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  #46   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-10-2004, 06:12 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

LOl, Deborah. I do have trouble with confidence with something I haven't done before like this deserty landscape. I think I like it. Right now, I've looked at it so much today I'm going to let it sit & look at again tomorrow.
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Old 09-10-2004, 06:14 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Here's my attempt at this - not finished but should be enough to see where I'm going and if I'm going in the right direction?



My thoughts:

I wish I'd chosen something simpler - those lock gates were a nightmare to paint at this angle, especially the left hand one which still isn't reading correctly.

The line of the lock wall and the edge of the grass lead the eye to the lock gates which lead you up to the focal point (the boat). The ridges on the right in a semi-circle reinforce this (if anyone's wondering what these are for they are set on the line the lock gate swings through when it closes so you can brace your feet on them as you push the gates closed to stop you ending up in a heap on the ground - those gates are HEAVY)

The shadows on the grass and the stones break up the foreground. The figure standing waiting for the boat links the foreground and background.

I need to have a look at the colours - at the moment they're probably all too much the same so not suggesting distance, particluarly the grass behind the figure.
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Old 09-10-2004, 06:38 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by dee_artist
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.

Deborah

Dee...the "focal point " is and has always been an issue for me. I feel the oak tree with its hightlights the focal point,,,,the light sidewalk and fence coming from the lower left and then stopping abruptly and with the sunlit grass in front of the tree lead the eye to it. The fence dimishes in intensity as it proceeds to the right of the picture plane and the dark foilage stops he eye from leavin the plane...the pitch of the roof also points to the tree as does the light triangular nondiscript stuff to the right of the picture plane.....am I gettin close????? Please take my work into photo shop and draw all over it ..Since I can't take a class in person I want to get as much of you "how to " as possible.
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Old 09-11-2004, 11:04 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

I was able to work for another 1/2 hour this morning on this one. I lightenen the shadows as they moved away from the base of the trees a bit, and worked on the shape of the trees hopefully clarifing the confusion, your illustration Deborah really made me see what was unclear, the first two trees were actually one and hopefully I've corrected it. I'm also going to upload the photo, which this painting is a crop of. In the photo there is a nearer tree and shadow which I think may enhance the foreground and composition by stopping the eye from leading out.
And this is the uncropped photo.
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Old 09-11-2004, 11:50 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonlady
Here's my attempt at this - not finished but should be enough to see where I'm going and if I'm going in the right direction?



My thoughts:

I wish I'd chosen something simpler - those lock gates were a nightmare to paint at this angle, especially the left hand one which still isn't reading correctly.

The line of the lock wall and the edge of the grass lead the eye to the lock gates which lead you up to the focal point (the boat). The ridges on the right in a semi-circle reinforce this (if anyone's wondering what these are for they are set on the line the lock gate swings through when it closes so you can brace your feet on them as you push the gates closed to stop you ending up in a heap on the ground - those gates are HEAVY)

The shadows on the grass and the stones break up the foreground. The figure standing waiting for the boat links the foreground and background.

I need to have a look at the colours - at the moment they're probably all too much the same so not suggesting distance, particluarly the grass behind the figure.

Joy, this is a really interesting painting, and you're right, the foreground functions for the reasons you mention. I really like the vivid greens and blues in the foreground plane, which draw and direct the eye.

You say the boat is to be the focal point, but my eye is drawn to the blinding white and black of the gate directly in front of the boat. That's so predominant! The colors and values used in the boat tend to merge into the trees behind it, except for the red and a touch of the white. Here it is in b&w:


Do you see how, from a value standpoint, the gate is more compelling? The only way to make the boat the subject would be to dull the gate and change the value of the boat, so it's either lighter or darker, in order to draw the eye.

Now take that all with a grain of salt--because the boat DOESN'T HAVE to be the focal point! The gate is a very interesting set of shapes and it overlaps the boat--so don't rush to change things. Just take note of this. I see the boat, the gate and the man as being the focal area.

The other thing I'd do, if this was my painting, has nothing to do with the foreground, but I'd lighten the sky! You have lighter blues in the water that are really beautiful, and I think the painting would really open up and breathe if the sky was lighter in value.

I love the reflections in the water of the trees, boat and sky--beautifully painted! The shapes you've used move the eye to the subject particularly well, also, and the execution of this is really nice. Love the stones along the bank, too, and you did a great job of the shadows. I think shadows and reflections are challenging to paint!

Thanks for sharing this painting with us. You've done an excellent foreground!!

Deborah
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Old 09-11-2004, 11:59 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by prestonsega
Dee...the "focal point " is and has always been an issue for me. I feel the oak tree with its hightlights the focal point,,,,the light sidewalk and fence coming from the lower left and then stopping abruptly and with the sunlit grass in front of the tree lead the eye to it. The fence dimishes in intensity as it proceeds to the right of the picture plane and the dark foilage stops he eye from leavin the plane...the pitch of the roof also points to the tree as does the light triangular nondiscript stuff to the right of the picture plane.....am I gettin close????? Please take my work into photo shop and draw all over it ..Since I can't take a class in person I want to get as much of you "how to " as possible.


