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Old 02-03-2005, 07:20 AM
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OzonaLori OzonaLori is offline
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1st post in this forum

Hi there-
I've been lurking a little here and reading through the posts.

I especially enjoyed the conversations going on about Prospector's excellent WIP on his rocks and waterfall painting, and the post RobinZ started on why she likes this forum and the suggestions for improving it.

After reading through that post, I decided to post a few of my pieces done from reference photos, where I changed the composition to (hopefully!) improve on it.

Would love to hear your thoughts on whether you feel the changes were succesful or not, and if not, learn why they might not be, so here goes....I'll do one example in the uploader and a couple more in thumbnails.

This is a great forum to learn about the backbone of our work!

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Last edited by OzonaLori : 02-03-2005 at 07:22 AM. Reason: side by side too wide
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Old 02-03-2005, 08:25 AM
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FriendCarol FriendCarol is offline
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Re: 1st post in this forum

Hi, and welcome! Ooooh, it looks like watercolor!
Just bear in mind that I'm an amateur and don't know what I'm talking about. I can only report my impressions, usually. Can't 'see' visual paths yet, or any of that stuff people learn in art school (presumably).
Okay, the first thing that strikes me about the larger (uploaded) one is to wonder why the tombstones were repositioned where they are now, in that size. I feel "warded off" (though I'm not a vampire!). That is, the stones now almost form a wall between me and that far building, though in the original photo there was a good gap (I felt I could step through). This is exacerbated a bit because when I sort of "step around towards the building" going to the right of the stones, the door in the building seems quite small. I think in the painting it's less clear than it was in the photo that the door is at an angle, making it seem very narrow.

So, what grabbed you about this photo or this scene -- what are you painting? What did you mean to say?

Another choice you obviously made was to have the fence run downhill -- was that just to point to the building? I assume the building is the focal point. Or did you mean to say something about the graves, perhaps something about being together eternally? There seems to be a hint of hope in the sky that makes me wonder. (The light in the sky has been shifted to the left, although countercharging would have suggested it should remain above the building. So is that intentional, another clue?) If the point is the graves, perhaps the building could have received a softer treatment...

The painting shows great technique, particularly, imo, the calligraphic brush strokes. Good harmonious palette, very traditional feel to it and it matches the subject (insofar as I am 'getting it,' anyway). It's very evocative of time of year, place, and the somber mood of the day (weather?).
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Old 02-03-2005, 04:25 PM
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OzonaLori OzonaLori is offline
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Re: 1st post in this forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendCarol
Hi, and welcome! Ooooh, it looks like watercolor!
Hi Carol- this was a charcoal and sanguine conte' drawing with a light wash over it (thus, the brushstrokes). I did this back in October for the drawing forum's Halloween Whodunit, so I think you were picking up the lonely, possibly eerie mood I was going for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendCarol
Just bear in mind that I'm an amateur and don't know what I'm talking about. I can only report my impressions, usually. Can't 'see' visual paths yet, or any of that stuff people learn in art school (presumably).
I listen to everything everyone has to say, whether you are new at it or not. Everyone looks at art and all opinions are helpful at whatever level of learning we are in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendCarol
Okay, the first thing that strikes me about the larger (uploaded) one is to wonder why the tombstones were repositioned where they are now, in that size. I feel "warded off" (though I'm not a vampire!). That is, the stones now almost form a wall between me and that far building, though in the original photo there was a good gap (I felt I could step through). This is exacerbated a bit because when I sort of "step around towards the building" going to the right of the stones, the door in the building seems quite small. I think in the painting it's less clear than it was in the photo that the door is at an angle, making it seem very narrow.
Actually this was one of the first transitional works between drawing and watercolors I did, where I was concentrating on adapting the scene to do something different. Just *putting* a different composition on the paper than what I saw in the reference was a challenge for me at that point, so it isn't probably my very best composition. I am glad you pointed out your comments about it. I think they are valid. I can't remember back that far why I decided to make the fence go downhill, but I think I wanted something to not be so straight and static, so I did that. The building was supposed to be my focal point. I think if I were to do this again, I would make the gravestones less dominant in value and possibly left a little unfinished at the
right edge of the right gravestone (or at least more blended there).
I do agree that it would probably be stronger to move the gravestones a bit to the left.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendCarol
So, what grabbed you about this photo or this scene -- what are you painting? What did you mean to say?
Loneliness, somberness, the feeling of another-worldy presence in our world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendCarol
The painting shows great technique, particularly, imo, the calligraphic brush strokes. Good harmonious palette, very traditional feel to it and it matches the subject (insofar as I am 'getting it,' anyway). It's very evocative of time of year, place, and the somber mood of the day (weather?).
Thank you! I really appreciate both your positive comments and especially the critique. Thanks for taking the time to look and comment on my work.
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Old 02-03-2005, 09:08 PM
henrik henrik is offline
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Re: 1st post in this forum

This is going to be a really confusing thread if we try to comment on all three compositons at once - it is generally better to just do one per thread.

I am interested in hearing what compositional decisions you made in say #1. I.e. what did you do, and why? (I know we can see what you did, but how did you arrive there?)
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:48 PM
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OzonaLori OzonaLori is offline
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Re: 1st post in this forum

Henrik,
Thank you for responding to my post.

I will do my best to try and remember why I made some of the composition decisions I did in this picture. I did it back in October, so I may be a little rusty, but I'll give it a try.

I think you are right- I'll post the other pictures later in seperate threads for advice to avoid the overload of information, and the confusion.

In the larger picture, I felt that the original reference seemed to close to the viewer, so I opted to push it back a bit, and decided to place it in the upper right third of the page.

To help the eye travel around the page, I made a light path in an "S" shape that goes from the front of the page, behind the tombstones and then back around the rear of the building/church.

I don't think I succeeded in making the building, and particularly the door of the building, the focal point. I wanted that, but I have gained some additional skills since I drew this, and would have lightened and given a little less detail to the tombstones, and drawn attention to the door by putting more detail and interest there. I would have put less detail on the wall with the window and other wall shown.

The background was uninteresting, I felt, so I played up the fence, making it crooked, and on a bit of a slant, and added a clump of trees on the left to give it some visual interest, weight and balance.

I have not studied composition in depth, but I am sure I got it way back when I was in school in basic classes for my degree. I have no real recollection of learning composition, but I'm sure I studied it! (It must have felt boring back when I was eighteen, for I have no memories of my early basic classes. It feels like I just do what I do intuitively and could definitely hone my skills at composition, so please help me out and give me your opinions, as I would really like to study this again and get a more confident attitude with my compositions- really know what I am doing and why. If you have any suggestions for some good books that approach the subject in an interesting way (I get bogged down if it feels like too much math and science-speak) I would love to hear a recommendation or two.

Thanks so much!
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Last edited by OzonaLori : 02-05-2005 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 02-06-2005, 01:50 AM
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Katherine T Katherine T is offline
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Re: 1st post in this forum

Lori

You could try reading some more in this forum. You were asking about studying composition. If you look further down the forum page you'll see that there is a thread about books on composition. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...=239441&page=2
There's some good recommendations in there.

Katherine
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Old 02-06-2005, 07:27 AM
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OzonaLori OzonaLori is offline
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Re: 1st post in this forum

Katherine,
Thanks for the suggestions on reading material.
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