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  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-13-2012, 12:29 PM
sharkbarf sharkbarf is offline
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Re: Critique a composition, please?

The line across the top that was commented to divide the image is absolutely not true! It follows the rule of thirds and helps ground the figures because it helps explain how they fit in relationship to the landscape.

Having the figures at different heights, like the mother on the shore and the boy in the water would also help show perspective.

I find no problems with this compositionally, but something as simple as scattered rocks or ducks in the water would help the uninteresting negative space in the center.
Critique Please!!

Buddha suggests to those who need inspiration for their art to go before a perfectly blank wall until it's design, compostion, and subject reveal itself. -Jack Rutherford
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:54 PM
Aires Aires is offline
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Re: Critique a composition, please?

This is an old thread but I couldn't resist a comment. I understand the story you are telling visually because I once had a small child that had to be watched every minute, that mother could have been me! I think the story line works with anyone who has raised active children who, left to themselves, know no fear or boundaries. The only thing that I question that wasn't mentioned is the tree to the left. I have to wonder if it is a real tree being shown on land or if it's a reflection of a tree outside the picture? Would a reflection blot out part of the little boy's lower body? Or would it help for it to be a rather subdued real tree in the foreground, giving yet another layer of perspective to the painting? Just questions that pop into my mind as I try to "read" the visual story you'e done so well. One thing I am sure of, it is a keeper well worth nit picking to the finish line. I wish I'd thought of such a composition a long time ago! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:56 PM
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FLPainter FLPainter is offline
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Re: Critique a composition, please?

I'm looking forward to whatever changes you make to this wonderful painting. I can identify with the mother who allows room for exploration while staying close for safety.

My humble opinion: eliminate the dark water line - the viewer's eye travels up the tree to the line and across and off the right side. Keep the buoy line but paint it in a curved line (implying protection for the mother and son). The buoys add interest in the negative space and, if positioned differently, might lead the eye back to the mother. The light on the mother's head and back is nice; keep that. You've done a lovely job.

Also, maybe a dumb question, but what is a "vector illustration"?
Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Pablo Picasso
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:33 AM
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Flopka Flopka is offline
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Re: Critique a composition, please?

A vector illustration is a digital composition made up of shapes and gradients. It's really not a digital picture, but rather an execution of mathematical instructions which can create a picture. The advantage of a vector (as opposed to raster) graphic is that it can be infinitely enlarged or reduced with no loss of sharpness. Great for prints :-)

This is a vector illustration of the painting (with a texture filter added). Some things have been removed for simplicity's sake (ie, I wouldn't take them out of the finished painting), others were removed or changed for the composition's sake. I moved the mother and child closer together in this version. (The nice thing about the vector version is that I can highlight just the child and move him anywhere I want)

Do you think moving them a bit closer together works? Is there anything about the original composition that you miss?


Last edited by Flopka : 03-16-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:41 PM
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La_ La_ is online now
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Re: Critique a composition, please?

here's a thought ... what if the line of floats were a family of ducks (or loons, or geese) and the boy was facing the other way and watching them while mom is watching him ... ? i think that gives more story.

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Old 03-17-2012, 11:14 AM
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Afriqueen Afriqueen is offline
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Re: Critique a composition, please?

First of all, let me say that I think this is a wonderful painting, beautifully executed. I love the colours, the way you've done the blending, the figures - just beautiful.

In terms of the composition, I do think there is a bit of a hole between mother and child, and that the red floats, though interesting, distract the eye and draw it away from the figures.

I have taken the liberty of photoshopping what I think might have made an improvement - moving the float line down to behind the mother, and moving the child across slightly towards the centre. - this would give you a link between the figures using the line of floats

Here's how I visualise it.


Painting is silent poetry & poetry is painting with the gift of speech
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:53 AM
AllanFink1960 AllanFink1960 is offline
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Re: Critique a composition, please?

1) There is an odd optical illusion in the upper right, and once I saw that, it is hard NOT to see it. It is kind of looks like a fish with an open mouth directly above the mom figure near the top.
2) The black line across the top fourth is not doing you any favors. It also competes with the line of red things floating in the water. Both of those were missed opportunities to steer your viewer around on the page.
3) You have kind of an "S" going from the imaginary fish, then left across some leaves at the top then down and right following the red floaty thingys, then back around to the left again with the figures and river bank. I dont mind the placement of the figures, but the "S" could have framed them much more effectively.
4) The contrast of light and dark around the mom could have been stronger. You have kind of a white halo in the water, which could have been more pronounced to put more of a focal point on the mom.

Last edited by AllanFink1960 : 05-15-2012 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:04 AM
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van gouda van gouda is offline
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Re: Critique a composition, please?

I will tell you for sure to STAGGER THE DUCKS. Zig-zag them a little (not a pefect zig-zag either, or it's only going to half-remedy the issue).
You can keep your diagonal, but lose the invisible skewer effect

Alternatively, you could undo the diagonal and curve them in. Whatever you prefer. Anything but a straight line. It's too unnatural and severe.

Gorgeous work so far! I would soft-edge highlight the shadowed silhouette of the woman, and add a little color to unflatten her. (far shoulder, maybe even a little light on her cheek bones at least).

Great work~ I love the mood of this painting.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:06 AM
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van gouda van gouda is offline
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Re: Critique a composition, please?

also, the little boy's head is coming off as a little transparent and ghostly. That's nothing two strokes of paint won't fix.

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