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Old 01-22-2020, 08:32 PM
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pprender pprender is offline
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Orange Brush

MY IMAGE(S):



GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: Orange Brush
Year Created:
Medium: Pastel
Surface: Paper
Dimension: 12x12
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
This was done from a photo taken on a grayish fall mo<br>ing. The old tree and brush are in a dry river bed. The brush really is an amazing orange color. I'm trying for a loose style that is more suggestive than tightly realistic.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
I would like feedback generally on how this 'reads' for people. Do you find it inviting or should I tone down and eliminate some of the brush so that you can more easily enter the scene?

Any other comments/suggestions are welcome.
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:55 PM
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~JMW~ ~JMW~ is offline
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Re: Orange Brush

I like the colors and the soft bushes.
2 things that seem to distract for me.. the highlighted slightly lumpy edge on the main tree and the hard line along the sunny grass area and the shadow area.. unless the darker area is large rocks? Then it could be harder edged..

Maybe the twigs & orange bush tops could be could be softer & highlighted just a bit brighter..so they don't look too blunt..
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Last edited by ~JMW~ : 01-22-2020 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:56 PM
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Re: Orange Brush

The scene made me think of a photo I took years ago, the light & color is different and no large tree and has a marsh. But the feeling of the soft foliage & light hitting it might be helpful..

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Old 01-23-2020, 05:12 PM
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pprender pprender is offline
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Re: Orange Brush

JMW, beautiful photo, thanks for posting that. Also, thanks for the feedback. I'll take another look at the edges in the foreground. The earth there is very uneven and part low grass mixed in with some sand. Good suggestion on the tops of the bushes. I'll do some softening there.
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Old 01-23-2020, 08:13 PM
picassolite picassolite is offline
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Re: Orange Brush

Hi Pat,

Painting landscapes from photos can be a blessing and a curse.

The blessing is - the ambient light doesn't change.

The curse is - a photo doesn't necessarily 'compose' itself for a great painting.

To gain 'impact' ... I ran this image through the 'fade correction' filter in Paintshop Pro and added a few tweaks ...



Initially - for me - this is a really quick read -

When ... 'entering' the scene ... as quickly as I enter the scene from the right ... via the dry river bed -
I'm out of the picture - on the left ... because the river bed doesn't snake back into the painting.

Additionally - the original blues of the background trees - are so 'warm' they force the viewer to stay in the foreground with the orange brush ... thus 'flattening' the depth of the painting.

As 'warm' and 'cool' are relative to the surrounding colors - the original blues are 'warm' to me. Maybe not to someone else.

So I asked myself ... 'self' what would Elliot O'Hara do with a composition like this?

Elliot O'Hara is my fall-back position when I'm looking at a painting that for me - has multiple possible focus points.

His successful formula (which gained him world-wide acclaim) for a painting was:

1- strong vertical
2- atmosphere
3- story

Well - we have the verticals with the trees.

Now we have atmosphere - as I have toned down the blues and faded the background trees.

How do we get 'story' into this image?

So - I added the deer and 'faded' that quadrant of the painting -
including the tree limbs in that area.

Now we have 'expanded' the depth within this painting.

We have the foreground river bed 'walking' the viewer towards the tree -
middle ground - the high-lighted tree limbs pointing back into the painting -
towards the barely visible majestic deer... in the background.

So now we have 'a precious moment in time' ... as anyone who has been this close to a deer knows ... as soon as they catch your scent -
they bolt.

Best regards
Picassolite

PS - I'm aware you are a landscape painter. And animals don't ordinarily appear in your work.

So - just maybe ... my suggestions say more about me and my artistic inclinations - than they say about you and your work.

So feel free to take my suggestions with a grain of salt ... if that works for you.

Last edited by picassolite : 01-23-2020 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:16 PM
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pprender pprender is offline
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Re: Orange Brush

Thank you Picassolite.
The deer is definitely not working for me, but it did bring my attention to that upper-right area of the painting. I'm going to cool, fade and shorten those distant trees. I can see that it's confusing with the foliage as to what is distant and what is near.

I hadn't seen that the river bed is taking the viewer out of the painting. I need to figure out something around the left side of the tree to "walk" us back in.