I agree, the tree is the focal area. Everything you've pointed out is exactly right! I love the way my eye begins at the tree, swings around the arch of the dark triangle to its right, catches on the fencline, then along the gate back to the tree--with the other side of the fence, the roof and highlights and shadows to its left supporting it. It's wonderful!!!

My little picky-ditsy suggestion is that you could change the direction of that ivy trailing over the fence so that it swings to the left, which will keep the eye moving that direction--a minor thought, if there ever was one!

See, you knew it already...

Deborah
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Old 09-11-2004, 12:06 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjo
I was able to work for another 1/2 hour this morning on this one. I lightenen the shadows as they moved away from the base of the trees a bit, and worked on the shape of the trees hopefully clarifing the confusion, your illustration Deborah really made me see what was unclear, the first two trees were actually one and hopefully I've corrected it. I'm also going to upload the photo, which this painting is a crop of. In the photo there is a nearer tree and shadow which I think may enhance the foreground and composition by stopping the eye from leading out.
And this is the uncropped photo.

Good morning, PJ! You made this one much clearer in shape and value now! Good job. My only teensy suggestion is that you could interpret the shape of that immediate foreground shadow so that it's a little less straight and rigid, letting little bits of shadow float toward the trees and break up the land plane. I see why you chose to paint it this way from the bigger photo, but look at how the light might dance around along that edge, making it elegant and enhancing the focal area... Remember how I always say put the light into the dark and the dark into the light? This is the spot!

Now, mind you, this is a gorgeous little piece just as it is, and I know it's small, so do what works for you--but do show us if you make any more changes!

Deborah
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Old 09-11-2004, 12:17 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

It's been a while since I've had an opportunity to paint, but here is my recent attempt and I think it fits in with the foreground subject lesson. It was the sagebrush along with the house that captured my attention. The house seems muddy, but was cast in the shade. Not sure what to do next. Any suggestions?

By the way - great thread Dee. Thanks for doing this.
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Old 09-11-2004, 12:35 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Wow, Ed--this is really a beautiful painting... If this is what you do when you haven't "had an opportunity to paint" I'm looking forward to you painting every day!!!

I like the unexpectedness of the location of the house set amid the movement of the brush and grasses. However, right now the shapes are leading me to the distant horizon on the right hand side and not back to the house. I don't want to suggest you do anything too terribly obvious or mechanical, such as put a tree out there, as I think it would diminish the mood. Instead, if I were you, I'd construct some shapes that quietly move the eye back around to the house.

Possibilities:1)The line of trees beyond the largest green tree on the right side could become a raggedy line that enhances movement back toward to the house instead of leading straight away. 2) The line of small trees that comes in from the right side (counter to the treeline I was speaking of in 1) could more strongly counter the movement and take you around to the house. There is an implied X there where the two lines of trees cross one another that can be used to direct the eye. 3)The smear of darker green bushes above the house could be shaped to move your eye toward the house more. 4) The bushes to the left side of the house could become more of a triangle pointing to the house. 5) The fencepost to the front and left of the house could angle more toward the house, instead of away from it.

You may or may not do any of these. I love the colors you've used--and as for 'mud', everyone needs some good mud colors to counter the clear colors. That house is abandoned and derelict, and this painting is about the emptiness, the way the grasses and bushes make beauty around things. I really like this one.

Show us any changes you decide to make, please. Oh, and I'm glad you like the thread! If you guys will rate it it will be easier to find in the Library...

Deborah
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Old 09-11-2004, 01:35 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Dee - Thanks for your suggestions. I guess my instincts told me that the eye was led to the horizon but I was not quite sure how to redirect the eye back to the house. I'll make some changes and post the revised drawing. Thanks for the encouragement.
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Old 09-11-2004, 03:36 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

I did this one for the WDE this weekend. Any suggestings for improving this? It's done on toned paper about 15x20.



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Old 09-11-2004, 03:52 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Judy, it's lovely! The colors are pleasing to me and your use of just enough detail is excellent. I think all the counter-movement in the grass is working quite well.

This is what I always call a 'here and there' painting, which doesn't have a lot of middle ground showing, (just suggested here), and is usually all about figure and ground.

Your less-is-more approach to the water and sand is great, and the textures of the grasses work nicely. I'd sign it!

Deborah
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Old 09-11-2004, 04:14 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Thanks Deborah. I appreciate your comments and time. Love these lessons and paintings that you've posting here. They are very helpful! I have learned so much in the short time I've been a member here. I can't thank you enough for all the time involved.
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Old 09-11-2004, 05:18 PM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

"--a minor thought, if there ever was one!"

Maybe a minor point, but one that makes sense and I would never have seen it out,,,,,,,thanks Teach!
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Old 09-12-2004, 09:25 AM
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Re: ESP--September 2004--FOREGROUNDS

Thanks so much Deborah, I see what you mean about the boat blending into the background but I rather like the whole group being the focal point so I think I'll leave it as it is. I have toned down the blinding white a little, as the end of the balance bar is meant to be in shadow . I agree with you about the sky too so I've lightened that. I'll post this in the main pastel forum and see what the rest think, they're bound to have some opinions
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