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Old 09-09-2004, 10:28 AM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Sue, I love the sky in this one! It's certianly a lot of ground plane, though of course most of it is middle-ground. I think your compositional changes sound like an improvement (though it's a bit hard to visualize--maybe play in PSP and show us a little more of what you're planning!)

The foreground bushes on the overlook seem to be the same size and shape as the middle ground bushes and trees on the hillside. If I were you I'd mass them more, and make them a little bigger in scale and stroke, to define them as nearer. If you increase the slope of the whole mountain you might also allow the foreground to slope off the page sooner, raising the height of it on the left side, thus allowing the view of the distance to be seen. That's the area of focus, the mesa and the roadway with the figure on it, so enhance those shapes and colors and let the foreground trees support it by pointing there.

It seems to me that the darkest darks are in the distance, which may be the fault of the scan or my monitor, but if it's true I'd lessen those distant darks with some reddish-purples (fromt he sky) and add some lavender to the distant ground plane (you say you have only 7 colors??? Amazing! You need more--or you need to do this in OPs! ) Add some punch to the focal area with more darks, too.

Okay, I noodled in photoshop. I have no skills but maybe this will continue the discussion. I'm not entirely thrilled with the angles I ended with but ran out of time to play.



What size is this one, BTW? I'd love to see what else you decide to do. Thanks for sharing...

Deborah
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Old 09-09-2004, 10:59 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

thanks Deborah...that's really helpful. it's 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 and I plan on 16x20. The far areas aren't as dark as the mid ground in my study, but because the cloud shadows fall there, it's darker than normal...the far mountain is blue with a fog bank on the top. But agree the distant fields need more aerial perspective. One question...with the mountain slope I'll have and then running the foreground bushes down like that, will the dark areas on the right be enough to stop and lift the eye or will they want to slide off the page?
This was my first time with charcoal...got your thin whip vine and a fat soft one...whew...what a mess! And just the amount of softy I used here messed my sinus up terribly...so 7 will remain lol. I'm going to be trying this with the Paintstiks.
Oh, the figure is actually a tiny vehicle raising a dust cloud...is the red too much? More darks in the focal area is a good idea...it was really hard to control two mediums I'm not that familiar with...it was just to be charcoal at first but the color is kind of integral to the whole. Ok...here's CP's ref pic...now don't laugh at my try after seeing it, this shot is square, mine is too long, but as it was a study, I forgot to scale it to the 16x20 format I'll use. I was more concerned with values and whether i could even come close to it with my lack of landscape skills. And I knew I couldn't leave so many pure dark areas in it. The sky I'm not worried about, a little worried about getting the right colors for the hillside and not getting too detailed, but having enough to make it believeable. I did use some artist license and you can see I was struggling with the foreground...so your timing with this class was fortuitous!
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Old 09-09-2004, 11:33 AM
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Kathryn Wilson Kathryn Wilson is offline
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Hi Dee - I loved looking through all of these paintings - each one gives a good example of what can be included in a painting. The one of Canyon DeChelly really reminds me of one of my biggest failures - will have to try that one again.

Going to share a few paintings I've done, then will get on to my car painting which still needs to foreground done - this will be a big help with that.
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Old 09-09-2004, 11:53 AM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle
Hi Dee - I loved looking through all of these paintings - each one gives a good example of what can be included in a painting. The one of Canyon DeChelly really reminds me of one of my biggest failures - will have to try that one again.

Going to share a few paintings I've done, then will get on to my car painting which still needs to foreground done - this will be a big help with that.

Great, Kat, love that you've shared the paintings! But before we say anything about these I suggest you tell US what you think worked and why... Part of this exercise is to analyze and put into words what you see as working, and what you think needs to be changed. Then we can all look at it and discuss it! (Refer back to my paintings California Skyline and River Way to get the idea.) Having said that, I really like both of these paintings and think the fores work pretty well for a number of reasons... But you talk first, okay?

Deborah
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Old 09-09-2004, 11:55 AM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Sue--I'm not ignoring you, I just have to go teach a class right now! Neat photo...More later!

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Old 09-09-2004, 12:12 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Hi Dee - both of these were very early paintings for me, so they won't be worked on again.

Viewing the first one with the adobe house, I remember how I struggled with the foreground. The wispy plants were hard to give body to, and with the adobe in the background, I wanted good texture to the garden. I think I've got good movement and texture, but I now see that I don't have the tonal value it might have had to bring the eye into the painting more.

The second one was pure whimsey on my part - again, a very early painting that did well in a show much to my surprise. But the shadows in this painting bring a strong abstract look to the foreground, but also lead the eye right up to those trees. Can't change this one - it's sold.
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:24 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

*ahem*

The technique I used in my project was to de-emphasize the foreground, allowing the eye to enter without distraction. I simply echoed colours from elsewhere. (Like you can do much else with water... lol)







*preen*
Thank-you, Deborah
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:43 PM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Hm, Julie... For some reason your composition reminds me of a painting by Handell--not in subject matter but because he occasionally uses that shallow fore very successfully. In this one he's used a wall with some shadows, but because of the color and value it functions a lot like yours. (This is a crummy photo I took out of one of his books... sorry for the quality!)