Thanks for doing this. Your deer did bring a smile to my face when I first saw him peering out at me.
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:34 AM
mogoid mogoid is offline
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Re: Orange Brush

I see no problem with adding a deer, I would suggest, however, that the deer not look as if it's posing for the picture, Have it positioned and facing at a slight angle maybe?. I love your use of colors and your dappled light in the foreground. I would also soften the top edges of the bushes on the right. Great job!
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:26 AM
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Re: Orange Brush

Thanks Mogoid. I am going to lighten the tops of the brush, but I only paint from my own photographs and I don't have one of a deer. I've never seen a deer in this area, so it would feel strange to me to insert one into this painting.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:21 AM
TheDabbler TheDabbler is offline
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Re: Orange Brush

Hi



I live in an area where I have similar things to paint. Fall foliage can be really intense, and we have an number of creeks which at certain times go dry so I "get" this painting subject and understand why it attracts you.


To me the most glaring problem is your value structure. It is all mid tones.


Your color is lost because the value is lost. You show lights on the main tree and in the foreground, so light is available, but no where in the rest of the bushes or back ground groupings.




There is the same size banding of your colors through most of the image. This is an less interesting design than it could be. I realize you've varied the height of the foreground bushes on each edge, but the main tree branch bunching is reinforcing this height with the two edge bushes, and your lack of break in the bushes doesn't keep the eye from holding the mass as one.




As mentioned earlier, all the interest is on the left side of the painting. The tree is located at the 1/4 division of the painting. A small item in the background - could be an interesting spot of color could draw the eye across to the other side of the painting.





There was an opportunity to vary the lower edge of the brush - even if it isn't in your photo, it would have counteracted the line of the river bed (which I think needs more information since I couldn't identify what you were trying for).
Your trees don't read as real, nor stylized, just incorrect in their construction. If going for realist trees, the limbs wouldn't taper that quickly. The trunk on the tree in the background is thinner than the growth above it. The foreground tree is thinner below the branching and has a divot on the left side.

As before you have lights showing on this tree from below, from the side, from the front, and from above. I know you haven't asked, but since you include trees and bushes in your work often might I make a suggestion? There are two books I recommend heartily on trees which teach how to design and portray groups of them. They're both free and I refer back to them all the time. "On Drawing Trees and Nature" by J.D. Harding, and "Artistic Anatomy of Trees" by Rex Vicat Cole. The J.D. Harding book will give you ideas on how to think about mark making, foliage design, and designing trees. The Cole book is much more extensive on how to actually help you think about how trees grow, what makes a graceful tree vs an energetic tree vs a powerful tree vs a broken tree. He also gets into shape design with trees, groups of trees, and how to call attention to a tree in a landscape of trees, annnd gets into major tree types pines, maples, oaks, beeches and how to use each in a landscape.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:52 PM
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pprender pprender is offline
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Re: Orange Brush

Hi TheDabbler,

I've made some changes based on the feedback from others. I haven't taken a picture of it yet. I think some of the changes address the values problem that you describe. I removed/shortened the trees on the right so I could open it up for the lighter sky. I also lightened the tops of the brush.

I hadn't noticed the horizontal zones. I will do something about the main tree trunk and brush all being at the same level.

I improvised much of the ground cover, but I based it on what I know is there. It's kind of tricky because it's a combination of dirt and sand and very uneven. The grass is partly a ground cover with some of it being an almost florescent green with a bit of dew on it. I don't know how to make this read correctly - it ends up looking like there is bright sun on parts. The sun was actually kind of foggy, hazy that morning. Here's the photo I'm working from:


I actually have both of the books that you recommended and I see that I need to spend some quality time with them. However, I'm not aiming for a stylized or a highly realistic style. I'm aiming more for what the master pastelist, Barbara Jaenicke, refers to as the poetic landscape. Her work is a bit looser than what I'm trying for, but that's the general 'feel' that I want.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They're always helpful.
Patricia
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:05 AM
oldnmartist oldnmartist is offline
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Re: Orange Brush

Wonderful contrast between the orange and blue. I think you answered your own question though, put a break in the orange to lead the eye back.
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