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  #31   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-10-2004, 12:58 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Man! You really took a big bite here, didn't you? This is going to be spectacular if it works- maybe take a wander through those Hudson River School guys again to see how they handled that kind of sky view- they made it glow like I know you want to.

Hope those oil sticks are "perfect"!!
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Old 09-10-2004, 01:02 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

yep...good thing I have a big mouth! If it works is the key phrase here, but I'm going to try hard...came close enough to feeling maybe I can if I'm careful and take my time...this was one that you HAD to kind of blur as it's soooo huge a scene...maybe THAT's the secret lol! Still need to explore those oil sticks and see what they've got.
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Old 09-10-2004, 01:09 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Good luck- I'll be watching!

(Wonder if I can talk 'em into letting me road test the entire set of Unisons?)
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Old 09-10-2004, 01:16 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

This is a 1 hour 15 min sketch for the weekly thread..I did it with the intention of posting here also. With the fence, sidewalk, and street, approximately 50% of the picture plane is foreground. The shadows are the star of this work in my mind. I have plans of refining this work to a completed state.


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Old 09-10-2004, 10:50 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by prestonsega
Preston, this one is a good example of how to use the fore to support, direct and enhance the work. I want to ask you what you think the focal area is meant to be, however...

I don't want to start 'explaining' it, especially if you'll do it...(but I'll run with it if you don't want to!!) It really works well to illustrate some of the principles in my first post.

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Old 09-10-2004, 10:55 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Hi Deborah, this is wonderful, great paintings to illustrate what you are teaching us here. Thank you again for all your encouragement and teaching!

I worked on a painting (8 X 10 on pumiced, gessoed board) that I started in Paul Murray's class at the Expo. It has about 2/3 foreground. This foreground is interesting to me because it is varied in light and shadow, and in color. I tried to blue down the sunlight and shadows toward the back of the foreground, and added brighter yellows, greens and a touch of orange to the nearer foreground to bring it forward. I tried to pattern the grasses with color and shapes. As far as composition, I still have some questions. Do the strong diagonals lead the viewer out of the painting? And do I need to difine some of the more distant tree shapes a bit more? The varied texture on this board really helped to create varied strokes on the grass and trees. C & C appreciated.Oops, this looks less detailed, bluer and has lost some of the brightness in transition.

Preston-I really like the shadows you have developed in your foreground, I love the look of dappled sunlight and shadows, and am looking forward to seeing this develop.

Sue-I love the glow in the sky, it looks like its going to be a stunner, and I think your foreground road with or without the car will lead us right there.

Julie-I like how you are sure of what you do and why, your explaination is to the point and clear. That is part of why I really like this thread Deborah has started (and of course taking classes from her too) is that it makes me think of the why's, and what for's of painting.
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Last edited by pjo : 09-10-2004 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 09-10-2004, 11:23 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Hi Deborah!

Allthese pieces are beautiful! I particularly like the one done by Richard McKinley. Do you know what surface he worked on?

I am working on a portrait of a horse that involves a full background. I am having problems with the foreground grasses. I'm not feeling brave enough to post though. I may have to post privately.

Heather
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Old 09-10-2004, 11:34 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjo
Do the strong diagonals lead the viewer out of the painting? And do I need to difine some of the more distant tree shapes a bit more?

PJ, I saw this painting in its early stages and it's very strong! I love the color work you've done to it. It has a mood that's very nice--that bright warmth when the sun escapes for a few minutes. The textures are so pleasing, too.

Your question about the strong diagonals could become moot if you think about how shadows become lighter in value as they proceed away from the thing casting them. If you slightly lighten the value of those shadow shapes as they near the edge of the paper, feeding a bit more of the grass colors into them, I think you'll minimize the problem without diminishing hte strength. You might also add some sunlit grassy strokes that protrude up over the shadows to break the line a bit more, which might point visually to the foreground tree, or break the line of the shadows toward the edge (or the judicious use of both of these, maybe!)

There's one awkward spot that needs addressing. The line of yellowish grasses behind that tree makes it appear to be one short, spindly tree in front and one bushy one directly behind it. (This might be because of the resolution of the photo...not sure.) The shadow shows it was meant to be one tree, so if I were you I'd make the light bounce around in there more throughout it, so it's not such a straight line. You could feather over it some, too, to push it behind.

I think you have to decide exactly how may trees you have and make the shadows behave accordingly. It works well in the fore but falls off a little farther out. Here's what I perceived, but if you intended it to be different this will show you what's confusing!



Hope this helps...

Deborah
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Old 09-10-2004, 11:41 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawsportraits
Hi Deborah!

Allthese pieces are beautiful! I particularly like the one done by Richard McKinley. Do you know what surface he worked on?

I am working on a portrait of a horse that involves a full background. I am having problems with the foreground grasses. I'm not feeling brave enough to post though. I may have to post privately.

