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Old 01-03-2005, 05:17 PM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

Thanks, once again, Katherine!!! Please do not trouble yourself in doing a value sketch, when you are not well. Take it easy and get better. I don't need to do this painting right this week . You have been so kind in presenting me with so much to think about. I do appreciate it.

Cheers,

Gail
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Old 01-04-2005, 04:58 AM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

I'm on dial-up, so I read all the posts as I was waiting for the pictures to appear. When I looked at the line drawings for the re-do, I wondered what the appeal was of the original -- what did you want to portray? Or, what was the meaning you were intending to capture?

Fortunately, by then the ref. phot was visible, so I asked myself why I might want to paint this image. It seems to me (and I could be projecting here!) to have something to do with the "abandonment" of the boat. It's as if the beautiful sky, sea, and other boats (with their white sails like clouds, and thus linked to the sky as well as sea), are together, and something about the darkness on which the foreground boat is marooned, as well as its curvature, speaks of a yearning to join the others. The title, Low Tide, also seems to tie into this interpretation.

Now, if this is what appealed to YOU about the reference photo, the question to ask is, how can you accentuate this meaning of the image? For example, I wouldn't worry so much about using damp sand or more puddles -- or any other device to link the abandoned boat to the rest of the image! -- if the separation is an important element of the image's meaning. And I would try to make sure that the angle at which I drew the foreground boat brought out that same sense of yearning for (reaching towards?) the other boats. (Yeah, anthropomorphism, but we're talking art, not science, here.)

Good luck on your value studies!

Last edited by FriendCarol : 01-04-2005 at 04:59 AM. Reason: misspelled word
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:17 AM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

Interesting points Carol! I was also wondering about what appealed about this particular image.

Strawberrywine - one the problems of being immobolised is needing things to do so it's not a problem doing a value study. Would you like to respond to Carol first or should I just get on and show you what I mean and then you can take if from there?

Katherine
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:31 AM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

Thank you Carol for asking some interesting questions. You are partially right about my feelings. Not really an abandoned feeling, more a yearning to be back in the water floating. The beautiful blue sky and the sparkling waters calling and the wait for the tide to come back in. Sort of a duck out of water feel. I thought that portraying the puddles was significant as it showed that it actually was low tide and not just an abandoned boat and the wait to be back in the water would be a short one.

Katherine, Please go ahead with a value sketch, if you are feeling well enough. Although, I am getting the sense that this subject is not going to make a great painting, but, the exercise I am sure will provide a good learning experience.

Cheers,

Gail

Last edited by Strawberry Wine : 01-04-2005 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 01-04-2005, 09:33 AM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawberry Wine
...a yearning to be back in the water floating. The beautiful blue sky and the sparkling waters calling and the wait for the tide to come back in. Sort of a duck out of water feel. I thought that portraying the puddles was significant as it showed that it actually was low tide and not just an abandoned boat and the wait to be back in the water would be a short one.
... I am getting the sense that this subject is not going to make a great painting...
It seems to me that you have an image with a very specific, strong meaning; you have a clear understanding of what you want to portray; and it's also inherently a fairly strong image (quite "graphic") -- so why wouldn't it be a great painting?!

Even an expressionistic curve to the horizon might help your portrayal, along with maintaining an exaggerated high horizon and the pretty colors up there. You go, girl!
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Old 01-04-2005, 04:34 PM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

Hi

I'd ask what appealed to you as well - and from you said the boat was actually a low priority?

My feelings are that the painting needs to be either primarily about the boat, portrayed from an interesting angle and taking up even more of the paper size - or about the sea, the pools, the light - this is only my opinion and is neither right nor wrong

I work at the coast a lot and for me it is primarily the sea and the pools and the changing light and seasons that fascinate me - I almost never put people or boats in. I do enjoy sketching boats but they are then not so much about the sea and pools etc.

I'm attaching some of my work as thumbnails below. Incidentally for some reason, though I followed instructions they seem to come out quite large - I apologise for this and I'm working on solving it! These were all done plein air except for the night time one which was done from a pen and wash sketch done plein air.

I think you need to really consider the intervals of the bands of colour - the sky (clouds), the different colours of the sea - that's when a photo lets you down - when sitting there you see so many variations and the colours change by the minute but a photo only catches a fraction of these. The bands need to vary widely in width to create interest - you need to decide on a very high horizon or a low one - not half way as that is very static and rarely works. The interest is more often in the pools than the sky - so in that case have a high horizon - you can of course miss out the sky completely.

