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Old 12-01-2017, 08:45 AM
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MaryThompson MaryThompson is offline
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Question Girl Climbing Sunflower

Hey all -

Here's my latest. I like it, but I feel like something's missing and I'm hoping more eyeballs can help me see it.

8" x 10" on gessoed watercolor paper.
No OMS or powdered blender, but I did use Textured Fixative between layers.



constructive criticism welcome

Thanks,
Mary.
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:49 AM
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Kemical Reaxion Kemical Reaxion is offline
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Re: Girl Climbing Sunflower

Nice! I love the background and the bright cheerful colors. The sunflower looks great, but maybe it needs some leaves? But I think it's beautiful as-is.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:50 AM
Pingpongfan Pingpongfan is offline
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Re: Girl Climbing Sunflower

Just a thought about the centre of the sunflower ... they have a sort of spiral of seeds and I was wondering if you could add some sort of highlight specks to the centre. Did you use a stencil for the background "leaves"? I really like those patterns. They suit the subject very nicely. Why did you gesso the watercolour paper? I am presuming white gesso. Would love to hear about your process.
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Old 12-04-2017, 03:00 PM
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Re: Girl Climbing Sunflower

How refreshing Mary to ask for more eyes to look at your work! It sure helps...

Your girl is a wonderful illustration. Just the title suggests that you have a children story about her sunflower adventure brewing inside you.

The arrangement of the seeds in the sunflower is in reality much more than spirals. It follows a very involved mathematical sequence similar to the way a pineapple sections line up around it. It would be a requirement for a strictly botanical illustration, but not for such a charming stylized piece of work. Like Vena suggests, maybe even some specks here and there would give it some texture?

What puzzles my eyes is the leg. Do you picture the other one behind the flower stem? Could you add just a second big toe (or a heel) picking out somewhere, as if she is climbing? Trying it on a piece of tracing paper first to establish the position may be a good idea!

Your work is very creative...
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:46 PM
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Re: Girl Climbing Sunflower

I meant "peeking out" somewhere...
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:49 AM
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Re: Girl Climbing Sunflower

Extra eyes are always good!! Here's what I'm seeing. The sunflower and the background pattern are fairly crisp, with well-defined darks and lights. In contrast, the girl is much less well-defined. The lines are much less crisp and the darks and lights less well-defined. So on looking at the image, my eye is going to the flower and the background, and then it kind of wanders to the girl. So while I agree with the thoughts about the flower center, I'm not sure it's what this drawing needs. If you want the girl to stand out, tighten up the lines and light/darks. Define her better. Just my two cents.
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:34 AM
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Re: Girl Climbing Sunflower

I think this is a very pretty painting. My only suggestion would be to try darkening background so that the sunflowers and girl show up better.
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Old 12-08-2017, 04:05 PM
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Re: Girl Climbing Sunflower

Lovely!
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Old 03-21-2018, 06:13 AM
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MaryThompson MaryThompson is offline
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Re: Girl Climbing Sunflower

PingPongFan aka Vena: I'm sorry I didn't see your questions earlier.

Yes, I used a stencil for the background patterns. It was my first time trying that and I liked the results, too.

Yes, I gesso-ed the watercolor paper. I probably transferred the drawing on first, then used clear gesso to seal it down and seal the paper. I think I also used powder blender and the fixative from brushandpencil.com to get the blends.

Frida: I originally had the back leg on the drawing, then eliminated it because it would never look right. I hoped no one would miss it. ;-)

Thanks everyone!

Mary.
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Old 03-21-2018, 12:13 PM
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Re: Girl Climbing Sunflower

This makes for a lovely beautifully rendered story.
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:08 AM
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Re: Girl Climbing Sunflower

Actually, the background overwhelms the figure not because it is too light, but rather because it is too bright, too intense, and fights to come to the foreground. It needs a touch of the complementary colours to Green (Red) and to Yellow (Violet) to neutralize them a bit. To learn how it works you can do a mock up on another piece of paper.

But yes, as Joan suggests, usually it is a good idea to have a darker BG with a light subject, and a lighter one with a dark subject, apart from a more neutral colour as well...

And last, the BG needs to be simpler to allow the subject to be the first to attract attention!

Here it is in Grey scale:

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Old 06-25-2018, 04:18 PM
flyflutterart flyflutterart is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Girl Climbing Sunflower

I really really like this. I think what could make it stand out even more is some more dept and shadows? It seems a little "flat" to me. But I really do like it and the concept!
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