Yours is a really beautiful painting. But you knew that.

*assuming role of teacher, hairbun optional*

Now, Julie, how about one with a foreground that's 50-75% of the picture plane???


Deborah
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:53 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Wow! That'd be a really tall wall, doncha think? Hardly worth looking over....
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:54 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyin
thanks Deborah...that's really helpful. it's 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 and I plan on 16x20. The far areas aren't as dark as the mid ground in my study, but because the cloud shadows fall there, it's darker than normal...the far mountain is blue with a fog bank on the top. But agree the distant fields need more aerial perspective. One question...with the mountain slope I'll have and then running the foreground bushes down like that, will the dark areas on the right be enough to stop and lift the eye or will they want to slide off the page?


Seeing the ref shows me what you meant. I don't think it needs strong darks in the distant right, because the sky will draw the eye that direction no matter what--it's inescapable! I agree that you'll have to carefully compose the slopes and intervals of both the fore bushes and the mountain, but done right the sky will carry it off. I think if you allow the darks out there to get too heavy you'll destroy the illusion of distance.

Question: what do you want to be the focal area? Just be sure that the foreground plane supports and moves the eye there...

Deborah
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Old 09-09-2004, 10:05 PM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle
Hi Dee - both of these were very early paintings for me, so they won't be worked on again.
I don't think changing them is what's important, Kat, just that we think 'out loud' about what worked and what didn't!


Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle
Viewing the first one with the adobe house, I remember how I struggled with the foreground. The wispy plants were hard to give body to, and with the adobe in the background, I wanted good texture to the garden. I think I've got good movement and texture, but I now see that I don't have the tonal value it might have had to bring the eye into the painting more.
Yeah, I agree. Looking back on this one, which I remember seeing, I think the darker streaks in the grasses break the movement of it into horizontal stripes a bit too much--so if the tones were massed more it would be better. We all learn a lot without even realizing it sometimes!


Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle
The second one was pure whimsey on my part - again, a very early painting that did well in a show much to my surprise. But the shadows in this painting bring a strong abstract look to the foreground, but also lead the eye right up to those trees. Can't change this one - it's sold.
A really strong foreground, as you say! Why? It does a great job of adding interesting angles, leading the eye and repeating an interesting color.

Thanks for showing these!!

Deborah
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Old 09-09-2004, 10:08 PM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetBabyJ
Wow! That'd be a really tall wall, doncha think? Hardly worth looking over....

Depends on what was IN FRONT of the wall...

Deborah
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Old 09-09-2004, 10:18 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by dee_artist
Seeing the ref shows me what you meant. I don't think it needs strong darks in the distant right, because the sky will draw the eye that direction no matter what--it's inescapable! I agree that you'll have to carefully compose the slopes and intervals of both the fore bushes and the mountain, but done right the sky will carry it off. I think if you allow the darks out there to get too heavy you'll destroy the illusion of distance.

Question: what do you want to be the focal area? Just be sure that the foreground plane supports and moves the eye there...

Deborah

In the ref the sky is the focal point, it was for me...I want the same effect in my piece. My earliest version did have the furthest mountain very pale and the flat ground too, but it was too LIGHT and took attention away from the drama in the sky...what do you suggest to keep the drama which I think comes from the dark 'frame'? I sharpened my study btw...in RL the distance is much more unfocused, which I thought helped...not defending my choices, but not sure how to work all this together.
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Old 09-09-2004, 10:42 PM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyin
In the ref the sky is the focal point, it was for me...I want the same effect in my piece. My earliest version did have the furthest mountain very pale and the flat ground too, but it was too LIGHT and took attention away from the drama in the sky...what do you suggest to keep the drama which I think comes from the dark 'frame'? I sharpened my study btw...in RL the distance is much more unfocused, which I thought helped...not defending my choices, but not sure how to work all this together.

Sue, in that case I suspect it isn't as much a matter of lightening the values, but in controlling the color. If it's cooler and just a hair lighter in color it will seem farther away and still surround the light of the sky.I think the softening you suggest would help too!

Be careful not to let the vehicle and its cloud become too interesting! The red is rather compelling, though small enough in this version not to be a problem. In the larger one it could fight.

Deborah
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Old 09-09-2004, 11:13 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Thanks Deborah! I agree about the vehicle, was never sure I'd keep it red, but it wasn't showing in this tiny version any other way lol...thanks for the thoughts on how to handle the foreground bushes. I have a ways to go getting used to these paintsticks, so I'll practice doing that effect before hand as an exercise.

Julie...i really like that scene!
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