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Old 09-11-2019, 02:29 PM
Ceri Jones Ceri Jones is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 25
Hails from Wales
The Pit Head


Title: The Pit Head
Year Created:
Medium: Watercolor
Surface: Paper
Dimension: 1/4 Imperial
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Tried my hand at some historical art - taking inspiration from David Bellamy's watercolour image book on the welsh mines - Views from the South Wales Coal mines -

Still early in my art development - and really looking for any ideas how to crisp up the image - my watercolours are muddy or soft blurry compared to many I see.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:05 AM
EdithsArt EdithsArt is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 92
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Re: The Pit Head

Hi Ceri,

I'm afraid my reply is not of much use for this painting, but first thing I see is that there's no or very little white of the paper visible. If you have a nice white paper, and you leave the white untouched here and there, it will immediately give a much fresher and crisp look.

Trying out a color on another paper than your painting first, allows you to see how it looks.

Another thing is to avoid mixing too many colors and use pure ones as well. When mixing, two to three colors max will be best to avoid mud.
When looking at your photo, I don't really think your colors look muddy though. It seems to me that you just overworked the image a bit too much. Leaving areas white, and trying as much as possible to do less (but accurate) maybe is the key. Although that is also the hardest!!

You could also try out using different kinds of paper, different amounts of moisture etc. Some paper is very easy to overwork.

Finally, when looking at this picture, I find that my eye tends to go to the brighter, yellowish green spot in the painting. Probably this is also for a next painting, but maybe it would look nice if there's also a yellow-green patch in the foreground on the right, and one a bit closer to the mine, so you'd lead your viewers eye to the mine. That would also help to make the color brighter.

I actually found some more info on muddy watercolors in the Watercolor section of WetCanvas. I give you the link below:


Hope this helps!
~ Hope to see you on my website EdithsArt.com
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:10 PM
~JMW~'s Avatar
~JMW~ ~JMW~ is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,553
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Re: The Pit Head

The colors don't seem muddy to me, but they don't seem look quite right..maybe too strong and too blue green. Try some yellow/green or a hint of red to naturalize the greens.
The partial building on the right edge seems too crowded to the edge and the land angles there feel off, or too matching. Notice how one land angle lands at the top of that building ? It makes a confusing area..
The figures seem large compared to the right side building and the road they are on?
Composition Tips http://photoinf.com/General/Johannes...ion_rules.html
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:08 AM
Ceri Jones Ceri Jones is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 25
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Re: The Pit Head

Thank you for all your great advice - I need to take this all on board.

I am conscious I tend to overwork watercolours a lot and need to learn to free up and do less - I do find it very difficult not to fiddle.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:03 AM
Ceri Jones Ceri Jones is offline
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Re: The Pit Head

Thank you for your feedback - it is very much appreciated and gives me much to think about and hopefully look to improve.
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