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Old 01-20-2020, 07:46 AM
jknecht jknecht is online now
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A Couple of Farm Animals

I'll start with the one I'm happy with...



8x10, oil on panel

I was most concerned with atmospheric perspective since there is so much green surrounding this. Not so sure I "nailed it", but I do feel like I'm somewhere beyond the color shifts seeming random.

And one I'm not so happy with...



6x6, oil on panel

A good drawing is the foundation of a good painting. I'm not quite sure what is the foundation of this.

I know that there is a school of thought that says, "only show your best work," but I am frustrated that there is no archive of failed paintings from the masters so that I can validate my own journey. And hey, we're all artist's here. So I say "share everything with your tribe". Maybe in 100 years, someone will stumble across this and it will help them overcome whatever they intimidation is preventing them from getting in the studio.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:51 AM
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Humburger Humburger is online now
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Re: A Couple of Farm Animals

The thing about a failed painting is that it is relative and not everyone will agree with you. I like the first one, but I must beg to differ with you about the second one. I like it better. It is strong and unique. Good work.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:50 PM
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Re: A Couple of Farm Animals

I like the first one too.
It's a lively little sketch, fresh and outdoorsy.
As for the second one, I like the paint and the colour well enough, but I feel very CLOSE UP to that cow, if you know what I mean.
It really makes me a bit uncomfortable, but maybe that's just me


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Old 01-21-2020, 08:57 AM
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ronsu18 ronsu18 is offline
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Re: A Couple of Farm Animals

both are gorgeous!
the cow is very good, it's just not finished yet. there's one thing that caught my eye; if you paint values as color, then consistency is your friend.
on the lit side of the cow, the shadows are an "even" grey, the light philosophy is
"light is chroma and gentle saturation, shadow is no chroma and stronger saturation".
no chroma is them greys. brown is blue and red.

on the shadow side on the left, this philosophy changes. the brown of the ear somehow suggests the area should be interpreted together with the background.
the brow bone shadow is using chroma, saturation and value all at the same time. there are a number of ways you can take this, and as always, just give it time. do nothing till you really feel the reason to do anything. you're obviously capable of performing magic.
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Last edited by ronsu18 : 01-21-2020 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:21 AM
DougInNC DougInNC is offline
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Re: A Couple of Farm Animals

I agree with Ginny. I actually like the 2nd one better, but mainly due to personal preferences. For me, there's too much "white space", isolating the sheep. Love the bold, loose expression of the cow.

However, turning a critical eye to the cow, I'm confused about the light source and the direction from which it originates. There seems to be some conflict between what's in light & what's in shadow. Did you decide on the light source before you started? Is there possibly unseen features in the scene reflecting light back onto the cow?

Overall, I think they both represent good work.

Doug (the North Carolina one)
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:10 PM
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Re: A Couple of Farm Animals

I like the single sheep. It isn't spot on realism, but was that what you were attempting?
The macro of the cow head is not a failure, either. I think the upper left quadrant is the best part of the work with the ear needing a bit of color and brushwork to nail it.
Keep painting and keep sharing.
Have you ever posted for C&C in the Animal and Wildlife Forum? You might get some different perspectives in that forum.
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:33 PM
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Re: A Couple of Farm Animals

sorry, made a mess and clarifying things now will only make it worse.
i edited thoughts about what yellow does in the light in the cow painting, and brown being the shadow, and neglected to edit all the way. =

if color is used in place of value it can be helpful to deploy color groups consciously and separate from each other, even if mixing greys.
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:06 AM
jknecht jknecht is online now
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Re: A Couple of Farm Animals

Thank you Ginny, Jeffro, Ronsu, Doug, and Jon.

I understand all of your feedback.

In particular, I get why the cow is getting a better reception than I am giving it. The colors are bold, the brushwork is less muddled than the sheep, the composition is more active.

However, the execution of the painting has fallen far short of my intention.

I wasn't quite sure why, but I think Ronsu and Doug both nailed it.

First of all, I was working from a photo reference that was taken outdoors, mid-day. I tried to fake the light source slightly and overcome some of the blown-out parts of the reference; it didn't quite work out.

Second, the drawing is not as strong as I would like. I'm surprised nobody has called this out. This is a persistent challenge of mine and points to a need to modify my process so that drawing mistakes can be caught earlier and fixing them doesn't require wiping massive portions of the panel. Mostly, I just get in a hurry to finish the painting.

Third, is the issue of color concept. I failed to keep a cohesive idea across the panel. Ronsu, your comment really landed with me, although I am not sure I have fully digested it yet. I am relatively new to the color exaggeration I was attempting, and it was a bit of an experiment. I didn't really have a clear vision of what I was going after before I started laying down paint -- only a vague idea that I wanted some sort of a warm/cool thing and to slightly exaggerate the saturation. And I think that led to disjointed decision-making and probably an unconscious choice to change the concept midway through. The grays probably should have never found their way onto the canvas. Truthfully, I think I was not making decisions so much as just mixing colors and putting them down -- I need to remember to not make a mark without having a clear idea of what purpose that mark is serving.

So many lessons learned on such a small painting. Thankful for the critique!
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:34 PM
DreyDay DreyDay is offline
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Re: A Couple of Farm Animals

The second one looks really good. I like how you have a diversity of colors to capture the white hair on the cow, and how that yellowish hue helps indicate the sun's rays. The close up of the cow's head shows this animal as something special, like a portrait of an animal that has a bond with its owner. Very elegant brushing, with these simple brushstrokes getting a great sense of contrast, realism, and depth.
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