Heather

Heather, I love the McKinley piece too. His work is so beautiful. I don't know what surface he uses, but he's written extensively for The Pastel Journal, and shown his paintings there, so you can probably find out...

You're more than welcome to send your horse painting to me privately but I want to encourage you to share it here sometime. We often find in my classes that when we work together to see things--not just me critiquing, but all of us looking at the painting together (a lot like we do here at WC)--we all learn a lot more. After all, there's more than one way to solve things and more than one opinion on what works. Well, do whatever seems best to you, of course. I don't mean to be pushy!

This is turning into a great thread.

Deborah
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Old 09-10-2004, 12:09 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Heather...I've seen some of your animal work...are you in the same boat as me with landscapes?? I have posted some horrid ones, trust me! But it really is the best way to learn. I know-it's hard when you can do well in some areas, I always felt it was a failing with landscapes, but there is no success without failure and it probably isn't near as bad as you think anyways. I'm in agreement with Deborah on this...no pressure, really! Just encouragement
(oh...and we learn from everyone too!)
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Old 09-10-2004, 03:12 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Hi Deborah, thanks for your comments. I can see right away what you mean about lightening the edges of the shadows and the light grasses showing thru the front tree. I'll try to get a little more work done on this one cause theres another one I'm working on thats I have foreground questions on also. This one is in the early stages, and I know the building's perspective is off some and plan to work more on it, but the question is with such a dark sky and the sky being the focal point, can I have a sunlight foreground w/o taking too much of the emphasis away from the sky? I'm trying to create a pathway with the patterns of grasses,and bushes, and ground shadows, looking at your example #6 of the shadows. At least this is what I hope to achieve. Who knows, looking at this here, it may be better without the old building and tree too, or maybe just the tree alone kinda silhouetted but off to one side.
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Last edited by pjo : 09-10-2004 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 09-10-2004, 03:40 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS


It's not good but I'm not sure what's the focal point. Before the last work I did I thought I'd make it the cholla cactus but now the yellow flowers are stealing some of it's impact. What do you see as the focal point?
I used the greying blue thing on the mountains to give depth & make them look distant. I put more color in the closest part & had it get lighter in the distance. The closest bushes are larger with the others getting progressively smaller with distance. I repeated the yellow flower bushes as shapes, color & to break up the space.
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Old 09-10-2004, 03:44 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

PJO, I agree the house is getting a fair amount of attention with it being a different color & darker too. If you made it more the color family of the sky & not so much darker it might be a good addition without taking the focus away from the sky. Use a photoshop program to test it first. I should also not forget to say I love the sky!
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Last edited by Artistammy : 09-10-2004 at 03:45 PM. Reason: wrong name
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Old 09-10-2004, 04:44 PM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artistammy
It's not good but I'm not sure what's the focal point. Before the last work I did I thought I'd make it the cholla cactus but now the yellow flowers are stealing some of it's impact. What do you see as the focal point?
I used the greying blue thing on the mountains to give depth & make them look distant. I put more color in the closest part & had it get lighter in the distance. The closest bushes are larger with the others getting progressively smaller with distance. I repeated the yellow flower bushes as shapes, color & to break up the space.

Tammy, we need to work on your self-confidence! This looks good and the work you've done on it (seen in your other thread) has made lots of improvements!

One way to help you begin to determine a focal point is to squint like crazy (details above! LOL) and find the place where your eye is first attracted. Most of the time it's at or near the place where the darkest dark and the lightest light come closest together. In this case my eye goes directly to the cholla (btw, this is pronounced CHOY-a, for those not from the southwest!!) and its yellow flowers. You pointed out all the other strenghts of the foreground here! So--it looks great! I really hope you're happy with it...

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjo
This one is in the early stages, and I know the building's perspective is off some and plan to work more on it, but the question is with such a dark sky and the sky being the focal point, can I have a sunlight foreground w/o taking too much of the emphasis away from the sky? I'm trying to create a pathway with the patterns of grasses,and bushes, and ground shadows, looking at your example #6 of the shadows. At least this is what I hope to achieve.
Who knows, looking at this here, it may be better without the old building and tree too, or maybe just the tree alone kinda silhouetted but off to one side.

PJ, You didn't say what size this is, but it feels big, very expansive--except for the building, which seems to throw off the scale for me somehow... If you want the sky to be the focal area, the house has gotta either go or be muted a LOT, in size, color and value. It definitely distracts at this point. I know you said it's early so maybe you have other plans, but for my 2 cents, I'd vote against it.

I don't think having sunlight in the foreground is any distraction, since it can easily be sunny here and cloudy out there, but I would pattern the middle ground, showing some shadowed spots and some sunlit areas, with some evidence of softer distant trees or other foliage. Then I think the patterns you need in the fore will fall into place.

Be sure to have one dramatic area in the sky that you want to point all the shapes toward, moving the eye there.

Beautiful start! You do such gorgeous skies!!!

Deborah
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