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Old 02-07-2018, 02:43 PM
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JohnWallie JohnWallie is offline
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need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

Hello everyone. I'm working on my third collage piece. I've gotten pretty far in this one, I used a reference photo for the tortoise itself but the background and foreground were not based on any of the photograph.

It seems the contrast is not ideal between the Tortoise's shell and the grass or the background. So, I've come here to ask advice, not just for how to improve contrast, but also general feedback, if you have any.



C&C please!
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:05 AM
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Cyndi L Cyndi L is offline
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

Can you post an in-progress picture, John? One thing I do with my pieces when I'm not sure about contrast and value is to take a picture and desaturate it in photoshop (there are online apps that are free). Comparing that with a value scale, I can often find where my problems are. In general, and this is very much a sweeping generalization, you want to have the greatest contrast where you want the viewer's eye. So if you can't create that spot with color, try doing it with value. That's my best 2 cents advice!
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:50 AM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyndi L
Can you post an in-progress picture, John? One thing I do with my pieces when I'm not sure about contrast and value is to take a picture and desaturate it in photoshop (there are online apps that are free). Comparing that with a value scale, I can often find where my problems are. In general, and this is very much a sweeping generalization, you want to have the greatest contrast where you want the viewer's eye. So if you can't create that spot with color, try doing it with value. That's my best 2 cents advice!


Thank you for your suggestion, the desaturate trick in Photoshop is a good idea.
I did post an in-progress picture! For some reason it's not showing up anymore... I'll try again here:
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Old 02-08-2018, 10:40 AM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

Ahhh! I see what you mean. Here's another idea for you...maybe make the contrast between warm and cool greens. Blue up the turtle shell a bit and yellow up the grass, or vice versa. A couple washes of transparent acrylics would do the trick.
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Old 02-08-2018, 10:41 AM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

I actually don't mind it the way it is. You have to look deeply to see the turtle, and I think your collage is marvelous!
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:27 PM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

Thank you for your ideas, Cyndi!
I'm going to try to maintain the blue background, the bluish green mountains. I think what I need to do is to brighten the background colors and brighten the grass the turtle is walking on, that way the darkness of the tortoise shell will contrast better and not blend in so much.

Thank you for the complement Cyndi
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:40 AM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

Thumbs up!!
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:18 AM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

A very nice collage, John, I really admire it! You have a cool temperature piece with all the blues, greens, and grays. To me it needs some warm orange-browns maybe at the base of the shell to warm it up and draw attention to him, your center of interest. Are you cutting the paper or tearing it?
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:56 AM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

You have quite a lovely collage already. I like the lines of your subject and background.

The only thing that is keeping your subject from popping is a lack of contrast. You have a successful contrast between the body and the rest of the foreground, based on a contrast of low/high saturation alone, but the shell is blending into the grasses, both because of the colour similarities and because of the value similarities. I often suggest people check the values first before solving any painting problem. Here is a black and white of your piece:



Some slight tweaks will really make a big difference. Kay's suggestion of warm tones near the edge of the shell is a great one. And perhaps darker and cooler shadows beneath the shell and under the body. And finally, always think about pairing your brightest values next to your darkest where you want us to focus most, perhaps the eye, or a portion of the shell?

Hope you do many more collages. You have a knack for mixing colour swatches to get interesting blocks of colour and exciting shapes.
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:24 PM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

A grayscale conversion helps a lot!
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:02 PM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

I have no advice but think this is a fantastic collage. Love it.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:58 PM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

No suggestions either, but I love this!
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:10 PM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

@KreativeK
I cut the magazines. It gives me more control than if I would tear using my hands. I'm glad you like my artwork!

@Eraethil
Thank you for the info, I'm definitely going to be using the black and white viewing method for my future artworks! I appreciate the compliment as well!

@ladypainter
thank you!

@KiwiKate
Thanks!

I've finally finished the collage. Quite pleased to be learning so much through everyone's info in this topic. For future collages I'll be trying to think about contrast a little bit more in advance.

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Old 02-16-2018, 07:52 AM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

I pulled both images onto my screen so I could look at them side by side. Such small changes you made, and what a difference! He still looks completely at home in his surroundings, but he is now clearly the center of attention...as he should be! Great job
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:53 PM
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Re: need contrast advice for Tortoise Collage

An extraordinary completion! Well done. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the signature! (something creative I have not seen before)
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