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Old 02-19-2010, 07:26 PM
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JohnHealey JohnHealey is offline
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3 Paintings - First Post

Hello all,

I have been a long time follower of this forum, but this is my first post. I've always enjoyed seeing the paintings done by others and thought I would post 3 of my own.

The first two are 6x8's oil on canvas. The last is 9x12 oil.

Any comments and criticisms welcome.

Thanks,

John
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:05 PM
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Mike1947 Mike1947 is offline
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Re: 3 Paintings - First Post

John

Very nice effort for your first time! You did great. Perspectives look very good and the colors are well done. Congrats!!

Mike
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:07 PM
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Re: 3 Paintings - First Post

I have a feeling that while this may be your first post on the forum, its not your first plein-air effort. Very nice work, especially the palm trees, and the beach shorelines---and the distance mountains. The recession looks vry good, the perspective and the colors. Glad you are here!
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:57 PM
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Re: 3 Paintings - First Post

Mike and IMaybe,

Thanks for your kind comments. I have done some plein air painting, although not a great deal. It is something I would like to get better at. Being out in nature is so much fun, the painting part seems like a bonus.

John
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Old 02-20-2010, 04:41 AM
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LarrySeiler LarrySeiler is offline
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Re: 3 Paintings - First Post

Nice efforts...

I would say your last one is your best one, and the reasons are what you did to assure depth illusion. Your distant visual information of a mass so far away and behind the palms very astutely diminishes form and edges..and the palms themselves show a nice variation in darker values, brushwork and texture by comparison. Thus what is near here comes nicely forward, and back there remains back there.

I believe...were you to have hazed out that distant mass more, like the blues of the plein air above, you would have pushed it more and created a great sense of atmosphere/air and light...

It'll take time to learn you don't have to stick and report all truth as is, but can tell some truth and stretch others, because there is this other truth. That one, most of us viewing the work were not there on the location the day you painted this, and thus wouldn't know...and two, paintings work for reasons paintings work. Thus, as Picasso once said, "art is a lie that tells the truth"

your first effort gives less form to what is "back there" but the edges that relay form are IMO too harsh and compete with the edges of your subject, the tree. The result is this flattens the potential depth illusion of your work.

The second one shows you have a good feel for values and color...but vary your brushwork more, that is treat what is supposed to feel "back there" differently than "up near"...

...and, IMO..the composition itself lacks good visual mass weight balance or asymmetry.

Some set ups are ideal as they are in their composition, and its what catches the eye.

In the beginning painting plein air...it is light and color that catches the eye. That will of course always be the heart of the true painter, but in time you'll come to recognize a most important ingredient for what makes paintings work, and that is the underlying sense of design, the composition...

Its not always what to paint that is the most important consideration, but what NOT to paint, that yet reveals the aesthetic beauty that grabbed you by the jugular and said, "MUST PAINT!!!"

In the case of your second piece...the repetition of curved contours going down...but mass building up more and more to the left of the center divide, just don't feel it visually balances.



While the variation in values is a good device for the sense of depth, in this case...I think a crop yet shows depth attained with what values and color exist here...appears a higher keyed painting, and thus carries the sense of airiness and lumination...

More so, not having been there, I'd say it no doubt yet carries a spirit of the place, the moment...the light, and probably what most excited your need to paint additionally...and, that little island to the right is enough to visually balance this, and thus cause intrigue...

keep it up...you got some good stuff goin' on!!!
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Last edited by LarrySeiler : 02-20-2010 at 04:48 AM.
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Old 02-20-2010, 05:42 AM
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Re: 3 Paintings - First Post

I think you already have developed a good eye for capturing colour. What I was going to say has already been said by Larry in his comprehensive post above, but there is no harm in repeating it I suppose. To my eye what you need to work on next is variation in brushwork, texture and edges. Based on my own experience, that is only something you can develop when all the other stuff more or less comes automatically to you. If you stick with it, I have no doubt you will be amazed what your next 100 plein airs do to the quality of your work. Welcome to the Forum.

Michael
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:52 AM
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Re: 3 Paintings - First Post

I like your plein airs! Where do you have such a spectacular scenery to paint?
We're freezing below 0 F, can only dream of plein air...

Last edited by moscatel : 02-20-2010 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:29 AM
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Re: 3 Paintings - First Post

Hi Larry,

Thank you so much for your detailed comments. I think they are spot on. It's funny how when someone else points out something that can be improved it makes much more sense, like the repetition of the curved forms in the second painting. Also, like you mentioned, I should have pushed the distant hills back further in the last painting. And the edges are all too sharp and unvaried in the first. What is a good way to obtain variety in edges and texture? Use different type brushes? This is probably a basic question but one I need to work on.

Hi Michaelmcg,

I agree completely with what you said. My brushwork needs help. I need to concentrate more on that. It is too monotonous.


Hi Moscatel,

I usually do most of my plein airs while I am on vacation. I should probably do more around where I live to get more practice in.

Thanks again everybody for your comments and suggestions.
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Old 02-20-2010, 12:01 PM
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Re: 3 Paintings - First Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJHLH1
Hi Larry,
And the edges are all too sharp and unvaried in the first. What is a good way to obtain variety in edges and texture? Use different type brushes? This is probably a basic question but one I need to work on.

there are any number of ways to do this...one, in more distant areas, it might be the support you use and applying less paint, so you can scumble a stiff bristle brush over edges.

Another, bring the value range closer at some spots between sky and mass, or clouds and mass...use even a finger to smudge an edge.

still another...mix up a bit of the mass edge color/value...with the sky pigment...bring the value down a bit...and lightly paint a touch of that across edges...

Thing is...it doesn't take much suggestion of a mass or edge against the sky since the sky tends to be so much lighter in contrast and value variation. IF the edge disappears at sporadic places, it gives a sense of light, haze, atmosphere engaging...

Would be easier of course to stand there and demonstrate some ways...

it'll come...

and another good way is to study works of very fine painters...and study that particular thing, how they deal with distant masses where edges meet. I have a fairly good number of links of websites and blogs on my own blog, artists I check out frequently and know others do as well..
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Old 02-20-2010, 05:08 PM
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Re: 3 Paintings - First Post

Thanks again for the tips Larry. Now I'm excited to go out and try some more plein air painting. I'll post another one when I do.

The best way to get better is to practice.

John
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:38 AM
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Re: 3 Paintings - First Post

Cool pics of your setup. I jsut started painting and instead of clipping my canvas board to my easel I just use artist tape doubled over and sticking it on the back of the panel seems to hold really well.

~Kirby
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:20 PM
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Re: 3 Paintings - First Post

I've enjoyed these very much! You obviously did not start painting yesterday. Hope to see more of your work in future.
Have fun, Dave
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:38 PM
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Re: 3 Paintings - First Post

Juicy colours John. The second and third are fantastic.. I'd be really happy with those ones. Don't touch that second one!!
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