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Old 08-01-2019, 05:07 PM
DarrenF1970 DarrenF1970 is offline
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Berkley Castle on a sunny day

MY IMAGE(S):



GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: Berkley Castle on a sunny day
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Board
Dimension: 30x30cm
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
This is my first attempt at painting with oils. It's on 9mm mdf board prepared with simple white acrylic primer. I was aiming for a realistic image and am pleased with some areas, like the curtain wall, but not so pleased with the windows, chimneys, and other areas of fine detail.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
Any advice or tips to improve the reproduction of fine details would be much appreciated. Is it simply a case of finer brushes, or thinning the paint even more, or am I missing a technique? Thanks in advance
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:17 AM
turnip26 turnip26 is offline
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Re: Berkley Castle on a sunny day

I think this is fabulous. I actually thought it was a photo when it first popped up! It is very interesting to read your comments and discover that even an artist with your clear capability doesn't like a lot of what you have painted - there is still hope for me.

In terms of composition I am struggling a little bit for a couple of reasons - there is no obvious focal point and your eye wanders around, settling on the arch after a wander up the fg flower-bed. If that is the intention then it works. I don't like seeing the left edge of the building cut off. I get this from my photography where I don't like to see any part of the subject chopped.

The patch of grass on the left centre looks very dry compared to the lush grass further right - that might be as per your reference but the mismatch doesn't quite sit right.

Great painting, thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:06 PM
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~JMW~ ~JMW~ is offline
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Re: Berkley Castle on a sunny day

The abrupt & hard edge on left bothers me.
The one very high darkest window could be less dark it grabs my eye..
The smaller arched window appears slightly tilted..the rest look fine to me..
It seems most contrast in on the right side, so that makes the left side seem washed out..
Some darks/shadows behind the greenery, and a little more contrast on the design areas & edges of left would help it I think..

I'm not sure if left wall is curved or semi curved , it seems to be curved near center then becomes undefined as it goes to left.

Very good building & lines work..
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Last edited by ~JMW~ : 08-02-2019 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:54 PM
sevan sevan is offline
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Re: Berkley Castle on a sunny day

Great work so far, the brick work is a perfect blend of detail and generality.
I dont know the place, and this painting makes me wonder why that wall on left drops down just before the edge, and I want to see around whats going on there.
the windows being different colors is a little confusing, and they dont all look transparent.

I agree the plants could use some deeper shadows, on the wall and in foreground, and parts of building. The shadows at lower left look correct for what appear a sunny day. Where the red plant blossoms meet the castle wall, it looks smudgy or cloudy. Might just be the photo.
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Old 08-03-2019, 01:42 PM
DarrenF1970 DarrenF1970 is offline
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Re: Berkley Castle on a sunny day

Quote:
Originally Posted by turnip26
I think this is fabulous. I actually thought it was a photo when it first popped up! It is very interesting to read your comments and discover that even an artist with your clear capability doesn't like a lot of what you have painted - there is still hope for me.

In terms of composition I am struggling a little bit for a couple of reasons - there is no obvious focal point and your eye wanders around, settling on the arch after a wander up the fg flower-bed. If that is the intention then it works. I don't like seeing the left edge of the building cut off. I get this from my photography where I don't like to see any part of the subject chopped.

The patch of grass on the left centre looks very dry compared to the lush grass further right - that might be as per your reference but the mismatch doesn't quite sit right.

Great painting, thanks for sharing.
Thanks Turnip for taking the time to comment.
You've mentioned the left hand side and the lack of space between the edge and the curtain wall - that seems to be a common theme so that's good to bear in mind for future compositions. I think I just wanted to make sure I had the building as big as possible.
Also I agree about the small patch of grass. Although it is how I saw it, it does look a bit inconsistent with the lush green grass in the middle, so thanks. I've since retouched it to get them a little closer in tone.

Thanks again
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Old 08-03-2019, 01:50 PM
DarrenF1970 DarrenF1970 is offline
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Re: Berkley Castle on a sunny day

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~JMW~
The abrupt & hard edge on left bothers me.
The one very high darkest window could be less dark it grabs my eye..
The smaller arched window appears slightly tilted..the rest look fine to me..
It seems most contrast in on the right side, so that makes the left side seem washed out..
Some darks/shadows behind the greenery, and a little more contrast on the design areas & edges of left would help it I think..

I'm not sure if left wall is curved or semi curved , it seems to be curved near center then becomes undefined as it goes to left.

Very good building & lines work..
Thanks JMW for taking the time to comment, it's appreciated.
It seems you're not the only one to be bothered by that hard left hand side edge! Others have commented on it too, so looks like I'll need to give that some consideration when composing next time.
I agree with your comments on the arched window, I retouched it several times trying to straighten it out but but struggled with it. For the colours, I deliberately made them different shades rather than uniform, but you're right, the top right window stands out from the rest slightly too much.
Looking at it, I also like the suggestion of deeper shadows and more contrast around the bushes and the curved curtain wall - I'll tinker with them later.
Thanks again
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:34 AM
DarrenF1970 DarrenF1970 is offline
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Re: Berkley Castle on a sunny day

Quote:
Originally Posted by sevan
Great work so far, the brick work is a perfect blend of detail and generality.
I dont know the place, and this painting makes me wonder why that wall on left drops down just before the edge, and I want to see around whats going on there.
the windows being different colors is a little confusing, and they dont all look transparent.

I agree the plants could use some deeper shadows, on the wall and in foreground, and parts of building. The shadows at lower left look correct for what appear a sunny day. Where the red plant blossoms meet the castle wall, it looks smudgy or cloudy. Might just be the photo.
Thanks for the comments Sevan, the shadows were mentioned by JMW as well, so I'll take another look and darken them up slightly.
Yes, the red blossoms in the middle and against the castle wall! In my haste to finish I ended up with that strange cloudy effect - maybe I should repaint over that area again to tidy it up.
Thanks again for taking the time.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:21 PM
SurrealityArt SurrealityArt is offline
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Re: Berkley Castle on a sunny day

Quote:
Originally Posted by turnip26
I actually thought it was a photo when it first popped up!

I thought it was a photo too. I think it is the texture of the castle that is so spot on. Great Work
~TJ
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:38 AM
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lorianikins lorianikins is offline
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Re: Berkley Castle on a sunny day

It's beautiful! I love the textures.

In terms of balance, to me, this composition feels "heavy" on the right side, with nothing to balance it on the left side.

Whether intentional or not, the focal point in your painting seems to be the archway (strongest area of contrast, with angles leading to it) ... and it is placed almost exactly in the center of the composition. Focal points are usually most effective when placed in a "sweet spot" (rule of thirds, golden ratio, fibonacci).

I've cropped the image so that the archway ends up in a sweet spot. (First I tried cropping it as square, but couldn't make that work.) But the cropped image presents a new problem: Now the columnar white chimney is right smack in the center, with the flower garden shape "pointing" to it. So, now the chimney is a competing, and unintended, focal point. Plus, to end up with that archway in the sweet spot, I had to cut off the whole left wall, which sacrificed some important contrast and perspective.

I'm including the cropped version here, but I am in no way implying that this cropped version is "better" than the original! It was just an interesting exercise in composition.
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