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Old 06-26-2000, 03:02 AM
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EquusAlba EquusAlba is offline
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Question Could use some suggestions ...



This is my first attempt at painting in oils - I've been pretty much completely a pastelist until this spring. The technique that's felt natural to me is building up color in repeated thin glazes - I just don't seem to 'get' alla prima. I've worked on the lily pads until they're close to finished, at which point I started roughing in the blossoms. I'm planning a good bit more work on the blooms (yes, including the centers -G-). My concept for the light in the painting is late summer late afternoon. </p>


However, there are some things that are bothering me about the composition, SO ... having joined WC, I thought I'd find out what other artists see as the
key places on which I need to work. Note: The pic I've linked to here does have some parallax issues - these are from the photography (it was a quick shot with the digital camera). The 'real' painting is a bit brighter - there was loss of some fine detail and color depth when I compressed the file for reasonable load time.</p>


So, all that being said, here's the pic:</p>


<img border="0" src="http://www.northwood.org/images/wip-wl-2.jpg" width="546" height="432"></p>


&nbsp;</p>


Thanks in advance for any feedback!</p>


&nbsp;</p>


Judith Northwood</p>


-----------------------------------</p>


Northwood Studios</p>


<a href="http://www.northwood.org/studios">http://www.northwood.org/studios</a></p>


&nbsp;</p>
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Old 06-26-2000, 02:37 PM
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LarrySeiler LarrySeiler is offline
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Looks like a large faux wall mural Judith. Would be cool.

You know...if you just think of oils as pastel with a bit more fluidity to them, I don't think you'd have the struggle. Use less medium, and short strokes of paint.

Some people stain larger masses of color on sanded paper before building up pastel. I have several "how-to"s I would hope you'd look up here on Wetcanvas that deal with plein air painting in oils, which is very much like alla prima. Just plug my name in the search window and hit "go" on Wetcanvas's home page.

In essence, I take a rag...with a bit of turps, dip in the darker values and rub into the board or canvas the larger underpainting masses. I squint my eyes at the subject to see those shapes. I'll also apply some turps & paint in warmer/lighter values. The turps nearly soaks into the board or canvas rather quickly, and going over with the strokes of paint is much quicker and direct thereafter. It reminds me so much of the way I use pastel actually. Check out also some of my landscapes where the brushstrokes seen might make some of this more understandable.

As to this work here...it has a decorative appeal to me. It is lacking as "realism" in that the values are so middle tone range, lacking in lighter lights, and darker darks. Consequently, it loses a bit of three-dimensionalism. But...that is assuming that the illusion of 3D is what you were after.

I used a software program to make quick minor changes. Just enough time invested hopefully for you to get an idea. I created more sense of a light source, and used more warm and cool colors to intensify drama and perspective.
<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/lily_pads_Judith.jpg" border=0>

Larry

[This message has been edited by lseiler (edited June 26, 2000).]
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Old 06-26-2000, 08:30 PM
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Phyllis Rennie Phyllis Rennie is offline
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In addition to what Larry is suggesting, I would diminish the importance of the upper left corner of the painting. The light edge of the lily pad is taking attention away from the blossoms and it closely mirrors the shape of the one which is more in the center of interest. You could simply make the values closer in that area and soften the edges so it commands less attention. Phyl
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Old 06-29-2000, 12:22 AM
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EquusAlba EquusAlba is offline
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Thanks *very* much!

Larry, I really like your retouches - the colors you indicate are very close to how it looks in naturla light (I don't know why it came across so dark in the digital pic -sigh- ). I'm going to add the 'sparkles' where the water meets the edges of the lily pads: that's something I hadn't thought of (THANK you!) I also like the way you added some pink into the yellow flower and vice-versa. Sometimes I tend to stick a bit too close to my photo references to have ideas like that hit me. I think I've spent too much time doing equine portraiture for commissions. It's making me too literal.

Where could I see some of your landscapes? I have to admit that brushstrokes are proving hard for me to get a 'feel' for. I keep reading books and articles (on-line and printed text), but nothing has helped me grasp it. I'm thinking I should take a class this fall through the local community college or some such so I can watch someone else do it right in front of me. Even videos aren't the same as 'being there'.

You hit one of my bug-bears square-on, Phyl! The parallel lines of the two curled edges are part of what's bothering me about the composition. I'm considering re-working that area so that lily pad just lies flat. I'd have thought that something that bugs me *that* much would have made itself known in the preliminary sketches I did, but NOOOOO! Do you think that re-working it that way would help the composition flow better?

Thanks VERY much to you both!!! I can tell that I'm going to thoroughly enjoy being able to interact with fellow artists through these message boards.

Judith


------------------
Judith Northwood
Northwood Studios

[This message has been edited by EquusAlba (edited June 28, 2000).]
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Old 06-29-2000, 12:45 AM
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LarrySeiler LarrySeiler is offline
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Here's my artist's web page on our Wetcanvas sister site, ArtistNation.com

Landscape Paintings- http://www.artistnation.com/members/lofts/lseiler/

Just go to the bottom of my page, and then click on my "Art-Agent.Com" exhibit link. That will bring you to my three exhibits- landscapes, wildlife, and portraiture. Any questions you may have afterwards about brushstrokes, feel free to ask! I don't know it all yet...as we are all always learning. Take care...

Larry

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