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Old 02-24-2012, 11:05 PM
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Dancing Children -Structured Critique - please

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GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: Dancing Children -Structured Critique - please
Year Created:
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 20 x 24
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
This was the most difficult painting for me to photograph. The camera wanted to either wash out the colors or make them too bright ! I have lots of white glazing over the background and as a last few brushstrokes on the floor in the back . Maybe that confused the camera ? I tried daylight, absolutely no good and then incandescent and finally those little can lights ! The boy's hair is still a bit bright and does not show shadings and the bu<br>t sienna particularly on the boy's ( viewer's right ) leg pants is way brighter than in the painting. So please allow for that . The rest looks pretty accurate.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
I am interested in a moderately realistic picture with impressionistic effects. So strict realism is not my goal. I also am interested in the effects of light and in broken strokes and color. So please take that into consideration.

All critiques welcome ! What could I have done better??

The photo reference was only a guide . I did use it strongly for the heads and faces .
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:20 AM
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Re: Dancing Children -Structured Critique - please

I think it is very nice overall.

Not sure if this qualifies as structured crit, but here goes...
2 things that catch my eye in an odd way - her hands & the toe area on her right shoe

They remind me of my lil niece & nephew.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:54 AM
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Re: Dancing Children -Structured Critique - please

TJ 84

Thanks ! Those blasted hands gave me major fits ! Yes, her right one, I should probably take another run at it , darn. Her left hand, what strikes you as off ? Thumb? fingers? and the toe of her shoe ? too thick ? That one would not be so hard to change. Thanks for what you do like ! By the way, I am from Oregon also !! Maybe the background through the window looks familiar in a general way to you !
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:12 AM
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Re: Dancing Children -Structured Critique - please

I think this is quite lovely --- in concept and in the execution. I have three points that I believe would improve it. Darken (only a little) the background colour adjacent to his profile to prevent it becoming "lost". To gain a little more dancing movement , lift the toe of her right foot so that only the heel is in contact with the floor; and with the boy, lift the heel of his left foot so that we could see light coming through under it.
It looks as if her right hand is palm upwards and his hand just resting on her fingers. If that is so, the thumb is on the wrong side !
This is so good that I think the slight alterations would make it superb.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:13 PM
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Re: Dancing Children -Structured Critique - please

dgford,

I shall take a try on the feet ! I like your concept. Heck, it's worth a try, I can mess up anything ! LOL Her right hand, yes . Her thumb is the top digit as I have the hand twisted to the side, but it really is not working. I don't want the hands to become a center of attention, but I can see that i need to take another try on that hand ! Thanks for your suggestions !
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:01 PM
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Re: Dancing Children -Structured Critique - please

IMO...this photo, as making an ideal painting setup, is flawed compositionally...

The children are fine...and a lovely subject...but, perhaps a field, or meadow...an air or light to support the whimsical or joy filled children hearts.

the interior just doesn't maximize what is possible for this...

A subject as this is difficult to begin with, because you have the potential displacement of symmetry...that is, split the canvas in half and have similar visual balance with one child on each side. The background needs to have interesting polarity or juxtaposition to challenge the work to be so much more than symmetry...
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:00 AM
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Re: Dancing Children -Structured Critique - please

Larry,

Thank you for coming through ! You have helped me on every painting I have submitted as I try to learn ! I am forever grateful to you for your help ! I have gotten better on some things and continue to work on others ! The main point that you mention that grabs me is the balanced symmetry of a child in each half of the picture resulting in a too balanced composition. I never noticed !! Thank you for that ! I need to file that in my brain for all pictures ! I tried not to center anyone, but still ended up too balanced. Ok ! Lesson learned. After I straighten up her right hand, I shall be off to my next painting ! I learn from each one !! I shall leave the background alone in this picture. I was experimenting with using more neutrals to see how the bright colors would look next to the neutrals. I kind of like the contrast. The fields I shall put into my next painting !!
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:14 PM
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Re: Dancing Children -Structured Critique - please

Ok, my final picture ! I changed the girl's right hand , still not perfect, but the best I can do at this time , raised a foot on each child so that the idea of movement is better expressed ( great suggestion ) , darkened a bit more, the area behind the boy's face , so that his face would show up better, broadened the support post on the right because the back of the boy's head was exactly touching the line of the post and by Jove I think I am finished ! Once again, I could not capture every nuance of color from the picture of the painting, but I got 95% , so I guess that is ok. In case anyone wonders, the yellow in the background to the very left of the picture is showing way more intense than in reality and so is the boy's red hair color. If anyone sees anything else, go ahead and tell me . I will put it into my memory for the next picture ! Thanks to all of you for your help !
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Last edited by she1122 : 02-28-2012 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Want to add more comments
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:45 AM
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Re: Dancing Children -Structured Critique - please

Paintings of people laughing can be difficult to do, but this painting works. In particular, the brushwork is enthusiastic and lively, especially in the clothing and the marks on the flooring. That's a very successful aspect of the piece.

Perhaps in the next painting, you might consider the composition a little more. The two children are placed so that they balance each other visually, which is fine, but they're also made small enough that the background ends up playing a pretty important role. I get the impression from the upper half of the background that you weren't quite sure how to finish that area. Your reference photo shows what looks like a row of pews running off into the distance. Incorporating the movement from that curve might have added an interesting dynamism to the background.

I would also consider measuring out the proportions for the figures a little more in the earlier stages of the painting. The arms and legs of the little girl, for instance, look a little off.

You might also want to key in on the direction of light in the piece a bit more. I'm having trouble registering where the light source is.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:57 PM
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Re: Dancing Children -Structured Critique - please

Hello TinDog,

Thank you for your comments. My brushstrokes on the clothing and floor are something new I am trying out and I am excited about the results ! So Thank You ! I need to keep working on using those kinds of strokes . You are exactly correct on the background. I wanted the perpendicular support posts that the church had, but I was totally winging it on trying to decide what to do about the windows as I really had no reference and was not following the photo at that point. I ended up sketching in some trees and a kind of building and then glazing over with whites to try for a window effect. I see what you mean by the background having a strong influence due to proportion in the picture . Thank you for that. Maybe next time I will try to be even looser in the background. I remeasured the girl using her head as my proportion guide and everything checks out except that her skirt could have been about one fifth of a head longer . She is wearing a fleece jacket ( this is Oregon ) and it ends down over her hips,but I can see where the eye wants to place it at her waist. Then she looks like she has no thighs ! LOL As to light, I wanted them backlit and I perhaps got a bit carried away with the white on his left sleeve and I see where I let the light be brighter on the viewer's side than it should have been. I think I will glaze down his arm and their hands and some other near areas a bit, but I don't want to go too dark or I lose some details. Plus I need the light values to keep my value range. Hmmm, I shall work on this a bit. I haven't signed it yet ! LOL Thank you so much for your critique ! You have me thinking !!
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