contrast, with stronger highlights and deeper shadows.

I wonder if the trunk has been given too much prominence relative to the mementos on the top - about half the picture is devoted to the trunk. But you could only do this by cropping (which wouldn't be possible on a canvas stretcher), and that may not be what you want.

I like the picture, it creates a quiet, reflective mood.

Last edited by Keith2 : 02-12-2012 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:22 AM
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Re: input on composition !

Keith, I thank you very much for your insightful input here.

I will work some more on this to try to improve by contrasting the tonal more like you suggested.
And I have some thoughts to go forward with.
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:00 PM
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Re: input on composition !

Carol, I agree with Keith. It's a lovely, evocative image. I made some subtle changes in photoshop to downplay value contrast outside the COI and bring the orange color of the fruit closer to the blue of the photograph. I also cropped a few inches off the bottom, which you could do by restretching the canvas. Unfortunately I made the top of the trunk divide the canvas in half...



Minor tweaks, I think.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:21 PM
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Re: input on composition !

Bill thank you for your kindly effeorts also.

Im a little confused-- Keith was saying to deepen the values between the shadows and highlights.

Your saying to downplay the value contrast.

Do we all really think cutting the bottom off, will be better as - it then does place the trunk halfway.?
All input here on this is valued.

I was already thinking to get more lights on the left side, and mabe some of the shadow pattern on that old trunk could help lead the eye back up again.

just a thought.

Hey really this is fun--- earing some more as go down the road.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:14 PM
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Re: input on composition !

I want to say this is fun--- but tis driving me crazy about now.

Not sure if i improved it.

I dont know why I picked so many onjects and such a difficult one.

I am apreciating all your thoughts out there.I lightened the accordian, so is it now fighting for attention?? with the COI.Or did it balance a little better.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:31 PM
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Re: input on composition !

I am no expert and so this advice is just IMHO:

here goes- darken the lower part of the trunk so it fades into dark. this will move they eye up to the interesting collection

next-brighten up the bronzed baby shoes - they are too close in value to the trunk. This will help balance out the yellow fabric

also - the farthest side of the accordion (left) could be lighter in value and / or intensify the box of matches so they hold their own.

finally - I would consider enriching and darkening the folds in the yellow fabric to keep it from attracting too much attention. Just leaving a minimal highlight of the brightest color would keep the local color effect of without making it so intense.

If you are proficient at digital painting techniques all of these changes can be done on the computer PRIOR to touching the canvas.
I am not actually able to do that easily myself.
another technique I do use is to print off a cheap color copy any and apply pastels to lighten or darken areas in question and stand back to check if it works.

I do enjoy this painting and feel that it is in fact a very fine piece of art.

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Last edited by birdhs : 02-12-2012 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:22 AM
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Re: input on composition !

Gregg, I do thank you very much for your sightful thoughts.

It is apreciated !

I wont have time to get abck to it for awhile, so its ( so to speak ) on the back burner.

I will be out of town coming up.

Originally I had the lower trunk very dark ( for that reason ) but it seemed to make the panting well maybe too dark.

I have already toned down ( somewhat) the folds in the cloth-- maybe it needs more.

This one has been a challenge for me !
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:23 PM
sharkbarf sharkbarf is offline
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Re: input on composition !

carolkay
My first thought was: at this stage of a painting, when it's almost complete, composition cannot be change much. You already have all of your design elements in stone. The comments about lighting will help to achieve a more clear image, but not one that helps move the eye.

I'd counter loft's idea of flipping it because with the COI at the begining there is no reason to keep going (reading like text).

I think there is good balance and repetitive shapes that help counter the COI which is different, creating contrast. This piece works well for me.

If this were a small thumbnail sketch in the preliminary stages I'd say it is too cluttered. Having the viewer slightly back farther so that there is more of a natural boarder would help with the eye wanting to wander out of the picture plane.

I don't know how much help anymore of my ideas would be at this stage seeing as you'd have to drastically change some of the elements that work just lovely.

My suggestion is call this one a learning experience and start another similar one. Show us how it starts and make modifications before you've done so much work.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:21 PM
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Re: input on composition !

Sharkbarf--- thanks so much for your also insughtful thoughts here.

At this point I am just gonna leave it, and also__
I will be gone for a couple weks -- off to some workshops.

So hope to learn some more and to carry on more insightfully.

Thanks so much for you input.

Your thoughts have given rise to thoght on my part
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:19 AM
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Re: input on composition !

** Reading others' comments after I posted mine, I found Greg's (birdhs) recommendations, with which I agree with 100%. **

My original comment is below. I'm not deleting it because the images show how a change in lighting could help.

- - -

The top third of the composition is dense with interesting objects in much detail. This horizontal slice of the painting contains the COI. But the lack of space above it, and the undifferentiated lighting, signifiy that this area of the composition isn't very important. That creates a sense of tension. The mind says, "hey, there's important stuff on top of the trunk," while the eyes say, "hey, the stuff on top of the trunk is not very important."

If you were starting fresh, the painting might work best if the horizon, which is the trunk-top, were moved down quite a bit.

Since the painting is almost done, you can use light to control how the painting is viewed.

If I were viewing the original scene in the attic, I think I'd be drawn not to the trunk and implied floor, but rather to the objects and the light and space around them. The trunk itself would be picked up by my peripheral vision and placed into the emotional background of the story that the scene is telling. It would enrich the story, but it would not be its focus.

In the painting as it is now, the light focus is on the face of the trunk. if the the light focus is moved from its present position to a higher one, by darkening the face of the trunk so it's in shadow, and brightening and increasing chroma of the objects on the trunk, and the wall as well, the focus of the painting will shift. The shifted light focus will tell the mind that that area of the scene is important. The viewer's imagination will expand the space above the trunk-top, and there won't be any tension, there will be just lots of interest instead. The only portion of the painting below the trunk top that shouldn't be almost completely shadowed would be parts of the baby shoe that's dangling down.

Here's how a shift in light focus could work:

1. Current light focus:



2. Proposed shift of light focus:



3. Rough digital relighting:




Best of luck - I love the painting.
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Last edited by qwerck : 02-25-2012 at 01:28 AM. Reason: Props to Greg's recommendations
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:51 AM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: input on composition !

Since everyone else is giving opinions, I'll add mine. I love it. I would not increase contrast with baby shoes, you have so many POI right now, if you add more then everything will fight with everything else. I would only do two things, darken the background a bit, and maybe darken the bottom of the trunk a bit. Both will cause everything else to look more contrasty, just by default. But I would not want much higher contrast really, because this is not a super-modern-high contrast scene. So a more classic painting look is great with the objects you have.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:24 AM
AllanFink1960 AllanFink1960 is offline
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Re: input on composition !

This is off to a great start. But I am with Kieth and gwerck, in that the whole thing could be darker with a flashlight/spot light on the photo, pushing more towards a Rembrandt kind of feel. I would push it even more contrasty than qwerck did.

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