The sea at some point along the horizon often melts into the sky colour with a 'lost' edge - that helps you not to have a hard line across the picture dividing it too positively.

The suggestions made with sketches etc for the boat are fine - the suggestion to block in the composition rather than do a linear sketch is excellent - i would suggest charcoal - you can block in your tones and shapes quickly and easily change tonal values with a sweep of a hand (now very dirty!) to erase or lighten or deepen them.

the pools often zig zag, which gives your eye a path that takes you into the distance

I hope something here is of some help

Good luck - you are doing fine and have absolutely the right attitude - do something again and learn, rather than go off and do something different and then you don't learn so much.

Vivien
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Old 01-05-2005, 02:25 PM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

Thank you Vivian for your thoughts and attached images. (They were not too large at all ) More food for thought, which is great. I will get some charcoal this week and try doing more value sketches Is that what you mean by ("block it in" ).

Katherine has also vounteered to do a sketch for me to get me on the right track. Up until now , I ave always done a linear sketch and just darkened slightly with the side of the pencil to indicate where my shadows will be.

I am learning so much with this one thread. I thank you all.

Cheers,

Gail
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Old 01-05-2005, 02:32 PM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

yes, I was suggesting the charcoal to block in your tones and shapes (luscious stuff is charcoal )

Katherine was right in the way that it helps you balance a painting/drawing - a large shape drawn in line doesn't have the same weight as a big dark shape and so the whole composition can be thrown. staying subscribed to follow the progress

Vivien
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Old 01-06-2005, 11:04 AM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

I'm attaching a scan of a values sketch. I've introduced two fictitious pools of water to break up the large dark value shape.

I've also converted the photo and your original painting to greyscale.

And I was a bit nervous to see whether or not my values sketch was the same as the photo greyscale!!! Seems about right - with the main difference being my two new pools with a light value

Can you see the differences? Does all of this help?

Do let me know if you have any queries.

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Last edited by Katherine T : 01-06-2005 at 11:06 AM. Reason: spelling!
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:07 PM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

Nice sketching! Those new puddles do help unify the image.

Only thing I would point out is that the long curve at the near top of the boat (original lower POV?) contributed significantly, imo, to the sense of yearning to join the pretty water/sky, in the ref photo. I would try to keep that original expessive curve, even if you lose some of the boat's internal detail. (You could reasonably soften internal detail by reducing value there. In the presence of bright light, eye doesn't focus shadowed areas.) Btw, that curve also, compositionally speaking, leads us into the distance.
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Old 01-06-2005, 03:28 PM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

Thank you so much Katherine. This helps me alot . I can see where I lost a great deal of light and middles in my original painting. I really like the addition of the two extra puddles.

Carol, I think I understand what you mean but what is (original lower POV)?

Back to the drawing board Once again, thanks so much.

cheers,

Gail
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Old 01-06-2005, 03:40 PM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawberry Wine
Carol, I think I understand what you mean but what is (original lower POV)?
Oops, sorry! Mixing my media again.

POV is script-talk (film or tv) for Point of View. I thought the term had passed into common usage because a PBS anthology of independent artists' documentaries had that title (at least I thought it did!). What I mean is just that the photographer took the shot from a lower than normal position (squatting down?), so the boat edge seems higher, giving an upward lift to the curve.
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Old 01-06-2005, 06:47 PM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

Thanks Carol, I learned something again,

I have re sketched this boat (for about the 20th time ) I am almost sick of it. I think I have got a better angle on the boat and with Katherine's help a better value sketch. I will transfer the design to paper tomorrow. It will be a pleasure to add some colour to this.

General Question??? Should I post the painting stages in a new thread or just continue adding to this one?????



Cheers,

Gail
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Old 01-06-2005, 07:41 PM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

I'd stick with this one if I were you - I often feel the need to go back and look at why I'm doing something or, if it gets stuck, how the piece has progressed to date - it sort of reinvigorates my brain and gets me back on track!
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Last edited by Katherine T : 01-06-2005 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 01-06-2005, 09:29 PM
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Re: Low Tide (composition help needed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherine T
I'd stick with this one if I were you - I often feel the need to go back and look at why I'm doing something or, if it gets stuck, how the piece has progressed to date - it sort of reinvigorates my brain and gets me back on track!

Katherine, ya get us back on track also.

Gail, hang in there. I have drawn, and re drawn some subject till I see em in my dreams. No pain; no gain.

Have y'all noticed this old forum is perking up some.
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