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Old 04-01-2012, 11:43 AM
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Gwendolyn Gwendolyn is offline
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Jefferson & Garrison (structured critique please)


Title: Jefferson & Garrison (structured critique please)
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 11 x 17
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

I haven't explores landscapes much and would like to continue to do more.

Specifically, I find it hard to perceive color correctly, as well as how to effectively interpret and recreate textures. Landscapes are new to me in general. Any critiques, insight on areas to improve, or suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:36 PM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: Jefferson & Garrison (structured critique please)

Compositionally I find this very alluring. The further trees and long shadows and inward diagonal all compliment the main, strong tree. I also find your tree colors very interesting, as the leaves are a dead brown, which is unique, because most painters choose the green spring/summer colors, or the bold fall colors, not the heavy browns. The cool blue shadows compliment this brown leafed tree wonderfully.

I do wonder about that pole to the left of the tree. I'm not sure it fits compositionally. Even though it may technically match the distance of the three poles in the distance, I would think it would look better if you brought it either closer to the tree so it is less obvious, or further from the tree, so it does not end right at the tree edge. I also wonder what that mysterious bush is right below and to the slight right of the tree. I would either add two more hints of the same type of plant, or delete it.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:39 PM
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Gwendolyn Gwendolyn is offline
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Re: Jefferson & Garrison (structured critique please)

Thank you for the critique, as well as the compliments. Now that you mention it, I agree with you in regards to the pole, as well as adding a bit of color to the high grass patch on the bottom. I'm still not trilled with the color. It's a bit too "bubble-gummy" for me.

Thanks again!

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Old 04-07-2012, 10:04 AM
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gouligann gouligann is offline
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Re: Jefferson & Garrison (structured critique please)

Hi Gwen, I think you've done a great job using those soft pastel colours and you've created a good sense of distance in this painting. I love the colours in the sunlit fields.

A few suggestions: I like the idea of moving the telephone pole further towards the viewer to take away the tangent, but careful placement between the buildings is necessary.
I suggest putting it between the buildings, but not centered. (closer to the larger building would be my choice)

Add a few more sky holes to the closest tree and lighten up the spruce/pine trees in the distance. (they are the same dark value as the one in the foreground)

As for the questionable bush in the foreground, I suggest you add a deep blue strip of water into the ditch instead.

IMO, everything else works very well in this painting and it's a lovely landscape scene.

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Old 04-07-2012, 12:28 PM
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Eraethil Eraethil is offline
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Re: Jefferson & Garrison (structured critique please)

I really enjoy this image, particularly your colour unity and the dominance of the blue and orange/brown complimentaries in your palette. The composition of geometric shapes is also very compelling. Replacing the detail of the individual elements with simple textures, I suspect it could be a strong abstract composition as well. I'm not suggesting that you do that, just noting the effectiveness of the shape and value composition.

The only real problem area for me is the tenuous connection between the pole and the tree. I would not move the pole, because it may throw off the rhythm of the verticals, and could bring the pole equidistant between the side of the canvass and the tree. Can you fill out the tree a little to make the connection less a kiss without losing the lovely tree shape?

The only element I found confusing was the shadow of your tree. I don't think I would change anything regarding this, unless you can do it subtly because it is such a strong composition already.

And finally, one slight tweak to the colour would be to push back the triplet of dark trees in the background a little bit. They compete a little too much with the foreground tree, both due to the value contrast between them and the sky, and their repetition.

Overall, it is a really lovely landscape, especially for someone new to landscape. It looks like it could be from my neck of the woods, and feels genuine.
Comments and critique actively sought and much appreciated!
Rick. . .
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:37 PM
henrik henrik is offline
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Re: Jefferson & Garrison (structured critique please)

Composition, color unity and the great looking main tree makes this great.

I would loose the debated pole, and if you still need a vertical on the left, why not place one in the distance behind the house, say a flag-pole (just the pole done in a subtle way).
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